Just Do It

Earlier this year, I received three words that tremendously became a huge pivot in my life. These three words are the reason I walked about forty kilometers in a single day just to see how far my body could go. On this trek, a friend and I decided to follow the railway line, partly this was my idea because I love adventure but the consequences were rather unhealthy. I still have vivid memories of how deep we entered Mukono in that I could see Namilyango Junior the same way you see Mapera House from Ham Towers. To be honest, I do not encourage anyone to do what we did but I can attest that it seems impossible until it is done.

I could say it is a coincidence that the same time I happen to write about these three words I am reading Phil Knight’s Memoir “Shoe Dog Knight“. By now you should have an idea what consists of this trilogy. Isn’t it awful that the person that inspired Nike to carry this slogan was a murderer? When Garry Gilmore was asked his final words before his death sentence he was like “Let’s do it.” Little did he know that his last words have gone ahead to make a multimillion ad campaign. Dan Wieden,the owner of the agency that did the ad for Nike envisioned the statement’s power to cause women to have a relationship with a shoe while walking… impeccable. So all they had to do to start walking was to wear a Nike shoe. But before you consider the conclusion that led to Nike’s adoption of the slogan, doing is something that has been painted across the company’s history ever since it was called Blue Ribbon.

Definitely on my 40 km expedition I was not wearing Nikes, so I am not here to tell a brand story but to show the power of these three words. The person who spoke these words out did not specifically direct them to me, he said them in a virtual meeting and all I could hear was the “do”. How many times have you wanted to do something but you feel there’s a million reasons as to why I shouldn’t? Well Coca cola has given us a million reasons to believe. How many times have you wanted to push yourself out of the ordinary but something you can not see or feel is just keeping your candle under a bushel? Isn’t it funny how a car is built to run at more than 200km/hr but the road sign says there’s a speed limit? The allegory here is that do you know how far/fast/high you can go? Can you know your maximum speed unless you have been there?

2020 has been a beautiful year for me. If I decided to talk about my achievements, not even I can affirm that I would have come this far, had it not been for the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. More to this is the power of the two letter word “do”. I mean just do it. The do is what gets me back on my feet even after knowing that I am going to get hit again. Then when I get hit harder, I rise up running a little faster than before. Then I get hit again, ” ohhh boy” I say to myself “it is not yet over”. Then I remember that what does not kill me makes me stronger, so I go back to face this obstacle, again and again until I can no longer shoot my shots. I do not encourage anyone to do this out of ignorance, each next move is an iteration of its predecessor. My conclusion here is that you can not know how many shots you have unless you have shot them.

So it is these three words that have led me to write this post and I hope you receive them the same way I did. What could possibly go wrong if you just did it? In order for you to reach the end of this article, you just did it. So, just do it!

Think Like Ben Drake, Act Like Reuben.

A FLYER WITH BEN DRAKE.

Have I ever told you that I was once a dancer? I know I know… very many are going to get back to me about this. But I am going to do my best not to talk about how smooth my moves were.

Once upon a time, there lived a Jabba dancer, let’s not disclose his name as of yet. But this is how the legend was told through the dormitory corridors as older Jabba dancers passed on the art of stepping to juniors.

One day an old lady came from the village surrounding the school fence and kidnapped a student named Mugisha after he disappeared for three days from the school premises. He was later recovered near the fence with green eyes. It is hard to understand why his eyes were so because all the tests at the nearby hospital concluded that he was healthy. The only disease he had was dancing. He was an expert at it. The way he moved his heels as he succumbed to the beats by Angelique Kidjo and Sipho Mabuse you could think he was a prisoner of sound. His svelte moves won him wide popularity among other schools especially girls’ schools. His friends admired his new style of dancing that was not taught by their British Teachers. Whenever his time to dance came, all the other boys watched Mugisha sway his body to the vibe of the beat.

I have toiled that much to introduce a preamble to “Personal Branding” in high schools. You shall agree with me, that in high school a girl could choose a dancer over a debater. I can speak about this because I have been in both positions though, at different timings, the only difference is in one I was a flying fish. So this is not an article to show you how to win girls in high school.

