The Trump Therapy: Inside the confusion, ingratitude and the danger of Western Liberals

yoweri-museveni

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Photo: Forbes.com

BY YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI

President of the Republic of Uganda

 

I have been either closely following or actively involved in World and African political events for the last 56 years.  In those 56 years, I have noticed many happenings, behaviours, etc.

One of the groups that I have observed with interest are the Western “Liberals”,“Leftists”, etc.  In particular, I have noticed the confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger of these groups.

Liberals are supposed to be people who are not conservative and hardliners in economic, political and social issues.  Leftists are supposed to be progressive as far as the same issues are concerned. In order to keep this piece brief, I will not go into the history and details of Western Liberalism and Leftism.  That should be for another day.

Suffice it to say that the freedom fighters from Africa, who have been fighting colonialism, neo-colonialism, slave trade and marginalization for the last 500 years, would have counted the Westerns Liberals and Leftists among our automatic allies because these should be people that should be fighting for freedom and justice for all peoples, including the formerly Colonized Peoples.

 

Instead, we notice confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger from these liberals and leftists.  Let us start with the confusion.

During the US campaign, I noticed President Trump using the words: “convergence rather than divergence”, while handling international affairs.  That is exactly what the Western Liberals and Leftists should have been looking for.  Instead, we would spend endless hours arguing with the Western Liberals on matters on which we cannot have convergence bearing in mind that our societies were still pre-capitalist and traditional while theirs have been industrial for centuries now.

These are issues to do with family, forms of democracy, homo-sexuals, central planning versus economic liberalisation, etc. One had to control irritation to politely get through these meetings.

Yet matters of convergence were there and uncontested: fighting extremism and terrorism (narrow-mindedness and indiscriminate use of violence); modern education in natural sciences and social sciences; the emancipation of women; trade; democracy; etc.

This is what, in brief, I regard as the confusion of the Western Liberals and Leftists.  I do not want to say much on this because I want to get to the next two points and space is limited.

Nevertheless, by the Western Liberals trying to impose all their views and values on everybody in the World, they generate not convergence but divergence and even conflict. Owing to the confusion of these actors, it leads them to two other mistakes: ingratitude and, therefore, a danger to peace in the World.

As colonized Peoples, the Africans were greatly assisted by two earth-shaking events in the last century: the October Communist Revolution of 1917 in the Soviet Union (Russia) and the Victory of the Communists in China in 1949.

 

You should remember that by 1900, the whole of Africa had been colonized except for Ethiopia which Musolini would soon add on the list (in 1935).  Colonized by whom?  By the Western Countries (Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Spain).  

 

The Communists, on the other hand, in both Russia and China, were totally opposed to Western Imperialism and were for de-colonization.  They opposed Imperialism by word and action (support for the Liberation Movements).

The greed and flawed logic of the Western Imperialists soon led to two World Wars (the 1st and the second ─ 1914–18 and 1939 – 45).  How? In 1453, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople (Istanbul) and, therefore, blocked the overland trade route opened by Marco-Polo in the years 1272 – 1275.  The trade was mainly in silk and spices – very much in demand in Europe at that time. Now, the Ottoman Turks cut off this route.

The Europeans had, therefore, to look for sea routes either around the massive African Continent or through the unknown Western Oceans ─ the Atlantic and the Pacific.  Frantic efforts by Western rulers to go by sea around Africa and over the Western Oceans, were soon rewarded.

Vasco de Gama

Vasco de Gama. During his voyage to India, Vasco de Gama landed at Malindi, on the coast of what became Kenya. Here, early in 1498, he managed to obtain a pilot to guide his fleet across the sea to his goal – the trading port of Calicut. Original artwork

In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba, discovering for the Europeans a new continent occupied by the American Indians.  This new continent was North and South America.  In 1498, Vasco Da Gama went around the Cape of Good Hope and spent the Christmas day at Natal.

