Day 7: #7yto40, the day i got attacked by a frisbee

I was ready to wax poetic. I was ready to get into some deep reflective jazz about life and all of it’s lessons. I was ready to start this off in a way that rivaled anything I have ever written. However, as in most of the things in my life, God went, “psht! why sooooo serious?!” and then, there, in the midst of my life – I became a frisbee magnet. A frisbee magnet.

Grab your chai mukalu with tea masala and let me narrate this story.

I woke up at 5:45am on the dot (what?!? I said I was going to narrate the story, why not start at the very beginning, a very good place to start). It is 5am and I am excited. I’m going to get an early start to my day so I smile up at heaven and ask God to speak a blessing over me. A blessing over my day that I already know is going to be amazing. I dress up, grab my lunch and am out the door by 6.20ish.

The air outside carried a little chill in it, but it was nothing that would classify itself as cold cold. You know? Bus comes along, it is one of the long ones so that means plenty of seating options. I get one that I’m normally partial to and am on campus in no time. I make a bee line to the cycling studio, shout out to Joan M Kiyingi, your influence in my life still continues. I’m listening to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Switch on Your Brain as I trudge through the kilometers, wondering if today I will ride my furthest. I didn’t. The workout was awesome regardless.

The day carries on, like a soothing orchestra. From breakfast, to class, to meetings, the entire harmony pleasing to listen to. Afternoon arrives and I need to dash across campus to run an errand for a friend. The weather outside is delightful, I leave my jacket and choose instead my old trusty shawl (you know, the one Aine detests. I smile at the memory).

I’m outside. Campus is buzz with excitement. The weather is changing so there are shorts everywhere (it hasn’t changed that much for me yet). I’m enjoying it. The sense of freedom from winter and clothing baggage, the sense of new beginnings. Caroline is reading out the summary of lessons from chapter two in my headphones.

I see him running. He is in my periphery. Not today, I tell myself. Today, I will not be paranoid about being an object magnet, besides, there isn’t a volleyball in sight. He runs back throws a colored object towards a friend further off. I’m glancing at a hammock they have strung up between the trees. Someone brought speakers, I want to say boombox because it sounds cool but let me stick to speakers. They are playing music and I think I know the song. I should walk around campus more. Actually, I should really be listening to Caroline but my eyes wont submit to my ears, they want to see everything and take it all in.

One of his friends throws the thing toward him, he see him running, he is to my right now… but like I said, not today. I figure, if I stop and stand still, it will give him time to grab the object without crashing into me. It will likely fall behind me. I think to myself.

It was indeed, today.
Today was the day that saying “not today” would not work.

There were 3 points of impact.
My headphones. My clavicle. My neck.

It hit my neck.
My neck.
There are blood vessels in my neck.
Blood vessels on missions to and from my brain.
Blood vessels.

The numbing sensation was immediate. Everything within me clenched. The runner is now asking, are you okay. The only thing I heard myself say was AAAAOOOWWWWW (The English translation of this is ouch). At this point, I think he realises it didn’t lightly bounce off my headphones and he is asking where did it hit you. I see my left index finger point to the right side of my neck. Immediate concern erupts across all their faces, profuse apologizing begins.

My brain on the other hand is choking.

A frisbee hit you. It didn’t target your medulla oblongata (in the Ugandan sense of the term), it targeted your neck. As if a karate chop. I mean. What? How? Are you a sloth? Were you in zootopia? How fast was it going that you couldn’t implement years of kwepena practice?  Also were you walking with your neck out?

Now, because of this internal dialogue, there is a smile on my face. As in I’m in pain but I’m also smiling at these people who are apologizing. I reassure them that I’m okay with the smile now hurting my cheeks. While I’m walking away, my brain begins to change gears.

sooooo, you know there are vessels in your neck, you should prolly go to the clinic before you drop dead. Kyoka, you cannot even list any descendants and you are here walking with your neck out lege lege. Unbelievable. 

The smile is still on my face when I walk into the bank. When I text my friend with the details the banker provided. It is still on my face when I walk into the clinic. Even when the nurse asks, how can I help you today, I am still smiling. I tell her the story and she checks checks and says there are no obvious signs of something something haematoma.

