EDUCATION: You and I, have a responsibility of putting, the wrong right

SUMMARY: Honestly speaking, if a doctor describes a particular type of virus as a disease, then what should Jonathan, a poor layman in Medicine, do? You hear, CoViD-19, Coronavirus Disease-19. This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!

You will realize that we have lived with most (if not all) of these anomalies, for the years, and for this reason, we have now come to accept them as the norm. While a number of these anomalies are alien, others are typically our own, for we have manufactured them here. Take an example of a person who says, “Amanya gange nze …” literally meaning “My names I am …”, instead of “Nze …”, … “My name is …” … Good enough you said, you think. By and large, everything we do, think about, or say, rotates around language; the danger is that we hardly give it a second thought.

Bernard, my dear, just as people have messed up the English language in this COVID-19 era, is the same way it happened with the Good News Bible. By description, a Bible of whatever version is a Good Newsbook. Our biggest problem, especially when it comes to communication, is we think that we can use language the way we want and walk away with it.

Imagine a whole International body-World Health Organization, with all the brains therein, convincing billions and billions of people that a specific type of virus can be a pandemic: Truth be told, you do not need to be at the stage of completing your Ph.D. thesis in any medical field to know that this is not right; all you need is just the mastery of the knowledge of the elements of language. Any type of virus MUST cause a particular disease, and it is this disease, but not the virus in question, that we describe as the pandemic. But because WHO has not yet given us the (actual) disease caused by a coronavirus, it is the reason, perhaps, they rushed to describe it (coronavirus) as a pandemic. Certainly, you must have heard of people, including medical doctors and professors in the same field, who have equally referred to coronavirus, as coronavirus disease; hmmmmmm! Honestly speaking, if a doctor describes a particular type of virus as a disease, then what should Jonathan, a poor layman in Medicine, do? You hear, CoViD-19, Coronavirus Disease-19. This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! Because coronavirus was detected in China, in 2019, WHO decided to describe it as CoViD-19, which literally means, “Corona Virus, Detected, 2019. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY coronavirus, which can cause coronavirus disease. You do not have to be a genius to arrive at this conclusion.

If coronavirus causes coronavirus disease, does it, therefore, imply that the Human Immune Virus (HIV) causes Human Immune Virus Disease? Like I said previously because we have failed to acquaint ourselves with our native languages, this is why we are still finding lots and lots of problems with the English language. Even the acronym, COVID-19, is wrong because the letters “O” and “I”” do not represent a specific word. Honestly speaking, if “flu”, or “influenza”, is described as “ssenyiga”, how then does “corona virus” (mark the word-VIRUS), translate into “Ssenyiga Omukambwe?” So, according to the architects of this description, does it, therefore, imply that in Luganda, the words “virus” (akawuka akakambwe akaletawo obulwadde …), and “flu” (ssenyiga), are synonymously used? The answer is definitely, NOT! Hence, describing “coronavirus” as “Ssenyiga Omukambwe” is not only wrong, but equally misleading, especially to the young generation. With the so many symptoms of this virus, I still do no know why we as Baganda, zeroed-down to only one symptom, flu” (ssenyiga). Why didn’t we call it (coronavirus), ekifuba ekikambwe, omusujja omukambwe, or anything else in this line? Bernard, haven’t you heard of people referring to this virus, as “a virus?”

And because they say, “virus”, they translate it into “viruses” in plural? And from there we blame our children for failing their exams? Surely, since when did the noun, “virus” translate into a countable noun, so as to pave way for the use of articles before it? So, after referring to the noun, “virus”, as virus, how do you expect me to stop my daughter in Primary Four, from saying, “water”; “a bacteria”; “rice”; “a maize flour”; “paraffin”; “a cement”; “urine”, or “sand?” You say, “viruses” in the face of this Primary Four chap, and you think you will stop her from saying waters, bacterias, sugars, salts, paraffin, patrols, diesel, urines, rice, cement, or sands? I highly, doubt! To-date, I am still scratching my head to find out the actual meaning and, perhaps origin of the term, “scientific”-scientific wedding, scientific burial, scientific elections, …, a concept that has been readily accepted by many people in Uganda, and beyond, regardless of their educational backgrounds.

Anyone with details on this can reach out to me, using the contacts given below. Don’t forget that for anything to be described as SCIENTIFIC, a rigorous scientific study/investigation must have been conducted, since there is no way you can arrive at the desired facts if this (scientific investigation) step is skipped. Truth be told, the rate at which language, specifically English and has been abused, in this CoViD-19 era, is beyond measure. And because this has been championed, majorly by people in key leadership positions, who most of our children look up to as their role models, it is going to be EXTREMELY HARD for educators/teachers to put these children back on track. Bernard, haven’t you heard our leaders struggling with the meaning of the words “mall” and “arcade”? I almost switched off my radio when the President mentioned …, “importing of bodies”, something he read directly from a document prepared by elites. Surely, must you be a professor in the English Language, or Economics, for you to know that “bodies” are simply repatriated, and not imported?

