YesWeDid….

Not Just Another Blog

I SLAPPED HIM!

Posted by yeswedid on October 14, 2010

Tuesday {October 12th 2010} was one of those days! Have you had a day where you made appointments with people and they don’t keep them? You wait for your phone to ring and every time it does, you think it’s that call you are waiting for? The day started like that for me. It gets me boiling {read very angry} when people don’t keep time {considered normal here}, and some times all you are meant to do on such days has every thing to do with the appointment.

Well, eventually I got that call {I’m ashamed to write how long I waited} and I went to meet the person. On my way there, I had to through the taxi park. Using public transport in this country is close to a nightmare. And because there are many of us who do, it helps me not to get into a depression about it. I mean, nothing is the way its supposed to be as far as public transport is concerned; the taxi park is filthy, hawkers, the fares go up depending on the drivers’ moods, small space with lots of people and cars…I could go on and on.

 In all this chaos {for better words}, one has to somehow find a bus to their destination. It’s also normal here for men on the streets but especially in the taxi parks {we have two} to sexually harass women and young girls. They do this by saying things like “you have nice breasts, your size is good in bed, come here you girl {woman}, I can satisfy you sexually…” they don’t just talk, many times they grope you, grab your hand telling you that they want to talk to you. I have experienced this since I was like fourteen. I remember times when me and my father used the taxi park, and men said things like “where are you taking the young girl..give her to us the young ones…” my dad was furious and he always had to stop and assure them that I’m his daughter and I’m too young. it madee angry to see my father fighting {verbally} off these men.

 This still happens to me, to many of {if not all} women who go through the taxi parks. So as I’m heading for my appointment, I’m in the park, with a long face, some man {I wish I didn’t have to call him “man” for the like of him are not man enough} grabs my hand. Ha!! He didn’t know what just hit him! I slapped his hand and told him to never put his dirty hands on me ever again! Of course being the park, there were many people, he walked away from me and I could tell that he was so embarrassed. There were men around who applauded me and I told them and I quote “I can twist his neck and just kill him”. Inside I had a feeling to throw up, I was disgusted!! But I thank God that I could stand up to him, he may not stop doing it but I hope he marked my face. He is just one of many I have to fight often. if the laws here have failed to protect our rights, i’m definately going to fight for myself and my rights!

 I found the taxi and boarded, as we headed out of the park, the driver was asked to pull over. The tires were in bad shape, but honestly the car should not be on the road transporting people. But this is a third world, this is Uganda, where everything goes. There was another taxi pulled over and it was empty. The officer told us {the passengers }to board it, and instructed its driver to take us. I asked its conductor why they had been pulled over, he told me it was something that the vehicle had to have but did not. I asked him if they had got it, he said no but the traffic officer had talked to the driver’s boss on the phone. Yeah right! I’m sure minutes after we had left, the car we were in turned into same story.

It rained heavily that day, and I was in one of the areas with roads that flood from heavy rain. I have always watched the scenes on the news on television. Experiencing it is totally different. I was in the taxi, returning from the appointment that kept me waiting for very long, and here I was trying to get home, with the taxi’s engine off {I guess water affected it}, watching people walking in water {around their waists} and listening to stories of a small child that has been drowned in the water in another area.

 My heart ached, and I was sad as I went home, thinking about all the people out there, that I saw on the roadside, whose homes/shops were flooded with water. Of course this shouldn’t be happening, but here, its normal. That was what I would consider one of my bad days. Did I also say that I survived a boda boda {motorbike}accident?

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TRESSING OUR LITERING ROOTS

Posted by yeswedid on August 6, 2010

Uganda is a beautiful country-really,  the Pearl of Africa! But dropping rubbish anywhere and everywhere seems to be part of the people’s {especially Ugandans} culture. Granted, until recently the capital city did not have dustbins on the streets. But even when the city council put a few in the city centre, you see people ignoring them and dropping rubbish on the streets, right next to the dustbin! I have written about this before but I witnessed something recently that made me very angry, but also put things into perspective for me.

