Nanka, get up and do something about it

Nanka, get up and do something about it


Being brought up by a Mukiga father, I didn’t survive lecture sessions marked by proverbs and sayings that painted graphic images in my mind. He probably hoped that this imagery would stick and strike at the right time to sabotage my self-destructive ventures.

My mother on the other hand was not a woman of words – she was one of action. Nda kusanuula “I will spank you” but the hand was already on your butt shortly after the “spank” word.

I quickly forgot my mother’s spanks but never my father’s graphic sayings. “Nyakwehena akanyampa naarya,” that man Nyakwehena thought he was being smart when he farted while eating.  “Nyantahurira akaraya erisho rye,” that girl Nyantahuria didn’t heed to advice, she ended up eating her own eye. “Sorry ekamaraho ebikopo bya bajungu.” The white-man’s cups all wound up broken because whoever was breaking them kept saying “sorry”.

I know someone called Nanka that might benefit from this lecture as well.

Nanka is 22 – he is through with school. He spends most of his time watching TV series and face-booking about what he is watching. Well, he still has a stipend from his parents. He has given his papers to his father to get him a job. I mean his father is well connected. In the meantime, he is checking out the latest car models getting ready to buy one as soon as his daddy gets him the dream job.

While Nanka’s friends are scratching their heads to develop apps, run blogs, help take the goats to the farm, work with little pay and even work in an Indian’s shop,  Nanka is waiting for a miracle to happen. But like my old man would say, “Ndidirire akachumita omukyira.”  This Ndidirire guy waited for the hunt but when it finally arrived, the spear only touched the tail and his long anticipated hunt took off for its dear life while he was probably dosing.

“I am waiting for government, I am waiting for a miracle, and I am waiting for my daddy, the church should so something, my parents are to blame.” Nanka says.

Clock is a ticking, young and bubbly 22 quickly becomes  restless 28.

Reports indicate that Uganda is the youngest country in the world with over 75% of the young people below the age of 30. This means lots of energy, great passion, and enormous creativity. This means a critical mass that demands and shapes the nation. This means duty to serve and influence the nation. This means a mass that demands for transparency and accountability from their governments. This means a collective voice that votes for the right leaders.

There is a day dedicated to the youth – International Youth Day.  Do some bit of introspection  on things like purpose. The world is waiting on you Nanka.

This story was inspired by this tweet

I want to think that sometimes we are so #casual with life and the #results are #evident written everywhere! Young people #WakeUP!

Lend us Museveni for 10 years

Lend us Museveni for 10 years

“You can have him for as long as you want.” I replied.

This was a conversation I had with Abdoulaye Bah my 72-year-old friend from Guinea during his visit to Uganda.

He was dead serious when he requested for President Museveni of Uganda for only 10 years. He is convinced that if Museveni became president of Guinea for 10 years, he would create a fundamental change. Who am I to argue against Adbdoulaye’s case?

This Guinean born and Italian citizen, former UN staff, retired journalist and current Global Voices contributor,  first visited Uganda in 1975 and he says that a lot has changed. When he came with his wife, they stayed at  the Sheraton hotel a place that was then reserved for only civil servants. Load shedding in the city was the order of the day.

Yeah right! I have heard these stories of the old bad past. Uganda has over seventy percent of the population below the age of 29 and have seen only one president so many do not know the bad  times that   my friend Abdoulaye is talking about.

The conversation kept shifting from the meal we were having to loaning him Museveni. “I hope you have local chicken.” he asked the waiter. “I am told this place (Shaka Zulu Restaurant in Kampala) has the best local food in Kampala,” “Yes we have local chicken.” The waiter replied.

But seriously, if they can loan footballers from other countries, they can loan presidents to run countries for a season or two.

“Do you know that in Guinea you cannot get flowers to give to your wife?”

“Mhh how does that work? You guys are not into horticulture?”

“No, we do not have fresh flowers to give to our wives, no one plants no one sells.”

“Conakry  is plunged in  darkness and water shortage like it was in Kampala when I visited in 1975.” He lamented.

“This chicken is very tasty, and I have not eaten tasty yams in a very long time” he said.

“Many people complete  School and they have no Jobs” I  put up a case. “That is one of the many challenges that Uganda is still facing.”

“That problem is not unique to Uganda,” he said, “even in Italy where I live, things are bad my friend. Many kids are going to the US and UK to search for jobs.”

Am I saying that Uganda is better than Guinea? No, I am not.  Abdoulaye is.

After all our good old president has a place to retire.