Figuratively, the debater represents intellectual intelligence and the dancer represents entrepreneurial intelligence. The ability to coordinate the movement of one’s body with that of a melody can not be compared to the speed with which an argument is deconstructed during an interrogation.

So dear friends, what is it that ladies find interesting about dancers?

Okay, I think I already answered myself. One’s ability to discipline his body in anticipation of an event keeps them exercising which eventually cultivates a discipline. This cultivated behavior is what attracts an audience, your ability to put yourself through uncomfortable conditions to match your body’s wave to a staccato can not be compared to your cognitive ability to defend a case. Definitely, the latter is more academic however the former is action-centered.

The only reason why Reuben is both a good dancer and a prominent mathematician is because of his ability to solve problems. So whether it’s calculus or doing the tootsie slide we always see hidden concepts at work. So who is Reuben, or let me say, Ben Drake?

A great friend of mine, I do not have a Vimeo link to his work but once I get them I’ll update the article. So Reuben has a goatee, is a good mathematician, and probably one of the most hard-working individuals I have met. If he was still applying to college, I think this would make a good peer recommendation essay. He is definitely a dancer, in this article I have used the above preamble to decode the allegory of dancing and debating. In this case, Reuben is a dancer and a debater, but let us ignore the latter because I can attest he is a great Chelsea enthusiast who has been attacked on several occasions to defend his ardent passion for The Blues, that is if at the time this is published he still is.

So if you are a keen reader of my blog you can understand when I juxtaposition two objects, which I am about to do. Each time I have referred to Ben Drake or a dancer I have been laboring to show you that you always have to think like an entrepreneur and each time I have used Reuben, I mean that you should be the hardest worker and the best version of yourself.

Because of time, I shall leave the part of being your best version out because each time we went out for a function to another school, Reuben Drake Kwagalakwe was the best version of himself.

So think like Ben Drake and act like Reuben.

Spider-Man 🕷️

The actual title of today’s piece is supposed to be Mary Jane, but after weighing my options I realised borrowing a movie title from the MCU would brighten the picture.

In Sam Raimi’s blockbuster “Spider-Man 2” Peter Parker loses his powers. Well the writer does not dig deep to answer why but tracing back the events it is easy to conclude that Spiderman is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is the part where I ask Stan Lee, “Why are you such a good storyteller?”

In life, I have come to learn that the first hero you have lies on the inside. It is easy to see another brother or sister experience something and conclude that he/she is mad. This is the part where I rephrase Francis D. Imbuga’s famous line “When the silence of an entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say that the man is mad.”

The only way Spider-Man regains his powers is when he focuses on making himself a better man. Focusing on cleaning the air around him, and drawing happiness from within. That’s the point, the key to unlocking that satisfaction is not locked up somewhere in some book. The greatest manual of life teaches that the hope of glory lies within. Therefore as a man thinks so he is.

The ability to shape one’s thought structure, influences the boundaries around them. Being optimistic or seeing good in everything is not a habit that is merely acquired as a result of listening to motivational speakers. The biggest motivation you need comes from within. That ability to set targets and the joy that follows with breaking records only makes sense when the inner you is reconciled with the outside, for out of the heart of a man flow rivers of living water.

It is easy to conclude that Mary Jane is the reason Spider-Man regains his abilities. One could say that her kissing him is the reason the man is made whole. I am definitely not Stan Lee to see this, but from the angle of the viewer I understand that Peter Parker only regains his potential to fight bigger battles because he is at rest. For a body can only move in a straight direction when there’s no force being applied to it.

Happy Mental Health Day!

Ohhh it was on 10th October.

Lyric


I choose to be the hypnotic beat of your song.
To be the honey sweet spot tantalizing your tongue as your vocals bellow like Celine Dion.

Allow me to be the board that matches the rhythm of your heartbeat while your cotton soft palms snap at the tune of your favorite playlist.
Let me be the tap of your heel when the DJ cranks up the heat so that I can feel your beat.

