Reverend Onesmus Asiimwe, is the newly installed chaplain of St Francis chapel at Makerere University.
Quick Talk met the man of the cloth at the newly refurbished chapel for a long interview that ended in a more informal chat. All, after a word of prayer.
You look younger than 52, Reverend; what is the secret?
[Laughs], I believe it’s the good feeding. I’m [a teetotaler], I no longer smoke [he admits he used to smoke a lot before giving his life to Jesus Christ], I don’t have sleepless nights, and I have not impregnated a girl…
Hahahaha! And how do you spend your free time outside work?
I play the accordion [Wow. Where do people even buy accordions? Quick Talk wonders. He has not seen anyone play that instrument outside photos of former president Idi Amin Dada…] I also find enough excuses to sit behind the wheel; I like driving.
Do you sometimes cook for your family?
No! I can only manage to cook tea. But I love shopping [laughs]. I know this is a thing for women, but I like it. Actually, I go to the market to do fruit shopping; my wife loves it since I make the best choices.
I was spoilt by my sisters who did most of the cooking; I have not had the privilege of staying alone to cook.
What is your favourite food?
I used to like chicken, but Archbishop [Henry Luke Orombi] introduced me to fish and kalo; this is my thing now [Yes...one cannot disobey one’s archbishop!]
What is your favourite colour, Reverend?
Blue; the colour signifies love of God. When I see blue, I see the love of Jesus [Hesitates, and then as if reading Quick Talk’s mind:] This has nothing to do with FDC! [Opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change, favours the colour blue, too…]
Okay… So, when was the last time you took your wife out?
[Thinks a while] October last year. Oh, September 18; you know we have been very busy. By the way, that day is our wedding anniversary. We were making 24 years in marriage.
Congratulations! Where did you go?
I will not disclose, because I’m planning to take her out this year as we celebrate the silver jubilee.
What kind of music do you enjoy?
Christian music; I used to enjoy secular music in high school and I used to be called DJ.
I also know Chameleone. I used to enjoy his song Dorotia because my auntie was called Dorotia and she was my favourite auntie; so, I just like the song. Hmmm. Auntie Dorotia. Must have had quite an influence…
I received my first love letter from a girl in the village expressing her love to me and used words like ‘I love you’, ‘sweetheart’… I was so scared and took the letter to my aunt who approached the girl and sorted her out. [He remembers this with a smile.]
Strange, how the words ‘I love you’ still get many children in trouble even today! Moving on; seeing as you love shopping, do you love doing laundry too?
I do my own shopping and I wash for myself. I don’t believe in people washing for me. Having an art and design background, it’s very hard to impress me fashion-wise.
What sports to you play?
I play ping-pong (table tennis), but support Manchester City. In 2003, I visited their stadium. I was given a guided tour and I still keep the jersey I was given then.
When did you last cry, sir?
[Thinks for a while] About seven years ago when I lost my sister-in-law. It was so sudden.
Oh dear. And who would you love to meet before the Lord calls you home?
[Sighs] I would have loved to meet Pastor Billy Graham [the renowned American Pentecostal televangelist passed away on February 21, aged 99], [German Pentecostal evangelist and missionary] Reinhardt Bonnke – yeah; I have really met many people who matter, including Pastor Benny Hinn.
If you were to be marooned on a desert island, what would you take with you?
My Bible, hmmm… and my honey. I love my honey [and by honey, the good reverend is referring to the actual mubisi.]
He remarks on the unusualness of the ‘humour questions’ that followed a more lengthy interview, saying: “Anyway, it was nice meeting you.”