I’m waging war

IMG-20170825-WA0010.jpgDaily I am in a fierce battle with myself. I have come to acknowledge that I am one of my own great enemies. The toughest discipline to achieve is discipline of self.
There is a part of me that will almost stop at nothing to get what I want and should have. I know when I put my mind (and heart into) something I (can) achieve excellent results. That part of me – which I will call the spirit or will- wants to wake up at 4am have prayer and quiet time, read, excercise and do body stretches, prepare and pack/take the day’s meals, tidy up and head out at twilight. Yes I like heading out before the sun comes out. Everything I know about waking up early and keeping time is positive. You avoid jam, and get time to read more and prepare for the day before everyone else comes in. With this your days run on hinges headed for success; you are in control even when things don’t go your way.
Then there is another part of me that has a mind of its own. The one that does not just snooze but switches off the alarm – even the ignoring the mind alarm – and hugs the covers tighter slipping into a sweet but deceptive slumber. Morning sleep is the sweetest sleep I have known especially when you are supposed to go somewhere.
This part of me – which sadly tends to be stronger than my will – deceptively says all will be well as time passes, deadlines draw closer, some even pass! Emails are not sent, appointments not made, business ideas remain just that, family & friends are not contacted, articles are not written, prayers not made … Laziness and procrastination are its strongest ropes. But after it come storms of regret with strong condemnation and all the you-should-have-now-see-what-you-have-missed!
In the past one year I have learnt not to beat myself up as I used to do. I would choke in a whirlwind of self-condemnation and plunge into a sea of defeat and sadness because I’d acted contrary to will. However I have to maintain a balance; being too easy on oneself can feed this detterent side.
My battle daily is about overcoming the self-destructive me. The one that trashes all progressive plans; the one that makes me fold my arms as opportunities pass, the one that makes me close my eyes and daydream about what I ought to do or ought to have instead of going out to work for it. That lazy flesh that does not want to pray or fast; does not want to fix a meal or eat.
Like someone was saying recently, we have to rely on discipline not motivation because it is not everyday that we are motivated to act.
The first powerful step in any battle is awareness. Knowing who my enemy is and where they are attacking from. Also, knowing that you are in a battle!
I have seen myself succeed and tasted the  joy that comes with it. I have also watched myself fail. I am tired of the latter. Failure nolonger will be a reward for my efforts.
I am waging war. I have to be who I was created to be. Pessimists, joykillers and all wetblankets stay out of my way. I know well that even I don’t know the full potential of what I am capable of. I have learnt to laugh at my setbacks and celebrate my joys along the way. If you judge me by my size, height, age, growing experience, complexion or gender …  that is actually okay. You are making part of my  story.
I will nurture the part of me that wants to be quick to listen to wise counsel and slow to speak. To seek seek to understand before making judgement. To be there for my friends and give encouragement, advice, support and share every moment.
“It is the ups and downs of life that prove we have lived.”
I’ll succeed in this battle; I’m winning this war!
The spirit is willing but the body is weak.

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Think about the children; it is not all about you!

Think about children; it is not all about you

 

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Courtesy: Pinterest

 

I attend a Watoto church cell in my neighbourhood. We have weekly fellowships, Wednesdays. The meetings usually begin with an icebreaker.

On one particular day, the icebreaker was a simple, general question about the worst experience we had ever had in our lives. It was open. However, I noted with interest how all the answers rotated around family and/or relationships of our parents. I will not reveal identities or specify who said what.

For two of the members, their worst was watching their parents go through divorce. The other said when his mother left home while he was still a young boy (I will tell you my realizations from this confession in the subsequent paragraphs), for another it was not knowing the whereabouts of their father while another it was growing apart from their biological mother.

It then hit me how normally when two consenting adults indulge in relationship – which usually starts on the basis of liking someone for whatever reasons – there is no consideration of how that relationship will build or break the offspring(s). The child(ren) by the way do not choose to be birthed as a result of the relationship. As a matter of fact, no child choses which parents they are born to and often the children have little or no opportunity of keeping their parents relationships in cohesion. It is up to the parents.

For the boy who found his mother gone after a certain term in boarding school, it was really painful and confusing. His mother left them! How can a mother leave her home, her offspring? Well she did. However, he says he understood her because for long he had watched her suffer in silence.  He was hurt and confused but somehow he also understood and sympathized with his mother.

This made me think of countless mothers who have developed tough skin in abusive, loveless, ambition-killing, character-sucking relationships just for the sake of their children. The mothers who could/cannot not imagine leaving their children behind even when they could/can see a possibility of a fresh start. I am sure you get the picture – you might even know some. I believe it applies to fathers too. They “man up”, sacrifice their lives for the sake of the children, hang in there and keep the family moving.

