PREGNANCY; A JOURNEY OF MYRIAD DISCOVERIES

Before I dive headlong into this very long blog post, allow me say this—PREGNANCY IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY that Initiates you into SELF DISCOVERY— That sounds cliché, right? Let me re-echo that, Pregnancy is very beautiful……………..BUT;

Pregnancy will have you doubt yourself quite often, it will have you slacking at almost all the things that mean the most to you, it will have you joining the multitudes that question your competence, and just sometimes your head will hang, hang with a slight depression on why appreciation will not come even when you are pushing beyond what your bulging stomach and the effects that come with it can allow. Narrating this very openly is speaking openly about something very personal. But I have wanted to share this for various reasons, one being that it will liberate some women and girls that might fall pregnant..

 

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Honestly, Pregnancy will stretch you to a point where you are left in awe about how much your body can do- Ye are a God!!

In my childhood days while my Uncle Sam and I harvested jack-fruit in my father’s backyard, my mind seemed to notice that he knew which ones were ripe and which ones were not. So I asked him how he was able to tell and he said “When a jack-fruit is ripe, her stomach gives off a deep sound. Also that jack-fruit is usually heavier”. He must have noticed my confused face and he continued to say “when you grow up, your stomach will sound like a ready jack fruit one day”. This year, my stomach turned into a jack fruit.

How I found out

I honestly knew I was pregnant before I could even take any confirmatory tests. I went a whole month without my menses, in all honesty, no amount of prayer could save me the first month—I decided to wait it out convincing myself that It might be the stress but thank God Jesus said “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. If you fall pregnant the first time, you are highly cautious of your body, always imagining the stomach has grown overnight. This cautiousness had me develop the withdrawal syndrome.

My friends were concerned about my behavioral patterns and even when I insisted I was pregnant, they stuck to doing a pregnancy test(who schooled them though?)—Tests will always either confirm or invalidate your assumptions. And when I finally agreed to take the test, two red lines blinked back at me!!

How I got pregnant.

The gestation period usually gives you a glimpse into how dumb people can be. I am not apologetic about saying that. Throughout this time, I have been asked a tonne of questions some definitely sarcastic and others tainted with mockery “How did you get pregnant?” another asked “Was it the Holy Spirit?”? rolls eyes in etc.

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I have been exhausted by this question— Who is raising dumb humans? 

It is tiring when big ass adults start to ask questions as dumb as these. This explains why I have decided to include the how before we go any further.

I got pregnant after having sex—I had sex, with a man.

When two consenting adults agree to have “sex, do a ding dang, explore how their reproductive organs fit into one another”— without protective measures, you got it— Ovary plays with sperm and after a bounding collision, both culprits are led down to the place(uterus) where they get to become a small tiny creature(zygote) which over time grows into a baby— That is how people become pregnant, and this is probably the simplest sexual education on pregnancy that you will find on the net. Now relax your questions— I had a great time, and now let my belly bulge in peace…

Reactions from people

Excuse me for a bit—I need to sip on some bitter gingered lemonade!!

People people people—was a common opening for most poems we recited back in primary school.

Was it easy communicating—- For me yes, was the message always received with gladness—- Ho Ho Ho Nope, not every-time!!

This is what you need to know about people, they will always impress their expectations of you upon you like a garment and when a disappointment such as falling pregnant (I don’t understand why people think of pregnancy as an electric shock towards your future) happens, they will openly cast their coals upon you and sometimes insinuate that you are promiscuous. Such a sad life… Many of the young pregnant women are uncomfortable sharing their pregnancy because they are going to be judged on grounds of promiscuity, myopic sight and bad decisions.

Anyhow, I have never been engaged in sex talk with any of my parents and I do not blame them – Sex talk is tricky, and initiating it might make you feel like you are instilling ideas in your child whose curiosity might be stirred with what you tell them, so  parents take the easy route– Silence.

In all of my school days, I never got a single chance to fully sit in a class where the topic reproduction was being taught, plus, I went to an all-girls school. So 2016 was such an eye-opener when I sat in a class with males and we were being taught about sexual and reproductive health. I am thankful for the year 2016 because every mentor that came to the Peer Educator’s Academy was not shy about what sex was, what to expect, protection measures name it. And now at this point, if you worry about how to speak to children about sex, relationships and the like, entrust them with someone who has the knowledge to convey the message you’d want them to know; be it Abstinence, faithfulness, social interactions, community engagement etc.. This long paragraph was explaining why it was easy for me to communicate— some people need parables, some need it point blank, some need a story each day, story usually ends in— I am the one, I am pregnant.

I told my mother a story everyday, and when it finally came to an end, her fury was not negotiable. My father on the other hand got the news point blank as he ate his dinner. He seemed to have been waiting for when I have the courage to speak out. To my bold announcement, he said “I knew it along time ago”.  Currently, my mother daily calls me  to find out if the baby is fine and kicking, my father imitates my walking style, and has made several calls to notify people that he will soon be a shenkuru (grandfather). He also asks about our antenatal visits and advises I keep my legs raised so that they don’t swell…

The baby’s father wept a basin of joyous tears. My heart tagged at all his emotions, the promises and the assurance that he will be present, and that this baby is a blessing and …. let me cry a river because that man’s reflects the heart of God on a sleeve. “There is something when you come to understand the heart of the person in your life, a veil will break and you will be persuaded by his love for you that he is always there for you–anytime, every-time ~~ Prophet Elvis Mbonye, Ascension Part 2”. 

The rest of the world has either shared questioning stares, cut connection, thrown about careless comments, boldly told me mean statements they would shatter the heart, treated me like a careless individual for letting this happen to me, aaahhhhhh the list is draining I honestly can’t deal. The beginning is usually hard and you might start to see yourself in the light of all these mean things but love is higher than the natural– and love is your child. You have got to start responding to the life that is growing on the inside of you and not the hate and disappointment that majority people will want to rub in your face.

The Take over

Pregnancy will show you a version of you that’s Lazy, a glutton, impatient, rude and inconsiderate. At this point, the baby is majesty.

If you know me, you know that I am very towering emotionally, physically, socially. However, I have at countless times just taken a seat. The first trimester had me hateful of most of my routines. I wonder who thought to name it morning sickness, it should be changed to all day sickness and frustration. You will just decide to have a good day and the body will throw up, in the morning, between meals, amidst kisses and parties, when your toothbrush comes into contact with your tongue. Oh I also hated water, so I honestly showed up smelling nice but half-bathed. Hehehe, The bed was my favorite place, often preferring to sleep than attend to any activities.

During The second trimester, things started to get better. I bathed more, started to brush my teeth, drink some water. This did not stop the fact that I was still hateful of work and all rigorous activity. This is also the trimester where you are constantly needing of TLC(Tender, Love and Care). Demanding it where it is not given. Ahhh guys drama.

In my third trimester now, I can’t sleep( so if you see me with puffy eyes, be gentle), I feel the urge to quarrel but (I am always drained mentally, emotionally, and physically before start so I sit it out) , take a trip, have my back hammered because massages are not helping, I like to raise my legs and my feet swell into small Mozilla Lizards… My love for grasshoppers is insane, it makes me deplete my pocket change, I like to drink Harmony Pot water to the point that I am considering owning an actual pot in my house, I equally get some abrupt pains and more vivid kicks, i eat at every turn and also want the baby to come. I keep imagining my come back (this basically includes, all that motivational talk, body goals, mom goals, add to this list if you may).

