By Absolom Lubwama
In a country where poverty has become a tourist attraction (like Bwaise guided slum tours) and excitement a coveted aspect, the once “jobless youth pressure group members given political appointments quit criticizing and started praising the government, politicians who praise government programs like free education and good medical services can’t have their children or close family members be treated in government facilities or go to UPE schools, a sense of hopelessness looms high above our heads like a nimbus cloud. We run to seek shelter before it rains havoc on us.
As a result , people seek “excitement” as shelter to escape reality. Wishing our problems away, hoping we shall wake up one day when sanity prevails, corruption and tribalism are gone. We try to find humor in every situation. Anything serious or short of humor is considered irrelevant.
This explains why bars are making more profit than book libraries and telecom companies are making a killing on data sales as we are glued to social media for the next “funny post” to share.
The search for excitement is everywhere
Charismatic Christian preachers have learned this – that people are seeking excitement. As a result, the preachers have excitingly packaged the gospel to keep their followers tag along with them while fleecing them of their little money in exchange for promises of prayers for miracles.
Recently, the revelation of mental health disorders in Uganda gave an alarming figure which we just laughed off. We can’t afford to seek help in the few available government mental hospitals. Religious-based facilities are equally very expensive. Charismatic preachers seem to be giving us a quick fix to our problems.
As if not enough, we chant our problems mixed with dances through prayers all night long. For days, weeks, months, and sometimes years we hide on bushy hills (baptized prayer mountains) waiting for God’s voice. A new trend of madness is going unchecked. We are led by illusions we sometimes mistake for God’s calling.
Like madmen who seek public attention, we run to the streets with megaphones, preaching the gospel we have not fully understood. (Some of the street preachers act like madmen.) We believe it’s the best way to serve God for Him to answer our prayers. We go home with the satisfaction of achievement if lucky, with handouts from passers-by as our illusions grow into madness, preaching to no one in particular, hoping one day God will send us a miracle to escape our misery.