I was out with a friend, at a good Chinese restaurant in the outskirts of the city. The place is one of those which were a home before it were turned into a restaurant. I do like such places, they give you a homely feel as you sit around, talk and wait for your order. It’s a storied house, and we chose to sit upstairs. Oh, it has a beautiful view! And we were the only people at the time, until a Toyota double cabin drove through the gate. The car was clean {at least on the outside}, and the guy who came driving it was smart too. He had a little boy, he looked to be aged four or five. He was dressed well too. I watched them as they walked from the car, as the man pointed to a seat for them to go. Before they got there, I saw the boy say something to the man, and the man pointed him in the direction near the gate.

 Right there, the boy opened his pants and helped himself {short call}This restaurants obviously has proper toilets, but this man in his wisdom, did not even ask for them, he sent his {son? Nephew….} to a place that was clean, a restaurant yard…to ease himself. What was that about? Can someone explain to me, please? How can anyone in their right mind do such a thing? He had clean clothes on {the man}, his car was clean {on the outside that I saw}, how hard was it for him to take the little boy to a proper place to ease himself?

I wonder if he is that little boy’s father. What is he teaching him? This is exactly why we have rubbish {almost} everywhere you look in this country. What do you expect if a kid does that, what will he do when he grows up? He will be doing his “business “on the street corner, on people’s gates in the neighborhood, anywhere but the proper place! And this is the story of my city, my country. I see it quite often, men doing their “business” on the street corners,  the roadside, people {ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls} throwing every sort of rubbish you can think of. The sight of this rubbish-everywhere is disgusting!

Our roots are like this. When we are young, we are taught like this. When we grow up, we can choose different but we don’t. we get comfortable with the rubbish. And now we have a very filthy country, from generation to generation. My parents were not like that, they taught me better. I guess that is why it bothers me that people liter everywhere. I don’t, but I’m only one of very few. It is hard to make an impact. I will hold on to the hope that we can all strongly want a clean city and country, and pursue that .

My government cleans when they are hosting Heads of State meetings here. like the recent  African Union Conference which was held in Speke Resort Munyonyo. The roads which the delegates use are kept clean during this time, and of course the hotels where they stay are clean. At least our visitors are protected from our rubbish, our filth.

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HELP!! HELP!! SOMEONE…ANYONE!!PLEASE!

Posted by yeswedid on May 14, 2010

It was hard for me to come up with a subject for this blog/story/rant….and even when I finally did, I didn’t feel it. But I had to come up with something to at least put in the subject space on my blog page.

I live in Uganda, a country in the East of Africa. I live in the capital Kampala. This is a third world country and even with all the resources that could make it rich, it is a poor country. It depends a lot {if not totally} on foreign aid.

I have been to three other East African countries; Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. They too, are third world countries {I’m sure all you reading this know what the term “third world” means}. If I had to chose which country to move to among all the above, it would be Rwanda. This is because this country has made a lot of progress considering all it went through with the genocide. I will not go into the details of Rwanda’s progress but I will single out the infrastructure {specifically the roads} and the FACT that the streets sparkling CLEAN! The most important thing to note here is that two decades ago, Kigali, the capital city wasn’t like it is now {in terms of cleanliness}. Just like all the capital cities of the three East Africa countries that I have been to, it too was what I can refer to as filthy at one time. Thing is, their leader, in this case the president himself decided thta enough was enough! He neede his city to be clean, and he effected thst and it worked, still does to this day and everyone is overwhelmed by the city’s cleanliness and economic growth! Even corruption is being fought there day and night, tooth and nail!

Kampala, the capital of Uganda is filthy! It’s stinking! It’s dirty! Sewage running  almost every where! I ‘m ashamed that this is my country, but more so that I’m not in position to change the way things are. Oh how I wish!

Let me shade a vague picture of how for example the bus parks {this is where people like me who don’t own cars get mean to get to our destinations} are. They are extremely dirty, with rubbish littered everywhere. For the record, most Ugandans are not disciplined at all when it comes to rubbish. Someone eats say a banana and they will litter it right there, expecting someone else to clean after them {wow!}. So the two tax parks are littered from anything like banana peels to everything that I will not write here {I think you have an idea}. The worst days are when it rains! Oh, apart from that, you will find a huge heap of garbage, so huge it looks like it was a truck that dumped it there! And this is like at the entrance to get to the bus park.

