Daniel Kalinaki's weblog

A commentary on news and events in Uganda and elsewhere


Just an ordinary bloke.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Two weddings and a last funeral rite

I actually never watched the movie; Four weddings and a funeral, but someone told me it was funny. I doubt his sense of humour, so I will wait and see but I lived through a bit of that last weekend.

On Saturday morning I woke up earlier than usual and drove out of town for about an hour and a half; destination? Nkokonjeru, Mukono district, a round journey of more than 80 clicks from the capital, Kampala. Reason? To attend the last funeral rites of my departed friend and colleague John Ogen Kevin Aliro.

It was a simple ceremony, attended by relatives and a few close friends, as well as the boys from the Weekly Observer; JT (James Tumusiime, who took over the unenviable task of running the WO after KA died), Hassan Badru Zziwa, who knew KA for donkey's years and Benon Oluka and Richard Kavuma who counted KA among those who inspired them.

It was also touching to see three of the Monitor Crew; Wafula Oguttu, David Ouma Balikowa and James Serugo turn up. They did have their run-ins with KA at The Monitor, and later when he left to form the WO, but it was a touching sight (Charles Onyango Obbo did not attend as he now lives and works in Nairobi, while the last of the six musketeers, Richard Tebere, died in a car accident in 1998?).

Life can be strange. Later that night I was back in Kampala, in the polish and glitter of Sheraton Hotel, attending my mate, Mark Ssali's wedding to his longterm girlfriend, Lydia. It was a bit strange seeing Mark up there as the groom, dressed to the nines and all, but hey, stranger stuff happens.

I had been invited to two other weddings, including that of my colleague Alex Atuhaire and another but three weddings and a funeral would have been to close to the movie so I went home instead and wondered about the strangeness of life and death and how they are so mashed up.