I am married to Barbara a Mukiga lady. I am a hybrid of a musoga father and a tutsi Rwandese mother. I come from Wanyange, Jinja and I attend Kampala Baptist Church. I am in the couples class for Bible study. I enjoy a good cup of coffee and reading-almost anything. I cook and wash dishes. I like the beautiful game of football. I am attentive to current affairs in the world and I have a strange sense of humour. For example, I want to start a rumour around KBC that scientists have discovered a picture of Pastor Magaya planting trees on Mars and they are requesting anyone at KBC to help with information on how it got there!!
2. On your way to where and what you are today, have encountered any fears or pains?
Well, because of the unfortunate discourse between Eve, Adam and the serpent in the garden of Eden, fear and pain became permanent pavers of the expedition we call life. All humanity must experience it. It was painful growing up in a polygamous home. I encountered many social ills but one that is always memorable is the anti-tutsi diatribe from my step mothers who were Basoga. This (anti-Tutsi sentiment) by the way was a national scandal in this country especially in the 1980’s. I remember vividly during the December presidential and parliamentary election when my mother was not allowed to vote at a polling station because the state agents felt that as a Mututsi/Munyarwanda, she was not supposed to vote in Uganda. That incident triggered a political consciousness in me at such a tender age and up to today, I harbour the “beware of the state and polygamy” kind of feeling. A polygamous home has a plethora of sins but, the positive about it for me is that it taught me NOT to do polygamy. I joke about it with friends that if I ever run for the presidency in this country my platform would be NO TO POLYGAMY.
There are many things I have feared in my life but the one that stood out most is the fear of failure. God Almighty in his divine wisdom wired me as designer/developer by temperament. I want to see things done. The problem with that kind of temperament I discover is that I tend to be insensitive to people's feelings sometimes but I am working on being better.
I believe that fear and pain can be converted into positive forces if there is good spiritual nurturing and mentorship.
3. How would you define courage?
It might have many definitions but, I can simply say that it is the ability or determination to do the right thing regardless of what might be popular with the status quo and it has a cost.
4. So from your definition, do you think courage helped you in any way to overcome the pains and fears you mentioned in 2 above?
Yes. Not only then but even now. One of the ways through which one can overcome certain fears or pain is by being courageous to face them head on. By the way courage I might say has a spiritual element to it. People that slay lions have to come face to face with them; you don't run away! You look at your weaknesses and ask God to give you wisdom on how you can face those fears and pains.
Sometimes courage can make you look stupid, silly or unwise but to face issues of life one has to just take the risks and say “I am going to do this” and you go for it. Sometimes it can look like a game of chance but you have to face it.
There is some level of what I would call being impetuous sometimes. Like the political philosopher Niccollo Machiavelli said that "Fortune belongs to the impetuous not to those who are cautious". So in life to achieve certain things you have to face fear head-on and sometimes pain is to be endured and not necessarily overcome. Isn’t suffering and pain part of our call as Christian believers?
5. Could the pains you faced have played a role in shaping you to become the courageous man you are today?
Well, that is if you indeed believe truthfully that I am courageous. Yes. Pain has been a refining agent for me though I believe that most of my acts of being courageous are in the future. I read about courageous men in the Bible: Moses, Joshua, Joseph, Paul and JESUS CHRIST the most courageous man that ever walked this earth. Pain is a common denominator in the lives of those we regard as courageous - Deuteronomy 31:6 Not only for me but I think most people who have the guts to face their fears and pains have good shape to their character. I want to be courageous, patient and learn temperance. Revelation 21:8 is worth paying attention to on this subject of courage. There are instances where I have acted cowardly and those I regret. By the way courage is a risky business.
6. Besides those you have mentioned, are there other areas or situations in a man’s life where you think courage is a must have virtue?
It is the way God wired men. You can decide to be courageous or to surrender; it is inescapable! He created a battle for every man, be it spiritual or physical battles require courage. And of course in our world today we have many men that surrender which triggers moral and ethical decadence in every sphere of life. We get exposed in the world, rise to certain levels in terms of education, social status- marriage included, face crises and the final resolution through it all is to BE NICE!
For some reason, we do not want to take on courage. We prefer cowardice. Marriage is a tough decision but, before or after, a man must pick up his AK47 and go to the frontline. Not to go to the kitchen to cook for soldiers (metaphorically speaking).
I tend to agree with John Eldredge in his book Wild at Heart that, “Nice men” sadly is what the church today wants to have. We do not want to hear of men who are breaking barriers into unchartered territories to spread the gospel or cause other needed political, economic and social changes. It is said that there were men who risked lives taking Bibles in the Soviet Union and others brought communism to its knees. Those were battles and there were front lines but today, men don't want to risk to that level and I have been culprit number ONE. We want to attend warm church congregations, to stay in the safety of our sitting rooms and watch TV. Go to the kitchen and help our wives. All those things are good but there is a battle for every man to fight and it must be chosen wisely.
7. In your opinion, is courage inborn or developed over time?
I think it is both and this is how: when you are born, the sense of fear is very minimal but, as we go along in
life encountering incidents that cause fear, we turn out to be cowards or courageous depending on how we
are guided on how to deal with fear and that is the development part I allude to. It can be inborn and stunted
or developed. It is like a gift or a talent in an individual.
The same thing with men; God has wired us to be courageous but that courage has to be nurtured for positive purposes and I say positive because to be a robber you also need courage. But it has to be fed. Like King David, when he was a young person, he was tried out. He faced off with bears and lions before being lifted to the level of facing and slaying Goliath. That is how it is with courage.
8. You mention that courage can be developed; can the older men then help the younger men achieve this development?
Yes. There is a role that the older men can play. If they can be courageous enough to realise that to everything there is time. There is a time for the older men to play their role as courageous people and then move on, not necessarily off the stage but trying out young people on the stage.
It requires courage to risk trying out the young because sometimes they can be an embarrassment due to inexperience and other factors. Unfortunately, even well intentioned older men may fear to bring up the young men because from a psychological stand point it can be a false indication that they are fading away. The need is not only in the Church but in secular or contemporary society as well for the older men to encourage the young.
9. What are your final remarks to the church of Christ today on this subject of courage?
Well, I think we need to understand that the God we serve today is the same God that talked to Joshua and said "be strong and courageous", Deuteronomy 31:6. He is the same God that worked with Moses, and many other Godly leaders through the various stages of history that the church experienced. The apostle Paul was courageous to face the Jewish legal establishment and the Roman government. God also worked with Martin Luther during the time of the reformation in Europe and he came face to face with the Catholic Church leadership to bring about the necessary positive change.
Of course courage has got its costs and we must bear that in mind. The church needs to know what God has called it to do and that there is a cost to it and rewards as well. The knowing part might be easy but the doing is hard. The Church must know the troubling truth that there are voices calling for the church to modernize, adjust and conform to the world. These are emboldened by the worldly culture, ideologies and the misplaced advantages of science and technology. It is therefore imperative for the church to wake up from slumber and claim its place in the world.