And if I can’t be any of the above,I choose to be your darkness
As the eerie lucifer plays the angel of light.
And if the world is a bore,
Let me be the reason you sing like a seraphim at the throne of my heaven.
And if you enjoy maganda let me be the propaganda that’ll entice you to dance bakusim’ba.

By David Bakka & Pamela Nakintu

Luliba Lumu bweluti

Luliba lumu bweluti

Nga I write poetry for my one and only

Buy her an iPhone because she is the apple of my eye.

Take her to places that her father only dreamed of

Bake her Choco cakes kubanga her smile keeps me awake.

Tugende ku Murchison falls tubuuke babiiri kubanga omuhabati gwaffe sigwa mubiri bubiri.

Luliba lumu bweluti

Nga nange kola matching kitenges

Taking selfies ku balcony za akamwesi.

Instagram yange nayo ngifuule nga ya Kim ne Kanye

Tulumye abayaye kubanga enyumba twa gizimba Kisasi.

Luliba lumu bweluti

Nga we walk down the aisle

Nze nne sweetie wange afannana nge kyupa ya cocacola

Tuwanddike endagaano, na’ amanya tugakyuuse ku ndagamuntu.

I’ll play the guitar for lullabies

And make you sandwiches for breakfast

We’ll kiss goodnight and hug good morning then cuddle before noon.

But until then, luliba lumu bweluti.

A letter to the girl that I never told these three word.

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It has been a while since I last wrote something in this context. At the same time very little details cause me to write in this context. Do not ask me what I mean by “this context“. Did you know that random singing by a married lady is a huge sign that the husband is winning? How come you sing for the Lord?

I am yet to discover what relays such a reaction but that same feeling happens when I write poetry. If you disagree, please share your disappointment in the comments section.

 

In my life, I have not been brave enough to tell some girls some words, so I thought if I write this poem I could relieve myself of this unforgiving spirit. One can call me a selfish man because I do not release these words too easily. I am yet to swallow Rollo Tomasi’s Red Pill in his bestseller “The Rational Male“.

 

This long story has been cut into a poem.

 

Deaf Girl

To that girl that I never told “I love you”,

If love and lava were synonyms, I would choose to be the former.

I wanted to tell you that I love you without saying it,

To give myself away to you in bits so that you could always want to be close to that selfless source.

My love for you was not stored in the alphabet,

It was a flavor of verbs;

Acts of kindness, patience with your camouflaging moods and blowing blessings your way each time I said goodbye.

 

If all people that show love are called lovers,

Then lava we were to become.

I imagined that the strength of me loving you would be too hot for you to handle.

I chose to be keep calm and watch you grow out of the larva stage of our love cycle

As you played hard to get but at the back of my mind you acted the perfect mate with whom I could ride around the entire world on a tricycle.

 

All I wanted to tell you were these three words

But I was afraid,

Afraid to use the vulnerability of language to displace the intensity of shadows that were roaming places for action.

So again if my acts were not loud enough to show you what I felt for you.

I ask you to hear me again.

 

This is the second poem I have written this week. My first was when I read a friend’s beautiful piece and I tried adding some words. It is really cool to find someone with whom you can paint stories with.

 

I did not want to kill the excitement but the poem in this article is not one written after a real experience, it just felt good to write something instead of watching a movie.

 

P.S This is not the article I promised to be writing about. It is still in the factory.

 

The Rolex Philosophy!

Did you know that in the past chapatti sellers had to obtain medical forms to operate? On one of my evening adventures I sat down with a ten-year experienced chapatti maker and we talked for three hours. By our conversation one could easily map the nation’s history.

 

This week I have not been reading intensively because I have been finishing an online program “StartUp School” by Y Combinator. I come from a community where business acumen is driven by instincts though I realized to escape this cycle I had to take a step further to learn how to operate a start-up. And so far my journey has been a revelation. In one of my classes I was taught that one of the major things needed to grow a startup is to achieve Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and avoid fake progress.

 

Coincidentally, I have also been running The Mentorship Class‘ Business Ideation Hackathon with a team of fellow coaches. So all things have indeed been working out for my good. One way to meet primary KPI’s is to spend adequate time with your customer and always iterate.

