I haven’t been able to write for awhile but now I can. I lost a friend today, and I just want to tell you about him.

I knew Joel, as a blogger and a book reviewer, and I knew him because he was really good at what he did. When I met him he’d heard my name from a colleague but didn’t know who I was. So he called me “Mystery Lady.” I didn’t mind that, I actually thought it was really cool. Then we said hi, and sat down to have a conversation. That was August 2017 at the Writivism festival. We exchanged ideas on what made a blogger different from a writer. I was very curious. Then he took a picture of me on his phone. It was one of those unplanned ones, the ones that have you looking a certain kind of awesome. He couldn’t show it to me because his screen had a big black spot. So he asked for my number so he could send it to me. I gave it to him, which I almost never do since I have lots of issues. He just seemed like a really nice person. (Besides, no guy would go smash their screen, then take a picture of a girl, just to get her number.) We talked for at least an hour.

Joel would check on me. It just happened that he would find me really low. I last saw Joel at last year’s Kampala International Theatre Festival. He was covering it, and I was selling books. We would always go home together, but not before he bought us drinks and we talked. We’d sit on those long stools at The Square, and look out at the city. After the first night of drinks, I was grateful. On the second night, when he said “Can I get you something to drink?” I hesitated. I didn’t know what to say. Sensing my hesitation, he said “I really don’t mind.” I still didn’t believe him. Then he smiled, his reassuring smile and I was like; “cool.” I told myself I wanted to raise a son as awesome. I remember telling him how I was struggling, feeling like I wasn’t doing anything good. And he said, “don’t stress yourself, give yourself space to grow. Do only what you can.” Everyday, he’d pass by my table so we’d go eat together. He was thoughtful like that. And I guess he knew how much food meant/means to me.

On the last day of the festival I met a guy. A cool, drunk guy who may or may not have been hitting on me. As the taxi was nearing the old park, the guy asked where I was going. I told him I was going to Kagugube. “I’ll be 7spending the night in Kagugube too,” the guy replied. Joel laughed. He laughed till the taxi stopped. When we got out I asked why he was laughing, he just kept laughing. I still don’t know why. He left us to “sort ourselves” but called later to make sure I’d gone to Kagugube alone.

Amongst my many fears was the fear of mispronouncing Joel’s surname. I knew I could pronounce it right, I was scared I could also pronounce it wrong. I told him about it and he laughed. Then he asked me to pronounce the name of Zimbabwe’s president. And I did; Mnagagwa. He said if I could pronounce Mnagagwa I could pronounce Ntwatwa. And so I practised. Alone, I killed it. In his presence I laughed every time I tried. But I kept practising… Now I can. And I know he hears me say “Ntwatwa” and he’s proud of me. Joel was like that, always challenging me to be better. When writers’ block hit I’d tell him about it. Then he’d send me prompts. And I’d scribble something and send to him. He’d edit, and I’d try to work again. He invited me to the recent UG Blogging workshop. He wanted me to learn, he always made learning possible, especially since he was a great teacher, a humble incredible teacher.

I once took a pen from him. A Stanbic Bank pen. (First of all, I only take stuff from people I’m fond of.) At the time, I was telling him how I had no more stories to tell. When I saw the pen, I started talking about my favorite bank, and which bank I’d work for because my crush worked there. He listened with a smile on his face. As soon as I was done he said, “See, you still have a story to tell. Stories are all around us, in pens, glasses of Smirnoff, street lights, green scarfs, everything. Stories are everywhere.” Now I can never say I don’t have what to write about, but I can admit I get lazy.

He called me on the first day of this month. To check on me, to find out how I was, if I’d found a job… Today when I had the news, I wished it was a joke, I hoped it was a dream. How can Joel be dead I keep asking? How? But I know he’s in a better place. My sweet, kind friend, my gentleman, my excellent blogger and writer. When I think of him, his smile is all I see. I knew him for a few months and he had such an impact on me as a person, and as a writer. He’s gone too soon, but in my heart, he’s forever living; because strength like his can’t be forgotten. Not ever.


My Life In Nouns 5

My apologies for posting this late. It should have come yesterday but I had a day; a really long day. Again; my apologies! Happy new month! May December be good to you, to us. Yesterday’s nouns were/are: punctuality, compliments and appreciation.


