We can donate our kidneys to each other

Friends forever. John was Solomon’s bestman. Below, John rides a horse. Photos | Ritah Kemigisa. 

What you need to know:

  • Best friends. John Musinguzi, a digital account manager at MAAD McCann and Solomon Murungi, a network engineer at Roke Telkom met  at St Leo’s College Kyegobe, Fort Portal  and they have never looked back. They are willing to donate kidneys for each other, as Ritah Kemigisa finds out.

John Musinguzi

When did you meet ?

We met at St Leo’s College Kyegobe in 2007. That makes it 16 years of friendship. Solomon used to come from Kabalega dormitory to Lumumba just to take away my blanket for reasons only known to him. Much as we attended different schools for A-Level, we reunited at Makerere University.

What do you like about Solomon?

Solomon is good and has positive energy. Also, our energies complement each other. He is loud and funny, but I think I am funnier.

He is smart and an open book, what you see is what you get.

Tell us about your fondest memories with him.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I tested positive for the virus and Solomon is the only one that came to visit me at home. I realised that our friendship was deep.

What do you dislike about him?

He is  annoying. He is the last person I would want to upset because he will not let me hear the end of it. 

Tell us about the craziest things you have done together?

In our days at university, we went for a friend’s birthday party. We drunk ourselves silly and walked from Wandegeya through Kikumi Kikumi, Makerere University and crossed to our hostel in Kikoni at 2am shouting on top of our voices. Bad things could have happened to us that night.

What nickname do you call him?

Lil Solo because of his love for hip-hop and Lil Wayne. 

Have you ever teamed up to beat someone?

Never! We are not violent but if push comes to shove, things can get ugly pretty quickly. 

How far can you go to help him?

If he ever needed an organ donor, I would present myself happily.

How often do you meet?

We  meet at least once a week and sometimes twice. We live in the same neighbourhood and that keeps us close.

What do you like about him?

Solomon is generous with  knowledge, time and resources. He is also very reliable. 

What are his hobbies? 

Watching Manchester United FC, Formula 1, and he loves his pint.

His weaknesses and strengths...

He is extremely impatient but he is resilient.

What do you have in common?

We are loud with a  weird sense of humour.

Solomon Murungi

When did you meet each other?

I met John in secondary school at St Leo’s College Kyegobe in Senior One. I always found him amusing. Despite being a small guy, he was always neat, smart , and talkative. I enjoyed talking to him because he was hilarious and subsequently we realised we liked the same things, such as supporting Manchester United, listening to the same music and had similar views on different issues. 

What do you like about John?

He is funny. He is my go-to when I am stressed because I am sure that in no minute we will laugh like idiots. John and I can laugh about anything and something that others might not find amusing.

John is principled and understanding.

What are your fondest memories of him?

We were roommates at hostel and John always prepared very delicious meals. The guy would prepare everything from traditional meals to anything. Imagine he would mingle karo in hostel and prepare omukaro (traditional food in Tooro). The guy loved cooking and still does.

What do you dislike about him?

He argues so much because we intellectually challenge each other. We even argued at the altar on my wedding day in church albeit silently. That is how much he gets on my nerves sometimes.

Tell us about the craziest things you have done together?

Countless, but we were hungry and went out one evening. So, we bought Rolex and sat on a bodaboda and ate on our way to the bar. The craziest part is we went screaming until we got to our destination.

Your nickname for him is…

Teflon Don because at the time we became friends in high school he loved Rick Ross Music and his hoarse voice.

Have you ever teamed up to beat someone?

Never, but do not dare us because we could send you in ICU for a couple of weeks.

How far can you go to help him?

I would give him a kidney if he ever needed it.

How often do you meet?

We meet once or twice a week. Usually we watch football matches together or Formula One if it is catch up and chat.

What do you like about him?

John is honest, says what he means and he is sociable. If I had a problem, he bails me out.

His hobbies are…

Watching news, socialising, reading a good book or spending time with his nearest and dearest.

Tell us his weaknesses and strengths.

He is tolerant, patient and hardworking but he tends to be a lone wolf. He will not ask for help unless offered.

What do you have in common?

We have a similar weird sense of humour. The things we find funny most people do not.