Childhood best friends turned business partners

Sunday June 28 2020

Monicah Kanyesigye (L) and her

Monicah Kanyesigye (L) and her brother, Fernando Kamugisha. Inset, the younger Fernando Kamugisha (R) and Monica Kanyesigye  

Monicah

How would you describe Fernando?
God-fearing, social, kind and outgoing to especially children. Children love him so much.
What is your earliest memory of him?
When we were young we went visiting in our village. At night, before we went to sleep there was no electricity and we feared darkness. So, we shared a bed. When we were ready to sleep, we discovered a caterpillar in bed and jumped out in fright.
What nickname did you have for him?
Reverend. Our grandmother loved Fernando so much and chose that nickname for him.
What is he scared of?
Living without money. For that matter, he works so hard to always have money on him.
The craziest thing he did as a child…
He drunk Dettol liquid soap. I guess he had mistaken it for juice. Thank God, he was given first aid and he survived.
What is the craziest thing you did together?
We used to escape from home to go fetch water from the well and continue to the river to swim. One day, I almost drowned. The second instance was when we went to the streets on New Year’s Eve to wait for fireworks.
Were you always friends?
Yes, and we have taken many photographs together.
How often did you fight?
Not often because our mother always said that if we fought, she would beat us. So avoided fights for fear of being caned.

Did you ever team up to fight someone?
No, heused to team up with our other brothers to fight for me.
How often do you meet these days?
Very often.

Fernando

How would you describe your sister?
As an only girl among four boys, I find Monicah neat, caring, independent but also strict.
What is your earliest memory of her?
When I was around four years old, she used to dress me up in dresses she had outgrown, after I had peed in my pants. She always lulled me using my bottle of honey.
What nickname did you have for her?
Hahaha. It was too funny that I prefer to keep it to us.
What is she most scared of?
She is not scared of things that normally scare girls for example, rats and cockroaches. If anything, it must be something she keeps to herself.
What is the craziest thing she did as a child?
My elder brothers used to jump from the ceiling and onto their bed, like ninjas. I remember when Monicah tried, she fell backwards and got stuck in a drum, where we used to dump our dirty laundry. She must have been stuck in that drum for like half an hour and the boys could not stop laughing!
What is the craziest thing you did together?
We were not really crazy children. Being brought up in a Christian and Godly set-up, the only things I can think of are the beautiful Christmas celebrations, love, bonds and an amazing childhood. If there was anything crazy it could have been between my brothers and I.
Were you always friends?
Yes, but she could not be trusted with secrets. Otherwise the next thing would be getting slashes from our mother. Nonetheless, she looked at me grow up and ensured I was okay.
How often did you fight?
Once in a while. But every time she wanted to prove that she is older, I wanted to prove that she is a girl, boom a fight erupted. So sad that she won most of the times we fought.
The most outstanding memory was...
When she cleaned up the sitting room, tidied up the chairs and stopped my brothers and I from sitting on them. She would tell us to sit on the carpet. That young woman would never let you have peace after she cleaned up the house.
Did you ever team up to fight someone?
Yes! Sometimes a combined effort would be needed while at school in primary.

Fernando
My elder brothers used to jump from the ceiling and onto their bed, like ninjas. I remember when Monicah tried, she fell backwards and got stuck in a drum, where we used to dump our dirty laundry. She must have been stuck in that drum for like half an hour and the boys could not stop laughing!
Monicah
We used to escape from home to go fetch water from the well and continue to the river to swim. One day, I almost drowned.

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