Being Mr Muwanguzi’s son, I write from life experience not imagination. I just love it that God didn’t give us a chance to choose parents because He gives you the exact parents to make sure you fit in the society he wants you to be in.
One day I will be holding you in my two hands trying to find the smallest part on you that resembles mine, so you know that’s when the battle of making a man I wish you to be will begin, I pray to God to remind me that you aren’t me but you are you always. Am sure your mother won’t have trouble with who is carrying you for immunization tomorrow, then to church on Sunday and then on your first day of school.
I hope you choose a seat in class which will define your confidence not out of inferiority or feeling you are the smallest in class. When you get time for break I hope you go out to venture not to choose a game according to gender, because you will be brought up to know that all people have full capabilities. It’s only all about trying out our curiosities irrespective of the gender, so if you want to jump rope instead of kicking a ball, it will be very fine my dear and please don’t be scared to trip and hurt your knees, because you would have not walked if you didn’t fall. In any case scars are a sign that you survived and still live.
If when you grow older, instead of playing basketball you want to play handball or be a dancer, remember that it is not just games for girls, and if you don’t believe me ask the guys who spend hours in a studio rehearsing with those video vixens, it’s about hard work and passion not chilling and taking pictures to post on snap chat and IG. In all these many words, I only intend to advice you to pick a sport and stick with it, if you like hitting people, do boxing, never pick a sport because you would like impress girls, if you want to be yourself look inside you and find the right sport.
When you meet a girl and most probably you won’t feel butterflies in your stomach but you might get goose pimples, don’t hit her, push her or bully her because your friend did something similar to the other girl; heartlessness and violence is never a form of expressing love. Instead learn to like her sport, go listen to her terrible voice as she practices for her Sunday school show. If she doesn’t like you and your company don’t take it too far and personal, keep your distance and seek company from she who gives you one. I hope that never kills your self-esteem.
When you find school not that interesting as it’s emphasized but rather stressing and boring when you are studying for tests or studying for your finals, I will remind you that grades don’t define your intelligence. And I will then teach you your worth and let you figure out whatever it is you need to figure out. We shall then go scouting and mountain climbing to see the beauty of nature and I hope you get inspired looking forward to the next challenge of life.
When you are in your teens and a have a crush on a girl who wears same clothes as you, no makeup and has no girl-friends, do not worry; bring her home. I want to meet her and give her a hug and love her as if she were my own daughter. If she actually makes your heart hurt, you do not have to be ashamed, when you decide you are ready to tell me I will be waiting with open arms to pull you in and tell you I still love you and tap you on the back. And that way it will make it easier for me to buy you both presents.Please know that it’s never okay to be gay and if someone judges you, it’s okay because no one is born gay and gay is against God’s creation, African culture and values and so they won’t be welcome in our society and home.
Time will come when you want to experiment with alcohol and drugs, I will understand and support you, I hope that this doesn’t happen until you are at least 15 so I may give you your first drink and feed you water after you drink it too fast and it comes flying back up. Know that if I get you smoking cigarettes or trying chemical drugs I will smack your ass. In saying that, please do not do drugs because you do not understand them and trust me when I say you do not need to.
I hope you always surround yourself with love because love comes naturally, always laugh and make people laugh. I hope you have the kind of smile that turns cold hearts warm, hope you get to know more about yourself, capabilities and what you’re good at. I pray even the most hateful words will teach you more about love and how to give a helping hand where need be and never be selfish. Learn to forgive instantly, but understand that forgiveness is more for you, and don’t mistake it for approval. Be proud of being passionate. Be kind and respectful to people, even if they are your subordinates. Learn how to love and accept yourself so much that you no longer notice who doesn’t.
When you don’t listen to me I will ground you, make you miss you next game practise, and later will talk to you about life, boys and girls. I will take walks with you and play with you the best game you will have taught me, perhaps I will bribe you into loving to watching Arsenal play without winning trophies or watch al Jazeera BBC, CNN, or NAT GEO to know more about life and its cruelty out there, because most of these channels make it seem like the whole world is insecure and on fire, which is partly true.
I will teach you to never ever judge a person during their bad moments, we all have them, even you, and that does not make any of us bad, it just makes us human. Please for me, get to know your warning signs so that when these moments occur you know and you can control your actions, in knowing that, no one can make you angry.
When your 18+ and I happen to teach you anything I will teach you three things; I will teach you to be gentle, I will teach you the value of the word ‘no’ so that when you hear it you will not question it, and lastly I will teach you that not everything is about winning, sometimes it is okay to lose because losing is a part of life, and when you do will tap on your back hold your hand and tell you how proud of you I am because you tried. Please remember that perfection is like a myth, and the saying practice makes perfect is a lie, but practice does make proficiency and that is close enough.
When it comes to dressing remember these three words; function before form. Dress comfortably when you should, smarten up when you have to. Remember jeans are your best friend because sometimes pants just don’t do it. Make sure your pants are ALWAYS above your hips. When you visit someone in their home always take your hat off when you enter their home and never, ever, wear a baseball cap at the dinner table or so help me God I will burn all that you own.
When you fall in love, let yourself fall hard, be stupid in love, but no so stupid you can’t redeem yourself. When this happens know your boundaries and draw them clearly, and know her boundaries so that you can help her draw them as well. In saying that, no girl is perfect, but fall in love with her imperfections and she’ll be pretty close to perfect. A few things you need to know about women; one – they can smell dishonesty a mile away, so unless you’re trying to protect their feelings never lie to them. Two – they may want to be treated like equals, but a little chivalry goes a long way, learn how to compliment them, they love that. Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness. It is okay to cry, even in front of your friends. That’s the thing about real friends, they will always support you, no matter what.
School is not for everyone, education however is. Always seek to understand how a person got to where they are now, and learn from their back story. The best education comes from travel, from making mistakes and learning from them. Your grades do not depict your future, they are merely keys to open doors in life, your degree does not determine if you are smart or not, your actions do. Always remember that your efforts and the skills and traits you pick up along the way of life are what will pave your road to success. In saying that, it is okay to pick the path less trodden, it will allow for more freedom, but be aware a mentor may be hard to come by.
If war comes and you want to fight it I will sleep with clenched fists until you come home to me, and every month I will send you a care package and be more proud of you because you love your country and chose the path of the better good at the expense of your life. If when a war comes and you don’t want to go, I will sleep soundly. Remember you are allowed to be soft, you do not have to be strong, and you do not have to be a solider to be a patriot or bring peace to your land.
Question everything, never stop asking ‘why?’ even when it drives me crazy. Always question authority, but promise to do it with respect, in saying that age or status does not warrant respect, character does. Never be afraid to question anybody, this is how you will learn right from wrong. In saying that you will only ever be as right as the facts behind you. Always speak your mind unless you’re drunk but know why you are doing it, always know that sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
Never give up, no matter what. Giving up is the only thing you should never do, however, taking a step back is not giving up, it’s a tactical retreat. Remember that winning isn’t everything, but always bring the fight to them, don’t ever let them bring it to you unless you know you can absolutely win. Get a job when you can, every time you buy something with your money it will mean something more. Do not be afraid of a 9 to 5 job. It may seem like a drag but it is not. Work will never be finished, but dinner will get cold so come home and eat, if you’re going to be late call ahead, so I know.
Never seek my approval of your success in whatever field though this might come naturally, if it does always remember that I admire more the fighter in you no matter the size of the medal you will bring home always. I will always be waiting for you to come home with your son to go out on that favorite spot on the other mountain, and start telling you how he so much looks like you.
Yours truly future Dad.