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Walking in reverse

“Opportunity knocks once.” I don’t know whether it is proverb or a saying or a common statement used by the ordinary Ugandan. Whenever I pick The Saturday Vision and New Vision, I read the writers’ name before I let my eyes explore the story. There are particular people I’ll look out for. Carol (Natukunda/Kasujja/Kezaabu), Ernest Bazanye, Angela Kintu, Esther “Namungojji”, Babara Among and Joseph Kabuleta. I’ll not want dwell too much in typing all the names. Its a whole list of columnists I follow. 
I was always told by people around me on how it is hard to get into New Vision as a writer. This made me believe that it was actually very hard and that I’d need connections to get in, but each time I’d read the newspaper I noticed the writers in there were very good at what they did. Despite that I gave up so fast and gave up on writing. 
DEC 2008. 
In my third year as a journalism student I had never written for a newspaper apart from our campus paper. So an opportunity appears. I apply to do my internship at the features desk of The New Vision. I probably had the longest application (Only new Visions’ human resource manager knows that). Driven by negative thoughts and people around me I was never with the belief I’d actually get in. 
Jan 2009
It is the second week. I have already given up on getting into New Vision so I got a place at Business Week. This was something differing of my beliefs. I take myself as an all round person, atleast I can write business, sports and politics. They offer me a contract that expired April 30th together with an ID card. In my mind I’d given up on that opportunity to work for New Vision. 
Feb 2009.
When I was a young boy I tried to listen 

And I wanna feel like that 
Little white shadows
blink and miss them 
Part of a system, I am”

Theses are the words in my ringtone (White shadows by Coldplay). Unfortunately I have the polyphonic version. It’s around 9:00am on a Thursday, My phone rings and a soft sweet voice says

“Hullo, is this Mark?”
“Hullo, Mark here,” I reply
“I am calling from New Vision. You applied to be an intern, right?” She says
At the sound of that I freeze for a few seconds then I reply
“I did apply last year in December,” I say as I waited anxiously for what she’d tell me.
“You have been selected to do internship with us,” She says before I interrupt
“Sure?” I say. “Isn’t this some sort of prank or something,” I add
I can tell she wants to burst into laughter. She then replies “If you are still interested Just come next week on Wednesday at 8:00am. You will go to the editorial desk and ask for Helen.”
I freeze and all I say is “Ok, thank you very much.”
“If you have question, ask when you get to New Vision. Ok. Have a lovely day Mark,” She says
“Hope to see you,” I say “Have a lovely day and great weekend. It’s just one day to go,” I reply rather softly. I know how to be sweet.
There is a brief laughter and the line dies out. 
I start regretting why I was not patient and waited. I cannot terminate a contract. I did not have a convincing reason to tell my boss. Its Wednesday, I walk to industrial area, stand just at the entrance of New Vision for about 10mins then turned back and went back to Business week. Later that evening I cancel my supper plans, went to my bed and cried. The one chance I had to get in had been blown just because of a clause in a contract. 
I just wish walking in reverse was possible. In a few Months University life will be put to the shelf. I hope such a lifetime chance will appear again. I always imagine myself in the News room rubbing shoulders with some of Uganda’s good writers.

4 thoughts on “Walking in reverse

  1. Well I’ve lived that dream already and the feeling can be quite ordinary. Dont get way ahead of yourself! Plenty more chances will fall yo way.
    Take this as advice when you ever get there…walk with some extra dime on you coz the Vision guys are masters at the art of borrowing.

  2. @payo Well I hope you have not become a master at it. You wont get a cent from me payo……

    @Ugandan Girl…Am hanging in there….. I hope to grab that opportunity….when it turns up.

  3. ur blog doesn’t allow us none blogspot/wordpress et all bloggers to say a thing or two…but i’m with payo, more opportunities will come..and A kintu said you shd email her so…

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