Women, please, get stronger. #Rippedgoddesses

Who wants to be a ripped goddess? I do, which is why for two weeks now, I have faithfully visited the gym, read articles about strength training, changed my diet and bought a bunch of workout clothes. I have even forced myself to become more sociable, so that my fellow gym goers can teach me proper weight lifting form.

I intend for fitness to be a habit, a lifestyle, as opposed to one-off activities that leave me cursing the day I was born. The goal is for my muscle to develop enough to make me double take every time I pass by a reflective surface + general body strength.

It has been interesting, peoples’ reactions to my ambitions.

My cousin gave me a look that was half pity, half snarl and said, “I hope this phase will pass.”

My friends cheered me on, obviously, because I don’t make friends with idiots.

The men in my life have nodded nervously before shifting the topic to a different subject, but the most interesting of reactions come from strangers, specifically, strange men.

I have been told how a woman with muscle is a man’s greatest fear, how they will run away from me, how women are meant to be soft and fat.

I have been questioned about who exactly I want to beat up, told how I am already hot and that my desire to pack some muscle is an indicator of my low self-esteem.

I have been told how I will look scary and always, always I think, how come these men, strangers at that, are viewing my fitness plan in the light of their desire, or more specifically, how they desire me to look so that “men”, aka they, will find me attractive?

It makes no sense, but that is how women have been looked at for a long time, as mannequins that exist solely for visual, and other kinds of enjoyment. We are to tailor the way we look to society’s expectations, whose plan is to send us into dull unions, from which we shall be expected to pop babies.

I would never consider marrying a man who is threatened by me taking my health and body image into my hands and regardless of how good looking the jama is (and I really like good looking jamas you guys), when he starts to spout nonsense about how I belong in the aerobics section thanks to my being female, I tell him to stop speaking to me because the conversation just ended.

Here are a few reasons why I think every woman should make it a point to get into fitness and become stronger:

Osteoporosis: Strength training reduces your risk of getting osteoporosis, a condition which causes your bones to become weak and leads to fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. If you don’t want to be as brittle as a pringle when you hit 50, start accumulating bone density now.  

Molestation and rape: One out of every four women around you has been a victim of rape or molestation. One reason that unsavory characters feel it is OK to harass you is because they know they are stronger than you. Men are also routinely encouraged to molest women, by our own leaders. Take for example youth minister Ronald Kibuule who has once again opened his rapey mouth to spew rapey sentiments, like,

“I have talked to the IGP and the police in Kampala to see that if a woman is raped they look at how she was dressed. Most women currently dress poorly especially the youth. If she is dressed poorly and is raped, no one should be arrested,”

Asked to define what amounted to indecent dressing, the minister, who is also Mukono North MP, listed mini-skirts, bikinis and tight jeans.” This is from the Daily Monitor website.

When you can fight back, you are that much safer.

Posture: I don’t know about you, but I want to be walking as straight as a jambula tree at the young age of 95.

Peace of mind: Depression cannot share space with sweat. The more active you are, the more likely you are to feel energetic, motivated, confident, sexy and in control of your life. Take it from a girl who has battled some mean demons. Working out will shoo the black birds away.

One thing women worry about a lot is that when they begin to lift, they will bulk up ala the hulk. Honey that isn’t going to happen. You don’t have the testosterone necessary for that. You’re just going to get super toned and you’re going to feel even more beautiful, stronger, more alive. For more information on that, holla at the Google. 

Check this page out for inspiration: Who wants to be a ripped goddess?

And please sign this petition that is demanding the resignation of Ronald Kibuule. We cannot have rapists in public office. This rape apologist is youth minister. I will not have him as my minister any longer. Sign here: Out with Kibuule

Advertisements

Crutch Me One Time (Say it with Reggaeton).

Crutches hurt your back, stress your arms and give you the gait of a scarecrow on stilts. Even though I was possessed by a strange excitement when I first began to use mine, the novelty wore off chap chap. Life changes when you’re so openly hurt. People you’ve passed by for two years on your way to work all of a sudden stop and with sympathy in their voices, ask you what happened.

First I thought I was being mocked and became angry, but the concern seemed genuine so I mellowed out. That’s one thing that comes with crutches: paranoia.

