I am an infinite soul in the middle of the Universe, with no crazy ambitions in life but ‘All Things Adventure’. I am committed to reaching every point and every marvel of our blue planet, and if that makes you think I am crazy, so be it; I am crazy!
I was born and raised in a little rustic village called Katunga in Bushenyi District; my cradle village is about 345km West of Uganda’s Capital – Kampala – Yes! you got it right, this is Africa. I begin with my village because it’s where it all began! With everything in its natural tranquility; the people, the food (and yes! the food), the air, the winds, the birds, the songs, the thoughts and the lake (Lake Katunga – a beautiful explosion crater lake right in the middle of my village!)
Growing up in my village meant that one would be shielded from all centers and forms of contemporary sophistication. But that did not deter my restless spirit from searching within and without in the universe and by the age of five or six, I was already determined not to settle for the conventional wisdom of the environment and the people around me. It was a tough journey to begin on especially given the fact that most of my peers were determined to comply with the set of rules given by the environment.
The lake at the center of my village played a very pivotal role as we grew up. It was the center and measure of success to all the young people in my village. You were ‘successful’ if you were a master at swimming in that frightening lake (very deep with a meager ‘continental shelf’) and you were labeled ‘failure’ if you could not. So at age 13, I was presented with that hard-hitting test (perhaps one of the most grueling hurdles I have stumbled upon in life). Many kids would be masters at swimming from age 6 or 7,but since I spent five years away from age 8 to 12 (then I stayed with my dad at his place of work), I missed out on that critical time and I had to face it later in life. Setting out to start swimming in a 500m+ deep lake, with limited safety features and no safety gear, was a matter of life and death. In fact, I nearly, on one fateful sunny afternoon, drowned with my cousin-Freedom, who stayed with us then. We each swallowed close to a gallon of bilharzia-prone lake water and were rescued by a friend – a one Jersey – who was swimming with us. We did not talk about the incidence back at home. My cousin bequeathed, I did not! The next two weeks would see me graduate from amateur to intermediate level and though I did not become the best at the game of swimming compared to my peers who had started at age 6, I did cross the divide and that was very important in reaffirming my belief and confidence of facing whatever would come my way in life. Today, with the experience I gathered about 15 years ago, I believe I can swim in the 30 million year old, 1637m deep, Lake Baikal-the mother of all lakes!
I ran through high school and joined college, something I had purposed to do right from age 6 (well, not as ordinary as you might think because some of my peers did not complete primary level-something that bothers my heart!). Whereas college did not appeal to me while I was there (by the way, I nearly dropped out of my bachelor’s class at Makerere University in my final semester), two major things occurred to me around that period: i) I met many good people and made many good friends, and ii) my reading spirit was sparked, and beginning with self-help books, they gave me a robust foundation of a mindset and I have grown to venture into other areas; history, philosophy, science, astronomy, spirituality, art, economics, people, cultures, et cetera and in the process and after searching and listening to my intuition, I have come to a conclusion that all things are connected, all things are one, everything affects everything else, everything has a soul, and all things are connected to the soul of the universe.
Graduating from college, I set out as a freelance agricultural and development consultant, and having been part of many consulting projects, I have had a rare opportunity to reach every corner of my beautiful country and this has given me a chance to connect with and appreciate the people that feed all of us but often are not able to feed themselves – the smallholder farmers. Understanding the contribution of these people and appreciating how uncertain their future looks in the face of climate change and how they are normally neglected has driven me to innovate where capitalists can’t and governments won’t. So I co-founded the Open Sustainability Institute to primarily enable millions of rural smallholders in the developing world build and share resilience.
But in the end, I have come to appreciate that our lucky blue planet is endowed with infinite marvels from antiquity; from the impenetrable forests to the dry deserts of the Sahara, from the endless plains of the Okavango and Serengeti supporting millions of animals to the endless mountain ranges of Himalayas and Andes, from the coldest places at the poles in Arctic and Antarctica to the hottest of places along tropical of Cancer and Capricorn and from the deepest of canyons, and of caves of Krubera to the highest of the peaks. And oh, the terrestrial marvels, the marvels of ancient history, of art, of music, of aromas, of birds, of the winds, of babies and of sages, the endless marvels! I must take at least a glimpse into these and much more.
So that is who I am-an adventurer! Something that began with me from my cradle, and I am unwaveringly indulging with marvels of my blue planet, an uphill venture, but if that is what lifts my spirit, then I have no choice but to keep indulging. And in the end, my epitaph should read: He lived and died when he was alive!
Come along with me!