Thou Should Not Laugh At One’s Hustle.

If people really knew what a hustle can be. A real-life hustle on the streets; no job, no ‘connected relatives’, no cents for a meal but just you against the odds then they wouldn’t be laughing at this picture. Waking up to go out and hope lady luck shines on you that day. Living each day as it comes. Survival!

This photo was posted on Facebook where people found a lot of amusement in it & cracked all sorts of jokes about it. I don’t know whether it’s his fault to end up like this (hopefully not) but I think the people who laughed at this boy wherever they are, are living too lit a life, they don’t know what the hustle part of life really feels like. The dude doesn’t look like he was living a life on the beach, does he?

When you can’t even afford to find a building to get into to hide from the rain, can’t afford a car to board so that by the time it reaches your destination, it’s stopped raining nor do you have a relative or even a friend with an office where you can casually stroll in to shelter from the rain. You can’t just enter a Kampala restaurant & sit without ordering a soda because then, your transport money will be gone. Imagine walking home on mud-filled roads, cold bitten. That kind of situation where your last resort is to drop all your swag & prop yourself up a phone booth to shelter from the rain.

That is a real hustle life and people who found amusement in this picture, may God give them all they desire because I am not sure what they would do to their lives if tables turned.  

The hustle is real out here in case y’all ain’t opened your eyes wide enough to see it you privileged homo sapiens. Such situations are things we don’t laugh about it. Periodt.

Day 9 of The Afrobloggers #Winterabc2021 Gender-Based Violence. How We Can Stop It.

Gender-Based Violence. We have created a hopeless situation by mistreating people majorly according to their sex/ gender, socially, emotionally, physically, and psychologically.

The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey revealed that up to 22% of women aged 15 to 49 in the country had experienced some form of sexual violence. The report also revealed that 13% of women aged 15 to 49 report experiencing sexual violence annually. This translates to more than 1 million women exposed to sexual violence every year in Uganda.
Combating gender-based violence is not something that one person could only do but as a pool of different entities because of its hydra-like embedment in society. you deal with one then the other keeps rearing its head. However, below, simplistically put are some of the ways we could combat GBV.

1. Teach humanity values in schools. Right from the onset, children should be taught the values of humanity. The importance of one another regardless of skin, sex, tribe, or gender. It could easily be taught in schools because some of the homes from where these children come are run by people who never got the chance to be made aware of these issues and still practice them as normal but if we invest in the younger generation, we are sure they will pass this knowledge and awareness to generations and generations.

2. Strengthen education/ social awareness. Relatedly, Education systems should be woven around eliminating gender norms and practices through plays, classroom sitting arrangements, activity allocations, education material genderisations like stories & colors among others. Through this, children would develop without attaching gender stereotypes on the different objects, stories like associating colour pink to girls, toy cars to boys etc.

3. Strengthen gender ministries and how they could foster the eradication of gender stereotypes in the public. This could be done through partnering with the different gender departments within the ministries to organize conferences, seminars, and other activities where they could reach out to the public and tell them of the different gender biases in society and how to fight them. They could also be used to reach out to the different government departments and teach them about gender and how it is a disease in society and ways of eradicating it so that these departments could be aware and try as hard in eliminating it when designing their projects.

4. Strengthen social inclusion projects especially for the women or groups facing gender inequalities in the respective spaces where they are participating especially in activities that further support their freedom of expression and social wellbeing.

5. Enforce the use of law and the justice systems so that when people bring these cases to light, they are strongly and immediately responded to and the corresponding punishments are felt worthy. So many vices stay around due to the justice system’s failure to remit the right punishments thus not offering grave convictions that perpetrators would fear facing as according to their crimes.

In conclusion, therefore, gender-based violence is a vice that we could uproot if we all come as one because of the way it is woven into the different tiers and systems of society. We need the efforts of individuals, families, institutions, communities, states & transnational blocks to triumph over this demeaning behavior.

Of Good Character, Rashida’s Qualities…Of A Perfect Partner

Sometime in 2020, during one of those (#MeToo campaigns), There was a social media topic about people’s characters. Commonly, such topics involve qualities one looks out for in a partner. Amongst a number of comments on a certain post I can’t seem to find anymore was a comment by Rashida Namulondo, a poet and actress. I was so captivated by a fellow creative’s comment that I had to capture it and reproduce it for the world to see how beautiful she described qualities of her potential partner.

So, below she said…

‘’People are not perfect!  It depends on what you are looking for. Personally I want a good person, be it a romantic relationship, work relationship or friend. This is how I know a good person that I want in my life.

  • How he treats people around him especially support staff like waiters and cleaners. How he treats colleagues under his supervisor and he is in a superior position than them. It’s very easy to see someone’s manners in these situations of power play.
  • How open is he to the fact that he’s still learning, and that other people’s opinions and perspective on life counts just like his? Basically, I can’t handle people who think they are better than others and have this ‘I am right’ attitude.
  • How does he handle conflict? Let’s say for example, he bumps into someone on the road. Does he accept blame or goes on cursing and denies blame. Now, I know even the best of people curse on Ugandan roads but there are people who go beyond. Also, is he the kind who can be able to take the courage to mend things whether it’s his fault or not?
  • Does he have a plan in life and is he working courageously towards it? If he has no plan, is he the kind committed and interested in learning? Does he seek to improve his skills and take an extra mile to learn new things and skills? I can’t handle people who don’t strive to grow and be better than they were yesterday.
  • Is he a grateful person? Does He acknowledge the mercy of God? The help of others who have helped him? Is he grateful and is he able to meaningfully acknowledge help?
  • Does he take feedback? Is he able to take feedback without turning you into a bad person for giving him negative feedback and does he strive to change?
  • How does he speak of people when they are not around? It’s okay to complain once in a while about someone who has wronged you at work etc. but constantly speaking evil of someone? Noo! Does he ever acknowledge the good things even the worst his enemies could have or has done for him in his life? What is his relationship with his relatives? Even the bad ones. 
  • Now being a nice person doesn’t mean to be a push over. Can he stand up for himself respectfully without insulting others? Does he have boundaries and non-negotiables? And can he tell me the truth every single day even if it hurts?
  • Finally, does he see me? Does he even notice I am there? How well does he know my dreams? My goals. My ambitions. (This question is key because it can only mean a person listens when you talk or even when you don’t.) I know people I hardly talk to but they can recite my dreams, my hopes, things that upset me and those that bring me joy off their lips. And there are those I am close to who even after so many conversations have no slightest idea about who I am, what I hope for, what angers me and what are my dreams.

A person who truly sees you. Knows your soul because they feel it. That is the one that truly cares about you.

NB. These may seem so many things but very often you will be surprised that a good person ticks off all these boxes.

Rashida Namulondo

Rashida is a Ugandan based actress, stage director, and award-winning poet. She is the founder of the Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for Change. A nonprofit organization that uses theatre for peace building.

On Provision In A Relationship

It is always a heated topic between both genders concerning money & how it should be handled. In many societies & relationships, the woman expects the man to foot everything financial. & so in most cases, one of the leading causes of relationship failures is financial understanding (or the lack of it) –provide what.

Views presented below are a collab by Shadray, the amazing Gelax Bolaji of https://gelaxchatroom.com from Nigeria & Irene Ahumuza https://www.facebook.com/irene.ahumuza of Uganda.

Many relationships have ended especially where the female feels like the man isn’t providing enough for her well-being in every sense of the compound word. I must firstly admit, a man should provide for his woman. The society and somewhere in the Bible (check 1 Timothy 5:8) have talked about this, and when such verses were discovered by women, damn, it’s been rubbed in our faces more than they rub avocado oil in their hair. However, I say that it’s upon the woman to understand the capacities in which her man can provide and be willing to support him where possible (Proverbs 14:1), but I am sure many missed that verse.

