I was reading Angela Kintu’s Saying Goodbye to George Patrick Bageya and it hit me so hard how much I miss having a living, breathing, Ugandan I can call on the phone to talk to who I admire. A Ugandan who has made all the right moves and made them in a legitimate way to claw his or her way to success. Their path way to the top not besmirched by shelved Public Accounts Committee reports gathering dust next to editions of the Uganda parliament Hansard.
It’s been long, oh, way too long since I had a notebook of handwritten notes of sayings by a man or woman whose life I had read up in an encyclopedia in a library, admired. Then that admiration went to study how they had lived the life they lived so that they knew all the compressed wisdom I noted in my Visa exercise books.
I’m tired of admiring George Washington, or Winston Churchill or even Barrack Obama. Coming down to all the Bloomberg Game Changers, whose touch is in every key stroke of my life I caress on this ageing Dell whose screen blinks to sleep when it wills. If UMEME’s black outs do not strike first.
I want to admire Uganda again and a Ugandan who lives in Ugandan. I don’t want it to be my father, who stayed when most men might not have stayed, or my mother who against daunting odds, and a world seemingly gone mad and with a private vendetta against her family did not renounce a name that it would, in a heartbeat, gun nuzzle against her throat, it would have been easy to renounce, deny and start her sons on a life of lies, fitting seamlessly like a stitch from Kiyembe lane would in a cloth, in the “new” Uganda a fundamental change was smelting into being.
I want to admire another Ugandan, no relation or tribe to me. Just a Ugandan whose excellence recommends itself to me. Impressing me not by academic prowess acquired in foreign climes set by foreign standards that can only earn an MBA salary but guarantee no Google world changing brain work. I want to find a Ugandan to admire whose contribution is in my life, without that Ugandan attempting to make beholden in eternal gratitude.
I’m in serious need of a Ugandan hero, do you know any?