Last week was Uganda’s Independence Day – celebrating independence from United Kingdom in 1962. To many, it’s like Uganda has always been here. Some pastor today was praying that God created Uganda! Maybe he did but it must have been through colonialists.
I can’t blame them. We look perfectly together as a country. Indeed we were made by God.
I hated history. I, therefore, have very little recollection of what we learnt in the history of Uganda. What I can remember was that what used to be hundreds of tribes and clans were partitioned by colonialists, based on their conquests, and gifted to European countries as property, literally. So, some families and tribes found themselves split up on different borders to be different nations. Some Bagisu like, Amos Wekesa have families on either side of the border. At one time, we had a minister here, Aggrey Awori, whose brother Arthur Moody Awori was a former Vice President in Kenya. Some people in South West and West Nile have relatives and gardens in DR Congo.
As we celebrate the independence of the Pearl of Africa, we need to ask ourselves, are we independent? As residents of this great independent nation, are we independent?
What do I mean by independence? Just like Uganda celebrates being able to make its own leaders, constitution, money, defend itself, we too, should think deeply on how to make ourselves independent.
Since money seems to rule the world, the independence of your pocket is very important. Above all, we need to work long and hard at situations where we are in control of our cash flow.
How can we be independent?
I think everyone of us has a way to achieve that. Ultimately, we need to find ways to learn to insure our assets. It’s something most of us take for granted but should have learnt from our colonial masters. Accidents can happen any time, often at times we are least prepared. That’s how insurance comes in.
The same can be done for health care and education. Truth is most of us, work to see that we provide health care for our kids as well as education. It can be very expensive. One trip to a dentist can leave you down by 500,000 Ugx. When you visit a paediatrician in what often are regular trips, you don’t leave with less than 200,000 Ugx. Yet with 600,000 Ugx per annum, it’s possible to get a health insurance scheme that takes away that stress.
We know so many that have had to stop school because their parents died. Others were traumatized when they had to change from international to a village school once their parents passed on or lost their high paying jobs. What about you insure the school fees such that in the event of adversity at least the minimum stays?
Of course, insurance for most doesn’t work. Often, we feel like insurance is a waste of money on an unlikely event. Not sure whether it’s fate or convenience but often accidents happen when my insurance has expired. So I choose to be safe than sorry. Others have an option of having to put something away. Just like our Jajas used to, you can have a granary for the dry season in form of fixed deposit, an asset that can easily liquidate or some other form of passive income. The challenge with assets is that sometimes, buyers may be hard to come by.
Whatever fits your needs, it’s good to have something that makes you feel independent. Think about it.
By Innocent Nahabwe
CEO at BlueCube Limited Incorporating Kagwirawo sports betting, 100.2 Galaxy FM, Bluecube, Katogo 24 and 911 Lounge Salaama Rd, Kampala
Deputy Chairperson of National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).