In this period of time, if anyone went ahead and added Incompetent to my CV, I wouldn’t mind really…

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Do pregnant women have mood-swings?

Oh yes we do. Well at-least for me, sometimes I prefer the cuddling, the other times I am exuding the stay away from me attitude. Unless I have a craving, I can’t decide what food, companionship, music, distances, friendships, activities I want to be part of.

What has changed about me?

Kylie Kardashian legit said after her pregnancy, her hips had enlarged, her body had been shaped into a coca-cola bottle… rolls eyes. For those that might snort at me like “Oh so you finally got around to watching KUWTK”. No I haven’t watched a single episode. An awesome lady I have met through work narrated this to me.

What basically happens is that your butt and stomach go into an “I decrease as you increase” agreement. That has been my case really. I have had a facial glow since the beginning of my pregnancy and some ladies have shared how envious they are that my face is as clear as an autumn sky. No doubt my face has kept its astounding beauty, my back however doesn’t agree because all the acne and pimples set up home right there. I currently have those multiple scars to prove it. ~ Someone recommend a scar-erasing creme, I gonna make bae buy it in my come back please!! 

I have always loved my food, it is just that this time it is seasonal cravings.. I have also learned that your baby determines what you should eat because that is what it needs to grow. If tissue is developing, you will find that you are consuming more protein, if the child needs folic acid or Vitamin C, you will be drinking more citrus drinks etc etc. So eat everything you are prompted to eat, it is the baby helping you help it grow.

Also I am thankful to God for the fact that I have not bulged. I asked for this at the very start of this pregnancy. I told God I don’t want to look like 2 sacks of the human I was before pregnancy. So a little weight here and there but I am still intact.

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The weird things women do while pregnant

I have always wondered who would want to eat in transit. It had to take pregnancy for me to throw that judgement away. It doesn’t matter whether I am seated on a boda-boda or in a taxi, if I wanna eat jack-fruit, or grasshoppers or whatever, I am going to eat it and I will not feel guilty for doing so. Also I was eating all my workmates’ food.. Sorry Ssewajje.  

Pregnant women also tend to feel jealous when they cannot sleep and their partners are out there deeply resting off the face of the earth—Be sure she is going to try and wake you up until she can catch some sleep as well.

Lastly, if the air suddenly stinks around you. You may want to consider the pregnant woman guilty. Man, it just feels like puffing becomes a norm and yáll gonna do it and not feel guilty.

First kicks.

The first time the baby kicked was such a marvel for me— Or basically the fluttering movements. This happened on 1st September 2019. The very moment Prophet Elvis Mbonye said quickening. The prophet mentioned that word 3 times and I got the flutters thrice. That moment was so emotional for me but didn’t have anyone to share it with. Pregnancy moments need to be shared. The first time the baby’s father felt a kick, you could think he had performed his favorite song with Burna Boy on the feature!! My face was scornful because duh, we been kicking for sometime bruv..

The flutters gradually became cordial kicks of all sort of activity you’d think the baby is either playing the premier league or organizing a cheer-leading squad.

However, nothing is as fascinating as feeling those kicks. The mind will try to tell you that it might as well be the tapeworm that has since grown from all the fatty foods you’ve been eating but no— What is kicking on the inside is a whole baby.

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All day, all night–every freaking time

The mystery of pregnancy.

Before all of time, God spoke a word in the beginning and all of earth’s creation works to fulfill that word. This baby wouldn’t be if a word hadn’t gone forth from God and neither would I be pregnant.

Jeremiah 1:5  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Galatians 1:15–> But when he who had set me apart before I was born,[a] and who called me by his grace,

Isaiah 44:24–> Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself

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Does this tell you something about God? And the mystery of pregnancy?

The lord has said in His word that Children are a Blessing, and what an honor to carry God’s blessing. He further goes on to say that ye are Gods. Pregnancy only means that anytime soon you are birthing a God. A replica of the creator of all humanity in doing, being and living. Women offer their bodies as earthen vessels to allow the Lord to move.

Sex and Intimacy between two people joins them as one, and usually this is the Lord’s word being planted-a seed is planted in woman.

We could try to argue that this is biology but how do we explain this whole growth and development inside a womb? The seed slowly develops into a child that is surrounded by amniotic fluid, on this side of life, we can not handle excessive time surrounded by water or fluids, we would grow small being fed through a tube, we could end up with a mental disorder if we spend even just a day turned upside down and yet a baby survives on the inside with all these conditions.

The number of boda-bodas I have taken and the potholes they have hit without as much consideration for me have scared me to a point where I thought– this baby might just fall out of me after this ride and yet my body has capacity so beautiful to hold it in place, wow. The astounding beauty being that the baby will not come unless it is due, and even if it is not due, the psalmist says “Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you”.

The Lord is beautiful, and all of creation shall worship and honor him.

Even if your mind, friends and family might want to allude that getting pregnant is a mistake, it is not. It is the greatest opportunity man has been given to see things in the eyes of God because all of creation is God’s children and when you give birth, your child/children are your creation with the help of God.

Was I scared?

Honestly yes, especially for the 9 months. I love babies and children, however my fear has always been about the gestation period– that is a darn whole year people. I was also scared of looking plump and my stomach protruding a whole mile from my body. I was not scared but rather worried that the baby’s father was not ready, and so instead of have him coldly suggest certain things because of his unreadiness, I decided to withdraw. That way, it would be better not to have him feel the weight of the news. I always have a plan laid out, without considering how everything goes but I always have a plan, and my plan was to disappear to Gulu (I have been there before so I know my way around the city and the villages) and stay oblivious of all and any activities and people.

Was the child’s father ready?

When I think about it now, I know that he was ready because this is the thing with pregnancy. You are excited for this bundle of joy that is about to grow in you, however there are days when you wake up and you are bombarded with thoughts such as “My career is going to be affected, am I really ready for this responsibility?, what if so and so finds out?, my social life is about to be messed up, I haven’t lived life to its fullest, I can no-longer flirt or hang with my crush if they find out, do I have enough finances to take care of this child? the list of scary thoughts never stops”. For some girls, this is the point they decide to have an abortion and for the men, they just withdrawal and start to ghost-like they were not urging you to strip tease for them.

I am well aware that there are men that are not supportive at all, and sometimes decide to end the relationship because of “I am pregnant”. To that Hudson likes to say; “Maturity is when you admit that a man who isn’t ready to support you in that hard trying time doesn’t need you. However much Love you have for them”. Move on, yes he is the child’s father but if he is not taking responsibility for his child, you and that baby don’t need an immature imbecile.

I believe that a man who is incapable of accepting his responsibility as a father is not who you need for a husband. Because even when women are versatile beings, no woman is engineered to be ready for pregnancy even if she is married and as old as a hag and so a man that decides to ghost even after giving him time to consider and accept the baby is incapable of handling family business— I hope nobody comes here with men are broken, men are socially expected bla bla bla… Women are carrying weights unknown to the world, the last they need is another grown ass irresponsible human of the male species.

Having a support system

Your immediate support system should be the father of your child, and they should be given a chance to be part of this pregnancy journey. However, in cases where the child’s father is not taking responsibility, has denied attachment or has suggested they are not ready for a child, you need to have a support system or accountability friends. These hold you accountable for every action pertaining to a child, and help you through the storms of pregnancy because believe me it is an emotional roller-coaster. Get a friend, mentor, pastor, or a woman that has children with whom you can confide in. It is important for you, and the child.

