By Walusimbi Shakur Isaac
Isn’t a birthday fete all about celebrating achievements in life? And to an archetypal leader, does throwing a lavish party have a considerable regard?
Anyway, ultimately whichever toffees one may eat on their birthday, the motive and results of the event are all what matters.
Imagine on your birthday while everyone sings to you “Happy Birthday to you”, then boom! Shock and tragedy echoes from a corner to spoil the celebrations!
Of course, in Africa, spoiling a party doesn’t call for a badly dressed unwelcome or even invited guests, but the bad stories of sweeping problems that affect the ordinary African – the kind you have to explain not even in 1,000 words but in hundreds and thousands of passages.
To the ‘birthday baby’, there is a different kind of birthday every year – perceptibly with an added accomplishment every year.
To the ordinary African, there is only one birthday – the day you are born, and perhaps a few more in addition to the day one was born, for the middle class. To the revolutionaries, this special day is a mystery. Their birthday is maybe a ‘political one’ – a day that serves to remind one to respect and value their revolutionary struggles.
It’s therefore shocking to find a true son of the revolution, liberation – whatever you may call it; throwing a big party and gesturing his fans on how to mark this personal event which to most people should be private or home event.
If I were a true son of the revolution, I would mark my birthday with love and devotion for my country; saluting the focused and loyal servants of this fledged nation; the doctors, nurses who treat Ugandan mothers without gloves; with a thought for the homeless teachers who are teaching barefoot school going children under an acacia tree deep in Nakapiripirit district.
Celebrating my birthday would certainly mean sitting somewhere and contemplating Uganda’s past, what course we are on, where we are headed, how to grow the economy and, in the broadest sense, how to improve governance and democracy that is still faltering.
Won’t I spend my birthday scanning the despicable and appalling sectors of trade? What of ways to check the high rate of corruption and lack of transparency, accountability, safety and the rule of law? The squeezed businesses; the bogus and manipulative patriarchy , the high unemployment rates and, tribal conflicts, and land wrangles destabilizing my beloved country!?
I would study the thoughts of my father on the intriguing loads of challenges my beautiful nation is faced with; revisiting the oaths I took when taking up all my leadership roles, do volunteer work and have a heart-to-heart with fellow leaders so they can identify and improve their faults.
My birthday would be an opportunity for me to be fueled and recharged to prepare myself for national roles ahead of me … so Ugandans can feel the warm care of my leadership, pull them nearer to identify with me and discover the reverential purpose of my rebirth.
My birthday celebration would genuinely be simple but with quite deep meaning towards my fellow countrymen far diverse from throwing a lavish party bursting with booze and dirty dancing!
The author is the Principal1986 Generation
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