Francis is one of those abundantly lovable people who actually embody sunshine and roses. Bright and buoyant in spirit, he is a loving father and generous to a fault, always willing to go the extra mile and downplaying the cost to himself. He attended Atiak Technical School for carpentry and joining (timber work) but never finished because of a lack of money. Eventually, he married his wife Alice Aciro, started a family, and has driven a boda-boda for income ever since.
Now, his biggest priority is providing for his family and making sure his four children can study for as long as they want on his behalf. He’s saving everything he can and driving his boda part-time on his off days from Elephante. He says the working environment improves every day through all of the renovations and income generated by the café. He’d like to see more jobs created in Gulu for vulnerable youth who live on the streets with nothing productive to do, whether it means more involvement from NGOs, businesses, or other organizations. Francis isn’t optimistic that the Ugandan government will be able to solve it; there are too many tribal tensions and too much favoritism at the national level.
Francis’s best-kept secret is his dancing. He is very skilled at Acholi cultural dances, especially the bwola dance. Traditionally performed in front of chiefs, today, the bwola dance is done as a sign of respect and honor and is welcome at various functions (weddings, funerals, visiting dignitaries, etc). Men wear feathers styled as crowns and animal skins on their hips, while women tie scarves and beads around their waists as they sing songs of respect to their elders and leaders.