By Joan Akello and Agnes E. Nantaba
Dr. Tom Mutyabule, Chief Executive Officer of Pan Dental Surgery talked to Agnes E. Nantaba and Joan Akello about dentistry
Any three things we don’t know about you?
I think I am simple, kind and dedicated to my work and children. I intend to engage in farming, teaching dentistry, and other fun activities in retirement. Politics is a no go area for me; it is blood sucking.
What are your greatest achievements?
Building premium dental practice in Uganda with some of the highest level of technology. I have provided an opportunity for many Ugandans to work in a high tech dentistry environment. I pride in being the first Ugandan dental implantologist and the first East African Cerec trainer (teaching people how to make teeth with computers). It now takes two hours to make and replace a tooth yet it used to take as long as two weeks. Also, I was the first Ugandan dental radiologist and found God a year ago which has brought me a lot of inner peace.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being happy within oneself ; you have to be comfortable in your skin.
When and where were you happiest?
A year ago when I found myself. All human beings make mistakes and good choices.
What is your greatest fear?
It used to be death but I have come to terms with it and seen enough misery that makes me appreciate that I am a lucky man.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Procrastination though I procrastinate less now.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Liars, lazy people, and those who do not want to try their best.
On what occasion do you lie?
I try not to. I try to spill out the bitter truth.
Which living person do you most admire?
Not for now. You will know some day.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I’m a very frugal person but I do spend on nice clothes, experiences; say on a roller coaster ride.
Where would you most like to live?
Uganda. There is no place like home.
What is your current state of mind?
Calm, relaxed, and happy with myself, with who I am and how far I have journeyed in life.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My five children.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing but to be honest I don’t have a great voice for it. I’ve tried to sing before in church, I try miming pop music too.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
If I had God’s power, I would create more common sense in Ugandans.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Sick people or the poor. There is so much poverty and misery in our country and in the world. Sometimes we forget to appreciate how lucky we are.
Why are more tooth problems?
There is much more sweets and sugars available, soft drinks, and diets which create a problem of cavity or irritation to the gums. One should brush and floss after every meal every day.
What should those who don’t smile do?
Invest in your smile. So if something makes you giggle, laugh, or smile, buy or marry it. A tooth or teeth problems affect(s) the way you talk, communicate and also your smile. So I only remove a tooth or teeth as a last resort. I usually try to repair or restore them in the easiest way.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Hardworking and passionate about everything I do.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I like everything about me. I am very comfortable with what God blessed me with.
Which living person do you most despise?
I do not despise anybody.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Caring and loving.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Beauty not just of the face and body but of the heart.
Who are your favorite writers?
Professional and crime investigation writers like Agatha Christie. Her books taught me that many times what you see is not what it is!
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Mahatma Gandhi taught us the non-violent way to protest, Barack Obama is a smart president who many did not give a chance when he first declared his presidential ambition, Nelson Mandela and President Museveni who have worked hard in tough environments.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother and my late father, my brother Alfred who helps everybody who he comes across and is my mentor, my cousin Dr. Christine Wolukau-Wanambwa who is the first Ugandan orthodontist and my children who inspire me always to work hard.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep but not in an accident or in a violent way.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
As a person, I would want to be Tom the dentist and as animal as a dog or cat; a nice pet that is humble and obedient.
What is your philosophy about life?
Enjoy life while you still can and be grateful because there is always somebody who is worse.
What is your motto?
Work hard and do the best.
What do you want to be remembered for?
As a simple man who did his best. I don’t want to be remembered as an arrogant person.