These tax parks sort of flood at the slight drizzle. This means that it will not take a storm to get these areas flooded! And it’s been raining almost daily for the past couple of months. Honestly, many times I have cried- literally, as I walked through the park to find the bus to my destination. And when I get home, I normally talk to someone who understands exactly what I’m talking about, because they either just got home or they use public transport daily. For someone who doesn’t use public transport, explaining all this would be like speaking to them in a language they didn’t understand.

The body in charge of cleaning the city is the famous Kampala City council {KCC}. If I was the Mayor of this town and the situation was like this, if I did everything and things didn’t change? I would resign. How can anyone be proud to be the Mayor of this town, and even gladly take a hefty pay check at the end of the month, and be driven around in a big car with personalized plates “MAYOR”? How? In Kampala, my conscious wouldn’t let me. If you are reading this and you live in Kampala, I’m sure you agree with me 2000%! If you don’t, and plan on visiting, please don’t let this truth change your mind. What I can say is if you get here and you can say write an article in the news paper about the filth, I think it can help coming from a foreigner. Incidentally, Ugandans in general treat foreigners with lots of respect. I guess this is because at the back of their minds most of them know that this country largely depends on foreign. So they {may be} know which side of their bread is buttered.

As you read this, you may be wondering why I have not sent this to one of the local dailies. Reason is that many pieces, uncountable in fact have been sent in, and I have had a chance to read them myself, but nothing has been done. And from the look of thing, nothing is going to be done! I know I sound pessimistic, but that is the reality. Unless the people in the positions do what they are meant to do, this is the way it’s going to be here. Very good for them that neither them or their close family members don’t use public transport, at least not on a daily basis if they do at all.

Like I mentioned above, I wish I could be in a pposition of leadership. But I have heard of the saying “if you cannot beat them, join them”. Most times when I talk to people about my wish, they tell me that many other people have got into positions of leadership with “pomp” {read wanting to change things for the better} and they were over powered by what the majority was doing! {really?}. After experiencing life the way I have, I don’t think that if I ever got the opportunity, believe me I will use it to EFFECT change that I, together with many other Ugandans desperately need!!

This is here is not even I drop in the ocean of how messed up things are in this country. Please know that this is not meant to tarnish my city or country’s image. It’s my way of letting you know how hard sometimes it is to live here. More so, if you are in any position to effect change, especially where rubbish is concerned and you are reading this, please act NOW. We desperately need help.

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HISTORICAL KASUBI TOMBS {AMASIRO} BURNT!

Posted by yeswedid on March 18, 2010


Tuesday night around 8.30pm, unknown people or person went and set the kasubi tombs {amasiro} on fire. This is one of the oldest historical sites that we have here in Uganda. It’s situated within Kampala,  like 30 or 40 minutes drive from the city centre. The tombs were built in 1882 as a burial ground for the Buganda kingdom, and there are four Baganda kings buried there.

The Baganda as a tribe have been hit a blow by this no doubt, but the country as a whole is affected. As I write this, the mengo government has said that it knows for sure that whoever did this, did it on purpose. Residents near the tombs say they saw a man running off into a small car that didn’t have number plates, soon after the tombs were set ablaze..

Obviously people were in rage as the tombs burnt down, and they gathered at the site for the whole night. It was like keeping a night vigil, and in the morning they couldn’t let police at the site. Because why? People {most} are alleging the government to have been involved in this. This is where I’m totally lost! I’m sorry if you are reading this and you too think so, but really? I mean how??? There are a million reasons why I would not think that the government can get to do such a sinister act. But I won’t go there and please know that I’m not necessarily on the government’s side, I’m using logic.

We are going to have general elections come 2011, and president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has made it clear that he will be contesting {again} for president. Now, why would his government want to put the country in an unstable state at this point? Consider me naïve, but for me it simply doesn’t add up. Even if politics is dirty, I don’t think Mr. Museveni could choose to play like this. Enough of my sentiments. The country has got a crisis on it’s hands.