My brain is now going,

You, your neck and frisbee have entered into a CSI movie.

She sympathizes with the entire episodes gives me stuff for the pain and tells me what to look out for and I’m on my way but the smile. It is STILL on my face.

On my way back to my lab, I walk by a shrub. The shrub that was to be the inspiration of the original day 7 post and now, I just burst out laughing…

Ah! This life!
You know when you have plans, well-thought-out-plans, that you hold on to in tightly clenched fists and then…

An encounter with a heat seeking frisbee…

Ps: Oh.. and the chapter two summary read out by Caroline started with
… You can control your reaction, you have a choice


Photo by Habila Mazawaje on Unsplash

My Neve’r’nder… #CelebratingNevender

I am beside myself, lost in an overwhelming sense of grief. Since I heard, I’ve had brief moments of sanity that last no longer than a few minutes then disintegrate back into loss and disbelief.

All it took were three messages, three messages that propelled me from a lazy Sunday morning (debating on whether to go to Church or do homework) to a state of numbness with intermittent clouds of sanity. I rushed to the UGBloggers group and there was nothing there about this news, so perhaps these people were wrong. Patricia wasn’t among the three, so surely there had been some form of miscommunication. We had our group, the three of us. A group that was initiated by the fact that some agency would not pay us for the work we had done and we needed coordinated strategies on how to communicate with them – You were the more diplomatic of the three of us. We called it TeamReview. A group that later turned into a place where we could quickly check-in with each other. TeamReview had nothing about this news – I rushed to ask Patricia but she was only finding out herself.

You were gone.

This wasn’t a crisis that you were going to recover from. There wasn’t a message looking for volunteers to help cover the event because you were not feeling well.

This time, you were gone.

Gone for good.

I am still having a hard time processing this (whatever processing is supposed to mean). I know that 60% of my tears are selfish, in the fact that I cannot believe I will not see you when I come home, I cannot believe we are not going to have a tea date. I cannot believe that you are not going to post anything on TeamReview.

On my birthday last year, you bought me a copy of Flame and Song! You knew I would love it… You got my weird taste in literature and always encouraged it. You told me to get Kintu, and I wasn’t having it – then Jackee gifted me a copy when I started my writing journey and I fell in absolute love with that book. Tail between my legs, I returned back to you with my verdict and had that I-told-you-so look all over your face.

I usually say we met back when blogging was the dope in-thing – complete with awesome pseudonyms. Yours was Nevender but for some reason, there were those (I may have been among the ‘those’) that added the ‘r’ and boy did it irk you royally! Almost like how Rogue King would sometimes be called Rouge King, and he never liked it either. I remembered your reaction and for the gentle soul in you, I couldn’t see you being annoyed over this, so the name stuck for me.

I later found out that we were both at Nakasero Primary School, class of ’97. The ones who prided themselves in the fact that we studied with the years – Lol! I realise that this is such a Ugandan thing to say. So the truth is, we were always meant to be in each other’s radar.

I fought with you constantly in those early blogger years – Looking back, I blame the momentary disease called ‘the-twenties‘. Even still, you were steadfast in our friendship – the solid one who held onto his beliefs no matter what was going on around you. I became your review board, you shared your graphics with me and I’d give you my rather novice-biased opinion at the time. I just scrolled back to our earliest emails, there are some horrendously atrocious designs in there – from banners I made about your thoughts, to BlogBpirit banners to UBHH banners. You won’t mind if I share some, would you?

When you were changing your website template, I was once again on the review board, and the first design would always be a “hmmm… this is not working” and we would work through why together. Basic Family, when it was just starting out and you told me about it, we looked over what the logo would look like, t-shirts.

Similarly, you encouraged me on my writing journey. I remember confiding in you about taking Jackee’s class and you telling me to go for it. The book reviews I got, I was trying so hard to write like you and I was failing miserably. At one point, I sent you an IM in distress… this review thing is terrible, I lamented. You said to use my own style, not to try and mimic you. You told me to be authentic and find my own voice. And I did, and you said that you like my review-style, which for me was the highest form of praise.

