change

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“If everything you think you know
Makes your life unbearable
Would you change?
Would you change?
If you’d broken every rule and vow
And hard times come to bring you down
Would you change?
Would you change?”

Change, Tracy Chapman

some days more than others, you need to ask yourself hard questions. you need to realise that you might not like the answers but still have the grace to sit through the conversation with yourself. it’s how we progress. sometimes we are at war only with ourselves. we want things that don’t us. we are with people we don’t want to be with. we are doing things we don’t want to do. we are amplifying things we are not sure we believe in.

and sometimes, it’s simply because we don’t like the uncertainty of change. we are not brave enough to do the things we know deep down are what’s right for us. we don’t want to be any different from the person we were yesterday. it’s too uncomfortable. it upsets. but baby, it’s got to be done. it’s got to be done.

“Are you so upright you can’t be bent?
If it comes to blows,
are you so sure you won’t be crawling?
If not for the good, why risk falling?
Why risk falling?”

-Change, Tracy Chapman

do you like the person you have become? it’s okay, you are getting there. you are getting there. but what’s got to be done has to be done. if it will make you sleep at night with no regrets, it might be be brutal but, it has to be done.

do you like the person you have become?

 

Life Hack: How to survive as a Bibliophile in this Economy

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Life is hard when you have expensive hobbies, innit?  But thankfully, reading is not. Or so you would expect except this economy won’t let us prosper. Yes, we are not broke, it’s just the economy that is not in favor of our financial resources. Sigh. If you are one of those, and not just a recovering spendthrift, then I come bearing good news. No, it’s not about a miracle baby.

I mean, are you one of those people who like to walk through bookstores and ogle at books for hours on end and end up leaving with only one book or nothing because economy? Is your TBR list always overflowing instead of the proverbial cup in front of your enemies (in which case this would mean the people who have read more than half of your TBR. Yes, how dare they when you haven’t😒). Or is it that you always find yourself choosing to buy raspberry cheese cake and milkshakes so by the time you think of getting the books you want puts you in a position of walking the rest of the month? Bbz, I gatchu.

So here’s the thing, we have to enjoy this life even as the economy is not on our side, right? Right. I guess the first suggestion here should be; download the damn eBook apps. I know, I know. We all prefer paperback but tell that to the economy. They are cheaper except for BOAT(if you know what this is, can we be friends please?) which is the same price as the paperback. Just wow. (P.S: Books by African authors on Okada Books)

The most obvious way to deal with this our economy should be borrowing. Ahem. But lending books is hard. You know, it probably won’t return in the same condition, if at all.

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So how to deal with this, earn trust. I dunno how. Read an inspirational book on that or something. But then, the most effective way to do this is actually exchanging books. And not just taking. So er…you gots to have some of your own bbz. Haha, talk about that with your financial advisor but I recommend adding at least one book a month to your leverage.

Also, make friends with bibliophiles. They always know how to get the books to you or know of good deals. Oh, book clubs. You’ll find some there. Or on bookstagram. Or Good Reads. Or Litsy. Whatever.

Anyway, we all know that’s gibberish. The most important thing to do in this economy is to find a glucose guardian. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get one but if you know, please share😭.

But  if none of the above works, play Sudoku.(I feel like I can write an inspirational book now hihi)

 

 

 

Book Review: Kintu

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I didn’t really think my first post for the #UgBlogWeek would be a book review but I’m all about that ‘Hype your writers like you do your rappers‘ life. So here goes nothing.

The question for the person who has not read this book is whether it is worth it. Because if your acquaintances, like mine, are voracious readers, then they have surely read it and incessantly make references to it. The natural response, if you are noncomformist or pretend to be, is to assume you’ll never read it because really, why so much talk? Okay, this applies to those who have not(and obstinately refuse to) watch Game of Thrones. Otherwise, the normal response is FOMO.

