By Lwabaga Safa, Past S.O.U.L. Foundation Volunteer Coordinator and Sponsored Student
Well my name is SAFA LWABAGA, 22 years of age from BUJAGALI, UGANDA, EAST AFRICA and why not AFRICA in general.
Currently I am pursuing a diploma in JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION in KAMPALA at UMCAT school of Journalism.
I am from a family of 8 members with 2 brothers, 3 sisters and guess what? I’m the 1st born!! In Africa the 1st born is referred to as the “Real Child” because we think that parents are still faithful to each other and therefore chances of cheating on the hubby are limited!!!!!!!! So are you the 1st born?? Comments reserved for the next publication! Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You all know life is not a smooth terrain but rather filled with ups and downs that every human being is entitled to pass through no matter who you are and where you are from. But my caution is “Never Let the Negativities Faze on you.”
Whatever you are going to read here is success achieved through ALLAH (GOD), S.O.U.L. and MY PARENTS. I swear without the above, SAFA would be a hundred miles away from where I am right now. That’s why I big up my chest every single day.
So as a human too, 2011 unfolded both negatives and positives in my life but to begin with are the most spectacular and splendid three moments and, to be honest, these all left me “zero-worded.” I kept asking myself am I dreaming? Is it me, Safa? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1: BECOMING ONE OF THE S.O.U.L. SPONSORED STUDENTS!!!!!!!!!
If I could turn back the clock of time, for sure I would LOVE to see that stunning moment appear again in my life. I am a very talkative lad, cracking jokes is what I do best but I was left shut, amazed!! I couldn’t talk for the next couple of minutes and later filled with tears of joy. OMG I couldn’t believe S.O.U.L. had given me the opportunity to achieve my education, career and more so, my dream. I was overwhelmed by the words from my sponsor and the S.O.U.L. staff.
To drive you a little back, I had completed my high school studies in 2009 and therefore was supposed to be joining University the following year. But as wishes are not horses, I took a dead year off thinking I could work and save money together with my family so as to accomplish my studies. This was all in vain as I failed to get a job during vacation!!! I lost hope and felt the world was against me.
It was in mid May that my life terrain noticed some ups when I started volunteering at S.O.U.L., being available at all times needed. This was followed by a run of splendid performances as a volunteer coordinator.
The happiest moment of this all was when my friend and S.O.U.L. volunteer Danielle returned to Uganda the following year with a sponsor for me and passed the news to me that they are now ready to sponsor me! What???!! I replied in shock! But they told me to keep this a secret from my parents because they wanted to surprise them. I called my family members that S.O.U.L. has invited them to a dinner at the S.O.U.L. SHACK! Wow no one knew what was going to happen and here came the moment to remember! Daddy Kenny, Danielle, Brooke, and my sponsor Suzie all stood up and informed my family that they are sponsoring me to university the next fall. Damn!!!!!!! I remember watching my dad kneel down thanking S.O.U.L. in tears of joy, mama was just a feet away from collapsing and just like I explained my situation before, that was the kind of mood in the house! BIG UP TO S.O.U.L.!!!
2: MEETING MY UGANDAN FOOTBALL HERO, DAVID OBUA
As I write this, I still don’t believe it was me, SAFA, with this guy talking like it is you and me. Tell you what? It was an exhausting day in Kampala with Danielle and Brooke as I had gone to research on what University to undertake lectures from and also purchase sewing machines for the women’s Tailoring project.
At dinner as we were discussing what had happened earlier that day and there entered a tall, dark skinned guy putting on a hat and glittering pins on both ears. Is this David? I asked myself, he must be David Obua! You know I was used to watching him live on TV so I wasn’t sure if he was real. I told Brooke and Danielle that the guy up there is Uganda’s best footballer. “Are you serious?” Danielle asked, “Who he is? Where he does play his soccer from? Why he is in the country now?”
Without hesitation Danielle and Brooke stood up and said that they were going to make my dream come true, they approached David’s table narrating how I knew him, and how he is my hero and so on. He there and then ordered them to bring me to his table. WOW if you guys were present you would really see how Danielle and Brooke rushed to me, “Safa! Safa! Safa!!!” They shouted, “See what is happening to you now, your dream is coming true now, stand up and lets go!” Danielle and Brooke screamed loud.
OMG! Here was David Saying, “Hey Safa!” Hey David! Nice to meet you! I gave him a chest hug like I knew him before. Have a sit he said. We had a 30 minutes interaction with him and exchanged digits. He said to me, “I can’t believe you analyze every step I make in my career.” I could not believe I was saving his number in my contacts. Damn!
Amazing above all was the moment when he offered me a free trip with the rest of the National team Uganda Cranes to watch a live game at the National stadium Nambole in the V.I.P. stands and guess what?? In the stands with me was the Vice President of Uganda, Gilbert Bukenya.
I was seated in the Cranes bus with all these other professionals on the National team, having a hand shake with all of them in escort of the Police patrol at the back and front. For sure I still don’t think it was SAFA who got this golden opportunity to hang around with these boys especially when the population of Uganda has hit 38 millions. But who is SAFA from a remote village of BUJAGALI to even share dinner on the same table with the Crane’s team? Wow Big up to S.O.U.L. and particularly here Brooke and Danielle. LONG LIVE S.O.U.L.!!!!!!!!
3: BALE FRANCIS A.K.A THE LEGEND IS MY LECTURER!!!!!!!!
Some of you are now asking who the hell this guy is but for sure he is a legend in the Uganda Media industry. Baale Francis is Uganda’s best news anchor the country has ever had. I used to watch this guy when I was young on TV newscast and listen to him on radio. He works for the national station in the name of UGANDA BROADCASTING CORPORATION.
Well the story is that I adore this guy like crazy. He is my biggest inspiration when it comes to Journalism. I remember one time saying, “when will I ever get to meet him point blank?” But on my first day and lecture at school on 5th September 2011, there was Baale Francis standing in front of the lecture room saying, “good evening ladies and gentlemen.” Wow! S.O.U.L. making everything HAPPEN.
NOTE: Whatever you have heard from my story is 90% S.O.U.L. success.
Thanks to my sponsor SUZIE a.k.a. KP for supporting me out. I CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
I dedicate this story to my S.O.U.L. family.
I DO IT ALL FOR S.O.U.L.