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This year did not start out great for me, and I remember posting in TeamReview and you reaching out after the fact – kindda like a followup conversation, but I wasn’t ready to talk so I actively avoided you. You wouldn’t have it, because I opened my eMail and there was a message from you. So I deflected to how you are and how you are holding up. You told us you were losing strength, and we would not have it. Not our Joel, so I got even more serious about praying harder for you – because for me that is my default. Let’s pray for a miracle, let’s pray for these crisises to stop, strength – anything rather than the thought of losing you.

There was a different plan already in motion…

We’ve talked about a lot of things over the years, from faith to music to literature to relationships to the trending twitter wars. We have spurred on some of them and shared frustrations about some of them. There is so much I want to write, but I’m 1 word shy of the 1500 mark and I remember having a ‘serious’ discussion with you about the length of your posts. I know that you always read my blogs, some days you were the only comment I got (You knew about my obsession with analytics).

This is going to be the first one you will not read.

We were supposed to write my memoir together. Now who is going to help me? You were always one step ahead of me, though. I did not know about Pumpkin Soup, I am not sure why – or maybe you told me and in the story that is my life I did not hear you say it.

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You wrote that. Why would you write that? If I’d read that, I’d have berated you for writing that! I’m going to miss you so much, Joel! I should be saying RIP, I cannot believe I’m writing that, but I can’t. I cannot physically bring myself to say those words out loud.

I had a dream about you, Joel. You were so happy in this dream. So happy I could feel it, you were working with someone famous – I knew who it was in the dream, but wouldn’t figure it out when I woke up. We had each been having a crappy month, so finally something good, even if it was just a dream. I rushed to tell you guys and you both told me to remember who the person was, but I just laughed it off.

I sat at the front of Church today, I wanted to stare God in the face and ask why? Every single song sounded like you saying bye to me, Joel. So of course I cried my-way through the first half hour. After Church, I half walked half cried my way around Oakland, and walked straight into another Church. A catholic one, this time, I just sat at the back and just sat there – lost. I just needed time. Time process – there is that word again… I knew if I went home, it would be real (indeed I got home and couldn’t speak, just cried even more in Judith’s arms). After the service, I lit a candle for you. I looked for the tallest one, it looked new, I hope the flame won’t get blown out. Just like your flame will not burn out in my heart.

They say that time heals all wounds, but what they really mean is that soon, you will forget and forgetting is the band-aide to heartache. I cry because while this a reality of life, I do not want to forget you. I do not want to forget your laugh. I do not want to forget your voice.

In many ways, you were my counsel and support. Your ear was never far and your heart always attentive to what I was saying or trying not to say. You were both sensitive and attentive to those that were around you. Your wisdom and conversation always widened my perspective. Your essence always a calm wind to the turmoil that I would bring to the table.

Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa, my Neve’r’nder.
You are gone.


Photo Credits: Mostly Facebook/Twitter.

Funeral Arrangements are in the graphic below and details on where/how to send mabugo.

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just another dandelion #UGBlogWeek

I’ve been counting down the hours to this meeting. I’m calling it that because using the word date would make my heart beat a lot faster than it should. I’m getting chills even thinking about it.

He has been on my mind since that day in class, that day I turned and I looked at him. He was no longer just another classmate that I took no notice of. No. Looking at him then, he was a such the fox whose wool had fallen off. After that, every single glance elicited the dimple that has been kept hidden from the audience of the masses. I’m shocked at how long we have been in close contact and I have all but given him a once over. Talk about time wasted.

I’m here now. Seated in the Cafe. 2 hours early. Bidding time. You are rolling your eyes because you think I am desperate, don’t you? No. I am not desperate. I am just punctual. I detest being late especially to something that I have clearly been looking forward to. I mean really, why act fashionably late – keyword being act.

I glance at the clock in the cafe, it’s 1.50 minutes left. I should probably order something as I wait. God knows it might make the time go faster. I’m at the cafe adjacent to the cafe we agreed to meet at. Did you really think I’d be seated at the venue for 2 hours, come on! No. I plan to be at the venue at 2 sharp. 2pm will find me walking in, smelling fresh and smiling sweet.

Window shop. That’s what I need. I weave my way through Woolworths and Mr. Price, calling on my temperamental accent (half English-half Kenyan accent) whenever I needed to act like I’m important enough to shop in these spots. Yeah, some facades are real!

