Ugandan man spends three decades searching for his family

Joseph Bahemuka
Joseph Bahemuka

He says his father was Everest Nteziyaremye, who used to work with the Ministry of Works at Jinja Road in 1979 at the time he met his mother.

Joseph Bahemuka, 37, is a Ugandan living in Ontario, Canada. For over three decades, he has been searching for his father, whom he has never seen.

Born in Hoima in 1979, Bahemuka was in the full-time care of his mother, Josephine Kisakyamaria who lives in Kichwamba LC1, Bwikara subcounty in Kagadi district.

While growing up, he always inquired from his mother about his father, but never got the answers that could lead him to where his father or relatives are.

Bahemuka, now living in Canada, is ready to find out who his biological father is. He does not have much information on who the man could be, but he knows some bits of information that may narrow the search.

He says his father was Everest Nteziyaremye, who used to work with the Ministry of Works at Jinja Road in 1979 at the time he met his mother.

Bahemuka neither knows the district nor the place where his father stayed or came from.

“The whole issue is complex. My mom met my “mystery” dad when she was a teenager studying in Kampala, I think she was in Senior Two,” Bahemuka said.

He explains that when his mother became pregnant, she went back to the village in what was then Hoima district. The mother now stays in Kagadi district.

“Whenever I tried to ask my mother about my father, she would become angry with me as though I had committed a serious crime,” he says.

Bahemuka acknowledges that his father could have died, but he desperately needs to at least find out his father’s lineage.

“Not knowing my father has haunted me for a long time and I continue to feel tremendous emotional pain in my heart. I am desperate to find my father’s lineage,” he says.

Although Bahemuka’s father is said to have worked at the Works ministry, efforts to check records were futile.

“I tried the Ministry of Works, but they told me that they only have files from 1986 and, therefore, they could not help me much. I have also written letters to the editor New Vision which were published, but no one responded. I have also put several announcements on radios with no success.”

Search becomes deadly
The process of searching for his father has not been all smooth as Bahemuka was almost killed by a stranger in 2001.

“I must mention one challenge I faced while trying to find my father. I wrote a letter to the editor New Vision, which was published with all my contact information, but I was almost killed. Someone called me and told me to meet him in Kampala. When I reached the place he had directed me, I asked people around and they told me that he was a bad person. He kept directing me to different places telling me to go in a hired car since the places did not have public transport. Fortunately, I survived. I don’t know how to avoid a possible repeat of such incidents,” he explains.

Bahemuka says, although he is somewhat successful in life, he is not happy since he feels he does not belong anywhere.

“I feel incomplete without my family. I have tremendous emotional pain and trauma in my heart,” he says.

Joseph Bahemuka can be reached on: