Five years ago, I started blogging as Iwaya with www.madandcrazy.blogspot.com. Five years?! I can hardly believe it myself. Where did the time go? Yes, in September 2005, one evening, alone in office, the aroma of Star Coffee swirling in tantalizing whorls around me, waiting out the traffic jam of 6pm-9pm, I fumbled my way into opening this blog. Keeping in mind Nadayada’s instruction, “It’s just like opening an email account, but it’s like a website.”
• I did not have a Gmail account then. I was resisting, procrastinating, Yahoo! was good enough for me and I saw no reason to join a whole other email host. I had tried with other email hosts, in the excitement of these things, and after three or four months, I was being asked to either pay a dollar or I would be locked out of my email account. Does anyone remember those days? Before blogger made it a must to have a Gmail account.
• We were all on blogger, it seemed. Eh, who had ever heard of wordpress, except 27th Comrade, among the bloggers then, who he was going to rename the blogren anyway? Now everyone I read (almost!) seems to be on wordpress but they are no longer trying to convert me to the ‘wonders’ of wordpress. They are much fewer too, I think, Ugandan bloggers. Then when we started out, believing in the power of online media to be force for change (though some of us would not so openly say so then).
• I used to be Nile Bank, before it tottered (so I heard), nearly collapsed and in a business deal you had to be there to believe was sold to the more prestigious Barclays Bank, and since then I have known what ATM malfunction means. I have also watched in some wonderment how the former ‘boss’ of Nile Bank could go on to be chosen to head the (Uganda) National Social Security Fund (how can they expect that tenure to be any happier than disgraced David Chandi Jamwa who is cooling off in Luzira Prison right now?)
• I lived in Ntinda, first heard and tramped in places like Kulambiro, started to appreciate the jagged, dusty beauty of stone quarries, popcorn teas, chapatti rolex suppers, girls who seat on boxes full of part of my library like it is the most comfortable throne in the world when the room has no chairs, sacket liquors with no names but a kick and punch that would make you more cross eyed than musician Mega Dee used to be.
• I did not think ‘things’ could get worse in Uganda. I really did believe that a change for the better was possible. I did not think Kiiza Besigye would return and have ‘rape charges’ thrown at him, I did not think we would on our TV cameras see brother turn on brother as the late Noble Mayombo swung into action to arrest his brother Okwir Rwaboni. I did not think that Mayor Ssebagala would still be around and Mayor of Kampala, Kampala in the state that it is on-a city whose disrepair speaks of an anguish and war that has gone on not in the open but nevertheless is there and we are paying the price in our falling living standards, in the encroachment of cynicism and bitterness, in alarming mood swings so that right now I’m really worried about what 2011, the Ugandan presidential year is bringing. I have these fears…
• I was not on Facebook.
• Yahoo! Instant Messenger seemed like a miracle work!
• I was single. Yes, for some of you who know me, hard to believe. But yes, Iwaya was once a bachelor too. Most times I do not miss that, or look fondly back.
The Things That Mattered…
• Writing well
• Getting paid for writing well
• Some friendships (offline and online)
• That house on the hill in Ntinda (I went back, 2 years ago, to take photos, my heart leapt for joy to find another in it, loving it as much as I loved living there-when all the world came to me, and I chose for who I would open the door-some surprising people visited!)
• To find that girl
• What was on www.aldaily.com every Tuesday?
• Making www.madandcrazy.blogspot.com better
I look back now, can’t help but grin. Five years!!!!