Tuesday, February 26, 2013

If Only to be innate




I thought I’d write a poem. This time though unlike most times, I got the title and nothing else; but still I thought I’d give it a try. The title sounds too interesting to go to waste. Last night we argued about cars. How for some it is enough for the car to be beautiful; saying it does not matter what horse power it has if it will massage me on my way to a far off land. To others that was a non-issue, how can you be considered beautiful when you are non-functional. We laughed and shouted about what kind of love was better. Funny, the bottom line is we simply loved those cars, it did not matter why. Their names are fancy too. Aston Martin 177, Porsche, Cayenne, I mean, quite exquisite if I should say so myself.


The other day I had a strange dream. I have many of those but this was lovely strange. I dreamt I was riding a bike. I know what you are thinking, that is an ordinary thing. I was a ninja! You should have seen me, flying and swerving and totally unafraid. It was freedom. You see, the thing is, I cannot ride a bike in actual sense. I am not yet confident with my driving skills either but when I awoke, I wanted to do both. All fear aside, I want to drive and ride a bike.
I could have easily been this guy!

There is a certain joy in my heart, as if anticipation. I am going to audition for choir; so I have been listening to music trying to practice. Blame it on Pitch Perfect, it had the same effect on me that glee had; made me want to sing! Made me want to forget my vocal short comings and just try. So Now I am constantly doing voice drills and singing under my breath, whispering in the bathroom. I want to sing! Last night we were talking about Japanese animation and how it is just the best in the world. So, a couple of days from now, a few friends and I are going paint ball fighting. I am so excited at even just the thought of it. Bankai!!!! This means war!!!
Yeah!!!


Innate. The few times I have heard it used, led me to believe it meant non-living objects. These things that people have a tendency to obsess about but Microsoft word has given me synonyms like Distinctive, Inherent, intrinsic; Words that seem profound. Yet, the poem I wanted to write would have been ‘if only to be innate, then maybe my object of desire would want to have me. ..blah blah‘
Earlier today, I was thinking about what a perfect date would look like for me. I love to eat, yes but that doesn’t take first place in my world. I want fun and games. I want silliness. I want Didi’s world, bumper car rides, Ferris wheel, face painting and paintball fights. I want picnics where we try to sing not caring whether we sound nice or not but sing because our hearts are full. I don’t have a boyfriend and that, in the past could have easily had me wishing for someone to share all this with but…

Have you met my friends?


They are the nuttiest awesomest people in the world! True story. Hands down (something I often say with my hands raised, I wonder why).  My little group of friends, is innate (I don’t even know how to use that word). They are Distinctive, Inherent, Essential, Deep down and all the other synonyms for the synonyms Microsoft word has given me; intrinsic.
Yes, we were using public transport!

I learnt a new word yesterday, Indelible. My friend said,

“The Holy Spirit’s work in us is indelible” Cannot be erased, un deletable, wow! We may not be able to see it physically but…

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” John 3:8 NIV
That's Oba in the background

I believe friendships are part of the Holy Spirit’s work. How He got such a strange bunch of souls to find each other! I cannot explain but I know it; and it is indelible. Thanks Oba, for that new word; and thank you everyone for being my friend. Thank you God for everything!

Friday, February 22, 2013

15000/= too much...

Today is the 22nd day of the month, right? I have spent the whole week weighing what the odds are that we shall be paid this week seeing as I ran out of money last week. It is friday and we still have not been paid. I work for one of those organisations that does not have a definate pay date but last month, I'm pretty sure we were paid around this time. Hmmmm....

I have 15000/= left not just in my pocket, give or take a few coins but in my life! It is usually when you are low on cash that you realise how much you need and want to do that no doubt requires money. Tommorrow, I am going to have breakfast with the kids of God's grace orphanage in Kyebando. I wish I had more to offer them than just my presence. I wish I had been paid so that I give them money. There are like twenty other places I'd like to go over the weekend but I have only 15000/= and I must go to God's grace tomorrow.

