My young brother used to bully me - Badru

Sunday January 24 2021

Brothers. Badru Ssenoga and Ibrahim Ssengendo. PHOTO | EDGAR R. BATTE

Peas in a pod. Badru Ssenoga is a geometric engineer (land surveyor) and pursuing a diploma in geo-information and technology  at Esri South Africa. He is also an entertainment media personality who loves African music and reading musical biographies. His brother Ibrahim Ssengendo is chief executive officer  of SeanStyles Fashion Centre which deals in children’s men’s and women’s clothes. They talked to Edgar R. Batte about their childhood.


How would you describe Ibrahim Ssengendo?

He is aggressive and self-centred in that unless you matter to him, he will not listen to you, thus, he has  few friends. I sometimes lend him my friends but, all in all, he is my sidekick.

What is your earliest memory of him?

Being tall, he used to bully me and they always had to remind him that I am his elder brother.


What nickname did you have for him?

Kigere. On top of being tall and huge, he has a big foot. Can you imagine that I wear size eight (UK) and Ibrahim size 11 (UK)? Thus, it got him a nickname.

What is he most scared of?

Poverty, in that he can end up working hard to see that one has money in his pocket.

The craziest thing he did as a child…?

I grew up with my grandmother and everything I had was personal from a flask to a cup, kettle, and a pot for my rice. 

So, one day he used my flask without permission and broke it. Out of fear of being reprimanded, it took him some time without visiting us (my grandmother and I). He had broken fulasika y’omukulu, the flask of the elder.

What is the craziest thing you did together?

One day, we were taking a stroll in our neighbourhood in Banda and we bumped into a Born Again crusade, and because of the music, we sat and enjoyed it yet we are from a staunch Muslim family. Unfortunately, our father saw us on his way back home. We earned ourselves serious beatings and were grounded for some time at home.

Were you always friends?

Yes, although occasionally we would part since I always got privileges from my grandmother. Ibrahim was jealous.


How would you describe Badru?

He has many friends in almost every corner. Badru is generous but with an attitude. He does not give up on his dreams. I did not know that at some point he would be on radio and television. 

What is your earliest memory of him?

He grew up with our grandmother, so he always had some money on him since childhood. Once, I borrowed some from him and failed to refund. He later said, should I give up refunding, we  would never be close  again. I had to look for all possible ways to refund because I could not stand his suggestion.

What nickname did you have for him?

We grew up and our aunts called him Baati because he was tiny and he did not like it. Later, he embraced it and called himself Batt.

What is he most scared of?

Heights, he cannot even climb a tree.

What is the craziest thing Badru did as a child?

Our grandmother used to move with him everywhere. Once they went to her village and while there, somehow somewhere Badru had a pair of binoculars. He got them out and started using them even when they were unnecessary. This led to the village people thinking he was a spy. They called for a village meeting and asked him to leave the village the same day they had arrived.

What is the craziest thing you did together?

Our father always woke us up early to go for prayers at the mosque on his way to work. So, we would reach the mosque, call for prayers (Adhan) and leave. It went on for some time and the Imam started complaining that people call for prayers but when he gets out, he does not see anyone. The complaints landed into our father’s ears and it was rough for us.

Were you always friends?

Yes, we were.

How often did you fight?

None that I remember.

The most outstanding thing about him...

He has always been more informed and exposed than the rest of us.

Did you ever fight?

No, we only had just a few misunderstandings just like any other siblings.

Did you ever team up to fight someone?

With the kind of father we have, we never did but given a chance, we would.

How often do you meet?

He is out of the country so we do video calls.