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By Ian Ortega
Every parent’s dream is to see their child graduate and achieve in life. Oteen Tekarukite Ojok David had made his parents dream a reality when he graduated in January this year.
When The Band Perry sang the lines; “If I die young, bury me in satin, make me lie on a bed of roses…” they must have had Ojok in mind. He didn’t just die young, he died at the hands of his fellow students.
But who was Ojok David? He is this young man who had his roots in Apac. From Jinja College to Namilyango College, the young man ended up at the famous Makerere University’s College of Computing aka CIT.
Yet all his dreams and ambitions, all his hard work was pelted with stones and was only represented with his lifeless body having been a victim of mob justice.
A week back, he had visited his Alma Mata to seek payment from his debtor. Little did he know that he was here to seek his death. The Chairman Elect of Nkurumah Hall sighted him near the hall and immediately begun questioning him from east to west. The Chairman demanded for identification from him and on failure to produce an ID, the chairman made an alarm with screams of ‘a thief is here.’
When you cry thief in Makerere, you have aroused the demons that lay in wait in the bodies of most students at this once great University. The students came in large numbers and one by one, in groups, in twos, in dozens, hurled any object that was in their vicinity. They were burning with rage, law students included.
Many describe him as that industrious and brilliant guy. He was short of a few points to take his CGPA to a First Class award. In 2007, he joined Jinja College for his A-Level. He had completed his O-Level from the famous Namilyango College, the oldest secondary school in Uganda.
At the Mulago Mortuary, his body was a testament to the pain he’d been inflicted with. With cuts all over, bruises of all kind, wrackled bones, disfigured body, he was far from the handsome man he’d been months back on his graduation day.
He was a Tech Genius and enthusiast, it is no wonder that his last update on Facebook was of researchers that had hijacked the cockroach brain to make cyborg cockroaches.
He also had a great sense of humour. In his famous narrations, he talked of a little boy he’d asked about the name for a female hyena. The little boy had replied “hyeness.”
Alfred Onek eulogised Ojok saying; “You helped me solve my laptop problem in 2011, it saddens me that I recount such a contribution when you are no more to listen to it.”
The life of the software developer had been shut down, the bugs of hooliganism had infected it.
Condolence Messages continue to flood his Facebook wall.
To many, it’s a pang of reality that has struck so hard, so sharp, where it pains the most. For the young man who was born on 10th October 1989, it seems he deserves a place among the martyrs.
He must be the martyr that represents all those innocent victims of mob justice. For Ojok has provided a mirror upon which Makerere University can see itself, it’s a reflection of the road to hell that MUK has taken.
When one looks at the dead Ojok, it’s not Ojok that’s dead, it’s the once great institution whose death is on the way.
In the coffin where his body lies, also lies his dreams. His dreams now are nothing but used condoms on the floor of a public restroom. Being tramped on, being ignored, being swiped, and finally murdered in seconds.
The Vatican may not call him a martyr but at BigEyeUg, we think he’s one. Perhaps Frank Gashumba was right in his descriptions of the current crop of students. Who knows? Rest in peace Ojok.