Before I saw the light, I once aspired to live that textbook 1-2-3-4 dream of the average Ugandan corporate; 1 wife, 2 children, 3 bedroom house and a 4-wheel drive SUV, partly because many in our generation seem to have been conditioned to live that way.
Every University alumni you meet a few years after campus will ask the same questions;
"Have you bought some ka land somewhere (Fat-Boy calls it "in the middle of nowhere")?"
We'll soon raise a generation of robots, at this rate. People who do things just because everyone else around them is doing the same.
Now, one of the people supposed to mastermind the "3" in my then blueprint was Aaron Aroriza, a fine Architect with the brains and experience to match.
Once, I casually asked him how much I needed to put up a basic house. He had set up something cost-effective and decent that I felt I could ape and "live happily ever after".
"10 million and you should be good to start. Then you take one step at a time", he said.
Every time I took a stroll around my suburbia with family, I showed them one of his projects and remind them about how the brains behind that project will soon be camping at mine.
Nature, lady luck or "hard work" (like those mystery Pakasa tycoons want us to believe) soon handed me what I thought was enough to tickle Aaron’s fancy, only to discover that my friend had moved on (from small projects, not the profession).
He now rolled with the big boys, and my fantasy house now looked like the equivalent of a servant’s quarter’s extension that probably did not deserve his full attention.
The man I had last seen pushing a humble Kikumi now moved around in a mini-monster of an SUV that roars and the rest of the road users listen.
Aaron turns 30-something today (Is men’s age supposed to be kept confidential as well?) in what should be a merry-filled day for the unassuming Architect.
Happy birthday, chief. When I grow up, I want to be like you.