Friday, July 30, 2010

Encounter

How is it that a hymn singing, Bible quoting six year old in a taxi can be so scary to me?! It must have been in his voice!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gaddafi vs. Mutebi, round 1


Just heard that ‘King’ Gaddafi has gone back to Libya in a huff. Mbu because Kabaka Mutebi of Buganda, who allegedly has been a beneficiary of Libya’s ‘generosity,’ would not go Entebbe airport to ‘greet’ the ‘King of all Africa’ when he was jetting into the country for the African Union Conference. Mbu the ‘guy’ would not even show up at Munyonyo to be part of Gadaffi’s fly whisk waving entourage for the cameras. Obviously Gaddafi has never heard of proud beggars!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Buganda Road Primary School Playground Is For Sale...

When I took this photo of the Buganda Road Primary School playground about a month ago, I had no idea too soon I would be learning the disheartening news that someone is trying to grab that field where I spent so many of my happiest Saturday hours when a pupil nearly two decades ago(!) at that primary school. 

Yes, someone is claiming they bought that land yet the Buganda Road Primary School authorities claim to know nothing about this buyer or when the sale was made-Uganda! 



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When a Friendship dies...


You don’t notice at first. Especially if the death has been long, lingering, the type where the concerned imperceptibly change from asking, ‘How are they?’ to silent wondering, “When will they die? I’m going to use this mabugo money I’ve saved up if they don’t die soon.”
Now some people say a friendship is dead when the time between the phone calls begins to stretch, when the late night texts on a flitting thought are no longer so numerous, when the first person on the invite list is no longer that friend.
Some people believe a friendship begins to die when you no longer think of the friend and you as one and bonded-your charted destiny in life twinned. When their success begins to raise those first puzzling pangs of, oh God, I actually I’m envious. I didn’t want her to get that! That there is no more powerful friendship killer than when you first begin to take sides and the friend is on the other side and some day, quite by surprise, catch yourself trash talking them, supplying choice morsels you hope will be telegraphed on the gossip grapevine, to hurt them.
The biggest friendship killer many believe of course, right after the sand dividing line of success and failure, is the friend finding a lover, a confidante who will know them (even if you think superficially) in ways you will never know the friend. You may have bunkered together for six years in boarding school, learned how to navigate the older class bullies together or that failing cheered each other after foul treatment, planned and bussed together on first trips out of the country, to see Bujumbura and Kigali, came back and though people talk of the air magic of Dar-es-Salaam, you two have a fondness of Mwanza because of what happened in Mwanza, you know, bonded you together for life-there was a test and your friendship passed. But nothing ends, or tempers down a friendship, like a lover between you, many say.
All the deaths of friendship are mundane. If you were to step back, like an accountant going over the figures of a trembling clerk from out of town at the head office, you might laugh too. At the figure you make, skulking and sometimes letting your rage get the better of you, sounding a cheated on spouse venting for the first time. You feel good but you will feel much, much worse later when it happens all over again you find yourself sitting at a kafunda you frequented for six years together-and promised each other, whenever one of you had travelled, this should be the first place you meet up before anywhere else-they have forgotten again.
No one understands, when a friendship is dying, except you who is losing the friendship. Like dying love, one person loses, the other hardly notices, consumed in their evolving new attachments. You will be typing an email, six paragraphs of breathless excitement into it, when you will realise these details are no longer of any concern to them-this email will probably be marked READ without being read, if there is still any courtesy for the friendship you shared.
Friendships are born and die-and you move on, someone will tell you. Perhaps you will have to read it as a legend on some t-shirt as you are struggling up town in the morning crowd from the Old Taxi Park and it will hit you, right there, like a loose brick pried from the delicate looking five storey building under construction, hurtling through the air with deadly intent to be blasted into tiny pieces in a spot one second ago you were standing. This friendship is over. Stoop in front of Mutaasa Kafeero to ask the woman there to sell you ‘sweet Pepsi’ of 300 shillings and a 500 shillings handkerchief because, ‘The dust of this town, ah!’ its making you tear up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ten Thoughts When July 11, 2010 Happened

1. (Self thought first) Shit, didn’t I leave Juba, precisely to get away from this? Not risk being blown up, shot at, whenever I dared go out to have fun, especially at night? Going out in Juba was like having a death wish, you just never knew if you were going to be able to make it back to your house. Kampala has always been the exact opposite of this, this is why I came back home. Now this?!