Sharing with workmates

The women I have spoken to say they worried about when to tell their managers, what clients would think and feared missing out on big opportunities, so they opted to wait until later in their pregnancy to share the news. My stomach didn’t show until I was 5 months and 2 weeks in. Initially, I had spoken to a humble and very knowledgeable colleague about my pregnancy. He advised and every single day gave me a nugget to live by, when I asked him who I should talk to first, he suggested I speak to the Operations lead who at the time doubled as HR and my supervisor as well. She is the one who conveyed the message to my top boss.. Haha, I don’t know how that went, I have never asked her. I just think our relationship has never been the same since (insert sad face).

Another experience while at work was while I was attempting to take some medicines that my doctor had prescribed (side note; I hate medicines, inject me anyday please). These were ZIF (Zinc, Iron and Floric acid) meds. They look fascinating and so a colleague who found me trying to swallow them asked what they were, I told her they were for iron, she nodded along and went on to narrate her story with iron medication and further asked why mine looked different, I told her it must be branding because everyone in the marketing for any sector is about getting their sells spiraling. I just couldn’t begin to tell her I was pregnant. How?

The other experience at the work place was a male colleague who just kept his eyes on my stomach, he would then wonder if I was just overstuffed with food. This was at 5 months after my abdomen was slowly starting to protrude. He has since been giving me bear hugs to the very point that I look forward to them. Before you peer your eyes at me, pregnant women need exaggerated TLC and no better feeling like what a tight hug brings.

A Jab at self-esteem

They will not tell you this but honest truth is that Pregnancy will test your self-esteem from the day your body goes through changes that are physical. Self-esteem is as delicate as a glass, you will shatter at just a comment or bad joke. Pregnancy makes you unable to see the beautiful parts about you because the first thing that you see is marks of change. This is usually unwelcome change. Fat cheeks, pimples, swollen feet and face, enlarged stomach, small buttocks,… It is rare that you will think of yourself as the fire you were before your pregnancy. However I also know some pregnant women who are stunningly beautiful, their self-care routines are topping the charts. Sometimes this is a facade, or remedy for low-self esteem.

Advice

If there is a time everyone feels like they are entitled to give you advice about pregnancy, it is when you are bulging with baby. All of a sudden, everyone thinks they are a gynea, psychologist, a herbalist, a fitness coach, a dietitian, a pregnancy-fashion stylist, a prophet, a pregnancy-experience expert, a baby-name expert, a baby-weight predictor,… I am going to leave what advise I was given to your imagination.

Am I ready to have a child?

From our conversations about children, Hudson shared that he made up his mind to have a child while he was in high school. Clearly, I am just a puppet in this scheme.

Many times, men are blamed for when a girl gets pregnant, however we should consider that girls love some fun, they prefer to swim at the deep end without floaters. Haaa

Back to the question, I love children, but in the face of 9 months, my career, personal goals, deteriorating performance and self-esteem, I am not sure!! The mature one of the both of us always comes on with stringent compassion, counsel and hard-on truths. Am I still ready for a child? No, I am not (if I should interest you, save for all the changes my body is going through, I still don’t believe I am pregnant until I see a whole baby placed into my arms on birth day).

Also I presume why people think we are not ready for children is the first impression that comes to mind when they physically see the both of us is—- Wow you are both so young!!

The question on sex

I have been asked this question several times, rolls eyes. No I don’t have the courage to answer it because it is depth so I usually blush over it.

Pregnancy sparks off an imagination from the outside world that you are having sex like a daily cup of tea. That is true, especially in the first and second trimesters. In the third trimester, you come to a point where you rest your trophies and concede defeat because 5 minutes in and you are heaving like a broiler, you can’t hit the average 45-minute mark because you are worrying about hurting the child or are already tired. Holds head in grief, stop asking about my sex life people!! I am the pregnant one!!

Breaking Stereotypes

This “Omwana wa Mussajja (a child is a man’s)” phrase gets me very very angry. No, a child is not a man’s. A child belongs to both the woman and the man. A man determines what sex a child will turn out to be because men carry XY chromosomes, and women only XX. So if an X from a woman teams up with an X from a man, that’s gonna be a girl, and if X teams up with Y, that’s gonna be a boy.

Women on the other hand determine when to have a child because man provides seed and woman is the garden that either nurtures it to fruition or not. So reckless childbirth can be blamed on the woman

Again I say, Omwana si wa Musajja (a child is not a man’s) because a man without a woman can boast of his sperm and he will never know if his sperm is fruitful or not unless he gets a woman. A woman too can walk around with her ovaries crushing every month (menstruation), and likewise, she will never know if she is capable of that gardening process that is child development.

A child is a product of the teamwork between man and woman!!

My last words

Pregnancy is your experience, own it. Those movements to the left and right sides of your belly signal that your child is growing very well. Do not let anyone rob you of the gift you have been given with preconceived notions of what pregnancy is, what you should do and etc. There is no time you are ever going to be ready, old hag or not, pregnancy will overwhelm you because everyone of it is different. There is not a scroll about it– and I can prove it, some babies come at 40 weeks, others at 37, others even earlier. That is your baby, and not society’s, so stop hoping from one place to another looking for advice.

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I forgot to tell you— the moment that young human occupies your abdomen the most, you are going to be frequenting the bathroom even if to pee just 2 inches of urine!!

Again I will re-echo, do not let a senseless man drive you to a point where you doubt the ability you have been given to raise a child. And no, having a child is not the end of life neither will it shatter future chances of meeting someone that will appreciate both you and your child, and even love you extensively.

I am loudly against abortion, because pregnancy is a challenge. Take it on, a friend says there is always grace to take care of children even when you are broke as a church mouse. Your life is not going to end.

Lastly, pregnancy is emotional and sometimes you will feel like you are losing your mind about the changes going on. Allow yourself to feel, be proud about your journey and share it, it is yours and no other child is going to feel that way.

Sometimes it is going to feel lonely, and you might feel like you are on the losing side of things- No you are not, the word of God says there is nothing that has been given to us that we can not handle, and my favorite is that God said it Himself “I will never leave you nor Forsake you”. Trust this journey to something higher than yourself, you need help, accept it.

Finally, that child you are having or will have is a chance for you to correct the things you disliked while growing up. The kind of light you want to shine to the world, you have a chance to light up in your child/children. That is a great responsibility, an honorable one at that.

This is the longest blog I have written my entire life, and if you read to the very end, I thank you. Take some lessons, but above all start to see Pregnancy differently.

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All of me is honestly waiting for my light-bearer, on the day that the Lord has spoken before hand. And when that day comes, I will tell you about the experience as well. But if the dates be anything that I saw while in prayer, we are left with two weeks until the day of the Arrival of the Great Joy.

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My Experience At The International Conference on Population and Development.

About three weeks ago, I was in the city of the pharaohs having been selected by the UNFPA Country office and Reach A Hand Uganda to represent Uganda at the youth model ICPD Conference.

The ICPD stands for International Conference on population and Development and was since enacted in 1994. Therefore whoever attended the conference was a ’94 child. This conference spoke for diversity, and the need to end preventable maternal death, meet all women’s demand for family planning, and stop violence against women and girls by 2030.

