Monday, 10 March 2008
Never Be the Same Again (A Tribute to Andrew Kataryeba)
It is strange that when I finally decided to begin blogging after procrastinating a lot over the last several months, the first thing I'm writing about is death. Yes, over the weekend [Saturday 8 March 2008], when I am remembering my father [George William Mwesigye Kanabahita] who passed away in 2006, this year, a friend [Andrew Kataryeba a.k.a Kats] passed away at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The difference is that my father was well into his sixties, Kats on the other hand was barely in his thirties. In essence, life was just beginning for him. The news of death is always shocking and painful, I had thought after the death of Daddy, death is something we take in stride as we walk this walk of life. How wrong I was, because of the kind of impact that this announcement had on me.
When a close person dies, or any person for that matter, it is best to celebrate his or her life rather than mourning the passing. Life has to move on like the proverbial wheel that keeps turning irrespective of who falls off. Kats has fallen off but what is it that I will always remember about him till my turn also comes.
I joined St. Mary's College Kisubi in Senior 2 together with Kats, in the same dormitory [Mugwanya House] and he was my neighbour through that year. He was a guy with great physical strength, not easily intimidated [protected me from a few bullies], big dreams [like of joining Harvard University, Massachussets Institute of Technology], vision [a vivid example which he shared with me but won't repeat here because it is not appropriate in light of the circumstances], spiritual conviction [he tried and failed to make me a Pentecostal Christian, more popularly known as savedee], very intelligent ['bookwise' and other aspects as well].
Though he may not have lived to see some of his dreams come to fruition and fail to achieve others, one thing I know he had faith in God and respected the plans that He had for him. My heart goes to his parents, his sisters, his wife and all his Old Boys (OBs) and everyone who shared those years.
The last time I saw him was a few years ago when he came over to Semawata Road in Ntinda. He found a group of his OBs [some of whom he had not seen in years like me]. At that time, he was on holiday from a stint in Nigeria. He shared several anecdotes of life over there with us, we had a good laugh, argued a bit about sustaining a business in dusty Kampala [he had had experience of starting one at the time I was thinking that the greatest thing was bar hopping].
Kats was that kind of person, thinking ahead of his time. I am glad that it is one of the things that I tried to emulate, not to be afraid to dream even if it may seem far-fetched now. I would hear of him in different places: Belgium, Nigeria, even Iraq [I don't know where else]. One thing that that I am guilty of is not staying in touch [there is no excuse since communication is easier now]. Oftentimes, we get caught up in the humdrum of our daily lives and simple hellos became distant and pushed back into the shadows of time.
Nevertheless, we should always cherish the time that we share with our friends. For me, I will remember Andrew "Kats" Kataryeba in the second verse of this song NEVER GONNA BE THE SAME ( modified a bit by me):
Fi all the friends and families that have past on
Leaving impressions and memories that will last on
We give thanks fi all the time that we know them
Reminisce them legacy that is what we owe them
Because [they] helped to make us who we are
So let us never forget and talk it near and far
Bless Up [Kats]
I can't forget you if I try