What makes the man

Not a question. What makes a man is different from one society to the next. This should have been strongly brought to the fore in recent weeks after news of the Chinese billionaire who supposedly said people who get to their mid thirties still poor are dumb. Not those exact words but that’s the impression I got.

Maybe that’s the case where he is. It is said China’s history has contributed to the current situation where majority have savings from decades of thrift and the government is trying to encourage them to spend some of that money.

Where I come from, I have seen men toil for years, from as early as 12 years old to fend for a family. The different catastrophes that were visited upon my country – mad men with guns and the willingness to use said guns, plus a healthy helping of disease – forced many of Uganda’s children to grow up too fast.

I wouldn’t describe a guy as dumb if he wakes up at 5 a.m. to fetch water for paying clients before he can dash to school, after which he needs to get back home to prepare ugali for his siblings since his parents have since died and he is the one everyone is looking at for survival.

That guy has all the raw materials to become a billionaire but fate will not let him. In some places it is called karma. There was no way Oedipus could have avoided the tragedy that was written into his future. Many times you can run all you want but you can’t hide from your fate.

Sometimes, it is easy to generalize and paint strangers with a wide brush but we must understand that we do not know half of what the next guy is going through.

I stopped criticizing drunkards, who society blames for the failure of their homes.I need to understand what motivates a man to turn away from ideals he held dearly a few short years ago before I rain down fire and brimstone.

A man who works hard the whole day making strategies for the government then ends up on the bar stool after he knocks off work is an easy target. How can he be swigging all those beers when there’s no food at home?

Many times, what makes a man is his history. No matter how bright someone is, sometimes if you are born in the deepest end of Ibulanku, you will grow up and die there having never come close to your full potential.

Sometimes, a man is made by those who come along and hold his hand and he tries to find the stepping stones in the rushing river.


About Steven

It wasn't me; arrest the voices. It was the voices in my head. Sike! I am Ugandan first. I care for development in my country. I am a curious observer second and I care to know what you think.
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One Response to What makes the man

  1. Nev says:

    The last line. Thinking about that.

This is my view. What do you think?

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