When day broke, there were lots of people at the site. According to my observation, most of these were youth between the ages of 19 and 35. Uganda’s unemployment rate is very high, and when such a thing happens, the unemployed find an excuse to release their frustration. They were so many, they couldn’t let police do their job, get evidence and all that. They practically told police to get lost! President Museveni went over to the scene but they were not happy with that. Like I said, most people think he has everything to do with this. So they got violent, and the anti riot police had been deployed already, and when they got more violent, military police was deployed as well. They did all this after getting word that the president was on his way. Sadly, in the exchange of stones from the violent crowd, and the bullets from military police, two people were killed and one was severely injured.

Of course the president came, talked to the people briefly, promising them that the government was going to do everything possible to bring the culprits to book. When I was young, I wished I could one day be a president, not any more. And in times like these, I feel for him! As he talked to the people, with all the journalists shoving their cameras in his face, and many people didn’t want him there, to me he looked like he had the whole world on his shoulders.

A couple of hours later, the king of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi came to the site. He was emotional, he actually cried. And for a man like him to show his emotions in public, I’m sure he was hurting and may be he couldn’t believe his eyes. His late father Kabaka Mutesa 1 was buried here. The government of mengo has declared a week of mourning from Monday 22nd to Friday 29th of this month. And different committees have been put into place to work on building the site, this time with permanent structures. The tombs’ roofs were grass thatched so it was easy to burn. Police is also doing what it does best- investigate. For now, we all anxiously wait to know who could be behind this very bad {for lack of a better word} act. Too bad!

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2011 ELECTIONS

Posted by yeswedid on March 3, 2010

Uganda is going to have general elections come 2011. These will include parliamentary elections and local councils. The heat is already on, the tension! Ugandans are talking, wondering how the elections are going to turn out. Some even fear that there might be violence {I don’t think so}.

Different political parties have registered their members. Personally, I don’t know why the parties are doing this. I think this promotes enmity or major divisions among people. For example can a couple belong to different parties and still live in harmony? Yet if it’s a secret {only you knows your political affiliation} then it’s sort of alright. If one’s name appears on the voter’s register, isn’t this enough? I guess these parties want to be sure how many supporters they have, so their votes aren’t “messed” with {wise, huh!}.

Forum For Democratic Change {FDC- this is one of the popular opposition parties} had their members registered sometime back. National Resistance Movement {NRM} started the exercise somewhere in February, I think for a couple of weeks. In some areas they practically went from door-door, especially in homes where they knew that the head of house is an NRM supporter. They {NRM} decided to extend the period of registration, either “their” members did not turn up in multitudes to register or they didn’t know about the exercise in time. But come this Friday the 5th of February, they will stop registering. I have always found this party organized compared to the rest, but lately, party members are putting up some drama too. And this is not in regard with the registration process, no. I cannot go into that now.

Recently, there was a major “shake” up in the Democratic Party {DP}. They had their party elections, to choose a party President who will of course represent DP in the presidential elections come 2011. After quite some drama {this is one of them political parties that entertain me, really}, Nobert Mao, the LC5 chairman for Gulu municipality won. Ha! You should have seen the drama, on TV, in newspapers…..you see DP has for many years been considered as the “Baganda” party. The Baganda is a tribe that has its roots in central Uganda, and it’s quite popular. And for as long it’s been in existence, it’s party President has been a muganda by tribe, and a catholic by religion. In fact most of its party supporters are catholic. So when Mao won the DP presidency, {his father is from the north, an Acholi  and his mother from the west} the baganda didn’t seem very pleased. since African society is {mainly} patriarchal, this means he of the Acholi tribe. The Mayor of kampala, Nasser Ntege Sebbagala {he was also contesting for the same position}, called a press conference the following day and announced that he is going to form his own political party. He said he was quitting DP. The following day, the press went over to his office to find out more about his “new” party. He seemed lost for words. He was fidgeting with his answers, he said something like wanting to talk to the new party president and being ready to work with him…..and he sort of seemed to deny ever announcing his intentions to of forming his own party. Oh no! Just when i was getting all excited about it!  Drama?

