Community, Diaspora and Immigration

Sometimes life is hard to bear, when a friend is just not there. RIP Mercy (Mina) Bamuga

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Name: withheld (former roommate)

 

1 Corinthian 13:12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].

Comfort my people.

Mercy (Mina) Bamuga

Death leave us with more questions than answers. It compels us to pause and reflect of our own immortality and flicker called a life. Like a breath or candle , here today, gone in a moment. As am sure we are all seeking meaning, I wish to maybe help articulate what many of us are feeling .

 

Am grateful for the platform that this message might arrive to my people and yet under the current global crisis it seems unbearable not to have spoken in person. Thank you Promota, thank you Mr WIlly Mutenza for your continued efforts to shade light on all things Ugandan.

 

Truly , am deeply saddened and it’s with a heavy heart that I write a eulogy for my dear friend.

To those that knew her, Mercy (Mina) Bamuga , she was a beautiful soul, fun loving and loud. You immediately knew when she was around. A distinct voice and laugh that filled the room. Mercy would call out your name first, laugh then hug you.

 

Always dressed up ,our pretty sassy lady was always on point. Hospitality came easy to her, life of the party , her home was a gathering when opened to others. A heaven of endless laughter , entertainment and joy. She was not your ordinary girl.

 

Mercy opened up her home to me when I was in the toughest season of my life. With the little she had I was welcomed into her home for 8 months . Mercy gave up her own bed for me and she took the sofa for the duration I lived with her. I will never forget this gesture. When no one could take me in , family, or institutions,  this beautiful soul took a homeless girl in, she gave me refuge, food and a roof over my head. I could breath for a while.

Miss Baguma with friends (4th from left)

How it is now, that she passed away alone, under such graphic circumstances, I’m truly wrestling with Grief, denial, anger and confusion. Yes Death is an inevitability but this ending is hard to receive and here is why.

 

In her honour, I’m beyond compelled to give account of her life but before that I wish to address our Ugandan community.

 

Urgency above anything has risen within to courageously extend a deep plea of global and corporate Unity. As we stand , Humanity is at a tipping point of a new normal and the old must pass way. The old way of living must be dismantled.

 

For a long time we have heard of the echoes of disunity and a lack of support within our people. At first a mere remark in conversation passing, and soon a resounding trait on ground zero and Diaspora. I strongly feel moved with compassion within to state that we must fully review our hearts as people. We need to pause for a long moment and slow down , read the headline that caught our hearts about Miss Bamuga’s death so that incidences like these end once and for all. I too have sought repentance on a lifestyle of isolation to counter human disappointment as you do to seek some sense of peace.

 

It’s time the Ugandan community Unifies. 2020 has been a year like no other,  we globally have been finally allowed time to stop and self asses. In this reflection Systemic Racism, the fragility of life and utter disregard of community has been brought to the forefront. We have seen how this system has been an undercurrent to the disproportionate success of the White and black community. We then watched as riots sped across the globe in response to this injustice take shape and become a catalyst for change and is still making daily adjustment.

 

It is with this same urgency that we Ugandans too must rise up and make long lasting changes.  We have looked at other affluent Africans from other nations thrive in businesses, life and as individuals for too long. We have watched our own try and blaze the trail and then cut them down. How long must this go on? When will we hear of and cheer for our own when they succeed. Why should we be the exception to division , tearing down of our own kind. Unity precedes Blessings , its biblical. Could 2020 be the year we all have needed and dint know?

 

My brothers and sisters ,Death alone should not be the only occasion that brings us fully together. We are each other’s keeper. We are all connected , created and loved by God. Neighbours, kindred . What aspects of our history and traditions do we let go of when we cross borders. If truly it takes a village to raise a family , does coming to Diaspora mean losing our sense of basic Humanity and Culture? Could we truly remember who and whose we are.

A pearl , a nation of breath-taking beauty. A people vastly creative and hospitable. Captivating humility , drive and resources. Oh Uganda, indeed your Anthem , a symphony to proudly utter.  Could we rally and awaken the giant within our motherland. Banauganda , my generation is coming up behind you, could it be with a hopeful anticipation of a glorious future and emancipation of a people.

 

No. Miss Mercy Bamuga should be the last soul to live and die alone abroad with a vast community within her reach. I call on those with influence to establish structures in place that moving forward can be points of contact for our people in distress, after all her death is proof the system failed her, we failed her. This lock-down needs to be the turning point for change. A new normal of unity among all Ugandans in Diaspora across the globe. We are better than this, we are an exceptional nation and we must arise again. Let us awaken to the need for accountability and shared wisdom of the old and young generations. Together we can thrive on shoulders of experience and aspired dreams.

 

Mercy Bamuga, a life cut short too soon  a life of potential yet to become all its was meant to be. My soul rests easy knowing we found each other in this journey called life for a moment,  you were planted in a church, gave your life to Jesus Christ , served for the duration you were with me there,  a hardworking woman who tried her best , lived large and loud. Unapologetically beautiful , black and proudly Ugandan, miss Mina, a music loving dancer who made hearts happy with epic stories, you gave the best hugs and I will miss them on this side of Heaven. Yours will be a life remembered not forgotten. Your son will know who you were to us . Praying for comfort to his tiny heart and your family. Am praying for resolution to every system that failed you. Praying for recognition for all the hidden help you gave to others is acknowledged.  Pray most of all that your life will be the reason a Nation, a people changed and finally Unified.

 

May you smile always , and Rest in Eternal Peace beautiful now in the arms of your heavenly Father. Forever loved , Eternally missed.

 

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