Once i met a girl...like any normal boy and girl we did what boys and girls do...we got to talking. She told me she wanted to be a teacher. I was amazed, humbled and inspired. She was the first Ugandan i met who, from S6 Vac, had the ambition of being a teacher. Now we all know how this is a profession scorned,or at least it was. But here she was loudly and openly telling us she wanted to be a teacher.
Fast forward several years and i meet another young lady...and like all young men and women do...we got to talking. She told me she wanted to build a school back in her home district. At the time she was studying from Bulaya (Ugandan vernacular term used to refer to countries overseas) , i forget which course, but she was going to channel all her monies and energies towards building a school. Again i was amazed, humbled and inspired. These two women sowed the seeds that bred and season of introspection. they taught me that, yes there is so much wrong with our country but only we can change it, not buy asking the government but buy actually doing something about it ourselves.
Fast forward several more years. I had just left my previous job and had started my photography business. Those first months meant i had a lot of time to myself. I pondered on my plight and that of my country. I wondered how i could make a change. There were so many more before me. Politically minded and social entrepreneurs...they were doing something but what could i do.
One of those many days, with too little in my pocket to pay for my fare home i walked down Kampala road. My head was literally bowed, glued to the pavement. Tired of all the self-pity i decided to lift my head up high...literally. I looked up, a little too high i guess, cause i found myself staring at all the shop signs that had hang above my head all these years but i never noticed. I love graphic design and so the signs intrigued me a little. "How much you miss when you always look down" i wondered.
I observed that many do the exact same thing; we look to our feet as we scurry around this city. I wondered how much we missed because we do not look up.
The next few weeks were spent looking up all over the city and noticing the shapes, the textures, the play of light and so much more.
i started taking pictures with my phone and later my camera....from this my Instagram Blog was born...a collection of images that show the other side of this Lovely city that has been my home all this time. It was my way of seeing my city in a different light.
But something bigger was born in me those few months. I realized that I can change my city if I change the way my peers looked at it. If I could just get them to appreciate this country and city perhaps they would be more willing to fight for it and defend it from pariahs of bad governance and selfish greed.
More than that perhaps I would inspire us to do something about our city, to plug the gaps where we see them and stem the tide of disrepair or despair.
I might not have a lot of money, but I have my camera and my eyes…perhaps through them you and I can see what an awesome Gem of a country we have and perhaps live lives that help it thrive and shine.
Oh and one more thing, I have chosen to randomly follow and promote all blogs and Facebook pages that build an authentic Ugandan picture in the hopes that someday we can all meet up, look back and say we did it.
I want to be like those two ladies a mentioned, sold out to my countries well being that i am willing to stand up and do something with my resources and what little grit i posses. So I am changing my country one image at a time…hopefully.