KAMPALA - The story of Henry Ssuubi Kiyimba, who has been a victim of cyberbullying for carrying a metallic suitcase to University as a first-year student offering Bachelor of Science in education and economics at Makerere University Kampala, is an interesting one.
What started as scorn when a one Emmanuel Aupal, posted a picture of Ssuubi on twitter, mocking him for deceptively carrying what he described as a high school box, is day by day opening doors for him.
On Tuesday, Ssuubi reported for his year one first semester at Makerere University, carrying what Aupal described as a blue metal suitcase in one hand and the legendary ‘Ousofia' bag in another.
It could have been a mockery for Aupal, but Ssuubi is immensely benefiting, from the social media attack. Ugandans on twitter led by BBC's journalist Alan Kasujja and UBC's Cederic Babu particularly put up a frantic campaign to help Ssuubi meet his living expenses at the University.
On Saturday, Joy Ruth Acheng, Uganda's high commissioner to Canada, paid a courtesy visit to Ssuubi at Makerere University and donated to him a brand new HP laptop computer, to help him do his course work.
"I learnt about him on social media so I took the Initiative to visit him, to know who he is and encourage him that it is not the expensive suitcase or the clothes that make one a great person many of us came from very poor background but it is through hard work that you change everything," Ambassador Acheng said.
As a parent, Acheng advised Ssuubi whose name means hope, to be hardworking, honest and humble in order to be successful in life.
She also implored Ssuubi, to stick to academics and avoid non -academic pleasures that might destruct his education dream.
"Have good peers that will encourage you not the ones that will tell you, Ssuubi today its Friday lets go to angenoir no don't do that because you know where you are coming from," Acheng advised Ssuubi as she handed him a new laptop.
The visibly excited Ssuubi narrated to the ambassador how life for the third born in the family of eight children has not been an easy one, having been raised by a single mother.
Ssuubi noted that his father, who occasionally visits the family in a space of every four months, has not been supportive to their mother who happens to be a primary school teacher.
Ssuubi explained that it is their mother Rose Nalwanga that has worked tirelessly, to enable him and his siblings to attain an education.
Unlike his siblings, Ssuubi is the first child in the family to join University after he won a government scholarship on national merit.
"I could not let this opportunity go because I didn't have a leather suitcase. So I got this old metallic suitcase, loaded it with my books and off I came to the University to study, those laughing at me, are free to do so, we all come from different backgrounds," Ssuubi said.
He noted that his mother didn't have money to buy a new suitcase, and decided to use the very old one he used during his secondary education.
Hailing from Kamengo in Mpigi district, Ssuubi hopes to teach for a short time after completing his education degree and study civil engineering which is his dream course.
He took off time, to advise fellow disadvantaged children, to follow their dreams and not to be swayed by those whose financial statuses are good.
"They should be true to themselves, they should not copy others because our backgrounds are different the other one has money for you, you don't have. If you don't have don't spend if you go out to borrow and spend, then you have to suffer," he said.
Ssuubi testified that how he had never dreamt of owning a laptop, but because of patience, he has acquired one, thanks to cyberbullying. He thanked the ambassador and pledged to follow her wise counsel.
Besides Ambassador Acheng, other well-wishers have come out to support Ssuubi with beddings, toiletries, and other scholastic materials.