By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus - Following the Ugandan government’s declaration of the closure of institutions of learning as one of the measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, all institutions including KIU sent students to their homes. Unfortunately, among these, there were those who had to cross borders to reach home, something that was impossible at the time because borders and the airport had also been closed.
How did students in the KIU fraternity, like Wisdom Anana survive?
Anana, a Nigerian national is a postgraduate student pursuing a Master's Degree in Business Administration at KIU Main Campus. She is one of the international students that have never gone home since 2019. When the declaration to halt school activities was issued on March 20, 2020, Wisdom was left facing a dilemma. Her first fear was contracting COVID-19 and dying in a foreign land and the other was surviving amidst uncertainty in a land far from home. but there was only one choice - to stay in the hostel until all became well.
"I was very scared at first. Then, I started feeling lonely because we were very few in the hostel which made it seem like a deserted place and we felt abandoned," Anana admits.
She says receiving money from home became very difficult with time, sending her into a state of despair, hopelessness and uncertainty before the university through the Chairman Board of Trustees, Dr. Al-Hajji Hassan Bassajabalaba came to their rescue. He provided them with food for more than three months.
“The University really tried to help us when we needed help most, for example, the chairman of the Board of Trustees provided food that relieved us for more than three months,” Anana says.
Because of too much fear to contract COVID-19 and to be assaulted, Anana admits that they would spend most of their time indoors. Though some of her colleagues went home upon the easing of the restrictions by the government, Anana is one of the very few who decided to stay. Her experience through the tense political season is not different from that of the COVID-19 lockdown.
"We have been living in fear because we thought the tension would result into physical conflict and maybe something worse but luckily all seems well," She affirms.
Now that students have started reporting back for the new semester and with no signs of any uncalled for occurrence, Anana is certain that life will get back to normal. During the interview, she looked lively and her tone was that of relief.