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    Thoughtful Mother’s Day Activity Suggestions For This Week

    It is not a hidden fact that mothers are beautiful creatures that we can almost compare to Angels, but can’t because we know they are way above that. They were sent in our lives to always make everything better. She birthed you, nursed you to health when you fell sick, taught you how to talk and even how to use the potty. How can you not want to celebrate this special person every possible day? Mother’s day is this Sunday, meaning we have from now till then to do small wonderful things to remind our Mothers how important they are in our lives.

    Breakfast

    If you work from home or still not working, you can make her breakfast in bed. Surprise her with a delicious meal. Or order her a wonderful breakfast off Jumia Food and have it delivered at home or her workplace; with technology everything has been made easy. You can also have a card with words of appreciation sent to her alongside the breakfast just so she knows.

    Gift Basket

    Some days all a girl needs are some flowers to brighten her day. Your mother is no different. What are her favourite flowers? Or does she like fruit baskets instead? Maybe a basket full of bathroom products. Whatever tickles her fancy, get it. It is her day after all.

    Lunch

    How about picking your Mum up from work/ home or wherever she is and take her for a lunch about town. Take her to her favourite restaurant, so many of them will even have Mother’s Day specials on the menu.

    Serenade

    Bring on the happy waterworks and take her for band, dedicate a special song to her. Many bands around Kampala take special requests during their shows. In fact they will even give you the microphone and you sing for her. What could be more special?

    Photoshoot

    Celebrate her in a special way and take your Mama for a well set photoshoot. Freeze the moments of her smile and beauty in time. Over the years, photography has grown beyond the mediocre, you will be surprised at how happy she will be being treated like a model.

    Shopping

    Your mother deserves the finer things in life, so why not take her shopping? What are those wonderful things she has been wanting to buy but doesn’t seem to get time? Well, use this week to take around the malls and surprise her by paying for them. Mother deserves the best.

    Spa Day

    A Queen deserves some tender loving care, book a spa day for her. A massage, manicure and pedicure session and a hair day for her at the spa. She will leave feeling refreshed and worth a million bucks.

    Dinner

    Top the week off with a dinner for Mama. Many hotels around town will be doing mother’s day dinner specials, so look through sites and see what you can get.

    It is always important to celebrate the special people in your life every day, you do not need one day in a year to do so. 

    Credit: travel.jumia.com

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    The Tororo Phosphate Project due to start this year and what it means on the environment.

    The Ugandan government has sanctioned the phosphate project in the Eastern district of Tororo. Three years after the president of the republic of Uganda commissioned it, the project is due to commence this year. It is based in the sub counties of Osukuru and Rubongi. Guangzhou Dongsong Energy group a Chinese firm is the one charged with the execution of this multi-billion investment.  The firm has already committed $47.6m of the $ 620m and paid in capital. Human resource, machinery and other facilities have been put in place to assist in the commencement of the project. Out of the phosphate extractives, will be fertilisers besides many other products. Osukuru industrial complex will comprise of power plant of about 12 megawatts, a rare earth minerals mining plant, a steel manufacturing factory, sulphuric acid factory, glass making plant and phosphate fertiliser plant.

    Like in many areas across Uganda where mining is happening, environment-related hazards will eventually befall Tororo district if the mining and processing are not well managed. Initially, during mining, the land is carved and all the living things on the land eventually will be killed. During mining, the land is disrupted which disturbs the natural sediment hence replaced by mounds of spoil. This disruption affects the hydrogeological characteristics of the area which eventually disrupts the flow of water in the mining area.  We have experienced such in the mining districts here in Uganda especially Kasese. The occurrence of a high rate of weathering of metamorphic rocks leads to eroded downstream during the flooding seasons which ultimately results in the narrowing of river channels. In the recent years, such scenarios have led into river bursts leaving many people dead and thousands displaced. This has on many occasions occurred to river Nyamwamba in Kasese district.

    Radioactive materials which are often coupled with the mining and phosphate like radon/ uranium/ radium leave higher radioactive materials on the mine zones.  A study by Florida Institute of Phosphate Research completed in 1986 specified that foodstuffs grown on these mine parks don’t posture risk to human health but an increase in radon gas emissions within any structure built on the mined out land suspects it for human habitation subsequently. During the process of turning phosphates into usable forms, phosphoric acid very acidic water is produced. Such acidic water must be neutralised and well managed before releasing it to the environment. A byproduct called phosphogypsum which is marginally radioactive with limited uses is also produced during the process. Its radioactive nature makes it difficult usable and in some cases, the stacks keep leeching in water bodies which pose danger to water bodies and their inhabitants. In 1986, an 18-month extraction test on Matiava’s rich phosphate resources in the Pacific Ocean polluted and damaged fish habitats reaching a magnitude that people could not eat lagoon fish for ten years.

    Tororo is not exempted from such unfolding if the project is not well managed.  The government of Uganda and key stakeholders should find measures to handle hazards that may endanger the environment during/after mining and processing.

    Brian K Katabazi
    Associate Director, Centre for Energy Governance
    [email protected]

    Img Source: New Vision

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    This one is for me

    baby-kissing-on-mirror

    With the start of a new year, it is often expected that I write something sentimental. “Where do these expectations come from?” you might ask, and the simple answer is: from myself, of course. This happens because while I learn from my experiences, my verbosity can never allow me to learn in silence. Seeing as how no one ever wants to listen to my shit however, I resort to option deux and write. Over these writing-because-no-one-wanted-to-hear-my-shit years, I learned the value of not buying carpets together with other humans; I finished medical school and found that I didn’t hate being a doctor – yeah, I know, took me by surprise too – I ventured into writing fiction and promptly left; I found love and lost it and well, here I am changing yet again.