 

Today, I went to have a chat with one of our newest customers, a chapatti seller. It was not a planned conversation however he gave me lots of his time because he has been able to establish a system to run his operations while absent. Why I’m I writing about a chapatti seller? First of all, I would want to address him as a culinary expert because his experience in restaurants has won him fame in our semi urban suburb. 

 

After he told me that he integrates milk in his chapattis, I had to listen carefully. He actually shared with me a secret recipe, strange, he also discussed with me the history of the suburb’s real estate. I came to realize that there’s a lot to learn, of course we had to crack jokes about those who go to university only to come out speaking good English. But as he spoke I noticed his art of business was founded in patience. He knows his business adequately, he can tell that there’s something wrong by looking at his accounts, he keeps his books properly and also balances his sheets.

 

Then he told me about his philosophy. He referred to it as “policy“, he does not do deliveries. So if you are foreign to this kind of setting let me illustrate what I mean. In Uganda, Rolex makers or street vendors have a delivery option where they serve customers in dishes with forks especially when it comes to the famous ” Kikomando“. This is not Mr. Ismail’s policy. It is easy for one to conclude and call him proud, don’t worry you are not alone. All the people who have asked him to deliver and he refused had similar conclusions.

 

Before I explain the reasoning that led to this policy, allow me to speak of his. He does not make pizzas. Again I repeat, ” a lot of terms used here may not be your jargon because of setting.” You must be wondering what a pizza is! Not your eight piece sliced circle. The pizza in this neighborhood is chapatti fried in an egg more like a Rolex done vice versa. So he does not do pizzas despite demand because of his policy, what a business mogul.

P.S this article was published two months after it was written i
case it does not match your flow of events.
My next article is going to explain my silence in these two months.

Distance

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Missing morning prep had been my usual agenda, but this time the new Warden, Mr. Fluggy had declassified my innovation. As a way to extend my usual night sleep that was trimmed by late nights of akaboozi, I creatively combined two metallic suitcases under my double decker so that I could enjoy the conducive morning defrost amidst sunrise. Before this new Warden, I had established a good deal with Mr Shamzi the warden that handled the last four days of the week. To the shock of all my neighbors, I actually was present and had broken my legendary streak. My sleepy eyes were welcomed by a pale blackboard accompanied by our dark skinned physics teacher, Mr. Owori who had also made a similar sacrifice to mine. The only difference was that he was getting paid for foregoing his sleep and my reward was escaping the morning embarrassment of public flogging in the midst of juniors.

 

He scribbled the word “Distance” on the board. As soon as he finished explaining “Distance is a product of time and speed” I slumbered into a dream. In this dream, my neighbor was missing, the teacher had a mask on his face so did my other classmates that were seated alone on two seater desks. I thought to myself that this was a biology lesson, but the mere fact that the students were not wearing lab coats was also confusing.

 

When the bell rang for breakfast, I was quick to jump out of my seat to inquire from my neighbor about the previous lesson. Only to be welcomed by a spray bottle. “…okay!” I exclaimed at Musoke’s reaction. As I thought to myself that he was contesting for the leadership position of Health Minister. It was not long before the class monitor Mawejje demanded a fine of five thousand shillings for not wearing a mask. As I tried to reach out for my wallet to make the payment, I found it missing. Before I could express my dismay Mawejje told me to present my left wrist. To my shock, he scanned my watch and it showed a balance of forty five thousand shillings.

 

I later discovered that this device that resembled a watch was a health tracker, that monitored my body temperature and was also used to facilitate mobile payments. Money was now illegal. The balance was an indicator of the biweekly deposit of pocket money from the bursary. All this unravelled before my eyes as Musoke started to explain at a high volume while seated two desks away from me. He used a term called the “new normal” and said that the government had allowed us to report being finalists.

 

The device on my hand would buzz each time I was within one foot distance of another person. This was to remind me that I was too close. Unawares that I was dreaming, my mind rushed back to the topic that lengthened my night. It was a conversation with my roommates of how we were going to Gayaza High over the weekend for the Annual Interact Function. To my dismay Musoke told me that functions were also prohibited.