There’s people who made me hate my name, and by hate I mean loathe, and by loathe I mean detest. My name is not ugly, I know that but I once knew a guy who made me wish I had another name, or even no name at all. Let me start from the beginning. We would wake up at 5 to get ready for school cause the boda guys would come pick us at around 5:40 a.m. On days when the boda guys didn’t show up, you knew you was in trouble. You’d walk to school and when you got there, Mr. Kagwa would be teaching. Then he’d stop, because “late comers are very important” or at least they think they are. He’d politely ask you in then write your name on the board; something like – Dash Dash IS A LATE COMER. For fear of creating monotony, he’d switch it up sometimes. Then he and class would count the number of letters in the sentence and you’d get as many strokes of the cane. Count the number of letters in this sentence : AWORI ELIZABETH IS A LATE COMER or AWORI ELIZABETH HAS COME LATE. Talk about corporal punishment! It is upon this background that I’ve decided my kids will have four-lettered names like Beck, Lisa, Joel, etcetera. It’s my way of protecting them. So you get why I’m always either in or on time. I’m not a late comer. “Lisa is not a late comer”(even though this post has come late.) 

‘Learn what is true in order to do what is right’ is the summing up of the whole duty of man. – Thomas Henry Huxley 

When I meet people, I just find myself looking for what’s good about them, so I can tell them about it. It’s very easy with girls (which doesn’t mean guys don’t have good things to be said about them) it’s just that girls understand and appreciate compliments better. But that’s just what I think. I’ll tell Sharon she has an awesome personality and she’ll get it, Charlotte gets it when I say she’s too smart, Cathy wouldn’t need me to explain what I mean when I say she’s fun… But guys!! Tell Cohen he has nice eyes and you’re in trouble. (This is me literally projecting my issue. I apologize.) Before I explain, let me start by saying, I’m just weird. And this is one of the many ways in which I’m weird. I have trouble accepting compliments from guys. I don’t refuse the compliments, I just respond poorly, very poorly sometimes. He’ll say “you have nice eyes” and I’ll reply “everyone has nice eyes.” Which is true, technically. I wouldn’t say guys’ compliments make me uncomfortable, I like to think it goes back to my trust issues. Guys who “hurt” me in the past didn’t come with swords and guns, they came with smiles and compliments. In 2012, when I was in form five, as I stood on the verandah outside our class, a guy came and stood near me. After looking at me for close to two minutes, he smiled and said “You are really beautiful.” I heard him. My hands must have interpreted the message differently. I slapped him. I’ve never seen that much confusion on one face. He couldn’t understand why I’d reacted the way I did. I couldn’t understand why I’d reacted the way I did. I had slapped the head prefect, and for what? But now I’m learning, I’m learning that some compliments are genuine. That sometimes compliments are just compliments, with no ulterior motives. I’m learning to smile and say thank you, I’m learning to accept compliments. I’m growing. 

Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things. – Dogen 

When I think of how bold I was as a kid, I wonder what happened to me along the way. Seriously, what went wrong? (Laughs in Teacher Mpamire) I remember leading a dance in primary seven. (I don’t even “dance” anymore 😔) We were biding the teachers farewell so we prepared a dance for them. The song we danced to is titled “Thank you Teacher” (Don’t go looking for it, you’ll understand very little since it’s mostly in Dhopadhola.) Here’s something you’ll understand though; thank you for reading. Thanks for journeying with me. Thank you Jeff(my number one fan), Pearl 😍, Polycarp, Nora, NoBut, Hilda, Procee, Roselyne, Oscar, Cynthia, Brian, Beck, Awany, y’all.

Thank you for taking the time to read my tales. I truly appreciate. 

My Life In Nouns 4

This is Part 4 of the My Life In Nouns series. Thanks for making time to read. November is schooling me in many things, and I’m loving it. Today I was at the Kampala International Theatre Festival at The Square. I met a writer with The East African. I saw a man swallow a sword. Upon that background, my day was good. Let’s get to the nouns, shall we?   

