"Hi. I like your writing style. This is superb", read an email from Dora Barungi, the then editor of Sunday Life, a weekend pullout that came out every Sunday, almost a decade ago.
It was her response to an article I had written about School times, a series that was eventually aped by The Observer.
Barely out of campus with an IT background and an old school belief that mainstream writing had no business being my favorite pastime, here I was, getting endorsed by a doyen in the profession.
This was the spark that subliminally ignited my passion. My confidence shot through the roof. And thus I cut my writing teeth, eventually going on to start my first blog shortly after.
Today, Daily Monitor turns 25, and what a ride it’s been for the guys in Namuwongo. While I certainly wouldn’t be the right person to tell their tale, I’ve had my fair share of memories.
I won’t go much into press and other freedoms they might have battled along the way, for I probably know only a fraction of what they went through.
Nonetheless, this should be a toast to this feat, to all the excellent stories they’ve churned out, and to everything else that has been great about them.
Charles Onyango-Obbo’s "Ear to the ground" (that article in which he likened Burundi's Pierre Buyoya to Gustave, the menacing crocodile on the Burundi side of Lake Tanganyika remains my all-time favorite), Fulham fan Kevin Patrick O'Connor’s "Roving Eye", Austin Ejiet’s captivating satire in "Take it or leave it" and Muniini K Mulera’s remain some of the best columns I have read to-date.
I cannot forget Harry Sagara’s humorous tales from Panyimur, complete with that cartoon that had an upward-pointing Winklepicker.
There was always something gripping about John Abimanyi Kiggundu Zedekiah’s features and his writing style, a guy I first knew as an exuberant Christian hip-hop fanatic we called Chilly Willy/Sting in high-school many years ago.
These, and some of our recent favorites like Daniel Kalinaki are the reason we continue to support Daily Monitor.
I'll sign off with special shout-outs to recent "veterans" like Jacobs O Seaman (who has since found greener pastures elsewhere), Andrew Bagala(current favorite Investigative journalist), Andrew Mwanguhya and Atukwasize Chris Ogon (my current favorite cartoonist).
Bon Anniversaire, Daily Monitor. May you continue to thrive for many more years!