n November 2005, elders in Bunazi, North Bukoba, invited me, their favorite son, to a luncheon in my honor.
Initially, I hesitated to accept the invitation because I was struggling with organizing my sister's wedding, and was supervising the construction of my parents' mansion. But the elders insisted, "We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you." So I agreed. After wonderful things were said about me, I stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said,
"I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who was once travelling from Princeton. When the train conductor came punching the tickets Einstein reached in his vest pocket, couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.
The conductor said, "Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it." Einstein nodded appreciatively.
The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.
The conductor rushed back and said, "Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one."
Einstein looked at him and said, "Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going."
Having said that, I continued, "See the certificate I'm holding in my hand? It's for the MD degree. After I got it, some of my friends and colleagues were telling me I am a little slovenly, slow, humble, uneventful and broke most of the time, and that I used to be a bit more fastidious, being someone opinionated, with new inventions, and with cash at hand.
So, my beloved elders, I went out and obtained this MD degree, in 2003, not for this luncheon, but for many more important occasions.
This is the certificate with which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the certificate I'm holding. I want you to remember this:
I not only know who I am...I also know where I'm going."