1. Overcomer

I was loud, yet I still feared standing in front of people. I was the girl who laughed loudest when people threw comments at those on stage. I knew being in the audience was safe so I promised myself I would never leave. One Thursday, like this one, I was tempted. It was (kiromo) the day before the end of the school term. I was part of the writers’ club and we’d gathered news to be read during the end of the term assembly. I was very good at gathering: anything to avoid reading because that meant standing in front of people, it meant thousands of eyes eyes fixed on you, thousands of ears listening attentively in hope of catching mistakes. When I brought the file to the reader, she said she couldn’t read because her parents had come to pick her. I wasn’t moved. I figured they’d just scrap the news off the agenda. She asked me to read but I refused. I couldn’t. I tried to get someone to read in vain so the file got stuck with me. The teacher on duty already had the agenda. After the anthems, and the prayer, it was time for news. I froze!!! Those who saw me with the file told me to hurry to stage, which wasn’t really a stage I later found out. You had to stand in the middle of the whole school. The assembly was arranged such that everyone sat facing the center. Whoever was in the middle faced the head teacher and the teachers who sat behind her. Shake you say? My dress didn’t shake, it trembled with the fear that boiled inside me. I walked to the stage. If the file wasn’t hardheaded it would fallen out of my quivering hands. “Breathe in, don’t breathe out. Then read,” I prepared myself. I breathed in, then read. And read. And read. And didn’t die. I could stand in front of people after all. Towards the end of assembly, names of indiscipline students were read out and mine was among them. There really was a first time for such things. As my colleagues and I walked to the stage, I felt no fear. I’d taken that walk before. Even though I scrubbed drainages that afternoon, I wasn’t the same ever again. When I got home, dad had heard about my indiscipline. The teacher who had done the reporting had also mentioned what according to him was “excellent reading.” Excellent reading is not much coming from a mathematics teacher, no? 😂 

To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence. – Arthur Schopenhauer 

2. Clarity
In my first year at the university, I was on my best behavior: attending lectures, doing coursework as soon as it was given, actively participating in discussions, being on time for everything. I spent most of my days at campus, so I constantly met new people. One afternoon, as I sat by myself listening to Abel Chungu music, a guy came and sat across from me. In politeness, I took off my earphones. “Hi, let’s go get you something to drink,” he said. “Do I look like I need something to drink?” I meant to ask but I was already on my feet, following him. When we got to the restaurant, I took time to observe him. He wore dark glasses, a dark blue t-shirt, black jeans and brown leather sandals. He smiled a lot, as he told me about himself. We spoke only of him: his parents, his siblings, his course, his stress factors, his… When I finished my bottle of water, he handed the waitress who stood by our table one thousand shillings. He had taken water too. The waitress asked him for more money. Without looking at me, he whispered to her that I was to pay for my drink. Without asking questions, I paid for my water. Why hadn’t he said: come buy yourself water, or let’s go buy ourselves water, or let me push you as you take yourself out? I still wonder. Of course it’s my fault, I just assumed “let’s go get you something to drink” meant come I buy you something to drink. No wonder I stopped spending a lot of time at campus (looking thirsty in people’s view). No wonder I stopped letting strangers “take me” for drinks. No wonder I learnt to ask questions. No wonder I still laugh at myself.

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever – Chinese Proverb.

3. Independence 
Recently, I was wondering why we had lots of books in primary school yet we studied only four subjects. Then my siblings reminded me how each subject had a separate book for revision, class work, then homework. I hated time for revision, partly because I hate questions. I particularly hated Science revision. Our science teacher had issues dealing with loss. When his plastic hangers broke, he brought them to class and renamed them juice. For every wrong answer you gave, you got free juice. Sometimes there was variety, you had to pick from green, orange, black and red. They all tasted the same anyway. One afternoon, he walked into class with a question paper and orange juice. The first question he read out was, “what substance do bees use to deal gaps in the hive?” No one raised their hand. His reaction still makes me think he was just in a bad mood. “If you know you don’t know the answer, stand up!” he shouted. I saw people rise to their feet. Jerry (the smartest in our class) stood up. Then Inno (the second best in the class) stood. The whole class was on its feet, except me. Teacher Joseph went around the class giving everyone juice (hitting arms with his broken plastic hanger.) When he finished, and asked who hadn’t received juice, my neighbors, in pain, were quick to say my name. I still thought I knew the answer. “If Jerry doesn’t know the answer, how can you know it?” I heard someone ask. I walked to the front, like I’d been asked by the teacher, and wrote my answer on the board – PROPOLIS. If Jerry didn’t know the answer how could mine possibly be right? I wondered as I strutted back to my seat. “Her answer is correct,” the teacher said. I smiled. I was happy for myself. That day, I found out I was/am capable of being smart on my own, not in comparison to Jerry or any one else. Just smart. 

