SOUL LIQUOR

The bouncer’s hands securely gripped him under his arm pits, his wobbly legs dangling weakly like a scarecrow’s, barely holding his sneaker covered feet leaving a double trail of crooked lines on the dusty cemented floor. He is carelessly thrown by the busy road side, dangerously close to the gathering Monday morning traffic. The crowd on the bar shade is a mixture of drunk patrons, skimpily dressed waiters red eyed and heavy with sleep from the long night of attending to tanked-up guzzlers. Right by the entrance, wheel barrow fruit vendors slowly offload their delicate merchandise, a colorful mixture of watermelons, papaya, and pineapples. This is a familiar scene I’ve watched daily as this late closing bar lies along my children’s route to school. Every day I pass by and watch drunkards being thrown out of this bar in an effort to close the bar before full sunrise and the arriving daylight that seems to threaten them with exposure of their nocturnal evil deeds. Today is different however, am close enough to take in the whole scene. It’s one of those mornings where I couldn’t beat the 6:30 home set off, so am always forced to use the boda-boda alternative to beat the morning traffic. After the drop off, I decide to walk from school to the food market as it’s in the same neighborhood as my children’ s school, hence my present proximity to the  eventful bar.

I reach the bar spot at the same moment a sloshed dude is being dumped outside. I slow down to behold the poor soul as he gets dragged out of the semi-dark bar, through the crowded shade, then right outside on to the tarmac borderline. I mumble my usual short spontaneous and grief filled intercessory prayer in such unfortunate circumstances, ‘reminding’ God that no matter this lost soul’s story, he is not out of reach of his beautiful saving grace. I am forced to slow down and linger a bit as I take in the whole scene. The previous night’s company on the bar shade makes fun of him and swear how they can never stoop to his level (all seem close to their associate’s state judging by their ‘heights’), the waiters join in the mockery yet they all seem to have helped themselves with a little from the bar stock as they stand indifferently staring with tipsy half grins. Among the crowd stands a sober older lady (probably the owner) calmly giving instructions like a squad captain to the bouncer dragging the drunkard, urging him not to dump him too close to the road for his safety. But none in the crowd is concerned or bothered, it all seems a familiar scene, an every morning ritual where over drank patrons are dumped on the road side so the bar can close on ‘time.’

The zonked out fellow hasn’t moved an inch, he lies eyes closed facing up the grey cloudy morning sky (invisible to him) passed out or dead asleep, mouth half open, with liquor infested saliva drooling from both sides of his mouth ends. He’s draped in a fancy now dirty polo t-shirt, casual jeans with a big crude circular parch of almost drying urine and tennis sneakers which all probably draped a descent lad before this blotto experience. I can’t help imagining him enter the bar a few hours back; all clean and kempt, out to have a good time. One beer after another, a scotch here and there. The waiters keep the booze flowing, and the wallet isn’t complaining: the liquor is flowing and he can afford it. He begins to feel woozy, but the urge is still there, he’s still “thirsty”, the smiling know better bar girls keep him well watered as long as long as their hand s are well oiled. Things begin to get hazy, he relocates to a lower seat for stability and comfort in the corner sofas off the high counter stools. The smiles from the girls start fading, the feigned politeness is dropped and they start demanding he orders with cash, to which he subconsciously obliges. By the first morning light, the bar is a frenzy of a mixture of alcoholics and wasted patrons trying to take the last gulp in an effort to drown their sorrows in a sea of forgetfulness all cheered up by the frustrated older men fighting to silence their demons that constantly remind them of their broken old dreams and long gone youthful energy. Our patron is dead asleep in a dark corner totally unaware of the happenings of the world around him. He will be gathered up and thrown out shortly.

The loud honking of taxis and their loud touts shove me back to the present, I break myself away from the gloomy scene with my ever defiant mind fighting to pick a take away tale of reflection especially from the passed out drunkard. “What about the invisible drunkards?” my distorted cognizance begins. It takes me awhile to decide what that even means, more so where this forming mental conversation will lead me. So I switch into my free fall gear (let the thoughts flow realm).

