This is the part two and last of blog posts by Guest Blogger Micheal Harkin who is of English citizenship, sharing his thoughts and insights after watching the Queen of Katwe movie. The first one was published here.(Click link)
I have now been to see Queen of Katwe for myself. I can’t really comment on the film as to me, it was just like walking through the streets of Kampala in a dream that encompassed a lot of experiences I have had myself in Kampala.
As with all these types of dreams, it was so realistic that I kept waking up with a jolt, only to find myself still dreaming another section. I also had the ache about there being so much that needs to be done to help some people in Kampala yet individually there was little I could do to help the whole community.
The movie made me very home sick for Kampala.
A lot of visitors who come to Uganda hide in posh clubs and only come out to eat and drink. Then they go back home and give a completely wrong impression of the place to other people in their home country.
Due to my work and I believe my adventurism, when I was in Kampala and the rest of Uganda, I dug down to its roots to see the good and the bad. Some of the things that are shown in Queen of Katwe I have experienced personally through interaction with some of the people I met in Uganda; my wife passed away suddenly from cerebral malaria: I had problems with my Ugandan In laws over my daughter after her mother passed away: I had problems with my daughters schooling, I was the only white parent when I visited my daughter at her boarding and was discriminated against by some of the staff at the school: I had constant problems with travel; I considered myself Ugandan so traveled on Matatu when I was not in a hurry, only to be made fun of in Luganda, which I could understand and speak well. Naturally I blasted the people involved with all my best (worst) lugandan swear words and told them to take their shoes off and go back to their villages and stop stinking up Kampala.
But on the other side all my best friends are Ugandans. The list of good actions by these people is endless. Some I worked with; some I just met. I did not hide in posh clubs, although I might have lived in one (the old Kabira) at times. I worked on mobile networks for Celtel Ugandan(now Airtel Uganda) for some time. Sometimes I visited some radio towers which where in the worst parts of Kampala, like Katwe (they were put there because they gave good signal coverage) to fix things very late at night and I always went into the nearest local bar for a few beers when I had finished my work. The people there were great, very welcoming.
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