Makanga Kamulegeya, 72 at his home in Masaka, Uganda. “I just turned 72. The wheels of time have changed most things. The one thing time has not touched is my capacity for life and living.”
Makanga Kamulegeya, 72 at his home in Masaka, Uganda. “I just turned 72. The wheels of time have changed most things. The one thing time has not touched is my capacity for life and living.”

This essay is done with my uncle, the younger brother of my father, who in my culture is my dad too.

We grew up seeing them both play fatherly roles and it was a pleasure for me to do these portraits at his home, probably the only professional portraits I have ever seen of him because he is a camera-shy person. It took some convincing for him to do it.

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How does it feel to be 72?

"At 72, I continue to sense vitality in every bone of my body. My lifelong commitment to staying active likely accounts for my enduring sense of strength. Over the years, I've traversed the three-kilometer journey to visit my mother countless times; she has now reached the age of 96.

Another constant companion in my life is my trusty radio, a solace during moments of solitude. I relish sitting by the window, tuning in to political talk shows, all while observing passersby. It serves as my primary source of news. Regrettably, from time to time, the radio broadcasts funeral announcements for individuals I know well."

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What do you look forward to?

"I look forward to living a bit longer to see life unfold. I recently took the bold decision to quit alcohol. I hope to avoid the bottle for the rest of my days. I hope I can find the fortitude to resist. I hope so."

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What is your biggest concern?

"Days are not the same as they were and that is sad. My biggest worry is how distant my siblings and I are getting. Growing up, my siblings and I were close and always visited each other. Our children bonded on such visits. Now, everyone is living distant disjointed lives, especially our elder, our father's heir. It concerns me that I'm unable to communicate with him like we did in the past. My only hope is that our children get to grow more familiar and more fond of each other than we have been, that is my hope."

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Life expectancy 2023

63.84
years
Uganda

About the photographer

Jjumba Martin

🌐

I was born in Uganda and in 2009 I discovered photography while at university. Heeding the call to photography came to me when I needed it most and it’s what I was created to do. I am a documentary and portrait photographer, but open to taking on other related assignments.

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