The DP President is Nobert Mao, a man from northern Uganda. He will stand for President, come 2011. The incumbent, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will be in the race too,  Mao is spitting fire! Promising Mr. Museveni that it’s going to be a very different election. Surely didn’t the mayor see this coming, his chances of losing were quite {i don’t mean to offend any one} high. I mean he is moslem, hello?  This, plus a number of other reasons that I’m not able to state here, worked against him. Well, here we are. Like I said before, we are in on some entertainment on the political scene until 2011. For those of you who live in Uganda, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And for those of you on the outside looking in, I can only try to paint the picture{ well i hope} for you.

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SEX CHANGE

Posted by yeswedid on March 2, 2010

Freedom {I think} is a great thing. I mean, being able to do what you what to do, to be with whomever you choose to be with {say friends, love relationships}. And I’m sure that it was freedom {or it always is} that this particular man {name withheld}, chose to marry this particular woman {still name withheld}.

You know how it is in the movies, and romantic novels {haven’t read these since high school, feel like i have lost touch}, the line of …”and they lived happily ever after”. I guess that is the ideal, that marriage is meant to be bliss {how could anyone think of marriage like that?!}. It’s  not true, it’s not even any where close to the reality. Marriage {I have been told} is {very} hard work. I mean come on! Any relationship is a piece of work, with your siblings, your parents, friends, how much more can it be with this person that you just met and you are forging a {for keeps} relationship with?

I seem to be losing the plot now {of this story}. Let me get back to it. A couple of months ago, I read about this man and woman, who were once a couple {read husband and wife}. They got divorced and the man decided to have surgery in order to be a woman. They had a young son, i think aged about nine. And the ex wife wanted sole custody of their son because there was no way she could let her son be with this “woman” who was once upon a time man! {I wonder if the son called him dad or…}. Yet the “father” wanted joint custody of their son. I don’t know how the court ruled on this.

It broke my heart. Obviously this couple loved each other at some point, for a number of years in fact. God blessed them with a son, but here they were. I know people have reasons to do the things they do, but changing your sex, really?! And the decisions we make affect the people we love, and those that love us. There you are in your community and people know your ex husband changed his sex after you two had a divorce. Of course tongues will be wagging about how you may have driven him to do that! You know how we humans are, we talk, we stick our noises in businesses where they don’t belong {we should stop that!} And your young son! How is that going to affect his emotions, his life in general? Poor thing! Poor ex wife!

I’m in no position to judge this man, I could never do that. I  guess what I mean to say is that with freedom comes huge responsibility. And it’s very important for us to think of how the people we love and care about are going to be affected by our decisions. May be sometimes we need to think really hard before we take certain decisions.

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CHILD SACRIFICE IN UGANDA

Posted by yeswedid on February 6, 2010

It’s quite emotional for me to write about this. Being a {professional} journalist reminds one constantly that you are not necessarily living for yourself, but rather you are a mouth piece to society. It’s for this reason that I have to be strong, and put my emotions aside and write about this topic.

For over a decade now, there have been children being sacrificed, for one reason or another. This is not to say that adults are not affected. Oh yes they are! Only that little children, as little as three years are targeted. And my heart goes out to them.

In Uganda, there are traditional healers. And they are licensed. Honestly, I’m not sure if the government is certain of these “healers” activities. Matter of fact, child {or people} sacrifices are a result of these blood suckers, in form of traditional healers {may be they are all not blood suckers but I cannot find an appropriate word to use here}.

In most cases, this is how these sacrifices happen: a person goes to a witch doctor {or traditional healer}, in search for a way to get rich {very rich}, or in search of a cure for HIV/AIDS, but the major reason is to get rich {to get rich, through human sacrifice?????? really?} Can anyone live with themselves, being rich as a result of this? I hate to even think about how they go on. The witch doctor {this is how they are referred to here}tells this person that it’s “very easy” to get rich. All they need to do is to {for example} bring private parts of a 10 year old boy/girl, a man’s brains or left leg and right arm…..anything, as long as it’s a body part. I have asked around to find out why young children are preferred. I was told that it’s because they are virgins, so no blood as been shed and that is perfect for sacrifice. And because of this, in the recent past, parents decided to pierce their little babies ears, regardless of their sex as a way to keep them safe from being sacrificed. I don’t know if this helped.

