Recently, I wanted to start a project towards the end of last month somewhere in Kampala. Normally after a project, I purpose to take a break for recuperation. By the time one finishes even a very simply project in Uganda, he will have fought with all kinds of contractors who promise heaven and deliver hell.
So I visited a friend for a chat and discovered he had done a similar project which had turned out beautifully. I asked him for the contact of the guy who did the work and he gave it to me. We agreed to meet with him the next day at the location of the project.
He arrived late and smelling alcohol. Please note that this was at about 2pm. He came with another guy who appeared to be in a similar state whom he referred to as his assistant.
But because I had seen the brilliant work they had done for my friend, I did not throw them out.
I requested that we have our meeting at a nearby restaurant and I requested the assistant to sit on another table.
After about 30 minutes of conversation with boss, when I looked over at the chap on the other table, I noticed he was on his fourth beer bottle.
I had expected him to order for a decent meal since he looked hungry. The boss, however, was behaving himself by ordering the right stuff.
Anyway, we agreed on the terms and conditions required but I didn’t advance them any money because I wasn’t sure about what would happen to the cash.
During our meeting, I talked a little bit about the challenges that come with drinking alcohol, especially when one goes beyond certain limits. Also, during the conversation, he asked me if I had ever taken alcohol, to which I said no, which is true but that I respect those who do so controllably. ‘Why?’ he asked? ‘Is it because of your faith?’
He did not understand why a guy like me wasn’t a subscriber to the bottle. He explained that they drunk because of problems they wanted to forget about, to which I responded that I too have many challenges but I decided I will face them with a very sober mind. I face temptations with a very clear mind.
I told him I have seen many people go to waste because of alcohol. Many of whom I went to school with and had clear promising future.
I sometimes wish we were a very honest society when it comes to confront the evils that let us down as people, especially alcohol.
A lot of people would rather keep quiet mainly because they do not want to confront those they ‘respect’.
Anyhow, he has been working since then with more seven months remaining for him to be done with the project and I must confess, he is doing a brilliant job so far.
During the conversations, we have spoken about family, saving and how to invest and he has been very attentive.
The focus has been on the advantages of being of sober, especially when one is married with children.
Life stops being about one being the man or the woman because you become a father and a husband with massive responsibility.
During the conversation, he further opened up saying he has had several fights with his wife when under the influence of alcohol and he always regretted the next day when sober.
I told him, I have been married for 16 years but I have never attempted even once to physically fight my wife despite the many times we have had issues.
When angry, I either keep quiet or walk away and return with a very clear mind to face the day and that has helped a lot.
My wife often reminds our kids about this particular aspect when they want to fight back when in trouble. I am sure if I drank, things would probably be different.
On Thursday last week, he said to me with tears in his eyes, ‘Amos I have stopped drinking!’ He continued, ‘I’m more than 50 years and I have achieved nothing because of alcohol. I have made so much money in life but I lost everything to alcohol. I do not remember anybody talking to me about savings and investment.’
‘My friends simply encouraged me to drink, saying life is short and I got addicted. I couldn’t stop. I tried finding a pastor to pray for me and nothing happened. I have made up my mind, I want to be different. I want my children to have a father.’
I’m very happy and excited for him but the question remains, how many are struggling with this same issue out there?
The writer is an investment expert