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A sad story

The story I wrote in march 2004 ended with an apology "I am sorry for this negative story again. I will write a positive one when I find one which is unlikely in our present circumstances."
I was going to write a positive story about HIV AIDS in this part of the world but I have found none so I am going to write this very sad one any way. It is a true story, a hot one; that is I have just heard it from a cousin of a friend of mine who died a few years ago.

I used to know Josephat and his lovely family of a wife, 2 daughters and a son. He used to live in a town 1,000Km from the city. The town is on the Tanzania Zambia border. He used to come to the city many times during the year on his pickup van but when I did not see him for over a year I inquired from his cousin. The cousin informed me that he had a motor accident on the Dar es Salaam Zambia Highway. He died on the spot. That was 6 years ago. I had forgotten about him and family till yesterday when I met his cousin again. So how is your inlaw and the lovely children. He answered, "Sad, sad, sad.". The first daughter who was dad's child, after the death of her father wanted to get married immdiately.She was looking for somebody to comfort her I guess. The man happened to be from Zambia. His family was unknown to her mother. Her mother strongly advised her not to marry the man from a neighbouring country from a family that was unknown to her. in fact she refused her to marry the man and thretened her. "I will disown you if you marry him." The mother came home one evening to find the girl unconcious. The packet of chloroquine tables and the bottle from which she had drank the beer from to wash the tablets down her throat were sitting on her bedside table. A comon way to commit suicide in this part of the world is to swallow an overdose of ant malaria tablets and wash them down with a few beers.(Do not try it!) The girl was rushed to hospital and after a few hours of attempts to save her life and the life of her baby (she was pregnat) she and the baby were pronunced dead.

The gentleman informed me that after the death of Agnes her first daughter the mother's blood pressure which was always high went higher and higher. She died of severe hypertension a few months later. Hoping to hear some good news, I asked him. "So how are the other children- Joseph and Silvia? He informed that Joseph was working but now he has been laid off. He has HIV/AIDS. He is sick and wasted. "I think he is going to die any time from now." "Silvia, mom's beatiful child- well she married and they have two children but her and her husband are also sick. The husband must have infected her.He is more advanced in the disease than her. She is ill, has lost a lot of weight. I see her at work but she is going to stop working any time from now. You know they do not like to employ sick peole especuially when they are suffering from HIV/AIDS."
This morning I thought of what Josephat's cousin had narated to me. I thought of the three deaths that had alredy occured in the family and the others that are to follow. The father had died by a road accident, the daughter committed suicide, the mother of hypertension. HIV/AIDS is now taking over from there. The only son they had is dying from HIV/AIDS, the second and last daughter and last child is dying from HIV/AIDS and so is her husband. The whole family will be gone in the next few years. When the last daughter and her husband die they will leave behind their two children who will be orphaned. I wonder who will take care of them? In many cases orphans are looked after by their grandmother and grandfather but these 2 are also gone. It is a sad, sad, sad, story. Don't you think so?


Sent via Email December 19, 2005, from Zambia.

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