I react to the stories which appeared in the Daily Monitor of July 6 and July 9 about an MP who wept in court over love messages from a student and a student who was convicted for sharing on social media a video of herself masturbating. These stories were replicated by many other media houses, the “rumour mongering” mediums inclusive. You could have found the story of Brian Isiko, a student of YMCA Jinja branch, given a two-year prison sentence for confessing “too much love” for the Kabarole District Woman MP, Sylvia Rwabwoogo. quite disturbing.
On the other hand, Lilian Rukundo Natalie, a third year student of Uganda Christian University, reminded us about some Ugandans who became “celebs” overnight after they leaked their nude photos and videos. Would I know about her if she hadn’t shared her nude videos? MP Rwabwogo and other moralists should weep tirelessly for our immoral society.
In September last year, I was a moderator at an annual student/youth mentoring workshop, which took place at Sports View Hotel in Kireka. The workshop was organised by Karamoja Mentoring Network, who felt the need to fill the skills gap among the students in higher institutions of learning and young career professionals hailing from Karamoja.
The workshop had topics stretching from academic excellence tips, equipping participants with the skills and techniques for balancing academic, social and spiritual life to supporting the students and unemployed graduates with soft skills for transitioning into formal employment and entrepreneurial skills.
Speakers of the day and the organisers were predominantly professionals and entrepreneurs hailing from Karamoja. Weeks after the workshop, a lecturer of Statistics at Kampala International University shared with me the workshop evaluation report. It revealed that 89 per cent of the participants found the advice about starting life at the university useful, 95 per cent felt better prepared to find a job, retain and advance in career, 91 per cent felt confident to start their own business, 86.8 per cent concluded that the success stories from their own scholars and entrepreneurs were relevant.
The high youth unemployment, poverty, school dropout and many other social distresses could perhaps be mitigated through such teenage mentoring initiatives like that one of KAMNET. Uganda has one of the highest levels of entrepreneurship in the world. Isiko, who confessed passion for poultry, could be supported through mentoring in order to make his dream come true and Rukundo could also avoid idleness if they joined a tertiary mentoring group.
Henry Okoth Okidi,