Long-cherished desires of Ugandans
The circumstances of Uganda and behaviors of Isaac draws parallel in this novel. Uganda gained its independence from the Great Britain in 1962. This noble takes place in post-colonial era of Uganda where newly independent state, Uganda, was trying to construct its own social and governmental structure. It had the right to reorder their basic format as a nation but after being ruled by British, Uganda lacked in resources and technical expertise. It was a time of confusion and Uganda have not yet made any significant progress at this point of time.
This situation of Uganda is similar to what Isaac goes through as an African man. He mentions how no Africans were allowed to live near the university because it was considered to be the space of the White people. After independence, restricted properties for White lost its purpose and restrictions on Africans living near university have been removed. In post-colonial era, Isaac wonders around the university pretending to be the student there. From the outsider’s view, there seems to be nothing wrong with Isaac being in university and it is quite believable that Isaac is a student at the university. However, in reality, Isaac is just pretending to be university student and in fact he wished to be the student there someday in his life.
How Isaac portrays himself is different than how he really is and the image that Isaac is pretending to be is how he wants to be rather than how he really is. Same applies to Uganda. Uganda, on the surface, seems like a nation which gained sovereignty through independence. However, in reality, Uganda have not fully escaped from their colonizer but pretending as if they are completely apart from the British now, hoping it will become true someday. The impact of telling a story of post-colonial experience was as powerful as portraying colonial times because this parallel between Uganda in 1970s and Isaac on university campus captures desperation and pertinacious hope for new way of life that Ugandans had after their independence.