Tribute To Hon Issa Kikungwe – Kikungwe Umar


Today marks one year since you passed on but your dream is still alive. Today I recollect all your lessons to me but most importantly success without a successor is a failure. Today I pay tribute to you father, a man that not only urged me to succeed but was part of every step to my success. Through my journey of school and later employment, you were always there with me every step of the way, always encouraging and pushing me to succeed. During my primary, you used to make sure I did ten numbers each day for Math, Science, English and Social studies. You always came back home and marked all numbers. I remember having challenges in math (decimal points) and when I messed up, you could punish me. You made sure I pass and succeed.

Today I tell you father that I am the successor you were craving for. Today fond memories of us together throughout the years keep flowing in my mind like a sea. You became my pillar and I would always run to you for everything. Today I speak about a man that hard-pressed me to be successful not only in business and school but life in general. You always pushed me to limits, you never appreciated me, we were always in arguments and you always looked out for the negatives in everything I did. If everyone said I was performing, you looked for what was lacking. For instance, in 2011 when I opened up Shaka Zulu Foods in Bugolobi, you still gave me constructive criticism. You could come and eat from the restaurant and you could let me know issues you did not like about the food and the restaurant in general. However, in 2016, you indeed appreciated my efforts with Shaka Zulu Foods which surprised me considering the amount of criticism you kept throwing at me. That amounts to five years you took before you said everything is now ok with the restaurant. That’s how critical you were to me. All this you did, so I could become perfect and successful. In the same year, you involved me in the Kampala mayoral campaigns which brought me closer to you more than before which seemed strange considering the distance we had but it is one of those moments that always cherish. I now believe that it was a sign of our last good moments together.

Today I say I miss you father not only your words of wisdom or the affection of a father but also that torch you kept lighting in my path. Today I am here to tell you that you were right all along, that success without a successor is a failure. Father you always said you were scared that one day when you die, you might not have a successor but be at peace that you left me

The last call I ever received from you was on 25th October 2017 at 4:30 am. I recollect that day vividly. On sight of the call, I paused and decided to make a prayer before which I did. I later returned your call and you informed me that you were at Mengo hospital awaiting a brain tumor operation. I was scared initially but the prayer eased my fears. I later joined you in the hospital and we talked. I remember asking you whether they were going to carry out Neuroendoscopy or Endonasal endoscopic surgery but you weren’t sure which made me urge you to request for more information about the operation.

You had been informed of a medical camp while you were at a farm in Kakiri. The doctor who was your friend that called you, informed you of doctors from Europe that had come for the medical camp and that day of the call was the last day for registration to be part of the medical camp. You were planning to head to India for the treatment but the idea of experts already in Uganda for the medical camp who were in position to treat you convinced you to accept. I am well aware that when you were convinced of something, then changing your mind was very hard.

On 26th and 27thOctober 2017, I came to the hospital consecutively but the operation hadn’t been done. I remember seeing courage and strength in your eyes and speech. You were indeed a strong Man and my pillar.

Finally on Saturday morning, 28th October 2017 the operation was successfully done. After the operation, you were later placed in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This didn’t stop me from having faith and strength that you were going to be fine. I decided not to give in to fear or doubt and I knew it was just a matter of time before we laugh and talk again as always. I remember visiting you in the hospital on 1st November 2017 where I left with hope that you will be fine soon. When I came back on 2nd November 2017, I couldn’t recognize you. This is when fear, tears and pain came rolling down my veins. Even though you were in such a state, I still remained steadfast that you were going to be fine. On 3rd November 2017, I still came back but was less reluctant because of how i had seen you the previous day and my courage was burning out slowly. Actually, when I left the hospital room, I remember meeting an old boy of mine within the hospital. His grandfather had been pronounced dead and was now heading to another ward where he was just informed of the death of his daughter. I looked in his eyes and I saw the pain of death/loss. It is at this moment that I began to think of death. To be honest it frightened me a lot.

On 5th November 2017, I received a call from the your hospital caretaker when I had just woken up at 7:20am, which I decided not to pick. Moments later, another call came from a relative who normally informs me about bad news. At that moment I knew my father and pillar had passed on. Words can never express the hurt and pain that was burning in my whole body. I trembled and remained speechless. That day was the turning point in my life and every day I think about you. I want to finish whatever you left and I am sure it will happen. Even after a year of your passing, it feels like a fresh wound.

No one can ever fill your shoes but I am trying to. As brothers and sisters, you made us united but I am happy to tell you that we are more united as a family than you left us amidst several challenges, but we shall handle. As you watch over us from above, we are trying to move on. Whenever I had a problem, I used to come to you for advice. You were always my fallback position. Now everything has changed and I am on my own. Where family used to call you, now they call me. Where one needs guidance, now they seek from me. Where solutions are needed, now I provide. To my surprise, in institutions where you used to be a trustee, now they call on me to represent.

Even though you were in politics, you never discouraged me nor pushed me to join politics. You wanted me to be successful in business and I remember every lesson you taught me. I am sure when you look at me now, you will be proud.

You are a father worth of the utmost respect and I will forever respect you . Since your death, your office is still intact like you left it. Your cross country is still parked because I am still in utter shock and haven’t gotten the courage to move it but I know one day it will get back to the road.

I thank you immensely father for everything. I miss and think of you every day. I miss our moments of laughter, moments of business, moments of family etc. Indeed SUCCESS WITHOUT A SUCCESSOR IS FAILURE and I know I am that successor you left behind. Stay calm knowing everything is in safe hands and I know I can make it in life. Huge thanks father for everything.

May Allah forgive you for all your faults and imperfections and give your soul a peaceful eternal life, in return for the good heart you had, to the people and the great service that you offered to your country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *