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How to be… Prof. Mahmood Mamdani

The professional. He may be an international gem, highly-sought and professional in his job, but Prof. Mahmood Mamdani has been frustrated by Ugandans. Many Dr Stella Nyanzi fans bay for his blood. He is a self-made man and here is Ian Ford Nkera to guide you on how to be like the Makerere prof.

To some people, the globally renowned scholar Prof Mahmood Mamdani was relatively unknown until Dr Stella Nyanzi’s infamous nude show. The Nyanzi verbal brigade have since branded him the boss from hell who is running the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) to the ground. He was particularly accused of gross oppression by Dr Nyanzi for the entire time she has been at the Institute, prompting her to strip to her knickers early last week.
Prof Mahmood Mamdani, a Harvard PhD graduate, apparently claims that Dr Nyanzi’s office was only locked because of her reluctance to teach on the PhD programme and for using the Institute’s offices to carry out her private research. Well, a teacher who doesn’t want to teach is just absurd but people using office space for their private business? This is just laughable.
Guys will use office WiFi to apply for other jobs and even have the nerves to complain when it’s slow. But quite frankly, you have got to feel for anyone who has the improbable task of supervising Dr Nyanzi daily, let alone eight years. Kudos to Prof Mamdani for occupying one job no one wishes to have. If you want to be like the scholar, here is your guide:

Highly respected scholar
This guy did not head MISR by accident or by technical know-who. His work in research has garnered him acclaim internationally that he certainly doesn’t go around vending CVs from one office to another for a job. He certainly doesn’t need to hang around Makerere to baby sit Dr Nyanzi. Guy is wanted everywhere around the world and is firmly placed at the Columbia University as the director of the Institute of African Studies.
If you carry a transcript from Mutesa Royal University or KIU, your dreams to scale the heights of Prof Mamdani are not too farfetched. Yes, it might seem like a long stretch but you too can make it.
As for you whose research revolves around whether or not Bebe Cool has built his house, this might not be your area but it doesn’t kill to try. A career as a scholar takes a lot of sacrifice and passion but I guess we all know what happens when you tell a Ugandan to open a book.

Be transparent and professional
Prof. Mamdani is known to be a perfectionist and very professional. Such people are normally left frustrated in doing their work because Ugandans have ‘their’ way of doing things — the a crooked way. They don’t want to account and want to make money off anything. People like Prof. Mamdani have built their names entirely on integrity.
To have a Ugandan who is straight in their work is close to impossible. Ladies, as you go through your man’s things, make sure you put those wrinkled receipts in his wallet aside. Your boo needs to account for cartons of paper that went missing. You don’t want your future husband being arrested for stealing paper surely. Let him come clean.
Your company pays you some good money to rent a decent place when you go upcountry for work but then you decide to sleep in the company pick up. You are cheating yourself. Live honourably, live honestly, live like Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.

Terrible bosses?
We all have that one boss who is sent from Hell. They breathe down your neck, asking for reports and making you feel stupid. Mbu they want to bring the best out of you. Hahahaha. Who can believe this nonsense? I am sure Dr Nyanzi feels different. She is clearly fed up of Prof Mamdani and would gladly love him shipped to Mumbai, his place of birth.
Apparently, the guy has been stressing everyone at the Institute and isn’t utterly popular in some circles. Is it his hands-on style that the staff there can’t adjust to? Maybe! These over-learned fellows are so high on knowledge that they feel the need to run over everyone.
If you want to potentially be a terrible boss and invite the wrath of your employees, just work under an Indian for one day. This should give you enough experience to go and torment all those employees who take you for granted. These Indians didn’t come to Uganda for charity. You will work under tough conditions and get paid so little.
There you have it. Go ahead and be like Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.

DISCLAIMER: This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not necessarily be an objective assessment of the individual or group.

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