These two events should have been very beneficial to humanity if it was not for two weaknesses: the greed of the Europeans and the bankruptcy of the African Chiefs as well as the under-development of the indigenous Peoples of the Americans.

The bankrupt African Chiefs would not organize us to resist slave trade and colonialism.  In fact, many of them actually assisted both. Especially for Africa, both slave trade and colonialism would not have been possible, if it was not for the collaboration and bankruptcy of the African Chiefs.

Owing to the social under-development of the Indigenous Americans (the American Indians), they were exterminated by “the Christians” from Europe, using war and disease.

It is an amazing miracle of God when I go to the UN and see the very American – Indian face of Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia. So, some American – Indians survived in sufficient numbers to generate a President from among themselves!!  How great God is even in the face of evil!!  I have never had a chance to talk to him.

What language do these Indians speak?   Do they still speak their indigenous languages?

Therefore, in the four centuries between Columbus landing in Cuba and 1900, three most terrible things had happened to the non-European children of God: the indigenous People of the Americas had been exterminated and their land had been taken over by “the Christian” Europeans; millions of Africans had been up-rooted, taken into slavery in the Americas or perished in the process; and the whole of Africa (except for Ethiopia) and much of Asia had been colonized by European Countries (Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, etc.).

The Europeans had polluted the efforts of the explorers that were looking for the sea routes to the East.  Unlike Marco Polo who opened a trade route to the East for the flow of silk and spices, the Europeans now unleashed conquest, slave trade and even extermination on the People of the three continents: Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Nevertheless, the Colonized Peoples, initially betrayed by their bankrupt chiefs, were beginning to organize themselves.  The ANC of South Africa was, indeed, founded in 1912.  I attended their Centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein in 2012.

In the USA, by around 1905, people like Du Bois, later on joined by George Padmore, started agitating for Pan-Africanist ideas.  It is this re-invigorated resistance by the African and other colonized peoples that formed the first pillar of our ability to regain our freedom. Indeed, Mahtma Ghandi was also in South Africa as a young lawyer when this awakening was taking place.

It is at this stage that the 2nd pillar of our freedom took shape: the sparking of the inter-imperialist war of 1914-1918.  What were these imperialists fighting for?

They were fighting over us ─ we the Colonized Peoples ─ the property of the imperialists. The Germanic tribes inhabiting the forests of Northern Europe, had defied the Roman Empire and contributed to its decline and collapse in 450 AD.

By 1870, these tribes were still governed under 39 Kingdoms, Principalities etc.  On account of the growing Junker pressure in one of the Kingdoms, Prussia, a war took place between Prussia and France in 1870.

France was defeated by Bismarck and the German Kingdoms were united.  A United Germany now cried foul on account of being “cheated” by the other European countries in the enterprise of having “Colonial possessions” – i.e. us.

Germany demanded a “fairer” redivision of the World Colonies. That is how Bismark organized the Congress of Berlin in 1884 – 85 to solve this “problem” ─ the problem of being “cheated” as far as we the “possessions” were concerned.  That is how Germany now joined the League of the Imperialists by being awarded: Tanganyika, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Togo, etc.

It seems, however, that Germany was not happy with the redivision. That is how, eventually, the 1st World War broke out in 1914. The results of the 1st World War did not please Germany and Germany, now under Hitler, started the 2ndWorld War.

The good thing was that the Imperialist Countries had been so weakened by their criminal wars, that the anti-colonial movement grew in strength.

The Imperialists tried to re-establish control, but they were defeated in Indonesia, Indo-China, Kenya etc.  This, therefore, was the second pillar that enabled our emancipation.

The third pillar was the emergence of Communists in the Soviet Union in 1917 and in China in 1949.  These groups were anti-capitalist but also anti-colonialist.

To the advantage of the Colonized Peoples, a big anti-imperialist camp had emerged by 1950.  They opposed imperialism morally and also gave material support to the liberation Movements.

Genuine freedom fighters in Africa can, therefore, never forget this history changing solidarity.  When “Christian” countries from the West were enslaving us, these atheist communists supported our freedom and they never interfere in our affairs even today.

