Dreams for Uganda #55UgBlogs

You want to drown out our voices. You want to squeeze out our soul. You want to ban drums and stringed instruments when they don’t play to your rhythm but most of all you want to shut our mouths.

Here are my dreams for this country. This 55 year old country. This once dipped in Dove country it took 68 years to unbleach. I start to wonder, maybe real change will happen 13 years from now. Maybe then, we shall truly be Uganda. In fairness. In brotherhood. In vision. Maybe we need a new vision because the old vision suffered the red pepper of poor monitors and bad observers. A newer vision where we understand our history, and prepare for a better future.

That I would understand what it means to be black. Look upon my melanin and not feel unfinished. Unfinished by the God they paint white. The one who sends a Dove to annoint a caucasian messiah. That I understand what it means to be black and unashamed. Unashamed of the contradiction in my tradition. When they brought me salvation but taxed my work. When they rid me of the winds of the ancestors and the fires they light on hills and chants in small huts.

I wonder sometimes why the trance looks so similar. Of the ancestors’ winds and the Holy ghost?

That I do not doubt my blackness…the way I can remember that “His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace.” That I can be black and follow God. Or rather, let God live.

That I would understand yellow. That it is more than VW Beetles or matching suits or placards. That it is more than a thumb. More than a bus. More than a disguise for the dark orange of dusk. That I would understand yellow and the sun that shines from Kamuli to Karamoja. That maybe Kamuli’s MP could bring the rays of the sun unto the land, that maybe the gold in Karamoja would not be siphoned by the few. That the sun would shine on all procurement and budgets and laws. That nothing would be done in the darkness of committees and institutes like Kyankwazi. What if light could shine upon all the decisions made for us. Maybe we’d have term limits. Maybe we’d have drugs in hospitals. Maybe the houses of those who took from us in the dark would turn into the things we need – mosquito nets, free food for UPE, protection for women in Wakiso….Yellow is so much light. Could it be that? And not a cover?

That I would understand what it means to have red blood flow in my veins. You see, now that I think of it, all of our parties (except FDC and DP) tried to separate the oneness in the flag. To own a different colour. To make red greater than yellow and black and vice versa. To get sides. To promise one colour had more promise. Red runs in my veins. In your veins. In your enemy’s veins. The colour reminds us we’re in this together. On this land together. In these schools together. In these offices together. In these taxis together. We are one.

Could I understand this flag better for myself? This nation?

My heart beats for the minds and hearts bleeding daily about this flag – this nation – those who lost their lives for it. The Kiwanuka’s. The Janam’s. The Kawadwa’s. The ungagged mouths. The ungagged hearts. Those who became the soil upon which new industries are being built – Namanve. Those who today speak – the poets, the playwrights, the musicians. Those who do not massage our consciences but rub us the wrong way to bring our attention to the pertinent things.

But I wonder, are there seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to forgetting this flag? This nation? Are there those who appreciate this is home, even if it is for now? Who for now do not work for profit but for progress? I have a .com for a domain. Do you know why? Coz it’s goddamn expensive to have a .ug.

I digress. I speak for the storytellers. The poets. The writers. You will not be forgotten. You make us remember. Okot. Ruganda. Barlow. Ejiet. Kyemba. Ocwinyo. Makumbi. Kagayi. Baingana.

My dream is that we may tell our stories. Unashamedly. Our stories keep our histories. #55UgBlogs.

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