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TEARS OF MY MOTHERDorothie Ayebazibwe Dorothie reviews the newest inspirational novel on the Ugandan scene, ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER; The Success Story of Nyamishana, the First Female President of Uganda’ written by inspirational author and columnist Robert Bake Tumuhaise.

This success story is a story that starts with a scarcity of success!!! A land ravaged by a locust invasion, followed by a famine/drought and filled with emptiness is the backdrop for the launch of the story. In that setting we get to meet Tayebwa, a poverty-stricken good-for-nothing man whose only contribution to society is giving birth to more offspring than he could look after.

Among Tayebwa’s children, is Hannah a strong-willed girl who defies her father’s expectations and embraces Christianity, a ‘crime’ for which her father, curses her or claims to have cursed her with barrenness. Despite 40 years of a childless marriage and old age, Hannah longs for and has faith that she will still give birth to a son; and indeed, at an age when her body should not be able to reproduce anymore, Hannah conceives and gives birth. Her joy at this miracle is blighted, however, by the fact that she has given birth to a baby girl and not her long awaited son. Being the positive-minded person that she is, she accepts her daughter for who she is and names her Nyamishana (a name derived from the Rukiga word omushana meaning sunshine).

The journey of Nyamishana and her rise from abject poverty and obscurity to the greatest position in the land amidst overwhelming opposition and a myriad of failures, heartbreaks and disappointments is the subject of this book. The author calls ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER’, “an inspirational book put in fiction form.” He couldn’t have been more correct. As an inspirational story, ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER’ speaks to you no matter what you are going through and no matter how bleak your future appears to be. It’s a book that makes you believe the impossible is possible and that miracles still happen even today.

As a work of fiction, Bake’s ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER’, “grabs a hold of you and does not let you go till you reach the last page. The characters are striking, unforgettable and believable; the pace is pretty fast, never dragging; and the laugh-out-loud jokes offer the much needed comic relief in this intense story. Indeed it’s unputdownable, as the publisher says in the cover summary. Bake has created an unforgettable heroine in ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER’ and my only wish is that the sequel has more than 140 pages, more details, and a more intrusive approach into the minds of the characters.

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