I was walking up Capital shopper’s parking lot with my sister when I noticed that a trio of young adults had turned to stare. I couldn’t believe their bad manners. I scowled and began to complain loudly about the stupidity of Ugandans nowadays. After listening to me rant for a few seconds, Jero said, “But you realize you have just shaved the back of your head, right? You have a ponytail at the top and shiny kipalata on the bottom half of your scalp. Sure they may be wondering about the crutch, but this attention, you deserve it for wearing that hairstyle.” And she is right. I am used to the doubletakes. Because of the new crutches however, I was convinced that these people were intentionally trying to make me feel awkward.

Crutches provide the perfect response to the kiss-kiss, sister-sister laced overtures that Kampala’s idlers so love to make. Now if I feel a person’s words are offensive, I stop and threaten them with my crutch. So far, both men have run away with real fear in their eyes. I understand that I am a fine specimen of a woman, even with my crooked walk but ssebo, have some respect. I am struggling to get from place to place on this wonky leg and really don’t need your lechery in my life right now.

Breaking my leg has made me unable to abide unkindness, especially from people who are supposed to be making my life easier. Last week I wrote about how traumatized I was by the service at (a certain) hospital in Ntinda. Be fair, people. If you are going to be bad to me, make sure it is when I am full of health and can chase you down.

If you like to look different, the opportunity to accessorize your crutch will fill you up with glee (well, when the thing is not making your armpit yell with pain). I decorated mine with colorful flowers made out of kitenge material and paper beads, making it a bit easier to tolerate.

Lastly, crutches infantilize you. You are not able to blaze out of a room or hop on a boda at will. Because I hate being idle, I decided to continue going to work after my fibula broke

(stupid decision). It is not a very important bone and if it wasn’t for the fear of never wearing wedges/ running again, I wouldn’t even be using this crutch. I cannot leave or arrive at office on my own so my father’s car is very important to me now. His time keeping too. Do you remember when you were five and you realized that you were the last person in class who hadn’t been picked up yet? Do you remember how the tears started forming from the pit of your belly, how they traveled up to your eyes making you cry and cry like you’d never stop? That’s how I, big woman as I am, felt when father picked me up at 7pm last Monday.

Crutches change your life completely. I almost can’t remember walking any other way (lies, I really really can).

Of course I tried to use it as a modeling prop. One day, my moceling career is going to take off. You wait.

Of course I tried to use the thing as a modeling prop. One day, my modeling career is going to take off. You wait.

Broken Bones, Restructured Hearts and Other News. (Hello August)

Hello August. I salute you. I salute your air with my lips. Here, mwa! Mwa! Mwa! On your 20th day, I shall be four digits older than my birth date. I shall be closer to the glory that my mid-20s are sure to bring.

I of course arrive with drama. My fibula is broken, so you will be my unfittest month of the year, August.

2013-08-01 12.38.30

As I rest, I shall enjoy getting rounder, and I won’t even mourn my stamina too much. I shall throw back glass upon glass of water and tot upon tot of gin. I shall eat all of the livestock and some of the fruit. Perhaps I shall join a gym and tone my upper body up. We’ll see.

My 23rd year has been incredible. It saw me make a year in the most serious relationship I have ever had. I am not a commitment-phobe, now I know. And I am not incapable of loving or being loved! This year also saw me fall out of that relationship. It saw me in the lap of devastation and afterwards, in the face of excitement (and contentment) so bright and thick that I thought I had achieved Nirvana. I am now back to being normal just, so yea that wasn’t nirvana.

This year has delivered me into the arms of herbs and essential oils.

Yay essential oils

My hair smells like peppermint. My pillowcase has wild lavender tucked into it, plucked right off the slopes of Mountain Muhavura.

Wild lavender all wrapped up in Acacia. I think they are dating!

Wild lavender all wrapped up in Acacia. I think they are dating!

Eucalyptus oil blesses my water every time I feel pain. Moya (that some call shea butter) is stripping scars off my legs, scars that appeared because of the mubofu spider mites that tried to invade my herb patch.

