If you thought it is only the presence of fireworks that marks the ushering in of the New Year, then, you might be mistaken. Deep in Rakai district, the style of marking the New Year was without the fireworks, but memorable to the rural folks as well.
As scores of people celebrated the festive season and witnessed fireworks in different places, elders in Kichwamango, Ddwaniro Sub County in Rakai district rather decided to pull rare strokes as a way of marking the beginning of 2017. The rare show of strokes was culminated after the presentation of gifts, and surprisingly, it is the elders aged 60 and above who displayed the rare show of stroke.
These elderly reside in the villages of Kaleere, Kamengo, Kichwamango and Luwaama. The elders who numbered over 70 in number each received a package of two kgs of sugar, rice, a bar of soap, two packets of matchboxes and salt to begin 2017.
24 year old Samuel Kiggundu initiated the programme of assisting the elderly way back in 2013 after realizing they were vulnerable.
He managed to open up an association in the names of ‘Bagonvu Elderly Women’s Foundation’ and he has continuously met them in giving them words of hope and encouraging them to have simple income generating activities.
According to Kiggundu, such old people are also capable of having sources of income despite their little energy. “These people can easily look after chicken and pigs in their homes to earn a living since their energy can hardly enable them to cultivate and grow cash crops”, said Kiggundu.
Among the happiest people was 85 year old Zeverio Rubambura who lives in a house constructed using banana fibers. Rubambura who lives with his younger brother can hardly move due to his illness.
The elderly were urged to be calm in this New Year and also be devoted to God. Being calm is one way of living a better life especially with vulnerable people like them according to Kiggundu.
“Some of you were too good in fighting when you were still young but as of now, better if you keep calm because you are no-longer aggressive like those days back”, added Kiggundu.
Despite being old, the members danced to their tunes as they performed cultural dances of Kinyankore, Kiganda and songs from Ugandan local artistes.
Early last year, members of the group were each given five chicken and a pig each for them to rare and be able to meet expenses of some basic needs.