This morning, as I was reviewing some fairly confusing Excel document in office (I hate figures!), my Facebook message notification icon pops on the computer screen. I click on it and ka booom!!! It is a message from my Bar Course friend Melanie Obizu.
“I got da DPP job n im graduating from Tax school”, the message read. Of course the use of “im” for ‘I’m’ or ‘I am’; “da” for ‘the’; and “n” for ‘and’—typical of many social media users would have made Timothy Kalyegira, the ‘Kampala Express’ Editor grind his teeth in disgust.
Anyway, back to Melanie. Melanie is a very good friend of mine. I met her during our pursuit of the dreaded Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the (in)famous Law Development Centre, Kampala.
The author with Melanie on their Bar Course graduation day. August, 2013
Your first impressions of Melanie may that of a fun loving, less serious and ever partying chic. You may most likely talk about exotic foods—her favorite topic. She is not shy about her never disappointing appetite for food (she calls it her number one hobby). Then of course, the discussion will somehow move to relationships. Fashion is her other topic (yes, she is an avid designer especially of African wear); she picks her clothes very carefully. Find her on a suit and you will have no option but marvel at her corporate look. If she is wearing an African design (her native proximity to Congo comes in handy here) and you will see an indigenous organic African woman in her. Then, find her in the party mood. I will spare you my explanations here but one thing is for sure, you will, by impulse notice her…… (You all know what typical African women are gifted with as opposed to their muzungu counterparts).
I am about deviate again so back to the message. Melanie is a go getter. Once we finished LDC, she worked in a law firm for some time in Kampala during which time she enrolled for a Post Graduate Diploma in Tax and Revenue Administration (PODITRA) from the East African School of Taxation. Now I did this course in 2010/2011 and one thing I can tell you is that it is not for the faint-hearted, especially if Maths is not your thing. Melanie did, passed and is now due for graduation. Congratulations dear!!!
She later got a job with a human rights agency based in her hometown Arua. Very unthinkable, if you ask me. You can easily classify Melanie as this chic who wants the finest things in life easily and thus cannot work upcountry but there she was, in Arua.
In June, 2014, we met in a workshop at Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi I was facilitating organized by her then employer. The smiles are evidence of how long we had taken without physically meeting
One time she even expressed readiness to work in Karamoja, for the sake of building her career.
From these few illustrations, I have concluded that Melanie is one of the few focused, visionary, hardworking, humble, daring, confident, professional and down-to-earth female friends I have ever met. I am so proud of my friend and more proud to be your friend.
As you join the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, all I ask of you is never to ashame our generation. That office has had its fair share of scandals, intrigue, corruption, to mention but a few. We the youth have always criticized the elderly for being backward and less progressive. So I expect nothing but competence from you. Do not step on people’s toes; respect your superiors, go the extra mile in your assignments, make as many friends as you can but most importantly, be and stay PROFESSIONAL.
I Wish you the very best, buddy!!!