History of the ICPD

In 1994, 179 governments from all over the world met in Cairo, Egypt and adopted the groundbreaking ICPD Programme of Action, positioning rights at the center of sustainable development, and recognizing reproductive rights as human rights, as well as young people and adolescents as rights holders in regards to their sexual and reproductive health.

Further more, since the ICPD, gains have been made in strengthening maternal health care and expanding access to quality contraceptive information and services. But there are still many young women who have not benefited from these gains, with more than 800 dying during pregnancy and childbirth.

The aim is to put a stop to gender-based violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation.

The bold, rights-based vision of the ICPD – that development must put young people first, that attention must be paid to strengthening equal access to health, education, and human dignity for all persons – anticipated the bold, ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda

Commitments made in 1994

Some of the commitments made in the ICPD Programme of Action (1994) to young people include:

  • Realization of the right to education and attainment of a secondary school education
  • Delaying marriage beyond childhood and ensuring free and full choice in marriage-related decisions
  • Exercise of the right to health, including access to friendly health services and counseling
  • Access to health-promoting information, including on sexual and reproductive matters
  • Acquisition of protective assets and agency, particularly among girls and young women, and promotion of gender equitable roles and attitudes
  • Protection from gender-based violence; and socialization in a supportive environment. These are crucial for a successful transition to adulthood.

Being the home of the ICPD, every year Egypt hosts youth representatives from across the world to review achieved progress and challenges in relation to the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. The ICPD Model emphasizes that in years to come, young people will be crucial to advancing not just the Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda but all social movements.

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This year, the 2-day conference had a total of 120 countries that were represented. The sessions were distributed into 3 sections including;

  1. Adolescent & Youth Reproductive Health Package
  2. Gender Equality and Harmful Practices
  3. Data and Demographic Dividend.

My involvement in the Youth Model ICPD

I have come to the realization that every mission, and appointment is not coincidental. It has a role it plays in the agenda of global dominion. Perhaps if we thought deeper about the common adage “there is a reason for everything”, then we would take seriously the things that happen to us, and the places we are taken to.

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So while at this outstanding conference organized at the JW Marriot, a voting had to happen in which a Secretary General, 3 Deputy Secretary Generals and Rapporteurs were to be chosen. Whoever nominated themselves had to go through the grueling process to convince the rest of the ICPDians on why they deserved the post. It is almost next to impossible to try and convince a people who do not speak, and slightly understand the English Language… When my turn came, I spoke as eloquently as I could, promising the ICPDians to have a more engaging session when I take control as Deputy SG.

I got voted the most, and happened to be leading first session which was the Adolescent & Youth Reproductive Health Package.

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L-R Virna from El-Salvador, Yours Truly DSG from Uganda, Samey SG from Egypt, and Michal from Congo. Vianey and Michal were Rapporteurs

My role as Deputy SG included;

  1. Request country delegations that were prepared/interested/ready to speak on the “Solutions from around the Globe” topic. This would call for country delegates to submit challenges, and recommendations according to their country’s demographic.
  2. Select 15 countries to submit on the topic for 2 minutes.
  3. Announce a one-hour moderated caucus that allows delegates to make short comments on a specific sub-area collected by rapporteurs during country presentations with the help of mentors
  4. Announce the end of the Caucus time, and call for a one hour lunch break

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From the caucus time, here are the commitments that put forward by different country delegations.

While I was DSG, I picked on Uganda, and my colleague submitted a 2 minute presentation on what Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health looks like in the Pearl of Africa.

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Asuman Nalolo from Uganda. He works with Plan International Uganda

The recommendations we put forward during the presentation reflected what UNFPA Uganda, and  Reach A Hand Uganda, have done to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services, reinforce a holistic understanding of individuals’ sexual and reproductive well-being, as well as access to education, and services for youths.

These recommendations included;

  1. Collaborative partnerships with the Ministry of Education and Sports to integrate Life Planning skills education into school curriculum.
  2. Integration of Youth friendly services and safe spaces into Public Health centres
  3. Youth counseling, access to family planning and HIV/AIDS services as packages to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.

These recommendations and commitments will be presented at the ICPD Conference in Nairobi that starts today until November 14th . The #NairobiSummit aims at mobilizing political will and financial commitments from leaders to urgently implement the ICPD Programme of Action. #ICPD25

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Every delegate had access to a microphone, and translation. This for me stands out as meaningful youth participation.

My observation while at the ICPD youth Model was that every young person representing their country was heard, and their opinion considered. All challenges and recommendations that were fronted by country representatives were take note of. It would be bias for me to state that organizations, entities and governments could go a long way if they adopted the UN Model of deliberation. However, if you are looking to pick the mind of everyone in the room, you must give them a chance to speak.

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Delegates share what their countries are doing differently

The reason we have youths still demonstrating with placards saying “Our voices are not heard“, is because usually a handful are given chance to speak and “represent” the rest is still and will produce a multitude of discontented youths as long as it goes on.

Day 2 was dedicated to voting for the adoption of the different commitments that were fronted from the caucus meetings on the 3 sessions. Senegal was not comfortable with the way a commitment regarding Gender was stated and therefore rejected the document until it was corrected. Now that is active youth participation. 

Uganda endorsed the report that had the commitments from all 3 sessions. And finally, the passing of the report developed in the lead up to ICPD @25 happened.

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A Kenyan Delegate takes down notes during caucus time.

The 2nd day entailed creative learning that consisted of 5 forms of translating recommendations of Youth Model ICPD into creative forms through five facilitated workshops including Art, Film, Theatre, Dance, and Social Media. Below are some of the activities different workshops got to pull off.

Side events

I figured you might think we were about intensive learning. However, UNFPA Egypt office really outdid themselves in organizing the conference. There were plenty of other events, I almost couldn’t keep up.. (I intend to write a blog on Your guide through Egypt). However for now, here goes.

On the official opening date, Tuesday 15th October, we had a dinner at the Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel. On the night of the first day of the conference, we had a run at the Citadel which is a medieval islamic fort built by Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its location commands such an envious view of the city. It shines with bright playful lighting. The run lasted 5 minutes and the finish line was lined with all sorts of speakers playing Egyptian music

The night of the 2nd night, we had dinner at the JW Marriot’s open space.. And while everyone else was dancing, I was out taking memorable pictures of the Hotel’s curtain draping, wall hangings and art.

On Thursday, we visited the Pyramids (look out for my guide through Egypt Blog Kale).

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And now, allow me sign out… Take care little darlings because the Father who art in Heaven loves you dearly.

Personal Opinion: Is The New Vision Treading Towards Irrelevance?

This week, I was part of a media training organized by the Aga Khan University    (They have Masters Courses that would interest some of you) and while there, I learned from one of the facilitators, Barbara Among that New Vision is selling shares.

Barbara is a veteran journalist whose work encompasses investigative reporting on conflict, human rights, terrorism, politics, business, health and environment. She has worked for the Daily Monitor, The East African, among several other media outlets. She is currently a consultant in media and communications issues.

Barbara shared that the New Vision is said to be owned by the government because the aforementioned entity owns 53.9% of the shares, while 46.1% of these are open for purchase by the public or any interested parties.

However, history lends that the New Vision was fashioned by the Ugandan government in 1986 (after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) seized power), even though the publication initially belonged to the British colonial government under the connotation “The Ugandan Argus”.

