By Frank Makanuey
A long time ago when I was going to school at Badihagwa High School in Hanuabada.I used to catch the bus from Hohola where we lived. In those days NCDC had a bus service and Bus Depot was located at the end Hanuabada village close to the School.
One morning I was a little bit late. When I came out of my house the bus was already at the bus stop. I ran as fast as I could to catch it. My father had given me 10 toea for bus fare and I had it in my shirt pocket but when I ran to catch the bus I did not realize that it had fallen out. When I got on the bus imagine my horror and embarrassment to discover that the 10toea had fallen out of my pocket. I bowed my head almost in shame because I was the last person to get on and everyone in the bus were all seated and looking at me.
Anyway this kind lady got off in town and the driver gave her the change. She came around to the window where I was sitting gave me 50toea. I tried to say thank you but at that instance the bus took off.
That day I had a decent lunch. A meat pie coast 10 toea and a bottle of coke was also 10 toea too.
I never really got around to say thank you to the lady. She only got in the bus that day because her fathers truck broke down. Anyway when the truck was fixed she never got on the bus again.
About 7 months ago when I was in ICU in the hospital and in Ward 8 I saw her again after so many years. She was a cancer patient. I recognize her despite the way she looked because of the illness. I thought about her random act of kindness all those years ago and I really felt I needed to say thank you.
I asked my son to go to the ATM to get some money. I put the money in the envelope. When she was alone without a guardian I walked over in my crutches and said hello. I asked her if she remembered me. She could not remember me. I recounted the bus fare story and told her where she lived in Hohola.
After that she remembered. We talked for a bit despite the obvious pain in her face from the cancer. The nurse came around gave her a shot of morphine to ease the pain. I gave her the envelope and said thank you. I told her I never forgot what she did to me.
A week later she died. I was relieved I said thank you even in such an awkward place and circumstances.
My father was struggling to make ends meet. With a salary of K35.00 for being the Mess Supervisor at Gordons Police Barracks. Ten toea was only what he could afford to give me for bus fare to school. I never had sny lunch money.
So when the lady paid my bus fare and then gave me 50 toea. I felt good. I had money in my pocket and I felt rich.