    I’ve found that change is quite a nuisance and while I will not go so far as to say I hate it – because then everyone and their aunt will talk my ears off with unwanted advice – I will say that I do not particularly enjoy it. I have quite a few behavioral disorders and being a control-freak is the mildest of them. Simply put, I love being able to anticipate every step of this godforsaken way and have a contingency just in case the plan doesn’t work out. Order, perfection, control… Aaah, they smell like delicious, delicious fear coffee in the morning. Consequently, I do not trust people who love chaos and spontaneity; I mean really, we evolved for a reason. That being said, I’m sure you can begin to see why I don’t like change and when it comes knocking on my door, I’ll only let it in if we have a specific arrangement. But that bastard is as sneaky as the devil and sticks around long after expected to leave.

    That brings us full circle and in some vague, rather abstract way explains why I’m doing this all over again. Writing is like an addiction to me. Too much goes on in my head to not be put down and while I often try to decompress by talking to myself, it still does not suffice. With committing these thoughts down in the form of words however, I get a sense of fulfillment I’ve never been able to describe. This is the very reason I encourage almost all around me (who will listen) to write – because writers write – but unfortunately, I am yet to get a convert to date. That doesn’t stop me however.

    It’s rather hard for me to find someone and simply get into a conversation that’s engaging enough to keep me interested. I know that that doesn’t make sense considering that I’m the one driving the conversation in those cases but you see, with social anxiety, little ever makes sense traditionally. I’ve spent years being told over and over again that I am way too weird and too intense in my conversations and that’s why I’m not much fun to be around. I actually agree with this wholeheartedly; I am quite the downer. That has never really bothered me because I love myself – yes, even to the point of vanity – and while my own company is exquisite, no one wants to be alone forever; it’s the heartbreaking truth. We are innately programmed with the need for companionship and the want to be accepted. I’ve tried to erase that shit but to no avail.

    Eventually I accepted that some malicious higher being ensured that I will always need what I don’t want. This meant that I had to take the initiative so I don’t wither away. Therefore, whenever I used to meet people I found intriguing, I’d always make it a point to square my shoulders, go over, and say hello. This is exactly how I learned that my love for long, luxurious, and fantastic conversations about human nature and its philosophy; the universe and its significance; our decisions and their purposes; isn’t shared by everyone and those who can stomach it can only do so for a very limited amount of time.

    Time eventually wears us down however and so here I am, a prime example of that fact, unable to even summon the fastidiousness I used to exhibit in these interactions. How people think and why they speak the way they do have always fascinated me and while that interest has not diminished one bit, I find that I don’t have the energy to keep trying only to be turned down. Again. This, of course, is now complimented by those with whom I have passing interactions. They tell me with a certain amount of bemusement and smugness that I am now easier to talk to because, well, because I don’t pick nits in my conversations anymore. A change that happened with such subtlety that I didn’t even notice it until others pointed it out.

    Well, fuck them!

    It’s a rather peculiar existence having so many thoughts with no one to read  them – let alone listen to them – but like I’ve always said, I enjoy my own company a lot more than I do most people’s and that is probably the reason I am a bit of a recluse. It is also the reason I keep writing and why I live every year for myself. And truth be told, few experiences are more satisfying than that.

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    ‘Is This It?’ by Dave Ndyanabo

    Oli kiliya(clear)?” ..came the rough retort from the bloodshot bangi-chewing bear of a man that was my housemate. It was what we chose to greet our lot in this dungeon we called a house- we had occupied one of those structures in the neighbourhood that had been abandoned before it had been completed. The gaping holes for window and doors weren’t a deterrent to our needs and after all the mosquitoes wouldn’t bother a soul or body long gone. In the corner by the window sat Umaru-a jack of all trade by day and a thief by night or was it the other way round? I forget. The owner of the rough voice that was bellowing in my face was Bondu and don’t ask me where he got it. All I know is he liked two things-cars and women; or the bangi I choose not to refer to for that was a part of him. Kind of like that dirty brown leather jacket that never left his back come high wind or blazing sun. He took the station to my right-near our bin whose purpose was mainly ornamental. Our house was a dump without trying. I chose the area nearest the door where I had the liberty to smoke without bothering the rest, if they were to be bothered anyway. Our beddings comprised of a stack of clothes bundled up on the floor as comfortably as we could make them for the short time we used them anyway. Sleep was a dire commodity to afford here. The swarm of mosquitoes -if you were sober-were not the best bedfellows. If you survived them there was the always the blazing deen from BOSCO’s the nearby bar; a mix of old Congolese tunes that poured out-at full volume-from the rickety speaker at the entrance of the bar we popped into occasionally. I had taken a liking to it not only for it’s convenience but because I had a credit line with Bosco, the talkative barman.

