Sunday October 7 2012

I met my wife in 1962

By Sylvester Kaddu

I was at Kololo airstrip, in the early night of October 9, 1962, when the Queen of England’s envoy handed over to Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote instruments for Independent Uganda from Britain, after making him swear an oath of office on the Bible. I was not an invited guest, being only 30 and recently appointed as Education Officer by Yusuf Lule, then Chairman of the Public Service Commission, when on the advice of an Expatriate Permanent Secretary, I had applied for an Administrative job. However, God saw to it that I should attend that epoch making event for our country, so that as a trained historian, I should live to tell this story as the Nation commemorates 50 years of Independence.

Three months before then, I had met a solitary female at a male only pre-nuptial party at Nakulabye, Kampala. Ignored by all the other males, I approached her, “What is your name?” “Joyce,” she replied. “What do you do?” I continued. “Interviewing,” was the reply. Surprised I queried, “Is that your job?” “No, I am doing it on vacation for shell in Entebbe,”she said. “So you are a student?” I enquired, “Yes,” she answered. “What are you studying?” I sought, getting more and more interested in her very articulate expressions I had not encountered in my female contemporaries at Makerere 10 years before, comparing her to British female University attendants with whom I had interacted with six years before.

“Political Science, Economics and History,” was her answer to my question, mesmerising me intensely. For those female contemporaries of mine, including many male students and myself, we did not fear studying the first combination of political science and economics. We got on so well that evening that I was the one who drove her back that night in my hired car to a place in Mulago where she lived while on vacation. After one month we could meet whenever we wanted, and on Independence Day, when she explained that she was required to be at Kololo as a steward, I drove her to the place in my car. That is how I too was able to attend the handover of power to Uganda. To date, not having yet received invitation to the 50th Anniversary. I have no doubt she who before that year ended became my wife will attend among VIPs!