[#UGBlogWeek – Day 1]: We Young Women & Men of Uganda…

Our theme as we take on 7 days of blogging as a Ugandan Community, is ‘Schools made us no better‘. I think it would be fitting to take us back in time and start with this song.

In all honesty, while we were children, some of us had no idea what we were singing. For I believe if we did, we would not be where we are now…

We young women and men of Uganda
Are marching along the path of education
Singing and dancing with joy together
Uniting for a better Uganda.

We are the pillar of tomorrow’s Uganda
Let us rise now embrace true knowledge
Yielding disciplined resourcefulness
To rebuild a great, great, pearl

We young women and men of Uganda
Are marching along the path of education
Singing and dancing with joy together
Uniting for a better Uganda.

We know the way into the land of enlightenment
has thorns, creepers, vales, and mountains
Come what may we shall overcome
For the glorious times to come

We young women and men of Uganda
Are marching along the path of education
Singing and dancing with joy together
Uniting for a better Uganda.

Parents and teachers and the youths of this nation
Rise with us, support our endeavours
Lead by God who is the Source of Life
To Uplift our motherland

Now that I am older, I get this. I understand this song, it takes on new meaning for me.

We can go into a debate over who is supposed to nurture a sense of patriotism: the parents, the schools, the peers, some even look to the government. One thing we all agree on, is we do not just wake up and Boom Bang – parroting Patriot Patriot everywhere (unless of course there is manila and UGX 10bn goats involved).

My personal definition of patriotism is having a deep sense of compassion and ownership towards one’s country. Why a mix of compassion and ownership, you wonder? Compassion for me caters to the aspect of innate love. That caring feeling that drives and compels you to act. Ownership is pretty much that, it is yours – when something is yours, you tend to act different.

There is a school of thought that looks to the parents and says the onus is on them. They need to instil it in their children. They need to write it on their walls at home. They need to carry the responsibility.

However, we all know that most of us (especially those whose parents enrolled them in boarding school from Kindergarten) spend majority of our young impressionable lives at school. Thus even more pressure is placed onto the already burdened teacher’s shoulders – they mustn’t just educate, they must also plant, nurture and grow certain things in us.

If you are a teacher reading this, or a child of a teacher, you are probably rolling your eyes and saying, ‘Kirabo, you have no idea what you are talking about. My parent hardly has enough to put on the table, not to mention late salaries… They have enough on their plate than to add the weight of the future of Uganda on their shoulders‘.

Truth be told, I have no answer to that. Fact is, my late father was an educator, and I saw him frustrated every once in a while, when he attempted to break a stereotype.

Would it be considered having my head stuck in utopic clouds, to believe that teachers really do have the future of this country in their hands. In 1865, it was believed to be the hand the rocked the cradle, today, I’d like to think it is different…

It is the burdened shoulder of the chalk-dusted hands that shapes our tomorrow.

What do you think?

*Image source: Google


10 thoughts on “[#UGBlogWeek – Day 1]: We Young Women & Men of Uganda…”

  1. Good blog I almost forgot what patriotism is about, considering the fact that am not the patriotic kind and to say I totally forgot the most import “beats” of the anthem thanks for reminding me.


  2. I think instilling patriotism is a joint effort, really. I mean, look at the Americans. Right from their action movies to the way their international embassies behave. Those people suckle “proud to be an American” from the boob from Day One. Even when something as atrocious as Trump happens, Americans have no doubt that their Americanness will somehow prevail.

    Now here you grow up with load shedding, you be seeing Kazinda-scale shenanigans on news, your parents be complaining bitterly about Kayihura and corruption and social media shut downs. Your teachers wear shoes with ‘fallen’ heels and whip you mercilessly to assuage their own deep frustrations. When the President makes a speech you are more likely to be asleep 3 hours later while he talks about fundamental change and middle incomes. Meanwhile, in an alternate reality the Obama’s speech writing team is burning the midnight candle to make you excited about Michelle’s speech.

    Why should I feel patriotic when if I stop to help an accident victim I will likely be robbed or held for questioning? When forests are disappearing and the weather is going haywire? Even basic things like jiggers, parents want government to come and remove for them. Where is the pride? The compassion? The service above self?

    Okay, sorry for blogging. Too much feels going on. Naye you cannot trust the future to teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssss!!!!
      Discussion… I have been craving this!

      I hear you, and as I wrote this my mind was battling with some of the questions you raised but I just felt I needed to get this out and off my chest and start the conversation from that point.

      Again, may be this was purely grown on the premise of Hollywood scripts, however, I still strongly believe that teachers today have a heavier role to play than their counterparts (the parents, government, etc.).

      A constant word from someone you see more than you parents is bound to have an effect on you life, whether positive or negative…

      PS: You should post all these feels in your own post #anythingToGetYouToWrite 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a true and untrue story depending on what teachers you encountered, some of them water down efforts while other grow your hidden potential kudos to the ones you encountered as you are living proof to the maximisation of your hidden potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. However I, as do many of my generation, have the privilege of a different time.
      What I now believe was a much simpler time.

      I remember once, the class teacher caught me sharing ice, and promised me canes if I did it again.

      Maybe we were just young and unaware of the well hidden complexities that grown ups encountered…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for reproducing that song! I thought it was for only University students, when I first heard it, but learnt to punch it out on the piano then (after Yankee Doodle). This is another classic we need to bring back into play; and, YES, you are 100% correct. Go to the front of the class!

    Liked by 1 person

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