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DTEARS OF MY MOTHER (COVER)orothie 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.

The book is published in Kampala, by WORLD OF INSPIRATION, and will be launched on Wednesday 6th March 2013, 5-9pm, during the AUTHORS’ FORUM, at the National theatre. The launch will feature an inspirational debate in which Patrick Bitature, Fagil mandy, Doreen Ashaba, Patrick Kamara and other shakers, shapers and makers of history engage the public in live debate on ‘THE SUCCESS FORMULA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY’. Gold Tickets: UGX 50,000 and Silver Tickets: UGX 30,000.

Copies of this wowlicious book are already being sold at WORLD OF INSPIRATION (Luwum Street, MM Plaza T33). A copy goes for UGX 20,000. For those who need copies or tickets, the lines to call are 0414691495, 0774107287 or 0700487768.

This book gives hope that indeed, there is talent in Uganda and in Africa generally. I can’t seem to forget the statement that Nyamishana makes in one of her campaign speeches: “Uganda is a blessed country and I shall treat her as thus. If Jesus, the son of God, took refuge in Egypt, and drank our Ugandan water from river Nile, whose source is in this country, how can we fail to achieve prosperity?”

I am also aware that Hollywood has already shown interest in putting Nyamishana’s story on the screen, in form of a movie. We can only cross our fingers. Surely, Uganda is becoming a powerhouse of art and creativity. The drums are beating, let’s dance to the melody.

Review by: Dorothie Ayebazibwe