To be truly and really independent is to support ourselves by our own exertions. – Jane Porter

My Life In Nouns 3

Hey! I hope you’re doing okay. Welcome to Part 3 of our November Series – My Life In Nouns. Today, I share one very embarrassing experience I had, my final fight and how I learnt to race.


Truth is, I wasn’t a very good student. Even though I was always on time for class, there are subjects I just didn’t care about. Like English. I had an amazing teacher of English in primary school and he covered everything. (And I’m not joking.) When I got to secondary school, I didn’t take English seriously, I felt like I knew everything (most times I did.) Now being a teacher (of English), and having such students in my class feels like payback, well-deserved payback. Our teacher of English was called Joshua. Sometimes, he was in charge of morning prep. If he found you sleeping, he would tap you on the back so you woke up, then he would hand you a broom. He didn’t speak to you at all, which also meant he didn’t want to hear a thing you said. You just had to accept the broom, and go sweep the verandah. One day, he was teaching, and I was talking. (I personally don’t like kids who almost never shut up in my class.) He told me to stop talking and I obeyed. Minutes later, I was back to talking. Instead of talking to me, he decided to talk about me. He told the class he had been my babysitter and I’d been a nice baby. He said he didn’t know what had happened to me. The class started laughing. I could neither admit nor deny his allegations. I was ashamed (because I’d been molding myself in the image of a cool kid and with one story, he’d ruined it for me), but mostly I felt horrible – if he wasn’t lying, I was being a pain to him yet he didn’t deserve it. I shut up for the rest of the lesson, and the ones that followed. Of course I called mum to confirm, but I found I couldn’t tell her what had led to him telling me that. 

Discipline doesn’t break a child’s spirit half as often as the lack of it breaks a parent’s heart. 


Growing up, I wasn’t the type you found involved in fights, yet I wasn’t an angel. When I fought, it was with Maria, the girl born after me. I struggled to get my sisters to see me as their elder but they just couldn’t, for a very long time, which annoyed me. Often, I forgot they were just being themselves, kids. Like this one time, when our parents left us home alone. I made lunch while the two girls hang out in their bedroom. A visitor found me serving food so I asked for help with bringing drinking water to the table. No one heard me. Maria actually turned on the TV. I turned it off. The terms of it being turned on were simple, they’d help me set the table first. Again, Maria turned on the TV. First of all, I was very tired. Secondly, they’d done nothing. Thirdly, I was getting annoyed. Fury was choking me, I had to let it out lest I would die. She put a disk into the DVD player. I took it out, and broke it. She pushed me. I fell on the sofa. I got up and pushed her back. She hit her head on the table and fell on the floor. She started crying. Then Pesh started crying. Then I went to bed to cry in private. And just like that, lunch was ruined. Not really ruined since we all ate later when we had calm down.

History of Violence : ✔️

How I feel about it : Remorseful

That was the last time I fought. Overtime, I’ve tried to find new ways to deal with anger. The most fun was writing a story where whoever annoyed me became the character who played house help or the villain. (The point was to have them suffer.) Now, when I feel fury’s grip tightening around my heart and soul, I walk away (and go cry.) By the time I return, I’m in better condition to have a conversation about what you did or what I did, so we can work things out. 

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. – Chinese Proverb. 


