No! The meek shall not inherit the earth.

Humans are inherently parasitic as set forth by their nature. We depend on each other and in so doing have grown accustomed to a misconception that by sacrificing individuality for like-ability, we shall find comfort. As a Christian, I do not agree and vehemently oppose the sarcastic use of the phrase, “I am not Jesus”, that is commonly used as an excuse by people to dodge doing good to others.

However, of late I have found that there is a twisted but true reality to this statement. First and foremost, you cannot treat others better than yourself. How can you do well to others before doing well to yourself?

The falsehood in such actions is that when one does well, they are keeping in storage a hope that good will hopefully be returned to them by those who unto whom they give it. It is false because you fail to understand that what motivates you to do well is not necessarily the same belief that others carry.

For instance, I have found that lending money to others does not actually mean that when I am in a similar position they will reflect upon their past need and return the good gesture. So what do we do? Should the law of the judge apply in this case? One could argue in support of this. Our mammalian counterparts have survived over millennial living by such rules.

The one difference being of course that they are driven by carnal instinct rather than reason. A wise man once told me the weakness of humans is our emotions. We always involve them in everything. Much as we pride ourselves as being an evolved being, we are yet to live up to this claim. I borrow the biblical phrase,” I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

I am now somewhat confused. It seems as if even our creator is saying the law of the jungle is more applicable to dealing with evolved beings that reason. However, I think the meaning behind this statement resonates to the claim I made earlier. As humans, we tend to neglect or disregard the reality that our fellow beings are driven by motivation, desire, ideals and the same carnal nature in humans. This nature is always to open to betrayal and seeking its needs above the needs of others.

In this case, we are meant to approach each other with the sanity that we are dealing with reformed “beasts” capable of tearing us to pieces to fulfill the laws of nature by which they live.

Advertisements

Breaking resolutions with a 10km walk

Earlier this year, I promised myself I would break the ugly routine I have been following for a long time. Untangle myself from a life of sacrificing my time and efforts only to be treated insignificantly without even the courtesy of appreciation. Traveling has long been a desire I learned following experiences of working out of Kampala. Out of monthly commute to upcountry was born the love of discovering new places and experiencing different environments.

So in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, travel came up in the sort of way one rekindles a lost love. I don’t know most parts of my own country lest towns in the city I live. In an inspired motivation driven by misguided and poorly thought of achieving something worthwhile this year, I made the decision to at least travel every district once a month up to the point when I could say I have been all over Uganda. How short-lived was this madness when reality set it.

I was now left with questions only, what can use a stepping stone to drive me towards having a new year’s resolution ticked off. It was at this point that I stumbled upon the muzungu’s travel tips. Alas! 25 little known destinations seemed like a plan. The easiest part at least some of these destinations and within easy reach both physically and financially. After much deliberation, I settled for destination number 16; following in the footsteps of the Uganda Martyrs. At this point, armed with the muzungu’s Google map, I planned an “excursion” following in her footsteps. Beginning from Bethel Healing Center Church formerly Pride Theater, I begun the trek.

Starting point : Pride Theater

The downside of taking what is supposed to be a guided walk tour and doing it by yourself is you never understand the significance or relevance of certain locations. Case in point is this place.

1

Old Kampala Secondary School

At this point I don’t know if the Martyrs actually took this route or if it was just an assembly point for those keen at taking the guided walk tour.

2

Yiga Chambers

On the way to St. Matia Mulumba Church which was built in honor of one of the martyrs.

3

St. Matia Mulumba Catholic Church.

Now the journey begins. A quick history search aided of course by the internet (my tour guide), I learn that Mathias Mulumba was one of the four martyrs from Mityana.At the time of martyrdom, Matthias Mulumba had escorted his Chief Luke Banabakintu (the Mukwenda) to Mengo to rebuild the palace in Mengo which had been destroyed by fire.

4

Who said my self guided tour had to be boring ?

Apparently it seems social media business is not doing well. Is Mr. Zuckerberg tapping into the Uganda’s “humorously titled” restaurants/bar market ?

5

Hotel Barbados

Keeping up with Charlotte’s well thought of “bread crumbs“. For sure I won’t be lost. I think.

