Writer: Chris Tenderi

The Uganda rooster coop is back! Yeeeh! Anyway, I talked of the 30% who are out of the coop but did I tell you that they are also divided into sects? Or did you know that the rooster coop is not a poor people problem? Well, brace yourself because there is a lot we haven’t explored.

The rich are trapped in the rooster coop because they waste so many opportunities that could have kept them afloat and ahead of the rest. When you are trapped in the rooster coop, all you see is what is in front of you and not ahead of you. We live in a country with idealistic people who always have an excuse for everything.

When I speak of excuses, I mean the people who blame their weaknesses on generational curses, prevailing stereotypes like jobs are scarce, witchcraft, the concept of haters, the government hasn’t done this and that? Yes! If you are out there reading this then time is up. You are not a chicken so break out of the coop.

It is so sad that we still have some elderly people struggling to survive in their old age because they were trapped in the rooster coop and they didn’t realise it until the situation became dire for them. Everyone is heading there but the question comes down to what plans we have laid out to survive any situation that arises.

Now, back to the 30% of the people out of the rooster coop; I didn’t tell you who these people are but it is simple. They are innovative, they know their worth, they have goals and they are achieving them. They lead innovations and investments. It is the reason why some of them wake up to play golf as you are heading to work and you still curse them for it. But why?

Anyway, these are mostly entrepreneurs/proprietors, CEOs, MDs, and other titles as they wish to call themselves. Some of them started small and have worked hard to get to where they are (Self-made) while others simply inherited what they have or were given. They are making things happen. We usually admire and look up to them. We wish we were like them. Look around you; you may be looking at one. These are your day to day friends, colleagues and relatives. They are everywhere.

Amongst them, we have a section which wants others to be self-reliant, financially stable and independent like they are. They are nice and helpful and they are willing to share tips on how they made it and how you can be like them. Some people prefer to call them motivational speakers, life coaches and other names. They have seen it all and they don’t want you to have a repeat of the mistakes made.

The 30% may be a prestigious group of people but they come with a lot of baggage which partly contributes to the Ugandan rooster coop. I recently visited an office and the receptionist was having a loud bitter argument with an assistant manager. The assistant manager shouted, “I am your boss, you work under me and I expect you to do what I say!” He walked away. This scene baffled me.

There comes the toxic section that behaves like the assistant manager. These are the egocentric driven people who believe that people need to be treated and reminded of their place. They don’t want you to succeed. They want you below them always and never want you anywhere close to a breakthrough. I thought entrepreneurs/proprietors, CEOs, MDs are supposed to be great examples of leadership and inspire everyone around them to be better. However, some of them choose to treat their subordinates indifferently. This is not news to a Ugandan ear. “We are normalizing exploitation of employees because we think we pay for their lives (“salary”).” A message from a friend who is overworked and paid less in a factory located somewhere in Namanve.

I think my friend has a point because some of these actions breed servitude which contributes to the Ugandan rooster coop. This is not right and I think we can do better as Ugandans to one another if we are to develop as a nation together. Let us treat each other in the best ways we would want to be treated. Let us be a nation that is optimistic and rallies towards enhancing each and everyone’s livelihood regardless of where we come from.

The Ugandan rooster coop is a cycle and it is real! We are all caught up in it somehow, somewhere and it is a present reality, so beware. It is wise to get out of the rooster coop before you get eaten up. We all can’t be among the 30% who are out of the coop but we can strive to be out of it. It’s never too late to get out of the Ugandan rooster coop. Adios

Communications specialist, maisojuni@gmail.com, Twitter: @MrTenderi, +256773365324

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.


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