I bump into a friend as I cross the mall, now headed to Aristoc, to hide in one of its corners with a good book that I cannot afford. She is looking at me with that glance. The one that says, I am trying not to feel sorry for you in your single state. You see, we used to be tight – through out vacation and campus, we were as thick as thieves, but now she is married with twins and I’m just here crushing on a twin.


Sigh! Who names their child Jared? Okay. Let me clarify that statement, which Ugandan names their child Jared? A Ugandan parent with a vision, that’s who! Goodness! I’m smiling just thinking about his name.

I hand the guard my helmet and look out for The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives, I find a comfortable seat and set my alarm before I start the book. I know myself, when I get lost in a good book, dusk and dawn roll into one.

I turn to the first page when it happens. I catch a whiff of a cologne that has kept me up for several nights. Some men just know how to pick the right cologne. I choose to ignore, after all, my mind is made up – Jared and I will become the real deal.

The scent is getting stronger and my concentration is fleeing. Mr. Scent smells like he is walking toward me, Dear God don’t let him sit here! I cannot cheat on Jared.


The world stops. A prickly sensation attacks my underarms, which normally means this is the onset of patched sweaty underarms.

Control yourself WOMAN! My brain admonishes the rest of me in a very strong tone.

I look up and the hallelujah chorus is coursing through my veins. Cupid had drawn back his bow and his arrow had hit it’s target.

Jared? No way! 

My voice sounded surprisingly more controlled than my fingers showed.

I got here a little earlier and decided to spend time trolling books in Aristoc. You know hiding the ones I really want but cannot afford.

He does what? Could the universe be more specific – I do exactly the same thing!! My eyes seem to have given away my reaction because he has raised his hand to him mouth.

I probably shouldn’t have said that, you probably think I’m weird, he says while doing the African blush.

I laugh and say, weird is good. What? Did you really think I was going to let him know I do the exact same thing. Nah bruh, sometimes games are good and no, I am not being a hypocrite. Why am I explaining myself anyway, this is my story. I discretely turn off my alarm as we head to the cafe together.

We walk to the Bistro together, because face it – Bistro is where all magical connections begin. Well, at least the magical connections in my head.

His hair is cut just right and his eyes do that squint thing that I find so adorable. He smiles starts from the right side of his mouth and a shadow of a dimple is formed on his right cheek. His cologne is still driving me crazy but I like this kind of crazy. I’m watching him from the corner of my eye, committing everything to memory like that git commit command.

We are seated inside and the waiter brings the menu, I already know what I’m going to have. A. Tall. Drink. Of. Water. He orders an expresso and I go for the lemon-ginger honey tea. I’d rather have a milkshake but milk and my tummy, not for a first meeting.

We talk about the weather, current affairs, even the parking situation in Kampala. In my mind, I’m ticking imaginary radio buttons, going check. We have rapport – check. He scent is absolutely intoxicating – check. He doesn’t speak in the dis-dah-do-dem-dey – check.

Silence. Gosh, We are silent. He is looking at me intently. Crap! Did he ask something and I wasn’t paying attention?

Sheepishly, I admit that my mind wandered off, and ask him what he just said.

Will you do our website?

I’m sorry what? Reality beginning to dawn on me

The reason I wanted to meet with you was to ask if you would do our website. We have seen some of the sites you work on and my friends and I think you would make our project website really ridiculously good.


This is part one in the dandelion series.

Dandelions or Satan’s Jajja as I used to call them in primary school are beautiful and almost have a certain ethereal quality. This, however, does not take away the reality that they are weeds, plain and simple.

I am not yet sure where this story is heading but I hope you enjoy this journey discovery with me.

day one: green does not define murky

There was no signage outside the gate and following the car ahead of us seemed like a good idea. Why wouldn’t a Beach House put a nice big sign post outside it’s gate, why isn’t signage something that is important to people of this country.

So I hop out of the cab and go talking to the bystander, who happened to be standing in the middle of the parking just staring at people who were driving into the parking – this seems to be another thing that we are good at, staring at people – random standing around and staring… Anyway, he confirms that it is actually the beach house and I desist from asking why the management did not put signs outside the gate.