I recieved an email today from one of the blogs I subscribe to, a lady who is spending a week in Haiti with her family. As she talks about the poverty and lack which very much resembles that in my back yard, I am reminded that I am beyond previlaged. My heart is drawn back to that place where I just want to give all I have. Where I want to put this cause, at the top of the list of the reasons why I wake up every morning and not just a once in a while, on some saturdays visit. I am reminded that I am not doing this to gain any one's approval but these children, my brothers, my sisters, my children...

And hath made of one blood all nations of men
Look at them, aren't they adorable?


For about a year now, I have been a member of the Lantern Meet of Poets, we have met, not just to discuss the beauty of poetics but my eyes have been opened to my duty toward my country, my kin. My responsibility to speak up, to rise up and be counted, to stop living for me. I am not a politician, that DNA skipped my family tree but my heart has continually been stirred to the fact that my responsibility is towards my neighbour. I have learnt that I may not be able to go to parliament and change policies, make sure funds are not stolen, That may not be my place. However,there is God's grace orphanage, children, who do not just need food and clothing, they need a big sister, a best friend, an aunt and a mother. They need a voice, they need a heart that will care enough to know when one is not well. They need success cards. They need Christmas parties. They need sports days. They need family. All these little things that we so often take for granted. all this treasure at my disposal to give out.



I look at my 15000/=, which guarantees me that I will go to God's grace and back home. At the moment, it's all I have but what if I give all I have. Tomorrow I am going to God's grace orphanage, I am going to get over myself, get out of my shell and not wait to be asked for help. I am going to be the first on the line volunteering to serve porridge, wash cups, register visitors, count children, carry a baby, whatever my hands find and are given to do, I will do it whole heartedly. To love, to serve another, is what I am called to.

What if I give all I have?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Because men are such "perfect" beings..pt 2

My friend Annie wrote this; it is a continuation from the previous post after she had recieved a few responses
still the one

 
(It was not my intention to have the final word, just thought I should first listen to you guys speak after my rant, you may not read it because it's probably as lengthy as it is time wasting but I just felt I should say it anyway because.. I wanna)
 
I salute y
ou all, your highness-es who have just passed judgment upon me and womankind and found our intelligence quotient dangerously low, our patriotism extinct, self-esteem tear provoking and our moral jar empty. We have nothing else to blame but our hair strands.
I can see how most of you are disappointed and irked over the fact that you have waded through my deepest thoughts and have not even managed to get your ankles wet.
I have only one thing to say, I am human, even worse a woman.

 
I am sure that by now you are much aware that I do not engage much in the activity of thought, how can I when there are chemicals that have gnawed away at my brain for years? So I shall not annoy you further, I shall not look my elders in their mouths, by saying what I think because I will be insulting “thinking.” So I will speak like my kind and say not what I think, but how I feel.
I feel that the things that lie on the outside of our bodies or the things that are usually seen first e.g fake hair/ real hair, clothes ,makeup, the way I talk or my gestures are a thin crust that stretches over personality. True some aspects may have buoyed from the bottom to the top, but I feel human personalities are a far cry from what is on the outside.

 
The wild girl beneath is a gentle lamb
The man who rarely speaks, does not have a blank mind
The violent person is not unemotional or insensitive
The girl in revealing clothes is not an easy lay
The boy with who looks androgynous and loves watching soaps is not gay
The girl who runs away from the spotlight does not lack self esteem

 
Within us are shocking contrasts, We run deeper than you may conclude, I do not have an idea of how it comes about technically but I feel that our souls are grander than our small frames.
This is the twenty second year since I started living with human beings but I have stumbled on this in my way.
We are flesh, the flesh craves and the flesh is weak. These cravings are quite overpowering and It is not uncommon that these cravings lead to our eventual demise.
There is so much information which basically consists of warnings, of the things we ought not to eat or do. There are ugly death statistics glaring at us eyeball to eyeball, but our feet hurry right off to the den where our wants and deaths lie.
It's true with the prevalence rates and incidence levels of cancer one would think women would stop buying hair product and settle for the pain of combing or walk around with shaorines, but no,those who are too cowardly to face a scalp singing from an episode of grooming or can't get over their obsession(which they can’t understand too by the way) for long hair go right ahead, their desire is more overpowering than the fear of death. 