As kids, we grew up running. We were in constant competition with each other. There was no prize, you just ran because you didn’t want to be last. Being last came with tiny punishments. We literally trained ourselves to avoid being last. My parents left the house they were renting for their own just for the peace of mind that came with it. When we got there, in 2006, the house wasn’t complete. “A house without electricity isn’t complete,” we assumed. Alex and I were in primary six, Maria was in primary three and Pesh was in primary one. We did homework after supper. Towards the end of supper, the one who was almost done eating would say, “The last person cleans the table” and you’d see everyone eating hurriedly. During homework, someone would say, “The last person turns off the lamp.” Our parents didn’t know about our competitions, if they did they said nothing about them. But they complained about us running into the house in the night. We’d go out to the loos before bed, and obviously, someone would say, “The last person locks the door” and we’d all take to our heels. Our parents were scared we’d hurt ourselves but luckily we didn’t. Grown up (sort of), I’m still trying not to be last in anything I do, because the last always does something. I’m always in a race against who I was yesterday. I’m always trying to be better, to do better. 

Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. – Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower 

My Life In Nouns 2

My month is going well, as well as Novembers can go. Welcome to Part 2 of My Life In Nouns; I hope you enjoy reading. 


I was/am blessed to have only one brother. One selfless, creative, kind, smart, human brother. Just cause my brother is awesome don’t mean my bro-zone is empty. 😁 So, when we were in primary four, and the girls born after me were much younger, we fell in love with the neighbor’s chicken. We had chicken, it was just different than the neighbor’s. Ours were covered with feathers, theirs didn’t have feathers around the necks. In our book, that was really cool. We’d watch the chicken to try to understand how their uniqueness came to be but the more we watched them the less we understood, and the more we wanted them. One morning, when our parents had left for work, we found Alex plucking the feathers off the necks of our chicks. We watched him, like he was our hero. He was our hero. He was making our chicken look like the neighbor’s and we were grateful to him. When the folks got back, mans was in trouble. Now when we talk of this incident, no one stays standing, or sitting. Upon this background I tell the tomato story – When he and I were in primary six, he was still selfless. One Saturday afternoon, we asked him to stay home as we (Christine (our sister from mum’s sister), Maria, Patience and I) went to buy tomatoes. No, we weren’t going to buy a whole sack, just enough to make supper. Alex agreed to keep home and we promised not to be long. But you know how girls are. We bought the tomatoes and on our way back decided to shoot some mangoes. It took longer than we’d anticipated. Then we saw Alex. He’d come to make sure nothing bad had happened to us. In doing so, he had abandoned the maize put out to dry and since we were now living at the foot of the Tororo rock, monkeys were the neighbors who passed by only to steal our food never to help unhung cloths when the rain came. We got caught up in the mango business such that by the time we started walking home, the door was wide open. We stopped to come up with a plan. Mum was back and obviously, not pleased with us. We decided to sacrifice our mangoes; to starting them by the roadside such that when we got home, all we had were tomatoes. Tomatoes that someone had stepped in the process of shooting mangoes. With a smile she asked where we had been. We replied. She saw the tomatoes and decided to punish us for our irresponsibility. First, the elders got their strokes of the cane, then the little ones (who had expected nothing) got theirs. Equality huh? These days if you say you’re keeping home, we ask if you remember the tomato incident just to recap on what “keeping home” means. 

Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. – General George S. Patton



I was enjoying high school until the cumulative average crap showed up. I’d gotten used to “playing” in first and second term, then “playing” just a lot less in third term and I’d be promoted to the next class. In form three, my “life” ended. We were in third term, about to do end of term/year exams and my average mark was below average. But I was not alone, almost the entire stream was in the same boat as me. And we were in the second best stream so think of the streams below ours. I had given up on reading and writing so I asked for a class list during night prep. Class captains always had lists where they marked against names of those who talked during prep. I didn’t want to mark noise makers, I wanted to mark who was getting “chopped” at the end of the year and where they were headed. I did it with those around me. We was having fun thinking we knew people’s fate just cause ours didn’t look good. Eventually, we got loud and the guy in charge of prep (prep master) showed up. I say showed up because the class fell quiet and I was the only one still laughing. When I looked up from my list, he wasn’t smiling. “Come here Awori” he said. I was sure me going to him was a terrible idea but what choice did I have? I went to him. I stood a step away from him. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, the frown on his face was responsible for that. “Look at me” he whispered. “Issa trap” When I raised my head, his palm met my cheek in what the dictionary would call a slap. I went blind. I lost my sight. All I could see was darkness, blackness. As I walked to the dormitory that night I made new decisions. I wasn’t going to chat during prep time, I would write chits. That wasn’t just a slap, it is the slap of my life. The slap that got me writing plays when I couldn’t read. The slap that taught to be quiet so others could read. The slap that taught me I wasn’t the only one in the classroom. 