She’s young and beautiful, her apparels are sharp and carefully chosen according to occasion, her make-up is light and flawless. She has a sharp eye for figures and numbers, they all come easy as long as she’s careful, she easily meets her targets, so she slowly but surely climbs the corporate ladder. Remove that veil though and she’s no different from our roadside drunkard, only that her ‘heights’ are invisible, she’s a spiritual drunkard. If you come closer to her life you can smell the strong stench of guilt she’s always drunk on. Don’t let its lack of odor fool you. It might not smell on her breath, but sniff her soul hard enough and the stench is deafening. It was from long time ago, she thought time would scrub it off. How wrong she was! The scream is always loud and clear, the verdict in the court room of her conscience; murderer! Murderer! Murderer! It gets worse when she goes for baby showers, the ones she can’t find enough excuses to miss, her wounds get pricked crudely all over again. If only she could turn back the years, she could face her father, she sure enough now knows he would have forgiven her for her moment of relapse in judgment. He could have stood by her and they wither the early arrival of the unplanned grandchild. She could have raised the child even if it meant her doing it single handedly and still finish her studies. Giving in to his charms and lies was a mistake, but the child wasn’t. Instead she gave in to fear and faced the weaker one, her unborn child. She forced him out, the doctor said he couldn’t tell at that stage what sex it was, but she is almost sure it would have been a boy, her boy. Denied to see the light of day, denied a chance at life, silenced before he could peak. Now she pays the price with excruciating guilt. Now she’s an invisible drunkard, drunk with indescribable remorse. But who will dump her at the foot of the cross, where her redemption lies, and her salvation awaits. Where the savior’s blood will wash her as white as snow? Who is saying a silent prayer for her? Who will explain to her that only the nail scarred hands will dig her out of her deep grave and stand her on the rock of ages?

It all started with just one sensual movie on a boredom filled weekend, but slowly he got hooked. Other motion pictures seized to be interesting. Then he enthused to hardcore pornography, until few could give him the thrill he yearned. He can’t seem to find the one that takes him to the heights he now craves. He’s entrapped in this invisible jail. But he keeps drinking in its lewdness anyway, at least a short pleasure is better than none he consoles himself. As if that was not dark enough, along came masturbation, pornography threw him in a jail, then masturbation, solitary confinement, it slowly eats away any chance of him ever having a meaningful relationship to the one he’s espoused to marry. He mutilates himself concealed from the rest of the world but not his own conscience. The guilt always immediately comes after the climax of his twisted self-indulgence. Is there any chance of someone dropping him by the road to Jericho, where a good Samaritan will pick him  and take him to the inn of the one who nailed this curse on a tree, the one in who the remedy for his vileness lies. Not only for this shame but the salvation of his very soul, a new life to be given. A power to break the chains that have him securely in this dunkardness.