    Circumstance had me drinking Tyson gin sachets on credit. Circumstance got me choosing whether to buy a Rolex for one thou or two sachets for supper. Circumstance visited and stayed. I contemplated this thought as I gathered my shirt round myself and prepared to step out for evening routine beckoned-same script, different episode. This dirty brown shirt used to be my Sunday-best in my blue-collar days. How had a smart guy with a promising career fallen to the bottom of this life pit? Well- the short end of this tale was the long legged goddess with the most soothing voice who I had the misfortune of meeting. Tabitha was no ordinary girl. We had just gotten off campus and I had just landed my first job in a bank; the pay was ok for one still under his father’s roof so the salary was mainly mine to blow paycheck to paycheck. A teller’s job was the most routine, mundane trip that one could ever imagine with obnoxious customers to boot but somehow I got to make it my own. I can’t seem to remember what made that day any different from the rest. It started and moved along in the same annoying pace with the only highlight being the end of the shift. That is until about 4 pm when she whiffed into the banking hall. Yes-all six inches on heels in a flowery sun dress that seemed to hug her-all in the right places. The gods smiled on me and she moved straight to my till. I wont remember what she said to me for I seemed transfixed by her eyes. They seemed abit slitted and gave off a lazy eyed drowsy effect on all who looked at them; in this case I was the hopeless candidate. I gathered myself and tried to serve her without appearing too moved even though I had developed a massive hard on and was happy I didn’t have to move out of my cage. Her business done in all of seven minutes, she flashed her thanks and was off walking forever to the door with a confidence that said “I know you like it but you can’t touch this”. This is precisely why I called her. Naturally I had gotten her details from her slip so after a few drinks with the boys and their urges I summoned the courage to call her.

    I don’t know if it was the booze but I seemed Mr.Smooth on the phone that night and the call ended up in us setting a date for ice-cream for the weekend. The days dragged on and when Saturday came so did the same rush I felt when I first set eyes on her. For our date she choose another sun dress…(how many of these did she have)..this one was even more form fitting if that was possible and only resulted in me asking God why He had chosen to shower me with all this favour. In a minute we were hugging and I knew what heaven felt like. We sat and she ordered and we chatted or she talked and I listened. Her voice was something else..she seemed to talk with a statter like a car engine ta-tataring on and she seemed to follow each statement with a sigh. Smitten was the word. The date went off without a hitch and I found myself pinching myself for fear I was dreaming. We seemed to have lots in common and everything was rosy. Everything except the bill that is. I dunno If it was my infatuation with her but I didn’t think to notice that the ice-cream had been dispatched quite fast and was followed by a burger and fries then a mini piiza washed down with a redbull. This I divulged when I got the bill. What was a man to do but fork out the dough; lucky I had carried half my paycheck just to be safe. I didn’t allow that to sour a perfect date and we cleared and walked out of the café feeling like all the million bucks i had paid. The envy on every guy’s face was worth every penny. We parted company just out of the restaurant unfortunately as “she had to meet her friends”. This was after we had set our next date so i was not too sour.

    We went on a few dates after that with the dresses getting shorter and the bills longer but i was none the wiser and she had promised me her panties. Yes-that’s what she had said in the middle of our fourth date-a moonlit boat cruise in Munyonyo. The most I had gotten at this stage was a peck on the neck and for one as hot blooded as me this was surely unbearable. So as I caught myself eyeing her as she sat sipping on her Fanta ever so sensually she said “I will give you my panties at the concert”. We had planned to go for the Lionel Richie concert in two weeks time and though it cost all my paycheck and then some more, I believed this would be the game changer. When she said that in that slow motion voice I found myself audibly swallowing and saying something unintelligent for what were words when there was sex.

    The concert couldn’t come fast enough and I found myself slaving away at work while willing the days on. And when that Saturday dawned it had me up earlier than usual and the time till her evening text is what seemed to takes ages. When she sent the two liner “pick me”, I found myself in the car before I had shut the door. I was at her door like a flash and low and behold was she a sight for sore eyes. The micro-mini didn’t quite cover her ample behind and that’s all I could keep my attention on all night long. Even when Lionel came on the stage and the screams hit new decibels, I wouldn’t be bothered. As the night wore on I found myself wondering if Tabitha had forgotten her promise. But boy was I in for a suprise- she got up to dance to Do it to me and stuck her tongue in my ear and whispered “sorry no panties for you. I forgot them”. This was followed by a twirl and a rub-a-dub from that legendary ramp. I couldn’t contain myself and didn’t care that my pants threatened to tear loose. This night. This dancing. This panty-less company coupled with all other poisons ingested that night was just blowing my mind. As the show wound down she held my hand, led me to a far off corner where the sound was subtle, the crowd was thin and the air was electric. She pushed me down and stood over me, legs akimbo with her back to me. She proceeded to start a slow gyrate over me that left nothing to my imagination as i felt myself faint with hunger. I wanted this!
    A slow wind culminated into a “paka chini” over my now released member that was tearing out of its skin. To say this was all i expected would be lying. It was more. Those long legs found angels i didn’t know existed and that tongue sang its own song down my ear, neck, side and trunk. I don’t remember how many times we quenched our collective thirsts but when we were done it seemed the concert had long gone.

    I looked at her all sate and yet her eyes burned with a fire I hadn’t seen before. I reached up and she pushed me down again. She gave me the fullest kiss I could ever get, yanked up her skirt and proceeded to rub herself on my very aroused member. If I were to die now I would never complain as I planted myself inside this goddess and prodded, pumped, probed and filled myself. When the crescendo came it was wild, it was loud and it was native. The slow motion voice was transformed into a cats purr and she had claws to match-on my back they scrapped.

