Miria Matembe, that’s a name you will not forget quickly in Ugandan politics since you see in 1986. She’s been around and she’s been loud. Loud without fear or favour.
A friend I was chatting with about her mentioned how it’s a miracle that she has never been arrested for being so loud. My guess, she has a long rich history with the people in power and, despite the fact that she’s openly opposed them, they can’t humiliate her like that because they respect her.
This book shows why. It takes you through her journey growing up were, among other things, she talked her way into a bursary for school at her young age. It takes you through her action-packed political life and the gradual jadedness she developed as the layers got peeled away the higher she climbed. And it takes you through the fallout with the powers that be and her adjustment to life after.
And one thing that stands out throughout the riveting story is her steadfast character and values. Her dedication to the vision. Her fire for truth and saying it with your chest. Her refusal to be bullied. In the circus that is Ugandan politics, which she somehow manoeuvres in her own way, Miria Matembe proves she is a force by coming out the other side with her values, sanity, integrity and body intact and unscathed. A couple of scratches, sure, but most were important lessons learnt.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been a fan for a while so this is just me gushing. If you were expecting a balanced review with but’s, you are in the wrong place. Wait…there was a moment where she was quoting scriptures to explain a moment in her life, which happens often throughout the book, that took my mind on a trip where I theorised that the Atheist’s god is their ego and went down a rabbit hole that somehow involved the constantly expanding universe being a result of our imaginations and anything we’ve ever imagined existing in the vastness… Phew, 420 was wild.
So, yeah, Miria Matembe is a living legend, her life story is as epic as you imagined, and then some, buy the book, someone make a movie, more power to you ma’am.