Waiting for Godot
Of late I spend the six days of the seven that make up a week behind a computer and a counter somewhere in Makerere-Kikoni; a dry and dusty city Suburb in Kampala, Uganda. The little place is always huge with a cacophony of activities all day, every waking day. In the morning the doors are always slamming open. Mothers opening for their children in candidate classes that have now resumed studies, business men and women opening their retail shops to earn a penny for survival, loud stumps of passersby are also part of the cacophony every morning. Before long, the squeaking sounds of boda bodas and bicycles also soon join the league. Saucepans, chapati stoves, quick foods, sounds they make, everyone is always busy doing something by midmorning. The struggle is real. In the afternoon, there’s shine or rain but the frenzy doesn’t stop. If it’s rain, the rain droplets create that ambience, if it’s shine a group of youths will gather in small circles under shades to escape the scorching sun and chat the afternoon away. Soccer and women are the most favourite topics. And oh, of late Bobi Wine and Museveni have also found a way on the menu of these afternoon chats. I listen from my small stationery when my earphones are not on. For a creative writer like me, it’s a silly scapegoat to claim that your ‘pen has run dry.’ I mean, from all that cohort of activities, failing to get what to write home about is an excuse so lame!
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But today, my head was empty! I heard and saw but didn’t understand a thing. I saw people move like I always do but I couldn’t figure out who? I heard the youths talk about soccer but couldn’t figure out what they were saying. The only thing I heard is that they were talking about Manchester United and Arsenal. On a normal day, this would interest me. Today, it didn’t. My thoughts were miles a far, far, far away. I was thinking about life. I was thinking about how hopeless life can make you feel. Today you’re here and tomorrow you’re no more. How we keep hoping against hope for things that sometimes never come. How we are singing today and tomorrow we are mute. How we are blazing full of life and tomorrow we are no more. When they say so and so’s ‘candle has burnt out.’ That doomed day.
My mornings are usually graced with prayer, a text(s) from people who love me, asking how I slept. And some mornings, it’s just the rush and hush of the life we choose in a bid to chase dreams and money. Or getting out and about in hope of a better day than the day before; hope! Do these things really come? —these things we keep hoping to get, do they?
Josephine Nakakande had hopes too. The text I received this morning was not from the people I mentioned above, those who love me, nope! It was a text telling me that Josephine Nakakande was no more! That her ‘candle had burnt out.’ Shocking! A friend, a former classmate at Makerere University, Department of Performing Arts and Film, a jolly girl, a sensational singer and drummer, the text said this Josephine was breathing no more. She has been waiting, hoping for better things in life. She has been waiting for Godot! Godot didn’t come! We are also waiting for our own different Godots, money, love, property, educational achievements, return of loved ones, name them. Our Godots sometimes never come, sad reality.
We hold on, hang in there and forget to live and love today. It’s wrong. Live today as it comes. Godot often times never comes. Waiting for Godot deprives us of the happiness for living each day. Stop waiting for that damn Godot.
Rest in Peace dear comrade Josephine.
PS: Waiting for Godot is an absurdism play written by Samuel Beckett about the hopeleness of life. The play’s title inspired the title of this write-up.