Saturday, August 26, 2017

Who calls Kampala home?

I'm reading.

Currently a comic and a book about a book about a people.

I have also been watching. A series about shadow organisations. And the love of cities.

And I think about Kampala. Who loves Kampala?

In the comic I am reading. A people of a city are fighting a superpowered dictator for the right to have their lives back. They are fighting for their city.

In the book about a book, there are Lords murdering people to keep their rule intact. To keep their domain intact. To keep their lands under their control. Some people revolt. They no longer believe in that domain. They revolt but laying down their lives.

In the story about shadow organisations. A man loses his life for a city and a woman.

And I wonder about Kampala. Who cares for Kampala? Who would give up their life for Kampala? Who would be a vigilante for Kampala?

Fine, people work day in and out in Kampala. However it all seems like they want something from Kampala. Early hours to late nights. Hungry mornings to chapati suppers. 3 burgers for 10,000/-. All this that at some point, it will be full English breakfasts to early dinners.

No one is giving to Kampala. In giving, all hope to get.

Who calls Kampala home? Who looks at Kampala, the way a son sees a mother?

Some call her an animal. An opposition stronghold. A sea of opportunities. A passage. However, does anyone call it home?

What is Kampala to you?

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Moving Portraits : Mornings and Women.

On my way to work, I saw her from a distance.

She was tall, light skinned with the right curve of hip. She caught my eye.

Her gait was jagged. She was staggering. A man gently led her along with a wry smile on his face. She was like a sheep led to slaughter. She couldn't look up. Her eyes were suspended in nothingness. She was in a deep stupor. The moment I passed by her, the fumes proved it was stupor.

It was almost 7am.

Was this man her brother? Did she have a father? A mother, sister or friend? Why was she in the middle of town at six in the morning looking like a sponge with limbs? Smelling like a brewery despite having the look of a princess?

Pangs in my chest. I wondered, in our attempts to fly without wings do we throw out reason and caution and go straight for the deep end? Why was she here? The only question I could ask was why.

She stood out because she did not look like the kind of person who would do this kind of thing. Yet again, looks are deceiving. I looked back one last time at the girl, and the man holding her hand looked back. I saw a hunter collecting his prey.


She's sitting on a woman's laps. Resting her back into her chest. She has a white knitted sweater on.

Her hair is braided and ornamented with brown, cream, lavender and black beads. Her eyes are looking through the window casually. She's not really focusing on anything; she just lets the day show her what the day wants to show.

The lady is holding a small bag. Mickey Mouse is on the side of it. There must be a bottle of juice and a container with biscuits in it. That's what I used to take to school at that time. Though, then it used to be in baskets.

However, there is something in her hand. She is holding it gently and softly, making sure not to bring any damage to it. Her eyes are not on it but clearly her thoughts are. It is placed like a jewel in her hand. The white flower is her gem right now, the little girl on her way to school.


Moving Portraits. My eyes keep seeing more.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Jesus meets Luzy

As the good old saving Jesus we know, after the release of the pics had stung Luzy well, he came and knocked on her door.

