Today, June 3rd, we celebrate the Uganda Martyrs. The people who paid the ultimate price in defense of their Christian beliefs. Fearing the possible loss of control of his Kingdom, the Buganda King at the time, Mwanga II, took drastic measures. Over the years, Christianity had been spreading with it bringing a new class of officials within the Kingdom.
According to history texts, these new officers – Bishops, Deacons, and Priests – had a good education, commanded respect, and mobilized resources – giving a perceived real threat to any traditional leader at the time. And to make matters worse, most of the Christian teachings were interpreted to be against the culture, traditions, and practices of the indigenous people.
Many Christian converts were asked to make a choice: to denounce their Christian beliefs, be accepted back as true subjects of the King, and live or continue with their Christian beliefs and die.
They chose to die. And so it was bloodshed between 1885 and 1887.
The way life is sweet, albeit, with all the injustices and suffering in the world, it is not easy to accept it to be taken especially when one has a clear choice to save it.
And that is what makes the Uganda martyrs so special.
The world today is at cross-roads. Racism, human rights abuses, inequality, and coronavirus are ravaging and causing untold suffering.
And it is not by coincidence that on 25th May 2020, an American citizen, George Floyd, was killed and has become the face of the revolution for justice, racial equality, and human rights globally.
The Uganda martyrs chose to have their lives cut short by their tormentors but to die as Christians and not to live a long life of no value system and beliefs.
What are you willing to die for? What are you living for?
For over 100 years, every 3rd June of the year so many people the majority of Christians trek to the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo in Uganda, the place where many Martyrs were murdered. But this year is different. As part of the strategy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (covid19) that has been ravaging the world since December 2020, people shall not go to Namugongo.
Whether you are a Christian, Moslem, Buddhist or Atheist, what is the purpose of your life? What are you living for? What would you die for? Be inspired by the Uganda Martyrs and find a cause to champion.
A lot of injustice is taking place in the world.
The racial problem is an ever-present danger.
Any black person who has traveled to Europe, America, Canada, Asia, United Arab Emirates, and even visited other African countries, will tell you of discrimination based on race. It is so bad that many Africans in other countries look at African Africans with disdain.
Now is the time to confront injustices against other fellow human beings, regardless of where they live or come from. Injustice in America is the same as one in Kenya or the United Kingdom or South Sudan.
When someone starves due to lack of what to eat. That is injustice.
When you steal or abuse public resources. That is injustice.
When you deny others opportunities to eke a living. That is injustice.
When you keep quiet, do nothing or tell lies against abuses. That is injustice.
When you fail to pay others what they deserve for their services to you, that is injustice.
Many people, black on black, are pressing their knees on the throat of so many fellow Africans every single day but their victims are not so lucky like George Floyd to have a passerby to take that larger than life video to start a revolution.
A lot of abuse goes on unpunished in homes. At the workplace. On the road. And everywhere you look.
Use today to find a moment to reflect on the sacrifice our forefathers made to defend their beliefs.
Let’s join hands to condemn racism not only in America but in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United Arab Emirates, and everywhere on the face of the earth.
All races need one another and the world is enough for all of us to enjoy, and pass on to our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
That is what it is.
No one lives forever. And every generation creates new knowledge to adapt and thrive in the existing conditions. However, just as men cannot survive on the earth without the women so can one race survive and live happily ever after alone without other races.
And when you come to think of it – we all come from the same place – whether you use science or religious arguments and theories of creation.
And that is why blood does not have any race. And so does intelligence. Anyone with opportunity, exposure, and means could generate ideas to transform the world.
Happy Martyrs Day to you, your family, and friends.
Remember to get a piece of paper and write down: what are you living for?
The killing of the martyrs made them popular and stronger in death than life. And they will forever be remembered for living for something.
Better die for something than live for nothing.
What are you living for?
Add your voice to the cries by our brothers and sisters in the United States of America to bring justice to George Floyd, who was murdered in daylight. One wonders what happens during night time when the police and other racists elements know no one is watching?
Add your voice to the Ugandans traveling abroad to work as house help and cleaners in many parts of the world.
Add your voice to the people dying in their homes for lack of food or at the hands of their masters
Add your voice to people who are being sold into slavery in this year of our lord, 2020!
Add your voice to so much injustice that continues to go on unpunished…
Add your voice…
For me, I will continue writing blogs like this. I will add my voice to the wrongs I see…
Copyright Mustapha Bernabas Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.