By Aggrey Nshekanabo
One thing that today’s leadership has forgotten about Ugandans is that we have been in worse situations. In 1952, we were buried during the different fights for independence. We rose. We were buried during the religious wars between Roman Catholics and Anglicans, we rose.
In the 70s and 80s, were buried. We germinated. So, shame on those without a little history about a resilient people. We are unbreakable. So, COVID-19 and its attending circumstances will not break us. We are unbreakable. I love the spirit of Ugandans. But there is something special about Ugandans; they never forget. We will remember the vultures of the time.
It is also a time to do things differently. I will begin with my other loves; the arts. Whereas there will be no concerts, music will be produced. Indeed one thing that has kept many of us going through this valley of COVID-19 is the performing arts; whether secular or religious. We will all go online. Some of my friends have told me to begin chronicling my stories and I am obliging. I will be having a YouTube Channel and the stories will be recorded and posted there. I will be reviving the Little Boy from the River series on Face Book. They have been in limbo for nearly two years. It is time to wake the ghosts up.
Church will never be the same again. Friends have told me their different homes have become the real alters to the Almighty that they ought to have been. Some church services have been put online and using ICT, over 1,000 people have been linked on Teams and Zoom etc and mass or rather service has gone on. Tithing has continued to happen too and so Ministers who are solely dependent on the traditional church system have been kept going.
But also during this period, I have personally been blessed by the re-connections; from friends of way back in time. And some of them have dug deep and into their giving hearts and blessed us. We ought to bless others too. We are here to recognise those that have blessed us. We ask that they be blessed. I have been able to speak to people I last talked to many moons ago and written to friends I have not been in touch with for long. We cannot of course forget to remember families and friends that have lost colleagues and loved ones during this season.
Now, here is the better news. Experts will tell you, this is not the time to invest, to buy stocks or to hold weddings, buy a car or sell. I am here to tell you, this is the time to do all these. See, a bean seed will remain a bean seed until it is buried to bring forth many more pods. So, yes, this is the right time to buy stocks when they are at their rock bottom. This is the time to hold that wedding when there will be no pressure for sms’ and all the takataka associated with organising a wedding. It is the right time to buy a car if you can because it will be a necessity more than ever before. It is time to even sell because this is the time to liquidate too! You need money too!
I have friends who have enrolled for online courses. This is the time to get that certificate if it can be offered online. It your children can learn something; a life skill, let it be. My sons have been learning to cook; anything. Now I am certain that the 9 year old can actually remain home and take care of the 6 and 5 year olds while the 14 year old can take command of the roost. The girls are learning to ride bicycles. They have also been learning the indigenous dances of Bunyaruguru and Nkore and mother/father tongues or languages. They now find their mother tongues sweet, not those languages of expressing anger.
Finally, while some of us may be crying for loss of jobs, some sections actually need experts. In Europe, this is the spring time and seasonal crops are ready for harvesting but there are no fruit and vegetable pickers. There are over 400,000 jobs up for grabs in the Schengen area for fruit and vegetable pickers. There are over 90,000 jobs for nurses and over 4,000 jobs for digital media experts. One company, Riverford Organics in the UK which grows and supplies 40,000 vegetable boxes per week is across the UK has seen a surge in demand and customers are lining up or rather signing up for vegetable supplies.
So, while it is gloom, the vegetable company is unable to meet the demands of its customers. It is in need of outgrowers etc. It is time to turn our vans into delivery tools for various things. It is time to get into the production and supply chains. Even changing professions and jobs. It is not late to start out as a farmer and when the boss calls you back to take up your job later and you say; sorry boss, I was waiting for the lockdown to end and inform you that I actually moved on and I will be competition or complementary.
And for those that have been affected by floods, I commiserate with you. Many of my relatives in Kasese, Kabarole and Bunyaruguru have been affected. It is a pity. For those who invaded the river banks and lake shores without observing the environmental guidelines, I say, it is payback time. You deserve the punishment.
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