I regularly bless my bath water with rose petals and mint leaves, plucked from my own plants. I have even gotten into the habit of thanking the plants when I take from them. In other words, my kwemola has reached insane levels, and I am happiest this way.

whosaqueen?

This year, I have stopped being so annoyed by some of the things my father does. I have come to love them instead. His tendency to befriend and invite complete strangers into our home for impromptu dinner parties. His loud way of speaking, my god, he shouts all the time, everywhere. He is so aggressive, even when he doesn’t intend to intimidate or annoy. I have come from flushing with annoyance to beaming with joy and acceptance. This is partly because I am so very similar to him.  I intend to honor him in a Stiletto Point article soon, so let me not over spoil.

During this my 23rd, I have conquered the demons that made me so attached to deodorants (I would have 5, one for each workbag). I no longer spray those synthetic, paraben-filled armpitcides onto my delicate skin. I have made peace with the memories of bullying that went down in Green Hill Academy’s corridors and no longer pay that time of my life homage.

I am in love with my brown. Forget pretending that I am blind to all those times that weirdos have tried to make me feel bad, or lesser because of my dark skin. I have been at war with many demons-ooo!

Ayaya who is that? Apenyo.

Ayaya who is that? Apenyo.

I am an aloe vera gal. On three separate occasions, people have hugged me at the end of a day and said, “Oh wow, you smell so nice.” Do you know what they are smelling? Aloe vera + Apenyo. The gel mixes with my natural smell to produce musk like no other.

I have never had so many trips lined up in the same time frame as I do now. Last weekend, I was in Kisoro and Kabale drinking, dancing, climbing and breaking legs with the Kampala Hashers. This weekend (or possibly next), I am going to be exploring Lake Bunyonyi with a very lovely person, the best travel buddy in the world really. On the 24th and 25th of August, I am going to be in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Plans are all over my life like back acne.

I am also part of a competition that explores how stories directly affect readers after production. 46 of us submitted stories on the theme of identity and equality to Writivism, 14 of us got mentors, attended workshops and read to young literature lovers in many of Kampala’s schools. It has been an experience with many ups and downs for me, but ultimately, a great one. I would do it again. The shortlist is going to be released on the 3rd of August, and here’s hoping True to Nothing will be on it.

I am writing (haltingly, with a lot of procrastination and inertia in the mix), I am growing things out of the soil, I am growing myself, my mind, I am living as consciously as I can. You guys, life is good.

Forgive me for not posting last Sunday’s Stiletto Point. I was full of pain and self pity. My leg nanti.

See how I have cutiefied my crutch.

On crutches, but still pretty.

Pretty crutches.

x

Bathing plants and office DIY

When my dad discovered me singing to my plants a few days ago, he must have backed away very slowly because one minute I could hear him being generally alive in the space behind me and the next, he was gone. Not to another part of what is a large backyard, mind, but totally gone. Perhaps he was like it’s too early in the day to face the kind of offspring I have bred. 

In the absence of a watering can, and the presence of my two very capable hands, I give my plants a bath every morning. I am very proud of the small plot that I was allowed to de-grass for this project and I’m determined for everything to go amazingly well.  

The process:

Using my palms, I scoop water out of a bucket, quickly come up with a song for whichever plant I’m watering and then pour. For example:

Lemon balm, lemon balm, will you let me be your calm.

and

Sage plant, Sage plant, protect me from these ensanafu

and

Thyme, Thyme, will you love lime…

Look it doesn’t have to make sense. Singing charms plants and that’s what must have brought my strawberry baby back to life.

Have you read this article by Fungai Machirori, founder of herzimbabwe and all round fantastic woman? You should because it is about Anne Kansiime, arguably the funniest comedian in Uganda. I was lucky to meet, attend a comedy show, drink and do loud karaoke on Jinja Road with Fungai when she was in Uganda a few months ago. She’s a real gem and I hope I will one day do something extraordinary enough for her to feel like blessing me with an interview like this.

For now, I will enjoy the fact that she has called me an advertising executive and included a beautiful picture of Kansiime and I in her article.

In other news, I have decided to document my journey to fitness on tumblr. Check my tumblog out and send me all of your best energies, even after reading that  I yesterday jogged from office up to Alfredos and back. Control your feelings. Don’t let your jerasssey cloud the vibes, hehe.

