By Sekka Bagenda
You are alive. You are among the people that were there to witness what happened on 14 January.
I was extremely poverty stricken in the beginning. I wore one trouser and less than three cheap white shirts for more than five years. I in those days called myself an inspiration writer. I wasn’t to onlookers and, to my relatives.
As a child, I thought in the beginning. It is indeed ‘a rough road that leads to success.’
Among my priorities in the beginning was to immediately attract the attention of people who wielded power in this country so that they could sympathise with me and lift me out of poverty that I had been forced to be in for years, by this world.
Instead of the money I greedily wanted, I got lots of more problems. I became more poor instead.
I was deserted more by the very people I thought would stand with me on my way to becoming the writer I wanted to be. I slipped and fell and lay down for several years, instead. This world is unpredictable.
There is a side of this world the ignorant and lazy are afraid to sit down and discover.
Before fighting to stand, the media houses I worked for rarely paid me. I had a dream. I never gave up.
I had very early in my career read somewhere in a book titled ‘The Laws of Success’ that to succeed, one had to work more than he was paid for.
So, as I worked almost for free and the proprietors of those media houses thought I was there to be cheated, in me I was happy. I was making progress.
I was a very young boy then. There is something I had never seen in this world. I was not paid as the world said but I was acquiring something priceless. I acquired experience.
I knew why some people in this world are very poor yet others are extremely successful. There is nothing for nothing. I learnt.
He is wasting his time he who thinks he can forever cheap a dreamer, who is so focused and determined in the beginning. You can’t.
The only asset I had in the beginning was my brain. I was poor but, I had a dream.
Is it so bad if I rank myself as one of the most successful people in the country? Yes, I am. I grew up in poverty and climbed a huge mountain, to the most respected University in Uganda. That is success too.
I later saw something I could achieve so that my name could be sang in songs. I dropped the bag of books with sports titles. I chose to be a writer.
I didn’t know the language I today fluently use in the beginning. I began anyway, despite the deafening discouragement from onlookers. To begin is the most difficult step to take in this world.
I was poor. I was not connected. I was a thin boy seen by every mature man or woman, who understands the importance of money, that I was poor.
How then did I succeed in becoming the writer that is today watched by the lazy world, in bewilderment? I wanted this. I saw it, in the world ahead, that I would one day be rich and successful.
Begin from where you are with what you have. Rising from grass to grace amidst opposition from friends and relatives is what I call success. I wrote despite predictions that I would never. I wrote. It is possible. Fight on.
The day I saw myself manufacturing something you call a paragraph in English is the day I started believing that there was really nothing impossible in this world.
If people think and work hard enough, they can achieve whatever they can ‘conceive and believe’. Every Ugandan should know.
There is nothing impossible. I would become a feared writer even when Museveni was not a good president. If I am in need of something, I learned not seek permission from anyone. Whatever you truly want, you can achieve it.
I call myself successful. I wanted to write. I did. Who said it couldn’t be done?
No one can stop you from succeeding without your consent. I began with nothing. I am today connected and, amazingly, getting money from the saleable articles I write, on a daily basis.
The newspaper you are holding is one of most respected newspapers in the country. I fought for more than five years looking for where I could put the lines I wrote, for viewing. It was a struggle.
I later worked for free for a shocking period of time, using the platforms I got. This world was laughing. Patience! I today write for money. I am successful.
Never lose hope. You are going to succeed. Be persistent. Work hard. You will get to the Promised Land, when the right time comes. I succeeded. You will get there. Be patient, and persistent.