“Vita” means “War” in Swahili.
This chapter is one of the shortest in terms of pages but to the characters it must have been the longest 48 hours. It starts off with Nyajuru hearing people approach their hut where her and her husband were spending their honeymoon away from their village that was under attack.
Soon enough, the people ended up being two rebels that were wandering in the forest to see of there were more people from the Murya village that might have escaped. The rebels forced entry to their hut and started terrorizing them. Mutware was not having it especially when the rebels started showing interest in his wife. As one of them walked towards her, Mutware quickly tried to stop him when he heard a gun shot from the other rebel’s assault riffle. He then stood and watched as the rebel kissed his wife and started caressing her. That’s when Nyajuru asked the two men if she could make some tea for them.
The rebels weren’t in a hurry so they let her. However, when she served them tea with “sugar”, they first gave her husband a taste of it to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. Nyajuru offered to give them a second cup afterwards, which they accepted without having Mutware taste it. A couple of minutes later, the two rebels dozed off and Nyajuru tried to help Mutware get up as he was a little dizzy from the first tea and they set out into the forest.
As they walked in the middle of the night in the direction of Bibokoboko, Mutware was angry that Nyajuru had poisoned the rebels more so because he learned that the powder she had used had been given to her by her late mother before she passed away. Nyajuru explained that women would often use that powder to make their men fall asleep and not demand sex from them. Once again, Mutware was starting to question whether he knew Nyajuru after all.
Even though Nyajuru’s mother was no longer with her, the impact she had in her life was significant.
For anyone who has lived in the eastern part of Congo, war is not so foreign. As a matter of fact, it is so common that most people have experienced it in a way whether firsthand or simply through its impact. One could not write a story about that region without there being war.
See you next week as we explore the third chapter 🙂