2. Damn, Kyadondo Rugby Grounds has been one of my spots. At the very least once a month I’m down there, at night, happening. How come I was not there tonight? World Cup fever night, the final Spain versus Netherlands, will Paul the Octopus get it right? I was not there. How come? They are saying 60 something dead. Dead? I’m sorry, but dead? Let this be another grapevine rumour, let it be falsehood... my job is to discount.


3. Has someone I know died there? I know so many people who never miss these things. This Warid Pakalast is finally going to do some work. Lemme check, why is UBC continuing to do their dreadful, boring post match analysis like nothing has happened? Charles Patrick Luwandaga just announced there have been bomb blasts, what how many miles away from the UBC TV offices and he still wants to discuss whether Spain are worthy winners of the first World Cup held on African soil. Are they nuts?


4. This World Cup is now ruined for me. I know, I know I’m not supposed to say that, think that, that means the terrorists have won. But how can I look back on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and not think of these bomb blasts. They have changed everything. July was supposed to be my busiest night trawling month; I don’t see this happening now. Mega Dee, Ragga Dee, Eddy Kenzo, and Desire Luzinda concerts will have to be put off, the way I see it. Who is going to want to go out, hang out? Who is going to find anything to cheer about with Stamina, Mafaranga, Ina di dance, Mr. Kataala.

5. Who is responsible for these bomb blasts?

6. Let me check out Timothy Kalyegira over at Uganda Record and see his theories. I know he won’t believe it is ‘a normal’ terror act. He will read more into, marshal signs to prove this was going to happen, it was just a matter of time.

7. Is anyone going to take some responsibility from the government? Accept, yes, we have failed you. It was my fault. I have never been so ashamed and unworthy of my office? I doubt it. Will Ugandans demand that someone be prosecuted for criminal negligence of their duties? Failing to protect civilians, their lives and property? Isn’t this what we have been putting with a lot for, security at least? The promise that no matter how much of ‘our; money is stolen, we are not going to lose our lives because a man with a gun attacked us?

8. Please, please let Ugandans politicians do the decent thing and not use the fear factor, the tension to slip through some new laws, measures, and what not that will curtail our freedoms more. Put on the back burner important issues like laying a proper internet optic fibre cable because we all need it, punish more than Jamwa from the NSSF scandal, don’t divert the road reconstruction funds that have just been allocated or bloat more the classified defence budget. Can I hope for this? I’ve got a sick feeling I’m being an optimist, and it is not my nature.

9. I wonder if the companies that lost workers who had gone to represent their brands will do more than ‘just’ meet burial expenses of the coffin and transport for their workers to the ancestral home of the deceased. Can I really hope for more than that, or are thick Law books going to wiped out, legalese dolled out, about how this worker and that worker actually had not signed any form of any sort that he or she was officially representing that corporation?

10. Is my level of faith in the sitting government so diminished that, even as everybody dons Uganda flag colours on their Facebook, I do not because I find it hard to believe it is the Somali Al Shabaab terrorists that did this? Has the NRM government let me down so many times at critical moments that I have begun to believe, to my bones, that they are capable of terrible deeds against us, against me, the citizens they are supposed to protect? If not responsible, then at least culpable because they failed to do a better job than they are doing? That it will be in their interest to find an ‘easy’ answer because they are incapable or unwilling to search out the harder truer truths? What does this say for the state of my heart, for Uganda?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nine Months Ago I Stopped Blogging...


I stopped blogging, for a while, because life was becoming a little too...insane 

I needed to get back to a place of some pure, biased, un-judgmental, sweet loving

While I explained myself to a few people, or at least tried 

I wanted to see the town more, at all hours stopping at this bank more often than I wanted...

So I could have the time to saunter anywhere and admire ‘things’ most Ugandans don’t seem to have time for

I also wanted to have more time to have thoughtful meals with friends, have conversations that might change my life 

Read books, or attend workshops that confirm the answers you seek you already knew, you were just afraid to acknowledge to yourself 

Get lost in thought 

Building new bridges to continue what you started 

That you can bank on!