My next order of business was looking into the lavatory facilities, after the night that I had, I am hardly sure if I have any lower intestine left. I zipped open my backpack and tried to discretely roll out an acceptable amount of toilet paper without getting any raised eyebrows from staring bystanders.

The place looked a little deserted save for three gentlemen by the bar, who looked like they were attempting to recover from the forays of the previous night. I spotted a young responsible gentleman already hard at work, doing what seemed like raking soil off the ground. He pointed me to the direction of the toilets at about the same time I heard a rumble.

I quickly shuffled along in the direction, mentally ordering all muscles responsible to tighten until I get to the destination. After a quick assessment of all four stalls and quickly establishing that the locks on the doors were effective, I quickly discover that the rumble was a false alarm. No manner of mental coaxing was working either; whatever was inside was determined not to come out. The worry came back, like the floodgates that rained over Noah, how exactly was I supposed to survive a sixty-minute boat ride with a poisoned temperamental tummy? I walked out of the stall and headed to the slightly dilapidated sink thinking, I might leave this place with more than an upset stomach.

I walked back to the car pleading with my tummy to behave, praying and speaking healing over her.


Sounded like Helen, my one of my close friends from high school. She is back in the country now but we haven’t met in over a year. It’s almost like when we are in the same country, communication gets so much harder.

‘Are you here for the retreat?’

The voice was coming from the car we had followed in. Would have been another story all together if they were headed home and we chose to follow them assuming that they were headed to the same place that we were.

I smiled and nodded my head. Maria was her name, and it turns out we had met before this – her name on the eMail chain did seem familiar but I was too lazy to search through the mental archive of memories. We chatted for a little bit before I got back to the car, thinking to myself – hashtag try social. For an introverted introvert, the next four days are going to be some form of interesting. I do not particularly like being social – there I said it. People are bound to let you down, irritate you or get on your nerves in ways that make your eyebrow tick involuntarily. New things, Lynn, remember New things for 2016.

Jackee rolled in shortly afterward, such a bundle of energy, passion and joy. It felt nice being around such positive energy. Young energetic man showed up, lifting our bags onto his shoulders, like Popeye would have after a can of Spinach. We followed him onto the wooden rickety platform – okay, maybe the rickety was just in my head. The air had a funny stench that surrounded it. There was a scent of fish and something else that I couldn’t really put my finger one. Something stale. The water looked green and thick, would probably have been sticky if I had been brave enough to put my fingers in it. Green and thick but not the thick thick, the thick that forms as a result of form coming together. Like in the bath tub when you are rinsing your glorious African fro and the no-sulfate shampoo form curdles around the drainage. Perhaps this is the definition of murky, I wouldn’t know.

A couple said farewell to each other and I thought to myself, ‘Goals – these are relationship goals right here’. We had found him talking to the boatman, ensuring that the lad knew his craft and that his wife was in safe hands. In a way, this worked out for all of us, since we were travelling with Catherine – his wife.

I had to switch seats with Zahara, our uber talented photographer, which put me behind the Godfrey, our boatman. I was fine with this until I realised that he wasn’t going to sit at any point of the ride. Why had I assumed that he would sit, assumptions are never good.

On the random off chance that he had had the same night that I had had, and if by some quirk of fate farting had been his portion for that morning, I would have been one unhappy camper – or rather sailor.

As we sped off into the lake, I was reminded of another time, another place, another city, where I’d used a speedboat for the first time. Sure enough, in a manner that displayed our reaction to the finer things in life, we took selfies and posed in flow with the wind, trying to create our own titanic scenes. However, that would not be the case here – here I was to reign in all form or madness and conform to the pattern of professional creativity. As I listened to the conversation around me, I noticed that there were moments when the boat wasn’t touching the water. No – seriously. The boat was in the air every couple of seconds, I have no idea if this is how a speedboat is supposed to work but all I know is that we would make waves and then no waves; waves and then no waves. Much like the ways of life, there are days when making waves is all you do and then other seasons, you are nothing but another plastic inverted jerrycan floating in the middle of the great Nalubaale.

One minute away from our destination, Go presented to us the equator. All of a sudden it made sense why there was a campus on board. Being situated directly behind him, I’d wondered why he was turning where he was or forever taking lefts – it’s not like there are signposts on the lake saying turn here or two lanes ahead.

