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Am inspired by working with youths

By Agnes E. Nantaba

Mondo Francis Kyateka is the Assistant Commissioner for Youth and Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. He spoke to Agnes E. Nantaba about nurturing youths.

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I love my family. I love flowers to the extent that my home is like a forest because ‘Mondo’ is a name of an animal that lives in the forest. I am passionate about talking to and guiding young people into independent people.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

There is nothing in this world like perfect happiness. But balancing life’s needs and having a peace of mind is close.

What is your greatest fear?

Poverty; it dehumanises and and very few poor people are respected.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Many times am impatient especially when I work with slow or lazy people.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Dishonesty and disloyalty. In people, I look for honesty, respect, and loyalty.

Which living person do you most admire?

Kofi Annan; his capacity to cool bubbling fires, level of diplomacy and articulacy as well as power of oratory.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend a lot on shoes and flowers to an extent that I almost fail to find space for them in my home.

What is your current state of mind?

I am tensed up because of the magnitude of work to handle among youths.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Power; sometimes people who have it, abuse it while others assume that everyone should know them forgetting that there are 34 million Ugandans.

On what occasion do you lie?

Often times on phone when I am late; but the intention is not to lie but to avoid causing tension.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I have gained too much weight in the recent few years.

Which living person do you most despise?

Joseph Kony, ADF and all terrorists who cause mayhem to innocent people.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

One who puts his family first; man enough not to be just a father but a parent who guides his children.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Hard work and independence; regardless of the man’s presence or absence, that woman should keep the family running.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Jessica Kitabona Mondo-my mother.

When and where were you happiest?

My two years at Makerere College School where I did my A-level. It was interesting having come from a rural school and joining an urban setting.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to play Chess because it is a game of the brain.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I deliver at the last minute which is not good. I wish I could handle assignments faster.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My contribution in the area of youth planning and programming; I am amazed when I inspire young people as they start to look at life in a positive way.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I am okay coming back as Mondo but changing a few things. Take more calculated risks and be more ambitious.

What is your most treasured possession?

My house with all its flowers around it.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The innocent street children who have been forced by circumstances to live on the streets; they experience the greatest of suffering as they try to earn a living.

What is your favorite occupation?

I enjoy working with young people although it can at times be painful but it rewards seeing them grow into influential people in society.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am congruous and easily adapt to conditions in the shortest time possible.

What do you most value in your friends?

Integrity; It’s only such people with it who can never betray me.

Who are your favorite writers?

Robin Sharma in his books like ‘The greatness guide’, ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ and ‘Leadership wisdom’; His books are written in a style that teaches you that ‘you don’t get what you want but what you work for’ and ‘that your background should not determine your destiny’.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Aminata Sow Fall the writer of ‘The beggar’s strike’; it hangs on one magical assumption that all people have significant leverage in society.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Kofi Atta Annan the former UN Secretary General for his embodiment of diplomacy; he has never raised his voice for his influence and remains concise and respected.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.

What are your favorite names?

I don’t seem to attach great importance to names but I like names with positive connotations.

What is it that you most dislike?

Wars or conflicts; I believe that we can amicably solve things by dialogue.

What is your greatest regret?

I had always wanted to be a career diplomat but unfortunately didn’t attain it. All the same, what I am doing is close to that.

How would you like to die?

Not after a long illness.

What is your motto?

‘Always try and try more’, ‘Yes we can’ and ‘not everything we think is hard is impossible ’.

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