 
There is also a stack on the shelf of blood chilling documentaries on food, alcohol, narcotics, smoking, meat and sugar in line with obesity, cancer, weird incurable diseases and short life spans, but I can tell you that an alcohol store and a cigarrete plant may make more money than all local schools in a third world country combined.
We eat meat like carnivores and smoke like chimneys, our waistlines are expanding at the same speed as a traveling impulse in the body, but we still cling to our ways. Maybe we need rehab, maybe we need to struggle and overcome this idiocy, but there are many of us who feel like life here is too short to spend in combat with our selves or fighting battles we can never win, so we just light the pipe of peace for our flesh and hearts.
I feel we are still precious gems albeit rough at the edges, even when we perpetually fail to rise above ourselves and be the best. 

 
Lastly let me request you, even if you are weighed down with busy schedules, not with all the judgment there is to make, and the world and its madness to run, take time off and spend it with our kind, we might not impress you but our foolishness might amuse you .
I am not asking you to drop or alter your opinions of us no, but ask us the questions you already have answers to for instance without interrupting me. Ask me (not what I think but how I feel):
About my country
About myself as a person or woman
Why in thunder’s name I use chemicals
How I feel about natural hair
My africanness
Why I am obsessed with fake hair
Of my self-worth e.t.c
Maybe you will find the same answers or different ones but at least you will have something for you and the likes of you to laugh or sneer about.
(p.s don’t fret, there wont be more Hair yammer coming after this one except upon special request, there no expectations of that too.)

of women, fake hair,low self esteem and betraying "their kind"

 A dear friend of mine wrote this and I just had to share it because I agree with her 100 %

She said all of this!

 

HAIR
At the Last lantern meet, me and my gender were attacked about our ‘westernness’ they picked and clung to a sensitive topic, our hair. I was scolded for using hair extensions a.k.a fake hair.Archiebald took me aside and put me in a mini African history/philosophy and self esteem class, Patrick massa sent me to tell my sisters that they(dudes)hate our hair, Daniel Nuwamanya stuffed Laurin Hill’s dreadlocks up my nostrils, Manzi Solomon told me I was plunging Uganda into further economic depression. Peter Kagayi didn’t waste words, he got physical he kept flipping my braid into my face and yanking at them while in the meet. Its like I fell in a bunch of bible thumping Christians who were exorcising some demon from my head. It just so happens that my spoken is wanting, and so all I kept saying was some silly but meaningful statement "I want my braids,leave them alone!" but here is the stuff I failed to encase in words

 

REASONS WHY GIRLS DO THEIR HAIR’  which was falsely answered by Patrick Massa who said that we do it to impress guys.
This is a myth before/when you are seated on your butt or having your head up a heater the last thing at the back of your head is a guy. The thoughts like ‘ok I don`t have to comb for months’ or ‘God I had better like what I see’. Now when it comes to hair its more of a relationship between a woman and her hair, there is rarely another party involved. To many women their hair is sacred to them, and although a positive attitude may influence what they do to it, it is very unlikely that a negative opinion will sway them. There are scores of women whose spouses, religions and societies forbid them to grow hair or do anything foreign to it, their hair extensions a.k.a fake hair and chemicals are hugely frowned upon but these women go ahead and do what they like to their hair this just shows you that it has nothing to do with impressing anyone. We love our hair, we wanna keep it, sometimes long sometimes soft ..let us be.Yes, maybe women are just vain,narcissistic creatures and (not something to be proud of but blame it on the potter or Science). A woman, I know can spend a jolly time alone in a mirror hoping from one foot to another making cute faces and cooing at herself and I don`t know one who does that around on any man who takes their fancy. Its not pretense no, truth is the people we seek to impress most are ourselves.

 

CHANGING HAIR STYLES FREQUENTLY WITH FAKE HAIR

Now I know how much we change our hair styles from long extensions to red hair to curly to spiky. Still its not to impress we just get bored with the look and there is nothing wrong with liking diversity, If God didn`t like diversity the world would be clothed in one colour or it would be one vast plain, and aren't we fragments of God? Why are you surprised then if some gender X acts the same.