After a brief explanation of the lands on either side of us, I was particularly shocked at how close we were to Entebbe – I kept thinking how this would make for an excellent political thriller. As we turned toward our destination, it suddenly dawned on me – My temperamental upset stomach had been kind to me. No random involuntary reactions that would have caused a smelly scene. No need to ‘park’ the boat and have everyone look one-way as nature demanded attention.

As I staggered out of the boat, breathing a prayer of thanks before I realise that my vindictive little tummy had heard me and her response was a grumble that led to the instinctive clenching of my sphincter muscles.

As my fellow travellers stretched and congratulated themselves on getting to the island without incident – a cold sweat broke on my brow as I realised, said incident was about to happen.


All photos credited to Zahara Abdul/SuccessSparkBrand. 

For more information about the retreat, visit this website. If you are not too sure about the retreat, sign up for the one day novel writing master class (yes, I’ve attended this one as well…)

day four: the dawning of normalcy

I stood outside among the purple and pink flowers. I have seen these flowers before – when we were younger, there were shrubs and shrubs of them. I wonder about the proverbial green thumb that seems to have disappeared with my parent’s generation.


I watched as a bumblebee hopped from one flower to the next. I wondered if the taste of morning pollen was sweeter than afternoon pollen. I wondered if flowers were early risers or if whether they dreaded the fleeting embrace of the early morning mist.

It was my last day on the Island.

Like a fearful turtle or distressed snail about to be served up in some exotic cuisine, I slowly retreated into myself. The harsh brutality of normalcy was about to hit me hard.


I listened to the lake and heard her hurried nature: Nalubbale’s waves were crashing into each other in a desperate attempt to get to shore. Or was it the wind’s fault, acting like a worn-out mother shooing her tardy children out the door?

This was my last day on the Island.

We came to the Island to unleash our writing potential (No seriously, it was on the flyer), we came to learn and unlearn some things; we came to learn to be authentic and vulnerable. We came because we felt our stories were so intricately weaved in the depth of our souls and we were desperate to get them out.


Did we do any of these things, you ask? Were we all not told by those adorned in black-and-white wielding bamboo sticks, that talent couldn’t be taught? We either possessed the genes of the great or only aspire to be said great. A smile pasted her self on my face as read through this – these black and whites should have met Jackee.


Jackee Batanda – to be exact.

She is the personification that dynamite comes in small packages – A bundle of energy, passion and infectious laughter. In spite of her obvious years of experience and training, she did not belittle some of my outrageous expectations. Hashtag, my dreams are valid.

Her company, SuccessSpark Brand runs a four-day writing retreat. Four days packed with learning best practices, structure, editing with just a hint of publishing. We listened to each other’s work and marvelled at the distinct style that each of us brought to the table. We had one-on-one sessions with the facilitators – talking through our expectations and our goals beyond the retreat.


Today was my last day on the Island.

That Alex and his team were up to it again, the sweet aroma of freshly baked cupcakes was making my waistline flatline. Team Alex saw to it that the definition of culinary delight would soon take on new meaning for each of us.

I am guilty of slightly over indulging my imagination as we went on a nature walk one evening. Yes, I imagined the ghost kings of Safari ant colonies past, terrorising us as we loudly made our way through. We laughed so uncontrollably that when we came to the next colony on our path, jumping over them was dangerously hard.


Solitude. Therapeutic. Serenity.

These are the words that would aptly describe my experience.


And yet like an expectant mother being handed her baby in the theatre, came the dawning realisation that my child was here. I have always loved writing and now, I didn’t have to do it alone. After all, it takes a village, doesn’t it?

Which makes me wonder, will you be part of the village? Will I see you, at the next SuccessSparkBrand Writing retreat?


All photos credited to Zahara Abdul/SuccessSparkBrand. 

For more information about the retreat, visit this website. If you are not too sure about the retreat, sign up for the one day novel writing master class (yes, I’ve attended this one as well…)


She meandered her way to the back of the dark room, muttering to herself. She needed to remind him to pay for solar, their payment run out 4 weeks ago – she couldn’t bear the darkness anymore.