More appalling is that most sacrifices take place in villages. The areas that are poverty-stricken. Child sacrifice cases are very few in the capital Kampala or in other cities. Some of the people involved in this practice are already business men, and rich {at least by Uganda standards} but they want to be more rich. In some cases, some parents have been given money in exchange for their children {to be sacrificed}. The money is as little as $2500 {I don’t mean to imply that there’s any money worth a life}!! And its the rich here that can afford to raise this much.

Last Saturday, the 31st of January 2010, I went on some sort of campaign against child/human sacrifice. The idea came to me on Tuesday of that same week, as I was talking with one of my brothers, asking him what I can do. And like many {If not all} other Ugandans, I have been discussing this issue, how we are losing our children {i don’t have chilren yet}, just like you talk about anything else, like politics. And that’s it. We go on with our lives like nothing is happening. Anyways, I got an idea: to stand at the constitutional square with a banner that read “CHILD/HUMAN SACRIFICE IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT??” This is the exact message I wanted to send out. We all tend to have high expectations on our governments, and in this particular case, the police. Quite frankly, there are so many other ways that the government is not delivering {on many issues}! So for us to take a back seat and expect that they will protect our children? I don’t think so. I wish people could put it in their minds that this is upon each one of us. At the constitutional square, I was joined by two of my friends. I’m so grateful to them that when I explained to them what I planned to do, they dropped all their plans, stood with me in the scorching January sun {it was extremely hot! January is a very hot month}for this noble cause. Even my friends who don’t live here, and the ones who couldn’t join me for one reason or another, all encouraged me.

We managed to talk to a few people while there, asking them if there’s anything they have done to stop these brutal murders. Many told us that they talk to their children about how to keep away from danger. My point exactly! If they have not touched your child or close relative, it’s almost no big deal! All you get to know about it is in the news, and life goes on. Where this issue has got, we all need to join forces. When I ask people what they are doing, I mean for everyone to be on the lookout. I know it’s just natural to protect our own, but this calls for all our {personal} attention. For example if in the village where you live there’s a witch doctor {or traditional healer as they like to guise themselves}, as a community you should find if their practice is legit {if there’s anything like that with these people}. If ever you suspect that he/she is involved in anything that is suspicious, burn his shrine down! Please note that I’m not inciting people, but this can help stop some of these acts. There have been many cases after which, people gather and talk about how “all this time they had suspicions concerning “doctor” so and so…..” and it’s too late! A child, man or woman has been murdered!! Instead of waiting for government, in form of police to arrest suspects {even when its very clear that the person is guilty, they still refer to them as a suspects? Does law have limits!}, there’s need for all of us to protect our childre and people!

So far, apart from coming on the scene to take the body {sometimes}, to do a postmortem, I don’t know what the police has done. And for those who have  a lot of trust in our government, on Tuesday, the 2nd of February 2010, it was reported in one of the dailies here {government paper- New Vision} that government is going to set up a commission of inquiry into ritual murders. After how many innocent children and people have been sacrificed? May be some of you have been following this story and you even know the statistics. For those of you who don’t, may be it’s better that way. Why I haven’t put them here is because they overwhelm me.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if people got the message or even better, are willing to act. We all live under some sort of fear hear, from the police {especially} and may be from the blood suckers in form of “doctors”. And I appreciate this. But then again, people demonstrate for things like bad roads, for the current electoral commission chairman to step down, but no one is coming out to do such a thing for these ritual murders or sacrifices. I’m almost sure that if the press had written or talked about it {this campaign}, it would have been huge {we all know the power of the press}. It’s amazing the stories editors highlight {I can’t start on this now, but you know what I’m talking about} I’m not sure of what I can do next. I need people to join me. For now, that is what I have done. What are you doing? Especially if you are in Uganda? If  you have any ideas, whether you live here or out there {wherever}, please get back to me. It’s been quite an emotional experience writing about this, but I have managed this much. For now, I can only pray that other people get to share my idea. This is not an end in Itself, but I think it can be a {an effective} means.

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MEET RAYMOND!!

Posted by yeswedid on January 27, 2010

MEET RAYMOND!!

It was a Saturday night {or morning}, about 12.45am. I was been waiting for my friend by the roadside to come and pick me up. We were going out to party! She was late, I had been waiting for over 15 minutes yet it’s only  a two minutes drive from her house to where I was.

