Ocieng was abducted by the rebels of the Lords Resistance Movement [LRA] under the leadership of Joseph Kony against his will. He served in different ranks in the bush during the rebellion unwittingly. However, because he did not like the idea of armed rebellion and because of the fact that his education was tempered with, he always wanted to live a free life. His plan was to escape and live a normal life. Fortunately, God answered his prayers and one day he managed to escape and indeed, he was a free man again. Well, after his escape he found himself with no work and no education as he had always anticipated. That is when he opted to move to the city to find employment.
With the hope of leaving the nightmare of the atrocities of the rebellion behind him, Ocieng headed to Kampala to start a new life under the guardianship of his uncle who was working with the government under the ministry of water and environment. His aim was to do any job, even casual, as long as it would earn him any sort of income upon which he would plan for his future. He worked wholeheartedly with a fixed focus.
For several months, he dedicated his efforts. One day his uncle suggested to him about going to the neighbouring district of Mukono where they would do a long-term project at a certain site. He willingly accepted and off they went. So every other day, him together with the uncle would commute the twenty or so kilometres to the site and then the same distance back to Kampala in the evening. For many weeks, they did this with his uncle who was a supervisor and Ocieng worked as his porter providing casual labour. However, his uncle, one day got a better deal further upcountry and he had to go without Ocieng. He explained to Ocieng and he understood.
He instructed him to manage his life accordingly and dedicate his efforts to his work, which Ocieng obliged. Several weeks passed and Ocieng felt isolated because he knew no one in Mukono except for the few workers he had met at the site and worse still he did not know the local language [Luganda] save for English, which was not popular. Acholi was his other option, which was unknown to the locals. Because of the absence of his uncle, it became had for Ocieng to commute from Kampala and on several occasions, he would spend the night at the site. However, his friendship with the other colleagues at work was intact, little did he know that these workmates were dubious and had questionable character.
One night, as Ocieng slept away, his so-called colleagues had a plan to steal construction material from the site, which they actually did steal. The matter was reported to the local police, every worker at the site was arrested including Ocieng. For several days, they were locked up at the local police cell for up to a fortnight. For all this, while investigations and interrogations were going on, surely, Ocieng was proven innocent owing to the fact that he would not have participated in the dubious dealings since his command of the local language was wanting and yet his know of the locality was very little. So he could not have had a hand in the illegal dealings and he was thus set free on those grounds.
The whole experience did not go down well with Ocieng, it provoked the memories of the days under rebel captivity and it made him hate thieves to a point he cannot explain. He vowed in future to contribute in the capture and arrest of culprits. He left Mukono a discontented man, he even did not ask for the balance of his wages. Without wasting time, he walked back to Kampala.
While back in Kampala, he found himself with no job again! His uncle had left. Many a time, he survived on hand outs from tips given to him by people who knew his uncle. Sometimes he did petty jobs that would earn him a meal for the day. Most of his time was spent with a certain local tailor who used to be a neighbour of his uncle. He managed to learn through observing the technique of sewing. From assisting the tailor and involving himself, Ocieng managed to elevate himself to become an expert at mending and tailoring. After many weeks, he saved up enough money and managed to buy himself a sewing machine. He finally picked himself off the street veranda and rented a single room house.
He was now a fully-fledged tailor in the area. For a couple of years he worked dedicatedly at his new job, but the thought of how he had suffered innocently was not erased from his mind. The tailoring job would see Ocieng progress in life, he even married a wife traditionally and started a family. Life was good. He could even afford to extend a helping hand to some of his relatives back in the village.
Unfortunately, the government had a structural development plan for the neighbourhood where Ocieng was staying and all structures were to be demolished! As fate would have it, the now progressing tailor together with everyone else in the area fell victim to the uncompromising machines razing buildings with armed protection. Again, he found himself homeless and worse still jobless. The thoughts of the experience in Mukono were ignited and he felt robbed. For that Ochieng, without hesitation, joined one of the many security organs in Uganda and to date, he is a dedicated security guard and happily fighting crime and especially catching thieves.
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