Ugandans do not need English, our obsession with the Queen’s language is misplaced.
By MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA
This likely the point where I need to say SORRY to the Ugandans I call idiots because they write badly on the internet. This is not good. Kale. I am sorry. I apologize. Munsonyiwe. But there is a history behind this though. Never judge a person until you have walked 1,000 miles in their shoes.
Apart from my older siblings punishing me for not writing “proper” English, there was also this other thing.
In Grade 5 (P5), I was taken to a Boarding School for Misbehaving Children”. Cool because I was gonna meet my fellow little criminals.
Except Mzee drops me off and gives me a box of prestamped aerograms. Proceeds “there is one for every week of this term. You will write to me weekly and I will write back to you weekly”. OMG… which parent even does that?
First letter “My dearest father, Papa, thank you for putting me in this horrible school. I want you to come and get me now after you read this letter and rake me back to my other school. You must come get me. I miss my brothers, I miss my sisters, I miss my uncles, I miss my mothers, I miss my aunties, I miss my cousins, I miss fetching water, firewood and matooke. I want you to come and get me immediately. ALL MY LOVE, Leah”.
The next week, I got a letter from him, beautifully written. “Mayi Leah, your mothers are fine. your uncles are fine. Your brothers are still fighting. Your sisters are also well. Everyone misses you but you have to remain in that school so that you can learn to behave”.
He included a copy of the letter I had sent him. With RED INK circling all the phrases I had not written well. Finished with a conclusion “You know in life, you cannot demand things from people. Some of your words were mispelt. I sent you to school with an Oxford English Dictionary and you should use it. Furthermore, you must learn to say PLEASE, THANK YOU AND SORRY. All my love, father”.
I am an pubescent kid and I am reading this letter and crying. What kind of father talks like to a child you just put in a Behaviour School Boarding?
BELIEVE ME, my next letter was more gentle. I wrote that I miss him very much and will suffer this punishment of being in the horrible nun school (those nuns used to beat me daily) and promised him that I would always say PLEASE and Thank You.
My father lives in me. I miss him terribly. I miss him like crazy. He taught me many things. Perhaps, it is because of his insistence on “you can do better” is why I cannot tolerate Ugandans writing broken English to me. This ought to be a crime punishable by 5yrs in jail. Damn!
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: September 19, 2020 at 09:00PM