When parents have pulled out claws against each other – which is usually an ugly sight marred with the crudest of accusations against one another – do you ever think of not dragging your children in the mud that you dug up? Yes, tempers have flared, you are hurt, there is mistrust or whatever reasons driving you to an ugly separation but please think about the children. They too are hurt by watching their parents fight. They are even more hurt by the words mummy calls daddy and vice versa. They are hurt by having to choose sides and grow up apart from another parent. If you can have them stay with a relative while you tear each other apart, that would help. Not that I support fighting but if you cannot help it, try to keep the children out of it. Also endeavor to explain to them objectively – I know this seems unrealistic in such situations but there is always some ‘diplomacy’ left in you. You are not just adults but parents!

I have friends and former schoolmates who had what I call “absentee fathers.” Their stories made me, from a young age, differentiate between being able to have children and being a parent. In high school we had scrap books that usually had mini biographies.  One of the question that never missed from those mischievous books was a question about a dream man. I never really had a list of an “ideal man” but one thing I am sure of is to look out for is the commitment of this man to being a father. How that will be determined, God should help.  

One of my friends says they had to beg their father to confess if he had another family elsewhere so that they know how to account for his gap in the family. They were so tired of the speculation concerning his whereabouts that they were ready to embrace other siblings or another wife/family if they were the ones taking his time.

Another irony of life is the pressure that costs of living have subjected us to so much that we think ‘abandoning’ children somewhere while we make a living for them is the way of life. There is a special and irreplaceable parent-child bond that is lost while parents are trying to make way for a “better life” for the children. We need grace!

It all starts with liking someone, then a decision to get into a relationship, that probably leads into marriage or having children. Whenever you are making up or breaking up with someone, think about the children. Your actions and decisions however wise, reasonable or foolish are not just about the two of you. They affect the children too – a great deal – yet they didn’t have a choice in this.

Think about the children!

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“African Media Creates Content Only For Local Audience”- Amelia Martha Nakitimbo — Africa

Anthony Micheal Mwami had for long tried to put me on the other side of the interview. I am used to being the one asking questions. Anyway when he finally managed to sit me down here is how it went. Enjoy the read as I loved it!

For a 24-year-old, Amelia Martha Nakitimbo is pretty much what some would call a high flyer. The youthful practising journalist anchors the PM Live news bulletin on Urban TV Uganda, as well as weekend bulletins on XFM. Amelia also teaches Sunday School. I caught up with her to find out what keeps her going, and […]

via “African Media Creates Content Only For Local Audience”- Amelia Martha Nakitimbo — Africa

Why I don’t advertise

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Courtesy

I recently attended an expo in Kampala and I asked all the exhibitors on the stalls I visited questions about advertising.

It is clear that the reason one takes their business to an exposition is to be able to expand their boundaries and reach more clients. So I asked the exhibitors, other than the expo where and how else they had advertised their businesses and products. The answers I got were eyebrow raising.

Have you used media like radio, TV and newspapers and others to try and capture new audiences I asked? “Yes, we have been everywhere, everyone know us!” one answered. I could tell from her tone that she was quite irritated by the question. She mentioned a local TV station she has been hosted on for an interview and a radio station.

“Everyone know us!”

I do not mean just an interview, have you taken adverts in the media to catch new audiences, I pressed on. I have never heard about your business and brand for example, I confessed. She seemed shocked when I mentioned that I only learnt about the business prior to the expo.

This time she was really upset. She dismissively bragged about how they have been in the market for so long (10 years) that they did not need to advertise.

My classic example of advertising is Coca-cola and MTN. These two brands are without doubt big and have been across borders for donkey’s years. We could say everyone knows coca-cola or MTN, why keep advertising?

I have a weak spot for confectioneries so I bought a pack from the stall before I left in peace; I was hungry after all.

I love Ugandan products and innovations especially those that are breaking ground in markets that have for long been dominated by foreign products – I know that is a lot of generalization but you get the idea. The next stall I walked to was had pocket-size hand and toilet sanitizers. This was really exciting for me. After scrutinizing the products and seeing some I could buy I went on with my questions about reaching more people.

The ‘proprietor’ bluntly told me that he did not want his idea to be copied. “You see when you advertise, people see your idea, copy it and some even do it better than you,” he reasoned. We have a lot of copy and paste here he added. Well his ideas are not unfounded. Our market has a lot of copy and paste bringing a flood of duplicated items.

My question is, how about you push your brand so much so Ugandans think of sanitizers, you brand if the first that pops in their minds. The fact is sooner or later, someone will own the stage. It could be one of the very clients you are selling to. If you know the ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ concept you know what I mean.

I went on to another stall and the gentlemen there seemed enthusiastic about the brand. However they were the ‘ground-men’ in the business and thus it was not up to them to make such decisions. They saw the need to push the brand further, however they noted that the company did not have the finances to push the brand. Or rather it was not a priority. After our chat, we exchanged contacts and made a promise to follow up on that.

In a few minutes I had learnt new and interesting reasons why some people do not see the need to advertise their brands.

Gyebale Mwami Yoweri Museveni

Thoughts of a Museveni generation child who has blossomed into an adult.

