Cwara Mara

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Dear Future Husband,

Once upon a time, in Gulu town; long before we became a city, long before our dirt roads got lined with thick layers of tarmac and solar lights lit our nights, before they mended the walls around Pece stadium, renamed, and fenced it off, there was a lela, a type of bicycle, baskili called Cwara Mara.

All women short, tall, wide, round, skinny, dark, Mirinda yellow, and Pepsi dark knuckled loved by their men had those in Gulu town. Their husbands bought them those bicycles. It was a key sign of love and affection for their wives.

It was a fine kind of bicycle. It wasn’t those sport bikes Luo boys like to walk around with aimlessly while wooing a girl. No. They were special. Original. Feminine. Medium sized. They came with their crossbars bent inwards between the frames; so the ladies would easily get onto the seats without their dresses and knees being lifted way too high above a certain degree.

You should have seen how those women rode those things! There was pride in every push of the pedal. The hand bag or purse would be nicely placed in the front carrier. Sometimes Junior or Abigail, their youngest, most loved and adorable tot would be perched on the back carrier. And this baby would instinctively hold onto their mother’s waist as the mother rode through town to run whatever errand took her to the town that Gulu sunny day.

So I was wondering, as we continue debating about my love for scientific things, the new taxes coming upon us, ridiculous requests and insane opinions, whether you could be so kind as to get me one of them Cwara-maras? They are still on the market, you know.

I don’t want a Roadmaster. That thing is too high and I am not that tall. I can’t be seen trying to master the potholes on our roads in these times with cars zooming past and crazy bodaBs every where. No Lapal-Cwinya. No Love. A Cwara-mara is like a Vitz and can be ridden in the tinniest of spaces. It will work better.

See, Ladit Lobo the other year said he was going to yabo a lela faktori kany. Yes, the Big Man said he was considering opening us a bicycle factory. Imagine that Awobi! Just imagine! A bicycle minting factory on our lands! Ka terwa kany! In our country! Do you even know how much fuel money and the part of the stratosphere we shall save?

I would have loved to be one of the first to get a locally made one. It would really be cool Awobi. You would stand out proud and tall amongst your kin and drinking mates Cwara as one of the first Luos to get his Min Ot a Cwara mara lela.

But you know our things in this Pearl nation; they take time, campaigns, supplementary budgets, re-elections, contractors, arrests, foreign traders, money misallocation, retreats, debates, this, that and the other before things get onto the cogs. It will take long Awobi. Long before a bicycle factory is built here.

So get me a lela Cwara-mara made from anywhere in the world. I will ride the thing with the pride of a Mucwini lioness! All the neighbors and those who care to listen will know ni you’re the most compliant citizen of this nation. Ni imara loyo ringo abula, beer Bell, and Arsenal combined. They will know that you love me more than roast meat!

I will ride with awaka madit my Love! I will ride with my neck extended those ends like those of a woman loved intensely by cware and let all the women of Pece Vanguard know. If we have to extend the awaka to Te-gwana I will! Pe abe leyo wii! Abe pilo wii mapaaaat! I shall make you proud, Awobi, with every step on the pedal.

The President says it’s healthy and safe in these times to ngwec ki lela. That instead of sitting for hours on end in taksis we should start riding baskilis and walking. He showed us how to do exercises from our ot namo the other year. He even showed us the importance of lela on a farm the other-other year.

He says it’s possible I could ride the lela all the way to Matuuga from Kampala. Just imagine that? Just imagine! After all that riding, I would be too tired to nag or fight with you over my Zee world episodes, your annoying football reruns, BBC Africa things, those fast running cars Louis Hamilton competes in, the Telly remote or my Telemundo rants by the time I reach home.

Think about it Lawi-awobe! Think about it! There will be no more arguments about transport money ka iwila lela, Wod Luo. I will just pedal to wherever you are or wherever I got to be! No more transport money needed.

Wila lela keken and part of our problems will be history! Buy me a Cwara Mara bicycle.


An ki gen

Your most delicious Malakwang

Published by Latin Mucwini

I like food. I read. I exercise. And I am Luo. I am on this adventure called writing. Cannot wait to see where this goes

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