Maybe you don`t raise hair on you heads (Men) but you have different shirts plain ones, dull ones, bright one, tartaned.. There are some men who change hair too a `lot one minute they have a good head of hair then they mow it then they raise a moustache and slash it. I don`t want to assume why y`all do this but I`ll risk speaking on your behalf that you do it for the same reasons as us to look good and not to impress every girl we meet.

 

FEELING GOOD ABOUT ONE`S SELF/ SELF ESTEEM
Dear Archibald,
Now I totally agree with you black women can rock bald heads or their natural hair and we don`t have to look foreign to look beautiful (and we don`t set out to look foreign by the way).
I know how important it is to derive that good feeling or self love from things within, intangible things but please understand it is a broken world we live in and at times it can come down on anyone like a tonne of bricks and then it becomes hard to see anything to make you smile or a reason to walk while whistling but you should know that a dying man can clutch at a straw and in this case if it is hair extensions a mile long, cologne or a pair of nike sneakers needed to jump start your good feeling, please, so be it .
You can`t separate the inside from the outside Archie, they go hand in hand. These external things are crutches that help us walk when we fall in, we shouldn`t depend on them no, but again we are not gods. . .

 

WOMEN ARE PLUNGING THE WORLD /AFRICA INTO ECONOMIC DEPRESSION,INJECTING BILLIONS OF MONEY INTO FOREIGN ECONOMIES BY BUYING THEIR HAIR PRODUCTS. WHILE OUR CHILDREN STARVE WE SWISH LONG PURPLE HAIR.

 

Dear Manzi Solomon,
You are not wrong we do spend money on these things and yes we have enough hungry children , naked with only flies for company running these streets,so on behalf of myself and every woman of child bearing age who feeds the west with our money I apologise but please someone raise your hand if you are wearing or have anything or two that have made in Uganda or made in Lesotho on them. Almost everything we use, food stuffs, the cars, phones and your colognes, shaving creams, condoms, I can bet my womb on it they do not come from these lands or an island near.

Yes we do give lots of our money which is not even enough to those folks but they are not to blame and neither are we. They worked hard, invested in their economies and built monster industries bringing the world at their doorstep with bowls. Don`t hate on them or us the customers so much we should be bashing our heads on the walls for being lazy , corrupt , not innovative etc. Or you can bring out the classical blame on the whites about how they exploited, raped our land, took all our wealth and the strongest of our men . You should have recovered by now(what should the Japanese say about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki event I mean their kids are born retarded crippled even their soil is poisoned and yet they are not a third world country because of that so all Africans with this mantra on their lips get over yourselves). Point is, we have no choice n everybody consumes western stuff not only women.

Manzi, there are worse evils on these soils than child bearing women plaiting their hair trust me buying Korean hair, extensions is at the bottom of that list I`ll mail you a list of evils that runs from here to Alaska of things that people have done and have wounded this land. No, two wrongs do not make a right but what we do is not up there with child sacrifice , slavery , swindling funds for minorities or paedophilia. We have done lots of good for this country too outside beautifying ourselves, give us some credit and you force me to point fingers but men are leading in crime everywhere.

Also Lots of women who have not got a chance at education or could not understand the western education stuff are making a living out of “women`s obsession with their hair” . You have no clue how many kids would go unschooled and supper-less if Women stopped doing their hair. You have no clue .

PS. I can promise you one thing if a hair extension making industry opens up here I`ll offer them my love, money and scalp.

Manzi and archie on the case of chemicals, that's true that shit aint good but, what isn’t cancerous shaving cream and perfume aint herbs u know..

