If Uganda had one million Stephen Kissas [Editor's Opinion]

Stephen Kissa, the man with the keys to the gold that shines brightly in Uganda’s name is a rare gem. If Uganda had 300 Kissas in Parliament, the fuel prices would be at Shs500 a litre, soap at Shs100 and teachers, and other civil servants earning same salaries as MPs.

Stephen Kissa sacrifices self for the team, for national glory

For starters, Kissa, the ‘silent’ member of the Uganda 10,000m trio at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, Eugene, Oregon, USA is the king maker. Kissa paved the way for Ugandans on the team, Joshua Cheptegei to win gold and Jacob Kiplimo to settle for bronze earning Uganda, its first medals at the games in the 2022 edition.

Under the sweltering heat in Oregon, Kissa kicked off the 10,000m race, a brutal 25 laps round the Hayward Field, in harsh conditions in maximum speed. To win the race, the tactic is to preserve the energy and steam for the final stages lest lactic acid builds up and an athlete suffers burn out thus fails to compete or at worst falls out of the race. Now, that calls for team work and clever coordination.

Under similar conditions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Kissa suffered a burn out at the expense of his compatriots on the field. In Oregon he held on and fought till the finishing line in last position-24th.

Kissa, is a pacesetter, he leads the race for a major portion of the event with a very fast speed as fellow Ugandans, aware of the game plan at play closely follow in. In doing so, the fast speed breaks the pack into the leading group and the rest who are left behind to catch up. This enables star runners like Cheptegei to wean off competition from other athletes.

After finishing his part, the pacesetter falls back in the race as those whom has paved the way for compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Interestingly, Uganda’s history is dotted with several clusters of Stephen ‘Kissas’.

The most notable group of Stephen Kissas are the Uganda Martyrs. The blood they shed continues to water the faith of Ugandans and this is observed by the world every June 3rd as the world convenes in Namugongo.

Another group of Kissas are the Luweero bush war fighters and their civilian accomplices who provided food, information and goodwill to the now historicals who ushered decades of peace.

Uganda is in dire need of Kissas across all spheres of life; men and women who will sacrifice for the greater good. If you don’t have a Stephen Kissa in your life, chances are you won’t win gold, silver or bronze in anything you aspire.

If Uganda had 300 Kissas in Parliament, the fuel prices would be at Shs500 a litre, soap at Shs100 and teachers, and other civil servants earning same salaries as MPs.

If Uganda had a million Kissas, corruption would be a strange word in our vocabulary.

If Uganda had a million Kissas, hunger would be a long forgotten tale.

If Uganda had a million Kissas, middle-income would not be a debate but a reality.

If Uganda had a million Kissas, all Ugandans would achieve their highest potential. Using the 10,000m race analogy, for every three Ugandans, one must be a Kissa.

Sadly, there is only one Kissa.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Pulse as its publisher.

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