By Charles Etukuri
A prominent lawyer and chief executive officer of Northhood Film Production in Gulu City has died.
Steven Kilama passed on in Lacor Hospital on Sunday, June 12, 2022, where he had been receiving treatment after he was involved in an accident on May 24, 2022, as he travelled to Kitgum.
He was married to former Vision Group staff Essy Julie, who worked for Etop Radio in Soroti city.
Kilama had been discharged and was recuperating from home, but was rushed back to the hospital after his condition worsened.
According to Julie, her husband travelled to Gulu on May 24.
“He called me at around midday on May 24, 2022. He makes a lot of calls whenever he is away at work. He had travelled in the morning, so I thought it was either an assurance of his safe landing or one of those calls to just say how much he misses me.
“Unfortunately, it was neither. His voice sounded so different from the one that called me a few minutes earlier; he sounded weak and spoke with difficulty. Then he dropped the bomb; ‘we had an accident and my leg is broken’,” Julie said in a post on May 25, 2022.
She said she didn’t know exactly what happened next, but found herself on a bus en route to Kitgum.
“A few minutes into the journey, I thought I should call to inform him that I had boarded the bus. Coincidentally, there was a missed call, they wanted me to wait since they had decided to get him to Gulu with an ambulance. I got out of the bus in the middle of nowhere still very unsettled and headed back to Gulu. I came back home trying to keep it together, but kept dropping tears in between. I updated a few friends and then headed to Lacor Hospital,” Julie stated.
On the same day, Kilama was admitted to Lacor Hospital and friends from Watoto Church, where Kilama prayed from, mobilised and raised blood group O that was needed for surgery.
On June 6, Kilama was discharged and went to recuperate from his home, with his wife thanking the hospital and friends for the help.
“It’s been a very long week with many challenges, but God above remains faithful in every situation. Our richest gratitude goes to my Watoto Cell family for not only providing blood as fast as we never imagined, but also keeping close. The hundreds of visitors who flooded the hospital to check on and pray for him, those who brought along some food, water, sugar, money and all the little things that matter. I proclaim endless blessings to you. May God also bless the doctors who gave themselves to a successful seven-hour surgery that led to the later great strides to recovery.”
On June 3, 2022 Kilama wrote a post, thanking his friends and family for the support.
“Dear family, friends, Watoto family who donated to me blood that saved my life, advocates and colleagues, doctors, nurses and Pajule Health Centre IV, I want to thank you for all the love and support that you have shown. I know it’s not possible to repay them, but I really appreciate all this. I hope we will be best buddies. This is a moment I realised I’m really loved beyond the ordinary,” Kilama said.
He further stated, “to be honest, I didn’t expect that you would do that much for me. I have been able to get out of danger because of you. I want to thank you for all the support and love. I love you family, friends, colleagues, Lacor Hospital, North Hood Production team, Acholi Hood Production, Back-Up Records-Pato Lover Boy, New World Photography, New Heritage Ministry Pajule.”
Friends mourned Kilama, with Prince Davs saying he was a true definition of self-service.
“If you ever had an issue that went as far as the High Court of Gulu at the time, you most certainly know there are only two officials that never even hinted at milking you of your hard-earned money. He was one of the two, the other is a pastor. They are the true definition of selfless service,” Davs said.
Davs also said if you were lucky to have been Kilama’s neighbour at a particular time, you will know he always disregarded his stature and humbled himself.
“In fact, he made sure he greeted you first, even knowing you are a nobody. If you interacted with him on business, art and culture, you surely know, he is the very passionate type.
“He would go the extra mile just to make things happen the perfect way. If you ever wondered what kind of man he was at home, only his Julie can tell. But we all know, the love we saw in the air meant he was a loving, caring and generous son, husband, and father,” Davs added.
Davs lamented that it’s the good ones that usually go first.
“The legal fraternity has lost. The social-economic fraternity has lost. The movie and arts Industry has lost. We have all lost a young prospective developer and mind. Julie, our heart goes out to you, the little one and your entire family. May my father’s namesake Kilama find peace. May he rest well. We won’t ever come to terms with this.”