These communists, especially the Soviet Union, did not only support our freedom, they also defended, at a great cost to themselves, the freedom of the imperialist countries themselves.

Although the imperialist countries had intervened in the Soviet Union so as to defeat the new communist power, which efforts had failed between 1918 and 1920, by 1938, the pragmatic Stalin was calling on the West to form an Alliance with him to oppose German aggression.

The Western leaders, on account of their narrow interests and myopia, refused. Soon Hitler attacked Poland and overrun it; he had gobbled up Czechoslovakia in March 1939.  He overran the whole of Western Europe except for Britain and Sweden.

Spain, Portugal and Italy were Hitler’s allies.  Fortunately for the West and for us all, Hitler made the mistake of attacking the Soviet Union on the 22nd of June, 1941. It is the Soviet Union that defeated Hitler after alot of sacrifices with over 60 million people dead etc.

Hitler, had to deploy 195 Army divisions against the Soviet Union compared to only 75 divisions in the West against the Western allies ─ the USA, Britain, France’s De-Gaulle, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, South Africa, not forgetting the hundreds of thousands of African soldiers fighting for the Colonial Masters.

The Western countries only opened the second front with the landings in Sicily in July 1943.This was after the defeat of the Germans by the Russians at Moscow (1941 – December), Stalingrad (1942-43) and Kursk (July, 1943).

the-battle-of-stalingrad-was-one-of-the-most-important-battles-of-the-second-world-war

The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most important battles of the Second World War.

It is this Soviet Union, that did not only support the freedom of us, the Colonized Peoples of the World, but saved the whole of humanity by defeating Hitler, that is ever the target of the ungrateful, confused and, therefore, dangerous groups in the West.
These groups were against the Soviet Union after the October Revolution in 1917, throughout the inter-war period (1918 – 1939), during the Cold War and even after the Cold War.  It is unfair, it is wrong and it is dangerous for World Peace.True, the Soviets made their own mistakes.  Why did they occupy Western Europe after the defeat of Hitler?  Would the mighty Red Army not have earned more admiration from the Peoples of the World if they had withdrawn from Eastern Europe in 1946 and left those People’s to shape their own destinies?

They would not have, then, involved themselves in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and there would have been no Berlin Wall.  Why did Brezhnev invade Afghanistan in 1979?  I was part of the massive anti-Soviet demonstration in Dar-es-salaam in 1968 following their invasion of Czechoslovakia.

However, to me, who is not biased, those mistakes neither compare with the mistakes of the West, past and present, nor do they deem the great historic contributions of both the USSR and China to the cause of humanity in general and the African Peoples in particular.

The Soviet Union broke up to the wild acclamation of the groups in the West.  They welcomed the break up but did not bother about the how.  You, therefore, had residual and consequent issues to the break-up.

If the old internal borders of the USSR were now to become the new international borders of Sovereign Countries that were successors to the old Russian Czarist Empire and the USSR, was it not necessary to discuss that phenomenon frankly and fairly?  How about the mixed populations ─ Russian and Non-Russian?  How were they to live thereafter?

No, all that was none of the business of the Western governing circles.  What was crucial was that the “enemy” was down. Moreover, all the positive contributions Russia made to global peace or can make now are of no consequence to these Western circles.

Russia must submit to the dictates of the West.  This is where the danger of these groups comes in.  Russia is a very powerful country even after the break-up of the USSR.  It is (17,021,900 km²) seventeen million square kilometers in land area ─ that is like almost combining the USA and China.

The Communists developed Russian technology and it can develop more.  To think that you can trample on Russia like they have been trampling on other unfortunate Peoples, is to be very reckless and dangerous to World peace.

Yet there are so many issues on which all of us (Africa, the West, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc.) agree: universal education; improved health; industrialization; freedom of Peoples; the emancipation of women; anti-terrorism; etc.  Why not take advantage of these convergences?

