BY Mirembe Zabasajja, 11:50am April 24, 2014,

What Visiting My Jajja’s House In Namutumba, Uganda, Means To Me


Me (pictured right) with my Jajja (middle) and younger sister, Naomi

About two hours away from Kampala, there’s a village in Busoga called “Namutumba.” Why is Namutumba so important to me? My grandmother lives there. When I walk in to my grandmother’s house, I feel like I’m at my home away from home. Jajja’s house is a sanctuary. It’s quiet, there’s no wifi, and a lot of the times when we are there, the electricity is off.

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To pass time we read, go to the store, listen to my mom or auntie talk about childhood memories, look at old photos, or talk to her neighbors. My jajja’s house was where my mom would vacation when she was little. The house was built by my grandfather. Although I never met my grandfather, I feel as though I know him from the memories of him left around the house.

Namutumba Uganda

My grandmother’s house

My grandmother always says, “If only he was alive to see all that you’ve done.” When I see my grandmother’s smiling face, tears of joy come to my eyes. I never get to see her often, but I’m lucky to be able to see her healthy, active, and happy. Every time I go there, I meet a new relative.

Namutumba, Uganda, and my small hometown in New Jersey are like two different worlds: I live in the suburbs, where people hide behind their big brick houses and fancy cars. They pretend to have picture-perfect lives.

Namutumba is a village filled with small shops and houses made of mud bricks; however, everyone here is so happy.

Although they have little, they have everything.

They have each other.

They don’t get to hide behind superficial things like people do here.

Namutumba has taught me to appreciate the little things in life. Little things most of us here in the United States do not even think about, like having running water, electricity, shoes, and clean clothes.

It has humbled me.

It has taught me to be thankful for the little things people do for me.

It has taught me to appreciate family, my health, and all the resources I have around me in the States.

There are people in Namutumba who could not even imagine the life I live here in the United States, but what they don’t realize is that so many people here could learn a thing or two from them.

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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: March 25, 2016


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