Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
The first time I gave a speech went like this:
“What is your Makerere University? What is it that one thing that drives you to wake up early every morning and keep improving daily?
When I failed the technical exams for an admission to Munteme Technical College (TECO), I thought it was the end of my career. I had worked a lot to get an admission. In our village, graduates of TECO made up the who is who of the village. They owned bicycles. Decent houses. And were the village leaders. On the other hand, any one who proceeded for higher secondary school education after primary seven, they turned out as the menace of the village. Gamblers and idlers.
After one week of hopelessness. My grandpa, Mzee Atanansi looked me in the eyes, and told me that “he knows only about Makerere University, where the best go and who later become the national and regional leaders. And to get to Makerere University, you must only go through Munteme Fatima College (MUFACO) and not TECO. So, go get an admission at MUFACO so that you may complete O level and A level and on you proceed to Makerere University Kampala.”
Hope is all we need to work towards our dreams.
Great leaders have led nations by giving hope of a better tomorrow. Many people have overcome deadly illnesses because of hope. Without hope we all become desperate and stop trying.
My grandpa, gave me hope to look up to the next day. To channel my energy to something bigger. All my life, I had envisioned completing primary seven, attempting TECO exams and obtaining an admission as a car mechanic. And thereafter starting my own car repair shop. I looked at my life being that simple. Operating at our trading center. That was my Universe. That is what I knew the world to be. I never knew that there exists a city where cars never stop passing by. Buildings with doors that open automatically for you when you step in front of them. Or getting into an airplane and travelling to another country which has very sophisticated technology and infrastructure.
The revelation that there exists Makerere University was an eye opener for me. I owe my current achievements to my parents, teachers, relatives and my wife, but specifically to my grandfather who looked me in the eyes and said, “aim for Makerere University.”
I want you to turn to your neighbor and ask them “What is your Makerere University?” What is that destination that drives you?
One of the reasons why I keep improving is that I take any challenge as an opportunity to prove myself. I want to show everyone that I can do it. I am better. Failing to meet the cut to go to TECO opened a lot of opportunities to me. It took me places. To Hoima Town. To Kampala. To Kenya. And to the world. I have travelled a lot and given speeches in great cities like Dubai, Bangkok and Hong Kong and it has been a great adventure.
I am sure my script would be different if it was not for my grandpa who told me those few words “the best go to Makerere University.”
To succeed, you need to identify your Makerere University. Remember, it keeps changing. Those who get far are alert to keep knowing when their Makerere University has shifted, and they do likewise to find it.
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit www.mustaphamugisa.com to transform your life today. No one is too good to be great. Are you?