Pageants, politics and Non of my business

For the past couple of days the news has been awash with what in Uganda no longer a scandal probably talking point.

 

The state minister for tourism (Godfrey Kiwanda) was called to a press conference by an organiser who’s fronting a miss curvy context….or for plus size women. To be fair his choice of diction was poor but in Uganda people don’t pay anyone to draft speeches at that level of government, everyone is a specialist. But that’s not my point, personally this should have been a subject of women empowerment than tourism. Tourism should have been a bi product of empowerment cause in all honesty the Miss Uganda pageant as it has been ran for the over 50 years it’s been around has always been a very segregative event in regards to the selection criteria of participants, and they are not a proportional representation of the general female population.

 

So how did the minister end up derailing such a would be noble cause, other than his choice of words of course, after the fall out; him and the organisers of the pageant failed to own the narrative of the story and the opposing voices took up the mental and twisting it to suite their agenda. In creating the propaganda the role of the local media can’t be over stated a local media house has literally translated events from the day as “a competition of buttocks” others are directing leading the public into believing its some sort of auctioning of women to the highest bidder.

 

The public especially in urban centres that would consume this kind of controversy is generally disgruntled with the government and any chance to mount criticism, is a welcome distraction from the hustle of living in a third world country add the weight of religious institution especially the traditional ones, cultural institutions have been entertainingly quite, there are several ways to read into that. For the hugely popular Pentecostal churches it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want to be caught in the government’s cross hairs or seem to come off like opposition.

 

So if you’re wondering can the situation be salvaged or is it even worth salvaging for the ministry it might cost him political mileage, as soon as government feels like its unnecessary heat its generating he can end up as the sacrifice s that the situation can go away it already as people power phoneme to contend with, if this drags own the minister will drop it like a hot potato and hopefully there’s another scandal to capture the public’s imagination. Every story is a bigger story away from its end and that will be his saving grace.

 

The organisers wanted to gain traction and publicity in throwing the ministers weight behind the even and its clearly backfired, the initiative though was one I find no fault in, but then am probably not the most morally upright of citizens to make that call. If where up to me the event shouldn’t be cancelled but its been tinted with the public that cooperate companies might have a hard time having such an event being associated with their brands but the bigger loser at the doors such an event would have opened for the participants. Imagine if Miss Uganda had been cancelled, Quinn Abenakyo would be the most visible loser but as a country that lose that not calculated in publicity we’d never know

 

Closely related is the brewing saga with Quinn’s degree I don’t know what’s the fuss about, people have had degrees awarded to them under very dubious circumstances, and this was an individual who was out of the country on not so official but “national” duty. I know sports personalities who under the same circumstances have still been given the same privilege and no one tried to raise dust on tarmac. People today are willing to exploit any situation if they stand to gain…. That’s why every now and then the public is treated to nudes by disgruntled ex-lovers. A lack of standards, nothing is too low anymore for peeps to not scope from, a society of largely haters. Our better angles no longer appeal to us, who muted them

Depression

My depression is more of a shapeshifter, one day it is a tiny fly in the palm of a bear the next day its the bear herself, those are the days I play dead in my bed or bar stool until the bear leaves me alone, the bad days which double as the dark days necessitate one or a couple for the road, those are the days i need to blow off steam.

I hear my dad say “son, light some candles” but whenever I see candles I see the flesh of a church, the flicker of the flames sparks memories younger than noon and am standing besides his open coffin, Its the same moment I realize that everybody I ever know will some day die, and Dad am not afraid of dark perhaps that’s part of the problem, I hear my Dad ponder he thought the problem was I only occasionally drink too much just, well that too and i cant get out of bed. Anxiety holds me hostage inside these four walls, inside my head. Then my dad asks “where did anxiety come from?” Well Dad, anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town that depression felt obligated to bring to this lit party and Dad am that party….only am the party i also would not want to be at!!

Dad suggests “Son you should resume attending actual parties again, see your friends you know, meet some girls, you used to thrive off the social scene, you where the life of the party remember” Sure Dad i do make plans, but i no-longer want to go, I do make plans cause i know i should want to go, I would actually want to go but its just not that much fun having fun when you really don’t want to have fun.

You see Dad each night lately insomnia sweeps me into its embrace that fluffy bear hug that should remind me of you then holds me the over the small glow of the gas stove in the kitchen, Dad insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.

I hear my Dad irritably suggest “try counting sheep!!” but my mind can only count reasons to stay awake, so I pick up my earphones blast Bob Marley and go for walks but my unsteady knee caps cling like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists that deafen Bob Marley and all i hear are the echos of clumsy church bells ring in my hear reminding me am walking on an ocean of happiness i cant baptize myself in.

My Dad now mad almost shouting at me “Happy is a decision!” but my happy is as hallow as a pin pricked hole, my happy is a high that comes with a hangover low when the sun is supposed to be donning on a brand new day.

Dad now visibly mad shouts am so good at making blowing the smallest mishaps out of proportion and flat out asks me if am scared of dying? No Dad am not, living actually scares me more! Dad am lonely!! To got over you passing i simply transitioned where i went from anger to lonely the lonely into busy and have handled everything else like thateversince so when i tell you i have been super busy lately, what i really mean is i have been falling asleep watching CNN, drinking Nile Special on the couch to avoid confronting the empty side of my bed but my depression has away of always dragging me back to my bed until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city, my mouth a boneyard of teeth broken from biting down on themselves the hallow auditorium of my chest swoons with echos of an out of rhythm heart beat. See Dad am like the careless tourist here, I’ll truly never know everywhere that i have been.