He’s in his midlife and he’s finally at the top; Family shelter complete and fully furnished, up country home, near completion, business is growing and booming. He can now afford vacations on post card destinations with family tagging along to complete the fairytale. Wife seems happy, at least most times, well provided for to the last detail of her whims, she’s not complaining, or so he thinks. Kids, they are a jolly bunch, international school, toys, too many to count, high tech crystal clear tabs for their latest video games and favorite cartoons, the TV is slim and wide full access, no limits.  But most absurd, should I say, they are all drunkards. So drunk waiting for someone to individually drag each and dump them at the seat of grace where alone can they find mercy before all sobriety is lost. Beginning with the youngest to the man of the house. He’s a grieving helpless man stuck in the mud of midlife crisis. No matter how many ‘toys of the latest car he buys, they can’t feel this void in his soul. No matter how many vacations he takes and drags family along, the emptiness glares at him regardless of location. And her, oh dear; She’s the envy of her peers, she’s mastered the game of keeping up appearances. Her well set of ivory teeth do a good job at hiding her sad smile. And the dry chuckle in her laugh? Her charm and beauty easily conceals that. But if only those these well-meaning friends knew the heaviness and ache in her heart she has to carry from morning to sunset, none can carry it through a single day, the secret   other life. The empty bed for most of the days, when she has to wait for the car honk and release a sign of temporal relief. At least he’s home safe, she reasons, now she has to deal with his maniac temper when he’s around the house. She’s slowly getting sucked into his misery, she’s slowly beginning to give up on hope for things getting better. She herself has to be away with her girls sometimes to escape the whole madness and also keep herself away from infecting the kids. I guess it’s true of what one wise soul said, “It’s not health that is infectious, its disease that is. You can’t pass on good health to somebody, you can only pass on disease. “ She’s tired of venting frustrations to her poor children herself. She knows they can see through her pain and they can hear her cry sometimes. Simple requests from these cute souls nag her, and when they persist she mutates into some alien angry creature they’ve never seen. They are scared of her now. They miss her but are secretly relieved when she’s also away. The TV and the Tabs have been their only true friends, but they are no longer strong enough to numb their loneliness. They just wish daddy and mummy could all be home and be normal parents, even if it’s for a short time. Not the weekends where they are bribed with mall trips and ice-cream treats but no real connection time, no real talks where they can tell them their fears. They just want daddy to sit down and talk to them and hear of all these questions they have, and all the stories of their latest discoveries. And mummy to just hold them and not scream. If only they knew how much they…………”fresh beans madam, fresh beans and peas, come madam, come”…..…….How did I reach the market!!??

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DRIVING AND STILL ALIVE

Like many of my folks, I took up the challenge of learning to maneuver a motor machine, way past my teenager mark, and that easily means way past senseless courage. As an adult, you’ve already seen enough death to convince you that you are not immortal after all. I wouldn’t be far from the truth when I say driving is one of the toughest skill I’ve had to acquire. See, I had tried the driving school many a time and I would abandon the project, then would go back, it was basically a ping pong game. I remember my very first day behind the wheel, I was so scared and tense that if you pricked me with a tooth pick I would feel no pain at all instead the tooth pick would break. I couldn’t wait for the driving lesson to end. When it finally did, my butt was so tight that I was convinced that if I stood up, the car seat will be sticking to my behind. I had to finally face my fears, as we both know, owning a car especially in the city is no longer a luxury but a necessity especially when children come in the picture. But what were my real fears?

Before learning to drive, there’s this species of Ugandans that had successfully convinced me that I would never take a solo trip behind the wheel; my dear friends the boda-boda riders. And I say this with caution because I’ve met very professional riders who are really careful about their riding and who really take caution about their safety and the safety of their clients. But generally speaking, it’s as if to be given a license (if at all they have any) to ride a boda-boda, the rider has to go through a mindset change program where they are convinced that “life is too short, live recklessly.” So my major fear was that by the time I was done with my driving lessons, I would have taken down a good number of them. Most of these motorcyclists ride as if they are on competition to see which one dies first.  So I didn’t want to go down the road of being a multiple murderer later alone pay for the crimes that come with it.

Fast forward, I do drive comfortably on the crazy street of Kampala with no fear of death or causing death haunting me, save for occasional glitches as a driver that you can’t escape no matter how careful or defensive of a driver you are. Like my instructor used to say, “Leave room for the crazy ones to do their mistakes.” Sometimes no matter how much room you leave, it’s never enough; you will have your lane invaded by one Driving under Influence (DUI), or an abrupt braking ahead of you, a behind bump, and of course the social media addicts who have another set of eyes on their forehead for the road and then eyes in the usual spot for scrolling through the phone, or perhaps your own moments of judgment lapses, those that are beyond your control.

By and large I think I am doing just fine as compared to my wacky imaginations of how driving would be before I acquired the skill. The moment I committed to learning, it didn’t take that long before really learnt the basics. By week three all that remained was the confidence to believe that I won’t die if I am left alone to drive, all that remained was the death of the fear of death or causing death to others.