6

Hotel Sojavalo

If only I could actually “eat” these bread crumbs.

7

Kabaka Anjagala Round About

I can only imagine what was going through the martyrs minds as they faced the king’s palace standing majestically a distance away from this point. Would he be merciful ? Would he forgive them ?

9

Some side scenery as we go to meet the “King”

For my Baganda friends that don’t know their clan or what it looks like, you can thank me later.

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

20

21

22

23

24

Lubiri Mengo

Unreal thoughts fill my mind of the moment and emotions that filled this place when it was time to face their judgement from the then King of Buganda .

It actually cost me UGX 5000 to take this selfie. The amount was negotiated down after the security officers manning the gate told me any pictures taken inside cost UGX 10,000. Now we all know they wanted ka soda. But of course no Ugandan security guard says that out rightly. Just like their bosses, bureaucracy rules the day. And who says am not a good citizen, I paid my dues and thanked them for their work. I mean who doesn’t deserve some soda with the heat these days ?

19

Uganda Red Cross Headquarters

I had to make some of my bread crumbs after missing out on some. For some reason, I never saw Eagles Nest Secondary School along the route. Even after Google Maps told me it was just on top of my nose.

26.jpg

Lubaga Road Junction

The irony of passing this route as the religion they were about to sacrifice their lives for stood majestically up the hill in form of  towering ecclesiastical structure. f only there was power in such majesty to save their lives. But then, where would we find such African inspiration in the “white man’s” religion ?

27

Miracle Center Church, Rubaga

28

St. Lawrence University Uganda

More bread crumbs I live for you.

29

Pope Paul VI Memorial Hotel

More than half way the journey and I have not yet stopped to take a rest. I am proud of myself, though my feet are not.

30

Nalukolongolo Railway Workshops

31

Checkpoint : Nalukolongolo 

The irony in this dedication.

32

I guess politicians (sic: leaders ) will always be politicians

33

At least a church was built. In spite of the sad turnout of events leading to the history of the Namugongo Martyrs, the outcomes outlived the “short lived” gloom of their death.

34

Nalukolongolo Market

35

Nateete Market

My first run-in with the kifesi. My pictorial account almost ended here, if it wasn’t for my quick reaction.

36

Nateete Police Station (CCTV Command Center)

Rioters: There goes their police station in flames

Government: Hold my beer.

37

Final Destination: Uganda Martyrs’ Church, Busega

The journey and trek comes to an end. It was a kick in the butt opportunity for me to learn the somewhat experience the history of my own country. Again thanks to Charlotte for making something to get me out of my comfort zones.

38

Now feed on the beauty of this location with a grim history.

39

40

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

 

How over planning and routine poisoned my life.

With the end of the year comes a time to reflect on achievements and failures. Like the past year, this year for me has largely been characterized by self-discovery. I took upon responsibilities that I should not have. Why does man always think sacrifice is fulfilling? Is it blasphemy to say “Am not Jesus” as a way to respond to those seeking helps to carry their burdens? I wasted a larger part of the year taking care and trying to change things I cannot change. Enough of my “blubbering”. As I end this year, I learn the lesson that I always seem to ignore. Comfort can only be found in your own skin. Learn to love yourself; no one will ever love you. And so on that note I enter the year with a different mindset. Yes to following my ambitions, yes to engaging in outdoor sports, less to being a people pleaser, less to giving people chances (I think my chances card run out), more to travelling and more to blogging/vlogging.

How feminism is making it worse than better for women in science and technology

Gender equality means women and men being treated equally. Certainly, both groups are different in many ways such as emotional state and physical appearance. However, these differences are not magnified enough to make both groups very different. As humans, we all think and feel alike. Maybe gender segmentation is permissible in other areas such as religion and health matters. When was gender introduced into science and technology? Since when did female and male scientists think differently? Why are women treated differently from men mentally? Do women and men do math differently? Where did women exclusive clubs come from?

Solving the differences between gender imbalance and warped perceptions against females is not going to be solved by cocooning women into one group as if to present themselves as a misunderstood group. It only feeds the misogynist views towards women as being incapable to be part of the male clubs. Women should be allowed learn, work and compete alongside and treated equally if any progress against. How will women be appreciated if the seclude themselves from men and “do their thing” as women? How shall we understand each other? Or are women presenting themselves as the misunderstood party?

I have always heard the phrase “you don’t understand what it is like being a woman in a man’s world.” Yes, I don’t and I won’t assume to understand. However, I don’t think by playing the victim solves anything. It only presents you as the weakling who finds comfort among his equally weaker peers. I don’t write this in an argument against all areas of life or workplace. I write this as a technology and science enthusiast. Gender bias against women in all areas of life does exist. However, why should we fuel this bias by setting ourselves apart?

Gender has no place in science and technology. These “girls” or “ladies” exclusive clubs are not helping women and young girls except presenting them as different or sublimely unprivileged to males. After all, your brain is all that is needed not your body.

Why Africa needs more rebels and less conformists.

Joseph was a dreamer who ended up on the wrong side of his brothers because he stood by his calling. The proverbial phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth” in certain situations can be borrowed.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being a part of many communities ranging from technology to social change movements. However, I always leave these communities the same way I came and oblivious of the change these communities aim to inspire. In the past, I wrote about how most innovation/social change communities in Uganda are by large social gatherings of closely knit circles.

It should be understood that being part of a team is by no means very important and most beneficial to its members. However, in most situations it can be an obstacle to nurturing personal ambition. Many revolutionary ideas in the history of the world such as Thomas Edison’s light bulb to Microsoft’s Bill Gates all owe their existence to a single pursuit of achieving their ambitions. The limitation of a team is that is comprises of a collection of minds and individual perspectives to the set objectives at hand. Therefore, the time spent deliberating over a common understanding and a way forward may limit individual contribution and stifle genius.

In such a situation, breaking off and going solo would be the best idea one can make. Teams normally work well when all its members seek to solve a common problem faced by everyone such as a medical condition, physical resources, ethnicity, religious background and level of intellect.

“Thinking out of the box” cannot happen in a community driven environment as competition opinions and differential opinions deny that. Therefore, I suggest that if you are to join any community whether tech, social development or financial management, going solo would do you much better. A community is only beneficial in gaining insights about your environment, what challenges exist and also provides a platform for launching your idea.

However, if you seek these communities to nurture and develop your ideas, way of thinking, approach of working and mode of communication, you have committed individualism suicide. This is partly the reason why aspiring African change makers, innovators, social development messiahs are chocked by the obligation they pay to these communities.

Being a Joseph will alienate you and some may accuse you of thinking you are being better than them in the same was as Joseph’s brothers accused him. But remember that his refusal to abandon his individualism made him the greatest man in a world he did not grow up in, much less belong to.

Of choosing thorns over roses: the year that was 2017.

The end of every year comes along with self reflection on achievements and failures. 2017 on my part has been one of stagnation brought about by laziness to make effective decisions. I have come to learn that with disenchantment comes responsibility in having to deal with the burden of its consequences which tends to end in a spiral decline if no definitive action is taken to radically transform one’s mindset.

Absence of any blog posts since the beginning of the year was due to personal battles in my life which could have been won only if I had not pitied myself. I took upon responsibilities that have become a proverbial “thorn in the flesh” and robbed me of flexibility and full commitment both in mind and body.

One the other hand, I question myself on who is the best teacher, time or experience?  This not to state that I have been overshadowed by personal struggles the entire year, on the contrary I have been watching the news, reading the papers and seeing the events that unfolded over the year as prominent in assassinations, political “comedy”, moments of national pride and shame, unforgettable social media trends, outstanding individuals, awe-gaping revelations and not forgetting the Trump’s , Abriga’s and Bobi Wine’s.

On a political note, I observed how the present regime strengthened is hold on power only for the opposition to help in this undertaking by exposing their weakness in sacrificing the greater good for personal aims. I will for long scratch my head trying to discern  how Kizza Besigye let down a politically experienced, exposed and seasoned ally in Mugisha Muntu by supporting a unknown and failed parliamentarian Patrick Amuriat to lead the nation’s biggest political opposition group and possibly the presidential flag bearer for the next elections. Only because of the latter’s diplomatic approach to politics which was viewed as leaning to the incumbent regime by the former.

