Sunday July 27 2014

Small steps, giant leaps

By Dennis D. Muhumuza

Never give up on yourself and never give up on anyone because anytime they can get their breakthrough as long as they still have the breath of life. No one knew it was possible to walk on the moon until Neil Armstrong did so, and inspired others.

One of those was an Ankole man whose promising life was being encumbered by alcoholism. This man had waded through several storms to attain some qualifications and scoop an important job. He had lost his father young and as the first-born had to help his mother to fend for his seven siblings. The family migrated to the jungle that was Ankole back then where he worked as a watchman; protecting their crops from vicious monkeys and battling wild beasts.

It was when he was much older that he joined school, wearing a goatskin. After P.6, there was no school fees, so he came to Buganda to work for a chief. There, he admired the way the chief’s children spoke English, and decided to return home and do everything to resume school. In the end, he attained some qualifications and became a district health inspector.

Soon after, he took to drinking like a fish. All his money went into the liquor bottle, leaving him heavily indebted. Then one day, he heard a BBC documentary about Neil Armstrong’s adventures on the moon and his famous words: “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The words sparked something in the Ankole man, and he swore never to touch alcohol again. It was a decision that turned his life around and made him the inspiration of many.

Last Sunday as the world was celebrating 45 years since the walk to the moon, the Ankole man was celebrating 70 years of existence. His 12 children, grand children and many important people were there to celebrate him. So it doesn’t matter what challenges you face, never write yourself off. Continue making those steps forward however small they could change humanity.