What do I study to be president ?


of Rapha Girls SS in Lira last week about academics, setting career goals, the value of university education and life as we know it when one girl’s hand shot up to ask a question.

“I want to be the President of Uganda in future,” she said. “What subjects should I study to achieve my dream?” Her question knocked me off balance. I did not know the presidency to be a career but a responsibility born out of leadership.

When I discussed her question with the team I was with later on, Vianney Ahumuza, a lecturer in the Foundation Studies department, told me that another student at Dr Obote College had earlier asked him what he should study to be a politician.

This trend of the younger generation looking at political positions as careers from which to earn rather than serve is worrying. It is symptomatic of a bigger problem – the willingness to do just about anything to get rich.

The current generation of leaders (read MPs, ministers, presidents) have made their tenures about making as much money as they can rather than deliver as much service to the populace.

It is because of this that the National Resistance Movement (NRM), for example, has presided over the most corrupt government since independence and as of the BBC 2017 ranking, the second most corrupt political party in the world.

This has made politics so attractive and traditional career dreams (read lawyers, doctors, engineers, et al) less attractive to the young generation.

Everything in life is now about fame and fortune, not purpose and value. To get 200 likes on Facebook or Instagram, a girl uploads a picture of herself, half-naked. Back in the day that was punishable, now it is fashionable.

I hear that being a ‘socialite’ lately is also a career inspired by the ‘jobless millionaires’ that hop from one flamboyant bar in Kampala to another, drive posh cars and divorce for a living.

We run the risk of raising a generation of incurably corrupt, narcissist individuals, if we do not make it a point to speak to our children about their career dreams, aspirations and ambitions.

A generation that is devoid of values and principles is unlikely to be socially perceptive, service-oriented and communally progressive and it is the duty of everyone to do all in our power to salvage the situation.

In the immortal words of Chameleone  (in the song Basiima Ogenze), history will glorify someone who has done something and equally vilify everyone who cannot explain why he/she has done nothing. On which side of history do you want to fall?

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