Friday, August 04, 2017

The 27th Comrade Has Been Silenced

In the end, I have to confess I did not understand you, 27th Comrade. For me, you were the 27th Comrade and will always be with Communist Socks and Boots. In death (Thursday, August 03, 2017), I’m learning you were called Revence Kato-Kalibwani. 

Police PRO tweet that informed us of 27th Comrade's fate
It feels wrong, learning all these things. You were against labels, pigeon-holing, subscribing to someone else’s definitions. You were an outlaw, fighting for the right of outlaws to be heard. You wanted to change Uganda, you wanted to change Africa, heck, you wanted to change the world and you were already thinking this way before you were out of your teenage years. 

This is the Revence I knew from the 27th Comrade blog on the Google Blogger platform in 2007 when you were only 22. Words were your weapons, not a jerican of petrol and a knife as your accusers at Café Javas claim. Even the tagline on your blog from 2009 said so, “May the Bright Revolution find you on the Winning Side — Common Blessing in Pre-historic Uganda.” 

I’m going through everything I saved of 27th from that time 2007-2010, looking for clues of what I might have missed. I still cannot bring myself to believe 27th Comrade would want to hurt anyone. The only news video I have watched of what happened, suggests it was a misunderstanding that escalated out of hand and a mob gathered. 

Yet when I read from a rant he posted a day before his death, I cannot wish it away either, “"If a condemned facility is not evacuated and made safely available to the

  agents of the Crown, within 24 hours of being served the notice of

  condemnation and seizure, it will be liable to fierce and unannounced attack

  on suspicion of being insubordinate.

As this notice is going out with the initial attacks in Kampala, scheduled for

within the first week of August, 2017..."

I read this and want to weep, "What were you thinking?"

But I do not want to remember you like that, a wild hairedthreat to people sipping their coffee and tea and eating out of Pizza Royale fast food snack boxes, as they want me to remember you. I refuse to remember you like that. 

I want to remember you like I knew you in 2007 and in 2013 and always. 

One more time, for Revence, the 27th Comrade, 

“"I am dying—literally dying—to send my mother a bottle of red wine. I want to be strong like a real man, but when I think how far my Ma is from me, far away in Babylon, I just go away from where anybody can see me, and I cry. There, I said it. I cry, because I miss my Mama to madness. I would go to Babylon to see her, but those muhfuckers will refuse to let me through. Now I want her to drink wine I have selected for her. Mummy, I love you. Just hold on for a little bit, I'll send you nice red Bordeaux, exactly as you like it, Mummy. That leave I told you about, it has made me broke. But when I get me a salary, I'll send you a surprise present. Music CDs and a bottle of fine, red wine.

Jesus, talking about my Ma just gets me emotional.

My dreadlocks haven't seen the inside of a hair parlour for so long. They have that raw, guerilla look about them. I love it intensely, but I like when the lady at the hair parlour rubs it with thick, colourful shampoos and massages it with her eyes closed, and says she wishes it were hers, and I say I wish hers were mine, instead, and we both laugh and I say I'd, in fact, love to have her boobs as well, and she says I can have them, and I say Oh, that's cool, and she says it's up to me when, and I am feeling really brave, and I say we could just slip into some upper room and I get my boobs, and she says I am going to be done with work at eight, and eight o'clock comes, and I am too shy to show up to `get my boobs'. This time, maybe I'll be brave."

Revence on his beloved bike in Entebbe in 2013


Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa said...


LA said...

I want to remember Rev the way he was on any given Entebbe Sunday. Maybe walking with his daughter and wife near Stone Pub (formerly) and discussing starting a homeschooling revolution in Uganda.

Or just outside Umeme offices, enlightening me on how African histories have successfully been throttled by the West, yet many of today's wow! moments have happened in Africa maybe hundreds of years before. Like C-Section operations.

I want to remember Rev as reasonable and not given to desperation the way he is being portrayed on the internets.

Anonymous said...

May his soul Rest In Peace. He was so brilliant that his life had to end badly. What a waste of a fantastic mind and personality. Seriously, may his soul Rest In Peace.

lucie chihandae said...

it is sad indeed.Always will be remembered for your brilliance Rev.