Once upon a time, there lived a very hardworking man who married a woman in a village, far away. This beautiful couple lived happily and even gave birth to a child whom they named Njabala.
At a tender age of 16, Njabala was already the most beautiful girl in the village. Her parents loved her so much because she was all they had. They gave her everything she asked for but it was her mother in particular that never wanted her to do any housework.Traditionally, girls of that age would fetch water, cook and even wash utensils but Njabala did nothing because her mother didn’t let her.
Njabala grew up in a life of bliss.
Njabala’s father was rarely home because he was a hunter. He travelled most of the time to other neighborhoods looking for animals but he always brought back something special for his daughter.
One day, however, he went out hunting but never returned. Njabala’s mother organised a search team and tried to look for her husband but it was all in vain. They couldn’t find him anywhere. Villagers concluded that he must have fallen in a ditch or was eaten by wild animals.
Njabala’s mother was so heartbroken. She could hardly eat and this made her fall so sick. After a short while, she also died.
The village elders agreed that Njabala was ripe for marriage and decided to get her a husband; she was wedded and went to her new home. Njabala realized that she was the third wife because her husband, Mubiru, had already married two wives.
Njabala’s co-wives welcomed her and made her life very comfortable for the first three days after the wedding. They would wash her clothes and even cook her food. “Not bad.” She thought.
But then the good times were over. Time came, and she had do her chores. She was given a bush to cultivate and make her garden, she was given pots to cook, and shown all the other things she had to do.
Poor girl, she could not do anything by herself; She didn’t know how to cook nor carry a pot on her head, or even wash her own clothes because her mother never taught her.
Every time she cooked, she burnt the food. Every chore she did went wrong. Her world become too dark. As a result her husband got angry with her and beat her while her co-wives laughed.
She started to cry and sang to her mother to come and see what she had done to her. She felt it was her mother’s fault. She cried too much that the ghost of her mother appeared and dug the whole field while singing and urging her to learn because a woman must know how to work.
The following days became brighter for Njabala. Her husband thought his disciplinary action towards Njabala had worked and he was so pleased for the garden looked so nice. He went home and thanked her, gave her presents and she became his favorite. Not for long though!
One evening, her husband returned home early to meet his beloved wife but he got the shock of his life. He saw a ghost digging their garden as Njabala sat down. He immediately ran and called all the neighbors who helped him chase Njabala from the village while shouting”Witch. Witch. Witch. Go and never return.”
Njabala cried as she carried a stockpile on her back, not knowing where to go.