UGANDA: Write your story
By MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA
Please write your story. It might inspire someone.
I have written my story.
UWC Lester B. Pesrson College of the Pacific (pearsoncollege.ca) used to have a system. All the 200 students were on full scholarships.
After Dr. Andrew Spray gave you your personalised timetable for your courses, you had to meet the Finacial Director. In my time at Pearson, the Financial Director was Mr. John Davis.
I had arrived at school in September with summer clothes and sandals from Uganda. We were heading into winter. Mr. Davis gave me money to go to Victoria City to buy “winter” clothes.
My Academic Advisor was Dr. John Wynn Hughes.
Now, you all know that your academic adviser must be your best friend.
Mr. John Davis and Dr. John Wynn Hughes told me to write a letter of thanks to my scholarship sponsor.
Except, my sponsor was the government of Canada. You can’t write “,To whom it may concern”.
I had to write to the then Director of CIDA. Canadian International Development Agency. That was my first letter to Ottawa. September 1987. I had no idea of how to address a govt official. I had spent my childhood writing to only my dad, my oldedy brother (Wamono) aand my oldest sister Tabisa. My siblings are not good at writing though. I used to get a letter from them once a month. Who even does this?
Meanwhile, Mzee used to write to me once a week. When rich kids inNamugongo & Namagunga, I used to ask them “Did your dad write to you this week? ANGANZI.
Back to the main story.
Here is what I wrote for the CIDA Director.
“Thank you for sponsoring me to study in Canada. After I fnish high school, I hope you will sponsor me for University.
I come from a poor family, poor village, poor country and poor comtinent. My people value education and believe that a good education can stop the cycle of poverty. I miss home. I miss my siblings. I miss my parents. I miss my elders. I miss fighting with my cousins. I miss my teachers a lot. I miss home very much. However, if you give me a chance to study in Canada, I think I will help my village.
The following week, the Director of CIDA sends me a letter thus:
Dear Martha Leah Nangalama, I cried when I got your letter. I read it and cried. Welcome to Canada. From what you wrote to me, I believe that you love your home country Uganda. I see that you miss your family and village a lot. You task me me to help you finish high school and join University. Canada believes in Education and you are one of the reasons why CIDA believes in Uganda.
Quick. We have to show off. It is not like anyone is gonna blow your trumpet. Humans are not nice. I ran into Mr. John Davis’ office and showed my letter. Ran into Dr. Andrew Spray’s Physics class and showed him the letter. Then, I ran to my Academic Advisor’s house and said “Johnn Johnn, I have something to show you. I just won’t tell you till you give me an A+ on my last Economics quiz”
THAT IS THE POWER OF EDUCATION.
*** My graduate school at University of Toronto was sponsored by a German family from Stuttgart. Now, this one is also another story. God has been good. Total strangers can be the angel you have been praying for.
Mzee Dan Nangalama wrote to me weekly from P5 (Grade 5) through my bachelors. That is 13yrs of letters weekly. I think that parents who do not write to their children are morons of stupidity.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: September 30, 2020 at 02:11PM