Appreciation of John Nagenda
What you need to know:
- He always preferred to cite the English traditions and indium or his native Ruganda traditions, like me he was a royal and loving Musajja Wakabaka.
John and I were good friends and the critics of each other. I used to call him John and in response, he used to call me George. In the literal battles we often engaged in, he called me Kanyeihamba and I called him Nagenda.
I often disagreed with him on the work Hope Kivenjere did excellently for Uganda and President Museveni.
He never lost an opportunity to have a dig at me. I once wrote a newspaper article in praise of Hope’s work and President Museveni. In response to that article, Nagenda blasted me saying, “What did you expect from Kanyeihamba, he was praising his girlfriend”.
I was very angry because Hope Kivenjere had been and could not be in that kind of relationship. She regarded me as an adopted brother.
Mr Henry Sekanjako, who equally appreciated John’s work as a writer and human rights activist, may be wrong in describing Nagenda as the greatest writer and human rights activist of all time because even I have written and published more books than Nagenda and have been awarded two lifetime achievements one by Uganda writers, book publishers and booksellers association.
The other by Uganda/ UK alumni for my writing on the rule of law and governance in some of which I criticise Nagenda for being uncritically a cadre of the NRM party.
Those who used to read Nagenda’s column in the Saturday Vision, will recall that at the same time, I was writing my own column: Learned View in Sunday Monitor for over 10 years which is now corrected and published in two columns of “in the pearl of Africa, the unexpected happens”.
Nagenda was often arrogant to the extent of being rude to all and sundry, but he respected his boss President Museveni unconditionally. John was no respecter of persons but we liked and admired him because of what he was to himself and friends.
I now wonder what he would have said about the iron sheets scandal or coffee deal scandal. I bet he would have said you do not say! and then blasted those who are involved in the scandal.
He always preferred to cite the English traditions and indium or his native Ruganda traditions, like me he was a royal and loving Musajja Wakabaka.
Fare-thee-well John Nagenda, there will never be another like you.
Justice George Wilson Kanyeihamba, Retired Supreme Court Justice