I don’t like to wait {like many of you I’m sure}, especially when I can’t quite find {a good} reason why I’m being kept to wait. Of course being a journalist, one gets humbled because there’s always someone, who you need something from {read information or story} and you have to wait like your life depends on it!

The place where I was waiting is not safe, especially for a {young} woman. A number of cars stopped {driven by men}, some of them were marked with special hire signs, some were not so I wondered why they stopped. And not all special hire taxis here are marked but hullo! Why would any taxi driver think that I would feel safe hiring a non marked taxi that late. And even then, none of them that had no sign that they were for hire asked me if I needed that kind of service. All they did was stop, and {I think} waited for me to go and…….negotiate?? {do you get my drift?}.

A number of men passed and asked if it was them I was waiting for {that offended me}. Of course I didn’t say anything. Before long, a guy, he seemed quite young, may be like 25, who was also passing and asked me if I’m selling {read prostitute}. Wow!! Now, that hurt- deeply! Why he would think such a thing, and even go on and ask me?! I’m sure some other people {especially men} who had passed me may have thought of me in that way, but they did not ask me. I didn’t know what to say to him. So I didn’t say anything.

Just in that moment, came another guy. He too looked young {trust me, I can tell the young from the old….hmmm!}. He came close to where I was standing, and asked if I was okay. I told him I was and waiting for a friend who had delayed. He told me that, that place was not safe especially for a woman at that time of the night. He asked if he could help in any way. I assured him that my friend would soon be with me, but he insisted that I wasn’t safe. So he offered to stay with me until she came {oh yes he did!}.

We introduced ourselves. His name is Raymond. We had barely talked and my friend came! I introduced them and thanked him for waiting with me, but more importantly for being a gentleman {for lack of a better word}.

Honestly, I wish I had had time to talk to him more. To like find out how he learnt to treat women like that {looking out for them, with respect}. Shame that we didn’t even exchange phone contacts. I take it he was my angel that moment or night in that place. For a couple of hours, he was on my mind because of his kindness. I didn’t even have the time to dwell on the loser who asked if I was selling. Raymond helped me to ignore him.

I know he is not reading this {I wish he was}, but someone may know him. Or for those of you who have had similar situations, you can identify with me. I will use this opportunity to request men out there who treat women with disrespect, in one way or another, to please stop it. We get all sorts of harassments from you. I know not all men do it, so those who don’t, please don’t take this personal.

I sort of have my fingers crossed that I will meet Raymond again, somehow. Sometimes I’m even tempted to go back to that same spot, around the same time. But even if I don’t ever get to see him again, I will always remember him {in a very special way}. Thank you so very much Raymond! And just in case you ‘get’ this, please write back.

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POLITICS DRAMA OR COMEDY??

Posted by yeswedid on January 11, 2010

POLITICS DRAMA OR COMEDY??

Politics is one thing that I try as much to avoid, even just talking about it with colleagues, friends or  family. I don’t find myself fighting the temptation to write about it, because many times I don’t even have to consider it.

Of course being a  {professional}journalist, and the need {and interest} to follow the current affairs  where I live {Uganda}, I can’t help but read or watch {on television} what’s going on,  on the political scene. To be honest, I find it entertaining, but irritating and annoying-literally, all at the same time.

There are way too many examples that I could write about to let you know how I have failed tounderstand Ugandan politics {and of course  politicians}, but  no, I will pass. Only that this evening, as I watched the news on one of the local television stations, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a comedy show. Seriously!

Uganda is going to hold her elections come 2011. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of The Republic of Uganda came into power in 1986, and has been ruling since then. Simple maths and you can know for how long he has been in power. I still will not take that path {the president and being into power for this years}. All these years, as the elections draw close, say like two years before, he “threatens” not to come back to power. He always says that he is going to Rwakitura {he has a huge ranch there with many, many cows} to look after his cattle. About a year or so before election, he goes on a country-wide tour, meeting people, telling them how to beat poverty {yes! How to best poverty}. While on these tours, people beg him not to “retire”, that they want him to rule one more term- just one more.

