“Muwunya” Alex Mukulu applied age & crystallized intelligence – Elvis Kintu Nsonyi

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Senior Alex Mukulu has attracted attention for pliably criticizing the young boys’ “odor”. Growing up from Buddu, I treasure the good rule of thumb for giving feedback by praising in public and disparaging in private. However, this is at times a disservice!

As a result of that, we hold a strong belief that it is socially unfitting to speak ill of a person during and/or in the immediate aftermath of death as we experience a tidal surge of feelings and obviously sympathize with the bereaved family. The most palpable reason to respect the dead is our sympathy for the grieving.

Sadly, this doesn’t hold sway for long. If this was the case, we wouldn’t be having all these historical evil facts about brutal despots in the world. Their close relatives only struggle to identify the least good deeds during funerals. It is at times shocking to hear a family speak so honestly about the deceased. Imagine the speeches from the relatives of a murderer or robber. Isn’t this pretense to appease society?

During my Masters’ course, I appreciated crystalized intelligence and how people usually speak their mind in advanced age. Still in Buddu, we assume the elderly are in their golden years of reason and hence the old adage; “obukadde magezi”. I can’t tell why we assume that even the imprudent become wise in old age because they obvious grow old too.

Hon. Ssemujju one time told me that the older his father grew, the more he thought about and feared death. I am convinced that such people reflect about what would be said at their funerals. They, therefore utilize crystallized intelligence to pass on accumulated knowledge and skills freely.

Out of experience, given my numerous interactions, I have met people who honorably smell! As it is said, the worst mistake you can ever make in a desert is to see the source of water and keep quiet, therefore; the best option would be speaking to them to know whether they are aware of such a problem. You may not want to humiliate or gang up; but you also can’t pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Well-nigh, no one can settle or work effectively with someone smelling near them, but we dread the truth and prefer spitefulness.

I want to think that these boys didn’t have “unpretentious” friends to tell them point blank. Otherwise if they had, Alex Mukulu wouldn’t have blatantly addressed this publicly. Maybe we can discuss his approach and mode of communication by speaking his mind. But remember, the combination of crystallized intelligence, getting old and its perks. This brings us to establishing whether we have friends, friends of convenience or pretenders. As we meditate about life, independence, interdependence, dependency and crisis management come into play.

Let’s do an introspect about Alex Mukulu’s approach. We might be smelling corruption, tribalism, nepotism, sectarianism and no one has offered a public criticism. It is not enough to be good when there are chances of being better. Let’s establish our odor and refocus henceforth.

Elvis Kintu Nsonyi
Sociology, Gender, Local Governance & Human Rights

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