J: Hello Luzy.
L: Hello ? Who's that?
J: Jesus.
L: Jesus who ? Are you a Nigerian?
J: Well you could say that. I'm also Ugandan if you like, and Italian and Jewish... Pick one you're comfortable with.
L: What? Anyway, onjagaza ki?
J: I want you to rest.
L: Rest? As in sleep? Do you want to trap me also?
J: No Luzy, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Even before you were in your mother's womb, I saw you. There's nothing I haven't seen.
L: You perv! You paedophile! Leave me alone,  go away. All men are the same.
J: Luzy, you are loved. I have seen you. Inside out. There is nothing desirous in you. But I have loved you with an everlasting love.
L: Now you're laying those cheap tricks! Have you ever had a week as bad as mine? In court for unpaid debts, exposed before all men.
J: *laughs
L: Why are you laughing?
J: Well, there was this time I was accused of being a blasphemous man. Then I was betrayed by my friend. Then my other friends scattered, only two remained. Then they took my clothes, hang me naked on a tree.... Generally....
L: Jesus, what have you been smoking?
J: Not even the smoke from burnt offerings I promise. *laughs
L: You're weird.
J: Yes I AM . *laughs.  But Desire , I came because I heard your prayer. When you cried after seeing those pictures. I heard you. I promise you're my kind of person. Humiliated, downtrodden, shamed. I know coz I have been there.
L: So...
J: Forgive him. I have forgiven you.
L: Easy for you to say.
J: Well, my strength is made sufficient in weakness. You can because I am.
L: Hmmm. But you know I'm a wretch. My life is a mess.
J: Like all 7 billion people alive. No one's life is perfect. No one is a saint. Many pretend to be, others act as revealed devils. Only in me are you not a mess.
L: How so?
J: My Father looks on the heart. Beyond cellulite and make up. Deep down all people long for Him. They miss Him when they turn to sex, drugs, wealth and accomplishment. They think those things last. They don't.
L: What does?
J: His love. I. The Length, breadth, height, depth, magnitude of His love never ends and you can spend the rest of your human life swimming in that.  See Desire, this is Love, that a man lay down his life for his friends. I did. And this is Love :

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I am love.

Love is not sex, the thrill it gives you into thinking you're loved. Come to me, I am love. Rest. Receive true love.

I don't know what happened after but I'm glad I overheard the conversation.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Two Men

In the beginning when God made man, He had made a garden in which there were two trees. One tree was that of the knowledge of good and evil, the other was that of life.

When man fell. He took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in his attempt to be like God. He forsook the life he lived by attempting to have life using his knowledge of good and evil.

The man was subsequently sent out of the garden and a flaming sword to keep him out put in place. To get in, you had to die.

The man had two sons - Abel and Cain. A time came when they brought gifts to God. One, knowing there was nothing in him that was good, gave the life of another - the firstling of his flock as a sacrifice. The other, gave out of his toil, the fruit of the ground. God rejected one and accepted the other, indicating life was not by our own toil and mind.

Later, we come to a man called Abram. He is later called Abraham. While Abram, he receives a promise of God but attempts to fulfil it in his own strength with a slave woman - Hagar and brings forth Ishmael. When he is Abraham, God gives him what He promised at a time when it is impossible for him to have children in his own strength. We see Isaac and Ishmael, the two men again - one of life (promise), one of labour of man.

We see two men - Abram and Abraham separated by a cross, one brought to his end to establish another's life.

We also see two men in two women - Sarai and Sarah, Hagar and Sarah. One living by promise, by the life of another, another living by toil and labour and self knowledge.

Later Isaac, has two sons - Esau and Jacob. It is important to note at one point God says "Jacob I loved, Esau I hated".

Esau, sold his birthright, for a morsel of bread. He was a hunter, ever on the prowl for things. Jacob, was always in the house ( a picture of a man dwelling/ abiding in God) and from this, he got the blessing. One lived by rest, another lived by strife.

Later, Jacob gets a new name - Israel after struggling with God  and being injured in the hip. He becomes lame and can only walk in picture assisted by God. We see the two men again.

Later on, we see the two men in David and Saul. One annointed chosen by God, another by people because of his own attributes.

We can go on and on and see pictures of these two men but they all point to the same image - Adam a  living soul, who could use strength, wisdom, understanding of his own to live (and who was rejected), and Christ, who is a picture of the life of God living who is accepted ("This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased).

When we come to the cross, there is a dividing. At the cross, all life finds death. However, those in Christ are regarded as the resurrected, those without, are still as dead. There are those living by the life of Christ, others by the life of Adam. The difference between the two of them is notable. One attains to self. The other to another. One produces death, another life. One is full of strife, another peace.

