Book title :The Bell is ringing
Subtitle:Martin Aliker’s story
Author :Martin Aliker with David Gibbs & Hugh Macmillan
Do you know what happens when you are next to an amazing photographer and have a great book? You`re right. An unplanned photo shoot happens???. Slay queens mukikola muutya??Photo shoots are hard work.
I was introduced to this book by my friend, Benjamin Tumukunde ;who constantly recommends legit books.I sum this book up in one statement: Purpose = influence.
Martin Aliker is born in Acholi land to Lacito Okech in 1928,a prominent chief.As a son of a chief, he gets an opportunity to study at Kings school,Budo(now Kings college,Budo) a school for the royals and later joins Makerere University college -now Makerere University.
Because of his desire to travel to America for further studies,he goes to Need Munger and tells him, “Uganda needs trained people.I also mentioned that I enjoyed ,and was good at,science and that there was not one African dentist in the whole of Uganda.”
He gets into Northwestern University in Chicago which had the best African studies program in the US.He learns from the best in dentistry and later on meets,Camille, a black American woman.The two later get married and move to Uganda. They have four children together and have been married for 56 years.
He was so excited to come back home and practice but found archaic machines in the local hospital until he was advised to go into private practice. His private practice flourished and he was called upon to operate on Dr. Obote when he was shot in the mouth.
He grew in prominence ,it’s like God had ordained for him a path of influence. Heads of states knew him and top CEO’s wanted him to be on their boards.He was forced into exile in Kenya by Amin as a result of his chairmanship at the Uganda Argus-a local newspaper.He thrived in Nairobi and grew his dentistry in a foreign country.
He has a rich story,full of history seen through the eyes of a Ugandan. He speaks of all Ugandan presidents right from Kabaka Mutesa who on his opinion the only uncorrupt president to date because he had it all. Speaks of his growth from dentistry and later politics.
At one point,he was asked to be president but he turned down the offer .Museveni recruited him as a state minister for foreign affairs because of his diplomatic relations.He was sent to Libya to meet Gaddafi ,LRA to meet Kony and his men,UK,US on behalf of Uganda.
He ends the book with retrospection, comparing the Uganda then and the Uganda now. There are major differences,good ones at that and he exposes the gaps.
“I am a Ugandan who was alive and mature when this nation was born on 9th October 1962. It is not a perfect country ,but it is a beautiful country with mostly good people. It is the only country we call our own. Nobody can deport or expel us from this land of ours.”
I recommend this book to every Ugandan. You deserve to know the history of Uganda through the eyes of a Ugandan.You are guaranteed to learn so much about Uganda and the events that have transpired over the years e.g LRA rebel group, the untouchables, education,strong civil service,British colonial rule.
He brings the story home. This is Uganda’s book.
Photography :Jude Ochen