We who were colonized and brutalized by the Western Countries forgot and forgave those mistakes.  Why can’t these countries of the West have a just and balanced attitude to the countries of the East that are growing in capability and getting millions of Peoples out of poverty?

This is where Mr. Trump comes in.  He says: “Why do we not examine the possibility of working with Russia against common threats, such as terrorism?”  The liberals then shout that Mr. Trump must be having a secret agenda with Mr. Putin etc.  This is why we could think of looking into the possibility of talking about the Trump Therapy for strategic myopia and recklessness in the West.

WHY LIVERPOOL IS YET TO TURN THE CORNER?

By Herbert Mukuru

liverpool-fc-vs-brisbane-roar-2015

THIS IS ANFIELD: The feel of Liverpool F.C’s home.

Ever had that great feeling of watching your favourite team come to play and you get  sure that  game is in the bag? Hmm, I know exactly how it feels. Am a strong Liverpool FC fan and to most of my friends, they refer to me as too young to be supporting a team that has existed even before my parents were born and besides it does not have anything to show for in the last 10 years apart from that famous Istanbul Night.

Well, let’s agree to disagree. This article is my opinions as a fan who believes his team has lost out on the glory that it had.

THE BEGINNING:

Liverpool-F-C-image-liverpool-fc-36318901-500-348

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on January 19, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool as a team has never been short of strikers. That’s a fact that has demonstrated its self over the so many eras I have witnessed. Roger Hunt, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Micheal Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and now, none.

There are so many strikers who are meant to be on this list plus some who hold much zeal to have been Liverpool material but were too mediocre. The likes of El Hajji Diouf, Andy Caroll, Fabio Borini, (feel in whoever you want) All those names represent one thing, Gamblers.

It baffles me that a team of Liverpool’s glory has failed to replace Suarez for now close to 2years. All we did was to get that 75million pounds and spend it on totally mediocre players. In this common era and Liverpool has no 15 goal and plus striker?

OWNERSHIP:

They say great minds build great teams. For a club I have supported since 1999, it has managed to change ownership from the following to the following.

It is the impact of which era that might stand out i.e. trophies, managers, signings etc. When you look at teams like Chelsea, Spurs, Real Madrid, Manchester United plus others, they have managed to have somewhat permanent ownership which has eventually given the team a much needed boost in the transfer market.

For Liverpool, the George Gillett and Tom Hicks era seemed to have brought some silverware to the front and the current FSG owners have a long way to surely return that success of their predecessors. Ian Ayre seems to be the person who is running the work for them and he has managed to be the string puller of many signings to Liverpool.

MANAGEMENT:

Jurgen-Klopp-is-unveiled-as-Liverpool-FCs-new-manager-at-Anfield

Jurgen Klopp, the new LFC boss.

Do managers make the team? Yes they do. Do players rally behind one another to have a manager sacked? Yes they do, ask Jose Mourinho. Liverpool has changed management in the modern era most times than its rivals Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton.

Chelsea is the other team that has had so many managerial changes. My arguments with management is in the choices made by the owners of a specific era the manager came in. Billy Shankly (Good), Bob Paisley (very Good) King Kenny Daglish part 1 (Good).

Now over to the one’s I saw coach. Gerrard Houlleir (Good), Rafael Benitez (Very good), Roy Hodgson (poor and clueless), King Kenny Daglish part 2 (Average), Brendan Rodgers (Mediocre and lacked experience to win the first English Premier League (EPL) for the club), Jürgen Klopp (To be judged soon).

With the list of all the managers above, it is safe for you to also throw your opinion on the men in the hot seat. Why Liverpool has not yet won a Barclays premier league trophy to this day, I don’t know why?

SIGNINGS:

A whole host of them have been made by the managers above. We as fans sometimes rush to draw conclusions on certain signings but there are those I would like to throw some light on, who again in my opinion are/were not Liverpool material. By Liverpool material I mean, certain pressures are meant to build up if you’re playing for a big club like this one. Andy Caroll buying him for 35million pounds, Rickie Lambert,  Adam Lallana has failed to hit the heights of southampton, Dejan Lovren to me has never lived up to the expectations of playing for Liverpool, Sakho (hmm) he looks solid but so prone to mistakes.