Do not consider painful what is good for you. – Euripides


I hate being woken up. I hate being woken up on Sunday mornings. I hate the first service. But mum is all about punctuality and being prepared. You know how teachers be. This Sunday morning, I got out of bed angry. I had slept at 1:something and she wanted me up at 5:40am. If we were up that early just to go listen, what time did the preacher wake to prepare his sermon, I wondered. Still, I got ready and went for service. Thirty minutes in, I start to doze. I was willing to take a five-minute nap, if I could find the right posture. I moved the right of the bench and leaned back against the wall. My eyes refused to close. They were fixed on a guy who sat opposite me staring at the preacher, he was probably listening. He wore blue jeans and a black and white stripped t-shirt. He looked familiar but I couldn’t place who exactly he looked like so I turned my attention to the preacher, but stole glances at the guy every once in awhile. When offertory time came, I returned just in time to see him walk to the front where the baskets were. On his way, he looked back to find an old lady behind him, he stepped aside and let her take his place in the queue. I didn’t need to see more, I decided I liked him. The following Sunday, mum didn’t have to wake me up. First service was my thing, until he didn’t come to church once, twice, thrice… I went back to second service. The next holiday, I saw him walk in what an older man who looked like him. The older man was his father. I knew his father so that made finding out my crush’s name easy. Thank God for social media! When I finally found him, I sent a friend request. When I sent a “hi” he replied with his phone number. Who does that? I was more confused than happy. I didn’t whether to text or call. I took my time, thinking. Weeks later, I texted. I still wish I hadn’t. 

Some things look good from a distance and that’s where they should be left.

My Life In Nouns 1

Welcome to November!! This month, every Thursday, I’ll share my experiences basing on random nouns. They are not really random since I wrote them on pieces of paper and starting today, I pick out three pieces of paper and write what the words mean to me. Today’s words are: beauty, love, and kindness.


One Saturday evening, I came home from visiting an aunt to find my two sisters making pancakes. Without much thought, I dropped my bags and ran to the kitchen. They were almost done so I helped them, then using the last piece of dough, I made a ball and threw it into the oil. When I looked into the pan to see if the ball was ready, it burst open and splashed hot oil on my face. I don’t remember screaming. I remember running out, with Maria and Pesh following me. I couldn’t feel my face. I couldn’t feel the tears run down my own face. Eventually, the heat died out then all that was left was pain. For the rest of my primary seven “vacation”, I stayed indoors to keep from crying each time I saw the pity with which people looked at me. Mother was glad my left eye had survived since the area near it was affected. Each time sympathizers said “she’ll never be beautiful again” mother said “No; she’s still young, the scar will disappear.” At school (form one), I got into a fight with a light skinned girl; Loreen was her name, she said the black patches on the left side of my face made me the ugliest girl she’d ever seen. I cried. I can’t remember exactly when the scar fully left but for a long time Loreen’s words played in my mind, they played with my mind. Then there were girls who suggested all sorts of bleaching creams and my reply always was “I’ll look for it” and somehow forgot to. So about beauty; I know beauty is but what we feel on the inside regardless of what the world thinks it sees on the outside. That twelve year old was beautiful amidst the whispers when she walked past people, this twenty one year old knows she’s beautiful because she is beautiful. We all are. And our scars are simply signs we made it through the pain so we shouldn’t be ashamed of them. 

Scars don’t make us ugly. They make us stronger. 


The first time a boy told me he loved me it was over the phone. I was in a girls’ school so that was the only way he could do it. I was standing at the balcony, in my white Sunday uniform, holding the yellow pay phone in my left hand and its receiver to my right ear with my right hand. “Aki ya Mungu Liz nakupenda” he said, and I may have frozen. I let go of the receiver and held the phone to my chest. Below the balcony on which I stood was a canteen. “Are you okay?” a friend shouted from down. I was better than okay; I was just terrible at dealing with the feeling. Three weeks later, I was at the same balcony; saying “I understand” when I didn’t understand why he thought we couldn’t work out. But that’s what happens when you see a guy blow the trumpet and you keep waiting for him to catch his breath just so he can stay alive then he catches you staring at him and smiles. That’s how Moze and I first met. I was in the school choir and he was in a band. Our eyes met at King George Memorial Stadium during the Independence Day celebrations. All we did was smile at each other but the young girl in me believed he loved me because he had made an effort; he had found out my name, found a pay phone number for my class and called. Even when ours wasn’t love, I believe love is all about effort; taking the effort to listen to them, care for them, make them happy, be patient with them, forgive them and just be there for them. Although, to love others you first must learn to love you: invest in yourself. Show yourself effort. 

