In the loosest form, freedom means ‘to be free’.
If I am being honest, I still think participating in this all week blogging activity is not a good idea for me. The biggest reason is because writing everyday for a week with a group of people is a burden (Sigh at the pressure), but here I am which goes to say that the title for this post is perfect.
I NEVER have
decent good titles let alone perfect ones.
That is pretty much this life; spending a lot of time doing things we don’t want/ would rather not in a bid to forge a life that will eventually allow us to write blog posts everyday for a week while sipping our choice of poison at a beach or something like that.
Having recently celebrated her 53rd Independence day, Uganda must be feeling pretty free if there is such a thing.
Back in 1962 when Uganda stood up to her oppressors and took back her country, I am not sure whether the Uganda today is what those people envisioned for Ugandans to refer to as normal.
Off the top of my mind of what is normal in Uganda today;
1. The roads: The
pot manholes on roads in Uganda get worse by the day, it’s actually impressive. Someone once speculated that the roads get worse by the day that it’s almost as though people are paid to put holes and all sorts of damage on them.
2. Medical care: Conversations with people over time have left me in shock whenever the medical insurance discussion comes up. Many employers gave up on providing employees with medical insurance because ‘they do not fall sick’ so they resorted to a reimbursement system where one presents the receipts used for medical care and their money is reimbursed. I only had one question to this system, ‘What happens if you fall sick and you do not have the money to foot the bill at that time?’
That however is only one aspect of the medical care since the good doctors either leave the country for ‘outside countries’ or are too expensive for ‘omuntu waabulijjo’ to afford their services. Let’s not get into the state of the medical facilities, it’s been a long day.
3. Education system: The ‘best’ education facility at university level has a minimum of three strikes per semester and some even last for days. Teachers in schools all over the country at both primary and secondary level strike at least twice a year because of little/ no/ delayed pay.
4. Family: 1 in 5 people are from a broken family, of the remaining 4, 2 have experienced some form of domestic violence in their homes. Of the remaining 2, 1 is from the ‘perfect’ family where the parents are ‘always’ working very hard to buy the latest anything for their children so they basically grow up in boarding school or with house helps.
5. Employment (Or its non existence): Some might say this ties back to the education system but that’s a different discussion. Employers want the ‘perfect’ employees who studied the right courses (the more the better), who have worked for long enough (P.S: It’s never enough). Heck it’s a miracle anyone under 25 has a job (which then begs the question of how they are expected to have the experience that companies gladly advertise) although with the income the lucky few get, it then makes sense. Some will say people are entitled, that’s another discussion for ANOTHER day.
Poverty Low income: I didn’t want to go with poverty because people might picture the type of thing you see in a UNICEF commercial. To sum it up, the people have been trying to make a living for a while…
7. Politics: To sum it up, there is acknowledgement of opposition parties but all hell breaks loose when there is more backing from the people than expected. I am actually scared for the next few months/ year.
8. Religion: Division everywhere, everyone wants their God to be THE one.
9. Corruption/ bribery
This and more is what people are OKAY with; this is NOT to cast judgement upon anyone. Some have made a choice to keep quiet for various reasons and others have done what they could but unfortunately it was not good enough; others have not yet decided and others have decided not to decide.
This is my reality; this is what freedom looks like in my country.