I was shackled and locked up when I was still a very young boy. My relatives didn’t follow up. I later discovered ways of unchaining myself. The struggle had to begin. I had to go, to begin a struggle which I never knew would later become my life. The way people treated me after I began forced me to cling on, amidst a lot of discouragement and loudly shouted statements that I was wasting time.
All determined people begin with nothing and can easily give up if they received no resistance. Our enemies make a mistake of trying to stop our progress, using force and discouragement. I wouldn’t preach in this temple for such an unbelievable period of time. Those who fought very hard to drop me down forced me to hold on to the bible of life, full of inspiration, and I refused to go down.
A lot of my friends and relatives did not understand me when I said I was going to escape from prison run by poverty. They said I wouldn’t. All around me were ignorant and poverty stricken people who believed poverty would always be part of us. I would listen if I did not believe it so much that even the multi billionaires of those days were once like us. This prison fence was carefully erected but, I had to jump over it to go.
A little voice within me always reminded me that I had become the most foolish young man on earth. I had left free food. I had left shelter. There I was with my mum. I was going to miss parental care. It said, to me, that my friends were about to make quick money. I had started a struggle, which I would carry alone on my weak shoulders, the voice said to me. After leaving, I later thought whatever the little voice spoke was true. I suffered.
Time came and it was like the whole world was there at the other end of life against me. The statement ‘Never Give Up’ is heavy and meaningful indeed. You perhaps don’t know what it means for a woman who bore you and stood with you even through school, to one day stand up and say she didn’t know her son she had hope in, would then be seen become so useless as I had become. Oh, I cried within myself.
Time came and I choose to remain alone concentrating, looking for gold I had imagined ahead. Friends had gone. Relatives had gone. My mother had taken me to school. She would lack as I looked on. I was very useless. I was as poor as mice in church. She was once admitted to Mengo hospital. I was so broke that I almost failed to raise transport from where I was to go and at least look at her.
These are the things I will always remember. Suffering with her all that time since childhood, she was now going to leave me alone in the world. It pained me. She was going a very unhappy woman. All that would make her happy was put in us. I am sorry mum. I disappointed you a lot at the beginning of this struggle, when I said I was going out to the next world away from the prison where we were together, to fight for people who looked like us. Look, we together could go to bed hungry. You almost surrendered our little house to money lenders who were definitely going to leave us homeless. You were paving future comfortable ways for us mother.
Sorry mama. I am glad that now you have understood that I had to go. These people here have been so good to us. They have lifted us. Your son is now important. I was totally useless ten years ago. Never give up.
I am now a worshipped writer. I began when even mother was saying I would end up wasting time. I had to close my ears. Something in me had woken me up when I was still at Makerere University.
A man asked me why I am a known sports scientist. I would not be if I didn’t learn how to write. This must be a great lesson to all young boys and girls carrying heavy bags with books to guide them as they look for degrees.
I got fed up of your leaders during my days at the University. Nothing these people can give you. They are tired. My family was connected to a lot of important families in this country. There is nothing I benefited from those rich friends of my father. When he died, those huge bellied men still never became important to me.
You are alone. In my struggle the people who discouraged me most are my relatives. Who could think in the beginning that I would one day write hundreds of articles and essays that editors would fear to chew or throw into waste baskets? No one!
You are today misunderstood but we were too greatly misunderstood, and later cruelly crucified by people. Our relatives supported the foes against us ten years ago. Success is achieved by anybody who chooses not to mind about what others say. I have discovered. We resurrected.
Sekka Bagenda is a writer
An Inspirational Public Speaker and a sports scientist
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