“Pens down,” the lecturer says
I put mine down recalling the last word I wrote in the exam.
“Life” was the last word. I slowly crawl off the chair with my script. I hand in. I ran outside the room, hands held high, looking to the skies.
“It is finished,” I say.
It’s now only a few days and the life of a man at university will come to an end for the time being. Three years ago a young man joined the elite at university. His choice was he wanted to do a journalism degree at Uganda’s most prestigious university, Makerere. He was only offered IT on government. Boldly he said no (because he realised IT was not what he wanted to do. Not his calling) and left for Uganda Christian University where he did mass communication. The time had come and he had to start staying in his own room and meet new people. For three years he did this and lived the University dream. For three years he survived. He got all from his father and he never wanted to let the family down.
He fell in love and fell out of it. He was rejected twice. He still lived and never let this get too hard on him. He met new people, influenced and become special to some. He would get broke, feed on buns, chapatti and even go hungry at times. Still lived on and never gave up. He went out, danced and drunk water, soda, Vodka and beer. Still he read his books, remembering the words of his father.
“My son you are going to school and I do not want failures. I have paid everything, now go make me proud. You have a name and reputation to protect.”
These always echoed in his ears and they always stuck around and kept him reading hard, harder and harder but with some little fun.
At times he would look depressed and life would knock him down. He did not die but he lived on and on. He got “kyeyo” during his holidays. He was exploited and at times paid but he atleast kept a smile on his handsome face. However the scaring part is yet to come. The future!!!!
The pressure is on from all around. He must find a job. He won’t be receiving any pocket money from his parents; he will have to pay his own rent and then will have to get married. The latter being the least of his ambitions right now. He believes things will turn out great but he is scared how. He hopes he doesn’t become a politician and then join the queue to lead the country, he would not join the army even if he is desperately looking for a job, he would not become a call boy to offer late night services because he is broke and he will not accept to be offered a job because he is the son of you know who. He will patiently find his way and get in because of merit unless otherwise. He patiently holds on to the hope of nation building without joining politics. And the hope that lives on in him will see him through.
Flashback (The year 2000)
9 years after secondary school, my O-level school has finally bought a school bus… At 200m with personalised number plates. I contributed 20,000/= every term from S1-S4. The bus could have been bought even before I left. We had some corrupt H/M at one time. Guess what? I was part of the revolution that tried to have him prosecuted. Well proudly I was part of a bloodless strike, requesting for social justice. It became highly unsuccessful; I got expelled and would be escorted by police daily to do my final O-level exams. I was short but the H/M accused me of being influential (I normally did the talking). There is a time we carried a petition against him to the RDC and Education Officer. I was the one who did the talking. Atleast I knew I was part of something beautiful. My relatives were not proud of me at the moment. Why? Because I got expelled and they all thought I would intoxicate their children with evil thoughts. But only I knew the reason. I was imprisoned for the fight for freedom and social justice. I never received a medal but atleast am proud I of the milestone.
Well early 2007 he was imprisoned for embezzling school funds. I was so happy. Finally what we had fought for had come to pass. Remember the Martin Luther speech “I have a dream”. Well my dream for him to be prosecuted came to pass. But my disappointment is he never paid back what he embezzled. Atleast the school has a better H/M.
“Beware of the fury of a patient man” – John Dryden