Thinking about all that, the life before and now, I can’t help wondering what was really holding me back. It’s not like I had to take a physics class to study about vectors or trajectories before I could get to maneuver the car perfectly, neither did I have to take the mechanics class where I had to understand how the engine combustion works so I can generate a more controlled reeve to move the vehicle forward. It was a bit of multitasking mixed with a good measure of alertness, coupled with memorization of basic instructions and then season all that with a little more practice and velour, I was racing forward. I did all that repeatedly, then the whole process became more natural that I didn’t have to think about it to do it. So was it just a wrong mindset I had about driving? No that sounds too basic. Was it then about how simple a task driving is that anyone can learn as long as they commit to it? Most probably.

What more then have I persuaded myself to be too hard to even make any single attempt? What more have I convinced myself to be impossible to do at least by me? What more have I won over into the realm of impossible just because I’ve never really given it a try? What more then do I have to try out at this point in my life? What do I have to step out in faith and pursue? What habit do I have to perfect to discover my inner potential? What fears do I have to finally face to take that step forward? Well, as you are reading this am off to seek the answers and hope you will do the same, the moment you finish reading about me heading off to seek the answers.

Shalom

WHAT IF UBUNTU NEVER LEFT THE CITY?

Having been born from a small village and grown up in a small town, I had some kind of ‘innocence’ with me that is at the verge of being completely eroded away by the big city spell. I can vividly remember the very first time when this innocence was attacked. I was close to joining the university, I was among the many young and enthusiastic gents and ladies that had just thronged the city for the very first time. It was all euphoria and clueless anticipation, rural urban excitement as some would like to call it.

One sunny happy morning, I woke up intending to follow up on the information I had earlier received about scholarship opportunities from one of the European embassies. I had been given a general idea of its location, and so upon reaching the area, I looked around for somebody I could ask for specific directions. A smartly dressed gentleman was my immediate pick and he happily agreed to take me to the embassy as it was just nearby, so he said. I was glad to have his help but I suggested to him that it would be alright if he just gave me the directions only without having to escort me, to which he agreed. He went on to point me to the right directions; the road and the description of the entrance to the embassy. I hurriedly but honestly thanked him for his help as I headed to my destination.

A few seconds later I hear hurrying steps behind me, only to turn and I see a very impolite face taking the place of the kind beaming one i had just encountered; the man was a human chameleon. On inquiry about what the problem could be, he demands a fee for his service. “Which service are you talking about?” I ask, “For giving you proper directions”, he sternly responds. It took me awhile to actually figure out he was dead serious, the gentleman wanted money for giving me directions. Poor me, having grown up in a village where asking people for directions for places you don’t know are the only sign posts you will find, all this was an alien culture. The dude goes on to educate me about the city and how it offers no free things. I had some money on me, but in no way was I going to pay for directions on the day’s budget. I let the guy know that I had no money on me and that I was actually going to the embassy to look for scholarship opportunities. He weighed my claim and eventually decides that I was being honest. And technically I was being honest, only that I forgot to add ‘no money for directions’ on the ‘no money’ claim.

After we had parted ways I was left in a sea of thoughts wondering what culture I had just been planted in. “Is there a culture where acts of kindness are paid for and everything has a price tag on it?” my mind queried. I couldn’t help wondering what more cultural shocks were in store for me. And trust me, a whole lot more was yet to come. The next few months after joining the university was an unlearning process and a re-learning phase. From learning that, not every plea for help you hear from the campus is genuine, to learning that not every friendly face that offers help comes in good faith. My innocence was slowly being robbed as the days went by, or should i say my innocence was being polished.

In the past few weeks since the year began, social media has been awash with stories of people being attacked in broad day light especially in the evening traffic jam. I have read and watched posting after posting on my timeline and through whats-app forwards of people being dragged out of their cars, bags being snatched and others being seriously injured. But that’s not the disturbing bit. The unsettling reality is that in almost all the cases, no one has come to rescue the victims. It’s as if when the attacks begin, the watching motorists tight lock themselves in their cars understandably for their own safety. We all know that these attackers are not on a solo mission. They have observers nearby, then bodabodas ready for transport after the attack and a full-fledged rescue team in case things go south. So as it is, it seems safer to fortify yourself in your car, raise the police and hopefully they will arrive on time to rescue the victim, and most times it never does.

