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Book Review: The Agony Of Rising Star; A Book That Summarizes Uganda’s Society In A Few Words

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The book that has a central character Bogo, looks at life in towns and in the villages where most Ugandans live and how they struggle every day to get the basics of life like clean drinking water, safe energy sources, basic health care and education.
27 Sep 2021 08:46
Aggrey Wunyi
It’s imaginative, it’s thrilling and it's real. It speaks to who we are as a people and as a country. That’s how one can summarize Aggrey Wunyi’s 82-page book.  From the first page to the last page, the reader who has lived in Uganda or actually Africa can relate to the story as it’s what is happening in most of our societies. 

The book that has a central character Bogo, looks at life in towns and in the villages where most Ugandans live and how they struggle every day to get the basics of life like clean drinking water, safe energy sources, basic health care and education. 

Although it is talking about life in the 1970s, nothing much has changed over the years in the real-life struggles of most Ugandans apart from in a few areas. How life was in the 1970s is pretty much the same in 2021, with the same struggles of life although now there seems to be plenty of essential goods and there is no need to ration them like it was in the 1970s.  

But this is undercut by the lack of capacity of many people to afford these basic human necessities.  In a story of one family and one character, Wunyi is able to tell the story of so many Ugandans who have managed against all odds to succeed in life.

People who have had to mortgage family inheritances like land in order to have their children go through school. Through one person, Wunyi also brings to the fore the backwardness of many of our societies, which feel unhappy when one of their own tries to break out of the cycle of poverty, primitiveness and illiteracy.

But it also tries to illuminate the bright side of our societies where there are people who are happy that one of their own is able to break the yoke of poverty, ignorance and disease. The story also tells us about the dependency syndrome that is prone in many parts of Uganda. 

The whole society thinks that it is the responsibility of one of their own who breaks even to look after them never mind that they contributed nothing to those people becoming what there are if anything when they actually worked actively to undercut them.

The book also captures properly the politics of the day where politicians are always trying to outshine each other by promising things that they know they have no capacity at all to deliver. Politicians are willing to go all the way to ensure that they are elected even if it means lying to people. 

In reading Wunyi’s book despite its inadequacies like not having names of other characters, like being too short, no doubt you clearly understand how much or how little Uganda has progressed over the years. 

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