Under the new government, William Pike, a young Irish hippy was offered a post In the New Vision which he accepted because President Museveni showed a frivolous drive towards implementing a revolution that was going to change the whole of Africa, not just Uganda. According to Pike, “the NRM had so many good ideas, were principled and they were going to change Uganda and fix a lot of problems that African countries suffer from”. He managed the Paper for 21 years as Chief Executive Officer until 12th October, 2006 when he resigned.

Even though Pike’s articles gave Museveni the chance to expound his pragmatic brand of socialism, they did little in masking Pike’s beliefs. He believed  that a government newspaper should be like BBC, which broadcasts the negative as well as the positive things about British government, not like Radio Moscow or Voice of America that only reports positive things about the government or the country. And so on countless times, the New Vision clashed with government ministers, the president, just like any newspaper. You can’t run a newspaper and not have friction with government, says Pike.

Point to note is that Pike’s articles played a key role in the re-calibration of foreign governments made once the NRM captured power in 1986. The IMF, World Bank and bilateral donors all cantered to help the new president (M7) rebuild a war-shattered economy.

Pike’s relationship with President Museveni started to go down the drain on 3 aspects;

When the journalist started to question why “Incompetent or corrupt ministers were retained in office because of their political constituencies. Smaller and smaller districts were created unnecessarily to cater for particular ethnic groups. Loyalty had become more important than principle.”

When the journalist fronted his view that Museveni should have stood down as President but remained Chairman of the NRM party. The government doe not welcome an remarks that are made towards the political crisis that is life presidency.

Any system depending on a single man’s open-mindedness and insight is doomed to fail; the term “benevolent dictator” is surely an oxymoron. But as a generation of Africans who have grown up knowing only one president or ruling party ask how the revolution came to be betrayed, the issue of how to allay the damage done by multiparty democracy will also need to be addressed.

Eventually, William Pike was forced to resign at the behest of President Museveni. It came to the president’s notice that New Vision’s “Constructive criticism” had crossed the line, was negative and defamatory of the Government. Since Pike had become a favorite, and because he had been there so long to parallel an institution, people demanded to know why he was being forced to resign. The government responded that Pike had been found to be an MI6 Agent.

Pike’s departure was followed by the appointment of Ugandan Government (NRM) spokesman Robert Kabushenga as CEO.

A look into Kabushenga’s history reveals that Vision Group’s CEO was initially actively part of the NRM Administration as spokesman, and during an interview with BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong recently, the president introduced him as a media advisor to the ruling NRM party.

Personal Opinion; Robert Kabushenga was an embodiment of the NRM, and as a media enthusiast, he would fulfill government’s agenda without causing much conflict, or being reminded what the goal is– Make Government look good. 

Unlike The Daily Monitor that welcomes both positive and negative commentary, the New Vision is centred on piling dirt on everyone that opposes the government.

In an article titled “Kabushenga is a liability to NRM” by a Vision reporter, it states that Kabushenga, like the various Uganda media authorities, has failed to do what they are supposed to do, which is accreditation and instead is doing licensing, which is wrong. The writer goes on to insinuate a questionable truth—“ Kabushenga’s problem is part of the larger national problems. As a lawyer, Kabushenga gets appointed to a job requiring someone with a Masters degree or a PhD in journalism, and he opportunistically accepts without appearing to be bothered.

FAKE NEWS

The New Vision has over the time placed itself as a face of fake news, gradually damaging its credibility. As a national newspaper, you would assume that all news would have to have be verified before it is published. Unfortunately, as long as it pleases the government or stands in agreement with the political agenda, it shall compete with several other credible pieces for a front page.

During the training, Barbara shared that the New Vision was down to 23,000 copies from the initial 35,000 copies of national sale.

The possibility of publishing fake news could be to achieve more sales, but also cement their authority since people run to print to verify rumor. But at what cost?

The growing trends of circulation of fake news in Uganda and worldwide is eroding people’s trust in the traditional media, experts have said.

During the media engagement training workshop organized by the Africa Freedom of Information Centre in February this year, Dr. Sam Kamau, a lecturer at Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications said in this era technology competes with researched and authoritative news and that the diminishing value of truth and facts has been declining for a couple of years because people are able to create their own version of truth.

“The production of fake news is often done with financial, political or social motivation. It is created either to influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion”.

Usually, traditional media has effective gate keeping which social/online media doesn’t have. According to Kamau, traditional media must put in place more mechanism to ensure that they don’t follow temptation of falling for quick news.

“Unfortunately some mainstream newspapers, television in the attempt to struggle for space have fallen victims of spreading fake news. Continuous training, checks on media teams so that they aren’t tempted to run fake stories,” said Ofwono Opondo.

Over the years, the public has complained about different publications that taint their name including the former IGP Kale Kayihura who asked the Vision group to apologize and pay him UGX. 300Million for defamatory comments made about him in relation to the death of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. The recent one being an accusation of the flamboyant prophet Elvis Mbonye of de-campaigning the measles Rubella vaccine.

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The kind of direction that the paper has taken would shatter William Pike’s heart. Legacy speaks of the pace he set for it to adopt a BBC semblance. He has said it before and probably would still say “it’s sad that there are now a lot of problems with corruption. It’s sad to think that that original spirit of idealism was not preserved”. To imagine that the government set out to be democratic but has since become very faceted with alot of discrepancy is alarming in the sense.

The leadership at “Uganda’s leading daily” should be questioned on professionalism. It is teeth-hurtful to find out that a national paper belonging to the government has thrown caution to the wind as far as their credibility is concerned. Is Kabushenga doing the job he was appointed to do? Perhaps, are things sliding past him? Very much so. All the best workforce has gradually flown out of the window leaving the institution for their competition. Does his boss like this?– let’s watch for whom this whirlwind will uproot.

Finally, the kicks of a leadership treading towards irrelevance can be seen with when their instigated media people are not doing a worthy job. 

References

Ends ♣♣♣♣♣

The Harvest Is Truly Great: 12th October 2019; The Home Visit

Prophet Elvis Mbonye likes to reecho the statement “In this atmosphere, you can get whatever you want, this is not just a fellowship but a place of becoming because as Christ is, so am I in this world”. And here is an experience on how I have tasted the powers of the age to come. All it took was for me to be submitted to the Grace of the Prophetic Anointing.

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The Date

In July 2018, as the prophet led worship, I kept seeing different beings, majority of them blossomed and others glistened with a marriage celebration and at the end I saw a date—12th October 2019. I wrote this date down, and later shared it with the Bae (Hudson). He is one that does not waste time broadcasting whatever is of God, especially the fact that it was a topic closer to his heart—Marriage. He published it on its social media, and even spoke to his friends about it.. We planned because we had seen the end of the matter, and often during my personal prayer times, I would see a beautiful wedding whose wording I drafted into a poem named “I saw your wedding”.

2019, came as a sweet song, ushering us in both great and trying moments. Month after month, the thought that 12th October would be possible was pushed to the back of our minds, under a pile of other wild dreams.

Along the way, a friend asked me to be part of his entourage, his wedding day was slated for 12th October. All possible signs showed that nothing would happen for us, however in one of our chats, Hudson loudly said “Something must happen on 12th October 2019”.

The Informal Meeting

Between mid and end of September, my father convened a meeting with the rest of the family. Everyone else asked that both our families, Hudson’s and mine meet informally at a venue (as according to the Kinyankole culture) to discuss marriage and the journey that would get us to the wedding. His family chose a Saturday, which happened to be his birthday—the 5th October, 2019.

