He was our Koffi Olomidde

Sunday November 29 2020

Suzan Kerunen is an artiste, a mother and French language ambassador at Alliance Francaise. Her brother Emmanuel Kerunen works with Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited as a financial advisor. He also does photography and filming services on a freelance basis. PHOTO | EDGAR R. BATTE

By Edgar R. Batte

Suzan Kerunen and Emmanuel Kerunen have an admirable  friendship despite the difference in their personalities.


How would you describe Emmanuel?

Emmanuel is a calm, humble guy at least that is how we see him at home. He is a man who loves people, he is very charming, especially with children. He is also God-fearing.

What is your earliest memory of him? 

My earliest memory of him was seeing him matching in the compound mimicking the prison guards’ parade. We lived in the prisons barracks at some point with our aunt who was a wardress so our home overlooked the training ground giving us a good view of their early morning parades.


What nickname did you have for him? 

We called him Uthwilu, please do not ask me to explain where it came from.

What is he most scared of?

From what I recall, he was so scared of the dark as a child.

The craziest thing he did as a child?

 Miming lingala songs and dancing to them like crazy. Then moulding different types of shoes from mud.

What is the craziest thing you did together? 

Having concerts in the house. He was Koffi Olomidde, and I and my sisters were queen dancers.

Were you always friends? 

Most of the times. 

How often did you fight? 

When I was helping him with homework, and disciplining him as a teenager

Did you ever team up to fight someone? 

We always do, especially for one of our siblings, most of the time to get a united front in a decision.

How often do you meet these days? 

We meet very often. I can say, at least twice a week.


How would you describe Suzan?

Suzan is a very jolly, kind, sweet and generous person. She shares and gives whatever little she has from her heart. No wonder she is so blessed and very funny as well. She is good at mimicking people. Catch her on a good day and you will laugh your heart out.

What is your earliest memory of her?

My earliest memory is of Suzan crying out of sympathy for me. I remember back then, I was having some coaching lessons from a teacher in our neighbourhood and there was a question I did not answer right so the teacher shouted at me and beat me. I saw Suzan’s eyes tear and she  kept encouraging me to do better. Even on our way back home, she kept consoling me.

What nickname did you have for her?

“Conny”. It was our childhood game where we all got different names, she used to play a character named Conny. Somehow it stuck.

What is she most scared of?

Suzan has a very big heart. She will go an extra mile to make anyone she loves and cares about happy and well. So I could say she is most scared of seeing anyone she loves and cares about get hurt.

What is the craziest thing she did as a child?

She is a bit older than me and I do not remember seeing her do anything very crazy. Like I said earlier, she is really funny and good at imitating or mimicking people. She mimics mummy and our late aunt called Betty (RIP) so well and that really cracks us up.

What is the craziest thing you did together?

There is this one time mummy sent us to the market to buy some foodstuffs. So after buying everything, we were left with mummy’s change and since it was evening, there was some lady selling fried Nile Perch mpuuta. So we used mummy’s change to buy the mpuuta and ate on our way back home. As were about to get home, she suggested we lie to mummy that we had dropped her change along the way as we were returning. But being the mother she is, she smelt the mpuuta on us and asked where we had eaten it from. What happened to us is a story for another day.

Were you always friends?

We have always been friends, she is a very friendly person as well, and respectful. We both get along well.

How often did you fight?

Suzan and I have never fought, apart from maybe quarrelling. As my elder sister,  she always advises me and tries to straighten my path up to now. She always wants the best for me and I respect her for that.

She is peaceful and a peacemaker but can be annoying sometimes. All in all, she is a kind hearted person.

Did you ever team up to fight someone?

Teaming up to physically fight no, but she came to my defence a lot when my other older sister Pamela would bully me.

How often do you meet?

We almost meet every day, among all sisters, she is one person I see most often.