Her husband abandoned her after she went blind
Posted Sunday, October 6 2013 at 00:00
Steam from a saucepan blew away into her eyes and she lost her sight. Unfortunately, Ms Irene Kasubo’s husband abandoned her.However, the youngest daughter has stuck by her mother.
Until 2006, Irene Kasubo, 40, was a normal woman loved and cared for by her husband. The mother of four is a resident of Bukwanja Village, in Nabwigulu Sub County, Kamuli District.
She met the ‘angel of darkness’ on the morning of Friday in June 2006, when she had gone to carry on with her duties at a local eatery in Kamuli Town. She did not know that that would be the last day she would make use of her eyesight.
On the fateful morning, Kasubo had woken up, set the home and seen her children off to school before heading to her place of work. She arrived at the local hotel, and straightaway set about preparing breakfast as had been her daily routine.
She found a saucepan on the fire, covered and boiling away with what she assumed was tea. As she uncovered the saucepan, steam blew away in her eyes and instantly went blind. Kasubo thought the impairment was temporary, but the eyes kept on itching her, and she could see blurred images. She traced her way back home.
Her status as the once beloved wife would begin to change with the husband starting to withdraw from her and the home. The husband is a polygamist with three wives, Kasubo being the first.
Kasubo was advised to see a physician, and she first went to Kamuli main Hospital. The doctor referred her to Jinja Referral Hospital where surgical operation was performed on her eyes. It was one eye at a time. But still after the operation she could not see. The doctors gave it sometime in the hope that she would recover her sight. Still nothing happened, not even the slightest vision.
She now had to resign to fate of remaining blind all her life. Her husband had by now abandoned her; he did not even raise money for her medical operation. She says the husband, who is a local brew dealer in Nankulyaku Sub County, told her off that he couldn’t continue living with a woman who had gone blind.
“To him, being with a blind woman was akin to a curse,” she says sitting by the doorway of a two-roomed old brick house- the only asset the husband left her with. The house floods whenever it rains, thanks to a leaking roof.
Kasubo is a smart composed rural woman, who doesn’t despair that she is hassling to maintain the family alone.
She lives in this house with her 14-year-old daughter Lydia Nabirye and son, Allan Tenywa, a 20-year-old Senior Three student at Kamuli Progressive School.
One of her older girls is married, and another one is in Kampala working as a househelp. The boy is the only child of Kasubo whom the husband pays for school fees. The other boy dropped out of school and sells local brew with the father.
The husband is reported not to waste money on educating girls as he sees no value in them. “Even before I went blind, my husband wasn’t paying school fees for Lydia, it was all my effort,” says Kasubo as she reaches for a mug of tea from her daughter.
However, when this writer sought out the husband, James Tenywa, he denied ever abandoning his blind wife. “I try as much as I can to provide for my wife and children. That woman is telling lies,” he said.
A mother’s pride
With the other two older daughters away, and seemingly not interested in the welfare of their mother, Nabirye is now her caretaker. She wakes up at cockcrow to set the home and prepare food for the family. She leaves for school after preparing breakfast for the mother, and then walks a distance of six kilometres to Balawoli Secondary School where she is in Senior Two. She gets to school late, and she is among the last people to leave school as she has to catch up with what she would have missed in class owing to late coming. She says the teachers understand her problem, and so they try to give her support.
The daughter's tale:
Young Nabirye returns home late almost at nightfall as she has to first do some revision at school, because at home she will not find time to revise owing to domestic obligations.