On meeting, Hudson’s family expressed discontentment for meeting outside of home, they called it “Tusisinkanye mu masanganzila” and requested a formal meeting of both families in a home setting, this to them is what they call a “Kukyala”. They suggested my family should come up with a date on which we would host them at home. When we bade farewell, my family stayed to discuss what day would accommodate this function. I was not given chance to speak because “Chulden don’t speak in an elders’ meeting”, and so I kept silent and watched.

Finally a date of the Kukyala was set and all I did was gape—They said I think next Saturday would be convenient, I instinctively knew what date next Saturday would be. And finally the question was asked “What date will it be?”. It was my Father who said “Next Saturday will be 12th October, 2019“. My first instinct was not to share this with anyone (even though I had prior done so, I was sure they didn’t recall at all). These instincts died the moment that meeting was adjourned.

Daring the Prophetic Anointing `

When I shared this update, it was not welcomed. And this was the point I came to a realization that I am incapable of fighting the Lord’s battle, or enforcing an agenda that He alone set into motion. So I sat back, highly anticipating a cancellation but also holding onto the fact that I saw this date—while the Prophet and I worshiped, and if it didn’t come to pass then I would have no proper explanation.

On Tuesday, 8th October 2019 during fellowship, I asked the Lord for a sign to prove that it would be; and just when my mind had floated away from watching for the sign, as the prophet ministered to a one Julius (born in April, same as I), who had applied to Qatar Airways and his fiancé, he loudly mentions—- Watch, something is going to happen on the 12th October. I felt as though I had been plugged into a socket of overflowing current. The sign had come with a loud mention of the date once more and who was I to not hold onto this word?

Days grew closer and finally talk started to point to its occurrence.

I am yet to process this fact because It astounds me that it happened on the very day that the Spirit of God showed to me— It was, and is still a case of;

Be it unto me
According to Your word
According to Your promises
I can stand secure

Carve upon my heart
The truth that sets me free
According to Your word O’ Lord
You promised Your blood will deliver

Lord, we believe it’s true
You promised us joy like a river
Lord we receive it from You
These things You have spoken

And You’re bringing to pass
This world’s disappearing
But Your word will last
According to Your word ~~~~ Don Moen

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12th October, 2019— This is the Day that the Lord has made.

The day started out with a profuse downpour to the point that whatever had to be done was done in the rain, I was all mud and wet preparing for this great feast. My 2 Aunts, and a friend to mom who were sorely in-charge of cooking had to shift several times between shelters. The weather was playing chess. In all of this, my heart was blithe with Zoe melodies’ praise rotation—Lord, this is the day you have made and I’ll be glad in it tuluntulu….

Finally, when my family had gathered and last minute preparations done with, I made my way to bathe and be a ready bride— On this day, it made sense why the Spirit had set me up to read the Parable of the 10 Virgins in Mathew 25:1-13, at 3:00 am on one of the days prior. 

I saw every part of my life play out in what the Lord had communicated to me through scriptures during my devotions—someone may say these might have been impulses, but I am honestly not about to downplay a spiritual experience for logic’s sake.

All this while, the groom kept sending courteous messages to my phone—One asked “can I call you?‘, and the other said “I am on my way”. So cute.

Thank God for the fact that my bedroom window overlooks the gate entrance. into my father’s compound. I could have screamed when I saw an entourage of cars lined up to enter into my father’s compound, I don’t quite recall. I could see that Hudson’s was a diverse company all beautifully clad in Kanzus and Gomesis, these my bako and bakyala were here to state a case—and I was to be the centre of whatever was to be spoken about through the entire time— I am such a big deal people!! (Blush if you may, roll your eyes and you will knock your toe)

Anyhow, Hudson had his glasses on, and I haven’t seen a man so handsome in his cultural clothing. If you asked me to make Luwombo and go serve him on all four, I could have done so, and even sang him praises like “Ayi Sabassajja Kabaka womutima gwange wangala sebbo“– but that was then people, which was then…

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When finally they got into my father’s house, I was left to only imagine what kind of conversation ensued, tentatively asking my friends to be my eyes and ears but they must have been admiring and probably choosing men for themselves because they came with no report—real Judas’

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Hudson’s Squad— Honestly, this is the humblest I have seen most of them

I could have sat for eternity, my pondering moments interrupted by the Photographer, to do this and that and smile, and push my chest forward— I am not very enthusiastic about multiple shoots especially if I am the point of focus in a single place. I was tired and hungry even before the official lunch moment was called for.

When I knelt to pray, I felt a settling in my heart. In my room alone, I felt as though Christ knelt with me, and smiled through my impeccable joy, my insurmountable tears, and basked in my praise.

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There are fine sisters, but this sis out here bombing this beauty standard..

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Finally, there was a scuffle, the young men walked out of the house to the cars and came back with baskets and sacks laden with food stuffs.. And when everything had been assembled, I had a rumble of laughter ring out, and then hand claps and then laughter, my father and Uncle’s was most noticeable. They were impressed, I could tell because this was intensely spoken about after the visiting family had returned to their domicile.

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If you are wondering about when I write about my unveiling to the guests, and whatever you’d think would be the formal process, I got to peep in time at the Kyembebera emphasize to my father that it is not part of the Kinyankole Culture to unveil— You can imagine my disappoint after I had taken time to dress up and smell as the Victorian Queen.

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When the disappointment washed away, I waited for what my Spirit would say and this was what it was; The shift has happened, as was spoken you have made a beautiful ready bride for your groom, your lamp was fueled and because it was not lit does not mean it was irrelevant. It only speaks for your preparedness. And I breathed heavily out and just like that I knew the God of Prophet Elvis had been about no play!!.

I did take some pictures with the family and my father’s Muko.

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The Sight of Abundance

And when we were back to family, I looked around my father’s house and there was not only a sound of abundance but a sight of it… I have never seen so many things, everyone had plenty to take home to their families.

Remember that scripture that says; In my father’s house are many rooms, at this point, in my father’s house was too much food and drinks and such a great harvest.

I wonder how to end this narration but this is what I will say—- Never has it been close to my heart what the process of marriage is about.

It is beautiful, it is overwhelming, it is such an experience everyone should have. The beauty however is if you let the Lord be the driver of this course. Once I shall write about how Hudson met, but ours is entirely been God unfolding His mercy, majesty and beauty.

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I am the Seedling

My Vow

As a first timer, I didn’t have a clue on how to prepare for this ceremony, but what I have learned, I vow to help and share with every woman on their journey. I am not ruling myself out as an expert, but you know what, you don’t have to go through this without a hand. I will be that hand if you need one.

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Lastly, don’t bow to the pressure— If you don’t want to wear makeup, do not do so because it is trendy or because the photographer said your pictures will look better with it, if you prefer to have your hair natural, have it that way, if you prefer not to have multiple clothing to change into, it is okay, you are not broke, you are being comfortable in who you are.

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If you hate make-up, have someone give a subtle touch to your already obvious beauty!!

Whatever you want is what you should do… This is your day, it is your decision, look and feel good for yourself only not for the world. If you need scriptural backup, here goes

Romans 12:2 Amplified Bible (AMP) And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [a]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

The Lines have fallen for me in pleasant places

Share your story with me, and let us write it together. END

I Once Started A Business, and It FAILED

Envisioning the end of a matter is such a delight. Starting a business elicits both adrenaline and dopamine, sustaining that business is the hurricane storm. Entrepreneurs call that “the trough of sorrow”.

