Reviews & Profiles
4-turkeys owner leaves a mark on Entebbe town
Posted Tuesday, March 12 2013 at 00:00
Derek Coggon, a British national, who was shot dead last Saturday morning, was a well-known Entebbe socialite, who had retired as a UN peacekeeper and decided to live the rest of his life in Uganda.
He had dedicated his life to peace keeping and served in several UN missions in the world working to prevent war in hotspots for over 30-years. The British national, born in 1955, had served in peace keeping missions in countries including Iraq, Israel’s mountainous northern region Golan Heights, Cyprus, Angola and Congo among others and had made up his mind to retire in Uganda in 2009.
Derek Coggon who was formerly a British Military Police Officer and soldier in the British army had up to 2009 served as the regional procurement officer in the United Nations from 1977 when he retired from the forces. He chose to retire at 56 and stay in Entebbe.
In this town, he started several businesses that included 4-Turkeys bar, a popular entertainment spot in Entebbe, under his company 25 Degree Development. He also set up Nicky’s Pizzeria and had constructed a beach at Kawuku near Entebbe before he was murdered.
Just as his career was decorative, his personal life too was.
His friends describe him as jovial and social.
Firmimo Balamgtaa, a longtime friend and also a former UN officer who worked with Coggon for some years says Coggon was a social person who always spared time to buy free beers for people in Entebbe most especially the patrons at his 4 Turkeys bar. His friends say this was as marketing strategy because many men stormed the bar to have fun with the women which turned his bar one of the most popular bars in the area.
An atheist, Coggon, spared time to share his feelings about religion that he said he hated with a passion basing on the past experiences he had seen in countries he had worked in especially the people who killed others in the name of God.
One of his favourite jokes was when he was criticising God for not being fair enough because he had all human body parts like man but had no children.
Coggon lived a lavish life and he did not hesitate to explore all that Entebbe night life had to offer, according to people who knew him.
He on several occasions moved out with suspected sex workers who used to hang out at his bar calling them University students looking for money for school fees and on the fateful night, he was carrying a suspected sex worker currently being held in police custody at Special investigations unit in Kireka.
Balamgtaa says, “He was a very a social man who loved seeing every one around him happy that made him spend money to buy booze for Entebbe socialites.
He said Coggon loved hanging out with different female partners and at one time was suspended from the UN mission in Congo for carrying Congolese women in UN vehicles for one year.
“I will miss him because he had become a brother to me,” he narrates.
Ms Jackie Korugyegye, the manager, 4-Turkeys said, they lost a boss and a father who strived to lend a listening ear to all his workers’ problems.
“He would give you money at any time if you told him you had a problem and would easily give you leave when you requested for any, and paid you for the days you haven’t worked,” she said.
She noted that Coggon loved helping people and employed many workers basing on their past experiences and not the papers they had which made him popular.