Evelyn Masaba

Gyebale Mwami Museveni, thank you for being our supreme leader (I think this is befitting since all the decisions in this country seem to be done by you) the country appreciates the good that has come with your presence in our lives since before my mother even knew I would exist in her life. You have been a constant in my life even if we have never met but because you rule a country I call home, a country that I will forever love without any hesitation.

Ssebo Kaguta, I was born in 1990 just to bring you up to speed; therefore I am what they might call a Museveni generation because the only President I have known all my life is you. I have gone through all the different versions of your regimes, with little adoring eyes in your earlier years I adored you; to me you were a…

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What #QueenofKatwe Means For Sports Tourism in Uganda

Evelyn Masaba

The biographical film “Queen of Katwe” about Chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi is going to be released this September in cinemas around the world. The film which stars Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo plus Ugandan child actress Madinah Nalwanga is a big deal for Uganda.The film is under Walt Disney, a company that is in charge of some of the highest box office grossing films in years.Before the hype about the film started and the fact that Lupita was involved, very few knew who Phiona Mutesi is to the Chess world; a young girl from an impoverished situation who went on to become a Chess Master.

So what does this film mean for Uganda and her tourism sector? Do we find a way to capitalise on it? Do we read between the lines and see what message it brings out for the…

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MY PAPAL MOMENTS

Now that Pope Francis has left Uganda, I cannot help but reflect on the moments I caught both through my eye lenses and camera lens.

I was in Kajjansi on Entebbe road four hours before the Pope landed at Entebbe international airport. Here the security detail was visible. I learnt that hundreds of crime preventers had been deployed as security informants and as a first aid team in case of accidents.

Some these crime preventers are so young.

Other than crime preventers, there were also police trainees to assist with security matters.

 

Away from that, business was booming (of course). One of the guys I spoke to said he was happy with the Pope’s visit to Uganda because he was unemployed until Friday morning when we was called to sell stickers, flyers and T-Shirts among other things. And he did not have to hustle since FOMO saw people buying without a haggling ‘the Ugandan way’.

On my way from Kajjansi to Munyonyo, I found people gathering along Salama road getting ready to receive the Pope. This was three hours before the time he was said to arrive in Uganda.

In Munyonyo, creativity, business mindedness was visible.

 

And the grand welcome to Munyonyo in a spirit of Ugandaness

Refreshment, snacks and local food was also in good supply. In Munyonyo where, there was a tent with seats, and a variety of confectioneries to choose from. At least people did not go hungry.

I met a Muslim girl seeking financial assistance (and spiritual assistance I guess) to go to India for a heart operation. Too bad I was unable to find out whether she got the help she expected. Good thing there are phone numbers indicated on the placard. I hope to reach her. You can too.

To be continued.

 

Is the EXODUS SACCO option the best for Uganda Police Officers?

I do believe lives will change. My heart bleeds every time I see those tin houses; as I whine the stretch of the road from Ntinda, I wonder how one is ‘tinned’ in there and comes to deliver services like they do. Services to people stretching well under well illuminated and conditioned houses and/or offices, from fresh neighbourhoods and such good conditions.

I believe it will work, but am tempted to ask, how much do they earn and what is the mode of payment for this housing?

I cannot believe I had pity on a rat!

Baby rat- courtesy photo

Baby rat- courtesy photo

There are some things I cannot tolerate in a house; rodents top the list. Then come bugs, cockroaches and all skin biting, blood sucking creepy-crawlies.

But just the other day, I was surprised at my reaction towards a little pink-skinned rodent in my room. On a fine afternoon, I was busying myself with some work. The corner of my eye caught a vague image of a fast-moving black creature. I was almost certain it was a rat. However, part of me reasoned that it was a hallucination. But I was certain my suspicions of a rodent were true. I got up, scouted around to trace the trail of this black bodied creature since I had only caught a glimpse but got none. I sat back and went back to my work though this time part of my conscience was watching for this dark creature.

Before long, the four-legged thing cropped from underneath the wardrobe. My first reaction was, ‘Oh, it looks adorable!’ Well it was a baby rat. With a small body, parts of which were still pinkish. I could almost read all its reactions.

Baby rat- courtesy photo

Baby rat- courtesy photo

It crept under the door and peered through the corridor. I could hear a few footsteps. As the giant footsteps -in its perspective-came nearer, I could see its body trembling with fear. Then it dashed and hid on a wall adjacent to the door. In a little leap it stood in its hind legs, rubbing its little face with the fore legs as it pondered the next move. I felt sorry for it. For a moment, I felt its pain; it wanted to go out but feared the giant humans. Then it crept back underneath the wardrobe.

At this moment, it hit me that a rat had just run back into the room. I wanted it out of the room but my wishes had just been bogged down. I though aloud;

Did I just have pity on a rodent? Small, and innocent as it may look, it will not be amusing when its hunger drives it to nibble my stuff. But well it was already gone.

I had just had pity on a rodent! Maybe I should blame it on the many animations I have watched.

I pray it does not feed and bulge from in here.

Gosh rodents!