She knelt on the floor and started reaching for where she had placed it. Maybe a window will do, she thought to herself. If we cannot afford light, at least nature would be useful. She found the handkerchief bundle near the mattress that was their poor excuse for a bed.

She sighed as she unwrapped it, careful not to let any of the coins roll out. She wasn’t about to start looking for coins in the dark. Candles. That is what they should resort to for now, as they look for more payment for solar.

Abaye, ka balance kabuzze?

She cursed under her breath as the mould on the bed whimpered. Putting her three week-old child to sleep took all the energy that she could muster. She waited a few minutes to see that the baby was truly asleep and also to smite the idiot who was yelling like he owned the place.

She counted five coins and the idiot walked away with his cigarette.

She turned to sit on the wooden stool by the stall, she liked the colours of the stool – yellow, red and blue. She had bought it from one of the hawker-women. She hadn’t seen them around lately, maybe the local council officials finally caught up with them, she mused.

Across the road, a dark blue pick-up was coming down the slope. A dark blue pick-up that looked strangely familiar

The memories hit her all at once and darkness gripped her chest…. The morning it had rained hard – that rain should have been an omen. A sign that nothing good would come out of venturing out when nature insisted that you stay in.

In their usual nature, the car drivers were in a spectacular hurry. Splashing water on anything and everything that was in their way. She watched him leave and yelled out that he should pay the solar before evening. The mobile money network normally had issues in the evening.

Nankya, the human siren, came knocking at lunch time. Wailing as loud as her voice could carry and beating her breast. The blood rushed to her ears almost as if in selfdefense, trying to ward off whatever doom Nankya brought with her. Distraught and incoherent muttering, was all could hear. She was beginning to lose her patience and demanded Nankya speak clearly or leave her house.

Affudde…. Kakande, affudde!

She refused to believe it. They took her to the mortuary. The dark blue pickup that brought him was still there. The blood on it’s floor now slowly dripping onto the tarmac. His friends were all there. None of them daring to make eye contact with her.

A sharp pain like never before shot through her body making her buckle to the ground. Her arms gripped her protruding belly and she let out a guttural scream. They all rushed to her, trying to be soothing, trying to lift her from the tarmac, trying to get her out of his blood.

She was inconsolable.

Four weeks later, her mind still played tricks on her, she refused to believe that he was gone.

It didn’t help that they were not clear on what had happened.
It didn’t help that she had heard the whispers at the lumbe.
It didn’t help that they all assumed he was to blame because of his trade.

Just because he was a Boda Boda rider.


Boda Bodas.

They are the well known ‘menace’ that almost everyone loves to hate. We need them when we are in a hurry, when we want to beat traffic. Occasionally, we shall even demand that they go faster.

Said Boda Bodas are also one of the leading contributors to the casualty ward at the National Referral Hospital.

Since they are who we have chosen to take the blame for road accidents, we hardly ever think of them as being the victim. We hardly ever think that maybe they had a family. We hardly ever think that maybe, just maybe they were not in the wrong. Maybe the driver in the car miscalculated the turn; Maybe the driver in the car just plain scoffs at giving Bodas way; Maybe the driver of the car was in a Range Rover; Maybe the driver in the car was on Whatsapp… 

We need an attitude shift.
We need to all learn to respect each other on the road.
We need to remember that all our lives matter.

Uganda needs all of us to contribute to her well-being.


The edge of the bin

tell me,
am i wicked?

is it my recklessness that you shun?
is it my wickedness that makes me so unbecoming?

tell me,
am i wicked?

does the stench i exude alert you of my presence?
does my aura reek of rot and despair?

won’t you tell me,
am i wicked?

for my cravings have found themselves at the bottom pile of your priorities.
priorities? why must i continue in this naivety?
for even priorities, have some esteem attached to them.

no. my cravings have found themselves torn and crumbled,
tossed over your shoulder.

for a second, they teeter – on the edge of the bin,
almost as if – in one final desperate attempt to refuse their fate,
but even a second comes to an end,
dejected, the fall…

to where they belong.
to where they must remain.

tell me,
am i wicked?


Inspired by:

…but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.
– Prov 10:3

For the love of Calvin & Hobbes…contact

** Images source: Google Images