KAMPALA – Christmas has come. We are in towns and cities. We have plans for our small nuclear families. We are the 1-2-3-4 wannabes. One wife. Two children. Three bedroom house. Four wheel drive. The shopping lists are out. We plan to dress well, go to church and then come back home to feast. The drinks will flow.
We left the villages years back. But in those villages live the people whose eyesights are failing due to cooking for us in poorly ventilated smoke filled kitchens. These kitchens are also bedrooms and sitting rooms. In those villages live the people whose backs are bent because they spent years tilling the land so that we are fed and educated. In those villages live the people whose hands are wrinkled and full of callouses because they worked hard for us. In those villages live the people with all sorts of ailments – back pain, ulcers, diabetes,high blood pressure or even cancer.
Those that have phones keep their phones close hoping to receive a call from “my son in Kampala” or ” my daughter in Kampala”. They hope to hear that sweet sound of a message alert announcing the arrival of some Mobile Money to help them buy meat for Christmas. Others expect to see a car turning into the homestead bringing home the children and the grandchildren to make Christmas lively and to awaken the neighborhood.
Lest we forget, we are because they are. Let us make Christmas worthwhile for our parents and relatives in the far flung corners of our country. And let us not wait for them to beg us. The hands that fed us should never have to beg us!
Norbert Mao is a Ugandan politician and the president, Democratic Party