By Isaac Teko
I met Oulanyah in 1988. I was 20, mad, properly poor BUT brilliant and brainy . I had been out of school for 2 years , when Sevo took power in 86 I was 18 and out of school.. I was a typical professional villager with village ambitions and no underwear! I smelt like the back of a lizard, I never had a toothbrush of plastic and brush , but a piece of a small branch of hardwood as a toothbrush, I had become hard-core villager waiting to sweep one of the many village belles into my hut one moony or starry night and voila! be married! …
I had been kicked out of school in S2 and for good reasons, because no school admitted or kept mad Boyz…and bad for me was that in those days once u got expelled from one school, all the other schools in the district got to know..there were no private schools …
So I decided that since there was no social media (ofcousre I didn’t know Sosomedia then) and there were only TELE- phones and no Mobile phones to spread the rumors of my expulsion beyond Tororo District, I was safe to exile myself to Kla …
So when I arrived in Kla walking almost bare footed(no shoes) in the back of a UTC public Bus from Jinja where I had stowed into by the Nagongera Line as the railway from Tororo was known, I started looking for where to do what How!
I had no idea that Kla would take me in and make me a law student in under 5 years …that whole.story is told in a Book I have scripted for release in a few months …
Anyway, my Aunt the Late Norah Owori and Husband the Great but now late Rotarian Sam Owori formely of UCB welcomed me into their home in Nakasero where Hilton Hotel sky scrapper is being built now- and started the process of rehabilitating me …
It was not hard to remake me as i was sufficiently talented and fast minded to pick up any new thing, and in a short time I was looking like a CityKid…I now had shoes, a trouser, tee shirts and a few crushes on neigbouring city damsels and lasses…In short I had mutated into a Kla Boy…
My aunt took me to a then peripheral secondary school- Kololo SSS hoping to slightly improve my english and heavy Jap accent …but little did she know that I would conquer s3 and 4 with a good first grade in 1988 whence I moved to City High School and again conquered S6 to get to LAW school..
So it was in 1986 when I met Oulanyah who was in S5 and me in S3..We became friends because we were both from a structurally poor background laced with serious and fundamental hardships and perennial want! He looked like the word ambition and was a keen debater and full of grand words! ..
He left after S6 to join Makerere …that’s the time I was caning S 4,5 and 6…I then joined Makerere University LAW School one cold September 1991 day only to look around for any face I knew and Lo! I saw L’Okori seated at the back all serious and smart ! I knew then that I was at home. .. Being that he was a 1st Year Student of LAW but already a Graduate of Rural Economics and had worked part time at Standard Chartered Bank, I became a beneficiary of his generosity and few coins… I grew closer to him and he never rebuffed me…he took me under his wings and became my BROTHER, my friend , my protector and my keeper… when his girl friend the late Dorothy Nangwale stood for Guild Presidency in 1992, I was part of her team. ..
In those days Govt gave students in 3rd year some stipend for research and Dessertation writing… due to poverty I ate my allowance and when time came I had zero shillings yet the dissertation was needed.
OULANYAH GAVE ME ALL THE MONEY I NEEDED TO COMPLETE MY RESEARCH ,TYPING AND BINDING OF MY DESSERTATION ! I THEN WAS ABLW TO GRADUATE IN 1994…THANKS TO JACOB OULANYAH L’OKORI ….I WOULD HAVE NOT COMPLETED HAD HE HAVE NOT GIVEN ME A HAND!!! SO MY LAW DEGREE IS FOR OULANYAH…
That aside, during law school and after he kept me with him even taking me to his Village in Omoro.. I was by him in his motorcycle when he was still in the University, when he finished he got a room in Nabulagala where Dorothy joined him ..he began slowly improving his life and acquiring life things, he got better housing , better cars and finally better jobs including becoming an MP …He never forgot about me and we kept in touch ….
Oulanyah was a kind man, he was patient and considerate, he was NOT segregative , not tribalistic, he was generous, fatherly and selfless
He had style and taste , he loved life and its things, its women, its good food, its finer laxatives like DANCE! He love Dancing to Congolese Music especially and he Loved to be the center of things especially good things!
He loved cleanliness, he loved people, he cared for people and genuinely ! He loved LEADERSHIP, he loved taking charge ! HE LOVED TIME KEEPING-and Orderliness no wonder he ended up in the house to yell: ORDER IN THE HOUSE !
He was a natural orator, a good debater , a convincer, and he allowed People to exhaust their thoughts before he weighed in with a FINALTY..
He was impartial and God fearing! He was strong and straight!
OULANYAH WAS HARD WORKING and never gave up!
I met him when he did not make it to the House in 2002, he told me ‘let me do other things ‘ and I will bounce back and indeed he bounced back and rose like a star he was…
I once predicted to him that he will one day be a SPEAKER and it came to pass …
He was a loving and dotting father, he loved deeply and fiercely … He loved his children and took them to great schools personally. ..he had a Nissan Elgrand a Black one he used to shuttle his kids to school ..
Oulanyah was many many good things but them he was HUMAN
He failed in some things
He had a hard marriage , the second one. …He was accused of lack of care during this period ..things went to court and ended as they ended
He changed political stances but because people who don’t change become irrelevant. …we all change
He kept alot to himself especially his sickness and private tribulations …many of us do!
He bent some rules for the ruling party to enable some things which some people thought were wrong …but politics is essentially about such things. ..cutting deals !
He was strong willed to a fault
He was short tempered like electric wires with current
He was a HUMAN
He was a GOOD HUMAN
OH Oulanyah Lokori MY dear friend
I had just planned to visit your office
I had texted Sarah Kagingo sending you greetings and waiting to get a good time to visit you. ..
Oh Oulanyah Oh Oulanyah Jacob
I miss you being alive because I had hoped to serve you as Attorney General in 2032.I swear …I was going to serve as your AG because then I would have left BOU for 4 years and I would be RIPE!
You were the MC of my wedding, I accompanied you to your introduction.of Dorothy, I went to your village, I attended your 2 weddings, …
You gave me your coffee set when you bought a new one , you sold me your Yamaha cc750 for a song! You fed me, kept me over your houses for free …
My very first foreign trip out of Uganda was because you asked me to join you to represent Makerere in the All Africa Moot Court Competitions in Swaziland …I entered the plane for the 1st time in 1993 because of YOU!
What can I say and what can I leave
Oulanyah my pain is paralysing!
Let’s just Stop here !
Bye Bye Bye Ladit! I OWE MY LAW DEGREE TO YOU!!!
Isaac Teko is the Deputy Director Legal Department at Bank of Uganda.