My old man still doesn’t understand, Dad please cant you see that neither DO I !!!

 

NOTE: Depression is real and along side mental illness are among the most under diagnosed diseases the world over, we are so accustomed to hearing man up or be hard amongest others and sadly most of us try to do just that, than seeking professional help cause its out there. Lets not just wait for famous people to die before its a topic of discussion. Lets educate each other to see the symptoms in ourselves first, friends and relatives and where to get the appropriate help from.

BP: Sabrina Benaim

2 Billion Porn

I love this country even if I prefer to feel like more of a world citizen.

This blog is going to be a rant not some intellectual mambo jumbo what we have on our hands are peeps in position of some sort of influence who reason with whatever intellectuals sit on. In the position we are in generally as a country the last thing we need is a pornography commitment.

What we need is UCC should regulate the mass media outlets that’s airwaves and print and they are overly funded to execute just that…not another TWO BILLION of tax payer money for a commitment made up of people who should be in the sidelines of government business serving this nation as consultants…maybe boosting the private sector but no these senior citizens milk the cow dry, when they leave the country will be neck deep in national debt.

Now is pornography in itself a problem oh yes, but it is what I want to call a Kampala problem. Kampala to symbolize the urban centers around the country, and urban centers the internet has penetrated, and most of the places the internet has reached but no one has the money to buy this ever increasing data plans or the smart phones that come with second hand, UK or Dubai Used they are normally advertised with lousy batteries that need to be recharged every few couple of hours…national electrification will be a story for another day, cause it’s an open secret how many rural electrification projects have been funded by tax payers and donors but all they have to show are pickup trucks and t-shirts with little to no results on the ground and what’s readily available are the challenges why it didn’t happen, we are good at excuses as a nation both children and adults by the way.

Where as in some parts of the world internet is a right to everyday life in most parts of Africa it’s a privilege for a small privileged portion of the population not to say they are well off and everything is ALL GOOD but I mean its Africa and you can afford it we have no functional social welfare programs but politicians with Swiss bank accounts, Uganda is country where the only institution working like a well-oiled machine is the corruption industry and YES it’s so well institutionalized and emended in the social fabric.

So other than rant how is this constructive to the national dialogue as a whole I can almost hear you think by now first of all the 2 billion like many other billions before this particular one would have been appropriated to several other fundamental sectors for the general wellbeing of the layman or to boost the economy that are running on fumes due to mismanagement and under resourcing. These in turn can have long term positive impact but clearly legacy is not in the cards for most of these public servants…personal enrichment is though. A breakdown of these sectors is a topic of its own.

And if you asked me, but we are here now so what do we do?

Good question… and honestly we are f**ked it doesn’t get better and don’t get me wrong we are not yet at the bottom but does it look like we are heading there YES by all counts if history is anything to by, this ladies and gentlemen is a ran away train, now, anything can happen at this point unless there’s an over haul of the system the old guard call it a day and retreat to their farms let other people pick the ruins and drive this nation forward we’ve just tuned a corner in history to make a U-turn at this juncture does not produce any winners. Any regime in survival mode doesn’t serve the interest of its people at the end of the day we can all be enemies of the state and hence dispensable.

Above all though am an optimist and I believe we’ll ride this wave, we might not all make it to the finish line or all see the dawn of the new day but will carry on and fight the good fight. In the words of Bob Marley …on judgment day no partiality

When Dawn is near

When the end is near, am guessing it should be easy to know that past a certain age it should be logically. All of us literally only know this earth as home so I’d imagine it’s scary, our different religions have done their part in comforting us but if there was ever anything like a “death queue” am sure we’d treat it like that queue in school when the mathematics teacher was flogging those below the pass mark, personally whenever it was my turn I always found my way to the back of the queue, I have this gut feeling most of us would do just the same…I have a faint memory as a kid at a burial, men stood in the grave as others lowered the coffin, I remember chaos and me peeking through the adult mourners legs, later in life I have learnt not everyone at any given burial is actually a mourner, but the mourners are not the soul of this piece today.

When dawn is near it’s the fear, regret and wishes made that I want to have my take

On fear, naturally as human beings we are a selfish bunch whether it’s part of our evolutionary process or how we are natured and we want to achieve things go places, normally no one goes through school to want and die, people want to meet significant others, have kids raise kids and even after all that is done we still want to watch our children’s children grow, in one place do we plan dying, insurers want to remind us life isn’t smooth sailing which is the fact but its taboo to think of one’s death, reminds me of a casual conversation I had with an uncle while watching the television, one of the insurance companies that offer death insurance had a commercial on and I entertained the idea of getting the over and he turns around and gives me this look and asks me if am planning to kill myself and 8/10 adults carry the same attitude. We don’t want to deal with death until it’s at our door steps. Growing up there was this common saying “don’t trouble before trouble troubles you” I think that’s the attitude we’ve developed with death.

Earth is the home we know the things we’ve worked hard to achieve, the dreams built, relationships no sentimental person wants to leave all that behind and its good cause to fear resting in peace and the idea of being covered in earth and sealed off with cement.

As every man is born into this world, unfortunately it’s only by death that we’ll leave, and whereas over the generations humans beings have engineered mechanisms for

the living to cope with the anguish of losing loved ones or natural calamity that wipes out huge numbers that’s when of course we are not wiping out ourselves cause as humans we have developed very sophisticated means to, weaponry industry is big lucrative business

Personally when my dawn is here I to arrive late, in love and a little drunk after spending my last days with feet in the sand waves washing up unto to me, no shoes on and watching the sun sink into the horizon.

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photo-credit: Fred Meijer