Life in My City – Kampala

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Kampala Road on a Sunday afternoon

Life can simply mean the way of living, and this is experienced by every single human being on this planet. Each one of us has a different perspective towards life and such differences are created from the challenges and hardships we pass through each day to make it to tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. Each one of us wants to live a peaceful life full of happiness and joy, surrounded by those we treasure most, for instance our family members or any other person we might have met during our journey, which is almost close to impossible. It is not that easy and it will never be. The world we are living in today needs a lot of determination and hard work in order for one to struggle less as they live.

Where I come from, it is hard to make it through life, and some people might come up with something like, “but there are many examples of people who have made it from there”. This fact is true but as usual the biggest percentage are still trying their level best to make ends meet. Jobs are scarce, education is at a very low standard, the economy is not stable, poverty is at a very high rate, yet the costs of living are very high. The government itself has scores of corrupt officials who keep on embezzling funds that are meant to improve on the people’s well being and strengthening the country’s economy. This has affected the country negatively due to under development and all the other related demerits .Everyone tries all their best to see that they can be able to at least have something to eat at the end of the day but not everybody is able to achieve that.

A lot of vulnerable groups of people don’t even get a chance to enjoy the few public services provided by the government like, the roads, Government aided schools, Government aided hospitals to mention but a few .A group of these people in particular are the street kids. They are also children like any other child out there. Some of them have lost their parents to wars, riots, accidents, pandemic diseases and others have them but don’t know their whereabouts. Some of these children are runaways from their families and this is caused due to child abuse through corporal punishments, child labor and early marriages on the side of the girl child.

When these children run to the streets, life gets difficult on their side. Out there, they lack the basic needs in life. Food becomes hard to get and they can only obtain it through begging money from people who walk by the streets and those seated in their cars waiting for the traffic lights to let them go. The kind hearted at times offer a coin or two and some of them decide to buy a drink or a snack and gift it over to the poor children. In case no one shows any sympathy or mercy to the poor kids, they leave the streets with empty stomachs and sometimes decide to take a nap under the tree shades in the city gardens to rest their bodies from the long hours of standing in the scorching sun. They lay in the grass and let the wind cool their bodies as it blows.

As the sun goes down, most of the people begin to head back home after long hours of work. This time is usually referred to as the “Rush Hour” and the city is always busy. There is always a lot of traffic jam since almost all motor vehicles and pedestrians are leaving the city. At this time, the poor street kids gather in groups and begin to search for the leftover food in the city rubbish bins in order to get something to eat. The ones who are old enough are seen carrying their siblings on their backs as they run to scavenge. Some of these children are young mothers and need to provide food for their babies. As the night approaches, the children will sometimes spend the night on the verandas of the storied buildings or find somewhere cozy to sleep. Most of them lack blankets so they try to cover themselves with boxes they find in the dust bins.

So what about business as usual in Kampala? in the next column, we shall be talking about the people who do business to mouth jobs commonly known as “zenkolawo zendya” or simply as Double Z. Watch the space…