This morning as I was driving to work I read something at the back of a random taxi which tickled my mind. The quote is famous in the central region and is filled with lots of wisdom. The quote goes something like “zibula atudde” which loosely translates to “only the idle lack.” The quote is usually made in reference to lack of money. The quote was popularized by local musician Lord Fred Sebatta in a song under the same title. There is even a local shopping mall in Kampala called Zibula atudde mall.
The real message from the taxi quote is best understood in opposite. Since the idle lack, it then infers that a busy, hard working and enterprising person will always have money.
I was on the road early morning when I read this quote. After grasping the hidden meaning in this quote I began to notice people who had risen up early to do something enterprising. Many were headed to work in offices. I saw a guy making rolex chapati in Nakwero. There were several taxi touts beckoning customers along the Gayaza road. I saw many women at the roadside market in Kasangati unpacking their merchandise. I saw a petrol pump attendant serving customers in Wampewo. I saw a lady serving tea and boiled casssava in Kyanja. I saw a police man directing traffic in Kisaasi. I saw many builder at a construction site around Bukoto. I saw may people opening up their small shops along the way. I saw a group of army guys patrolling the streets. I noticed some women sweeping the roads in Kololo.
All these people will return home tonight with a penny in their pocket because they are busy working and not seated idle. Many of them have refused to embrace the “unemployed” title and identity. They know that there is a difference between a job and work. There is a shortage of jobs but there is no shortage of work. Anyone can choose to work if they want to. The problems to solve in this world are endless. The needs and wants of people are infinite. These people have chosen to embrace the work. They have not allowed their qualifications and backgrounds to stop them from working. They are willing to make the sacrifice to earn something however small. Many of these people don’t have appointment letters. They just showed up and did the work.
Work is the only true road to wealth. Once we have the work then we can do it faster, better, more efficient. We can serve more people. We can offer a unique offering. We can scale up the work, hire more people, get more equipment. This will accelerate the journey to wealth. But ultimately work is real denominator to wealth.