By Prudence Nyamishana
Uganda’s current sickness is “Omusiba” (chronic ulcers).The wounds from which the ulcers arise are caused by a wide variety of factors, main cause being impaired blood circulation.Chronic ulcers are painful causing most patients to complain of their constant painful effects and they take a very long time to heal. Treatment is typically to avoid the ulcer getting infected.
If this ulcer is a serious problem, then the current generation has a job awaiting them. The youth of Uganda who are the pillar of this nation are suffering the consequences of the ”Omusiba”.
Their talent, energy, world transforming ideas have been killed and will continue to be killed by this wound which manifests in corruption, negligence from leaders, unrealistic education system and the youth themselves.
The youth have successfully catalysed the sickness, they have traded their birthright for pornography, drugs, mediocrity, pop idols, soap operas and series, big-brother, Hollywood,and Nollywood.
They sacrifice their time at the altar of debates about European football leagues, Ludo and the fights between Chameleone and Bobi Wine.All this mixture is made concrete by the low expectations placed on them by their parents who believe that the only escape route is an education. This escape route offers no safe haven as it is a theoretical system that encourages job seekers rather than creators, cramming rather than judgment, conformists rather than freethinkers.
Andrew 27, has had an ongoing conflict with his dad since he completed his university education five years ago.He is a graphic designer, whose passion is to revolutionalise the T.shirt industry in Africa.On several occasions his father has told him to get a “real job”.
The real job according to Andrew’s father is one where his son will sit in an office with a tie and eye-glasses on, swinging his chair- going back home to be the hero of the village because he works with a ‘powerful’ corporate organisation. Because this young man has stood for what he believes, he has earned himself the black-sheep spot at home.
And you cannot blame Andrew’s father because that is what was passed on from his ancestors.
The ancestors passed on a lot of things including the “Ssabasajja” mentality (A man above all men); this belief has eaten into the current leadership of Uganda.
A country whose leader buys into this school of thought puts the next generation at stake.
The president of Uganda claims to be the only one who has a vision for this country. Clearly such a leader doesn’t have the needs of the next generation at heart.
He has forgotten that man is a “flower quickly fading that is here today and gone tomorrow”.
But we must not forget that when a flower fades, it withers and its seeds fall to the ground- they die, and then sprout again.
If what you sow is what you reap, the seeds that would germinate out of the current system are corruption, no transparency and poor accountability, rigging elections, stealing tax payer’s money, poor labour market policies and the like.
Uganda is at the dawn of a new day, which was ushered in by a colourful and extravagant ceremony. So will this generation sit back and watch the “Omusiba” eat the country away?
This ulcer can’t be treated with penicillin anymore in the form of Civil society Organizations declaring a week-long mourning as a demonstration for their dissatisfaction towards the growing trend of corruption among government officials thus failed service delivery to Ugandans.
This generation must form an army of one. Dr. Stockmann in Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” declares that “the strongest man in the world is one who stands alone.”In the psychology of conflict, crowds do not think.
Ironical as the army of one may seem, it is effective and it is lethal. This army must be tired and determined to change the status quo, this army will be determined to sail against the tide, work hard, and spend sleepless nights doing research to discover the medicine for this chronic wound.
This will take the carpenter, the taxi driver, and the boda boda man, the doctor, engineer, teacher, journalist, blogger, the pastor, priest, Lawyer, poet, graphic designer, businessman, model, cleaner to take dominion in their kingdom so as to get medicine for the chronic ulcer.
The youth of this country must style up and stop these narcissitic tendencies that the Afritorial blogged about.
This generation can’t afford a pity party in this rat-trap of 50 years of corruption, civil wars, restlessness, tribalism, rigging elections, no accountability and no transparency.
The destiny of this nation is in the hands of each individual that has taken their position in the army of one.
What kind of Uganda do we then want to see? I would like to see a true democracy so that we don’t have to be mentioned in a James bond movie as a country that rigs elections, where Ugandans are able to enjoy the gifts of oil in the Albertine, gold in Kabale and Karamoja, copper and cobalt in Kasese, Fish in Lake Victoria, Albert, Edward, and Kyoga, the fertile soils and great weather.
A Uganda that respects the rights and freedoms of its people, a Uganda that gives proper housing to its citizenry at affordable prices, a Uganda where unemployment will be history and gives its young people a conducive environment for creativity, a Uganda that says yes we can and the best is yet to come. A Uganda where the apathy statement of ‘this is Uganda’ is completely erased, replacing it with ‘it is possible’.
A Uganda that is a destination for visitors all over the world that escape the bitter winters and the scorching sun, where nobody folds their hand to “kitu kidogo” anymore and where we stand on the foundation for God and my country.