 

My entire world paused because all that was bothering me was fulfilling my promise to Linda, my girlfriend, who I promised to visit because I missed the debate function, so I had to make up for this gap because her and I had agreed to visit each other once a term and the penalty for this omission was to write a letter every after three days as a compensation. Writing was expensive in the long run because I did not have a good handwriting so I had to hire a friend and subscribe to the mailing service. Linda never accepted me to share an envelope with a friend that was equally writing to Gayaza. She perceived this as an insult to her worth.

 

It had now become evident that I was not going to be able to make up for the opportunity I had lost to spend time with Linda. Communal sports had been banned, it was illegal to have night conversations as the trackers on our hands were programmed to deduct a fine off our pocket money and credit one’s school fees account if one’s pocket money was insufficient.

 

Despite all these restrictions, writing mail was acceptable. To me Linda had become the most important thing in my world and not hearing from her was something I could not forgive myself for doing. After receiving her letter which acknowledged that she missed me a lot and that her constant longing to see me was the only obstruction between her success in the forthcoming Uganda Certificate Examinations. This message was a reassurance from my love and an affirmation of the bond that connected the two of us.

 

After two weeks of reading letters, it was high time I acted. I made up my mind to go to Gayaza High. With the tracking device on my hands and the impenetrable security procedures across the entire country, my adventure required a leak proof plan. Overcoming my tracker was not the difficult part because all I had to do was to steal a mouse from the biology lab and negotiate with Musoke who was doing ICT to hack the program running the tracker and keep the mouse in a container in the classroom so that the security is convinced about my location.

 

The success of the location bypass left me with one challenge, to figure out my way to Gayaza. My friendly nature had won me friendships with some of the non teaching staff. On one occasion when I stayed in the dorm, I witnessed an illegal transaction of cigarettes in between the Warden, Mr Shamzi and the senior Monitor. In exchange for my silence, I was offered sleeping rights. Mr. Shamzi also served as the school driver and was responsible for transporting school teachers to sister schools so as to facilitate seminars.

 

Despite Mr. Shamzi’s assiduous rejections to my proposal that was to be executed on Thursday, since it was the day when our school participated in a Mathematics teacher exchange program, my desire to see Linda did not fade. Finally when Mr. Shamzi accepted, Musoke assisted my escape, the mouse that we had now kept for a week was being fed on my morning breakfast bun and was the perfect substitute because of its body temperature (homeothermic). I hid in Mr. Shamzi’s boot and had earlier communicated with Linda on how we shall meet in the guest’s washrooms. In my mind, I perceived myself with the wits of Michael Scofield the protagonist in the award winning series Prison Break.

 

Upon arrival at Gayaza High, the security was authorised to do a holistic investigation. This did not bother me, because I felt invisible in my position. The guest teacher Mr. Otti, who was to facilitate the seminar at Gayaza High was checked and so was Mr. Shamzi. All the doors were to be opened. The only fault in my plan was that I was ignorant that the security was supposed to open the car’s trunk. I remember hearing excuses from Mr. Shamzi as he tried to divert the security officer with excuses that the boot was faulty. I quickly started sweating only to be woken up by a huge slap on my cheeks from Mr. Owori, the physics teacher whose class I was attending in reality.

 

To the surprise of my neighbors, I was happy and rejoiced. When I looked around, the two-seater benches were filled, there were no trackers on my classmates’ wrists and I was assured that Saturday was going to find me in Gayaza. The only person I was thinking about, was Linda. The speed with which our hearts pumped when proximal, could not be erased by time and distance that were physical elements of this world.

 

A letter to Kampala

P.S this was written sometime after the lock down was imposed, so were the pictures taken.

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Bicycles on Acacia Avenue

Hello Kampala my love,

Does your silence signal a rejection to my love letter?

I miss the morning call by the Kibuli Imam to get me ready for the day’s tasks.

Is it that you don’t love me any more,

that your crumbles of loam resist the temptation of hugging my nigina from Kikuubo?

 

img_20200603_094430
Golfy!

Kampala, if you don’t talk to me, I am going to cheat on you with your sister Mbarara.