    The night is forever etched in my mind. For that’s when this drug called Tabitha caused me to pull a fast one at the bank coz God knows I had to support her lavish lifestyle. Who was I to refuse? And when that earned me a sack and a short stint in jail, who was I not to sell my car to extend my lease on her and her comforts. When that too was exhausted and she glided out of my life as easily as she drifted in, what was I but a fool drowning his sorrows at kafunda after kafunda and using booze and bangi as my only refuge. Soon my folks grew tired of my drama and sent me scampering to my new found friends in the dime a dozen bars along Kamokya. These thoughts flashed through my mind as often they did and left me as dejected as a man staring at his worthless face in a dingy bar toilet mirror. Was this what all i amounted to? Was this all there was to my name? Would Tabitha give me a second of her time if she saw me now? I was interrupted by a loud cheer and an old time Pepe Kalle classic. Happy hour beckoned and my credit was still good at Bosco’s.

    #SSWCIII
    #ShortStoryWritingCompetition
    #TheGathering

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    A woman’s plight, Aka…this man stole something from me.

    I am coiled up in lazy thoughts, covered in distress; a deception that weakens my pride.

    This man stole something from me and i let him…

    I watched him through the corners of my eyes as he spoke, with no sound he took all of me and i did nothing to stop him..

    Like a helpless child i lay, through the thorns that kept piercing my flesh, i just lay there as he took it all.. without putting up a fight or screams, i just lay there…

    “maybe he slipped something in my drink”, i thought aloud….this man stole so much from me that it hurts…

     

    Through the streets i grace, the flares on my dress…my hair all tied up in poise and the bickering that still daunts each time i see a man; this man stole something from me and i let him. My heart he still holds and my soul he keeps hostage…

    In an instance of confusion still covered with hope, my glances are narrowed to the ground, afraid to look up and estranged from my thoughts…. still i walk.

    This man stole something from me and i was sober…

     

    Traces of marble, sweet wine that now stains my carpet, memories i have put to rest but still awakening in scent and taste..

    Look at me; see the twist in my curls, the curves on my body and my soft skin that now bears patches, and old wounds.

    This man stole my heart, violated my body and i did nothing…

     

    A lesson i have learnt, a tale i still tell all covered in webs of wasted years, This man stole everything from me and i let him…

    He stole everything, because i let him-

    Now dawned with chapters of regret, a poetry that stains these parchments of paper- i was weak, and i let him… yet still he controls me…

    A plight now covered in this skin, embalmed on this body…

    for a man,

    Who took everything from me, because i was afraid.

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    This Thing Called Love

    First he sees her car on the driveway and then hears her footsteps approaching the front door. He knows that she has come to confront him. He is ready to pour out his heart to her and ask for forgiveness. Upon opening the door for her, he is confronted by a hysterical, gun-wielding woman; the mother of his son. Grief has transformed her into a raging loony, hell bent on inflicting on him the pain he has caused her and their son. Blinded by rage, she fires a shot that catches him on his knee. She fires another one, but he takes cover and she misses. She is preparing to fire a third one, when he jumps on her and manages to subdue her. They fight for the gun and he ultimately gains control and empties the magazine. Exhausted, she breaks down into his arms and cries a river. She is inconsolable. ‘Why, Victor, why. He is only a child. Why him. Why not only me, Why Victor!’ She keeps on repeating the same question. All he can do is just stroke her and say, ‘I am so sorry Kopanang. I am really sorry. We will work through this together. Please, promise me you will not leave me. I love you.’

    ***

    Kopanang and her younger sister Repaletswe are orphans. They lost both their parents in a bus accident that claimed the lives of nineteen other people ten years ago. They were aged fourteen and sixteen respectively at the time. With no family to take care of them, government had quickly stepped in and made sure they were well provided for. They were academically gifted kids who performed exceptionally well in their studies. Kopanang is an award-winning investigative journalist and little sister Repaletswe, a secondary school teacher. They live in the same city, their houses only separated by a street.  Repaletswe’s boyfriend of five years, Elijah has just proposed. Because they are orphans, the girls agree that there will be no bride price. ‘We were raised by the government,’ they justify their decision. The wedding takes place two months after the proposal. It is a beautiful affair. There is no dry eye as the young couple exchange their vows; painfully aware of the absence of Repaletswe’s parents. Kopanang sheds a tear and continues clicking away at the joyous festivities.

    As a journalist, it is only fitting for her to be the official photographer; capturing her baby sister’s beautiful moments. It is while she is busy clicking away that she sees him through the lens of her camera. Her brother in law’s younger brother, Victor. He is the best man. He has just arrived straight from the airport. Their eyes meet briefly; butterflies in her stomach; she flees the room to get a grip on herself. She comes back composed enough to enjoy the ceremony.  Her sister witnesses the whole incident and sternly warns her about her brother in law. ‘I couldn’t help noticing the exchange between you and Victor. Stay away from him, sister.’

    ‘I will do exactly that dear sis, he is too cute for words. Thank you for always having my back girl, which reminds me, I have accepted that job offer in London. I leave tomorrow night, sis. Pop by my place while on your honeymoon in London.’

    ‘Great! The further you are away from Victor, the better. I am glad we had that talk and you reconsidered. You deserve it. I have Elijah now, don’t stress about me’.

    Kopanang has always wondered about this Victor guy. Like her, he is a globetrotter of some sort.  They have never met before, that is until their siblings’ wedding.

    ‘Hi, I am Victor and you must be my sister in law, Kopanang. I have heard so much about you, Madam journalist’.

    ‘So have I,’ replies Kopanang. She wants to add, ‘Mr Heartbreaker’, but decides it will be too direct. The ice is broken. Later at the reception, with alcohol flowing freely, she sees him getting tonsillitis from some inebriated blonde. She dreams about him that night.

