By James William Mugeni I Galo and Makerere
United States of America—14 October 2020: Editor, if there is anything why a man of truth lives, then this is true of Galo Githo Renny Stephen. The once a flamboyant and energetic Githo saw his life crash 25 years ago out of the Ivory Tower that is Makerere.
A student of medicine then got his dream of being a doctor ended by a dismissal over a student demonstration against cost-sharing especially for the poor students.
When the fires raged through Makerere last month, I chose to write my memoirs of some events that occurred in Makerere over the years. I remembered Galo Githo Stephen Renny, and through my Facebook account I ran a search story for him.
I got deflated when he told me he was talking to me through a borrowed phone. It was a video call that had me cut off the call because I was crying.
Confused of what to do for Galo Githo, I started a fundraiser in USA that made me manage to buy him a phone. Once he was connected, I requested him to allow me to do a story about him. He obliged, and I authored a story that the main media newspapers refused to carry. I guess he was not newsworthy.
I opted for not very popular online newspapers and two stories were carried online by two news outlets and these were the stories. TND News: Galo Githo: A student icon, an activist who paid the price fighting social injustice
East African Watch: Galo Githo: Student icon, an activist who paid the price for fighting social injustice
Githo, who had not been in public life, let alone the media, was overwhelmed by the response my articles had generated. I told him man, “get ready the world is coming for you”. Many people wanted him besides, others had told me Githo had died about 5 years ago. Others called him an alcoholic who can only merit being in a serenity center.
I told Githo, “man, pick up your sacks and come out the world is opening up on you” and below was his maiden response to the demanding public.
“Ooooh noooo! I do not want to unfairly expose myself anymore. People tend to exploit others’ weaknesses, and through these weaknesses they learn by getting closer. One fundamental weakness of mine at the moment is being financially impecunious, yet that has also been my strength in the sense that I have weathered the raging storms of poverty and battering rams of hunger with a clear conscious and a cool head.
Going forward like we discussed yesterday with my colleagues, I will need a spokesperson, a coordinator, a deputy, etc. At my age and experience, we can’t have any other room for being haphazard.”
With the burning rage of Makererians over the Ivory Tower, Githo is likened to the first tower that was burnt in 1996; only needed a wind to re-ignite the flames. Personally, I never went to Makerere but was now being carried by the passion of those who went to Makerere and Githo’s friends from different walks of life.
I discovered something big was coming out of the flames. I mobilized people or friends living and who have been supporting Githo to own up the developing story. Soon we were over 200 people united on a Facebook Page “Friends of Galo Githo Stephen Renny”. With the desire to find value, Githo became an established value with some friends even swearing before putting money on Makerere they will have money put on Githo.
Again, came another demand to have Githo address us, and below is another statement he made.
“Gallant Comrades thanks plenty. I will be addressing you shortly on the two salient and now fundamental issues of rebuilding the Iconic Ivory Tower and the SHORT TOWER of the Ivory Tower burnt 24 the October 1996.
But let me in advance thank the illustrious Ugandan living in the US called James William Mugeni for fishing me out the second time from a village behind other villages. The first time it was two Catholic Priests. This time it was James William Mugeni. But thanks to everyone.”
For the 25 years that Githo has lived in oblivion, very many of his contemporaries have moved on into different professions. But we are vividly getting organized into.
So far, Doctors, Lawyers, Social workers, St. Peters College Tororo, SMACK, Priests (seminarians), Makererians, Current association, Japadhola community, and some Ugandans have come out to support Githo in many ways.
At one time we will need Githo himself to be in charge, but he is 25 years running the race of life. Just know we are a great resource that he has.
From the way things are happening, one can only conclude the Galo Githo bounces back from the flames of Makerere University. Very many people are talking kind of him, especially those who have benefitted from the poor student schemes. In Galo Githo, we see a value that is priceless standing by the wayside so as to let others benefit.
He represents ethics in the public sector. Ethics is not primarily about staying out of trouble, it is about creating strength in individuals and organizations.
Galo Githo Institute of Justice and Social Transformation is one of the thoughts floated by friends who have benefited from his sacrifice.
Personally, I am humbled by the simple story I wrote that led to professionals and all loving people to now own up Githo and giving him hope. He is the professionals that you are. I have been contacted by a major media outlet to give an interview, and I will ably do so for God and My Country.
The author is a friend of Githo and a Medical Clinical Officer/Certified Public Manager email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1 515-346-5317.