A young boy who grew up seeing newspapers and smelling them, of course I would think that the tree possessing easy to pluck money grew in that sector, of journalism, and that I would pluck it (money) in abundance if I ignored lecturers’ advice at the biggest university in Uganda to commence traveling looking at, and analyzing, the poor and the rich across the country so that I could know the difference between these common and, very many times, rare people in Uganda (the really rich).
I indeed did something to make sure my dream, of becoming a writer became a reality. Though I grew up in Kabowa near Wankulukuku stadium home to Express FC, I eventually lost the interest I had in sports later in life (and became a wiseacre).
When I was still a young boy, if someone told me that I would, in future, fail to be become a football commentator, I wouldn’t have believed it. My father edited the Soccer World magazine (now defunct). He never said it openly but perhaps he was an ardent supporter of Express FC. That revered magazine would cover more of Express Football Club than other Football Clubs, Villa and KCC.
Among the hugely hyped players (of Express) was Abu Kigenyi, Zazak Lingaya, Willy Kyambadde, Kefa Kisala, Isa Bin Mungu, and George Ssimwogerere.
I too fell in love with that hugely followed club whose home was near home, and nicknamed myself Abu Kigenyi in the process. Things that happened in the 21st century chased us away from stadia.
I am not a commentator as I thought I would be. You win after learning, and failing again and again. But what can today attract one to stadiums in Uganda?
Football was later mismanaged by the likes of Denis Obua and later every, one including MP Moses Magogo. My often absent father Bagenda Mpiima was a journalist. I would easily become a journalist if I wanted. He was a connected man whose friends were Kirunda Kivejinja (died recently), Kintu Musoke, Jaberi Bidandi Sali and Yoweri Museveni (alive).
You cannot grow until you know, deep down within yourself, that as long as you want things that are uncommon you have to do your own walking, and growing. I had to think, again, and again, searching for the style I would adopt after I had grown up and got capacity to think for myself. I never became a writer in the first years that I had tried.
You suffer when trying to get up the ladder to where you want to be. It explains why Muhoozi Kainerugaba has fought more wars than a son of a long time ruler would fight. We pray that he gets there. If he doesn’t, his sons will do what he is likely to fail to achieve.
My father being an able writer and a dog that barked in the seventies hasn’t made me what he was. He laid his own strategies using the technology that was there then.
The tactics were different. The population was small, the leaders then were different. To make sure his name never perished, I began by working for years (in newspapers), for free for employers who were actually, perhaps, born to operate in poorly run countries. He is ignorantt an employer whose workers are not among his priorities.
We are blaming president Museveni and others, near power but, I am telling you, unknown men are more dangerous than known men (business men and politicians). It could be true that teachers, journalists, health workers, police men and soldiers are among the poorest in this country.
I feel happy, for I have turned myself into a politician, an important one who will see inside the hearts of the people (way to success). I understand because I was once very poor.
I know a lot about slavery. I was once in slavery. I am sorry but it could be true that I considered it strange for one to pay men and women that he employs. I know that both politicians in the ruling party and opposition can fail to serve the people that voted for them. The ability to accurately think is a rare asset.
I sweated and worked until my thinking changed. I learnt a lot as I mingled with the poverty stricken and their children.
Hills to climb appear on a daily basis. I, an able writer, never had capacity to rent a house, and buy the cheap trousers and shirts that I usually bought before becoming wiser than my mentors. I was a pauper as I fought to make my voice bigger than my father’s and, to inform you, I begged from the people that thought I had reached the promised land.
Looking for money from every corner that I imagined, I eventually found no sense in the lines I often wrote, for almost a decade. I viewed myself as a popular failure, gave up and began looking for money.
I apologized to my relatives and the a few available friends (to prove that I had failed). Despite reading more than a thousand books, the lack of money in my then torn pockets then proved to me than the knowledge owned by a poor man is heavier than the other burden he possesses, poverty. The poor are useless, and they will never talk for people to hear and do. Paths are similar. Patience will pay.
Concentrate on studying young man, and listen to your lecturers. Walking aimlessly (alone) in this huge and very difficult to understand world, I later knew that no child can be all the times wiser than his parents. You are a youth today, unmarried. Listen.
You will, in years ahead to come, know that president Museveni was right when he told his fellow countrymen and women to stay at home and starve for almost two years. A lethal pandemic (coronavirus) had broken out. He has seen a lot. I have decided to walk the other way, into politics so that I may become a Member of Parliament, and open the eyes of the electorate.
There are lessons we often learn from failure. I wrote for ten years and remained poverty stricken, unknown and homeless. Humility is more important than you think. I am sorry Uganda.
Abed Bwanika will lose the parliamentary seat that he is today occupying, almost saying nothing in parliament and concentrating on silently working for people. I apologise to the late Hadijah Nakitende. I once told her that I had begun walking down the path to the things I wanted but that I would begin by confusing the enemy and fighting for journalists. She was there. No one was there. Journalists are more divided than ordinary men and women. I discovered.
A fellow journalist, employing swarms, feels contented when he sees the boys he employs starving and regretting why they studied the important course, Journalism. I have seen and now I know why journalists of the past are more respected and more famous than those of 21st century.
It is sad that learned men in Uganda prefer believing in witchcraft more, than in God. And God is there. I saw (God) as I fought a lone to win. I have known that most men and women in this country are ruthless. People are selfish I learnt. We know men when we get closer to them and work with them. My late father dumped a book full of history of this country into my brother’s hands before he was later at night driven to Rubaga Hospital to die from there. I know this country and its people.
I have read and, I have dealt with Ugandans. I know. Very many people, who are nothing, are nothing because God is there. They should change otherwise God is there to keep them where they are forever. News editors in Uganda are worse than dictators scattered across the world. I was born Sekayima Erasto. I later, because Hadijah Nakitende agreed to listen to me, became Sekka Bagenda.
The struggle later became my life. I wrote for free for years. As I suffered and sobbed for years, alone, I remembered the advice that I never listened to and the, continual, warnings that relatives and friends often hurled at me, warning me that there is nothing I would get after giving people tips on how to make money.
Very many predictions, against me, became reality. It shocked me. I grew thin, and ran away from Kampala and hid in Busoga and I fed on posho and rotten beans for more than four years as I groaned. I wouldn’t have learnt a lot, to this step of even changing my name if I never experienced very many temporary defeats. I have learnt. (to continue)