By Petero Kusasira Mukama
Sheila Gashumba is right. The problem however, for most of us, is that it matters more to us who delivers the message, and that perception is what vulgarises the message.
While at school, I had a lot of trouble with teachers because I asked questions, and often I was told I was a wiseacre (lugezigezi).
One time, I asked the mess master why we had to eat posho and beans all term through save for those odd special days and maybe a few Sundays, yet the school would be able to comfortably feed us a proper balanced diet. Or in the very least, good quality posho, and well cooked beans. I was told off for being a rich spoilt kid who has kyejo (I do not know what Kyejo is in English).
Oddly now, is that many schools now offer proper feeding to their students, and if you factor in inflation, the fees my parents paid at that time, are close or even more than what is paid in schools that feed their students a lot much better than in our times.
The point being, is that it was wrong then, all in the name of saving a buck (exorbitantly), and it that things are different now, only confirms that we were being exploited. I do not want to talk about the school bus we contributed to every single term, a practice I found in place, and was only purchased a decade later.
Banks, news agencies, television stations report near abnormal profit growth via revenueevery quarter, and yet the complaints of under pay all in the name of an over saturated job seeking market is nothing short of exploitation. CEO’S, CFO’S, MD’S BOARD’S are often awarded huge bonuses at the end of positive financial breakthroughs, bonuses that never trickle down to the staff who soil and toil to actualize these goals, objectives and targets. I think last year was the first time of such a trickle down in URA when they hit above their target.
But, there are always firsts, the people who stick their necks out in the face of unfairness, injustice. Those firsts are always looked down with scorn, even by those who they are stepping up for. People will always tell you how you are biting the hand that feeds you, and the very same people will comfortably sit on the bus or train, and forget that it was Rosa Parks bravery that made that happen.
Anandibai Gopairao Joshi was the first ever Indian female doctor. The hurdles she surmounted to get there are numerous, and yet many stand on her shoulders, even those whose great grandparents frowned upon her then.
If the industry is revolutionized because of her cries, and those of the others that will join and shape the debate into something fruitful.
The very people that laughed at her, will want to partake into the fruits of the war that has been won.
That she is being ridiculed for paying a house maid 400k UGX says a lot about why an honest and sincere conversation has to be heard about the underpayment and over exploitation across the different arms of the workforce.