On top of invoking these campus days and encounters when I lost my innocence, I keep wondering, what if we all never lost our innocence? What If these attackers knew that if you attack anybody in these traffic jams or anywhere else, there’s a high chance that the “community” will come to their rescue? What if we didn’t have to rely on the distant police help but the help nearby, us the bystanders? What if the thieves in the night knew, that as long as an alarm is made for help in the middle of the night, the whole community will run to the rescue of the attacked home? What if we all never lost our innocence? What if acts of kindness are still thriving in our communities and are as prevalent as they were in my village when I was growing up? What if we were all our brothers keepers watching out for each other and ready to offer help whenever need arises? What if we all never lost our innocence? What if Ubuntu Never Left The City?

Shalom

NOT JUST A RANDOM STREET TALK


Have you ever imagined the amount of information your brain processes in a day? I think the core word there is “process”. Imagine all the things we hear, see, touch, and smell? Did you know that most of it never gets to get our attention? The brain seems to have this automated process, where it picks this and ignores that, but how does that come about? How does the brain get to determine what to ignore and what to pick out? Am afraid am not a psychologist or social scientist, I don’t even know how I began this philosophical down turn in the first place. Or should I say you wouldn’t believe me if I was to tell you that it was all sparked by a conversation I eaves dropped about “what’s the English word for Chapati.”

They are walking a bit ahead of me on the bustling streets of Kampala. Each carrying a back pack and from how they are dressed, their demeanor and ‘swag’, they are tertiary institution students most probably the one within proximity to where we’ve reached. I find myself plying in their conversation and am drawn in at the point where the lady is asking the guy the actual English name of a chapati. My first thought was “what a ridiculous conversation, two intellectuals or supposedly so, having such a conversation!” But am still sucked into paying attention to the conversation as we ambled on. “I think it’s still called a chapati in English”, answers the guy. The skeptical lady asks a follow up question, “How come I’ve never heard it being mentioned in the movies, ‘zino movie zabazungu’?” The dude confirms the doubt wondering as well why he has never heard the word anywhere in ‘muzungu’ movies. They both seem to come to the conclusion that it can’t be called chapati in English since they’ve never heard it in the movies.

“How much of what we regard as truth is informed by the power of these motion pictures” am left wondering? The idea that because I’ve watched it on screen somewhere so it must be true. Or better yet, let’s bring it home, does a daily dose of your favorite telemundo soap influence you in anyway how view relationships? Or you’ve convinced yourself, “they are just movies, fiction to be precise, even my mind knows it”. So what’s feeding your ‘truth’ then, where do you get your truth? If you are feeding your mind day in day out with images you consider fictious therefore harmless, when do you get to feed your mind with the truth. Because we surely both believe that truth exists, right?

May be this is too much fiction talk, do we have fake news in Uganda or it’s just in Trumpland? If the fake new virus infested our land as well, how then do we get to develop some sort of mental sieve to screen out the made out stuff and the real deal? Too many questions I guess.

I for one for sure knows I have some baggage I have to deal with. My weekend afternoon Jaunt to the video library is not as harmless and innocent as just picking a cheap pirated DVD of my favorite series. It seems to me it’s a serious mind feeding expedition. And this calls for an informed decision of whether I will choose organic food or junk food. As it seems, overtime, the health status of my soul will get to tell if I’ve been feeding my mind on easy to go junk food or healthy and well prepared organic food. For the record, I am in no way suggesting that all watching is bad, am simply saying, watch what you watch for in watching you are training your souls watch man.

And by the way, is chapatti the English word for chapati?

SAY HULLO TO THE FUTURE YOU.