I’m sorry but why are women fighting for equal rights, equal pays and equal everything if they’ll still come back home and expect their man to pay for everything? Isn’t that hypocrisy? I read a twitter post from a Nigerian lesbian earlier this week stating that women shouldn’t split the bill on a date with men yet. In her opinion, women should wait until the world is equal before they start sharing the tabs. I thought it was absurd.

Rome surely wasn’t built in a day. Shall we wait until we have the full tuition for a child’s years in school before enrolling him/her to study? Certainly not!

The only problem these days is that many women have used that understanding to heap all their burdens on men as if they didn’t have a life before this man came into the picture. They come into the relationship hoping to earn a living out of it like it’s some of sort of employment to love a man. They trade love for money. Imagine paying someone to love you.

Courtesy of Gelax herself

If that’s the case, then women should have no problem being objectified. After all, the reason we spend our hard-earned money on things like luxury cars, gadgets and the likes is so they can serve and/or pleasure us. He who pays the Piper dedicates the tune. Or did I quote it wrongly?

My point is, just as an employer demands that his/her employee delivers according to the contract to earn their wages, women who trade love for money must be ready to keep their end of the bargain.

With a woman having the mentality that her money is hers alone & the man’s is theirs to ‘eat’, no wonder many have landed themselves men with some change to spare but who are quick to use it to fuck & dump them. (Sorry for the French, I am usually English.) But if at all she’s not comfortable with what the man can offer, then she should let it be known & walk away. Keeping around, wasting his time with false hope is a double damage.

It so happens that when the man runs out of funds, he resorts to bailing out of her life, leaving her to cater for the kid(s) by herself because she forgot to acknowledge that a relationship should be a mutual, romantic partnership & not a moneymaking venture. This is not to excuse such men for neglecting their responsibilities, but what do you expect of someone who you only chose to be your poverty eradication scheme or escape plan?

Such men can tell when a woman is only using them and that’s why they, in turn, use their money to get her into their bed just to eat her coochie and dump her. After all, it was an unspoken but well understood business transaction.

Personally, I have no problem with a man providing in a relationship because that’s how things have always been done & that’s what I’ve always told guys; invest in your relationship but it’s only wiser to invest in one where the lady is understanding & supportive. Otherwise, you’ll be crying foul that women are thieves.

However, if we are sticking to how things have always been done, then I’m sorry, but we won’t, can’t and shouldn’t expect any change. And as such, movements like the fight against inequality, racism, discrimination, the rights of the LGBTQIA, and even democracy should be rendered null and void. Don’t ask that men keep taking care of your bills while asking for equal pay. It just doesn’t add up!

Do you know there are girlfriends who expect and demand to be paid on a monthly basis for being… Oh well, girlfriend! And that doesn’t even stop them from requesting for funds to buy bone-straight hairs, red bottom shoes and Fenty beauty products. Eish!

Anyways, relationships have evolved greatly these days especially due to the stretch created by the financial situations. The days of our parents where a man used to marry a woman and keep her at home are long gone. These days women are working too and men are keen on knowing what the woman he wants to make a wife is doing before getting to the ring part. No room for excess, dependent baggage. That’s a C+ for change and I’m so here for it!

Irene, one of my friends whom I am trying to inspire into blogging, had this to say about the topic at hand, “Quite a piece. Do I believe that a relationship is a partnership? Yes hundred percent. But, I believe you can only partner with a person who wants you in their life, someone who sees you as an asset, someone that encourages your initiative, listens to your views, and if they are practical enough, puts them into practice. A man’s money can never be enough and no one can provide for your needs 100 percent. That’s why we as women have to work to complement our men”.

However, let’s not forget there are those men that want their wives to stay home, mind the kids, cook, clean, etc. Such men view their wives getting jobs as a threat to their marriage or relationship, often citing excuses such as other men hitting on her.

The truth is, there are some patriarchal princesses who are pretty cool with this arrangement and really, no one is judging them. I have a friend who just wants to marry a rich man, pop out a few babies, kick back and enjoy her husband’s riches. To each his own.

