The book that has a central character Bogo, looks at life in towns and in the villages where most Ugandans live and how they struggle every day to get the basics of life like clean drinking water, safe energy sources, basic health care and education.
It’s imaginative, it’s thrilling and it's real.
It speaks to who we are as a people and as a country. That’s how one can
summarize Aggrey Wunyi’s 82-page book. From the first page to the last page, the reader
who has lived in Uganda or actually Africa can relate to the story as it’s
what is happening in most of our societies.
The book that has a central character Bogo, looks
at life in towns and in the villages where most Ugandans live and how they
struggle every day to get the basics of life like clean drinking water, safe
energy sources, basic health care and education.
Although it is talking about life in the 1970s,
nothing much has changed over the years in the real-life struggles of most Ugandans
apart from in a few areas. How life was in the 1970s is pretty much
the same in 2021, with the same struggles of life although now there seems to be plenty
of essential goods and there is no need to ration them like it was in the
But this is undercut by the lack of capacity of
many people to afford these basic human necessities. In a story of one
family and one character, Wunyi is able to tell the story of so many Ugandans
who have managed against all odds to succeed in life.
People who have had to mortgage family
inheritances like land in order to have their children go through school.
Through one person, Wunyi also brings to the fore the backwardness of many of our societies, which feel unhappy when
one of their own tries to break out of the cycle of poverty, primitiveness and
But it also tries to illuminate the bright side
of our societies where there are people who are happy that one of their own is
able to break the yoke of poverty, ignorance and disease. The story also tells us about the dependency
syndrome that is prone in many parts of Uganda.
The whole society thinks that it is the responsibility of one of their own who
breaks even to look after them never mind that they
contributed nothing to those people becoming what there are if anything when
they actually worked actively to undercut them.
The book also captures properly the politics of
the day where politicians are always trying to outshine each other by promising
things that they know they have no capacity at all to deliver. Politicians are willing to go all the way to ensure that they are elected even if it means
lying to people.
In reading Wunyi’s book despite its inadequacies like not
having names of other characters, like being too short, no doubt you clearly
understand how much or how little Uganda has progressed over the years.