Interviews

Big Interview: Yubu Onyong 27, Parliament of Uganda Protocol Officer tips youth on Success, Women and Alcohol

No matter how short or tall one is and as a saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” its indeed a living testimony as seen from a young northern Uganda ex-gospel singer Yubu Onyong,27, and aborn of Lira but with an origin in Alebtong District.

Many who are quick to conclude immediately after setting their eyes on him, might think he is just an ordinary boy not knowing he is a big man behind the Protocol at the Parliament of Uganda.

Yubu met with Kampala Sqoop’s Emuk Benjamen whom he opened up to about his school life, job at Parliament and love life.

My humble background and respect to people is what brought me to Parliament, was Yubu’s first statement that sparked off the interview.

“By the way I got in an accident on my way from Lira to here, ” he told our reporter, “to avoid a head-on collision,my driver was brave enough to opt to go to a trench and that’s what saved us,” he narrated.

Who is Yubu and what is your job description at Parliament of Uganda?

Like I told you I am Yubu Onyong, civil servant working at the Parliament of Uganda under Protocol at Parliament.

My work, ehhmmm, comprises of ensuring booking and clearing of Members of Parliament, Speaker and Deputy Speaker’s official travels in and out of the country, working on the diplomatic note, applying for official passports, give hospitality to people who come to parliament, welcome them, tour them around parliament and make them understand that parliament is a public place and in that, we show them the no go areas in parliament. It’s again my department that is charged with internal business of parliament like internal District visits, we go there to make sure that Parliament’s program runs smoothly not in a security manner but following the protocol.

 

Tell us, how did you get your job, was it by appointment or applying?

Haaaah! It’s good you asked this, I get this question a lot, well, to be on record, I got my job after following the normal procedure, after going through my education and graduating from Uganda Christian University in Mukono where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication. After which I waited for the job advert and applied after which I was the lucky few to be called for the interviews. And now the rest is history, I mean, I finally got the job and not by appointment as many think.

 

What do you think was the enabler for your job at Parliament?

And what’s that supposed to mean? Well, like I told you earlier, parliament has been my home since 2017 when I decided to volunteer at Parliament while I joined campus. I am from a humble background and this contributed a lot and not because I knew someone at Parliament but above all, the sacrifice I made, I dedicated myself to serving at Parliament and that backed with good manners, and out of that volunteering, I learnt a lot from the people I worked with, I got familiar to almost every one there. I strongly believe it is because of that I got to the shortlist.

Of Course I had those who were negative about me and they kept on saying I couldn’t make because of my height and looks but I tell you, No matter how short, tall or big you are, it takes respect and integrity to achieve success in life, it also takes respect to my friends to everyone near you.

If I messed up my relationship with the people in Parliament, then I wouldn’t be working in Parliament by now because I wouldn’t be able to be shortlisted even but here I am.

Yubu being interviewed by Kampala Sqoop’s Emuk Benjamen.

How were your first weeks at work?

Interesting! I went to work with gas, I wanted to work and I did my best to impress my bosses,I really did well and everyone was satisfied with my duties since I was doing exactly what I wanted to do in life. It was my dream to work at Parliament of Uganda

How do you deal with issues to do with your size and age while at work?

Good question but to be sincere, I see being tall as a disease, how many tall people out there sleep hungry? their children don’t even go to school,I am even way better than them, I am living a better life than those who mock me and call me names. I am one person who is not moved by whatever anyone says, For sure, I don’t do things to impress those who don’t care about me,I don’t buy happiness, I rather be alone and focus, and above all I respect and value myself a lot. I am educating over 6 students who are not even my relatives and you still have the guts to call me short,really?

 

Who do you rub shoulders with at work or beyond Parliament?

I don’t have many friends but the quality of the people I walk and share ideas with, matter a lot. And by the way before I do something, I evaluate the friends I choose to be with, if someone doesn’t add value to my life, I won’t give them attention. And this is what all the youth out there should emulate.

There is a reason as to why rich people make better connections and in life basically, one needs 3 things; Money, Better friends and Healthy life. When rich people produce kids, they make sure they are protected, they get connections from the security and politicians among others.

Are you trying to say that the Youth are poor because they don’t have better connections?

Exactly, young people want now now things and if they don’t get them there and then, they even cut ties with those contacts, and another bad omen If I can call it, is that these youths call themselves poor and trust me poor people are poor because they want to reason like poor people.

But have you thought of what will happen if you just wake up one day and reason like a rich person? Well if not, try and see what happens. The biggest challenge with these people is that they have believed they are poor and they reason like poor people and that’s responsible for their poverty levels.

You don’t just wake up and be rich, it is a journey which you have to believe, some people are complaining as to why I got my job at parliament not seeing the hustle I went through all my school life and volunteering at Parliament without pay.

Do young people have a leaf to borrow from your success story?

Yes, I believe they do, if only they learn to stay focused, be patient, humble and hardworking and above all stay away from Women and alcohol.

Stop undermining and criticizing people. It is high time the world sees from me that it is not being tall or whatsoever but being smart, intelligent, respectful and focused.

Most of the young people think Agriculture is no longer for the poor, do you agree?

Agriculture is still a better way to go, it’s just that the youth are dirty minded, they are being greedy, you can’t wake up and want what you can’t afford if you are not going to steal.

And it is now worse with our beautiful girls, they think beauty is what will help them a bunch. Young girls don’t know their value; you can only determine the kind of woman a girl will be, by the men they date and go around with.

My appeal to our sisters is that sex is not the only contribution a woman has to offer, imagine they go to church to pray to God for a husband and when he brings them, they call them poor, not meant for me among other funny names.

Very many beautiful ladies are busy getting married but their character is taking them back to their father’s homes just because they think being beautiful is it all and for sure I believe the reason God doesn’t answer some prayers is because people ask for worldly things that do not impress him but the devil.

The youth need to understand their values, what they need to be recognized for. You can’t be successful if you sleep in the bar all the time, a real man should be ready to handle trouble no matter what it is but in a wise way but you can’t do it when a bar is your home.

We understand that you have connections with the artists, is there anything special to it?

Definitely, like I said before, I am a gospel musician, a big one at that, I had already made a name back home but I just decided to pave the way for others to shine. I have strong relations with artists because I am one and that’s the reason I help them.

Are you dating and if yes, are you planning on marriage?

Yes, I am dating someone but not planning on marriage any time soon, Because the person I am dating is still in school and I can’t be that serious. I want her to be a woman of substance.

 

Which challenges do you face in your job?

I would say people mistake my job merely linking them to MPS which is not part of my job description. But for sure, I don’t have any issues connecting people to the members of Parliament if they have genuine reasons because I believe God has a purpose as to why people need such connections.

I would also want to make this clear, we are not in charge of arranging meetings between parliamentarians and the public.

As I conclude, I love my job more than anything else, I give my job 99% time because it’s the one feeding me and who doesn’t want to work in Parliament?

Parliament has always been my dream, the next goal I have is to make sure I cater for my family, friends and all those around me.

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