I recently enrolled for an amazing leadership course at Harvest Institute, and among the assignments we were given was to write about our future self (10 years ahead) addressed to our assessor. The idea is to cast a 10 year vision and work hard towards achieving it. I didn’t think it was a crazy idea till I started on it. Well, below is the letter with a few adjustments. The present Dorcus (2019) writes to the future Dorcus (2029). And I would love to leave you the same challenge. Time check is (or should I say year check) 26th December, 2029 at 47years.  If you were to write to the future you, what would you tell yourself, what would you have achieved? Or to rephrase, what do you want to achieve in the next ten years? Just assume you are able to raise all the finances needed, what would you accomplish? Would you be able to achieve a work life balance, win at home and at work? What would the journey look like? I know a lot can be achieved in ten years, so you have to summarize the journey in a write up of 1500 words. Let’s say hullo to the future.

My 2029 look.

Dear Dorcus (2029)

I know we haven’t seen each other for a while now (10 years to be precise), we last met at the beginning of 2019 at Harvest Leadership Institute class of 2019, remember me now? I just thought I would reach out and find out how life has been, or perhaps tell you a bit more of how mine has been. I know we made promises to each other; how we were going to be the best we can be, change the world, create better tomorrows and so much more. Well, I have done the best I can and hopefully this is the best I could be. I will let you be the judge.

Following the course we did in 2019, there was a tremendous shift in my life in the way I did things, the way I looked at life and the way I started living. I moved from just surviving to living a purposeful life. Before I enrolled for this course, I did have written down goals, but they were just a sketch of ideas I wanted to achieve before I die. I didn’t have a proper course of action on how to make these things a reality, if I am to be honest.

These were;-

Have well raised children

Have a successful marriage

Establish a not for profit school in my community

Establish an orphanage to cater for the orphans in my community.

The course helped me look at life in a different dimension and more specifically scrutinize my dreams. I think most people were learning while I was unlearning; I had a lot of wrong mindsets that I had to dismantle. And what an uphill task it was. It was spiritual surgery like my husband calls it.  I started writing down my plans and getting to act on them. I had to deal with the mediocre thinking that had plagued me for years.  So yes, my plans had to be adjusted to bigger goals but also they became less and less about me, and more and more about others. I can’t say it has all been merry gold, but having put my plan down, I was able to see progress on a daily basis and also live a more intentional life.

To begin with, a serious reminder kept coming to mind, “If you want to change the world go home and love your family.” Mother Teresa. This I have done and my 3 children are all grown and my husband I are still walking the matrimony journey  and enjoying each other as best friends day by day(not that we don’t fight). My son Jezreel is now in Grade 12, my daughter Ariella is in Grade 9 and Shyaka my last born is in Grade 5. They are all grown and a joy to be around. They are each beginning to curve out their life’s path and together growing in the ways of the Lord. Like one wise man said, paraphrasing; if you are winning elsewhere while losing at home, then that can’t be defined as real success.

Three years later (2022), we were finally able to open up our dream school. And what a joy it was that very first day our doors swung open for the very first academic year. This school is an eternal pillar that constantly reminds us that God is faithful. We wrestled giants to see this prayer answered. And we can boldly confess, if it wasn’t God’s faithfulness, we would have been swallowed by the bureaucracy involved in the whole registration process, especially when you are not leaving behind a trail of “wetted hands” along the way. In our 7th year running, the school is steadily growing with 750 students now. We are seated on a 29 acre expansive land coverage in a lush green serene environment suitable for learning, which also houses the orphanage home (will tell you more about the orphanage later). I know you would really love the farm if you were to visit knowing your passion for sustainability and independence. I am happy to inform you that we are a Christian based school and this is not just in the school name. In everything that we teach and do with our dear students, we are rooted in God’s word and the principles there in.  We use a holistic approach to teach our students, where we supplement the acquired knowledge with hands-on vocational skills to better equip them with practical means of handling life after school. We cover all areas of their lives; physical, social, spiritual and economical aspects. The orphanage is up and running accommodating 10 orphans so far, fully catered for under the school’s sponsorship scheme for their education which makes it our dream within the dream. We are yet to welcome the new additions that we’ve been following up with in our community (school community). We are believing God for exponential additions each successive year because the need is really great. It’s only waiting for men and women of great faith to step up and join us to transform the lives of these amazing souls. We’ve taken our first step, and we are trusting God for a ten thousand mile journey.