 

WE ARE ALL GUILTY

Lastly ,I wasn’t arguing with you all the time in my head,I agree and learnt a lot from what you said. You guys are all right,we should embrace our culture and everything that we are, it is true that media and its western content has taken toll on us, and yes lots of women have done all sorts of things to themselves and spiralled out of control, I'd like to see all of us elevating what is our own and being African in every sense of the word but please don’t throw large rocks at women or women only, for sending their Africanness down a rocky terrain. We are all guilty,we are media creations at some point, everybody is. Here is an unexhaustive list of guilty people who ought to go slow when stoning women and there white ways:

if you are obsessed with King James version English
if you cant get over Shakespeare and emulate his style, he aint a nigger u know.
if you love wearing clothes from Italian designers
if you wear cologne
if you watch foreign sports, football, when Africa drops out of the African league stop watching or go watch Zzana Fc live at a local stadium.
If you are very proud of having a good command of any western language
If you do not worship a local deity
If you watch white movies and think Tyler Perry (who by the way employs lots of black people like) and Nigerian movies are wack.
If you are obsessed with or use gadgets
If you like white music
If you don’t wear kanzus or backcloth
If you like foreign alcohol
Like i said, this list is not exhaustive.
We have been influenced by the western world deeply, men and women alike, its not only about hair extensions or what women consume, so stop crucifying our sex. You need to go easy on us because truth is we are all changelings.
Phewks! I feel better

Rain


The world does look cleaner after the rain, doesn't it? A few minutes ago, it was raining heavily. It looked like a scene from one of those horror movies where people get stuck at some strange house because of a storm. Isn't it weird how we use movies to explain real life yet movies draw from life. An egg and chicken situation?
Anyway, so the rain. It was stormy; winds blowing, tall trees swaying, cars almost swerving....it was beautiful! I got wet. I ran through the rain because it found me outside. Contrary to what most people expect, it wasn't my hair that I wanted to protect, but rather my clothes. It is the middle of the day, on a week day, I am at work, I definately do not have a change of clothes. I wish I could have stayed outside.

When I was younger, these kinds of rains were my favourite. I would savour those moments right before a heavy down pour. I was a bit of a strange child, still am; I would go and walk around in the compound, face up to the sky. I would run and let the wind blow through my clothes, I had no hair for it to blow but in my mind I felt as awesome as if it had. Rain; I don't think I've ever not celebrated rain. I may wish at times for it to hold off until I've found shelter or until an outdoor event is done but I've always celebrated rain.

I have a friend. He writes beautifully but never have I seen him write more intimately than when he's writing about rain. Maybe, to him, it is more than just ice cold drops and swisshing winds. Ask him to tell you about himself and you might not get much. Read a piece of his about rain and you might just find something.


"...when it rains I picture the droplets splashing off trees leaves, grass blades and the cemented pave ways of my lawn splashing with glimmering cymbal sounds.
I Listen to the pathways that the winds blow making the rains sway, as though wind running its hands through the clouds hair.
And as I listen, deeper, I hear the silent whispers as drop cuts through air so easily as though coal on ice.
I hear some of the rain slide off the roof edge fall in a simple synchrony to the trench below where the waters twirl in a dizzying whirl of circular foamy white as though to imitate clouds from whence they came.
 I inch closer to listen and watch droplets whisper and dance to their pitter patter on earth.

Even closer I inch as drips of rain rest on my skin tickling my feet like soft feather caress..."



and when you think it's just about the rain...


"The rain. Mystery of my memory.
Why do I love your speak when your speak drenches me?
Makes my back tire with heavy soaked cloth?

Why do i cherish your cold embrace, your chilled touch, and longed for icy kiss when this is just a fleeting moment?

Is it for the fact that the icy kiss freezes my heart from feel?
The cold embrace help chase away all sense of thought?
And the chilled touch blind the eye from loves sight?


If so then rain hail upon my soul.
Send the icy cold blocks of tiny imperfection to cut through my skin and place there within the knowledge that imperfection is the beginning of perfection,
And that fruits sprout not from a stem but from the dirt.

Let the lightening strike shock my soul to life
And thunderous bellows send my fears bellow.
May the thick dark tufts of cottoned clouds shelter me from the blinding light bright ridiculing my sight!
And hide the stars that go about tainting the coal night that shelters me from the day light.

But now it drizzles, and I wish it could rain.
Deep thick sheets coming down endlessly,
Drowning out the voices so that I may be wrapped in its thick icy embrace,
Numbing my nerves with every drop…
Inch by inch
Until I am immovable like a rugged mountain."
Jason Ntaro


This, my friend is intimate with the rain and takes me back to when I was a child and just walked in the rain. Rain, mystery of my memory. Rain.