Her name is Nalongo Munyori. She lives and works in Busabala, Kibira A zone in Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality.
“I was 14 years when I started doing this job as my grandma’s aide,” she says. She never looked at this job seriously as something she would do on full time and she was happy running her hardware business until someday her sister came home very worried. She had been pregnant for more than 10 months and didn’t have any signs that she would give birth anytime soon, and wondered what to do.
“That is when it struck me that I knew the herbs that would help her. I plucked a few leaves, and boom, she was in the labour ward. It is my sister who brought me her friend who was due for a caesarian section. After I gave her herbs, she delivered safely. Natural birth. This lady gave me my first smartphone as a gift.” Munyoli recalls.
This is her story:
“One person became two, 10, 20, 50, 100…. I am here and still getting people who need even more services.
My grandmother, Namutebi Jalia instructed me in this trade. I was her little assistant, her fast legs, strong arms and eyes. She unfortunately died in 2005. People used to come home and appreciate grandma for interventions in their lives. They brought her clothes, animals, chicken, food, etc.
Among the things we worked on were infertile women who want to conceive, people who have lost their spouses, the jobless, court and police cases. And many other things that affect people in their day to day hustles including those living abroad.
I discovered that nature was humanity’s best companion. When our bodies and livelihoods fail, the solution is in nature. Never underestimate the power of trees, grass, water, name it. God created them for a purpose.
My job as a herbalist has made me famous. People have to know me by word of mouth. When someone gets good results from their problem, they share the good news with others. I am happy I am able to put a smile on people’s faces.
I however don’t work on everyone. I have things I cannot do and I usually tell those people I cannot do so. For example, it is evil to revenge. Never return evil, even when you are offended by anyone. Solve your problems and move on. You will be blessed. That is why one of my biggest jobs here is counselling. Many people come and they are hurt by others. I do my best to counsel them, to live more positive lives. There is no way anyone can be healed when they are bitter. Healing starts from the heart and mind.
I remember a lady who came to me. Her four beautiful daughters were all grown up and single. They wanted blissful marriages. I have to tell people like them that their manners and conduct determine the fate of their marriages. God was good, they are now all wed. And are all happy.
I have over 100 herbal species in my head. I get them from our home area in Bunyoli. But also, due to shortage of forests, sometimes I go all the way to get herbs from Tanzania or Congo, where forests still exist in their natural forms.
Nature is one the greatest challenges for herbalists in Uganda. Forests, swamps, hills, name it, have been destroyed. We should stop destroying the natural forests. Inside them are solutions to most of our problems as human beings. Inside forests are secrets of the natural world. The way God wants us to live. I call upon every Ugandan to protect the nature God gave us.
I think our job as herbalists needs to show good cause. I want us to be exemplary. First, by being a voice for forests and other natural habitats. However, we cannot be heard when there are fake people hiding in this job to do wrong things. We should clean this trade of unprofessional people and conmen. We should set standards high to practice this trade.
I also call upon our clients to be faithful and trustworthy. When I treat you to be well, and you indeed become well, please make sure you return to pay up. Trust has made us work on people who live abroad. They don’t have to come here. I can solve anyone’s problem from wherever they are as long as I know their name and where they are located.
If you have any challenges, call me on +256752321491
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org