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How to be… the unique Pope Francis


Pope Emeritus Benedict in the famous red papal shoes that Pope Francis rejected.

Be different. He ditched the smart red loafers and had his shoes custom-made by a local cobbler. He is different from the other popes as seen in his personality and humility. Ian Ford Nkera writes.
So what are the odds that a bouncer at Mona Lisa bar in Mengo will become the Pope and leader of all Roman Catholics around the world? This is somewhat unlikely. How insane would it be to have this bouncer do a ka-Psychology course at Makerere University while still performing the highly unhonourable duty of throwing out drunkards! To be honest, not many. It seems a lot easier to carry a drunk and problematic Tamale out of the bar than carry a world’s problems on your shoulders. Well, not to Jorge Bergoglio who worked as a bouncer to raise tuition for his Psychology course at University of Buenos Aires. While some bouncer is contented with life at the entrance of a bar in Kampala, Jorge is now the Pope and will make his first ever visit to Uganda today. If you harbour dreams of becoming the Pope (yes even you Kasodde, the thief) one day, here is your guide:

Have simple taste and be different
We knew that popes in the past chose to shy away from lavish lifestyles but we did not know that many of them wore red Prada shoes. A little stylish for a Pope you thought. Pope Francis has broken the norm and chosen to cool the expectations that come with his job. He still puts on the black shoes he first wore as a Bishop in Buenos Aires. Now, show me anyone who still puts on shoes from their first job. Maybe Fat Boy of Sanyu FM, who has stayed true to the very first pair of shoes he bought.
To be like Pope Francis, you will need a certain attachment to things not found in many Ugandans. The problem is that if you give a Ugandan money, he wants to buy a whole stall. Those things of “tying on “old shoes, clothes are simply not there. People move on quick.

Be very humble
Popes in the past have been known to live simple lives and Pope Francis is no exception. He stunned Americans when he rejected their luxury SUVs on his visit to the US for a miserable SIM card-sized Fiat. He is also the first Pope to live in the Guest House at his Vatican headquarters and his reasons were noble. He simply wanted to be close to the people. The only time a Ugandan will sleep in the guest house is when his wife kicks him out of the main house.
Ugandans like to live beyond their means, especially these 800k-a- month corporates who live on borrowed time, borrowed money and basically borrowed everything.
To be like Pope Francis, be humble enough to invite your crush for ‘family lunch’ at home with the rats and roaches that you now call family. Be humble enough to let everyone know that you take three taxis and a canoe to get to your “apartment” in Kalerwe from town. Be as humble as your bank account at all times.

Be selfless and caring
Many of Pope Francis’ predecessors have preached love and have gone around calling for peace. Pope Francis in particular has dined with sicklers, lepers and was seen in a touchy picture kissing the feet of people living with HIV as a way of giving them hope. To be like Pope Francis, you should have a huge heart for people.
Ladies, if kissing your boyfriend’s toes is a big task, we totally understand your fears. Even I would not kiss my own feet. The kissing Pope Francis has shown us is one without fear or discrimination. The kind that shows compassion. To be like Pope Francis, you should reach out for the needy.
How about you stopped building a mini boutique of old clothes in your closet and actually gave out a couple of them to the needy? The funny thing is that people have money to spend in a bar but struggle to find money to put in the offertory bag at church. Surprise yourself and love everyone, including your ex, your annoying workmates and the landlord.

Stay true to yourself
The Pope has stayed true to the things he loves and cherishes unlike many of his predecessors who have lived a life entirely of service. He is a diehard soccer fan, who occasionally watches a good game of soccer. He loves to dance, particularly the Argentine famed Tango dance and he loves a good book too.
If you want to be like Pope Francis, stop making excuses for not enjoying your life. Ugandans like to claim they are too busy for anything. Chaps are busy at their workplaces, in the toilet, in their heads, on their phones. Very soon you will also be regretting what life that should have been.

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