I have received a lot of bad news in the last two weeks, that I am becoming dizzy.
The year 2020 is ending on a very bad note. The news of the passing of close friends is increasing by the day. This is so bad as we move closer to the Christmas week, usually of celebrations.
I grew up in a Christian home, and have fond memories of the festivities in December, which peak on the 25th as we go to Church to celebrate Christmas Day when the Lord Jesus Christ was born.
In the week of December, we would enjoy meat, rice, Kalo, chicken, and all those great meals we knew were ‘exclusive’ as we grew up. Our family was of modest means, but mom always managed to put plenty of all kinds of meat and eats on the table. If you did well in your end of year exams, you also got a gift of a new pair of shoes or shirt or trouser or all of the three. This motivated us to be disciplined and work hard in our studies. Looking back, it was the best motivation. December has always been a month of merrymaking and celebrations.
But not this one of 2020. There has been too much death.
The recent demise of James Saaka, and Amos Bagumire, has particularly shaken me. These are the kind of death that reminds us of our mortality. People die every day. But when close friends and relatives start going without even parking, death becomes real. You could easily lose focus. But we must stay strong.
James always picked my calls and was open to debate. We always discussed empowering local ICT security experts in government contracts as part of capability building, which he embraced with two hands. He was always open to debate and discussing matters of cybersecurity, e-government, technology, and the role of NITA in national ICT transformation. During his time at the National Information Technology Authority (NITA), he did his best in transforming government through technology. Just before he retired from NITA, he introduced me to his son and wanted him to enrol in the Diploma in Information Security and Computer Forensics at forensicsinstitute.org. He was proud of his son, for his outstanding performance at A level. That was James, a great family man, and an executive with a smile. He will be greatly missed.
If you wanted to be calmed down and uplifted, you went to Amos Bagumire, or AB, as we fondly referred to him at EY by the initials of his name. To me, Amos was Mr Calmer. He always calmed us especially when deadlines were upon us! I first met Amos at the Sheraton hotel, where he was one of the speakers at a conference. His presentation was the highlight of the day. As he walked out of the conference hall, I ran after him and caught up. “Excuse me, sir,” I said. He stopped and looked at me. I said: “That was a great presentation you just gave, sir.” “Great you liked it. So, how may I help you?” he asked. “I wanted you to know that I was in the room. In case we happen to meet again.” That was way back in 2005. I asked him: “what does it take to work at Ernst & Young?” with his trademark smile, replied instantly, “right attitude, integrity, and hard work.” I would later be interviewed by Amos Bagumire for a job at EY, which I of course got. Amos was my supervisor and mentor. He taught me so many things about advisory and consulting and I will forever be grateful for his mentorship.
To make matters worse, I have just learned about the death of Ambassador Stephen Nabeta. It is so painful to lose so many great people in a very short while. During these tough times, I recommend you read the book, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search of Meaning. It will help you find meaning for your life, which you need to navigate this year.
May the Souls of all Faithful Departed Rest in Eternal Peace.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.