I was recently in Kenya as part of the Ugandan group that toured Mombasa to learn best practices in the management of cities.
I was there as shadow minister for Local Government. What amazed me during the visit was how our very own Eddy Kenzo’s Sitya Loss song commands the airwaves in neighbouring Kenya. I just can’t resist adding my take on the debate about his prestigious BET award; after all I don’t fear losses!
The title of this song loosely translates into, I don’t fear losses, I am a boss. Eddy Kenzo showcases Uganda in its most true sense; the slums and the little children from there who dance like free spirits, never hesitating to roll in the mud and dust. Indeed, they fear no losses. In a very raw and true sense, the song audibly shouts out to the world what Uganda has to offer.
For long, a foreigner looking to find out more about Uganda will have to search the internet and find pictures of the Kampala Serena hotel, Sheraton hotel and a few storied buildings that are far-flung from the reality of the glaring poverty visible even in the capital Kampala.
Before a tourist can take time to know what else there is in the slums around the city, they are whisked away to one of the safari lodges in the game parks to admire the fauna and flora there.
Beyond that, here is Uganda where we no longer fear losses and live only for the day with total disregard of what may become of our actions. Uganda is the land of unpopular commissions of inquiry, where alleged perpetrators of crime or fraud show no regret at all.
At best, they will appear at the inquest to justify their evil actions, going to great lengths to prove that their impunity and corruption were legitimate after all, and that they are being witch-hunted.
Most likely as well, the eminent panel at these inquiries, usually led by judges, will buy into the pleas of the erring party and either declare them innocent or leave it hanging forever as the reports gather dust somewhere. Indeed, we don’t fear losses.
As a country, we are content to dramatize even the most shameful events of the day such as commissioning a road that has cost taxpayers many years of their future.
The president will shamelessly turn out to preside over the buffoonery at these fetes with flowery speeches promising first-world status by the end of another term in politics. And all the people will clap regardless of whether the accompanying smiles genuinely believe it. We fear no losses, indeed.
However, there is another aspect of Uganda that we are yet to take advantage of: poverty and hopelessness as depicted in Eddy Kenzo’s Sitya Loss, ndi boss. For the first time, the song is an acceptable product from Uganda because of how he sets out to honestly define Uganda to the rest of the world.
We can cash in on this by drawing the attention of the rest of the world to our dirty slums, poverty, corruption and hopelessness with which we are gifted by nature and resigned to.
We could make quite a killing if we fronted the Kisenyis, Katwes, Kimombasas, Katangas and many other slums as the ‘face of Uganda’.
We can even make constituencies out of them and appoint a minister to ensure that the slums are properly maintained even for future generations, according to the Slums Conservation Act, 2015 of Uganda.
And, before I forget, Kenzo deserves one of those hero’s medals so that he can make it to the echelons of many who have been awarded by the president.
On my part, I will soon, with the permission of the speaker, move a motion to pay tribute to Eddy Kenzo Musuuza for earning Uganda such international recognition and urge the ministry of Tourism to appoint him one of our tourism ambassadors. By the way, considering what you do at your workplace; do you fear losses?!
The author is Mukono municipality MP.