There are many more players I can single out basing on all the times they have played a game for Liverpool, the list is quite endless.

THE 2013/2014 SEASON

lids

What a spectacular season it was. Brief recap of the 12-13 season ended when we were no.7 and Suarez was found guilty of his desire to outmuscle players.

See the thing about this great talent is the hope, anger, desire and rage he got. Suarez to me lives, eats, breathes football and with the great teammates he was surrounded with,you could see cause for his actions. So the next season kicked off with Daniel Sturridge as the lone striker.

Simon Mignolet, fresh debut and he saved a Jonathan Walters penalty in the dying minutes of that season opener. Liverpool set the ball rolling and we were in for drama in the upcoming games. The following 2 games were won by the same scoreline. Midway through the season Liverpool were tittle chasers and top by Christmas.

You all know the statics of the teams that have been top of the log by December 25, have gone on to win it. Manager Brendan Rodgers didn’t allow that tittle talk to dwell into the minds of his players because we had big fixtures in Chelsea and Manchester City to play just before the year sunk.

By the time these fixtures were played, Liverpool had lost it’s lead on top of the table and they were up against history.

Could Liverpool be the first team top of the table by Christmas and fail to win the tittle? January was a bit of a mixed month for Liverpool because they (players) really needed to discover themselves.

From February, Liverpool went on a winning streak and heavily defeated teams like Arsenal, Spurs, Norwich, Stoke et al.

You see, the beauty about this Liverpool team was that it was not afraid to bang in the goals with it’s formidable partnership SAS. This combination got the best out of all Liverpool squad players because chances were created, assists made and Sterling, Henderson, Glen Johnson, Sakho, Jon Flanagan all played to their best ability.

It was a routine for the fans to wait for the team bus from Anfield road and sing the famous Liverpool songs. Surely the players believed it was their time and they played so much in their minds because some matches were so nervy to watch. We bang in 5 goals and the opposition bangs in 3. That pressure was so intense in that any mistake could sink Liverpool’s tittle hopes.

Over to the game that in my opinion rounded off Liverpool’s season. Liverpool vs Chelsea was billed up for the greatness in the game. SAS VS Oscar, Hazard, Teacher vs Student. This game had it all, it was a given for Liverpool by the ‘legendary’ Jose Mourinho in his previous Champions League game against Atletico Madrid because he lost a number of his first team players to injury.

In fact, his Chelsea side was eliminated from this stage in the champions league. In his press conference, he asserted that he would bring out a weak team to line up against a team which had a full week’s rest. Team sheets were out and indeed for the first time in my life, I believed Jose and did not throw any bunter towards him.

Kick off:

Liverpool in all it’s previous 11 winning streak started strong by having the first say. Chelsea were not to be pushed back. They sat deep and defended and in the modern saying of that time, they packed the ‘BUS’.

Rodgers’ tactics and in this experience demanded for the team to push on and on in a game that needed a draw for you to have one hand on the prestigious trophy that has eluded Liverpool to date.

A misplaced Sakho pass to the back tracking Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard ensured that Chelsea were 1 up going into half time. Guess you know what that result meant to the table considering the fact that Man city had little weaker opponents to contend.

Chelsea managed another goal when all Liverpool players were caught on the counter and boom, we were staring at the first losers of being top by Christmas and not winning it. Everybody was left shocked and here in Uganda, I cried. I could not believe we just lost it.

The 3-3 Crystal Palace game was not where we lost it, it just played a minor role in us giving up completely because it showed the desire Suarez had to win it with us. He had promised Liverpool that if he got them into the Champions League again, he would be on his way out. That season in a nutshell proved to the world that Liverpool was again a big power house to deal with.

THE AFTERMATH:

Benteke-Henderson-Can-Mignolet-FirminoBarcelona were reported to be interested in signing Luis Suarez. Now remember the seasons before Liverpool were engaged in the Suarez vs. Arsenal transfer battle which was won.

