By Janet K Museveni
I hear you call each other “guys”, well today I want to tell you that I love you guys!
I have been praying lately that God in His goodness gives me a way to reach you especially in this very difficult time of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
For some time I was puzzled about how in the world I could reach a critical mass of you to dialogue about life as I did with the generation that I believe is now the young parents of the school going children.
So, recently I had my 73rd birthday and on that special day I was overwhelmed with the blessing of love and the numerous messages and good wishes saying, “Happy Birthday Maama!”
It was through that amazing gift on my birthday that God in His goodness spoke to me and said, “There is a way to reach the children of Uganda!” I cried with joy because I realized that God never fails.
I realized that this social media which has become notorious for spreading fake news, hate messages, abuses and lies can actually, through the grace of God, be used for good to teach wholesome knowledge to guide our children how to live in the purposes of God and to lead them to fulfil their destiny according to God’s design.
Therefore, this is my maiden communication to you in what I hope will become our weekly dialogue. Today I will start with the topic- Patriotism
The Dictionary definition of Patriotism is, “The love of one’s country and willingness to defend it”
Well, you guys are young and you may now say, of course I love my country but what can I do to defend it?
Here is my answer, yes you are young and defending your country does not always mean fighting a war. Defending your country now in your case means doing everything you do to lift up your country, to give it pride, to make others envy your country etc.
Let me give you some examples;
1. If you are a student, you would work very hard at school because you want Uganda to be famous for doing excellent work in schools evening during COVID-19.
2. If you are working in an office, you would make sure the office in which you work is kept clean, the ministry you serve is known to excel in service delivery. The whole establishment gets to hear about your exemplary Ministry, so others want to follow that example.
3. If you are a stay home mum, ensure your children are doing well at school, your home is a model in your area because it has a beautiful compound with a trimmed garden and lovely flowers that everyone who passes by wonders whose home that is.
4. If you are an adolescent girl at school, first you ensure you are a good student, you have no time to waste doing nothing. You are clean, you keep your hair short, manageable and natural because you are proud to be African. You will not open up to relationships that can dent your character because you want to be whole, you want Ugandan girls to be known to be whole and you know God has a great purpose for your life. That way, you are fighting for God’s purposes for you as an individual but also for Uganda’s reputation, your homeland.
5. If you are an adolescent boy at school like the girl I just talked about, you ensure you are an astute student, you lead others to refuse to wear torn trousers because Uganda does not respect those who mock our poor people by making a fashion of what our people wear because of poverty. You
refuse long dirty hair because Ugandans are descent Africans who beautify God’s creation and not denigrate the African beauty to make Ugandans (Africans) look ugly, mad or hopeless.
If you work with KCCA
You put up a programme and mobilize all your colleagues to beautify Kampala, to make it the most beautiful city on the African Continent because it can be, with the greenery, flowers and clean buildings. You educate people that a city needs cooperation and peaceful work places and not conflict, not battles in the markets, not hatred. That Kampala may thrive with good, clean offices and clean buildings.
So that tourists do not find ugly pictures of Kampala instead they go away envying Ugandans for living in the Garden of Eden. And God would bless Uganda abundantly because as the saying goes, “cleanliness is next to godliness”
Finally, all these people I have used as examples would fulfil their purpose on earth only if they allowed themselves to fear God and live serving Him.
Because wisdom only comes from the fear of God. It is that wisdom that can teach you to do all these things I have narrated above.
The author is the First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports.