Address rapidly deteriorating moral decorum in public sphere

What you need to know:

  • On arrival at the National Theatre for instance, Bajjo is seen greeting Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Dr Kizza Besigye. I assume that if morality doesn’t apply, prudence guides one to respect the eminent persons he’s seen hobnobbing with.

The late Hajj Hussein Kyanjo once told me that the most deadly person to deal with is the one who has nothing to lose in life. 
 I was personally nurtured by two great institutions that have overtime ensured I contemplate on whatever I am to do in line with Buganda and the Catholic church’s values. I thus always ask myself, what Omutaka Muteesaasira - the head of Ngo clan - and my Masaka Diocesan Bishop Serverus Jjumba could think of my action and how my in-laws and children could perceive of me. 

 Nowadays, people with access to Social Media platforms have turned it into a habit to employ “obscene” words while communicating. I refer to them as “obscene” but we could be living in two different worlds with those who view those words as normal. The greater danger is that these words are becoming a new normal in the public sphere. 

 We imitate what we see and hear as we grow up. This ranges from gross motor movements to speaking etc. There was an experiment by Michigan State University in which children watched a short video of a stranger playing with a new toy by pulling it apart in the (same motion) and 90 percent of them imitated or copied it exactly as they saw it. 

This is why our parents emphasized a sense of occasion and common sense of morality. In the presence of visitors, our mothers’ eyes reminded us to greet and give the visitors space. If we seemed to be going astray with language or choice of words, a simple question whether we use the same mouth while eating was enough to tame our diction as kids. 

Even when reporting that one we deemed as having used “bad” words, we were not allowed to repeat what had been said verbatim. Doing so would indeed earn you the same punishment as the real culprit. 
Ofcourse, this was further polished by formal education - where we broadened our minds and enlarged our experiences. But to a greater extent, home was the University of virtue ethics and manners.
 I was greatly disoriented by what happened at the National Theatre as mourners gathered to pay their last respects to the “Toka Kwa Barabara” singer Adam Mulwana. I was shocked seeing Full Figure hurl her imprecations in the presence of eminent persons! But above all, the late Adam Mulwana’s young children, parents etc.
 On arrival at the National Theatre for instance, Bajjo is seen greeting Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Dr Kizza Besigye. I assume that if morality doesn’t apply, prudence guides one to respect the eminent persons he’s seen hobnobbing with.

 These people have turned swear words into their lingua Franca. Don’t they premeditate about who listens to their moral looseness now, what about posterity? I heard a Member of Parliament using a word on television and the host immediately called for muting his microphone. I was left wondering how I would explain the same to my ever inquisitive daughter! 
 Unfortunately, both the Ministry and/or Directorate of Ethics and Integrity and Uganda Communications Commission are as silent as a sundial in a shade! How do we realise the core function of spearheading the development of laws, policies and strategies to promote ethics and integrity in Ugandan society? I thus resort to reminding myself that there is no monetary gain in curbing this vice as what perhaps explains the indifference. 

 Like it is said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, we are left to our own selves to save the country’s soul from what has spread like a simoon’s desert wind to the entertainment industry. Our entertainers, and more so the Comedians think they can only crack our ribs by being vulgar. 

 For you our musicians, please, your predecessors exhibited very fine brains by composing songs with hidden meanings. Your unrefined lyrics can’t stand the test of time. 
When Fr. Bonaventure Ssemaganda died on February 16, 2024, his quote, “It is hard to be nothing to oneself in order to be everything to others” from his book - An Angel Spoke to Me, made more sense than ever before. Are we being exemplary? What kind of generation are we building? 

Much as one could be shameless to themselves, belonging and identity to family, tribe , faith and such aspects should be calling for some soul searching. This is socially unacceptable and is offensive to the Ugandan community in general. 
Let’s avoid insulting oral communication by speaking with dignity and respect. And then, what about the horde of followers they have? Have we intuitively accepted to be accomplice to this shamelessness? 
                   Authored by Elvis Kintu Nsonyi,            Human Rights Advocate