This year has had my eyes flip open to what the nooks of starting and managing a business are. I have never had a liking for entrepreneurship. In my school years, I had to choose between literature(rolls eyes; like I could ever give it up) and entrepreneurship and you should know by now what I settled for.

Despite the derogatory truth above, I have always harbored a dream to open up and run a restaurant– I have loudly shared this calling. I love food and taking people on a trip with spaces, art and taste. This has always been my dream investment. And to Invest I did.

For me, it took an imagination that I realize now, I didn’t give as much time as I should have–I should have constructed some more however when I saw the beginning and the end, out I came and determined to start. I had me some Dollar savings that I quickly changed into Shillings as the business was targeting a Ugandan market. I had quite a lump-sum amount of money, far and above the budget I had drawn up(or thought I needed).

My product was pizza and the target market was University Students,—the assumption was that students tend to love pizza so much and since my prices were much cheaper than what was offered in restaurants, I was on the road to enviable profit margins and success… Hallelujahhhhhh

At about this time, I had the support of my best friend who had pursued accounting and was very excited that I had entrusted her to run the business. We were on a Spiral, you should have seen how our faces shimmered.

My price list was as follows;

  1. An 8-slices Pizza would cost UGX. 15000 while on the market, it costs UGX. 25,000
  2. A slice would cost UGX. 2000, UGX. 1500 lesser than a slice piece on the market.

I willed myself to start; it was such a deep desire, it burned like a feisty romance.

On the day of Launch, I had printed out posters, and hired young ladies that would aid in the advertisement through word of mouth at the campus premises.

I had come to the judgement that Lunch period on-wards were peak hours to sell the product as most students were hungry, and would scamper for cheap pizza. I don’t want to go into the details of what happened during the hours until close of business at 9:00 pm.

But with us were 6 cold unsold Whole pizzas even after an attempt to sell each pizza at UGX. 10,000. The team was overworked with some of their voices gone with the wind, some of them were drenched in sweat, dirt and bad odor. My imagined profit had been UGX. 150,000 after investing in 10 Pizzas however I walked home with UGX. 60,000, 6 stone hard pizzas and 4 slices that my friends and I ate on the journey back home– Such a plenteous waste!!

I didn’t give up.. I was at this investing journey for 2 whole weeks each time with more losses than profits. Until I closed shop. My heart couldn’t take the disappointment and cold leftover Pizza anymore. (I love Pizza now, but not as much as before I started this business, I ate so much pizza to the point that my I reeked of it).

Working with various entrepreneurs has had me realize what loops I missed out then. I considered Downstream Marketing than I did Upstream Marketing. And if you are wondering what these stand for, Upstream Marketing involves what you would do before you start a business, like developing a clear market segmentation map and then identifying and precisely defining which customer segments to focus on. It analyzes how the end-user uses the product or service and what competitive advantage will be required to win the customer and at what price point.

On the other hand, Down-stream marketing involves advertising, promotion, brand-building and communicating with customers through public relations, trade shows and in-store displays. Downstream Marketing enhances the acceptance of a product or service that already exists.

Also, while I didn’t prepare myself as I should have. I didn’t have some of the requirements that I needed to run a successful pizza business. I hadn’t purchased a microwave neither did I have a kitchen kind of setting so things were just about as anywhere. Would you buy cold pizza? Would you trust if you didn’t see its preparation process?— All these things I didn’t consider (I actually had but I deemed them insignificant to my desire to succeed).

Since taking on my role at The Innovation Village, I have since learned a few lessons about starting and maintaining businesses.

Uganda is known as the world’s number one entrepreneurial destination, however 95% of businesses and ideas die out in their first year. My Pizza business (Until I breathe over those dead bones) is part of that static.

Also I bless the Lord for this year, the beauty with the Lord is when you ask Him, He shows you the end of the matter. Just because the Lord has shown you the end of the matter doesn’t mean that you should take the control in getting there faster. He who has shown you, shall be faithful in getting you there. Prophet Elvis Mbonye while sharing the time he was called/shown his path of life by the Lord, said that the Lord shall you the end just so you can trust him enough to lead you there without forsaking the seasons, signs and lessons.

That above is my entrepreneurship story, but it shouldn’t define yours. As a matter of fact, I know people who have started off on a great and profitable note and that can be you as well. Sometimes the thorn of pride in you may outgrow all the roses, so it needs to be cut off.

Do not let what you read here, strangle your vision, keep at it, focus on it. I could swear that the business failed because I had my focus spread out thin. I still kept my 9-5pm job (and I don’t mean to say that you can’t have a business and employment, but for who I know myself to be, I will focus so much on a particular thing that it will leave me burnt out for the next) and withheld attention from the that baby needed to grow.

Here are my 5 key lessons.

Focus; and this comes back to concentrating on a particular thing. Give it all your energy. Spreading yourself out too thin will not only wear you out, but shall leave you with little achievement. Also don’t lose sight of what you envisioned for your business.

Keep the company of those whose drive is as your own, whose journey is as your own: Proverbs 4:7-8 puts it in such a great way Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words. The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch”. If you want to be a publicist, ever so often hang and learn from the company of publicists, whatever you want to be, keep company of!

If you wouldn’t want/eat/use it, the market doesn’t need it; This means you need to be the first lab test of your idea, business or product. If you don’t see how it solves a particular need, or adds value, then your target market will not see/use it as well

Meditate fully on the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit; I want to stress this out for you. You will need these more than anything else. (How about you research this for yourself so that you can read all the different versions of what these gifts are, and how they will help you uphold your business).

Lastly, let your business have accountability partners. It could be your man of God, your business-minded friend/parent, your mentor etc.. Let them know of your plans, and be accountable at every stage of criticism. Accountability are what writers would call Editors. Editors will blatantly tell you that the book you spent sleepless nights putting together is trash or grammatically unfitting(hurting right?) but will advise you on what you can do to get better (the growth once you heed shall leave you above aptitude).

And that is it from me.. Go start your business, you have been sitting on that idea way too long. Don’t forget to share your lessons and experiences too.

Adieu. ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣

 

 

 

 

 

Are Men Getting Credit For What They Have Not Done?

Trust people on social media to blow things out of proportion. I have seen a fair share of memes and sarcastic jokes mocking Anne Kansiime’s confession. She said she paid her dowry to be married to her now ex-husband Ojok.

It is rather unfortunate that women joined the charade of those that made a joke out of this, but this should not come as a shock as we have seen some women side together with men that decide to predate women on the edges of violence.

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Women are expected to be the silent majority, belittled and sometimes forced into the nooks of quietude. Women will tell you they are nursing many shameful vices the men in their lives are doing/have done simply because “You can not taint a man’s name”..

I believe in respecting your partner, their reputation, and whatever wealth is acclaimed to their name, however how many men will hush if the tables are turned? The times are starting to change where we now have women speaking up, but even when compared to the population, it is just 3% of these that have come clean.

Women seem to be unnamed saviors that need to constantly undergo Crucifixion once they do something that is not socially agreeable. However who draws the line on what is agreeable or not agreeable for women? Did the same person draw a line keeping those determinants constant for the men?

Kansiime confesses something that not many women have the courage to speak up about simply because of how the society might/will perceive their husbands. They tend to worry more for their husbands’ reputations and therefore take on a lesser position.— I bet this works against self-esteem as time goes on.

