Remember that long stare, with a mix of admiration and disbelief, at a former classmate/workmate who in retrospect years ago you thought was never good enough, or so you thought you were better?
But a run into him/her today and you are purring over their colourful accomplishments!
Bits of Me
I was never the bright pupil in my primary school years and I bet, if any of my former pupils remember me. If they do, certainly by another name and not Mable Twegumye Zake!
For those that bullied me for wearing my mother’s tailored blue-jinja pinafore, seeing me now must be a lot to conjure even in fiction; What went wrong? They may ask.
‘Nothing, you just missed seeing the real ME!’ I would respond, but curiously aware my current esteem makes one a target of misplaced labels like ‘she is a braggart!’
And for those that derided me for speaking ‘vernacular’ (luganda) unaware that at the time, staying mute involuntarily the whole day until I exited the school was preferable to the smelly ugly bone around my neck, Hold no guilt; that was innocent fun at the expense of my misery.
By the way, the queen’s language and I never cozied up until around Primary Four.
I was ‘miss little nobody’ with a very low self-esteem, rarely noticed by school peers unless it was for ‘their’ example of something to be laughed about!
Like the distress I felt swallowing tabs from my mother’s kind hand (ironically to heal me), school was equally tasteless never mind the proceeds it has accrued.
I develop butterflies looking back at my escapades ‘staying between home and school.
The tree shades lining Buganda Road pitch gave me a mischievous cover in my Bat Valley Primary School uniform.
Despite how I felt, ‘small’ in a gigantic up class setting of an affluent school versus my ‘impoverished’ self, I smelt a silver lining!
Our little village in Kyengera, never among those able to send children to town schools, saw us as ‘success’.
At school where my English was a turn off, I was the benchmark in my humble village. As I outlived pupil stage, such phases still recycle in our professional lives.
The bullies like they were at school still reign at our workplaces. They are all knowing, know what is best for everyone, and their examples should be for ALL.
Bits of You
How many of us wear hats of success at work yet deep within ourselves are cowardly wolves that eat at the esteem of those that come off as inferior?
You may find that those that come off inferior are the ‘superiors’ outside of their nightmares in their work places.
Many opportunities are passed on to fellow peers in the ‘inner circle’ at the expense of those more deserving but deemed ‘below’ the chain or at times more fittingly, not the ‘who’s who.
The unwelcome stares at those whose dress code at the place of work has been declared mundane against those dapper styles- forgive me, I am still practicing the ‘queen’s English’.
Need I mention those whose chatty office jazz never short of disgust picks on those that use taxis on a daily or those that have driven old cars for ages?
There is a juxtaposition in every shock that meets one considered rich or poor who at one point admires or feels a pinch of jealousy towards a person they despised as a drop-in class when they finally see them as A-List.
Imagine the shock and disbelief of a well-paid family-man with a car and an all setup rented 3-bedroom apartment in Ntinda who thought that his junior at his office was doing so bad?
The mystery in many of these realisations are the missed parts about the abilities and capabilities of the people we meet in our lifetime.
While today you and I may meet on a not-so fortunate path, tomorrow, fate could have shifted in favour.
No matter the hats we wear, may we be more of enablers than disablers for then we will mostly be cheerleaders and cheered on too.
Otherwise, the bells will be ringing on your turf…Ulala!