When Values Held by a Mentor do a CartWheel

A thousand and forty years he worked on radio-which was where I first got introduced to him with the radio waves paying intermediary.

He was a bad ass, bold, authoritative, and vocal. He was equally perhaps the most informed person I was yet to know, whenever he spoke his points automatically disqualified the arguments being made by those who had alternative facts.

His program aired in the morning between 6:00-9:00 am in which time I enjoyed every single point he raised, his bouts of energy were legendary, the emotion with which he spoke against corruption made a listener boil in anger like he sounded to be doing.

This was a man speaking about issues of public interest, a fellow Ugandan, citizen and country man, you didn’t have to be an Iteso to comprehend his point, he just had a way of tackling issues of national interest that made me feel honored to just listen to him.

In our neighborhood my neighbors and I always tuned into 93.3 Kfm every evening just to listen to him diagnose what issues affected our country and to that tune we were never crestfallen, the man didn’t just speak, he spoke with facts, figures and evidence whether it was about corruption, lack of rule of law or even poor service delivery, he didn’t utter a single allegation without corroborative fact: he seemed to have sources even in the statehouse.

I didn’t even know what Investigative journalism meant but every time I heard the term, his first name seemed to align itself before the term itself. Obore defined investigative journalism for me and I idolized in his hard work, together with Charles Mpagi Mwanguhya they formed my indomitable duo of journalists I admired and tried to learn from.

When in 2013 he was accused of racism for racist remarks he made on his Facebook wall against Rwandans, I defended him to friends my underlying point being that some facts were racist and that asked he who had no sin to cast the first stone.

When he later retracted his statements and claimed his account had been hacked I knew it was a lie but still found a way to vindicate him.

I didn’t know I would end up pursuing journalism as a course but still always thought to myself that if I didn’t pursue my first choice which was Law then I was going to become a great journalist like Obore.

Then one I heard that he had been appointed as the new Director of Communications at the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda whose commander-in-chief is Yoweri K. Museveni the man whose government he had not long ago censured for corruption and lack or rule of law.

It was the very first notification I would get of the relevance of Nietzsche’s quote that cautioned anyone who fought against darkness to be careful lest his shade darkened.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you” Friedrich Nietzsche said.

Chris Obore directed his gun towards the professionals that once called him their own and like Don Wanyama before him rid those of us who root for great journalism the novelty of their service as journalists opting for Communication. When I saw him bashing a section of journalists and defending the same government whose arms he once pledged to monitor I couldn’t help but feel an ounce of disappointment in the man I once tipped my hat for.

The man who used to attack corruption, dictatorial tendencies and poor service delivery was now defending those who eroded the very principles he stood for years ago.

To date I don’t know the underlying reasons for which he switched sides, maybe the tentacles of money gripped real hard as most believe or he was a snitch but these are answers only he can deliver.

One thing am sure of is that he played his part in building the investigative journalism genre and in those years he practiced he was my best journalist.

I just wish he had considered how difficult it is to find a mentor before switching sides. Now days I strive to be like CHARLES MPAGI MWANGUHYA but unfortunately I have to wait for Sundays at 10;00pm to listen to him on #NTVFourthEstate while I plot his overthrow as the next better thing in journalism😊

Apwoyo Matek

On countless times I’ve been told that my purpose to write or produce any work should never be so that people will view it. To put it into perspective, when blogging I should never mind about who is going to read what I create, unfortunately am yet to understand the rationale behind this line of […]

2017; an Award, Gigs, Bad Decisions.

 

 

In retrospect to previous years that have lacked the commendable balance between great and terrible I have to admit that 2017 was a pretty good year for me.

It was a year littered with blessings and personal achievements which did shed light on my capabilities as a young aspiring professional. For all it’s worth I won my first adult writing award writing under a pseudonym of a client, travelled to 3 countries in the name of gigs, created a hashtag that trended nationally (With lots of help), got 3 job offers in a single day which I gracefully turned down with no apparent reason and on a more powerful note I got to meet and learn a thing or two from Allan Kasujja with all his (6,10) height in 15mins.

On the weak side I failed to graduate according to schedule, had a messy personal relationships with friends and family because I ended up being too busy, didn’t write the 100 articles I promised myself at the beginning of the year, failed to deliver on the short stories I had been requested to send so that my anthology would be published at no cost, at the same time I got depressed and fell in the sink hole o shifting blame.

