I was in a heated online debate early this week.
The topic was: ‘How do you know you have made it in life?’ About the same time, I was processing a visa to South Africa. I got an invitation for a workshop down there, but it appears the economy is biting hard world over; so, we should stop blaming the closure of Crane bank.
It was not Bank of Uganda for Christ’s sake! My hosts have no budget. So, I have to buy my own ticket, pay for my visa, accommodation and all the other requirements.
As you may know, a self-funded trip comes with its own demands from the visa office. I had to get various letters, and be patient with the slow banking system in a digital world. I had to wait for a bank manager’s letter for four days thanks to a public holiday in between.
Thus, during the debate, I realized I am far from making it. Even the askari at the banking hall does not know me. I am sure there are people in this town who just call up the bank manager to prepare the statement and letter to the high commissioner, and then send the office messenger to pick it.
Have they made it in life? How about those folks the embassy feels too embarrassed to ask for such documents?
For example, if Sudhir Ruparelia owns the building housing the high commission, can they demand to see the balance on his bank account? I mean, they need to know if he has enough money to spend while visiting their country. That’s tantamount to disrespect.
When I called the agency, I was told the cheapest flight would leave Entebbe to Nairobi for an hour, and then proceed to Addis Ababa for three hours before flying to Cape Town! God, why? I concluded that people who own private jets have made it. Imagine flying nonstop from Heathrow to Entebbe while typing away in your flying office or sleeping in the reclining bed!
I want that kind of life. A jet with a section painted in bright colors for my children to play with their nanny while their mother and I have a mile-high club moment. Is that too much to ask for? I believe there is a difference between people who have made it and those living large.
I think the sangomas who live in South Africa or nkuba kyeyos in Europe live large when they return home. They are far from making it. Between January and November, they are cleaners in some of these fast food stores like KFC or Pizza Hut.
That is why they feel on top of the world while back home because they become customers and nobody is going to yell at them to go clean up spilled soda. So, if you are the kinds who spend millions on Blue Label every weekend, chances are you are just living large, bro. You are far from making it in life.