By Denis Jjuuko

One rainy Thursday morning, my friend Gerald Businge and I walked through the reception at New Vision straight to a tent in the garden, exactly where Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga’s office stands today. We were undergrad students who had started contributing articles to the newspaper’s features desk. A day before, Barbara Kaija, the Group Editor in Chief but Features Editor at the time had invited us for a meeting.

In the tent, we would meet some of the best writers at the time. Gawaya Tegulle, Anthony Mugere, Joan Mugenzi, Catherine Nakalanzi (Maama Tendo), Keturah Kamugasa (RIP), and Joshua Kato among others. The wacky Harry Sagara would waltz in smelling like a chimney!

Naturally, we sat at the back and realized how lucky we are to be in the same space with the elite writers. The numbers kept expanding as we pinched ourselves. We had made it in life.

Naturally, we sat at the back and realized how lucky we are to be in the same space with the elite writers. The numbers kept expanding as we pinched ourselves. We had made it in life.

Moments later, a tall dark heavily built man wearing a Mandela shirt walked in holding a big blue book and occupied one of the chairs in front of a weather beaten desk. He scanned the improvised room, pulled out his newspaper and ordered for a black cup of coffee from Aunt Felly.

A few minutes later, Barbara Kaija joined the man at the front. We were to learn that he is Patrick Luganda, one of the prolific feature writers at the New Vision and chair of this Thursday meeting.

He cleared his voice and asked Gerald and I to leave so his meeting could start. Barbara swiftly interjected, introducing us and explaining that she had invited us.

Obviously Patrick knew our bylines but he didn’t know our faces. Joining this meeting was a rite of passage for feature writers. Barbara only invited people to it she considered serious and those she could trust — trust being those who would deliver and not go around discussing what had transpired to journos working for the archrival, Monitor Publications.

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