Sabiiti Herbert

When I was tender and growing up, I had a rare chance catching the sound of a trumpet every Tuesday or Thursday…pardon my precision but the trumpet was a call to men and women (citizenry) to gather for bulungi bw’ansi. This was at the time a compulsory community activity as the traditional set up of life was collective. I just caught myself this week thinking it’s worth reviving, do you?

Events that led to the slow fade of this initiative are debatable. From the evolution of culture to erosion of tradition, we may find several pointers. Either way, I believe it’s left a huge void behind & impact on our communities. Today, village path-ways are almost impassable, in sub-urban/urban set up, someone may amass a cool 24 months (1 year) without seeing/knowing their immediate neighbor. Teacher Mpameire would ask “what went what…”

In 2002 during my S.6 vacation, we formed a group of youth & together we met often times to run a few items/activities; from coaching, students’ discussion groups for, fetching firewood or water to tilling land especially for the elderly, music dance and drama as well as sports activities.

We seemingly created some little impact in our society. As you may have reasoned by now, none of these required us to have budgets, well done project proposals for donor funding.

Last year, I gladly participated in a community service around Katanga slum in the heart of the Ugandan Capital – Kampala. Together with youth organised by Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY). Unfortunately, able bodied men and women in the area were just looking on as girls and boys were opening up the filthy drainage colums in front of the houses of the former group.

My honest wish, prayer is that this insight may reach concerned leaders in different positions to rejuvenate bulungi bw’ansi.

Could be a day during the week, preferably a working day like Wednesday where everyone; young and old, men and women, girls and boys can meet in their communities to do bulungi bw’ansi. I believe the work done in one accord is worth more than going to our places of work. If your thoughts divulge on the matter, you may think of another day, Saturday – all these are just thoughts.

Imagine the impact of having each activity on a weekly for a month; Working on community roads and drainage, Helping out the elderly and homeless, planting roadside trees and fruit trees in communities, Community health camps, Community capacity building projects/training, Reaching out to those in prisons, hospitals and babies homes.

Does this sound fictitious to You? If once a week is too much to ask for, how about starting with once a month.

Together we can make our world a better place to live in.
Here wondering, what if all youth leagues from different political organs decided to plant roadside trees wherever whenever they are placed, by birth or by posting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *