Ivan Musoke

The Story Of We

Independence is this cool thing where everything is all about you. The world seemingly revolves around you, the ground is pleased that it supports your weight and you don’t need to answer to anyone. Independence is also a myth. Two letters exist to squash the illusion of independence, two letters;One word is all it takes to screw everything up. WE!

From day one, the “we-factor” is present. You never quite do stuff by yourself. Yeah, you soiled your pants and all that, but the only reason you got away with it is because you are in fact expected to do that sort of thing. Yeah. Coz at that age all the cool kids (non-retards if you will) are doing it. Its not about you. If it was then they’d slap the baby right out of you. The fact is, our folks know that at that point WE have no control over this shit (pun not intended)(seriously!). Its a thing WE do. Its how WE roll.

When you move on to school there’s that ting your teachers love to do. They try to instill in you this false sense of hope that you have achieved the Independence you so desire by telling you “you came here alone, you will leave here alone”. Realistically speaking, yeah, you did come alone, but chances are if you climbed over the wall and went clubbing with your mates, y’all would leave together…and if it looked like that wouldn’t happen,you have the ability to make it happen. Go on, be a snitch!

Your peers know better so they try to break the news to you as best they can. They introduce you to a concept they call “solidarity”. Its in the spirit of “solidarity” that the WE tag makes its return. The teacher looks at you and asks you why you were sleeping during the lesson and then you “get your we on”. “we were bored”. If you so badly wanted that independence, you’d take it like a man,woman or thing and state, as bluntly as humanly possible,” I was bored…I don’t take shit!”

Heck, even if you did pull it off the class would laugh along with you and WE‘d be in trouble.

You move on to the university and its pretty much the same thing. You get stuck trying to figure out what the lecturer is asking you for so you consult. You ask around. If you were independent, you’d arrive at the decision by yourself, ages ago, “I am not going to let this lecturer take advantage of me, ought to be paid double for such requests”

There’s the relationship angle wherein you still can’t do your own thing. You’ll carry on like you are in fact calling the shots, but let’s be honest, at some point you’ll catch yourself saying stuff like, “we really ought to rethink this” or, if you are so keen on getting the independence you think you deserve, “we should see other people”. Why can’t you say “I need to start seeing other people”?

Then there’s the office angle, where we are expected to meet deadlines, we are a team and we aim to make the company look as good….Yeah,I got a job…




  1. I try, for one, to avoid saying `we’. I mean, it sounds silly when you are not in accord with anybody else.

    But, ditto on that: nobody is independent.

  2. fun read as always 🙂 The relationship bit is on point…especially we women tend to drop the WE quite often.
    Happy New Year!

  3. u should so read some Ann Rynd. esp Anthem. It’s about a fictional society where they’re forced to be the same and aren’t allowed to use the word ‘I’ for years and they even forget it.

    She even started this organization where their philosphical school of thought is all about existentialism and what not.

    By the way, i have a friend who hates the way Ugandans use ‘they’. As in ‘they are calling you.’ She’s always like ‘Who the **** are “they”??’

    But she don’t hate it for any deeply profound reasons like the ones u present here. It’s just grammatically incorrect.

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