At the recent burial of one of the Lango tribe’s great mothers, thousands of attendees were graced with the presence of the Won Nyaci (head chief). Burials, and virtually all other functions and events in Uganda, are filled with lengthy speeches from notable community figures such as this old man.
The speech was concluded with laughter and joy, unlike some of the other boring or sorrowful speeches delivered. “I want peace,” said our cultural leader, “because when there is peace, people can give birth.”
Having babies is inherently good in Lango (and many other parts of Africa). This is one reason I have no reservations buying land when I have the opportunity. The population is not going to decrease any time soon, so land will only appreciate in value.
Children of Lango are children to everyone. Parents can go digging in a distant place without fearing for their children. Adults are always on the look out for youths, and youths too are responsible people themselves. At a young age, they know almost everything about how to keep a home: digging, cooking, cleaning, building, manners, hospitality, basic repairs, etc. This develops a type of maturity uncommon in the young people of my native United States.
Too often we see peace as an end, rather than a means. Some believe that if violence is absolved, then we are in a good place. Sometimes our standard is not high enough; the “end” should be a thriving and fruitful society in which we live in abundance that reaches beyond the mere absence of war. This is what we call “kuc” in Lango. We can cultivate kuc by using peace as a means. When we are able to live in abundance, freedom, and unity, producing children can be smiled upon by all.