As the year 2011 comes to end, I came to confirm something I always suspected was a problem in this country. From my early childhood I noticed people in this country always loved being on the winning side which is good, but they were bad losers. In school, we were always taught how to win but not how to be graceful in defeat.
At the beginning of this year, there were general elections and the most intriguing race was of course the presidential election. To the common man, Besigye looked like he would give Museveni a run for his money despite all the money being thrown around. Most of my friends claimed to “support” Besigye and would vote for him. As they say, the rest is history and Museveni was president again which I accepted despite my reservations but what shocked me most was my friends who earlier claimed to “support” Besigye were celebrating a Museveni win saying he was incumbent and couldn’t lose the election; that he invested his money, he fought…blah blah blah…I guess a good number of you experienced this. This made me reconsider these chaps as my friends because they had no loyalty at all which I consider an important factor in friendship.
Fast forward and Uganda had a game left to qualify for the Africa cup of Nations and the whole nation was in frenzy. All we needed was to win against Kenya and there were predictions of all sorts e.g. 10-0, Kenya wouldn’t turn up and everyone was optimistic from ministers to president to radio commentators and sports journalists uninonimously agreeing Uganda is going to win. The match ended in a draw and we didn’t qualify which was sad but the comments from my fellow Ugandans disheartened me so much. After our failure to qualify that’s when everyone remembered how our team wasn’t good enough, our hopeless federation, the lack of academies, lack of enough preparation and also David Obua and the President were blamed. All of sudden all the concerned parties played the blame game and many vowed not to support the Uganda cranes ever again.
This had to be the climax. It was the long awaited fight between our very own Golola Moses and Nagy from Hungary. Many Ugandans admit they didn’t support Golola for his Kick-boxing skills but rather his funny statements to the press and on social media like Facebook and Twitter. There was a lot of controversy around the fight and as much as Golola claims to have won, Nagy was declared winner. Ugandans again turned their back on the ‘loser’ Golola about how he was beaten, his poor kick-boxing skills and bemoaned him for shaming the nation. Many claimed not to have supported him yet the day before the fight they could have killed for him.
This reminded me of the time at campus (MUK) when I contested for Chairman of Livingstone hall. The campaigns were tight and many were not sure who win our race. A good number of my friends said I was going to lose and some actually supported my opponent. I won with a landslide of 70 %( I didn’t rig FYI).All of a sudden everyone claimed to have voted for me and supported for me. Even the people who were campaigning for my opponent claimed to support me. My intelligence was surely being mocked.
As a country, we should train ourselves to be graceful in defeat and accept it when it comes. Most of us like changing sides when we lose. Parents should teach their children that the best team doesn’t always win. It is very dangerous to be taught that we must always win as it will lead to disagreements and conflict. It is dangerous because it casts Ugandans as a bunch of unmoral people looking for the next best thing. We should borrow a leaf from our Kenyan counterparts.
No wonder we (Ugandans) complain of being cheated every time we lose. Last but not least, Uganda won the CECAFA 2011 and not to my astonishment, many who swore never to support it again were celebrating like we had won the world cup. Surely, Only in Uganda is where all these perplexing things happen.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous new year 2012.
b_guilbert on Twitter