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State of the Nation Address and the preacher who successfully preached nothing

President Museveni

President Museveni

Years ago, probably after the sun-kissed year of 1986, I heard a story that tickled me.

Dear reader, I present to you an embellished version of the story.  One Sunday, a preacher stood at the church pulpit looking back at the expectant congregation. Unbeknownst to the congregation, the preacher was unprepared that Sunday. The preacher was determined to mask that he was quite clueless that Sunday. 

He surveyed the congregation; all eyes were on him, ready to hear something inspiring to spur them through the week. The preacher, perhaps in the manner of many preachers, took to theatrics. Harnessing his booming voice, the preacher opened his non-existent sermon with: “Do you know why you are here today on this beautiful Sunday when you could be marinating on your sunken sofa, mindlessly watching television?”

The congregation matched his energy and shouted resoundingly, “Yes!” They were ready for that word - how desperately they needed it. Perchance, outside the sanctity of the Sunday service, battered by the vagaries of the week, the congregation was hustling to stay alive - who knows? All we know, it was not 1986.  

The preacher continued, “Today, I will be brief.” A few folks nodded approvingly. Imaginably they were the sort of people who appreciated meticulous brevity, unencumbered by long winding history lectures. The preacher slurped some water and cleared his throat audibly into the microphone. He paused for dramatic effect because he could, and asked, “Do you know what I need to talk about?”

The congregation probably being polite, unwilling to look like unrepentant heathens in the throes of Nyege Nyege responded resoundingly,

“Yes, preach preacher!”

Fattening the congregation for the kill, the preacher asked his final question, “Do you have your Bibles?”
Some congregants bristled at that question. Of course they had their bibles. The wily preacher, like a smooth operator, concluded, “Then you know what to do. I need not say anything more today.”

With that, the preacher slumped his shoulders in fake humility and comfortably marched away from the pulpit. This congregation would later recount that no sooner had the sermon started than it ended.

The congregation sat entranced. Then, slowly, people started to look at each other, look around - perhaps for the preacher. A few people got up to check outside, hoping to see the preacher outside. Seeing his jalopy missing from the parking lot, the congregation awoke from their trance. They were on their own.  That Sunday, instead of a two-hour-long rousing sermon, the congregation received five minutes of “What just happened?”

Indeed, after that Sunday the congregation would wonder if the preacher had ever been prepared for the delicate work of preaching. The story ends just like that. Unceremoniously. I have always wondered about the congregation - what did they make of themselves after that Sunday?

In my childhood primary school, Nakasero Primary School, a kind rotund woman was our English comprehension teacher in Primary Four. I can still hear her high-pitched voice talk about similes. She would be pleased to learn that her students have not stopped learning.

A new simile is born. One might say the congregation in our story was as disappointed as a Ugandan who faithfully sat through the June 6 State of the Nation Address (SONA). Of that Sunday sermon, another might remark that the sermon was as flat as the paper on which the SONA was printed. Even better, today’s column is as anticlimactic as the SONA.

smugmountain@gmail.com

The writer is a tayaad muzzukulu.

Comments

+14 #1 Lysol 2024-06-13 07:46
Olivia!
Even a great preacher gets tired, lost and boring after doing the same thing over and over again like that old Museveni has done for those many years.

Ugandans are simply tired and bored by the senile Museveni. Like a boring preacher, many Ugandans want him to just go away.

There are no more new ideas left in his long boring speeches. Just keeping on repeating the same phrases over and over again like an old dying parrot.
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+1 #2 jo 2024-06-13 12:37
hehehehehehehehehehehe, no further comments
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+6 #3 Lysol 2024-06-15 19:36
Even Pope Francis last Wednesday said that, priests should keep their messages for 8 minutes, " because after that the attention is lost and people fall asleep and they are right".

Can someone tell that to Museveni?
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0 #4 Akot 2024-06-16 20:26
Lysol, so,

Why are Ugandans still POWERLESS tribally divided [listening to Museveni [repeating the same phrases over and over again like an old dying parrot]?

Why are tribal leaders still in posts & Ugandans just go along, knowing as long as they are tribally divided without just ONE National Leader to UNITE them, there is no way they will get rid of Museveni?

How old will Museveni's son be by the time his dad dies of old age at +100 years & leaves him the post in the family business?

In what state will Uganda, Ugandans be then, still commenting, complaining but still powerless tribally divided ruled?
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0 #5 Akot 2024-06-16 20:39
Lysol, understood, but,

Ugandans have been asleep for +38 years & won't up as so called opposition leaders ensure Musevei's lifetime rule with fake elections!

All Ugandans need, if they want Museveni out & be owners of the zone formed by their tribal lands again are;

- NO to the tribalistic system/tribal leaders standing
down,

- UNITY with just ONE National Leader!

Yet as it is, 40 years of Museveni won't be long enough & Ugandans remainn powerless tribally divided ruled & will go for next fake elections to ensure his lifetime rule, knowing only the son will replace him!

Wonder why the outside world is quiet about what goes on in the Uganda that Ugandans ensure is Museveni's family business constitutionally?
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+1 #6 kabayekka 2024-06-16 22:27
Well for Olivia Nalubwama it is difficult to say that a preacher stands up and preaches nothing to the public about the Bible or Koran.

But for the many dodgy politicians, definitely they can do that briefly or for many hours, many years and counting. Olivia most probably is talking about the novel of Don Quixote and his Adventures.

An example of getting bored and preaching nothing of God's work happened to Jonah the prophet who was sent by God to preach to the sinful people of Nineveh.

What happened next is a frightening story especially to the children of God. To be swallowed up for three days by a very big fish on the sea. Jonah had to turn back and preach the same simple massage over and over again. The congregation afterwards accepted God and were converted!
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0 #7 Akot 2024-06-17 12:35
OLIVIA NALUBWAMA,

How old were you in 1986 & how old will you be when Museveni dies of old age at 90 years of age?

Bobi Wine was 5 years old in 1986, grew up, educated in Museveni's Uganda, so doesn't know nor understand it's not a country but Museveni's family business & non other than the son will replace the dad in +20 years!

How many Ugandans of Museveni's age will still be living then?

We can complain about how Museveni ensures his family business, but who are those ensuring Uganda belongs is his family business with the divisive tribalistic system & fake elections?

What if Museveni becomes a real man & dissolves posts of tribal leaders & make Uganda his real falimy business, with no need for fake elections & the now not needed tribal leaders in posts?

Museveni doesn't need mps now as Ugandans ensure he owns the zone fromed by their tribal lands as his birth right!
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0 #8 Lakwena 2024-06-18 07:55
In other words, "our "ayaad Muzzukul" did exactly what her character, Preacher-man did to his congregation, i.e. SUSPENSE!

Thanks because, the suspense leaves us thinking and examining ourselves.
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