At Teibu village, we were welcomed by Cyrus Oguta and his elder brother. His home is about one kilometre from Apac town. In keeping with the tradition in northern Uganda, Cyrus’ home is a conglomeration of several grass-thatched houses, which belong to five of his siblings. Cyrus and his brothers grew up as orphans. Since their parents died, their eldest cousin who is an LC 1 chairperson has been taking care of them. Cyrus and his siblings did not get a chance go to school so they live off farming. ‘We cultivate the land near our home which we inherited from our father,’he narrated.
Cyrus and his siblings’ family land neighbours that of their cousins. As a result, Cyrus and his cousins were recently involved in a land wrangle, in which the former accused the latter of encroaching on their land.
DenisKayoi, a clan chief and male role model trained by ACFODE, is well-known for his commitment to empower youth economically through promoting projects like vegetable growing; he also intervenes in and settles cases of domestic violence.
Early this year, he was approached by Cyrus who went ahead and shared his grievances. Given Denis’ influence as a clan leader, he summoned the two families, counselled them and also helped them divide the land equally.
Denis also advised them not to fight each other since they were from the same bloodline. Cyrus and his siblings have since lived peacefully with their cousins. They always refer to Denis in case of any family conflict. For example, Cyrus shared with us about how he and his wife approached Denis amidst a disagreement. He said, ‘Just three weeks ago, I and my wife had a disagreement over her selling our farm produce without my consent. We called Denis and he helped us resolve the conflict amicably.’