Edwin Musiime, the quality assurance manager at UBC, learnt from an early age the value of hard work when he lost his father, and his family had to struggle to earn their bread. Today, he looks back fondly at the memories of his childhood.
I was born in 1982 at Nsambya Hospital and was what one would call my father’s brief case. Because he was a school inspector, my late father Charles Njuyarwo, moved a lot and I went along with him. I was a naughty child I must confess. However, although I am the second out of five children I seemed like the first born because of my bully nature.
The most vivid memory of my childhood was during Obote’s(II) regime when there was a lot of unrest and soldiers raided and looted homes. One day soldiers came to our house in Jinja and we all lay flat on the ground.
I loved bread a lot and it was always kept in the fridge. I was at peace when everything else in the house was being taken until I saw them approach the fridge and I boldly clutched onto one of the soldiers legs. I ran to the fridge and held the bread in my hands. They shouted at me and I fell down but holding tightly to the bread.
My family later moved to Fort Portal and there, I joined a new school where I remember being a bully. Our neighbour’s child, who was older than me, went to the same school. I remember beating her up one time when she refused to give me her grab(snacks).
We were then called to the headteacher’s office and when he asked who beat who and was told I beat the girl, he refused to believe it saying I was too tiny to hit her. I was a tiny kid who used to carry a basket bag to school which my siblings teased me about, saying it was bigger than me. I loved suits right from childhood and so my dad bought me small suits which I used to put on while attending meetings with my father.
In 1994, Daddy died and things changed. The money disappeared and life got tough. By this time, we lived in Seeta so my mother had to sell off property in order to raise money to pay school fees. She started rearing chicken and cows at home for extra income.
We moved out of the main house into the boy’s quarters where the chickens were kept. I had to share a room with the labourers near the chicken house. It is this that made me develop a dislike for farming which I still have to this day. It is also that experience that has made me who I am now because it taught me how to work hard and not to take life for granted.
In secondary school, I was always the last to report to school because of school fees which pushed me to work very hard. I also participated in clubs like writing, chess, debate, table tennis and basketball. I always knew I wanted to work in the media and at school, I formed Naggalama Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) which still exists, where I used to collect news from around the school and read it on school assembly every Tuesday.
In A-level, my mother told me if I didn’t get a government sponsorship, there would be no money for my university fees and I vowed to work hard and be the best in my school. This came to pass. Despite the fact that my dad was deceased, he was my inspiration. There’s a time he was talking about me to his friend and I heard him say he was proud of me and that I was going to be an important person in future. Those words stayed with me and have kept me going even through hard times. My dad was and still is my hero.