It’s 2124, the year of our Lord. I am a young man, desirous of digging to the bottom of the history of my ancestors, the people that lived in the mid ‘90s and about the Year 2014. Questions linger on my mind; what kind of food did they eat? Which architectural designs did they use for their homes? How many children did most families produce? How was the political environment at the time? What kind of smile did they wear when in good moods? What cultural activities did they engage in? How was the education system then? How did they spend their leisure?
At the entrance to the museum, is an artistic visitors’ book made of bark cloth material. Visitors have been signing in this book since the early ‘90s. This book is 134 years old! I neatly inscribe my name in it to become a part of the history that future generations might want to associate with.
Inside the museum there’s an aura of serenity: Tourists strolling from left to right, upstairs and down stairs; many looking quite bemused at the various items on display in airtight glass boxes. It’s absolutely a scene of reflection. Everyone is looking for a piece of history to identify with.
I walk straight to the first section reading “politics”, and I am like “Oh!” I proceed to the section for Agriculture and am like “Ah!” I move on to the section of Technology and am like, “Eh!” I then take the stairs to 3rd floor and I see the section on education- I am like, “Hmmm!” To the right I see a section on urban planning with a tiny portrait of urban planning minister, whose baptismal name is coincidentally ‘Urban’. I nod my head in wonder, a little downcast. In one corner there’s a section on infrastructure and I see the very beginning of flyovers in Uganda, and an electric train. I say to myself: “Yes, this is where the beauty we are enjoying must have emanated”. This is the year 2124.
The foundation that we stand on today is the remnant of the people that lived on this very ground 110 years and longer back in time. The good things we’ve adopted, the half-done we’ve completed, but the bad things we must shun especially those that were responsible for our ancestors’ downfall. Fast-forward, 110 years from now, the time of my reflection; that generation will be looking back and will want something to hold onto for their inspiration. Quite unlikely that any of us living today will still be alive, but if any should be, obviously senile, what image will they read in your eyes of this generation?
A couple of days ago, I walked into a museum in the Tanzania city of Arusha, one of the smallest museums I’ve seen I must say. Without surprise, I was welcomed by images of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, displayed all over the place with an inscription, “Father of the Nation”. Vague as it may sound, Nyerere is not dead. Nyerere is alive-at least in the heart of every Tanzanian. Not so far away, I saw the name of my country “Uganda” with lots of pictures below it and a writing, “Vita vya Tanzania na Uganda 1979”, translated to mean the Tanzania vs Uganda war of 1979. The year also quite resounded as I have a very personal attachment with it. Yes, sometimes lovers epitomize their love that way.
The only Ugandan highlighted in the pictures was a man called Maj. Gen David [i]Oyite-Ojok, Ugandan Military Commander at the time. I quickly picked interest in reading his contribution to history, only to even discover that one of his grand-daughters Pyerina Ojok shares a name with my own Nicole! Wow, what a generation that was! But more importantly, what will they talk about us 110 years from today? This is a question every citizen must answer silently or loudly.
When Venezuela former President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías breathed his last, the entire nation mourned. They insisted the Hugo would never die and his remains were permanently interred at Fort Montana where he launched his 1992 reveloution. When Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died, the whole world came to South Africa. Every international museum and encyclopedia must have their name. And when I visited Egypt 7 years ago, I saw embalmed bodied of kings that died hundreds of years ago; I saw a rich culture espoused in the pyramids and lots of preserved cultural and life instruments. What will be seen of today’s generation 110 years from now?
Speak, while you can still be heard; Dance while the music lasts; plant while the rains still drop; work tirelessly while the energy still abounds; stand upright for the right cause and be counted; speak out the best of your mind; write as much while the brain can still decode; live your best while life endures; for while it’s a fact that all dead people are dead, some are deader than others, but some people, some things, simply will never die. Thanks to online resources, there’s no more reason why one’s contribution to history should be dead and buried, no reason why what makes our life today should be forgotten.
Let your light outshine you into the future for the future will look up to you. What will they see?
For God and My Country!