Once arrested, now in action: This Ugandan climate activist making efforts for a change
“I was arrested, badly hit, and banned from Twitter in 2020.”
These are the words of Nyombi Morris, the Ugandan climate activist, while speaking to the UPDEED. This is when, as per Nyombi, he decided to take a temporary break from activism to concentrate on his mental stress so that he could heal and return.
“People labeled me as someone who is just making noise.”
On 18 July 2022, Nyombi was bestowed with the 2022 Earth Champion award. Today, he is championing the fight against climate change in Uganda through his tree planting and climate literacy projects.
UPDEED brings to you the story of Nyombi Morris, one of the billions of people living on this planet. However, his case is different. He is not just living but is trying daily to bring forth a change for society. His constant fight against climate change makes him a true “Changemaker”.
“People see us as jobless youth who have nothing to eat, wasting time, and even my family never supported me until I was recognised,” said Nyombi.
The initial kick
“In 2009, we used to have our own farm where my parents used to work, earn from farming, and arrange our fees. One day, things changed totally. Floods hit us, the government declared an emergency, and we were forced to evacuate and come to Kampala, where things became so hard.”
In 2019, Nyombi started engaging himself in activism, taking inspiration from his neighbour, who was by then an activist, but he didn’t know she was Vanessa Makati. Her chilling words: “When you see behind and just look at things happening, this is not going to help. One day it will take your life”, made Nyombi think about it.
“Activism is mostly generalised to women. I have not supported the way women are. Similarly, the majority of the time, the platforms were provided to the activists from the global north, rather than people of black colour like me.”
On winning the Award
As per Nyombi, even after standing for the climate cause, speaking up for women and girls, and talking about almost every injustice in this world – no one recognised him.
“I thought I was not visible, not loved. There was a time when I felt like giving up,” said Nyombi.
Now, when this award came, I was so happy. This made me realise that after going through a lot, there will be a right time when you’ll have your share of joy.
“Wealthy nations fuel the Climate crisis. It was they who built their empires with industrialization. And today, big business conglomerates are coming after us and our resources. We can’t stop them because we already live under colonial rule; they come with money, bribe the government, and we hand over our resources and watch them destroy nature.”
Message to GenZ
Make sure you impact people with knowledge concerning climate because when they don’t know, they will not act, but once they are aware, they will start innovating solutions that will help them overcome any crisis we have.
The coming generation should understand that the future you’re looking for has already started; you haven’t seen it, and the only way to see it is to create it right now. The future belongs to you and is in your hand; it is visible, but you can’t see it unless you create it.