My mother is the kindest person I know. Sometimes she’s so kind we think she’s just being stupid. Still, I want to be like her so as I walk out my door, I look myself in the mirror and say: “Go be stupid! Go be kind! Go be your mother’s child! The world needs you.” On Facebook, when I still could, I used to confirm friend requests just on the basis of if I trusted three of our mutual friends. These days the criteria list has grown longer. Whenever I’m notified of people’s birthdays I make sure to post them a birthday message (when I can.) I once wished someone a happy birthday and the next time I checked my messenger I found a message from them. “Hey” turned into actual conversations (where we realized we knew a lot about each other) which became an actual meeting(because we figured there was more to find out.) The guy took a bus from Mbarara to Kampala to come see me. It was a hot Sunday so we both showed up in sunglasses. He had a particular “place” in mind which we had to walk to. A few steps into our journey he stopped and asked me for five hundred shillings. My mind went: “Dude! Do you know who you are? We just met. Why should I give you money?” My left hand went into my bag and finding no coin, returned happy. “How about one thousand shillings?” he insisted. I smiled, checked my bag and finding a two thousand shilling note, gave it to him. He bent and put it in the hands of a street kid who lay on the pavement. I was impressed though I know he wasn’t trying to impress me (or was he?)

The Start of Our Hustle 

  (For Flavia, Pius and Lisa: because our hustle is valid)

Things can seem really hard. You can feel like there’s nothing worse that could happen to you; until you find out what other people have gone through (or are going through.) 
We recently got a gig; at first we were excited about it, then we found out how hectic it is. So; after spending hours typing digits into our computers, “we” decided to go get some air. There was/is a night of poetry at Twed Towers every Tuesday. I knew F wouldn’t want to go since we still had alot of work so I told her coffee was on the house. In no time, some things were shut down and we were on a boda. The restaurant was cosy; the lights were dim. Someone was on stage when we got in; I don’t remember who it was cause I was trying to see which studio lighting I liked better between NTV and NBS. On one end there were no free tables, on the other only one was occupied. As soon as we sat down, F asked for “her free coffee” and was told it would come towards the end of the session. I asked for the wifi password sure there were no terms and conditions attached. The night went really fast, with most of the poets doing love poetry. The coffee eventually came, when we ordered snacks. We wanted beef samosas but when we learnt they were over, I resorted to a chapati and F – vegetable samosas. Quickly, she finished her share then asked for mine. (We all have friends like her, yes?) Anyways, the poetry did end, groupies were taken and a decision to walk to Wandegeya was made; without consulting some of us. Are poets broke? Are they paid enough? Are they even paid? Or is their work considered free entertainment? That argument would have gone longer than our journey so instead, we continued to talk about the hustle to make money. PM, a poet, had started the topic while we were still catching up as people took selfies. I didn’t even know he was that much of a talker; I still don’t think he is; I’m guessing it was the beer. From carrying decoders around town, to selling beer, to baking, to…. His sharing opened F up; she started to narrate how she stood on roadsides for hours wearing a Huawei P8 T-shirt as a way of advertising and then there was selling products in supermarkets, etc etc. They scared me. I’m afraid I may have so much more hustle to thrive through to survive. 

Talking to mum today; I told her how hectic and tiresome data entry is and instead of saying “Oh my Sweet, I’m sorry. You don’t have to go through all that; let me send you some money” (Like I hoped) she said, “nothing good comes easy.” And money is really good. So I’m going to work, till I get a job, then I’ll work even harder cause nothing good comes easy. Let me get back to my work; I have 5400 entries to go. 
#GrowingUp #UnemploymentIsReal #TheHustle #Jireh