This is my story…
It’s my pleasure to share with you my life story…I was a son to two parents who never married and both didn’t have attention and love for me. I went through a lot of sufferings because I was not recognised as someone who can make it to a good child.
I left my father’s house and went to the city streets in order to find freedom.
While on the street I meet a lot of challenges like no shelter, no food, no water and also being hunted by the police officers to be taken to prison was the order of the day. I used to feed from left-overs from restaurants and sleeping in the drains with my street-friends. But inside me I knew that with God everything is possible, God will show me the way one day. I loved to study and become a good artist because I knew it was the only way to go for it if I want to have a good life, also I felt it to be part of my life.
After some time as I was walking alongside one of the roads in Kampala I came across a signpost with words “Friends of the Children’s Association (FOCA)”. Inside me I felt that these people could be of help so I followed the direction. They welcomed me and I explained to them what I wanted (food, shelter, and education). I also asked them to become my serious good friends not like these ones I kept finding on the streets who rise and go, lol. “They laughed”.
FOCA staffs took me to another organisation called KIDS IN NEED (KIN) because it was the only organisation which could provide me with what I wanted. At KIN I found other children and interacted with them as my new brothers. But by the time I joined KIN, the organisation had no school fees for secondary students (high school) but they had to fix me into their program since I had finished my primary section from the street and I had explained to them my needs.
While at KIN I started training my friends at the orphanage some art which became a big idea for the administration. At KIN I managed to complete my high school and joined the university to train as an artist, but KIN collapsed due to financial constraints and poor management before I had completed my art education.
Then SHALOM CHARITY FOUNDATION took over the organisation but SHALOM was not in position to pay for my studies at the university and kept me around to train music and art to the young ones. I tried to get money from my small artworks to complete my studies but I couldn’t because it was expensive so I failed to go back to the university. I lost hope and gave up with academics (which was the sole plan for a better future) and resorted to selling small scale art and crafts.
It was 2010 when I met mummy Jo, she was soooo friendly to children I wondered about her unique friendly character of loving to share. I took her to the small studio where I was training art and music to the children. She liked my paintings so much her and Mr Steven bought one. I was so happy to see work with value attached to it by another person. After a period of almost two years mummy Jo came back to visit SHALOM but during that time SHALOM had a lot of challenges and eviction from the land was part of it.
I had nowhere to go after the eviction. Mummy Jo accepted to help me with my academics and complete my course and she also helped me to transfer my studio after the eviction. I finally left the deadly slum. This made me to feel that I should never lose hope.
After my excellent performance at the university I was selected to be employed as an art lecturer by the same University.
I thank them for helping me realize and achieve part of my dream through education and a positive artistic life..wooooooooow..lol
NOW AM A QUALIFIED ART TEACHER
May the lord bless all those who support the needy, the orphans and prisoners.
Who am I to extend knowledge to others.
By Richard Mayanja Weazher 2014 – website: http://www.weazhermayanja.com
Update from ChanCes…
Since 2014 Richard has pursued a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Masters in Art and Industrial design and has recently accepted a sponsorship to complete a Masters degree of Vocational Pedagogy in Oslo, Norway at Akershus University College of Applied Science.
Richard was also invited to participate in the National Non Formal Curriculum formatting accredited by the National Council for Higher Education. Amongst Richard’s academic life, he has found time to work with different NGOs (charity organisations) and Secondary Schools in Uganda as an art instructor in performing and visual arts. He works at Kyambogo University (Department of art and industrial design) as teaching staff which provides him a higher opportunity to realise his dream of mentoring many future artists; “new look at art, sensitised art culture and a positive artistic life for social transformation”.
Richard’s dream is to complete his PhD in Australia …and we expect he will probably do it!
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