The baby wasn’t so ugly that both his parents feared to show up for his birth. He wasn’t deformed either. With every fiber of her being, the new mother lifted up her newborn baby and said a quick thank you to her God for the boy before she passed out from exhaustion. In the years that followed, the young boy was perceived as a blessing; he truly had a bright future laid out for him. Both his father and mother were farmers in the little Ugandan village of Odek, but that didn’t stop him from dreaming of great heights. He wasn’t the typical classroom genius per se; in fact, he was more popular for his humor and excellent dancing skills. And his dark side.
The boy slowly gained a reputation as a violent but charismatic person, who could use his tongue to sway the masses. Sooner or later, he expressed his desire to be a leader and the easiest way to do that would entail a little more training. He enrolled as an apprentice for a witch doctor and his mentor was none other than his brother. Then disaster struck when his fellow tribesman was ousted from the presidency by an aspiring Ugandan called Museveni and his aunt Alice Auma a.k.a. Lakwena , who led an occult neo-political movement known as the Holy Spirit Movement, was killed in a protest against the new government.
His life was never the same. He soon declared himself a prophet of his people and he built upon his aunt’s former movement to come up with his own in a bid to regain control of a world that was fast spinning away. Once a naïve boy and now a full grown man, he found himself the center of attention and it wasn’t long before his movement was outlawed when he started hitting back at the government. He turned against his people and began raiding them when he realized the declining state of the resources at his disposal. His people, the Acholi, turned against him in bitter and equal response.
A few months later, he claimed the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him in his dreams and ordered him to kill people and marry 88 wives. Yes, kill people who stand in your way, including those that eat and rear pork. Also, rape the women and force them into prostitution. If you can’t convince them, confuse them; he brainwashed people with his ideals and they followed him. He started raiding villages on a large scale, the beautiful women he took for his own, while the ugly ones were shit out of luck. Those were either killed or forced to be his prostitutes. The kids, he had other plans for. The girls were sold off as sex slaves while the boys, he handed Kalashnikovs, rather, AK 47s. His newly recruited soldiers, the young boys, he sprinkled holy water on to convince them of divine protection from bullets.
That man, if you still have no idea who I’m talking about, is Joseph Rao Kony, one of the ICC’s most wanted criminals responsible for abduction of 104,000 children, displacement of over 2,000,000 people and the cold murder of about 1000 people per week. He is the outlaw the USA has used to invade Uganda on the premise of humanitarian aid. And the movement he formed is now the terror group known to many as the Lord’s Resistance Army. Most importantly, he is villain in the movie, the Machine Gun Preacher, a movie based on true events that tells the story of a criminal who is turned into a preacher who devotes his life to protecting and rescuing young African kids from people like Kony.
A long, fairly intense movie if you ask me, although the Machine Gun Preacher doesn’t contain lots of computer enhanced grotesque images like its counterparts ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and the original ‘The Exorcist’- the one shot in Kenya. No, it builds its plot from empathizing with kids who have lost everything who look up to a former convict for hope in a land where chances of dying from a land mine explosion are higher than chances of dying from AIDS. It is in fact based on the true story of Sam Childers, a man who fought Kony without ever actually having met him. For me, the kid that had to kill his mother to save his little brother before being abducted to serve as a child soldier did it for me.
For those that haven’t watched it, I’d hate to be a party pooper so I will not ruin it for you. That is hardly my style. On the whole, the movie tells of a man who is released from prison and is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding his family; he is married to Lynn, a former stripper, with whom he has a young daughter but his care-free thug life and drug addiction are his biggest challenges. All this changes when he coldly murders a man, no, slaughters a man and he finds himself pulled closer to God courtesy of his conscience. On a voluntary trip to South Sudan, he encounters pain and terror first hand, especially when he witnesses a young boy blown to bits by a land mine. On realizing his calling is here, he starts a church back home and an orphanage in war-torn Sudan for the kids he intends to rescue from Kony’s grip with the help of a handful Army Officers on his payroll. It earns him a visit by the late Dr. John Garang and eventually, a handsome bounty on his head offered by Kony.
This isn’t deja moo; no you haven’t heard this bull before. I may not envy fatherhood, but that movie made me realize I love kids; it depresses me to watch kids suffer or know that they will never get the same opportunities afforded to me by God through my parents. Sometimes I’ll walk through the streets and see a kid in dirty, badly stitched remnants of clothes with a bottle of glue on his mouth and it will take every fiber of my being not to do anything. Deep down, I want to walk over, lift him up, get him cleaned him up, buy him food, take him for a medical checkup then put him in school so as to give him a decent chance of making something of his life; but I don’t. I hope somebody who sees the situation as I do and has the resources to do it does what I cannot do.
The real question is what can or have you done to make a difference? For my part, I will devote a day per month to visit a children’s home and anyone of you reading this is and wants to tag along, please feel free. No matter how much the cost of living goes up, life will always remain popular, even to those kids that struggle to make it through life without the support or guardianship of an adult. The least we can do is making it a worthwhile experience for them. I have accrued enough bad experiences arising from multiple bad judgments to know that for once, I will be doing the right thing. To those that think it is a waste of time, please support bacteria; I fear it may be the only culture people like you and Kony have.
(Watch Video below on Sam Childers)