This could have been the last thing I ever saw! And this near death experience had me shaking like a leaf over an hour later.
The road was clear on both sides an occasional car whizzing by as I steadied my phone to capture the gathering rain clouds to my right and the red sunset sky opposite me.
Nearby a young man sang out the price of his Matooke.
Four quick bursts and I was ready to take another shot of the setting sun, when from the corner of my eye I saw a tipper truck, Dyna, come hurtling towards us as we stood on the opposite side of the road. Brakes screeched and the skid marks were temporarily ablaze as the smell of burnt rubber wafted towards us together with this monstrous vehicle.
It veered to the wrong side of the road, careening as if to topple over in the middle of the road.
For a moment it was on two wheels, as if held by an invisible wire, and then landed unsteadily onto all four narrowly missing a school bus full of Mukono Nursery school children, jumping the keen and coming to an abrupt halt less than a metre away from the bumper of the Toyota Hiace Supercustom on the other side. The Matooke merchant and everyone nearby scattered as fast as their legs could carry them, away from the now stationary vehicle.
Three visibly shaken youth jumped out of the co-drivers door, the truck belching blankets of black smoke as if the driver had slumped in his seat with his feet on both the accelerator and brake.
I was transfixed! Alone on the kerb as everyone seemed to have magically found refuge about 5 metres behind me.
Clumsily he reversed into the road, where all the traffic had stood still and drove in the same manner, taking a right turn further ahead, it’s former passengers melting into the growing crowd.
“Emmere ya bwerere” (The Matooke is free!), the young man began to chant again, perhaps grateful for his spared life.
The ensuing conversation retold the tale and speculated on the cause as I gathered my wits and embarked on my journey home.
Pensive, silent and re-living that moment in my mind, unable to brush away the vividness.
1. We need to have a conversation on the state of mental health in this nation. The precursors, the causes and effects and the general management of #MentalHealthUG
2. Youth unemployment in Uganda is a disaster waiting to happen. Drug use is rampant and this leads back to my suggestion on mental health.
3. Whereas there is a need for Motor Vehicle inspection we need to be candid on SGS and the unanswered questions around it.
Empowering the department of motor vehicles of the Uganda Police or equipping the Ministry of Works divisions in every district to be able to do this would seem like a better option.
For now it seems only cars entering and leaving Kampala will be inspected which is suspect to say the least.
And there’s the JEVIC inspection on purchase to talk about.
4. Stay woke, be alert, love one another.
Be kind and polite. Say hello to your neighbours.
For you know not the day nor the hour.
Communicate because we live in a world where technology has enabled us to be connected and yet lonely and alone.
As we harness the shifts in our generation let us not lose our core, our humanity.