Sigh. It is with a heavy heart that I say, yes, it is worth it. (Now I am like everyone else who has read it, can you believe? I need to spend some time in the company of the good people at Kampala Express.)

The story of Kintu is a very stunningly disturbing one. I don’t know, are you superstitious? Coz damn, this story made me believe all kinds of things. But you know what they say, nothing imagined is too far from the truth. Joel actually believes the things in this book to be true, and not just myths or nice stories. *shiver* It sort of traces a curse from the 17th century to well, the 21st century. I really hope that’s a neat one line representation. But if it isn’t, read the book🙂

The thing about literature, I have come to learn, is that it plays an important role in decolonization of the mind because it makes you ask yourself questions(right? Right? Yea, we good). Kintu is such a powerful book in this sense. I want to add especially for our friends with fragile masculinity but I don’t have the energy. Anyway, in a way we have ‘culture’ to blame for this. My very brilliant friend, Sunshine, likes to say that if you are going to throw the word ‘culture‘ around, be sure you are not picking out only the parts of it that serve you. And it seems like we are always trying to reconcile this culture  with who we are. You know, like Faisi’s family who are Christians and want nothing to do with any of their ‘pagan’ ways or the atheist and believes in neither the ‘pagan’ nor Christian ways. It’s really interesting, the way Jennifer deals with these characters (yes, first name basis what about? Lol, I’m wanting.)

Anyway, do you think if black people had colonized wypipo we’d all be worshipping Jjaja Ddungu or whoever else? Like, I mean the mainstream religion.

P.S: don’t read the book at night or just before you sleep🙂

P.P.S: The background in the photo is the place the book is about. Coooool, right? Yes, that excited me.

acceptance

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And one day when you look in the mirror,
all the demons you contained will stare back at you.

This, your moment of making peace
with the you you never accepted,

when you get to it,
I hope you say, welcome, my love

I have been waiting for you.
Do not join the world in crucifying yourself.

Book Review: Penumbra

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“The worst form of dying is to drown. You go through all the emotions, and think you are going to survive, only to die.”

Perhaps that is the one thing we all have in common with the protagonist in Penumbra. But as forlorn as that sounds, it actually a funny book even though it is not supposed to be. In fact, it isn’t. But it is. Does someone catch my drift? It is a story about mental illness, I suppose. Drug addiction, maybe. Unrealized dreams. Finding Jesus in a very comical way. I don’t really know how to say a book is about this one particular thing because I guess it’s all life really.

“I think each person has their journey and that’s it… It becomes yours and no one else’s. This world has this way of measuring people… but time lapses and there’s nothing you can do about it, I think the biggest lesson to be learnt is that of being a person… and that exists outside all these schools.”

Manga is one of those people who are seemingly ‘behind their time'(if ahead of time is a thing then this should be the antonym, no?) And so throughout the book, he is trying, like most of us, to figure out this life thing. I relate with him so much on this. It’s like being the lost sheep. You know how everyone else seems to have it all figured out and you are just constantly asking yourself what’s going on. Okay, I’m losing the point but you get the point. He loses his mind in this process of trying to piece it all together. But what’s interesting is being in his mind throughout the whole dilemma. From when he is a sober human, to when he becomes an addict and when he finally decides to quit in the process changing from agnostic/atheist to believer. It is very melodramatic I tell you.

I think at a point, we are all Manga except we are only bordering on this insanity because we manage to stay afloat. Which is unfortunately not the case for everyone and also something we fail to recognise till it’s too late. Okay, I’m not supposed to be delivering a lecture on mental health. Long story short, I enjoyed the book(3.5/5). And it was especially funny being in Manga’s head. Also sad. Oh yes, and isn’t it ironic how many books there are about someone’s struggle to become a writer?

“The world has created it’s many chains: selling ideas to each other. The selling point for all these things is idolatry. Even for us who wanted to write, certain authors become our gods.” (This particular line reminded me of this story.)