But such men will provide only the bare necessities while she stays at home growing old, bored & fat before he even realizes. When this happens he will jump out of the relationship or marriage & settle for a younger, hotter chic. Such men exist and as women we need to stay clear of them. Let’s choose partners that want to see us grow & prosper together. Let’s choose partners that encourage us, push us to be our best selves & want to work with us to see our progress together as a family. There is a lot I can write about this but from the financial point of view, this is it for now. Next time I will write about complimenting each other by encouraging & pushing for your partner to be better.

Special thanks to the ladies I worked with on this piece & please do check out their works on the links embedded in this post.

Live Within Your Means

Internet image

So, here’s the thing. You can’t be living the lit life on social media. Attending the craziest events & hanging out at the poshest joints & you expect people to think you’re broke? Why should they? It’s visually obvious you’re sending out the message that you made it in life. I mean, you’re attending events that many out there are wishing to attend but can’t afford to. What else do you want people to perceive of that?

With this illustrated lifestyle, everything about you is expected to be fast lane, boss. Rick Ross. Including accommodation. With the life you’re flaunting out there, we then expect that you probably crash at some posh villa with inbuilt facilities, Wi-Fi, poolside, inside bar or something. I mean, if you can afford to hang out lavishly then you can definitely afford to live in a well suited house. Mansion.

Where I am driving my point to is about a Ugandan social media frenzy about this lady who was put in a daily paper by her landlord for failure to pay rent amounting to about four million Uganda shillings. I posted something about it & someone asked me whether I knew her for me to judge & I actually don’t. It is too bad the landlord went as hard as putting her up in the papers. Insane it is but crazier are the guys who wanted to organize a car wash to help raise her rent. Seriously! These are the things that are moving us now? And then we blame the government for spending money on things like the three wheeled motorcycles? LOL. But why? Those things are a joke.

I would say, people have failed to grasp the basic knowledge of spending money/ resources & by our utter ignorance we’re seemingly ready to support it. By organizing a car wash fundraiser for an apparent slay queen who failed to raise rent but can afford expensive weaves & outings.

For starters, people should learn to live within their means. If you have a job that pays you a basic 500k for example then why stay in a house that charges about 400k? How are you going to survive on the remaining 100k for a full month unless if you get free lunch & supper at your work place & it pays your power, water bills plus facilitating your transportation? Is that why some girls open brackets to survive? How are you going to save for future projects if your dream is to get wealthy legally & morally off your sweat & yet it’s some of these virtues that you’re clearly not in line with? If you’re one whose source of income is not big enough to support your lifestyle, I’d suggest you get a basic house in a basic area, keep friends that you’re able to run to in case life is not smiling your way. People you can confide in when you’re troubled & they can offer you help. Usually the people in your phone-book/ social circle are an indication of who you’re as a person. If you don’t have people who can bail you out when life is throwing Muhammad Ali punches at you then you may definitely be in need of a new set of friends.

Sometimes we do the mistake of feeding our wants & not our needs. Of following a lot of that which glitters thinking it’s all gold. Of trying so much to keep appearances instead of focusing on personal development & inner peace. Of thinking with our eyes & not the brain. Shallow. Someone told me not to judge but naturally, humans will judge first on how you appear or what image you decide to show.

Part of my anger comes from an interaction I had with someone of quite a similar type. She’s this girl who is always uploading twerking videos in groupie moments at posh joints. Her belly out, skirt short, beer glass in one hand, voice high, crop top & ass to the camera or dubbing her girls. She in boxed me one time after I don’t know how many years and without even settling into knowing how our lives have been since we last met in 2014 which should be common courtesy, she was asking me for money for some campus issue. This is someone I think finished campus about 3 years ago & when I told her I couldn’t help her, the conversation proceeded not any further. A few days later, she was at the morally controversial Nyege Nyege Festival. I was vexed.  Even if your argument may be that she might have saved for the festival, wouldn’t it seem more logical if she instead used that money to cater for her education needs than a senseless festival? Like as if it’s the festival that’s going to get her a job (unless of course if she sleeps with the right people there.)