Not to be confused between wrong and right, because Adam knows both of these and tries to manufacture good in his own strength and avoid bad in his own strength. In Christ, Adam is dead, Christ is alive. He is the only one living.

In the end, in the sense of men - two exist. All we do is either of one or the other. Self or another. It applies to everything. There is nothing this does not touch in the view of God. In the end, he rejected Esau, Adam, Saul, etc all pictures and accepted one - who was the original plan of living, that we should live by His life and His alone.

In a sense Paul sums this up with this beautiful verse -

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Moving Portraits. Sacred secret stories.

She walked slowly; the clear lines in her small wrinkled hands holding on loosely to her yellow bag. From afar you'd never have noticed the shrinking hands shaking with every step she took.

Her yellow bag was small enough for her pink handkerchief and a roll of money she had counted as sufficient for the journey: One two thousand shilling note, one one thousand shilling note and a five hundred shilling coin.  Her eyes were looking down, avoiding the glares of the numerous young people in this part of town.

She used to be young. She remembered her quick feet when she was strolling with her girlfriends forty years ago. Loud conversation in the street, hoping they would be envied. And they were. Pretty sundresses with the summer hats and oversized sunglasses.

She looked up occasionally to see how far the gate was. Her watery eyes didn't look long. Her black lips mumbled a bit and then went mum.

I paused a while as I passed by her. What kept her going at her age?

The woman wasn't old. She was probably twenty-three, it was evident when she smiled. However when the smile faded and she had to shut up the three screaming children walking with her; boy of seven, girl of three, boy of two; you could have thought she was in her forties.

The eldest boy carried a nineties style Adidas tennis bag. There were rivulets of sweat coming down his brow, his face was oily, it was very hot. The bag was weighing him down however, he only seemed focussed on following his mom to the gate.

She had three children at twenty three. There was no man with her. He made the occasional cameo when he missed her, when he missed her brown skin. She could never say no. However, all the burden of looking after their children was hers. So today she would take them to their grandma.

I paused a while as I passed by her. Did she merely live as the day came or she looked forward to something.

Moving portraits. I encounter them each day. Usually my ear phones are plugged in, to try to drown out the questions and journeys in my mind when I see the faces , but the portraits shout at me. They force me out of my mind's skin into another's.

Moving portraits. Sacred secret stories.


Monday, October 27, 2014


Omughala bamweta Kalanguka,
Aye obulungi bwe bufuuse idirisa
Eritulaga ng'emitima gy'abantu
Bwegiri emikalangafu.

Benze okukutula esaati dhabwe
Nga ba Kabona bwebakola nga banyhiize,
Batukobye nti obulungi bukoma ku maiso
Nti tebweyongerayo kutuuka ku mutima.

Bakambuwaile, bawemwire, bawunze
Ekifaananyi kitabwire abantu emitwe.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Taxi users' key note address

We, of the taxis,
Who go to Usafi and New Park
Are not second grade graduates
Who have failed to make it in life.

We, of the taxis,
Who sit with the riff-raff of Downtown,
Are not failures of society
Rubbing shoulders with the mpuuta seller.

We, of the taxis,
Especially away from Ntinda route,
Are not the wretched of the Earth
Because we can't afford rent that side.

We, breathe normal grade air,
It's not packed in blue bottles
And topped in golden wrapping
Like the cool air you guys breathe.

We bathe water and put on sapatu,
It can be cold but it removes the smell
From the different citizens
We encounter while in those creaking taxis.

We even speak English and might own a smart phone,
Screen size 4 inches and a dual sim,
We are sorry we can't buy Samsung Notes
But we promise we have Picfare in our bags.

We of the taxis,
We honestly have lives,
It's just that the ends aren't meeting
Salary zeros are still five, business just picking up.

But no worries our good friends
Soon the ends will meet,
We shall drive the Ravs
And look condescendingly upon those other people
Who look at us while they sit in those taxis.