    ***

    Kopanang has just arrived from London to attend her sister’s five year wedding anniversary. Victor is also there. The last time they saw each other was at the wedding, those five years ago. The moment their eyes connect at the reception, the five years just melt away. It is very clear that the attraction is still very much there. Her sister witnesses it again. This time around she shrugs her shoulders and says to her husband; ‘she is a thirty-one-year-old adult woman’. Elijah, a man of few words nods his head in agreement. A while later, after a few glasses of champagne, Elijah corners his brother and says, ‘Please, not this one brother, she is family. She is my wife’s sister for goodness sake. Don’t you have any respect?’ Well, Kopanang’s fate is sealed because big brother’s brotherly advice has just made Victor even more determined to capture this prized one. He approaches her.’Care to dance’? No one says no to Victor.

    ***

    Kopanang resigns from her plump job in London and puts up her apartment for sale. She hops on to the next plane back home and begins her life with Victor. ‘How about we move to the I- Towers baby?’ asks Victor one evening as they relax at his house in Mmokolodi Ranch. ‘By all means my love, let’s do it’, replies Kopanang, as she rests her head on Victor’s chest. They move into the upmarket I-Towers the following day; where only the powerful reside, in Gaborone city’s Central Business District(CBD). When they celebrate their six month anniversary, both Elijah and Repaletswe agree that Victor has met his soul-mate in Kopanang. When Kopanang starts showing at seven months, everyone believes that there will soon be a wedding. Two months later she gives birth to a bouncing baby boy and the couple is elated.

    ‘Besides my sister’s wedding day and her five year anniversary celebrations, these past ten months are the happiest I have ever been in my life, since my parents’ passing’, Kopanang tells her baby daddy, with tears streaming down her eyes. He strokes her lovingly and breaks down crying. Finally he composes himself and says, ‘I am crying because I feel the same way. You have filled a void in my life. I was a bad boy because I was lost, but you found me. Please promise me you will never leave me.’ She says ‘I promise’. Everything is perfect.

    Her world comes crashing down the very next day. When the baby was born the previous week, she had said, ‘I just want to be sure that everything is perfect Doctor. Take my blood and my little one’s blood and conduct all the necessary tests. I am going home to take care of my boy. Call me when the results are out’.

    She is seated in her Doctor’s surgery, staring at the results, not believing what she is seeing. Not only is she HIV Positive, she has also given her little boy the virus. ‘You don’t understand Doctor. I am negative. When I returned from London ten months ago, I donated my blood just before I got onto the plane. My blood type is a rare one. Blood type O. The most sought after. How can I be positive’. Even as she is asking the question, she knows exactly where she got the virus from; she knows very well who infected her. She looks at her sleeping baby and breaks down in tears.

    ***

    She returns from hospital to find him gone. He has left her a note, asking for forgiveness. ‘Sorry can not even correct the wrongs I have done you and our son. I have known about my status for five years now. It was shortly after I met you at my brother’s wedding. I fell in love with you immediately. When I enquired about your wherabouts I was told you had left the country. I was heart broken. I love you Kopanang. I was too ashamed and too scared of losing you to disclose my status. Now, not only have I infected you, I have also infected our son. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I love you forever. Victor’.

    With tears streaming down her eyes, she quickly punches the combination to his safe. She has seen him punching in the numbers before when he thought she wasn’t looking. She knows them by heart. In there she finds what she is looking for; his gun.’I am going to kill that man. He will pay for what he did to me and every woman out there; more- over, he will pay for what he did to my son.’ She drops off the baby at Victor’s family home and leaves him with his grand parents. Then she drives off to Mmokolodi, gun cocked and ready.

    ***

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    #MuwadoLoveLetter Kyana, just allow this mukwano

    Bae ( I know, I know, you’ll kill me for using that word but apparently that’s what the cool kids use these days)

    You are how? The family, the neighbourhood kids, are they fine? How about the family goats? Did the other one you told me about give birth?  Henewe, I hope everything is smooth sailing ,like hot porridge pouring out of a saucepan, in your life.

    Kati, let’s get down to business. You have kubed me, badly! When we first met, I was just there there, being random as usual, and then you entered my atmosphere, and things where never the same for me.

    singing-bear-meme-generator-and-i-e-i-e-i-will-always-love-you-ooh-ooh-5fe06a

    You smiled and my eyes shed tears of joy, I observed your physical fitness and some of my body parts became physically fit, you talked and the sensible matter coming out of your luscious lips made my brain matter commoved, you laughed  and all other sounds on this earth started sounding like a scratched CD.

    meme-2352-and---will-always-love-you!

    You confused my entire Matrix and I now know what Neo must have felt like after swallowing that red pill. Kyana, you have kubed me wabula.

    images

    Ate I know it’s not just me who is confused… I have observed you also being disorganised my general badidity. And not just in the way the other girls fall my for badi guyi charisma, you have been disorganised in a deeper way. I know because of the several times I have found you checking me out like I am a math puzzle that needs to be figured out. Other girls look at me like a piece of meat to be devoured, but for you, you check me out with both lustful appreciation and a burning curiosity. A curiosity that needs to figure out why I have confused you so. I just want you to know that the way you check me out gives me goose bumps, the type usually reserved for Hans Zimmer  soundtracks, and I want to encourage you to keep it up.

