The subject of the war in the north will not leave us for a long time. Even if there comes some positive out of the attempt at peace in Juba, the effects are far too ingrained in the minds of the populace up there for it to just be wished away. That is why we must all do what we can, even if we feel it is too little to see the end of this madness.
A friend of mine once revealed a side of herself I had never seen and it only served to show how people from the northern districts have been messed up by this war. When some MPs were arrested and accused of murder, she was more interested in proving that the government was behind it; that they were being framed because they are far too young and too intelligent to be caught out like that. And also because they are opposition politicians from the north which to her meant they were being witch hunted the way her people have been witch hunted for two decades. I kept on asking her what she would do if it turned out that they had actually murdered the LC1 guy.
It turned out later that the two were innocent, well, innocent until they are proven guilty and this strange happening in the Ugandan arena was possible because of their high profile (many friends in the diplomatic corps…). They were released and then government just dropped it. Which means they were probably being framed, as J argued.
Twenty years from now, long after Kony and his guys have been forced to beat their swords into ploughshares; people who come out of that region will always carry the burden with them. It will be in their look, in their speech, in whatever creative work they do. Movies coming out of northern Uganda will be about war and suffering. Just like a movie out of Rwanda wont sell now if its not about the genocide (Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda). Long gone are the days when Okot p’Bitek wrote limericks about beautiful black girls with strange red colours on their mouths. There is too much pain up north for frivolities like that now. Have you watched Amani, the opera? Oh, by the way, if you haven’t watched the stated Rwanda flicks, do Sometimes in April. It is far better than the other one. And not only because it has Ugandan actors kicking ass.
I watched this doccy on TV from the Prime Minister’s office about the kids. I know the subject of the children has been beaten out of shape and the effect might be negative for them after all because probably, those who would help might become jaded. But I could not help feeling that impotent rage that these little people who have no idea what the grown ups are fighting for, who have no clue as to why their mummy was cut down the way she was, are in the middle of all this.
I don’t know how many old shirts and blankets have made their way to the north in the last fifteen years. I don’t know how much food has been given out to the families because they cannot till the land. I only feel ashamed that I am one of the many Ugandans who have only been content with writing articles about their plight. I have been faithful with my prayers for the situation. But I have not been keen on discussing the possibility of traveling there and being with them. There are little people there who can tell the difference between an Uzi, a sowed off Sub and a plain old Kalashnikov. I can’t.
Even when it was made clear to us that the trip to Gulu takes only three hours if you are using good means.
What are we going to do with this situation? How do you talk about the war without feeling like a jerk trying to turn the spotlight on yourself? Soon, our children are going to be the schoolmates of the children of people from there. How do we explain to our children the differences they will eventually notice in their school buds?
On a lighter note though…
Think I’m getting hooked on series and that is def not a good thing. The last time this happened to me, I was so hooked on Riviera and when it was suddenly stopped, it felt like someone took forceps and stuck them in my eye. Back then, I would wait for the thing at a teacher’s place and go back to the dorm past midnight. Now I’m getting sucked in again and I just can’t help myself.
Its Prison Break. That Wentworth Miller guy is trying so hard to be like some character out of a Stephen King story. He is all quiet and intelligent and a weakling on the surface. And then as the story progresses, its like pealing back layer after layer of interesting stuff after some other interesting stuff.
Its Shawshank Redemption all over again but without the voice over of Morgan Freeman telling us stuff. Tim Robbins must be proud of himself watching this attempt to copy him. WYSIWYG. But I hated the ending and that is probably why I won’t be sucked in when season two is released. And I know it will be out soon.
After this, Mr Miller is going to be stuck in roles that call for the quiet intellectual. Don’t know if that’s a good thing. Like Denzel being limited to doing goody roles because he is a positive man. Like Will Smith swearing he’ll never do another flick in the line of Six Degrees of Separation because he doesn’t want to be called a (politically correct statement) person who swings to the other side of the sea.