Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Reminiscing About the Good-Old-Days While Embracing the Present and Future
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; Dip. LP Candidate–LDC]
On Sunday, 23 June, 2013, I visited my former school, Kitante Primary School. I had gone to attend the school’s Music Gala, where pupils exhibited their music, dance and drama skills, before their parents and other well wishers. I went in the capacity of a parent, representing my father and mother, accompanying my little brother, Muhanguzi Trevor, who is in Primary 2, this year. Now, if you were in my shoes and found yourself playing such a role, you would have inevitably felt that old age is truly catching up with you. It occurred to me that very soon I may have to be a father, escorting my daughters and/or sons to school. Immediately, I started feeling this reality, nature seriously beckoning me, to the arena of maturity and responsibility, whatever is meant by that.
The children were marvellous. They danced well, sang angelically and their drama skits, pregnant with morally and highly educative messages. I really liked them. My being there felt real good. All the while that they did their thing, I occasionally retreated on a mental voyage, down memory lane, in reminiscence about my days at Kitante, the best school in the world, as the school’s anthem declares. I recollected the days when it was us on stage dancing, singing and acting for the beloved guests and teachers. I made comparisons between our time and that of today. “Who is better than the other, us or them?” was my question. It was a very difficult question to answer objectively.
My puzzle was solved when either the P. 6 or 7 boys and girls showcased the Ntogoro dance – the dance of the famous Banyoro people, from the ancient Bunyoro kingdom. This was my favourite dance during my days. My happiest moments, on such accessions, were when it was danced on stage. My day was made. Today, the children danced it, they did it well and I was impressed, so was everybody else. We all congratulated them by clapping thunderously. Nevertheless, when they were done, I was convinced that we did it better in our time. Yes, the matter had been decided – in my favour – although clearly, I wasn’t the most suitable person to settle the feud, for I was being a judge in my own cause. But that’s life mwatu. Bibaawo: these things happen! Then my brother’s class came on stage. They were very young and fascinating kids; not so much in what they had to offer, but the sight of little girls and boys, miming and dancing uniformly, to beats of several jointed songs, was hilarious. The innocence associated with tender age worked in their favour. Everyone was excited to see them. They truly looked like little earthly angels. When they were done, I used the remaining time of the occasion to tour my former beloved school. So, off we went, Trevor and I.
We visited the canteens. The little boy wanted almost everything. So, I bought it all for him. I remembered my own days when I could hardly afford canteen goodies! Now I could. Since this was his day, we bought it all, in pairs, his and mine, including what I thought was just junk. But that didn’t matter. As long as he liked it, we went for it, for that’s the true test of growth and development; ensuring that those after us are able to live better lives than we did ourselves. As the Biblical scriptures say, the latter shall be greater than the former. We strolled all round the school, visiting my former classrooms, the playing field and meeting a few teachers who were still there. Kitante had really changed a lot. It is 14 years now since I left the school in 1999, after my P. 7. That place called “the rocks” was more interesting. It aroused the most exciting memories. That’s where my friends and I played such things as duulu everyday. We also played hide-and-seek with the girls from there, in the cover of the bushes, completely detached from the public gaze and glare.
How I longed for those times, the good-old-days! I wished they could come back, even for a second. Then I realised that it wasn’t possible. That’s when I knew that life can indeed mean to be harsh. In time and space, it tears apart once happy people and scatters them all over the world. Having appreciated this inescapable truth, it occurred to me that while memories of the past were sweet, it is undesirable that life should necessarily be static. That both the present and future present incredible opportunities and should be fully embraced. After all, like it has been stated, good things are still ahead and that the beautyful ones are not yet born, anyway.