Acwamu Geofrey Ruzooka’s Testimony. Episode 2

When I reached Nyakayojo I found other students who were from Mbarara High School and other friends from different boys’ schools I joined them and we made a group. We were like 80 students from different schools and we started sharing our bad habits those who used to drink and did not smoke started smoking, those who smoked and did not drink started drinking and that’s how I learned to smoke weed. Among the students who joined some hard it and we were in the same group and that’s how I ended up learning it. I used it until I was in senior four (this was in my year). But God had mercy on me and I sat for my senior four Exams and passed. My father then took me to Bushenyi. My smoking and drinking increased and when I reached there the bad habits kept growing; smoking increased, and alcoholism increased. To make matters worse, I started sleeping with girls. When I reached Plus 2 high school Bushenyi I just deteriorated. All the shopping that my father did for me; I sold every item and took nothing home at the end of term. I bought booze from the proceeds of what should have been school requirements. I had only enough money left to take me to Mbarara from where my father picked me up. Did your father require your suitcases and the like? I had no answer and like any loving father he just said ‘Let’s go home.

My poor father put up with so much and up to now his love for me has never diminished. So, he took me to yet another school; Buremba Secondary School. I hated the school from the word go because it was a real third-world school. One day Mr. Tandeka came to wake us up to go for early morning classes which we had named winter. My friends and I had been drinking the night before. When the head master Mr. Tandeka later asked us why we had not gone for morning prep I rudely answered back that there was no need because we had extended our evening prep yet we had been drinking in a bar. The H/M Tandeka gave me a warning and even punished me he told me, you are my son, let me leave u for now, I know how I will handle you. In the morning, he called me into the office and he told me to fetch water and wash the tank, while I was doing it, he gave me a hot slap and told me that my father told him about me and that he would not leave me alone. But because I had gone so far in sin, I didn’t change at all. I even had to change schools before the term ended and I moved to Nakasero Secondary School.

Nakasero was different from the schools I had been to we stayed in the hostels which were away from the main school campus. I would get out of the class and go straight to the bars. As if that was not bad enough, my friends and I used to go to a singer known as Emperor Orlando’s home on the days we would not be in the bar. On his veranda, we would dance and smoke. That is how we spent our days. But God is faithful and believe it or not I passed my A-level exams. I was with my cousin Kusasira Moses He kept checking on me, he took the reports at home and I was really not happy with him, wondering why he was on my case. The Lord was faithful and he enabled me to pass my A-level exams, something I did not expect. Another thing God used to keep me slightly on track was the tell tales of my cousin who never stopped rallying everything I did to my father Somehow Kusasira’s phone calls and reports to my father helped a lot because I would study due to that pressure. Then I went to Makerere University. Every time I think about my lifestyle at the university always wonder how I used to make it to my room.

I really wasted my life because I had absolute freedom. I drank myself silly at the University and eventually had to be discontinued. Most of the time I would be in bars drinking. Sleeping around was never my issue but drinking. My father then took me to Mbarara University but even there I failed to cope until he took me to YMCA Wandegeya. I kept going down and down because of drinking, smoking cigarettes, and even weed. My partners in crime had even increased with new addictions from Mbarara University. You will not believe that even at YMCA I could not make it but failed to pass any of the course units in 2011, My father who never gave up on me, took me to Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara. He paid tuition, rent, and every other thing I needed. Since he could not trust me with money, he didn’t give me any cash. So I called my sisters to give me money. They sent me money and my father finally succumbed and sent me some money so even before I registered at the university I went straight to the bar and I drank myself silly. Before I repeated my old cycle of drinking and failing exams a certain Lecturer called Joshua Musinguzi came to class one day and asked whose registration number 001 was because whoever it was had paid all tuition fees but had never done any coursework.

This lecturer had a special love for his students, so when he was told that the reg. The number was for a boy called Acwamu’ who was a drunkard, he asked if it could be traced. Because I spent almost half a semester without entering the lecture room. And even in my head, I did not have any thought of going to the lecture room. So one day when I was getting out of bed at 6 am, Mr Musinguzi and a student called Bruce who had identified me came to my room. When I saw them both I thought he had brought someone to take us out.
I asked Bruce who the guy he came with was. He just told me to change clothes and follow him. I followed him thinking he was taking me out only to find myself in the staff room which was full of other lecturers. They all stood Agape asking the same question; is this Acwamu Geoffrey we have all been looking for? The lecturers told me that they were going to give me coursework and tests from that day and I would have to give them in by Friday of the same week. I did not know where to start because I did not have any notes. As God would have it Joshua assigned 6 students to help me and they made a group discussion purely for my sake so that I would be ready by Friday. So I was able to do my coursework and I handed it in. However, I did not stop my terrible habits. So before we started our exams, Joshua began his search for me. Moving from one bar to another. One particular morning at 8 a.m., he parked his car in front of a bar I was in.
On that day we had an exam so he told me to get in the car and since I had my registration card on me, I was able to get into the exam room at 9 am one hour after the exams had started.

For the two years that I spent at Bishop Stuart doing my diploma, my life did not change at all. By God’s mercy, I was able to come to the end of the course. On graduation day, my father came and took us for lunch but I was already drunk. During that luncheon, I told my dad, my stepmom, and my cousins that I wanted to register for a degree. My father of course did not believe me because of my drinking habits. I assured him that I would be able to do the course after I had successfully completed a diploma. He finally agreed and I went and registered for the degree course. But let me take you back a bit, the evening of graduation I went to a bar called Vision Empire in my gown.

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