Forgot to mention that from the onset in 2019, I started a cooking class as a passion and it has since grown to empower young women into equipping themselves on their marriage journey, and for those already married to prepare much better and enjoyable family meals. This project has since impacted over 200 ladies and we are still growing. There’s an African proverb that says “The short cut to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” May be it’s a little bit farfetched but I can’t deny the joy my cooking brings to my household especially my husband. You should hear him complain when work begins stealing my cooking time. Well, not exactly complaining but every time I hear him ask, “love love, are you going to be home early today?” It’s a red flag of, “madam, we miss your cooking, so better sort yourself.”

I am grateful to the class of 2019 that challenged me to discover my writing potential. I am now a proud blogger and a published Author. Please look out for my books (Raised without Dreams -2019, The Tale from a Broken Home-2020, Does setting goals really lead to success-2022?). May be my goal of a book every two years was a bit ambitious, but more are surely coming.

I also enrolled for my PHD and finally graduated in 2025. It wasn’t easy but with commitment and hard work I was able to complete my Doctorate. I spent the next three years after my graduation empowering young people on organizational development. There’s and still is so much zeal and desire for young people to succeed especially as entrepreneurs, but a lot less success in economic empowerment has been registered to match that zeal. I discovered that one of the missing chain links is the lack of organizational development. I’ve had to pour myself in empowering organizations to value structures, have strategies, and appreciate the reality of a rapidly changing world as my doctoral thesis covered the field of Organizational Development.

My most challenging and I believe most rewarding period in this ten year journey was last year (2028), and I would like to share a little bit more about this period. I’ve always believed that a true fulfilling life is a life lived serving others. And I believe I have intentionally focused on a servitude life. However, this passion filled life blinded me to the value of ‘breaks’; those constant periods where you have to not only evaluate your life but take time to have real rest. A time to steer away and create some ‘me time’, a time to just be alone and my creator, just the two of us. I must confess, all that journey of hard work took a toll on me until I had to put my feet down and something about creating time for rest. I am glad to say I am much better now. I ‘sneak’ away from everything once a month to reset. I’ve also began a consistent exercise regime which has really paid off not only by being in great shape but also much more energetic.

I have always been passionate about humanitarian work but somehow never really got to be intentional about committing specific time for that. I am proud to say I am now an active member of   rotary club (rotary club of Lugogo mango tree). I am honored to be a member of such an amazing group of people that are creating a lasting change in communities all over the world. On a more personal benefit, my involvement was able to teach me that whatever you priotise in life, you will create time for it.

Looking back at the last ten years, without doubt it has taken serious hard work and perseverance, at the same time I truly acknowledge God’s grace at every step of the journey. There were many moments on this journey where I felt like giving up, but right at the very beginning of my transformational journey, God used the leadership course at Worship Harvest Institute to point out the importance of surrounding one’s self with a team that will keep you accountable. And what a marvelous job they have done. I can only thank God for them and ask God to greatly reward them as he sees fit.  And what’s more invigorating is seeing the lives I’ve been able to touch in these ten years. Without doubt I had tremendous faith to believe that on the journey I was pursuing, lives would be impacted, but not to this extent! It can only be God. Only him can guarantee this much success, He’s always been in the business of turning little into much to glorify himself.

I am more even more fired up for the future. I’ve casted another ten year vision, complete with goals, targets and specified time lines for each. I am dreaming even much bigger after seeing the testimonies littered in the past decade. I know the road is paved with many hardships and sorrows, but even more so, countless victories and precious lives that will be transformed. My faith is far stretched, my dreams are much bigger, but humility is always within reach, constantly reminding myself that I do what I do for the glory of nail scarred hands, the one I surrendered my Lordship to, my beloved friend and King; Jesus Christ!

Shalom

High Pitched lullabies!

