Our women became the men they wished to marry.
Out in the land of desperation where the promise had been so bright,
Where the sun rose every day without ceasing, and our skin glistened a dark, luminous color in the sun,
There where Idi forced men to do things unspeakable, there where women saw untold horrors!
And there was great weeping in that land.
Twenty seven guns later
In that land, the men no longer are.
They left a long time ago…
Gone, like the cat to see the king.
They cower, talk in hushed tones in bars, and go home late.
So they never look into their sons’ eyes, and tell them of the value of an honest day’s work.
In that land they all worry about the gum -chewing Englishman, the Frenchman who loves young boys.
The men are all gone from this land.
Twenty seven guns and ten years later
The women looked at their land; saw no men and they were sad.
They searched and looked but the men were hard to find.
Embattled times. When terror brought a nation to its knees, a nation would send out a call for heroes.
But the men were hard to find. And it seemed like a nation might plunge into the abyss.
It seemed that all would be lost.
Twenty seven guns and twenty years later
And the darkness spread further in the land. But not for long because
When our motherland called for heroes, these women stood up to be counted.
Mothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, aunties. They all stood up.
When our motherland called for heroes, they were the fathers of the motherland.
When our motherland called for heroes, these women became the men they wished to marry.
To find the men, they would go. They would groom their sons. They would make them men.
And they raised a generation of Sons and Lovers.
They raised daughters who worked and provided.
Daughters who counseled and handled business.
Who worked and earned and saved.
Women who went to university, and beat the men.
And who dated liberally and occasionally popped the question.
Who took the sick child to hospital, and paid the house bills.
And bought the meat in the house. They took on all these roles and more.
Our women became the men they wished they had married.
By Colin Asiimwe