Every school has its folklore deeply imbued in what it perceives as culture and around the time I joined SMACK, there was a story that had everyone so inspired. Back in the day, Primary 7 results came out in late March and school started around April, and for Senior 5s, those started in second term of the academic year.
One mysterious Wednesday while in first term of my senior 1, a one R-Squared (pseudonym) walked into 1D and preached triple S, The SMACK Spirit of Solidarity and for one whole hour, he went on about how we were not supposed to ‘snake’ or we would be considered outcasts and how if you had the ‘Spirit’, you would be considered great. And for that 1 hour, we all believed, we had joined the solidarity. Also around that time, Senior 5 results had just been released and a one Ssemakade was among the best, 8 in 8 and in the papers.
As we celebrated, hoping to emulate triple SSS, the R Squared decided to share with us the legend of Ssemakade.
Ssemakade had come from an unknown background, where legends usually come from. He had got 4 in 4 in his primary leaving examinations (PLE) and was admitted to the legendary school. Here, a quiet and subdued fella found his place. Very eloquent and stubborn, he got into lots and all sorts of trouble, but he also performed excellently in class it was just hard not to be amazed.
For 4 years Ssemakade was among the crème de la crème. But that doesn’t make you legend. This does not engrave your name in the history of legends. This doesn’t make you anything; I mean, you are in the crème of the crème already.
In his senior 4, third term of the academic year, 3 weeks before the final UCE exams Ssemakade is expelled. Why? He had slept in for morning prep, and as morning was compulsory, the quadrangle keepers had come to wake him up and he had refused. But he then decided to go to class after much persuasion. He had then found the ‘quadi’ (quadrangle) gate locked and he broke it while the teacher was watching, and he uttered something along the lines of ‘I am going to read. I need to be in the papers!’ This infuriated the teacher who went straight for the H/Ms office and Ssemakade was sent home. Apparently, this was not his first time breaking the gate.
As Ssemakade left school, he told the then H/M Brother Bukenya, ‘Buki’ that he was going to be in the newspapers as the best student, and that he will be back, at which Buki laughed at him.
Anyway, Ssemakade did UCE papers and was in the papers among the best. Talk about having the last laugh. But again, this is not what makes legends LEGENDS.
After this story, everyone wanted to know who this mysterious Ssemakade was and lo and behold, we meet him when he joins us in the second term.
Ssemakade was quite laid back for someone given a lot of praise. He had picked PCM/French in his Senior 5, which was no surprise, and he excelled, but in his senior 6, he decided to change and do PEM/French. This was never heard of. Change combination? How? But Ssemakade claimed that he would manage. And he did. He excelled. What was this guy made of? He averaged 23 points in his senior 6, after changing combinations. Who does that?
Anyway, Ssemakade sat his UACE and got 23 points. This time, no breaking gates, just being his usual calm awesomeness. Last I heard, he’s a silent but prominent lawyer, running a firm.
I think I have only done injustice to this story, but trust me, for those who have heard, know. They know.
Maybe next time I shall share the Legend of Maximus.