Well its 2018 and I’ve had hours to think enough and even though I still feel the same as I felt last year, am thinking different about myself, a few changes here and there, and I hope to achieve even better.

2017 gave me a job which was really huge for me but this year I curb the ambition and take it slow, set my priorities right and most of all put friends, family and me before everything else.

When all is said and done, I’m still the same skinny lad, only more hairy with an overgrown moustache, 5 more kgs to my weight and a few people to make proud.

Daily Prompt: Believe

via Daily Prompt: Believe

What Happened To The Country We Were All Proud Of?

The early 2000’s to which most of my age-mates and I gain our political knowledge were great times to grow up into.

The economy was stable, the doughnuts and food were cheap and sizable, education was cheap, we attended  public school thanks to a government that loved us, got to pay less than 10 dollars a term for quality education, electricity was cheap and seldom on leave.

There were few cases of employment on a tribal basis, we didn’t scrutinize government programs even though some sounded dubious, we sat through tiresome census exercises, went willingly for immunization, as far as the people were concerned, the opposition were a bunch of losers.

As kids  we endorsed government programs without actually understanding them-such was the trust we had for our leaders, anyone who critiqued our “Museveni” became an automatic enemy.

Every helicopter that passed in the skies was “Museveni” and we rewarded to the fading airplanes in the sky with the noble yet humble gift of our voices singing “Amba Museveni” a praise and worship song dedicated to our leader that was no where within the acceptable values of entertaining  but we didn’t mind, we sang along out of sheer devotion to our President.

When in mid 2004 word came out that one of those public school we loved so much (Shimoni Demonstration School ) was going to be sold to an investor we rallied behind our president rubbishing the report as false and watched with disinterest as our parents suddenly became increasingly exasperated with the government.

Ours was not a rationale belief in what facts were available but rather a passionate hero worship of a man we had been told brought peace and stability by waging war on dictatorship and even though in the northern part of the country, a deranged general maimed the lips of his own kinsmen while claiming he was fighting to liberate them we held onto hope and believed in our president.

When a young member of parliament from Kampala Central dashed forward amidst criticism and stood by our parents protesting the sell of our beloved Shimoni, I finally came to terms with the fact that the government had sold our school and I had been betrayed as a child.

I grew sympathetic with the Member of parliament and actually liked him, I didn’t think that throughout his entire political existence it would be a fundraising ceremony for sympathy.

More than ten years past, with an ailing economy, a jobless youth that would rather commit crime than work, an abusive police force that that rewards hooliganism and kidnaps children for the crimes of their parents, and a legislature dominated by greedy individuals representing themselves in parliament and the government still celebrates to the victories of the early 2000s, it is then safe to ask what independence are we celebrating?

to be continued

Happiness and Leisure

Today I was up earlier than usual, a memory kept on lingering from a conversation I’d had a couple of months ago with a very close friend.

Patrick and I while engaged in our routine unscripted evening strolls that took us around the outskirts of Gulu Town, found ourselves locked in conversation about the quality of life in rural areas, we discussed lazily the idea of a perfect leisure that would force a smile on to the faces of a person.

What did it even mean to have a good leisure time?

I don’t recall the exact origin of the subject but one think stuck out, and it was a question that baffled us at the time.

How did people in rural areas who lacked  infrastructure and the most  basic of needs have a good time ?

People who had no electricity, like we were privileged to have in Gulu, people who had no beaches like Patrick and I had in Entebbe where we also live,  people who have probably never heard of 3D cinema which we were at liberty to enjoy in Entebbe at Victoria Mall,  people who couldn’t watch a Premier League game on the Weekend to be witness to Ander Herrera’s like we often enjoyed, people whose places were not safe that they had to go to bed early while Patrick and I enjoyed our evening walks in town.

Today as I lay in bed waiting for rooster to crow, I kept on thinking that maybe life was what you made it.

Whenever I travel to my village somewhere in the dry lands of Pader am without electricity, great romantic roads to have a stroll on or even a beach, my phone is rendered useless because we have no network connection so am not only offline but its like am cut off from the world.

But am always happy.

I get to bond with my family, catch mudfish, milk cows like a true novice, and get laughed at, play volleyball at the local primary school founded by my late grandfather, watch my peers dance the Larakaraka that I can only tell stories about,  laugh had at the stories told by my clan mate Austian Ogwang who allegedly fought in Burma and Germany where they were taught furock pronounced (frog) jump.

And I know its much but as I write am thinking, isn’t it more than most people are lucky to ever get!!