African schoolboy’s view about the Sikhs

By Mukundane Ronald

I am student at Boston High School Entebbe reading for my A levels. My hobby is football.

I lost my father when I was only 5 years old. I was brought up by my single mother and was therefore by the grace of god able to finish Primary school education in 2009.
Since then I started working as a house boy with Justice Choudry during my school holidays. I found the judge very considerate man and he helped me with my school needs and school fees.

The purpose of writing this article is to share my experience of the Sikhs people who I found to be very generous and hard working. I knew about the Sikh people very little in Uganda and had heard that they are called Singha Singhas. There are not many of them in Uganda and you occasionally see them around. However I was fortunate to attend the Sikh Centenary Celebrations held at Imperial Resort Beech Hotel Entebbe on 17th January 2014 when the four Sikh postage stamps were launched to mark 100 years of their presence in Uganda.

At the function I sat with several important people such as the judges and MP’s who I could not identify. The occasion entailed speeches about Sikh contribution to Uganda for the past 100 years , which was followed by music, dance and finally the launch of postage stamps. At the end of the program we all adjourned to the palatial hotel gardens for a cocktail party that was enjoyed by everyone and the music was exhilarating.

The various speakers showed how the Sikhs had contributed to the development of Uganda in various sectors such as the sports, construction, investment, education, civil service, police and in building of our towns, roads, dams and bridges.

I was impressed to hear the speech from Pastor Bosco Odiro who told us that the Sikhs had trained and employed many Africans in technical areas and as such they were able to afford to send their children to school . He stressed that many of us in high positions are the beneficiaries of Sikh contribution to this country; I initially thought that I was the only person who was helped by them.

I was indeed very much educated to learn how the Sikh came to East Africa in the 1880’s and helped build our country since then. I was very fortunate to attend this function as it brought awareness in me of the Sikh people which many young Ugandans are ignorant about. I now feel proud to see any Sikh in Uganda and respect them deeply.