Society may say and even agree if a dispute broke out that it is a woman’s place to submit to a man.. I couldn’t agree more, a woman according to scripture is a helpmate, and helpers help, they do not assume the role. She is not supposed to assume the role that was given to a man. However if a woman has to shift gears from submission to cower-ism, then there is definitely a problem.

There are two men in today’s society;

  1. The first is the man that works his ass off and things may not go right, but therein is an effort to be at the helm of his responsibility as head and leader of his family.

  2. The second is the man whose mindset is like a tapeworm, very Parasitical …Eating off of the woman’s sweat without as much effort to explain why he decides to do so— These are what some feminists prefer to call slay male-queens..

Until Kansiime came clean of what happened, no one would have imagined the possibility of this, and yet it is widely happening, we have women buying/paying for their own engagement/wedding rings— Sis he used your money to purchase that stone, the beauty is that he gave it to you, but you are most definitely wearing what you bought.. Cheer Up and speak up. The days for making easy a man’s pursuit should be long over. Whoever needs something needs to go work to get it.. No easy way out!!

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The perception of having men appear as supermen even for things that women are doing on the background has led to many frustrated marriages, and friendships because society usually knows it is a man’s place to do certain things(and it is– that social order and hierarchy can not be broken), we don’t have women standing up to own up to the things they have done(we are not ululating the women forces as we should), they instead transfer all that credit to the man, lest society considers him a weak imbecile.

And maybe that is what some men are…. Forgive my straightforwardness, but a man who is intimidated by his wife’s inputs to his success and would only prefer to take all the credit for his egoistical uprightness can only be referred to as nothing else—- Imbecile!!

Women need to have their voices come out louder, they shouldn’t be pushed into a corner where they have to be silent about their strength, greatness and input to have the family coming out stronger.

Secondly, society should know that to draw a line for one gender does not serve anyone any better, that is why we will still have several cases of violence. There should be accountability for both genders—– If a man is going to receive that standing ovation for doing something, then a woman too should receive an even bigger standing ovation for doing a man’s role.

Lastly, there is much ululation for a man who babysits, there shouldn’t have been mockery therefore for Kansiime deciding to do what she did—It was a gesture of love, and perhaps we should rethink what kind of eyes we have decided to see her through since her confession.

End

So You Won’t Leave Work On Time Because You Will Be “JUDGED”.

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Do you get moments when you are right on time with your day’s tasks, and excitedly look forward to your end of office time? Do you just get ready to leave, apply some lipstick just in-case you walk into a future fling or Ex flame. All I am trying to say is do you ever get ready to leave, and just as you are about to pick up your bag and go, you take a look around office, and no one is flinching, no one is showing a sign of leaving, in-fact their heads are bent into their computers as though it is just the start of day?

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When this happens, do you always go ahead and leave?, or do you decide to wait another hour, look for work to get busier, and not look like the lazy, uncommitted and unproductive employee? What do you do?

I have seen a high number of employees get done with their portion of work as early as 4-5 hours into their 9-hour working schedule. They then tend to “switch off” and revert to doing other things like scrolling their phones, watching YouTube videos, make endless trips around the office, engage in conversation etc, this group of employees does not exclude me, neither you.. “Insert grin”.

The way life is, work systems engineer us into believing that busy is the dope. We live in a society that equates being busy and working long hours as important and commitment to our jobs. It does not need a complex formula for one to realize that the busier we are with work/ the longer we spend at work spaces, the less time we give to things outside of work. This distorts the boundaries between work and life

When we don’t contain our work hours, we sacrifice the time we need for the activities that replenish our energy stores. Things like exercise, family dinners, meeting up with friends, and even spending time in nature, all which are imperative for long-term mental and physical health, and, ultimately, our productivity.

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My whole point here is not the hours you put into work, it is the apprehensiveness that comes with leaving at the time stated in your contract. It is no secret that some employees stay longer at their work desks, beyond their working hours with the thought that it will impress the boss, or immediate supervisor. Besides impression, employees also live with the fear of what they will be thought of once they are the ones constantly walking out of the office at 5pm dot.

You have probably heard it before, but hear it from me once more;

Working long hours is bad for your health, and bad for your work. This is not to state that there should be a limit to how long one should work, however, anything that is excessively done obliterates passion. We have growing cases of mental health, depression, stress, heart attack, dementia, optical issues etc… rising up in Uganda’s health trends because Ugandans are working more than they care to spend time with their loved ones, doing the activities that help them see a different side of life. For some, work is an escape route from the world (and maybe I should soon write about this, God give me Grace) that they feel has them encamped and lost. So they work more than they live.

According to research and shared experiences, working extra hours affects your productivity. As the day goes on, your productivity lessens by the hour. I will give an example of myself, I am more upbeat in the morning hours or if I am working late long hours, however after lunch, I am a bag of sleep and boredom. I cannot tolerate meetings after lunch because digestion is happening and my body demands rest, so slowly my eyes start to do a shut down. I can honestly doze in-between a presentation—This has happened several times, I am not even trying to be funny. Some presentations just sound like lullabies honestly.

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Here is a blunt truth, if your boss or supervisor hasn’t noticed you during working hours, they probably never will. You are hired to show your creative abilities and critical analytic skills within the stipulated time. You don’t have to sacrifice your life proving your commitment to your job by staying long hours. In-fact employees should become the radical lot that question their employers as to why they are being stretched into boundaries that weren’t agreed upon during the recruitment process.

How to ditch the stay long at office routine

Get started. It is one thing to declare you are going to be different, and a totally different thing to be different. Therefore getting started produces momentum and later Motivation. If you leave work by 5pm, make sure to start preparing your whole mindset by 4:30pm. Pack up, write your to-do list for tomorrow, clean your work-space etc etc

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Do what is important first, and embark on scheduling the unimportant stuff for later. That is why I suggest you have a day schedule. We shouldn’t be making a show of working overtime and filling our after-work hours with stuff we could easily do tomorrow between the hours of nine ’til five. We shouldn’t be feeling guilty for leaving at the time our contracts state we’re allowed to walk out. And powering on past our working hours shouldn’t be the norm. It’s not healthy, and it needs to stop.

Judgement is on your mind. Stop thinking people are drawing conclusions to your principles. You therefore need to get the guilt and worry that comes with standing up from your desk at five on the dot. If you have done your days’ worth, you aren’t ditching the office and leaving other people to do work that needs to be done. You aren’t lazy, uncommitted, or unfit for the job as the people that are sticking around late. So don’t be tempted to stay later than you should.

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Mentally think about why it is important to leave work on time. Like we said earlier, leaving work on time is good for your health and productivity, good for your relationships and friendships, good for the much needed lone time, needed for evaluation. Remind yourself that it’s more important to work better than to work longer. You need to remember that there’s no way you can be creative, great at solving problems, and generally brilliant if you’re overworked and exhausted. The quality of the work you produce is more important than the amount of time you spend at your desk.

Lastly, set the example, you’re contributing to a workplace culture where it’s entirely okay to leave on time and have a life outside of work, where people don’t feel shamed into skulking out at 5.40 when they finished their work an hour ago. Which is a brilliant thing. Stay late on those occasions that you need to. Leave on time when there’s really no need to stick around. And stop feeling guilty for doing it.

Starting today, at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm  GO HOME…. LEAVE THE OFFICE

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