I wish to thank the President for coming out clearly to clarify on this issue. Indeed, if it weren’t for the President, so many of our children had already been driven astray. Bernard, haven’t you heard of people using the terms “good luck” and “bad luck”, in their day-to-day exchange? Surely, how can LUCK be classified as good, or bad? … “ekyomukisa omulungi”/”ekyomukisa omubi”; omukisa gubera mukisa, i.e., luck is luck. Teri mukisa mubi, ate teri mukisa mulungi! We simply say, “ekyomukisa”, or “ekirungi”, and not “ekyomukisa omulungi”/ekyomukisa omubi. So, instead of saying, “Good luck”, simply say, “I wish you luck”. You can be “unlucky” to miss out on something good, say, a University scholarship, but this cannot be described as “bad luck”. It is just a question of being unlucky, or unfortunate. Bernard, haven’t you heard our leaders in Christ talk of “omukisa ogutalina buyinike”? … “fortune/luck with no strings attached”. This is not right, since fortune, or luck ceases to be, once it has strings attached. This distinguishes Christianity from any traditional religious beliefs. Consider a situation where one tells you, to become wealthy, you must first kill someone, or mount a cow: This is “luck” with strings attached, and, thus, cannot be described as luck! Bernard, don’t you know that the noun, “national”, or the names of our countries, in our case, Uganda, belongs to all of us, and, thus, cannot be used by anyone, in naming their businesses, or organizations, exclusively? Haven’t you seen organizations, including political parties, in Uganda and beyond, abusing this princple? For heaven’s sake, Bernard, with the so many brains, including experts in Luganda, that have gone through the mighty “King’s College, Budo”: Why do we still have the name of this school, misspelled?” With your Nkore background, why don’t you take the lead of putting right the name of this great school, since you are a stakeholder, from “King’s College, Budo” to “King’s College, Buddo”?

Museveni, coronavirus taskforce petitioned to reopen schools

Surely, why is the signpost of “Gayaza High School” still reading this way, for the over 110 years this school has been in existence, and above all, the many brilliant girls who have passed through this school? You mean all the girls, the majority (if not all) of whom have turned into highly respectable people in Uganda, and beyond, have not yet known that the word “gayaza” is inexistent in Luganda? Haven’t we had any scholars of Luganda, including professors, who have educated their children from this great, historical school? So, since Ggayaaza and Buddo, are more, or less inseparable, Bernard, as a “Buddonian”, why don’t you reach out to the GOGA (Gayaza Old Girls’ Association) community, and, together, embark on the process of correcting, the wrong? Certainly, since “Mengo Senior School” and “King’s College, Budo”, share a lot in common, I am vividly sure, they (Mengo Senior School) too, will not allow remaining behind …. From “Mengo Senior School”, they will definitely switch to the right name, “Mmengo Senior School”. “Mengo Hospital”, “Mengo School of Nursing and Midwifery”, plus all those organizations that use the noun “Mengo” … will emulate Mengo Senior School, and that way, we shall have acted not only as true change agents but also, as true patriots.

I highly doubt if Namilyango College, and all those schools/organizations with the “Nna” sound will accept to be left out by this wave of change. Definitely, Namilyango College, will put down their signpost, and embark on a rigorous legal exercise of putting right all their documents, the way Uganda did on October 9, 1962. I would love to see the signpost of Namilyango College, read “Nnamilyango College”. Bernard, my dream is to see “Najjemba” rightly spell her name as “Nnajjemba”. “Nnamatovu”, “Nnakityo”, “Nnakabonge”, “Nnabukalu”, “Nnansamba”, and all the “NTU” names with the “Nna” sound, being correctly written. Nnatukunda, AND NOT Natukunda. Nnamboozo, AND NOT Namboozo.

I will die a happy man, if the authorities in Rubaga, put right this gross anomaly. In the orthography of Luganda, the letters H, I, R, U, and X, NEVER begin a word. So, the right thing should be “Lubaga” and not “Rubaga”. How I wish, the stakeholders of “Rubaga Girls’School” take the lead, by putting down their signpost, and replacing it with “Lubaga Girls’School”. So, my dear, Bernard, truth is, majority (if not, all) of the anomalies evident in language, are initiated by a single individual, and, thereafter, disseminated by their accomplices, thereby spreading like a bush fire. Imagine if President Museveni wasn’t open to learning, “how people, majorly our children had taken on the concepts of “sneezing in” and “sneezing out”? …. I am very certain this is how the concepts of Good News Bible, Holy Bible, or Holy Qu’ ran, came into being.

Can you imagine, even the Muslims whose allegiance is in Saudi Arabia, also fall prey to the anomaly? When you say, “Good News Bible”, automatically, you are telling us that there is a Bad News Bible, which is not the case. Precisely, a Bible is a Good News book, just like a Qu’ran. We just cannot have a Holy Bible, in the absence of an Unholy Bible. In more specific terms, a Bible is a holy book. In fact, the Baganda have it right here, “Ekitaabo Ekitukuvu”, which literally means, the “Holy Book”, to mean, “Bible”.

The Holy Qu’ran can only exist in the presence of a Qu’ran which is Unholy! The rightful description for the holy book of Muslims, is simply “Qu’ran”, and not “Holy Qu’ran”, since, by its nature, a Qu’ran, according to the Islamic faith, is a holy book. Bernard, can you imagine the Whites have told us that 00:00 hours is mid-night, and at the same time, they have equally convinced us that morning starts here? Interesting! Being a Mathematician, I am very sure the term “semi-circle” is still fresh in your mind.

Surely, what is a semi-circle? In the presence of a semi-circle, there must equally be a semi-triangle, semi-rectangle, semi-square, semi-line, semi-pentagon, etc., yet this is not the case. But, did the architect of the term, “semi-circle”, reason out this, this way? A circle is a circle; we can never have it described in any other way. That is, something is either circular or not! Bernard, my brother, you and I, are the force of transformation in the world. We are the consciousness that will define the nature of the reality we are moving into. So, please, join in this campaign of correcting the wrong, for I strongly believe together we can make a difference.

Jonathan Kivumbi, Educationist. 0770880185.

[email protected]

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