Sunday, July 28, 2013
A Dua to Remember
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[LL Dip (First Class)–LDC; Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; Dip. LP Candidate–LDC]
Our Muslim brothers and sisters held their fourth term Dua on Friday, 26 July, 2013. According to Wikipedia, “Dua” is an Arabic word literally meaning invocation, an act of supplication. That is, to “call out.” Dua is derived from the Holy Quran, sura 40 (Ghafir), ayah 60, which states that, “And your Lord says: ‘Call on me; I will answer your (prayer).’” For this reason, to Muslims, dua is a profound act of worship and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said that “Dua is the very essence of worship.” During dua, Muslims connect with Allah or God (the Most High, Most Merciful) and ask Him for forgiveness and favours. In this particular case, our Muslim colleagues were praying for success in the forthcoming final exams. I believe God heard your prayers. As you may be aware, I am a quasi Muslim, complete with an Arabic name, Hassan, which was given to me by my friend, Amour Hashimah a.k.a. Shemar, way back in our first year, at Makerere University. So, once again, I was among the invited guests to this dua. I thank the organisers for inviting me.
This dua was probably the most exciting of all those I have so far attended. Why? Unfortunately, near the serving table, was a hole in the ground and then a slightly raised ground thereafter. Now, whereas the hole was visible, the raised ground was not. Unfortunately, some people, about three, including two ladies, knocked the ground and fell flat on the grass. Interestingly however, none of them poured even a grain of rice or soup! Dear reader, it’s strange but true. Certainly, God was at work. This incident reminded me of another one during my O level days, at Kigezi High School, involving a certain A Level student, nicknamed Wang Yu, for his love of martial arts. One rainy early morning, Wang Yu was coming from the dining hall (popularly called, Nyaruju), carrying a big metallic cup (popularly known as, omudimu), full of porridge (popularly known as, omwoki). Wang Yu slid on the slippery ground, fell down and rolled about four times, but interestingly, he was able to balance his mudimu so well so that not even the slightest amount of porridge ever poured out of it. Wang Yu made news and from that moment on, he earned himself an additional title of “balancer.” So, for us at LDC, the three falling victims are our balancers. Whereas the musician, Shaggy, talks of the strength of a woman, we talk of the strength of food and our women are so strong that even here, they are unavoidably involved.
However, one thing bothered me during this dua, so much so that I felt that I should briefly write about it – the manner in which some of us behave in the presence of food. We suddenly become rowdy, over excited, uncontrollable and indecent especially (I am sorry to say), the ladies. When we were young, this despicable habit was common among boys, but as we grow older, the girls take it over. For instance, comrades, when you find people lined up, it is expected that you should patiently follow and wait on those who came before you. But in our case, a whole lawyer comes, finds people lined up for food, pretends to talk to some people ahead of the line, then before long he or she stealthily joins in. Usually, others come, do the same and suddenly the line stops shifting, such that those who came before cannot get food fast. This is sheer greed and it should stop! And it should be non-debatable. In this particular incident, there were some Muslim brothers who, in spite of having fasted all day, were calmly lining up with us; then before long, a group of girls, with two or three male counterparts, approached the line, fixed themselves in and jammed it. This prompted one of the organisers to approach the fasting Muslims, advising them to cross over the line and get food, before it gets finished. I felt embarrassed, as if I were the one responsible. I have seen this shameful conduct in many other places and events (so it’s not only LDC; after all), being done by young people and old women, but honestly, it is very disgusting. For us lawyers, it is conduct unbecoming and after this warning, I shall reveal the culprits, if it happens again.
Finally, I need to clarify on something important to my writing passion. I heard a gentleman saying that, “Bakampa is around. You better watch carefully what you do because he will write about you.” This is a widely held view. Now, I don’t write everything I learn of. It is impossible. Since I spend valuable time, energy and money writing, I am quite selective in what I write about. I only allocate my scarce resources to what I consider to be important and deserving matters. Plus, I can keep secrets too.