I said I was going to write. I had nothing in the beginning. I had no influence. I was friendless at that time. I was a very young boy and no relative of mine had ever believed in me. My mum was very negative and thought the only route that would brighten my future was the degree I would pursue at Makerere University.
As you suffer alone, keep quiet and pray to your God only. No one is going to understand you. All people have problems. You want to succeed. Other people perhaps got the money or the ability you are chasing but they are lacking peace and happiness. Those are their problems.
Very few people in this world are contented or happy. Your problems are your own. Others have big problems too. These people you admire sleep after taking sleeping pills. They have diseases which Indians in India have failed to cure.
Editors chased me from newsrooms. My mother openly told me that I would never amount to anything. She wanted me to work. She perhaps wanted me to go to Owino and I trade. I was wasting time reading books and biographies of great men. She regretted why she sent me to school.If you received discouragement from your own mother, what more obstacles are you waiting to face on your way to success? I wanted to write and I had to. I ran away from home.
Instead of buying food, I bought books that I thought would teach me more about the kind of writing I wanted to take up. I wore threadbare shirts and trousers for a lot of years. For more than five years, I had no place to lay my head. I couldn’t afford renting a house. I wanted to write.
More than ten relativesof mine died and I didn’t bury them. Some died and I was not informed. I was very unimportant. And who can inform you of what is happening to your distant relatives if you are poor? No one will love you if you are poor.
I ran and spent more than six years away fromKampala and lived amongst the most ignorant people of this country. Here food was quite cheap and I thought I would easily get what I could eat, to keep me alive. I concentrated and devoured hundreds of useful books. I wanted to write.
Sometimes I wonder how I survived death. What I was going through as I tried to become a writer was so terrible that I reached the extent of believing that it is only God with the ability to keep us alive.
I have no stomach ulcers yet on so many occasions I completely failed to get what to eat and starved almost to death. I suffered a lot. Sorry God, for doubting your presence.
I almost lost my life while trying to learn to write what you see today. God led me through all those things thatI saw every day and held my hand to places from where I then began to see that there was some hope of success.
When you want something, walk,ahead, and look for it. Ask for only life and guidance from God. Others things will come, when the right time comes.
I wanted to write. I borrowed books and read them until I almost memorised them. In the beginning, I almost rewrote the oxford English dictionary using my hands. I didn’t have money to buy my own dictionary. I sat down and read it from cover to cover and then, because the owner wanted it back, I sat down and started writing it down. I had will, to write. I often ran away and got lost for some time after borrowing books from friends. This is when I was still at Makerere studying sports science.
I wanted to write. I had no choice at the beginning. I could read everything that I could lay my hands on. I wrote my firstarticles in newspapers, and people read them widely. I was using computers that were not mine. I was so determined to become a writer. I was poor but I gave people tips on how to buildsuccessful businesses. People accepted me and, eventually,listened to me without wanting to stop. I became a writer, against all the odds.
The only asset you today have might be your brain. Use it. Slowly by slowly, after many years of doubting me and calling me a wiseacre, the world said I had the ability to talk sense and in a very special way.
They were calling me a blessed and lucky young man but I had gone through severe suffering before they welcomed my creations. People will see success but they don’t pay attention to what people who succeed go through. Very few people in this country have suffered like I did in trying to get here. I wanted to become a writerand so did everything I could to become one.
I am today a writer. Even a very jealous man cannot deny this. I am a gifted writer, as you call me, but I sweated, and cried, to get the name I am called. There is no luck in this world. It is hard work. Work hard.