Published in 2009, Bury me in a Simple Grave is a heartbreaking tale that manages to provide some good teachings on Christianity and life in general.
Set in Uganda, the story revolves around three main characters: Rev. Thomas Matsiko, a retired priest, his good friend Nathan and his grandson Robert. Nathan is also Robert’s godparent. Rev. Thomas is portrayed as a man so at peace with the world despite the fact that he has suffered immensely. His wife, children and grandchildren are all gone. His only living close kin is Robert. Robert is a young successful businessman. He is handsome, rich and therefore a magnet for all kinds of women. His philosophy in life is:
“A change from routine is as good as rebirth ……………”
The tale gains momentum when Thomas writes to Robert requesting for money to repair his roof. In response Robert send him an insulting letter, that money doesn’t grow on trees. Thomas then tells his friend Nathan, who promises to talk to Robert when he travels to Kampala. Nathan is shocked by the kind of life Robert is living. To quote Moses, Robert’s housekeeper:
“Today woman, tomorrow woman……………………like that…………all the time.”
And all the women have extraordinary terms of endearment:
“Pineapple, passion fruit, sweet potato………………….”
What Thomas expects from his grandson is an apology. However Robert is too proud to do it. Instead he sends his grandpa money. He rejects it.
“………….money can buy anything, but it cannot buy a clear conscience and a peace of mind.”
It is only later that Nathan discovers Robert’s dark secrets, and why he is leading such a reckless life. Robert is sick with AIDS and he knows he is dying. More secrets are laid bare when Nathan reads Robert’s diary. His entries are very heartbreaking. On his death bed, Robert finally begs forgiveness and asks his grandpa to pray for him as he has made many women sick. Despite his wealth, his final request is:
“……..take me and bury me in a simple grave.”