So in response to their request {read due to popular demand}, he has been re-elected into power this way. Keep reading on and I’m soon getting back to the comic story I watched this evening, I felt I needed to give you some sort of background. The vice president {professor Gilbert Bukenya} invited National Resistance Movement{ NRM} supporters at his residence {in his constituency}. There were press reports recently, I think last week, that quoted him {the Vice President} as saying  that he is going to retire from politics next year, before the elections. I didn’t read or watch the news but my mother told me about it. I don’t remember how it came up in one of our conversations, but I told her that that was one of them jokes that we {i think  all Ugandans} are familiar with. More like a cliché, right from the top {if you know what I mean}.

Some of the guests had a chance to speak while  at the Vice President’s house. And all of them {who spoke}, “begged” him not to retire. They still NEED him to represent them in parliament, and to be the Vice President. Okay, I know they can determine through the power of the vote, to have him back in parliament. Having him as “their” Vice President, hmmm, I’m not sure! But, he and Mr. Museveni are…close? Friends {are these appropriate words to use here?}. At least I know they are both NRM members. So obviously they “talk”.

You think  that was all the comedy? Ha, ha..no! His excellence the Vice President, Gilbert Bukenya gave a speech {of course!}. He made it clear that he was not going to retire from politics {not remotely, not scantly}. Now, for me the killer was when he said that the Presidential advisor on press affairs {Mr. Tamale Milundi}, should get off his back! Wow! Wow! Wow! This is washing one’s dirty linen in public {to put it mildly}, and in Africa we so don’t do that! Honestly, I have no idea what he was talking about, I must have missed out on what the beef between him and Tamale Milundi is based on.

These two belong to the same political party. Why would Hon. Bukenya not talk to Mr. Tamale in private, rather than put it out like that, in public! Foda to the press {you know how the press is, highlighting one thing mostly the negative out of many others}!

Okay, now you see where my confusion comes from. I’m failing to know if this is politics {I’m actually naïve as far as politics is concerned-shame}, drama or comedy. But then again, I must admit that on the most part I’m entertained {and irritated in the same breath}. And seeing as the 2010 elections are knocking at our door{s}, there’s more entertainment in form of politics, drama and comedy {for the likes of yours truly}! Aaron Spelling {one of Hollywood film directors} should take a hint and come down here and do auditions. I’m sure our politicians wouldn’t disappoint. After reading this, do you share in this {my} view?

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SIX KILOGRAMS OF RICE, THREE KILOGRAMS OF BEANS, GET SET..GO!

Posted by yeswedid on October 29, 2009

SIX KILOGRAMS OF RICE, THREE KILOGRAMS OF BEANS, GET SET..GO!

In one of the Kampala suburbs, an eating competition was held. A number of young men, like in their early twenties and thirties registered to participate. It was the winner-takes-it all kind of competition, so there was no business of first, second or third runners up prizes.

 

One kilogram is an equivalent of 2.20 pounds {for those of you who do your weights in pounds}. On the d-day, all the people that had registered chickened out except for one. Let’s call him Jim {not real name}. The “organisers” of the competition checked with him a number of times, asking if he was sure he wanted to do this and he said he was positive-150%!!

 

All was set, food cooked {6kgs of rice and 3kgs of beans} and “guests” came. People did not pay to watch this. It was free of charge, if you had time {which I’m sure most people around there did}, that was all. I’m sure you are anxious to know how it went down…okay, okay…relax…here it is!

 

He ate up all the 3kgs of beans {wow !wow!}, plus 2kgs of rice {brilliant!?}. This sent him collapsing and in an unconscious state. He was rushed to hospital {I don’t know what happened there}, but the spectators were left laughing out loud! What were there laughing at? I don’t see any fun in that…. Oh! I almost forgot, had he won, his prize was shs.20.000, the equivalent of like $11. That little? And Jim put his life in hams was? That was a sad story. What is even more disturbing is that similar ‘competitions’ have been held in the same area, and three people have died in the process.

 

Granted, the economic recession is affecting every one of us in one way or another but surely! Anyways, the authorities have sent out a strong warning against any such ‘competitions’, great! {where have they been?}. But then again, I guess to think that the authorities can protect you from certain things {like such a ‘competition}, is to expect soooooooo much!  

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