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Tanga Odoi: On having 4 mothers

Tanga’s Light side

Any three things we don’t know about you?

Many people think I am controversial but they don’t know that Tanga is very friendly and a home boy.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is self belief. Know that what you have is what you have. I tell people this is my height, am contended with it.

What is your greatest fear?

I fear to fail.  Even in school, I wasn’t that sharp but I always worked hard not to fail.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am too assertive and lack patience. There is when I shouldn’t expose this but I do; for instance if I don’t like you, I will tell you which is sometimes negative.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Rumour mongering

Which living person do you most admire?

I admire three men, two are not famous.  Sam Opoya is 68 years and I admire him for his love for planning. Othieno Jatico is 78 years and is smart and he loves his wife.  I’ve admired Yoweri Museveni since 1986. I see in him a character of a person who had a focus. I have never seen a rebel movement that fights and absorbs the people that have been fighting it but I could see it immediately in 1986.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I like building and will sit on your site to monitor you build. Unfortunately because of the corruption issues in Tororo, I’ve just started building a home there. In Kampala, all my small plots are built up.

What is your current state of mind?

I am bothered that court has been throwing out NRM MPs because of lack of required academic papers. It makes me think that,as the NRM electoral commission, we would have done better when vetting candidates. In fact, we didn’t do anything to do with academic papers and we are now being blamed for what’s happening.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Wealth; you find people thinking that putting 20 vehicles in the compound is the most important thing.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I have never at anytime attempted to change my appearance.

Which living person do you most despise?

There’s no human being that I despise. I conflicted with a professor who threw People With Disability (PWDs) at Makerere out of class because their machines were making noise.When it comes to character, I despise those with a minimizing character. One of the factors that made me seem to conflict with the secretary General is her character of despising people. She didn’t see any of us as worthy being in the secretariat. I don’t hate her but that character.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

A man who is worth being called so should be hard working.  I hate men who beat their wives.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

A woman should be loving and not a dependant. When it comes to a wife, she should love my family.

When and where were you happiest?

When I had my first boy, he has never let me down. Currently, he is pursuing his masters at the London School of Economics. I have four boys and recently I got a girl outside the wedlock.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would have loved to help the hospital. I don’t know whether being good at sciences is a talent.

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


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

So far, my appointment as the Party Chairman of Electoral Commission is my greatest achievement. To rise from a classroom to lead a commission of fighters where big people are including the president, I’ve achieved my best. I called the president as a candidate to report to me.

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

I would have loved to come back as my father.  He is 94 years old now and was an uneducated person who struggled to put all the 26 of us through school and also helped others in the village.

Where would you most like to live?

Kisoko, my village in Tororo

What is your most treasured possession?


What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

To see somebody you love dying. The most difficult time I had was seeing my brother die and up to now I feel he shouldn’t have died. I was treating skin cancer; little did I know he had also contracted AIDS. I would have started him on ARVs if I knew.

What do you most value in your friends?

I want a friend who is advisory, one who tells me the truth about myself.

Who are your favorite writers?

I like Andrew Mwenda. But I enjoy listening to him more than reading his articles and this is not because I don’t differ with him. We’ve differed with him over Makerere issues for instance he was supporting Baryamureeba and I wasn’t. I always look forward to listening to him.

Who is your hero of fiction?

I don’t like fiction

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Nelson Mandela and Kwame Nkurumah.They encouraged us to value the African personality. Mandela wanted the Indian way of non-violence but also realized there has to be fire, if we have to achieve.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother is a hero.

What is it that you most dislike?

Rumor mongering

What is your greatest regret?

I regret not respecting my P.5 teacher when he caned me for eating a mango during class time.  I abused him and grazed our cows in his plantation but it haunts me to date.

How would you like to die?

I don’t want an abrupt death. It leaves a lot of trauma in your family

What is your motto?

Thekethekeangwechi– One step makes a journey



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