On deathbed, he demanded gospel music

On deathbed, he demanded gospel music

What you need to know:Gone too soon. Andy Kulubya was only 35 years old when he died. At that age, he had worked hard to achieve things, his peers could only dream of.  From the beginning, Kulubya sacrificed a lot, for instance having only gonja and water for lunch while some of those that earned less than him enjoyed the likes of chicken, beef and other mouth-watering stuff, writes Robert Lutaaya. Last year, Florence Ssentongo Nakigudde in Ben Kiwanuka Village of Rubaga Division could not let All Souls Day pass without her and other family members holding special prayers to remember departed family members and friends. The most recent of their family members to pass on was Andy Kulubya in September 2018.

HardworkingKulubya was only 35 years old when he died. At that age, he had worked hard to achieve things, his peers could only dream of.  From the beginning, Kulubya sacrificed a lot, for instance having only gonja and water for lunch while some of those that earned less than him enjoyed the likes of chicken, beef and other mouth-watering stuff. 

Self-denialKulubya was a non-smoker and teetotaller. He even never went dancing. Little wonder, he had acquired 29 titles of land in a number of city suburbs in addition to starting a chain of hardware shops in Shauri Yako and Nakivubo business areas.  The boy who initially learnt the ABC of trading while helping his mother sell hardware in a small shop in Shauri Yako during his Senior Six vacation, he later started his own business and made frequent business trips to Dubai. God-fearingKulubya’s mother, Nakigudde described her son as God-fearing.   “Andy [Kuluya] was God fearing. He became born again right from his secondary school days at Lubiri  Secondary School in the 1990s. After the accident, Andy felt excruciating pain but still believed in God as he said that suffering was part of life and something that should never make true believers part ways with their creators,” she recalls.On his sick bed, before he fell into a coma Kulubya used to ask  for gospel music to be played all the time because it gave him hope.BrilliantNakigudde says her son’s childhood was not a bed of roses. His father, James Kizza Mugambe passed on when Kulubya was only four years old and in kindergarten. 

Self-denialKulubya was a non-smoker and teetotaller. He even never went dancing. Little wonder, he had acquired 29 titles of land in a number of city suburbs in addition to starting a chain of hardware shops in Shauri Yako and Nakivubo business areas.  The boy who initially learnt the ABC of trading while helping his mother sell hardware in a small shop in Shauri Yako during his Senior Six vacation, he later started his own business and made frequent business trips to Dubai. God-fearingKulubya’s mother, Nakigudde described her son as God-fearing.   “Andy [Kuluya] was God fearing. He became born again right from his secondary school days at Lubiri  Secondary School in the 1990s. After the accident, Andy felt excruciating pain but still believed in God as he said that suffering was part of life and something that should never make true believers part ways with their creators,” she recalls.On his sick bed, before he fell into a coma Kulubya used to ask  for gospel music to be played all the time because it gave him hope.BrilliantNakigudde says her son’s childhood was not a bed of roses. His father, James Kizza Mugambe passed on when Kulubya was only four years old and in kindergarten. 

“Since then I became the breadwinner and struggled to keep him in school,” she says.  The mother operated a small hardware stall at Kampala’s Shauri Yako Market which was their only source of income. “At school, Kulubya was so good at sciences, especially Mathematics, a subject he passed with distinction. He once scored credit three in Mathematics something that angered his teacher to the extent of caning him.During the Senior Six vacation, Kulubya’s mother did not want to see her son remain idle at home, the reason she took him along to her workplace. “My aim was to make him discover how and where the family’s only source of income was earned,” she says.  After, Kulubya got admitted to Kyambogo University for mechanical engineering but after sometime his mother shifted him to Buganda Royal Institute in Mengo whose tuition fees was more affordable. Here, he studied while sparing time to go to Shauri Yako to help his mother run their hardware stall. Budding businessmanAfter some time, the mother came up with an idea of giving the boy entandikwa (seed capital) so as to become independent. “I realised that he had potential to succeed and had developed interest in business matters. Because of this, I had to sell  part of my land at Shs30m in one of the city suburbs to give him part of the money to kickstart his business,”  Nakigudde says.Kulubya named his first hardware shop Andester General Hardware Ltd and partnered with his young sisters; Clare Nalubwama and Joan Nampiima.This later gave birth to a chain of other shops and stores in Nakivubo and surrounding areas.  In a short time, his hard work paid off and he had enough money to buy chunks of land in many city suburbs, acquired a fleet of cars and frequently flew to Dubai for shopping thus getting rid of middlemen. 

The family bondThree years later Kulubya’s mother ponders on how life would be if her boy still lived. “We had a special bond. He, at one time suggested buying me a plot of land and building me a house next to his residence, something I turned down, reasoning that it was against Kiganda culture and besides that both of us needed some privacy,” she says.   Without fail, every weekend Kulubya used to send a package of essential commodities to her mother’s residence in Lubaga.  Joan Nampiima, Kulubya’s younger sister, says her brother was everything to her. “He was my brother, best friend besides acting more like a father. He was caring for all family members and friends, someone who always wanted everyone to be happy; so we always approached him for advice,” Nampiima says.Kulubya was a great and important family member that will never be replaced.  Generous and approachableKulubya’s former business associate, classmate at Lubiri SSS,  Emma Kizza describes the deceased as probably the most caring and generous person he had ever met.“We were great friends from Lubiri SSS. Later, he went for mechanical engineering while I opted for electrical engineering. After school, he always asked about some old boys and girls that were not doing well so he could offer help where possible,” Kizza recalls.  Another family friend, Tony Lumu , member of Musigula Village LC 1 Council, says  Kulubya was down to earth and approachable.“Whenever you met him he would ask whether you have any problem and would always part with something [monetary] however little,”Lumu concludes. 

End of lifeUnfortunately, on Sunday July 2018 everything came to an abrupt stop.  After prayers at Nalukolongo Gospel Mission Church, Kulubya drove to town in his black Toyota Fortuner. As he approached Lubaga Road, an oncoming vehicle said to have been a learner’s rammed into Kulubya’s (close to the driver’s seat) which left him with head injuries.  Kulubya was rushed to Mengo hospital where he was admitted for several days before being transferred to Platinum Hospital Wandegeya and later Case Clinic.Two months later, he ended up at Mulago hospital where he underwent two major surgeries to remove blood clots from the brain. He fell into a coma and never made it out. He was  laid to rest at his ancestral home in Kabubu Village in Gayaza. FYI…What you ought to know about him…Andy Kulubya, a businessman  was born on July 6, 1983. After an accident, he was admitted to different hospitals, went into a coma and breathed his last on September 26, 2018.

  

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