I mean she has the milk and enough green pastures for me to lay.

Yet you my number one, has decided to treat me with a Jinja like heart.

Perhaps you are playing hard to get

And you want me to be your American Ninja

But if it’s a game, let me be your kicommando.

Let me touch you in places like Kisekka so that I can also make you giggle.

img_20200603_100519
Ugaroll.

Rumor has it, that these days you wear rolexes

Dear nyanya mbisi, for me I want to roll you over, add some Aromat and Royco  to make you spicy.

Your taste I can not compare to my rolled over exes.

Take me to Kiyembe and quench my thirst with your hand made juice.

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Empty Street.

Dear Kampala,

The taxi park is so lonely without you!

With no conductors, I can not express the verbosity of my vibe.

My heart rate goes like “Mutungo-Bina

And if you ever happen to read this, let me be honest with you, coffee no longer tastes like Nakawa.

It’s too bitter that I almost want to run to Lugazi.

When you finally get my message, come and pick me up from Luzira.

Yours Faithfully,

 Love.

Kira Road
Memories just keep coming.

Humor Decoded :001

Decoding the Funniest School in Uganda.20200526_182918_0001

Of all the reasons that led you to this article, I hope learning how to be funny is the least. Twitter sparked my interest in this topic, but above all I have assiduously interrogated myself why most alumni of this school are funny. Well if you have watched Disney’s Queen of Katwe, you may easily to fall victim of its cinematic impression.

 

To be honest with you, allow me to start with the Golf Range, isn’t it funny that there is no Ugandan Secondary Schools’ Golf Championship but a certain school has its own range? Well with the help of Coach Eric, I was able to hit a number of balls into the surrounding thick bushes so most of the time I went to play, I spent most of it hunting for the balls I had wasted into the vast grassland. But I can not forget the sense of happiness I felt carrying the golf bags while crossing the girl’s shed.20200526_182602_0000

A random picture of laughing lions.

 

Many of you could counter my thesis with an antagonistic view. And again many of you get irritated when you interact with former students of this College. Amidst all the opinionated views, I can only advise you to triangulate what you listen to.

Well if you haven’t watched the video for yourself, allow me to have a say on the appreciation note the students of valor sent to the King. Despite the uncalled for attention the media drew towards this praise, I can only agree that Impalas sometimes wish Lions ate grass, but I think that’s Jungle Law. Neither do I think that in our world the “survival is for the fittest” attitude holds high but I believe in the power of branding.

 

When I hear the word, “Brand” a lot runs down my spine and if you have attended the school under question, I am sure someone has scrutinized your walking style. I can attribute this to the Stonewalk at the epicenter of this campus. When I had just joined the school, I myself could not withstand tripping continuously, so the resolution was to reduce my walking speed, I hope that reasoning is valid.

 

So how does all this relate to humor. By definition, humor is something strange and surprising. If wearing a white shirt and a red necktie do not remind you of anyone, I guess you are in the wrong place. As I conclude I must accede to the fact that attending this institution is a very humbling experience. I was also once like you, a dangerous opponent to such royalty (The Royal Green) but I must say the freedom that is permitted by the school administration to the students makes the difference. It is very hard to relate to if you went to an institution where you were flogged for failing.

Until my admission, it had never occurred to me that sometimes school teachers can be wrong and insist on dispensing punishment to an innocent student! However staunch of a mindset you may have towards my thinking, I believe that unreasonable punishment of subjects spurs more rebellion, it happened with the Israelites. This kind of freedom challenges the minds of students to carry a weightier opinion in the Disciplinary Committee. I guess that privilege accounts for the founding of great law firms in our country to a certain degree.

There’s so much power in the ability to choose, when I entered the walls of this institution, I can testify that giving students the power to make their own decisions as opposed to administrators having the final say plays a big role in fostering a creative mindset.

Another humorous thing about this school is, no one forces you to read. At this point the survival principle comes into play therefore such student led initiative propels decision making and self discipline. In my own assumption, this degree of liberty transmutes a DNA of life values such as fear of the Most High, bravery for truth, integrity, and excellence. What more do you want me to say?