    Screen-shot-2010-04-06-at-11.36.12-e1270550295784-300x300

    So, now that we have established that we both have sigiri for each other, why don’t we proceed to do each other. Forgive my direct tone, but it was preached to me that those that hesitate, masturbate, and while I might have broken some wanking records in my younger days, I am not going to be labelled a masturbator while you are there existing and being sexy. Nedda bambi. I want to have relationships with you physically, mentally and any other -ally that applies here.

    frabz-And-I-will-always-love-you-Love-you-love-you-944532

    Let us do this. YOLO might have been kidnapped by the bae-crowd, but goddammit we only have one life to live and we, therefore, owe it to ourselves to jump right into this romantic mix and experience the heck out of whatever this explosive chemistry is. Heck, chemistry alone is not sufficient to describe this myriad of emotions that’s flowing between us…Let us throw in biology, history, PE, mathematics, physics and some CRE for good measure.
    images (1)
    You see, even the other night, I got a vision were you and I were dating and the power of our love was so powerful it lit up the entire East Africa fwaa. I am talking about providing power for industries , airports , refugee camps …we basically run UMEME and its equivalent in the other EA countries out of business. Then the CIA wanted to capture us to experiment on us, mbu for science, but the power of our love came through again and we floated off to planet Jupiter where we proceeded to be the Adam and eve of that side. Who are we to go against the intensity of such a vision.

    image

    The entire last paragraph is a complete lie. It was just a wet dream…but there is a  deduction within that we shouldn’t ignore. That deducation is that I am very determined to make you mine, and I yours, even if it means making up barely believable stories. I don’t even like cheese that much, but I have written this cheesy love note for you. So, save us the precious time we have on this earth and just allow and tukikole instead of playing those hard to get games. And if, at the end of it all, things go south and we realise the mukwano was not the truth, we can hold hands, look into the sunset and whimsically ponder on how beautiful it was before it wasn’t, after which we can part ways, after one more ka lingering kiss, and go our separate ways, knowing that we were brave enough to take a leap of faith and emote 100%.

    I remain yours in passionate desire and romantic overflow…

    PS: About the memes, erm, hope I didn’t get too carried away. Just one more though…

    images (2)

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    Remarks at the Event; Meet the Candidates: Videos and Voting Behavior in Uganda

    Serena Hotel, Kampala, and August 9, 2017.

    Thank you so much. Let me, first of all, congratulate lead researchers – Professors’ Melina and Pia for concluding this work. I also wish to thank IPA for organizing this event.

    This is a particularly interesting day in politics –Few days after Rwanda carried through an election and Kenya is settling dust of counting votes. Clouds of democracy are gathering and heaping on East Africa! And only last year, Uganda went through the same, and not far from here, a decisive and consequential videolized debate at Presidential level happened – echoing memories of the first televised general election presidential debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. This debate in Uganda happened not necessarily because candidates wanted it – but because people wanted it. People demanded it. And people got it.

    The soul and spirit of debate is well captured in words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1903 “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. And here we some times say, let’s debate until cows come home! It’s a good thing. Joseph Jourbert was also instructive, “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”

    Lead researchers Melina (New York University Abudabi) and Pia Raffler (Harvard University)

    Debates are important to shape our policy and development discourse from Villages, Subcounties, districts and national level. Debates’ promote weighing and refining of views, and perhaps it’s what we need to move ahead. The now sometimes inconvenient discussions all over social media are even more important because that platform provides a voice to millions in a society. Authority figures should indeed peep and see what’s going on there, pick great stuff and translate it into policy.

    At the Agency for Transformation, we believe that Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment and imagination. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of information and contest of ideas, there can never be rule of law, accountability – there can only be abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.

    This is why when Melina and Pia said they want to test the correlation between voters knowledge of candidate’s position on a range of issues – and voters choice in both Primary and General elections – we were like HOLA- this is useful and decided to partner with them all the way.

    In a world where fake news run faster than light – a post truth world becoming self evident; where with a stone face politicians and authority figures pander to prejudices and emotions as pathway to power, where money and voter bribery is a new normal- it was important to figure out- if along this leaky sewer pipe there was or there is a solid clean water pipe – of a people pursuing logic over emotions’ and policy issues over prejudices. Let’s see what Melina and Pia figured out – and probably use it to build a resilient democratic society. To repurpose words of Katelbey, let flames of debate leap skyward in this Country.

    Thank you so much.

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    Thoughts on Improving the Education Standards in Uganda

    I’ve just wrapped up a visit to our Fundi Bots Eastern Uganda office, and while it was a lovely and inspiring visit, there’s this one thing I can never shake off each time I travel.

    The one thing that truly scares me about this lovely country of ours, more than anything else – put aside corruption, misuse of resources, nepotism, political entitlement, etc. – is how bad the education system truly is. Of course, the reason for this is in the very things I asked us to put aside.

    Basic literacy and numeracy are severely lacking. Reading, Writing, Speaking and Maths.

    I’ve spoken with, engaged, mentored and interacted with students of UPE and USE (Universal Primary and Secondary Education) and it’s heartbreaking how the most basic foundation of education is failing; S4 and S6 students who are nearly incapable of effectively communicating in English, and that’s before you get to asking them to communicate the subject matter of their classes.

    And this is in relatively urban areas; the problem gets exponentially worse the deeper you go into rural areas until you reach a point where you might as well stop using English.

    Of course, we can use our mother tongues, and there are proponents for the idea of using local languages as a pedagogical foundation. But we are one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Fragmenting an already weakly implemented curriculum into more than fourty local languages is a logistical and implementational nightmare, not to mention the inevitably of once again circling back to English as the dominant global language that will be necessary once the student travels or engages beyond the confines of their district.

