BETTER YOUR BEST: That right there is Ntare School’s motto…like wakanda level of laziness be dis? While some people were busy mastering sophisticated Latin phrases, someone sat and just did that. Anyway, it only gets ‘better’with alumni of this school.
Often, we try as much as possible to ignore all kinds of provocations. If you are looking for a school version of Najjera, Ntare School would be it. Ntare School has struggled to be identified as a traditional school. But what’s their justification? Is it the two prominent alumni that they keep throwing in our faces? Or the fact that they chose a lion over a bull?
But because this week, most Ugandans are keeping home because of a Ntare alumni, we shall bend the rules and give Ntare a shout out. Yet, one must recognise that this has been done through extreme pain and suffering. We would rather dedicate this space to Kitovu; everyone knows them for their Luganda mastery. Or to Mwiri, not sure what they are all about, but they are still better than Ntare.
The first thing that puts you off Ntare is their motto. It is the peak of intellectual laziness. ‘Better your best’ they say. But what if there’s no best to speak of in the first place? Then it becomes about bettering your worst. While other schools have taken us on sophistries of Latin mottos, Ntare does not care. They say, keep it as basic as it comes.
But just in case you are keeping up with the motto, you get reminded of the houses of residence. Apparently one of the houses is named ‘New House’. Pause there for a moment. Someone sat down and decided to name a house ‘New House’. If this is not an ultimate display of laziness, what is it? Do not be surprised when Pioneer House is renamed ‘Covid-19’ and Mbaguta renamed ‘Lockdown.’ That is Ntare for you.
There is only two things the alumni of Ntare have to say about their school. First, that Museveni and Kagame went through these gates. If you want proof of Ntare’s works, you simply must observe how Uganda works.
The second thing is their rivalry with Mbarara High School. Whereas the first of things could pass, how does one explain the second? A rivalry of dwarfs? A conclave of dwarfs? For goodness sake, Ntare could do better. At least pick a battle with Namilyango. How on earth does a lion claim to have a bitter rivalry with a bull? Lions face off with lions. For that reason, there is only one thing about Ntare – the fact that Museveni is their alumni. At that point, you can kwestyamura and realise that tweny tweny is indeed tweny tweny.
But not all is lost on Ntare, there should be some redeeming factor. You can never fault them on their oratory skills. When they stand up to speak, you cannot help but appreciate that the school is not just about whistling, it is doing something worth noticing.
You may wonder, why do I keep comparing Ntare to Najjera? Just do a random survey, there is a likelihood that half of Najjera’s residents are Ntare products. But above all, Ntare suffers from the same syndrome as Najjera, the ‘see-me’ syndrome. Why on earth would an old boy’s association label their maize flour donation? So, what would have happened if they had donated cows and milk? Although Budo was seeking relevance in pointing out this anomaly, we all agree that Ntare just keeps digging low.
Going forward, Ntare will have to leverage two assets; their union with Mary Hill (a forced one) and their school league. We know it is not an easy feat trying to break into the traditional schools’ league, but Mbarara was not built in one day. To help make this journey shorter, we could organise benchmarking tours or school exchanges.
A Ntare student can be sent to Smack for a term, just to learn a thing or two about class. Shack and Gungas can organise a retreat to get the Ntare alumni fast-tracked in the world of British and Roman aristocracy. How, for example, should a man dress? How should a man sneeze? There is a manual to becoming a gentleman, and not just a gentleman, but one with class.
Finally, NGO and Mwiri will help lecture the Ntare boys on the games of the hard guys. Why for goodness sake can’t Ntare put up a formidable rugby team? Such things keep derailing the journey into the super class. Have you also noticed that the Ntare School Old Boys Association is abbreviated as NSOBA? May be the problem is a branding one. Yes, Ntare School has a branding problem.
The Old Boys know so much about their school, but the people who matter — the public — they know nothing. Anyway, what would be there to know about NSOBA? Isn’t that the Luganda word for being slow? Yes, even on the dance floor, they are slow. Ntare surely needs a Sheilah Gashumba!