At a point I feel like this book is spiritual, whatever spiritual means. There are some lessons to learn though and for me, it is that whatever does not serve me need not be in my life😊.

“I remember beautiful artists. They have a gift of seeing beyond conditions, and draw us to the blackness of uncertainty. That’s what art should achieve: point out the other side. Art is not there to unearth any truths, but rather to show the multiplicity of the nature of things.”

Oh yes, I was also excited because this is my first read by aSouth African author🙂

What have y’all been reading?

I am no longer an angry feminist

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I gave my life to Jesus friends. I am no longer an angry feminist. Eish, the joy of the Lord overwhelms me.

It was a long weekend mes amies. Long enough for me to find new purpose. Three of my friends were raped, oops, strong words. Almost raped, I mean why exaggerate the gravity of these things? Three different scenarios in the past week alone have sobered me. We need to take things a little more lightly. Calm down mami. In all the three cases, they were asked out by these excuses for human beings-ah, I forget. Fighting that old creation now that the new has come, we were saying- well-meaning gentlemen who they turned down. But you see, some of these women don’t know what they want. You gots to double check that ‘no’, don’t you? Aye, the things I have learned! So these gentlemen went ahead to “show them what they’d be missing out on”. In my anger, the old days of Egypt, I called this rape but now that I have stepped out of the darkness, you don’t let someone make bad decisions. Especially someone you love. You might have to go against their wishes to help them change their minds. Even when they keep telling you to stop, you gots to do what you feel is best for you, I mean, them. They will appreciate later. Don’t you see how grateful we are to our parents?

Anyway, I was still bitter and man-hating back then so for one of them, we decided to report to a person in authority. Retrospectively, this lady was very kind to us. She said she saw us as her own children, especially now that we were telling her about this. And so she told us of her glory days and advised us to dress right, be mindful of the company we keep and where we keep it. The most important lesson though, the “no that means no”. Yes mami, some no’s don’t mean no. I cannot wait for the dictionary updates because the one I have currently only means negating. It’s always a good thing to learn new meanings to words. She even said a prayer for us. Miracles have happened I tell you! My friend avoids her room like a plague because her prince charming occupies the opposite room. There will be no peace for him, yes him, while she is around. And in loving our neighbours as we love ourselves, we gots to help them avoid temptation.

The other one is really a fool. I have not yet told her this, but our beloved gentleman has. The brother says he is nice. I thought, I mean, think so too. He usually invites us for the cell fellowship he leads. I am as perturbed as he is as to why a woman would not be interested in him, even flattered by his interest. He had the nerve, argh- I mean he was kind enough to let my friend know there are not many men like him out there. It is a foolish thing, even despicable, to turn down nice mans. Nice mans doesn’t deserve it after he has ‘proved himself’ to be different from the lot of them mon cherie. I even feel like writing you angry feminists a guide to making peace with some of these things. It would be called Revelations. Scary things, I tell you.

Also, friends, let us not trivialize our lives. There is a war in Syria and Besigye is back to playing cat and mouse with the mafia, sorry, government. Can we direct our anger to these issues? Anyway, I gots to attend to my friend who has been in a terrified stupor since the incident with mans(I know, I know. Melodramatic reaction, ah). Think of sunshine and rainbows and Spongebob.

Post Cards from China

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It gets too quiet some nights I can hear the moon make love to you. There are tired tears at times while your favorite song plays. Tired, resigned to your absence.

Nostalgia keeps me writing little meaningless poems. Do stars remind you of love letters and promises? Not empty, not broken, but sabotaged by our ideas of forever. Forever is not always eternity. Sometimes it’s five years or a day, a nonverbal exchange with a stranger. Isn’t time too infinite, even extravagant to want only one forever? Maybe our forever ended before our idea of it.

Do our stars still allow you flirt with the idea of love? Do one shilling coins remind you of priceless moments?

Some nights when the darkness suffocates, God reads me poems. I write some of them.