By Prudence Nyamishana
“Hopeless! I can spell it I can smell it in the air”
Walking through the slums, our efforts seem like a goose chase, the need is too much, but who cares anyway? Nobody seems to care about the plight of the children running around, playing and kicking rubbish. Teenage girls holding onto the cigarette waiting for the dark to go to work, teenage boys in the video halls catching up on a van damme movie waiting for the day light to go out so that they can go and work. Older men are catching up on waragi, waiting for the dark to probably unleash their lethal weapons on the unsuspecting daughters of eve. If life is sacred, why shouldn’t every human being enjoy the gifts that mother earth provides? Who will cry for the children of Uganda?
My mind wonders to the corrupt government official who has the audacity to swindle the Global fund meant for HIV and Malaria, my anger is stirred to the legislator in parliament who is always asking for a salary rise. He smiles away to the bank to get the 20 million shillings that he did not toil for. Millions of money spent on a meeting and that is the last time the city looked like a city in a bid to impress the foreigners with a clean face whilst the insides were rotting away.
I hear that the country is gifted by nature, I hear that there is oil that has been discovered in the country, and I hear that there is a president that liberated the nation. I hear people yelling “pakalast” If I do not guard my brain well, I will certainly go mad I hope you will be kind enough to get me a psychiatrist. I hear somebody telling people to be patriotic, I reach for my dictionary to find out what this means anyway patriotism is passionate love of one’s country and allegiance to its government and institutions. What an irony! The screams of the people like a man under a pool, it seems to be their entire fault, the privileged don’t pay attention after all it is not their responsibility. Now what do you want the government to do? These people runaway from the villages, they give birth to very many kids. What do you want the government to do? Blah blah. I ask them what other governments do.
It is a jungle out there, the fittest survive, the ganja plant is a lucrative business, and everyone needs it to see another day. The witch doctors too are in business, the people visit, they need divine intervention, when it fails they run to the church, they pay to have their problems listened to, the next day you see the pastor driving away in a yellow hummer, give give and give, besides the spiritual industry is lucrative where faith and hope are the prime products on sale. but the last time I checked, true religion was one that takes care of widows and orphans, have the tables turned? I ask myself is this the generation that is rising to take charge of Uganda? I hope you are not as puzzled as I am.
Hope seems like the only one the people are left with.
Wait a minute, I too have a dream that there is an army rising, casting away all their fears, bold enough to fight the sickness that our motherland beholds, young men and women are up to fight battles that are even beyond themselves, they are sowing a real mustard seed, nothing will stop them, replacing their fear with faith, they will learn not to depend on their feeble strength but to depend on God, whether with a stone a sling, jaw bone or rod, or a club whatever they have they will fight with what they have.
Tomorrow is a blank history page waiting to be written, a clean canvas waiting to be painted, by those who are daring to be different, to throw away the attitudes that they have inherited over generations, nothing is going to stop them.