By FIONA LAKER
Kampala – On Wednesday 9th October, Uganda celebrated her 57th Independence Anniversary with national function taking place in Sironko district.
Five-decades and half (ago) after gaining Independence, questions are still being asked wheather we are really independent; if there are reasons to stay at home and celebrate or not.
That day, our reporter took sometime to investigate the relevance of the Independence Day and she compiled different thinkings from people she interacted with.
“On my way from downtown to the old taxi park in Kampala after getting myself what to celebrate Uganda’s 57th Independence Day with, i got the boda boda rider enthusiastic enough to ride me,” Ms Laker starts her “story”.
As soon as i sat, the man generously greeted me; he was curious, so he asks, “Leero temwa soomwe, mpozi lunakuki?.
I was shocked (till now) that a fellow Ugandan does not even know it was Independence Day. I expressed my shock further and he openly said, “nze njagala sente nga wokiwulira.”
The boda boda rider told me that as a Ugandan “he has to survive and that he cannot put aside one day to celebrate Independence” when he has no food on the table. “I am a father,” he said.
I finally reached a stage from where I could get a taxi and i jumped off the boda boda.
In the taxi, i also noticed that there were many people making their way to their places of work.
I was compelled to ask my passenger neighbor “what the public holiday is to him” and he says: “The calendar does not matter when you have to make money.”
“Actually, such days put pressure on you to buy more expensive meals out of the usual for your family and it all revolves around money,” he continued.
At the taxi park, each person is busy; some making sales, others buying goods and some carrying heavy luggages of their customers.
None could notice the importance of the day and somewhat it has become like all the other normal days.
I had before walked to Mega Standard Supermarket, one of the biggest supermarkets in Kampala where i realized all workers were at their work station, the guards at the checking points, the cashiers at the counters; the chefs too busy in the kitchen and the aroma was appetizing.
Shoppers were busy making sure they buy all goods on their shopping list.
At the supermarket, I greeted one of the workers with a happy Independence Day message but he was too busy to even reply, perhaps he was angry working on such a day.
It brought me to a simple conclusion that only those in Sironko district were actually and practically celebrating 9th October in Uganda, and the rest of the parts of the country was too busy trying to get that money they require to survive, to pay tax, and to take their children to school.
Generally, many were working to live happy with their basic needs catered for.
57 years of Independence, no slavery, no masters but we still work as if we are still slaves. Our master is money!
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