This goes out to all the Ugandans studying abroad. I don’t care where in the world you are. Even if you’re in Kenya. I just know you aren’t getting your hair braided in Wandegz, or hitching that free weekend ride from Mukono to Kampala.
This ALSO goes out to all Ugandans who fall under the category of “the youth”.
Are we really listening to ourselves think when we dream BIG? Or are we attuning our ears to society when it dreams FOR us?
It was a fairly hot and sticky day, if I recall. Normal 22 C degrees weather in Kla. I was idly looking through books, trying to find sources for my Extended Essay research, when literally (I swear!) eye-stumbled upon The State of Africa by Martin Meredith. Hardcover book, with a cutesy red rose awkwardly placed on a map of Africa. As I read the summary at the back, it felt like my inner self was collecting firewood to start the fire that would burn for this new passion…
“I cannot absolutely wait to leave banange.”
“Oh my God Nicole, you are sooo lucky to be going away from this place”. “”I know, right?!””
Yep. I didn’t feel pore-bursting adoration for my home. In fact, I was so sure that my life was set. Finish IB. Undergrad- Journalism. Grad- Law School, maybe branch into Family law or something hip like that. Go back and live in Uganda? Umm, no not really.
A far cry from the ditzy fantasies of a budding law student. Out came a wannabe documentary maker cum businessgirl. A girl who just wants to make all those nay-sayers about Uganda and the continent eat their lil’ words and choke [and die]. Ok, choke and spit.
The State of Africa changed my life, or rather the life that I had hoped to live. Google it if you have hair-raising interest.
My United World College experience- sealed the change. Leaving home was about the only way I was ever going to realize there was no other place I would rather be. Ok, that’s a bit of a lie. Ye, I want to live and travel to other parts of the world, but at the end of the day, there is that one place that makes you feel close to 100. You might have the crudest family relations, the most obnoxious friends or the most irritating flies hovering over you, and you couldn’t ever explain this phenomena in English/Luganda but the adage: “home sweet home”, is such for a reason. Unless of course, you’ve fallen madly in love with a man/woman from Estonia and you can’t bare to be without them that you migrate there.
I have this impatient flutter in my not-so-flat belly, that feels like I have so much to do. It feels like I am lucky to BE lucky. Don’t get it twisted: there is no mathematical equation that can justify that you were born into the right family, went to the right schools, got the right scholarships and are where you are because it was your right. There is a high-enough probability that you could have been born in Rakai District, to a family of 4, where school was not an option. And at 20, be married off to some self-assured farmer from Mbarara. You know how those guys be 😉
What am I saying? I feel like I am obligated to try my best and make things right. No, I don’t mean save the world kumbaya B.S.
I feel responsible [to make a difference back home]. I feel frsutrated [with our country’s leadership]. I feel gifted [through my passion for videography and creativity to make people happy]. I am hopeful [that contrary to popular belief; Uganda and the rest of Africa are the place to be, and only we-> young people with vision + power, can make the change].
There is no better time to start now. We all have various dreams and ambitions. Make sure you stand out, don’t just graduate and become one of thousands of insects with the same degree. What are you going to do with it, to leave your mark in the world you come from? Dare to ask yourself such questions.
You know you’re the sh*t and you can seriously do whatever you set your mind to. For realz.