Ugandans, We Are Our Own Problem

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By Joanne Ainabyona

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An article published by The New Vision newspaper on the 28th of August page 12 read ‘Bodaboda rider dies, leaves six widows, 30 children…
Yes, you read that right. 30 children that are to be raised single-handedly by single moms after their beloved father has passed on. The deceased man was called Hasan Mafabi from Kayunga district, a Hajji aged 51 years whose death was due to an accident. May his soul Rest In Peace.

So if we’re to do a slight calculation of the amount of money the deceased Boda Boda rider was making a day to support 6 families and 30 children, with the daily increasing number of cyclists in Kampala, on average a Boda Boda rider makes at least 25.000 shs a day and approximately 700.000shs a month. (28) consecutive days of work. Relating to Uganda’s economy, 700.000 shs is tuition for a term in one of the best schools for a primary child. But comparing this to the sad fate that has befallen this particular family, the family is faced with low standards of living., having to raise kids in a survival for the fittest manner, growing up to face a struggling economy where there are no jobs for the youth and at the end of the day., the parents and the children remain stuck in the same phase of poverty with no reliable sources of incomes, single meals or no meals at all.

Religion, money, are some of the many factors that influence the size of a family, in Africa. Moslems are allowed to marry as many women as they wish, African societies also considered families with large numbers of children to be those that are more respected and with more assets. Some of these beliefs still live on until today, despite the family’s income levels and sources. Not forgetting that these families in the African Traditional Society had enough food and land to cater for the large numbers of children.
Relating the 2 changing times, a Ugandan citizen living in a rented single house of approximately 150.000shs a month can afford to lure 6 different women into marriage even when they know that they don’t have a reliable source of income.

The advancement in technology and science has availed family planning services at quite an affordable price to every average person. Some birth control methods are free of charge like condoms. With all these in place, a normal Ugandan would opt for unprotected sex and early unplanned parenthood. Why bring an innocent soul into this world, full of poverty where one can hardly survive. Parents still struggling to make ends meet, therefore they end up with less or no time at all for nurturing their children, this ends up exposing them to the world at a way too early stage. Growing up carelessly, into irresponsible youths and citizens without having a mom or father to look up to as an example, and the cycle continues in the family, poverty lines year after year.

Our country doesn’t need a new president or government to fix the issues that we face, our country needs us to become better. From the way we think, act, and perceive things, the decisions we make, the investments we make with our minds, and time too. The wives we marry and the men we choose to spend the rest of our lives with, the people that are to father or mother our children. Or Uganda is forever going to have its biggest population living under poverty.

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