Another one from the chronicles of raising Shyaka, my 10 months old third born son. This, my boy, if I may ‘prophesy’, will pursue a life not far from the mother’s vocation (teacher and trainer) and probably will do way much better than yours truly……end of prophecy! I mean, if he’s teaching with woos and coos, then how much more will he be teaching when his mouth starts voicing out his brain comprehensions. Anyhow, to introduce you to our teacher; he goes by the name Ithiel Shyaka,  he’s nineteen months old as earlier said (10 months if you are to deduct the 9 he spent in the womb), he’s the third born and prayerfully the last. He’s a follower of an indomitable lioness Ariella Ruth Uwera and heralded by the man himself Jezreel Bagabe Rama. The name Shyaka is an African name which means warrior,  a valiant warrior to be specific, and Ithiel is derived from Hebrew, it means ‘God is with me’. It was an intentional addition to the Shyaka name as the name’s warrior hood is derived from the traditional African warriors who were famous for their conquest battles. And this boy won’t be fighting anymore territorial expansion battles, he will be fighting God’s Kingdom battles hence God will be with him.  Enough of the introductions, what does this teacher have to offer.

One of the toughest jobs so far in raising this teacher is making sure that he gets his due sleep. This shouldn’t be a problem, right? You get tired you sleep, simple. The problem is (if I can call it that) he’s gotten so used to his father’s bosom, as he’s the sleeping specialist. He (the baby) seems not to sleep any other way, which means firmly holding him in the bosom as you rhythmically pace around and slowly escort him to slumber land when he gets sleepy. So poor me, with my not so strong arms, like any African mother am left with the posterior method. For those who are not familiar with this method, this is where you methodically wrap the baby in “engozi” and you pace back and forth till he sleeps. And trust me, no matter how sleepy he is, this method rarely works for my enigmatic boy. So when the sleep specialist is not around, it’s the mother of all night mares; the teacher gets grumpy, irritated, restless, name it. But the worst of all episodes is trying to make him sleep hurriedly; those moments when time for leaving home is due or there’s an important errand you have to work on at home and you really want him to sleep as fast as a drunkard. Solution; my crazy mind thinks increasing the walking pace  accompanied by a high pitched lullaby will sooth him faster. Dead wrong. It quickly escalates into a ‘chasing the wind drama’.  With the frustration, the paces turn into shoves and the lullaby plunges into a close to tears desperate plea begging him to sleep and then crush into an emotional and physical pile up of sheer helplessness. I then have to summon the strength to calm myself down, force my tired body into slower fox trots, and cox out a more appropriate lullaby then supplement all that with butt taps as I patrol the compound as he back rides to harmonious glide to sleep land. And that is always like an hour or so later.

Now that he’s finally tucked in bed (assumption), I had promised to share the lessons from our teacher’s sleep boot camp, I will instead apologize for having tricked you into sticking around with a hope of being offered a cupful of life lessons. I am afraid I am not offering any lessons. The takeaways are yours to draw on assumption that you have been accompanying me all through. However, I will share my true reason for not spelling out the lessons for you in my conclusion. So go ahead and drink by yourselves from Shyaka’s well of wisdom; whether it’s a cup of patience, or a mug of ‘tough times don’t last’, feel free to pour them in the comments section at the end of the article.

I will conclude with a timely photo (below) which was taken by Daddy Shyaka (his latest passion) taken at a precise and perfect moment. The photo is of Shyaka when I had just finished tucking him into bed after a gruesome experience similar to the one I just explained and I had noiselessly tiptoed out of the bedroom to switch off the light, only to be startled by an ear piercing shriek from the creature that was supposedly knocked out. In that moment, whatever lessons I had picked from our boot camp of soothing him to sleep just evaporated in thin air. So I wasn’t sure if I should go ahead and share the lessons learnt and then add the last lesson being a disclaimer; “there is a high chance of forgetting everything in an instant”. At least the sleep specialist was right on time to save the situation, otherwise my mind was beginning to experience thoughts that are very ‘unmotherly’. Enough said. Keep learning, keep exploring, and keep daring. See you soon, hopefully in Teacher Shyaka’s next class.