Azarias is a young orphan shepherd, keeper of a herd of oxen, where the ox Mabata Bata stands out. The oxen will be the basis of the "lobolo" payment, a traditional dowry that his uncle Raul must pay for his own marriage.
Azarias’ dream is to be a normal child, to go to school, goal that is supported by his grandmother. One day, when Azariah is in the pasture, Mabata Bata steps into a mine - the result of the civil war in the country - and explodes.
The young man fears his uncle's reprisals and flees to the forest, taking with him the remaining oxen. The grandmother and uncle leave in their quest to rescue him and persuade him to return.