The Ugandan Police was my worst public organ this year summarized in failure to curb serial murders in Entebbe and instead demonstrate acumen in witch-hunting political gatherings and opposition leaders. The exposures that came with the brazen murder of AIGP Andrew F. Kaweesi which revealed the  deep rot in the force culminating in the arrest of senior police officials for criminal activity ranging from armed robbery, torture of civilians to obtain false testimony, repatriating political refugees and unnecessary use of tear gas and bullets to quell every civil gathering or village disagreement.

Togikwatako in reference to the ruling party’s intentions of amending the constitution in favor for extending term limits and removal of presidential age limits was trending both as a political event of the year which saw a fist fight in parliament and as a social media war that divided the nation into “red” and “yellow” camps.

Bobi Wine’s ascension to politics by winning the Kyadondo South parliamentary election was welcomed by many although I have lost interest in his cause which seems to be lost in a blinded assumption that we all live in some sort of dictatorial regime which has by the way indirectly contributed to his success. My friend without the freedom brought by this regime, would we have known you? As much as we acknowledge this are not entirely working out politically in terms of service delivery, we should understand that this is bred democracy; along with it come the consequences of corruption, capitalism and bureaucracy. If in fact we were a under a dictatorship, the state of affairs would be much better and the social and political ills you decry would be almost non-existent.

On a social note, nothing much stood out with the exception of growing moral decay in society of near nakedness dressing, embarrassing bivulus and the ninja fighting, flock devouring and feet kissing pastors.

Technologically multiple innovations stood out such as the Pneumonia-Detecting Jacket known as Mama-Ope (Mother’s Hope) developed by Brian Turyabagye. However, it would make an even exceptional year if these ideas where embraced by the private sector or government so as live beyond the media acclaim they receive and instead make meaningful impact of those that they are intended for to use, enjoy, save, benefit and assist.

On the whole, 2017 seemed like a year of promise which did not eventually fulfill while on a personal level it was one of greater self realization. It is human nature to always remain hopeful for a different tomorrow and so in concluding this year, I move with this anticipation in mind yearning to see and experience what the next year brings and eager to overcome the tradition of making resolutions and crafting at least a definite constancy.

 

Trying to understand Uganda’s new feminists

2016 will be the year of the feminist. Spurred into the mainstream media by the infamous protest of notable academic researcher Stella Nyanzi, the educated “middle class” women of the nation jumped on the band wagon of the feminist cause. Women all over the world are faced with marginalization although it is more of a daily struggle for the continent’s women. The treatment of African women by the societies and communities they live and work in is all but uninspiring.

The sudden interest taken up these seemingly educated clique of women as manifested by endless proverbial references, one-sided perspectives and meaningless hashtags reveals a shallowness in understanding the plight but is also an expression of the misplaced vision among this promising yet disappointing section of the public. To begin with, these voices are always vocal when it comes to issues that can make them a “worthy mouthpiece”. By this I mean how far these women become on matters dealing with presidential term limits, parliamentary bills, and the isolated workplace drama.

In no way do I claim to understand the plight of women but surely I don’t think the culture of “no chips nor hips” or the spike in prostitution more so among the nation’s young women is not a “plight” enough to make national headlines or trend on Twitter.

Where are these feminists when the moral decay of the nation silently eats away at the young women of the nation? Or has the moral decadence of the African woman become so common and trendy that it is no longer worthy to speak against. Exactly how does lifting of presidential term limits stop the near pornographic dressing of women on the streets of Kampala or stop defilement of young girls in schools?

The voices supposed to speak for or against such subjugation have instead put on trousers and joined the men to join the political conversations and fairness at the workplace. My fellow Ugandan sisters on social media have adopted the western consumerism and celebrity culture that took the tragedy of the Chibook girls and reduced it to Twitter hashtag,”#BringBackOurGirls”. Or to our own backyard with the infamous Invisible Children campaign and its misinterpretation of the war in northern Uganda.

Instead, feminism has been hijacked by a clique of young women with theoretical notions, biased tendencies and a Twitter account to claim to be the definition of a feminist. It seems remaining relevant and being retweeted or tagged is the main concern irrespective of whether you make sense or not. Or whether you believe and understand the cause or not.