Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Face To Face With Economic Discrimination

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

Today morning, I boarded a taxi on my way from home to town. Along the way, the driver stopped to pick up extra passengers who were waiting by the roadside. The two––a young looking black Ugandan girl and an elderly white man––had beckoned him to stop. From their conversation, one could easily tell that they were very close friends; something close to intimacy, if not it. But that’s a different matter. They sat at the back of the Japanese-made fourteen sitter, engrossed in a deep conversation as we sped off to the city center.

The man spoke English, although judging from his accent and quality of speech, he is not English. As is common with many whites around town, he carried some books with him including one bearing Kampala’s map. The girl was busy teaching him Luganda, the commonest dialect used in town. With profound hospitality characteristic of Ugandans, she devotedly taught him basic things like greeting, asking for help, food and other small but vital communication skills that any prudent foreigner would endeavour to learn in order to survive in unfamiliar territory. The man didn’t disappoint either for he was such a good student that he quickly grasped whatever he was taught with remarkable ease.

When we reached Buganda Road, the conductor started demanding for payment from us. “Muziweereze,” he said. Literally meaning that, “hand over the money.” As I usually do, I paid him first because I don’t like it when people hesitate to pay upon demand for something they voluntarily contracted well knowing that it comes at a cost. As long as those chaps ask for their fare, I pay promptly. I don’t like those who delay payment or pay grudgingly arguing that taxi touts are overly eager to receive money. Honestly, what does one expect when they choose to consume a commodity if not paying for it?

Anyway, one by one we passed on the money to him. But the two late entrants seemed unbothered by the conductor’s request. Instead, they seemed content with their Luganda lessons and appeared indifferent to their obligation to pay. I later understood that it was actually supposed to be the man to meet the expenses but as he didn’t understand the service provider’s language, he was totally oblivious of his duty.

After continued demand for payment, the girl told her friend that it was time to pay and the guy pulled out a note which was over and above the total cost of the journey so that they were entitled to a balance refund. But when he received it, the conductor chose not to refund the balance not until the girl asked for it. She asked him whether the total fare had increased due to a change in the passenger’s skin colour.

To which he answered saying that he thought she wouldn’t ask for balance since she was busy enjoying ‘free things.’ Now, I think this was highly discourteous and totally out of order for him to assume. He was obliged to hand over the refund without being reminded.

I realize that I came face to face with economic discrimination and witnessed it being meted out to an innocent member of the society on basis of his skin colour. This is not only unfair but also unfortunate. I believe in equal treatment of all and sundry except as may be officially provided to the contrary as a matter of law and/or national policy. Thank God, this discrimination is not official in Uganda.