Humans, the real humans live in the villages, animals, yes; animal-like people live in our cities…Towakana.
Yesterday, I entered a taxi from school, and after settling down in one those bum-eating seats behind, another client, a young man entered. And as he was trying to fix his katofari (his behind) in the seat, he got some kind of obstacle and then leaned on my already-settled knee for his support, and so he made it into the same misery perfectly fine. But what! As soon as he reached my knee for his support, he apologized overwhelmingly; “Oh sir, excuse me, I am really sorry for touching on you. I thought it was a seat, a metal, or anything part of the whole car and not you. Please, I am sorry”. I asked him why he would apologize for such a help from another man like him and he simply said, ‘yes, people do not like it’. It was not the first instance, I was simply reminded. I kept wondering why a chair, a seat, a metal or any other part of the car would be friendlier to him than a fellow being! We talked about it as we drove home, and simply accepted that we are more like animals and less like humans when we all rich these towns. Do YOU GET IT?
You see, I have been thinking about all my friends, the ones I obtained after stepping into the city, and believe me, I am not yet sure if they are really my friends. My friend, Mateka Loise, as he was leaving for a great opportunity in Mbarara told me this; “there are no friends in Kampala no matter how close they may seem to be, every help is money-oriented”. Maybe he was not entirely true, but look around, examine your top 20 friends, friends you just met here in Kampala at work, in taxi or business conference, how many of them can you trust with your wife, family, money, life? Truly, I have come to realize that the friends that I always feel 100% free with about anything are the boys and girls in the villages and those who could be here but our friendship started way back in villages, at school, at church, market, or they are neighbors or we have lived some kind of same life somewhere together. Yes, many of us will pretend like we have friends, so many of them, but deep inside we have the invisible small fears and doubts that it is still possible they can rob us, kill us, sell us, deny our existence, or hurt our wives and families behind our back, after our death or in times of stress and crisis. Do you still not get it?
Yes, I know the excuses; we cannot be there for each other unless we are paid for we are also under stress, we cannot help anyone along the way for most of them turn out to be dangerous, we are always busy in town and have no time for people and so much more. Personally, I confess that those are not enough excuses. There are times, many times I am free at home and have the money that I need to support my family, but somehow it still looks impossible or unusual to spend such a free day or 2 hours of it for someone’s call just for free. If I am in distress and I need someone to cover my duty at the hospital, I pay first (not always money, but anything in return). You could say time, but tell me, when we enter the taxi or bus and do not exchange a greeting or a smile with the next person on the same seat, are we still having time issues? People in villages complain when we do not greet, here in town, it is almost a sin to do so. Is it because we are busy really? Or it is a culture, we simply know we should not greet while in kampala. We are no longer humans but animals, yes, rude animals.
I told you my sad story of how my great Lenovo (Think pad) laptop was stolen as I fell for the trick of helping the taxi conductor fix the door/window. Yes, we do not help or trust anyone for such excuses. True, but the friendly nigger and the exploiter are all humans, now animals anyway. If you were not a killer in the village, what makes you one in town? If you were not a prostitute in village, what makes you one in town? If you were a good person who looks at other people with dignity, what makes you a thief and dangerous robber in town? Yes, you could say poverty and situations, but I say no, we choose to be so. Actually, our robbers around are the richest. Do you think I am changing my philosophy and way of living here in town? NO, far from it, I am likely not going to or else I become a victim again. I am simply recognizing the fact that we are no longer living like humans in towns, we are zombies. Our love and assistance for each other is the same as that of machines.
When someone greets me in the taxi, then I quickly know he is a thief. When someone touches on me for help, I simply think he or she is a witch. When someone knocks on my door at night, he is exactly a dangerous and armed robber, and you still think we are humans! Yes, we have friends we have known recently, good new people we have met at work, at the parties, in the clubs, at the beaches and in business conference halls, but they are just there like that. Back in our unconscious minds, we know we do not have them. Back in our unrecognizable thinking, we know we cannot trust them with our lives. And indeed there are people I have met and stayed with often, but in times of crisis, they respond later when those long time village friends have already presented themselves. Yes, you may think we are not the same, but you know it is a lie unless the basis of your friendships now is not temporary bridges like parties, business conferences, work places, and oh the clubs. Truly, there are those long time child-hood friends whose integrity and personal attachment will never be replaced, keep them always. The city remains a city and its people are so different, they are half-animals.
What is the point today? In towns, we are zombies, moving machines looking at each other as a threat and counting our successes as finding our meals and grabbing our money and NOT pleasing or making any soul find a better place. Even the organizations or projects that you think care for people, for children, for the disabled, do so for money, for their own self reasons. Yes, few of the people in such places really have the heart into what they do. But can you blame us? Oh no, maybe you should not. We are busy, hustling, and really need money to survive, but we can also ask, don’t village people have troubles too? How come they keep human? Well, what about when situations grant us chances to be humans, do we use the chances or we still misbehave in the name of ‘we are in the city’. Yes, I really can tell something is wrong with us here, but I cannot tell if it is a sin to God too. When GOD asks me why I did so, I will simply say, I was in town. And Him being the great judge will decide my fate, oh no, God does not decide on our fate, He will simply grant me my fate.
The Complete You Project, www.nemvicx.blogspot.com