Here we had Barcelona, desiring to add more fire power to its squad and which opportunity Suarez to date some analysts believe was engineered with his world cup bite on Chellini.

Could Liverpool allow their name to be rolled over in a matter of months?Didn’t think so. July 11, 2014, Suarez was a Barcelona player going for 75 million pounds.

Hot deal! Hot money! What would Liverpool do? Reinforce.  Who comes in and who goes out? Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Mario Ballotelli.

It is important to note that the players that came in were all first starters in their previous teams and surely they were expected to step onto the gas immediately. What they offered was what I could call small team performances because their teams had less exceptions.

Rodgers decided to hang onto these players for most of his matches and I do not even know where most of them are. Surprisingly, we bought most of them expensively and sold them just to cut our losses.

Gerrard the leader of the team was reduced to a bench warmer in a move that angered most fans and to date, I blame Rodgers for forcing him out of Liverpool. There is a reason as to why Andrea Pirlo at that age still played for Juventus (experience).

When he announced that he will be quitting, Liverpool after 27 years of service, I was not surprised at all. How did Rodgers leave Gerrard on the bench for the Real Madrid, Manchester United games? Ridiculous.

For a manager to say he is managing one’s game time and you fail to play one individual in a big game baffles me. When you look at the games that Gerrard did not play, you could see that Rodgers was nothing but a mediocre manager. Liverpool was beyond him now.

Raheem Sterling’s move to a great rival in Man city also left a sour taste in my mouth. All his words were aimed at him getting silverware which Liverpool would not provide under Rodgers even if he was still manager to date. Sterling did not see the reason to play in a team without any one apart from Martin Skrtel and Daniel Sturridge who by the way was already injured.

THE FUTURE:

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Today’s football is based on results and for any manager who doesn’t deliver has been shown the exit. We now leaving in the sack race era and many impatient owners become quite impatient if you cannot deliver.

Rodgers had turned us into quite a small team and the teams we used to put to the sword were giving us a hard time. West Ham, Crystal Palace and many others have continued making Liverpool their boggy team.

The young lads from the academy show great glimpses of a unified Liverpool and if only many can come through and help on push the great Liverpool forward.

Jürgen Klopp has come in and managed few wins from this poor side and I will surely give an opinion about him the coming season after recently assuring the fans plus the press that he holds the rights to the signings he will make.

Rodgers appeared recently on Sky Sports and he said that Liverpool was much involved in the signings and he did not have a final say. Less like he was forced onto some players and overall the players in my opinion were not Liverpool class.

ISSUES TO SOLVE:

  1. Can Liverpool finally land that one wonderful 30 plus striker? Like I said before, we have always had that knack for such a striker. Is the current Forward Benteke one? Not at all.
  2. Will the truth about Daniel Sturridge be revealed. I’m thinking he can be like Robin Van Persie and eventually rise to stardom? What makes me doubt that happening is the fact that his injuries are inherited. Both Father and Uncle suffered similar injuries and had to quit the game early. What does Liverpool do for such a player with such great striking ability?
  3. Will Jürgen Klopp return the lost pride to Anfield? This famous stadium used to be a fortress and when the fans sang You Will Never Walk Alone, it could suddenly send shivers down my spine. Am anticipating for an improved Liverpool at home.
  4. Does Liverpool have a real leader? I ask so because from the times of Hypia, Carragher, Gerrard, you could feel the impact of certain players plus their captain. No disrespect to Jordan Henderson but I feel when Liverpool is playing, it lacks a leader on pitch. Someone with great command. Martin Sktel maybe would have done it for me.

Klopp is the right man for Liverpool but I suggest he gets more time. I wish he could just bring some sort of stability to the team and we eventually move on.

With all the above, I cannot wait for Liverpool to turn the corner with silverware because it is what has been on many fans lips.

The writer is a Liverpool fan at large.

Email him: mukuruh8@gmail.com

Where are the love letters?

