I strongly believe that a man(I specify ‘a man’) will wake before the crack of dawn and go out into the new day to find something with which to feed his family. I say this both literally and not. It doesn’t matter what a man doeth, he must arise at the crack of dawn and go work an honest job that he should be calling his own. From down in the gutters of Kisenyi to the air conditioned spaces in Crested Towers, a true man will work to better himself, and not at the expense of another.

The other night, at about 10:30pm, I rounded one of the corners that lead to the Old Taxi Park and was greeted by a scene so violent that I stopped dead in my tracks. About 15 men in yellow t-shirts were in the midst of the fray. I could make out a bunch of Lugbara women talking animatedly at the top of their voices, some weeping bitterly. I could also see the said men in yellow throwing baskets of fruit onto the back of some green-and-yellow Chinese truck. Some of the fruit had fallen out the basket and was all over the place.A few of the women were running after it, trying to gather it, and at the same time trying to shield themselves from the beatings these men were giving. There were screams and shrieks everywhere.

It was a thousand times more heart-wrenching than watching Bobi Wine’s Tugambire ku Jennifer. I could now see why the launch of the song had been treated with threat.(Watch here)

The way the men were going about whatever they were doing would make one assume that they are paid cash in large duffel bags straight out of the central bank. But to me, all I was seeing was a bunch of losers who didn’t have the balls to find themselves much better jobs for a descent living. The t-shirts they were wearing, some of them, were faded to the last thread, meaning they had been washed over and over again. That just tells me those shirts are the only pieces of fabric in their wardrobes! They were wearing cheap polyester trousers that looked like they were tailored in Kalerwe, and the pointed, plastic-soled, fake snakeskin Chinese shoes on their feet had seen far better days.

You see, we are all in different income brackets. We all work to better our lives. I fail to see the logic behind trashing the little capital that somebody has. A few days after Jennifer was elected into her office, we were greeted with the headline that she would be earning 40 million shillings. Did y’alls ever see that? Actually, if memory serves me right, she dictated amount of taxpayers’ money that she wanted for salary… Or was I dreaming. That is not even the life savings of some of ten of these women combined. Okay, you would say that since Jennifer is a woman, she would extend a degree of lenience to her fellow women. I mean, she earns way too much to be equal to these women. The least she would do is let a woman just like her, only far less privileged, try to make an honest living. What harm is there in selling fruit to passers-by? They want the fruit, don’t they?!

And to send in her minions to do her dirty work! What on earth is that supposed to be? You would think that they would be faced with a positive challenge from these women, some of whom are old enough to be their mothers, even their grandmothers.

Unless they have been born into some rich family, I have come to realize that, for the average woman, it takes a lot of sacrifice and guts to step out into this Kampala and try to make a living. Now here comes this truck laden with vulgar, cursing brutes, driving ever so recklessly, to confiscate somebody’s capital. I would never glory in tearing down a man’s source of livelihood.

It was past 10:00pm, for crying out loud. If you chase these women off the street, even at that time, where will they go? Is that not a recipe for widening the rift between the poor and the rich? It’s like these conspiracies we read about in magazines or watch in the movies – edge out the poor so that the rich can have dominion. If this were happening in my backyard, would I surely not work hard to do away with it, and not fuel it? And on who’s orders were the men operating at that time? At that time!!

True, we all have our places on the income ladder. I just don’t see the point in being high up and still trying to oppress those down below. I would not even be bothered. Would I not work toward making my life better with the 40 million shillings I am earning? Would I not wish someone well on their journey up the income ladder?

But Jennifer sees this all differently, as I’m sure do so many of you. In her ‘quest’ to make Kampala a ‘better place’ she has stepped on the toes of so many of the lesser majority. Two years ago, I could walk from our Constitutional Square, to the Old Taxi Park via Mutasa Kafeero plaza, at 10:00pm and not be bothered about security because whoever would be in the city at the time would be going about some kind of business. I can’t say the same for today. To safely make it down that stretch of the city, one has to be in the company friends, clutching his back pack for dear life. You could be mugged. The answer to this is plain. Chase small time traders off the street, and you’ll have given birth to a bigger monster – pickpockets, cutthroats, robbers, you name it. If you take my source of livelihood away, then I will find another way out. People who work late are the easiest target. I’ll snatch a purse and make off into desolate alleys of the city. You won’t dare run after me for fear of your life.

I strongly believe that a man(and perhaps the occasional woman) will wake before the crack of dawn and go out into the new day to find something with which to feed his family. I say this both literally and not. It doesn’t matter what that man(or occasional woman)  doeth, he will must at the crack of dawn and go work an honest job that he should be calling his own. From down in the gutters of Kisenyi to the air conditioned spaces in Crested Towers, a true man will work to better himself, but not at the expense of another.

 

Discliamer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and not of The One Question Network or its management.

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