Sabiiti Herbert

In the recent past, I have been on the receiving end of inquiries, seeking counsel & guidance on the next step after one has lost their job owing to the lockdown and Covid-19 situation whose impact has cut across the global divide. Losing a job at a time like this is not just stressful, it can lead one into depression and it’s associated consequences if not handled well.

Dear Mzee, your bazzukulu -born after 1986 are now adults with tender families to look after. They have never faced war save for those in northern Uganda and part of Kasese. It could also be that they know little about survival during war times. I appreciate the economic policy gurus who continue to share post Covid-19 economic recovery plans to assure the bazzukulu that the sun will surely rise again.

Let’s track back to the day’s insight; Determination is a virtue that compels you to continue trying to do or achieve something difficult, pushing against the odds.

Last year I was invited to UBC Television and UBC Radio to participate in a discussion on how youth can flourish amidst hard times.

As it is the practice towards the close, I shared my contacts and received numerous calls from youths seeking for guidance. Some thought I was the messiah they were waiting for, they wanted connections to their next jobs. Ofcourse I had no jobs to offer but I did share some guidance on how to dare and start something. As you may know, many have the ideas but taking the step to start is always hard.

Now, among the phone calls was one young man from kamwenge who had dropped out of school, senior five to be particular due to lack of school fees. He called me every day and his request was always the same “any job will do” he said. He told me he can be a night watchman, Shaba boy, gardener, all sorts of odd jobs you can think of.

Like most people do with promises, I told him I would contact him when I get something for him. He checked in regularly to find out if indeed I got anything going for him until I blocked the telephone number he was using to call me hoping that he would understand and stop calling. Well, your guess is right, even that could not hold him back as he continued to call me using other telephone numbers.

The young man’s quest put me in a tight corner until I could bear his pressure no more, I yielded and told him to come to Kampala. To say the least, this young man is determined to the borne. Fast forward, he worked at my home until I got for him a place where to work – a supermarket around town and am told he is an exceptional employee. When we locked horns with the lockdown, the folks he found there were halted yet he was retained.

I would like to interest you in this gentleman’s quest to see his dream out, he gives me 80% of his salary as saving for school fees. He badly wants to continue his studies and not even the Covid-19 bred uncertainty that surrounds the world will make his vision faint, clearly he’s looking beyond the moment.

Our day’s talk is “Determination”

There is another young man known to me, he trades his know how at a certain petrol station in town as a pump attendant. I love to take fuel from that station because of that man, from his customer care to the diligence he exhibits. Unfortunately the impact of the lockdown came calling, so him and his colleagues were sent home retaining only supervisors to run the station. He walked up to the boss and requested to be allowed to keep volunteering without any pay which he has been doing for the last one month. Even if I don’t define what sheer determination is, I believe you almost feel how badly this gentleman wants to keep his job.

To anyone who’ll read this piece, you’ll surely believe with me that this and more is sheer determination – a virtue that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something difficult against whatever overwhelming odds.