Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Barely a week to the 2021 January polls, independent presidential candidate John Katumba has published a book that he says will inspire fellow youth to stay focused and achieve their desired goals.
Titled the ‘Untold Story of John Katumba’ the 91-paged book gives a snapshot into the youngest presidential candidate’s life story in the context of Uganda’s history, his search for signatures for nomination, and some of his campaign memories.
In the book, the Makerere University Business School procurement and logistics graduate also tries to ‘clarify on several false stories’ thrown at him ever since his public appearance at the Electoral Commission’s nomination centre in November last year.
Although it’s not a common practice in Uganda for politicians to document such memories, at least in that short period, Katumba shares that he was inspired by his friends who felt a need to share his experience in the form of a book.
“When I returned from my first three trips in search for signatures that would see me be nominated, I narrated what I had experienced to my friends and they were moved,” Katumba explains. “One of them came up with an idea of documenting what had happened. I bought the idea and the next night got a book and start writing.”
Katumba says that for the last two months, he has been sparing three to four hours to write.
From moving on foot, taxi and boda-boda to campaigning in posh cars like a Hummer, taking selfies with nice looking girls while touring the country with a patrol truck full of guards, his campaign trail has been an interesting one in the face of many. However to Katumba, it has been an arduous road.
“For the struggles I talk about in this book, for the adversities, the suffering and sacrifices you are going to read, I have faced all the first-class way,” he narrates. “Nothing is hyperbole here or for drama purposes.”
In the book, Katumba explains what inspired and pushed him to challenge Yoweri Museveni, a man who had ruled Uganda for ten years until he started getting elected President in 1996, the same year when Katumba himself was born. He further narrates how he collected the required signatures and raised the 20 million shillings nomination fees that saw him make to the presidential ballot paper.
Katumba who is a darling to Ugandans on social media, trending with Katumba Oyeee says the book published by little-known Fledge Media will soon hit the book stores at 50,000 shillings imploring Ugandans, more so the youth to buy it.
Innocent Kawooya, a Ugandan financial inclusion expert, also CEO of HiPipo (U) Limited, became the first person to obtain a copy of the book during its launch at Racers restaurant in Bukoto. He secured his copy at 200,000 shillings noting that although Katumba might not win the forthcoming elections, the resilience he has exhibited gives a lesson to many young people to keep chasing their dreams.
Kawooya stresses that an attempt to write about his experience is yet another milestone by Katumba that can’t be underrated as many people whose stories could inspire many other have never even thought of sharing their expertise in such away, and many pass on and the world not only forgets their stories but themselves too.