And Then Everything Changed

The Place of a Woman featuring Sam Ssemaganda

March 10, 2020

Sam Ssemaganda’s early years were molded by witnessing his mother struggle to maintain a foothold in their rural Ugandan village after the death of his father.

 

The sharply patriarchal society in which they lived dictated that her income, crops, and home revert to her late husband’s family and that she, under the system of widow inheritance should also become the property of her brother-in-law. After years of refusing to comply, his mother was forced out of her marital home but ordered to leave Sam behind where he would soon be raised as an afterthought, pining for the only parent he’d ever known. Finally, after five years apart  Sam returned to his mother--his lifeline--whom he'd worried he'd never see again.

 

She imparted in him the importance of education and her love of storytelling and took care of him for the next five years until she grew ill and died of HIV/AIDS. Watching her grow weak and suffer awoke in Sam the need to learn more about the disease that took his mother and to fight against the patriarchal system that wreaked havoc on their life together.

 

Now a male women activist, a journalist, the founder of Black Candle Media, and a poet, Sam shares his call to action to all men and tells the story of how he came to be thankful for the gifts his painful early life bestowed on him.

 

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Enough | Poetry for Social Change

New Vision Article Featuring Sam

 

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