After series of feigning arrogance in combination with ignorance, I have discovered that ignorance ain’t bliss but rather torment as it has beaten my understanding that someone could chose a career in brick-laying. Ever pictured your brick layer doing the job in a suit, and being so perfect at it,that was the first visual of the person collecting “Ettaffaali” that I had. Not that it is a bad direction for a career, because people are building day in-day out. Though, in the earliest hypogeal germination stages of our education journeys, we all envisioned ourselves as the “Tomorrow People” to replace Justice Julia Ssebutinde, Dr Ben Carson, Bill Clinton and I am almost tempted to add Rtd. Col Dr. Kizza Besigye Warren Kifeefe.
With educational training from institutions like SMACK and SHACK, I imagine not the best speakers hail from these lands but for this particular case, Owekitiibwa, the Kamalabyonna of the Kingdom has surpassed all this imagination and gone on to convince the entire world to aid him restore a once grass thatched royal cultural burial ground back to original form.
I think this was the best timing for all this to surface. The King, upon his ascension to the throne in 1993 had promised to have his reign so youthful and has since had senile beings for prime ministers and they just could not rally the youth. As the guilt was mounting, and as having to lose the Royal Burial grounds to a fire whose cause is as elusive as Joseph Kony, action was so imminent and the decision to appoint a “youthful” Kamalabyonna was long overdue.
20 years on, the appointment is made of a youthful PM is made and the Joy and merry making for the House Buganda. Just under a year in the office of the Prime Minister, there was an apparent deal struck between the central government and that of Mengo to return the “Ebyaffe” or “mailo akeenda” (9000 sq. miles) in properties in Bugangaizi and Buyaga counties. That indeed, was the day the Lord had made and the Baganda coudnt help but rejoice.
Then came the ideology of restoring the “Amasiro”-the pride of any Muganda. The once strong burial ground of our departed kings, then brought down in a fire was about to be brought to life again-the future was indeed bright. It was all fun and games until the Katikiro went from collecting “Ettaffaali” from each crevice and corner of the kingdom’s realms to Tafaali-collecting from the Banyankole, Basoga, who could seemingly be having more problems than the Katikiro’s plight but give selflessly, and as well making calls to embassies and get help from “our” international allies. A call to a disclosed ambassador saw the Katiikiro bag 3 billion shillings. The situation went from looking to the central government for help with the phrase “Tusaba Gavumenti Etuyambe” gaining life in a new “Tusaba Katiikiro Atuwe ku Taffaali” as it had become a national and international cause too.
On a more nationally beneficial side, with the Sabalwanyi having signed the anti-homosexuality act, with the middle finger, and rubbing it in the faces of Uganda’s foreign aid donors that the mouth was an avenue for eating (though he didn’t specify eating what), Uganda was and is bound to be deficit recipient of aid, it would be a wise idea to engage the Katikiro and his persuasive character in a national Ettaffaali collection exercise so as to have us fund our own activities and not wait for help of the “outside” countries
That is the moment when I really envied his job. He had read my mind, though, little did I know that he had extended his Tsunami to dear MUK. Comfortably under the umbrella of MUK students with a strong Nkobazambogo organization, he proposed a visit:not just another visit but a Ettaffaali-full visit. And then I thought “students” were exempted from the “Ettaffaali” business. Oh how wrong I was? The fact that campusers live on rolex and ebindaazi didn’t deter Buganda’s number two to find his way to our pockets and drill them dry, even that saved for that party night in Panamera or Legends was taken. A student shall surely have no fun in this very harsh world. If only he had gone to some MUBS hostels with VXs in the parking lot, just to balance the campus equation, the “Ettaffaali” coffers would have been smiling wider and better.
With all said and done, or all the “Ettaffaali” collected, let the Amasiro rise again!