Cultures

UGANDA: STOP FAKING ACCENT; DP MAO WARNS ACOLI WOMEN

Norbert Mao President General of the Democratic Party (DP) lambasts Acholi ladies on forging accent.

Let us protect our culture
DP Norber Mao post for a photo.

GULU-UGANDA:  Norbert Mao shocked thousands of mourners during Savio Ojok Awany’s send-off on July 16, 2019, when he ridiculed some Acholi ladies for borrowing accents foreign accent after graduating from schools. Mao lambasted the ladies thus “some women are a shame to Acholi as a community” adding “when you get educated girls instead of speaking and pronouncing English the way our people speak, you find the person pretending to speak like a Muganda or Munyankole” terming the act as “ridicules”.

Oyengyeng News Editor caught up with him in an exclusive interview.

Below is the verbatim

In 1989 when I was at university at Makerere with my close buddy counsel Walter Okidi Ladwar and others we decided to call for a  meeting of Acholi Students who were then studying at Makerere in order to form a student association.

Makerere University population at that time was about 7,000 students. We as sons and daughters hailing from Acholi sub-region were in solidarity with our people who were suffering back homes.

In that first meeting the idea of forming the association was mooted, we accepted and we agreed on the objectives of the association which was to unit Acholi Makerere students to show solidarity with the suffering of our people.

We then came with the idea to name the association as Acholi Makerere Students Associations (AMSA), although there were a sizable number people who did not want to associate with the Acholi. They stigmatized us heaping a collective guilt for Uganda’s past dark history.

So, they argued that we should hide the name Acholi, because it will have negative connotation. Others said the name should be changed because there was an ongoing rebellion in Acholi, urging that the group would be misunderstood as a group that supports the rebels.

Others proposed that the name Kitgum/Gulu Associations (KITUMSA) which basically merged the two district of Gulu and Kitgum. The majority agreed that we cannot run out of Acholi, and others people cannot define us Acholi people.

At that time I was standing for guild presidential elections and I was surprised when I mooted the idea to my brethrens, I was given a cold shoulder. Some of the Acholi’s even went to the extent of saying that we are vey few and that we could not cause great impact at the institution and it will send a wrong signal to the government.

Despite these fears from my people, me, as Mao, I saw their skeptism of me wining an election trauma. But I insisted, contested and won the guild race.

So to me, everyone can achieve anything they want. They only have to realize their potential and ability. This of cause starts from a person’s upbringing from home at the family level.

{The family in Acholi has been weaken, we need to structure the family in Acholi the family is the first school where you get your value are formed and that is where you developed the value of yourself and your value of the world}

In other word, it’s the family which saves you how you look at yourself and the look at the world. The final fabrics has been destroyed by the long arms conflict, the family became dependent of Humanitarians Aid.

The self reliance of household was completely and destroyed the first unit to which a person belong is the family.

But you see, most families in Acholi were destroyed during the war, so people try to identify through the people they associate with, which are secondary like gangs, religious cult, rebels, national army and so forth.

It was easy to destroy family units because there was no community pillar in Acholi. I grew up as a person who was revered in the village because of my verbally ability which distinguish from the rest.

People who were most respected were mostly were farmers, teacher, religious leader and others like army officers who excelled in different fields and were respected in the villages.

These were the people who community went to; to seek grantees, get advance and any other form of assistance. They were pillars that kept community strong.

So Acholi need to go back to the basic, our culture is defined as being truthful. Many Acholi are now liars. We have become standard liars there is unbridled immorality.

Morality is now seen as modernity, if you are to stick to the old values, you are seen as backward and primitive even. We should not let modernity destroy our culture”

We should use the media for moral re-armament; a culture can survive if it has tools to defend itself positively. We must tell our people that we can be masters of our destinies.

We must act on our best interests. Leaders have big roles in what I would called Acholi renascence it is the work of leaders to talk to people, leaders do not have to only give what people want, you must tell them.

Now leaders want to pretend that they know what people want, instead of what people want. Leaders should seek answers to difficult questions and then articulate the interests of the people and together with the people seek solutions to the problems that society face.

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