Thursday, 8 December 2011

Why 'M' can't wear his kippa in Kampala & Rachel's break with islam

I will again be delivering much needed aid to the Abayudaya communities in March but will first visit another recently emerged community from Ol Kalou in Kenya. When my father passed away recently I had to return home before I could visit this community.   Before I left 'M' a jewish student in Kampala came to collect a donation for the Ol Kalou community.

As 'M' was putting on his kipah (skullcap) in my hotel room he apologised, saying that he didn't wear his kipah in the street. When I asked him the reason he said that ugandan police don't understand what it is so that when they see someone wearing one they call the person over. They want to know if you are a christian or a moslem and when the reply is 'jew' the retort is 'Christ killer'.

Not satisfied with that 'M' said that the police then 'embarass' the kipah wearer. 'M' didn't go into detail. Another jewish man I met had been called 'jewboy' before. Present day Uganda is obviously no comparison to that of Idi Amin's time when a jew found practising his religion would be killed but the ancient hatred has not escaped this seemingly tolerant and safe society (JJ Keki one of the leaders of the Abayudaya recounted about Amin's time of having been spied building a sukah [tabernacles festival booth] by a local moslem man. JJ gave the man a goat so that he would not be reported thereby saving his life ).


During my recent stay with the Abuyadaya Rachel my friendly and excellent cook

asked me if I could help her son with his fee so that he could take his final exams. If he did not sit the exams the whole year would be wasted. How could I refuse the provider of this meal?
Rachel's matoke, fish cubes & veg were so good!

Rachel is a proud and hard working christian who converted to christianity from islam after having had a series of dreams. She is thankful to the Abayudaya community rabbi Gershom Sizomu for giving her a job as guesthouse cook after she was divorced by her husband. Rachel has never received a penny from her husband who considered himself as doing her enough of a kindness by not killing her for converting (and that by his own admission was only because he was afraid of the consequences in post-Amin Uganda). The father's attitude didn't impress his children who also converted to christianity.
Rachel's daughter Aisha

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