A friend posted this on Facebook: An Obama loss will take the Blackman 40 years back and will create a perception that they’ve not learnt nothing, are still inferior, and its a mistake to entrust them with leadership, in short “THE BLACK MAN DON’T KNOW THE WORLD” reason why you and me must be worried, progression is at stake!
My immediate feeling was, okay, since am black as a bucket of tar, Obama should win again and make us feel good. But within an instant my mind got racing and I asked myself: When did Obama become the savior of the black race?
Why should his election mean anything to a whole people?
Why should black Africa be so concerned that a black man is in the White House? How does it benefit a whole race?
Well, perception might change, but perceptions can’t shield the ugly reality.
The answers to my numerous questions also came from Facebook. The guy who posted the initial status added: ‘He (Obama) is the only one who has risen to be counted among the “elites” others are sports figures who run bankrupt shortly before retirement (if Obama loses) it will dent our (blacks) efforts at progression, we shall prove our inferiority!
Then I asked: ‘isn’t it unfair to heap the aspirations of a race on the shoulders of one man doing his job. Why should Obama represent a race that has been so vain? Why do blacks deserve an Obama?
Why should Obama’s defeat prove our inferiority? Should our failure to overcome disease and poverty be connected one man failing to hold onto office?
Why are we vain? Why are we taken as vain?
Well by any standard, blacks (especially Africans) are bottom of the table in the race of races.
And while I pondered why this is so, I came across the answer, again on Facebook, a post by another friend that in the year 2010 (two years ago) only THREE (3) patents were registered in Uganda. Three copyright registrations in twelve months. Incredible. Talk about the lack of creative minds. I wont bore you with patent registration statistics in other countries.
The other answer also from Facebook was a status post by Kampala Capital City Authority. On their page the city admins posted a picture of their Executive Director Jennifer Musisi inspecting road works in the city. The caption to the picture read: ‘The Executive Director of KCCA Jennifer Musisi inspecting the just completed Ntinda-Kiwatule Rd. KCCA has embarked on major road works in the city.’
This is the picture they posted:
Clearly, looking at the picture from KCCA, the road works are still on going. But despite it being clear in the picture that the road works aren’t complete as KCCA claimed in their post, thirteen people ‘liked’ the picture and many of the eight people who commented were happy, and some congratulated KCCA for a good job done. One guy posted: ‘You guys rock. When will you start on Mukono town council roads?’ obviously he doesn’t know that KCCA doesn’t do Mukono town roads.
Clearly, KCCA was being deliberately misleading by claiming the road is complete. You can’t have a complete shirt without its sleeves made.
But because the place has been without anything you can call a road, the residents are over the moon congratulating KCCA even when there is a chance the flood channel will be left unfinished as has happened on numerous KCCA projects.
But because the residents have endured, mud and dust and potholes for years, they are willing to embrace and cheer on a job half done.
And there, to me, lies the problem of with Ugandans.
Here is KCCA trying to be transparent and here are Kampalans accepting mediocrity.
With this kind of mediocrity we won’t go anywhere. And yet we expect, we think if Obama wins an election in a world so far away we shall improve, we shall progress?
I say no we won’t. We won’t move an inch forward if we don’t demand accountability, if we can’t ask questions, and if we don’t stop accepting less from our leaders.
We’ve seen road works left incomplete in the city and yet am told the contractors are usually paid all their money. Here is KCCA claiming a road is complete when its not and we can’t even question why the City authority is being dishonest? It’s not just the flood channel that isn’t done; the road has no lane markings.
KCCA is being deceptive but where is the alertness of citizens? We can’t tell it to KCCA, even on facebook that the road isn’t complete and demand that work continues till perfection.
So residents of Ntinda-Kiwatule will receive a road with a loosely patched up flood channel, with no lane markings and any other road furniture and with in a few months the two-lane road will be a one-lane as the edges get eroded by the floods synonymous with our torrential rains. Where is the value for money?
Facebook isn’t populated by illiterate peasants from the village; it’s a pass time of the educated, the elite of Kampala, the middle class of Uganda. Now if the cream of Uganda society thinks half good is good enough, then you don’t need to ask why we are deep in the brown stuff.
These are the same Ugandans who seek inspiration from Obama. The Ugandans who are concerned that if Obama isn’t re-elected then black kids around the world, African kids won’t ever know the reason they need that good thing called education, the greatest equalizer of them all. But if the educated Ugandan, the guy on Facebook, needs Obama to see sense, who will inspire the kids produced by this Ugandan? Obama?
And then, do we need Obama to also tell us that if KCCA does a road, we must demand they do it well and finish it? Our history is littered with broken promises, jobs half done, roads not finished and Obama wont come down here to lets us know we are being ripped off.
And we wont progress just because Obama has won re-election, we won’t unless the educated of Uganda stop accepting half goods as good, we wont progress until we start demanding our money’s worth.
KCCA isn’t doing that road out of its goodness; its not charity, KCCA has a mandate to do that road and all roads and to do them perfectly. We pay the taxes, we should hold KCCA accountable and stop cheering on mediocrity.
If the educated of Uganda demanded for accountability from our leaders, we wouldn’t need the example of Obama to have any hope of a better future. We’d have a better country already.
But we must wake up first, not at 4am to watch Obama debate Romney, but to insist that if garbage is not collected, KCCA isn’t doing its job and have no right to take our money as tax and dupe us with a picture on facebook.
For more: www.ugandanandproud.com