BY NICHOLAS OPOLOT

Love-Letters

Not so long ago, in a land of a thousand dreams, probably the 1950s, somewhere in an old bungalow lived a sweet youthful woman that I now call grand- mother (Clementina).

 

All alone and in a relaxed composure, she sat and wrote love letters to her husband far away in the cold confines of Mbale Prison, working day and night as a warden. These moments of solitude evoke strong memories of the love letters I have written all in the name of cupid.

As if to ascertain that she was alone, she would hide her palms beneath the sheets of paper just to exaggerate that the letters were only for her eyes. People write letters so as to feel good about those moments they had or never had. Others would go as far as to spray cologne so as to add that aromatic aura synonymous with romanticism.

 

Sadly, letter writing seems to fade fast as the time that swishes by the day. It’s much harder to believe this tragic death as an utmost evolution of survival.

Yes, email is a won- derful invention. It links people across the world, destroying in an instant hurdle of geography that confronts snail mail. Yet it’s by nature ephemer- al and lacks the spark of character that only handwriting can provide. When you get an email, you can never be sure that you are the only recipient or even that it’s original”.

 

In a world run by these machines we call technology, deep inside, slowly, dies the art of letter writing in place of buzzing social media. When the aspect of social media comes into play, the first thing that comes to mind is the instant messaging that seems to take the bragging rights.

The anticipation never dies in the letters. With all the hushy and pushy feeling of email, it never gets better with the impatience that seems to breed so fast in our dotcom era.

Sometimes people go as far as breaking cups because a reply hasn’t yet arrived, say on their Whatsapp platform.

Let’s re-ignite this form of expression. There’s so much more to tell in a love letter than meets eye.

Nicholas is year one Law student at Uganda Christian University, Mukono

Why don’t you stick to your name?

 BY BRIAN ASIIMWE OMODING

funny-name-change-idea

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, seemingly. Shakespeare is my witness. At any rate, lots of us students are at it (changing a name that is). I saw a first-year student last week (who thought I was one by the way), arguing with a friend that an elevator is better called a “lift”.

I was surprised when she tried to pry open the elevator door by literally pushing it.

Being a gentleman, I came, tapped the button, stood aside and logged onto Facebook, amidst the looks on faces I had no luxury to look at.

Students do it, sometimes with bewilderingspeed. Changing “Elizabeth” to “Liz” is the new growth industry.

Politicians do it. Adults do it too, particularly when they marry or un-marry. I personally dropped the name “Bura” when I joined Uganda Christian University, a sign of my accelerating pomposity, my friends said then.

Changing one’s name seems a self-made licence to be different. In fact, many people these days do not change their names when they marry, a sign perhaps that they do not intend to be different.

I remember attending a trendy workshop in my first year where you were invited to invent a new name before attending, with the promise that no one, not even the seminar leader, would know your real one.

There were two Black Mambas (I had wanted to use that too), I recall, one Nusurah and another called Praise.

After much agony I went through myself, I was ashamed at first of my lack of imagination, then proud of my integrity.

What it meant, however, the seminar leader told me, was that I was there under false pretences.

I didn’t want to find a new “me”.

A new name, however, is only the start of a determination to be different, to have a new beginning, a rebirth even. But who then shall we be? The same as before, I bet.

I used to tell some friends not to look over their shoulders, meaning that they did not need to ape their colleagues, that they should set their own standards and make their own definitions of success.

I have weird names but in the next world, they will not ask me why I was not Moses but why I was not me. And as for me, I don’t want to die knowing that I had only pretended to live.

Don’t change names to fit in a clique of your new friends. You have to trust your eye or your ear. And you have, above all, to believe that there is a tune for you, or as Paul put it to the cosmopolitan and fun-loving Corinthians, the yuppies of yester-years, you must believe that the spirit is in each one and every one of us, with a different message for each but for the good of all.

If you don’t believe that, you will just be a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal, or today a laptop and a mobile phone of someone else.

Brian is lawyer in making and writer at large.