    So where does this leave us? We need an overhaul, that much is true, but fundamentally, we need very strong and rigorous implementation at all levels, specifically at the grassroots. I could fill a small book with ideas and suggestions for improvement, but here are just a few off-head suggestions.

    i) We need to respect, honour and reward teachers, not treat them like second-class citizens who have failed at other professions. And sadly, the majority of teachers are teachers because they have literally failed to find better career options to study at tertiary levels.

    Teacher training, skill development and career preparation need to be given the same prestige and rigorous investment as any engineering or legal profession. They need to be paid well and paid on time so that they can exclusively focus on the dissemination of knowledge.

    On a side note, I find it ironic that we relegate the education and upkeep of our (beloved) children to people we consider second-class citizens, like teachers and maids.

    ii) We need to treat classrooms and schools like the core foundation of society and knowledge that they are. Student attendance should be priority, teacher absenteeism should be dealt with strictly and resources should be provided equitably in a timely and efficient manner.

    We need to provide tools that enable and maximise knowledge acquisition and retention and improve learning outcomes for ALL students, irrespective of age, location, tribe, gender and socio-economic standing.

    A government student from Nakapiriprit should be at the same level as a government student from Kampala. Let the difference be a result of intellectual ability, passion, skills, etc, not resource availability.

    iii) Girl education needs to be highly prioritized. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. We need gender equity and equality in education.

    For example, a lot of men scoff dismissively at menstruation, but we underestimate how much the stigma affects the performance and mindset of our girls.

    Those of us – men and women alike – who’ve grown up in entitled and privileged societies where sanitary pads are relatively available and affordable are especially guilty because we cannot imagine prioritizing other things during menstruation periods.

    In many societies, the average girl student is absent from school almost 25% of the time during her periods because they cannot stand the stigma and embarrassment at school, not to mention the societal beliefs that she is now ready for marriage. All of this is a foundation for very high failure rates and a continued culture and downward spiral of disillusionment, disenfranchisement, illiteracy and patriarchy.

    iv) We need to URGENTLY move away from rote memorization/cramming as a benchmark for academic performance. We should strive to create a culture of learning, exploration and the consistent quest for knowledge as a means for intellectual achievement. Education should be about opening the doors of the mind and showing the possibilities, not about forcing students down pre-determined paths and boxing and locking them into systems that take away passion and creativity.

    Things have gotten so bad in schools that many parents are moving towards homeschooling their children to maximize their learning potential.

    In summary, our societies have an incredible amount of vices, many of which are quite simply the result of our eccentricities and peculiarities as inherently self-centered humans, but at their core, the majority of our problems in Uganda (and Africa at large) can be solved by simply creating a strong educational foundation in our children and in future generations.

    Each time I work with students in science subjects, my mind always wanders back to the ultimate question: how do we create a standard baseline for excellence in education and build up from there? And each passing day, I realize that the standard baseline is numeracy and literacy.

    Reading. Writing. Speaking. Maths.

    And the big question on my mind now is, how do we get there?

    Img Src: purecharity.com

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    The #HustleTales of Alexander Twinokwesiga, Lawyer and Founder of alextwino.com

    Brief Bio:

    Alexander Twinokwesiga is a lawyer and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a writer (babatwino.com), and a serial social entrepreneur (alextwino.com).

    Current Location:

    Kampala, Uganda.

    Current gig(s):

    The three careers highlighted in the brief bio, a writer at The Deuteronomy, East Africa’s first and only weekly legal newsletter, and The Writers Block Uganda, a news and social commentary website.

    alextwino.com is composed of,

    1. Umoja Bridge
      Umoja Bridge is an administrative services (immigration and business registration), legal and business consultancy, and investment advisory firm for East Africa.
    2. Something Ugandan
      Something Ugandan is an online shop for products of artistic expression as made by Ugandans or coming from Uganda. Products range from art, to music, to movies, to fabric, to fashion and its accessories, to innovative creations, and to unique creations.
    3. Turn The Page
      Turn The Page is partly an online bookstore, partly a book club and partly a book reviewer. Its main interest is African literature.
    4. Sweet Safari.
      Sweet Safari is a ground travel agency and reviewer of destinations of interest in East Africa. It is an online tour booking site.
    5. Hikes And Runs East Africa
      Hikes And Runs profiles upcoming marathon or running events in East Africa.
      It prepares packages for those intending to participate in such events,
      It prepares packages for those intending to go on hiking tours to various destinations in the region.
      It also hires out necessary hiking equipment to those without.

     

    Current computer(s)?

    An HP Probook 4540s, core i3.

    Why this one?

    It was, as I was advised, the best I could find at the time and for the fee that I bought it.

    Current mobile device(s)?

    A Huawei.

    Why this one?

    I got it as a temporary phone after I had been welcomed back to Kampala with a beating and robbery as I left the Ne-Yo Concert in October 2015.

    One word that best describes how you work:

    Effective.

    How did you end up at your current gig?

    A conflation of my innate capabilities, exposure to educative experiences, and the quest for a better fathomable world for many beyond myself.

    Are there any career decisions/life choices/failures that were fundamental in making you the person you are now, doing what you are doing now?

    To pick on a few; losing my beloved Father at the age of 24, working an 8-5 job and career, which I retired from at the age of 25, and returning home (to Uganda) helped me exploit all the education and experience that I had amassed prior to each of those definitive moments.

