Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It was a cut and dried case. The woman had been caught having sex with a married man for which the punishment was clear – death by stoning.

The wandering Jew with a growing following was presented with the case as a way, it seems, to trap into contradicting the holy book, and then who knows the stones meant for the woman would be turned on him.

He continued to doodle in the sand before uttering one of the most memorable lines in the bible, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

They used to be nice people those days, because they all slinked away one by one leaving the woman with Jesus Christ.

If she were in Uganda today enough of the people would have gone, “Shya!” and stoned her to death anyway.

Twenty one hundred years later in a land far, far away from the hills of Judea, Ugandans last week set upon our very own Desire Luzinda as if with stones passing around her nude images with glee, mocking her with unbridled abandon and basically revelling in the young woman’s affliction.

You might question Desire’s judgement in fraternising with a Nigerian (the byword for the con) or even for her other rumoured dalliances (whispering under your breath how she had it coming). Ok that she has a body made for the camera goes without saying. But we know other celebrities who have leaked their nude images, more accomplished women, may be even more beautiful and they did not attract as much attention as Luzinda – at least the good minister of Ethics did not see cause to set the police on them.

The body of her work (forgive the pun) does not even make her superstar. She is a looker, yes, but we all know age will account for that soon enough. So what is it about Luzinda?

If the truth be told this episode was more about us as a society than Desire Luzinda.

"Her moment of infamy only served as a trigger to reveal our true selves.
A judgemental, self-righteous and petty people, who derive pleasure from bringing people down, find solace in the hurt of their people and think its ok to wallow in mediocrity because one of our own fallen on bad times...

We are akin to maggots that feast on rotten flesh, turned on by the fetid smell and licking our lips of every last morsel.

This is not written in defence of Luzinda (She is a big girl she can handle the situation) but more an indictment on us as a society.

They say no one flogged a dead horse. The fact that we are enjoying Luzinda’s fall from grace is testament that she is someone – in our eyes, worthy of being pulled down. And since you cannot pull someone down from above it means in our eyes she is more worthy than we are.

That reveals a lot about us, doesn’t it?

It displays a singular lack of ambition on our part.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. The chaos of Idi Amin’s Uganda damaged more than the infrastructure, economy and rule of law.

Going by the stories Ugandans were an educated, hardworking and cultured people relative to their neighbours. The Amin era seems to have put paid to all that, reducing us to our basest selves, content with foraging for food, sheltering and clothing ourselves and the basic physiological processes.

Just because we have enjoyed stability for the last 30 years does not mean that as a society we have graduated to the next level of human development. And every so often we are reminded of this.
You can take the man out of the village but you cannot take the village out of the man.

The trick would be to refer to an older generation, who hopefully remember how “that” Ugandan was brought up, to recapture that essence of ourselves that would not openly jubilate at the misfortune of others or plot incessantly for their downfall.

The point is we cannot rise to any meaningful heights of achievement if we continue to crawl, our vision blinded by the dust we and those around us continue to kick up.

One interpretation of the story, my interpretation, was that Jesus was telling his people you need to improve yourselves not by bringing others down but by building yourselves up. Essentially mind your own business.

That is enduring wisdom and common sense.

Luzinda may not get off as lightly as the adulterous woman – if the Ethics minister has anything to do with it, but she might have done us a favour by making us come face-to-face with our true selves and hopefully change for the better.

That would be a greater service to her society than any son g she may release.

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