In the morning I went to buy tooth paste from the shops and the shop keepers eyes were glued to the screen. Other shoppers too were there and we all giggling at the proceedings. One said she could die a happy woman after all she had seen the pope with her own eyes albeit only on TV while another told her son see who you should aspire to become when you grow up to which the boy nodded in the affirmative. The excitement was in there voices as they praised everything they saw from his wave and the plane, the coverage on TV and even my phone was excited it kept vibrating with updates from social media as doses of kasavu ka nyama were dropped one by one by the super excited tweeps. I tried to join but quickly got bored however my eye was caught by the poster of the president next to the TV below was the phrase steady progress.
Behind me some women were greeting themselves in the traditional long salutations common with our language but one word caught me problems. This got me thinking the Pope shouldn’t be a problem instead the problem should be I don’t know because Here I am trying to figure out the lots of information especially what the president means by steady progress.
Finally the shop keeper gave me her attention and asked why are you not excited about the pope since my face didnt look the least interested in proceedings? See his on our TV and we shall be blessed even our businesses will be to which a city bone rodent whizzed by. I looked at her and shrugged why should I give a fuck about the pope when I am struggling to understand what the president means by steady progress.
After thirty years the rainy season still sends shivers down grand mas back because when it rains it pours. The roads are washed and so are the crops sending waves of hunger down our way. Disease creeps through the ventilators and death pays us homeage and the government responds by reminding us how far we have come.
After thirty years the president is promising my sister sanitary pads despite joining school in 1997 the president promising her a set so she doesn’t drop out, as well as a computer that she will use during lessons under the big mango tree which serves as her classroom on sunny days otherwise she herds together with her class mates in a big windowless hall and mean while my uncle a will be given the humble hoe to modernise his agricultural activities. This will lead to increased output that will propel his income from subsistence to take off to unprecedented levels it will cause inflation.
The pope himself is sold as the poor mans pope but still wears thousand dollar garb to mass. He never misses a meal yet out in Karamoja some people are eating herbs for lunch while the escapees are begging on Kampala streets. Is he really a poor mans pope just because he rejected a Benz I don’t know. Will his speech be different from steady progress bleeding off the presidents campaign posters the foreign journalist says only time will tell. Either way his presenting mass at a place where 15 billion Uganda shillings was spent in less than a month to apply a new coat of paint. To cover years of decay and neglect by both the church and the local authorities but when news of the pope appeared all the stops were pulled out. A draw was held, money was fundraised and even the city authorities had funds to to spend all this in the back drop the pope only passed by because the martyrs were murdered in this country some 100 years ago other wise I don’t think he would have passed by.
When all is said and done we shall go back to the problems we have corruption, bribery and naked women shall filling our front pages once more and mud slinging in the name of campaigns. There will be no issues to discuss or problems to cover with new coats of paint instead we shall threaten people with treason and hanging if they threaten to disclose state secrets. Secrets that have stopped this country realising its dream of being a middle income country. My only prayer is that the pope will bless me so I believe his coming was a good thing.