    Is your start-up able to fully support you or do you have side gigs to sustain you as it grows? Any stories of some of the struggles/sacrifices you’ve had to make to see this dream come to life?

    Even in as much as it drains me in all ways imaginable, as I have sacrificed all that is available to me, my work has, thankfully, been a source of, to use the word, pride every other day.

    I do lots of these so-called side gigs for so many people, but, unfortunately, I/we live in a culture that does not value the efforts we render. Most, which I would value and ask to be paid in millions of UGX, do not even earn me a decent meal or a cup of coffee.

    What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

    I believe in marketing like the year you live in. As such, I cannot do without Chrome, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram, and, of course, WhatsApp.

    What’s your workspace like?

    I live and or work in five towns in East Africa; Kigali, Mbarara, Kampala, Nairobi, and Arusha.

    When I am not working from my bedroom or living room, my workspace is, as mobility has made it possible, in the palm of my hands, and on the road – if that is not so problematic to appreciate. I work from anywhere, really. I can draft a notice of motion on a morning matatu in Nairobi, write an article while waiting in a foyer in Entebbe, attend to orders while on a boda-boda in Kampala, attend a meeting in a café in Kigali, and deliver a product in a bar in Mbarara.

    I do have colleagues in all major and minor towns in the East and Horn of Africa that believe in me, or that I work with, and/or who can deliver satisfaction as well as I would fancy. So, phone calls, emails and texts help make the otherwise overwhelming processes a little less so.

    How big is the team of people you work with and what’s your formula for managing them?

    As reflected on my entrepreneurial website, alextwino.com, the team is made up of six core persons; a Chief Executive Officer, a Chief Digital Officer, a Chief Financial Officer, a Chief Communications Officer, a Graphics Design Manager, and a Distribution and Sales Manager, but, as you would expect, there are several unnamed people that we deal with. My family and friends, for example, have been helpful especially when a need arises in a town that I am not physically present.

    It should be noted, however, that at the end of the day, it is all on you, as the visionary.

    What’s your best time-saving trick/life hack?

    1. If a person I am meant to meet with does not show up one minute after the agreed time, then they can stay where they are as they are eating into my time.
    2. The longer you wait to fire someone, the longer it has been since you should have fired them.

    What’s your favourite to-do list manager?

    I used to love Wunderlist, but, lately, I use my diary a whole lot. I never call it a day until every item I set out to when I left the house is checked against – as completed or done.

    Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

    *Looks around* The telly? For the news. Even before computers and mobile phones became common, I have always skimmed through all channels, at every top of the hour, to keep abreast with affairs both local and foreign.

    What everyday thing are you better at than most?

    Making and drinking tea. Believe me. I take a lot and are made of it.

    How do you recharge?

    I have been asked, and I have asked myself the same question before, and the answer has always been; “I do not know”. How to decompress, that is. But I am working on finding an activity, or person (winks), that will help keep my ever roaming and anxious mind and body loose.

    What do you listen to while you work?

    Huh! I can listen to the radio or music, watch TV or a movie, read a book, and hold a conversation while I work. And, I work around the clock, so there is always one or all of the mentioned happening at the same damn time.

    What are you currently reading?

    As we talk right now, I have paused my reading because, on June 1, 2017, I completed my reading challenge for 2017, which is/was 52 books in 2017. I will resume, to triple it, before the end of December 2017.

    What usually leads you to buy a book?

    Either a book club recommendation, or to clear an already developed reading list.

    Books you’ve read recently that have impacted on you deeply?

    There have been many over the years, but the very last book that I read, which was Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future was a good one that I would recommend, especially for those who live in and think about or work for a brighter future.

    What kind of impact did they have?

    I am not Musk, of course, but I relate a lot with his sentiments, his thoughts, and his (work) ethics. I hope I can achieve only a portion of what he has.

    Any mentors/role models that you are working with/have inspired you and what lessons have you managed to learn from them?

    I have no mentor or role models. All that I do is a result of my God-given blessings and/or talents.

    My mentor and role model was my Father. He died.

    Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

    A fair share of both. I am too shy that I prefer keeping to myself. Also, I am not what they call an anti-social, which calls for keeping up appearances.

    What’s your sleep routine like?

    There is none. When it happens, it is polyphasic. I have been sleeping for a total of two hours a day since I was twelve years of age.

    How do you strike a balance between work, family, friends and other social obligations?

    There is, honestly, no balance. At least, in my life. I concentrate on, and dedicate all my time and direct my energies towards work related activities. As a result, I have sacrificed, so to say, my family, and culled my friends to as few as only those that I know that I refer to them as OQPs (Only Quality People). I, sadly, have no time for social obligations outside the scope of my biases. It would take motivation.

    Who would you love to see answer these same questions?

    Everyone has dreams and a story and the right to achieve and tell it respectively, right?

    What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

    Amongst the many, I do recall a moment with my Father in which he said to me, in 2013, that I should “Acknowledge that you are a child of God and all the best things in life will follow”. I find it worth note.

    Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Besides that, I pray, hope and work towards the world without opportunities and/or work to do, not really.

    ***************************

    If you have any additional questions for Alex, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. He will try and answer those he can. Click here to read other Hustle Tales


    The Hustle Tales (adapted from LifeHackers, How I Work series) asks people that are doing epic things how they go through their daily routines to make sure whatever is needed to get the job accomplished is done. If you are interested in doing one these interviews or know someone you think should do one, inbox us with the details and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

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