PJK lived life as only he knew how

Monday January 25 2021
life02pix

Gone too soon. Paul Jack Kutosi, aka, PJK. PHOTO | COURTESY

On November 25, 2020, Paul Jack Kutosi posted a memorial message remembering his parents Charles Wagogo Mwasa and Bernadette Nasswa Mwasa who passed on in August and November 2019 respectively. Only two months later on January 6, news started trickling in that PJK, as he was commonly referred to, had himself left the world to join his parents.  

Two days before his passing, PJK was discharged from Mulago where he had been admitted with Covid-19. But according to his elder brother Jonathan Mwasa, he had not fully recovered. 

“I am broken, gutted, God what can I say. My lovely young brother went to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms and recovered and was discharged on Sunday. God only gave him two days to see his family again. I thought you had fought the Covid, but you were still unwell. Paul Jack Kutosi has left to be with his parents,” Mwasa posted on Facebook.  

The tributes that followed the announcement were clear indications that the deceitful hand of death had snatched a loved person, leaving only memories in the hearts of many that adored him. PJK had built a legacy around friendship. 

“Why, why now Paul Jack Kutosi? You were full of life and nobody that met you left with sad moments for you knew how to lighten up your people. I mourn you today and always. You are one irreplaceable friend I had. God loved you more than we did,” Tera Ann Hazel Mariene wrote on Facebook. 

Friendly and selfless

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An effortlessly selfless person, friends remember PJK for always standing firm to protect those he held dear to himself. Speaking at his funeral service at St Luke’s Church in Ntinda, his best friend Juliana Kaggwa recalled; “In the years since we came together, we have shared love, laughter and sorrow. He (Paul) brought together friends from different parts of the country and friends of different trades such as politicians, entrepreneurs and historians.”

“I watched Paul throw himself dangerously in the way of danger to protect the weakest one among his friends,” Kaggwa narrated to the congregants. 

She adds that it remains difficult to fathom how someone that stood up to so much adversity in his life, could succumb to a disease such as Covid-19. For Kaggwa and others, their wish is that life should have given them a chance to stand with. Two weeks before his death, PJK had driven a friend from his home to Mulago and ensured that he got the best treatment and was well in church to attend his funeral. 

Work and play

Kaggwa recalls that PJK’s early career days were formed while he was a marketer with Uganda Breweries Limited. It was there, she recalls that his social life became prominent. She says that their time marketing was also a time spent making merry. Indeed, memories of PJK remain incomplete without remembering him having a laugh over a drink with a friend. PJK did not just work, he loved his job. 

Paul loved his friends, and while Kaggwa may be referred to as his best friend, she herself admits that he was a best friend to everyone, to his brothers, to his old boys and to his wife Patricia. For the early three months of the pandemic, PJK led a crusade among his friends to exercise and live positive. Friends recall that PJK celebrated when it was announced that a vaccine would be available in three months’ time. 

It, therefore, baffled many who wonder how he could live through nine months of the pandemic yet fail to wait for three months. 

Mentor and industrious

Besides being a friend, PJK was a mentor for many in their career. He helped startups to grow. At Power Trust, a renewable energy company that he helped start up, he is remembered for lifting the startup from a little-known one to a competition in Uganda. 

More than a year after he left Power Trust, the team always referred to him when they needed advice. On the morning of his passing, a team meeting at Power Trust had assigned one of them to call PJK to consult on a matter on which they had failed to make headway. When they called, they were told that he had passed on. 

Many moving eulogies left a void in most of  the congregations’  souls.

He was buried  on Saturday, January 9, at their ancestral home in Bugema, Mbale. 

PJK, till we meet again.

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