Reagan: The favoured last born

Sunday April 04 2021

Sibling. Left to Right: Reagan Mukwaya and his brother Richard Mutibwa. Photos | Edgar R Batte.

By Edgar R. Batte

Siblings. Reagan Mukwaya is a footballer and captain of Katwe United FC. He also prides in making  cocktails. His brother, Richard Walakira, is a rapper  known by the alias Bana Mutibwa, ‘the lugaflow revolutionary activist’. He is a project associate for Alliance of Democracies Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the advancement of democracy and free markets across the globe and a student at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. They talk to  Edgar R. Batte.

How would you describe Richard?
Richard is ambitious and he constantly sets goals for himself. He also loves his family.

What is your earliest memory of him?
He always wanted to be a rapper because he used to sing for mum whenever  she was going about her chores. Richard  used to sing about what mum was doing.

What nickname did you have for him?
Our uncles used to call him Chodo but I never called him by that name because I am younger. He nicknamed me ‘Gonya kabuto papa’…my stomach was big because I used to eat a lot.

The craziest thing he did as a child?
Long time ago, he tasked his friends to walk from Nnajanankumbi to Lido Beach but they did not even make it to Sseguku. I was young but I also joined the ‘gang walk of century’.

What is the craziest thing you did together?
Nothing because we have not been that close since our childhood. I am passionate about sports while he loves music.


Were you always friends?
No, we never have been. We have grown up in the ghetto, been raised there but we are not those kind of brothers who  are  troublesome.

How often did you fight?
He lives in Europe yet I am always in Uganda. He occasionally comes by but when he does, I am not that closest person he reaches out to.

Did you ever team up to fight someone?
No, we are the boys who never caused trouble. We are good boys.

How would you describe Reagan?
My brother is a super talented footballer who has had the luxury of enjoying the benefits of being a sportsman in Uganda. For instance, he attended much of his primary and secondary school education on football scholarships. He is also hardworking at Quepasa, and is always smart and a big investor in his physical appearance. Reagan is a big fan of  video games. I also somehow see a reflection of myself in him, mostly with his ability to shine and blend in new environments.

What is your earliest memory of him?
Reagan being the last born, he was always spared from punishment when we caused trouble or while doing chores. For example, our sister Jacklyne Bukirwa and I, took turns to do the dishes unlike Reagan. That routine created some sort of jealousy and sibling rivalry.  ‘Naye lwaki Reagan tayoza bintu (Why does he never do the dishes?) sort of questions were always posed to our mum.

What nickname did you have for him?
Gonya Kabuto (crocodile stomach). I do not remember how the name came about, but it is most likely related to a bit of stomach size as a toddler.

What is the craziest thing you did together?
We used to live in PWD Zone, Namasuba on Entebbe Road and in our neighbourhood, it was well known that DJ Michael used to play music at Lido Beach at the weekends and that on Sundays,  there were free shows.
One Sunday,  Reagan  and I, with others attempted to walk from Namusuba to Entebbe. Reagan, being the youngest of the group, quickly gave up before we reached Kajjansi.

That meant,  we had to carry him on our backs in turns, which made the journey exhausting.
We eventually gave up and flagged  a taxi where we pleaded with the driver to drop us off back home free of charge. Luckily, he obliged. Looking back – what a crazy idea that was!

 Were you always friends?
Yes, we played together a lot and as an older brother, my mother always requested me to take him a long during my play dates. We were fond of fighting dogs and climbing jackfruit trees in Namasuba. When the age of watching films  in makeshift cinema halls kicked in, we always went together.

Our friendship has grown tighter with time. We are very ambitious. Sadly, we no longer have as much time together as we did back then and low chances to live in close proximity or to understand each other well. I moved out of home at a tender age and Reagan spent a lot of time in boarding school.  We do, however, have many mutual friends.

How often did you fight?
We fought a few times but because Reagan is the last born, my mother always favoured him. This meant that our fights were always interrupted with me taking the blame. Remember, African parents are always right.
I remember the last fight I had with him was related to him dodging school. Having skipped and dropped out of school myself, I ironically did not want him to repeat the same mistakes I made. We had a good last fight.