In fun and final news, I stole an empty banana boat paper bag from the receptionist’s desk. I say stole because it’s really good paper and she may have wanted it for something.

2013-07-11 12.34.25

Anyway, I needed its sisal handles for an impromptu recycling and DIY session.

2013-07-11 12.25.40

Also read as, I felt like changing my hairstyle and didn’t have any rubber bands. I took the handles out and after a minute in the bathroom, looked like this. 

2013-07-11 12.33.49

and this

2013-07-11 12.33.05

and this

2013-07-11 12.33.37

and this

2013-07-11 12.33.02

It’s fun, free and takes my bob away from my neck, which is great for the hot hours. When it gets cold, I can just let it back down. This has got to be the most versatile hairstyle I’ve ever rocked.

I need to go and write a wildly overdue article about songs, sex and gender issues for Muwado.com, so see you on Monday.

Breasts, Bras and Feelings

For most of my adult life, I have been on a quest to find the perfect bra. In my head, this bra is custom made to fit each of my ladies just right. It is pretty but not gaudy, colorful but not clownish. Its straps offer a bit of a lift without digging into my shoulder blades. The straps are also perfectly sized; not so wide that I will be mistaken for a nursing  mother(unless I am a nursing mother at the time) and not so thin that I look like I have snake tongues running down my shoulderblades.

I have been failed by so many bras and dreamt about this super one for so long that at one point not so long ago, I decided to make it myself. I decided that I would start Uganda’s first premium bra making company. It would be called Apenyo loves Boobs inc. I would open a workshop where women of all shapes and sizes could walk in and custom make their bras, choosing the fabric, straps and accessories.

This dream is paralyzed now. I have become disillusioned. See, I can count the number of times I have worn a bra in the last 28 days. Why do you wear a bra?

My chest, like the chests of many other girls, began to do strange things when I turned 11. I was alarmed and prayed that these stones under my blouse would go away and leave me be. I didn’t want to be like those womanly looking P.7 girls! I didn’t want to start swishing my bottom and smiling with boys.  For me, that’s what breasts represented.

The minute they noticed the mischief that hormones were wrecking on my chest, my female relatives started to give advice. One cousin told me to get a bra immediately, or else my breasts would “fall”.

I was told by an aunt to stay away from all bras and boobtubes, because they would make my breasts fall!

A fear of “falling” breasts was planted in my mind and no number of young talk pull-outs on the subject was able to convince me that heavy breasts, breasts that sat low were normal.

On to the next couple of years, nature and genetics took their course and I got the pair I have and love now. But then? I was ashamed. Why didn’t they sit high like mighty oranges?

When movies, mags and porn came into the picture, I became convinced that breasts were not breast-enough unless they were as large as melons and as high as possible.

So I ask again. Why do you wear bras?  

I wear bras for support. I cannot do yoga, jog, jump or even walk swiftly down a flight of stairs without my breasts bouncing around like chuzzle balls.

I wear bras because I am too used to seeing myself looking a certain way in certain clothes and am still too uncomfortable to just go without.

A good bra can make you feel amazing, but what niggles at me is the root of this feeling. What drives me to feel confident when my cleavage is under my neck?

I asked singer and poet, Ife Piankhi for her thoughts are about bras and she said, “Growing up my mum would stress the importance of getting the right size of bra so that they truly support. I was measured for my back and cup size but I don’t see many women in Africa doing that. Since I came here,  I have not found one that is ideal so at times I don’t wear them. There is a teacher by the name of Dr Phil Valentine who stated once that droopy breasts or breasts that hang are the honour of motherhood, I have breast fed 4 children and when I heard that it gave me the confidence to go bra less at times because I don’t care any more if they hang down because I know I have nourished my children. Of course like most women I’d like to change something about them but through my Afrikan Yoga practice I stay in pretty good shape and I’m happy with my body image.”

If you are comfortable with bras, then I echo the words of Ife’s mom. Go have your chest and cup measured. It is painful to see so many well endowed Ugandan ladies squeezing their breasts into bras that are sizes too small.

I was very excited when I found an article on Counselheal.com that quotes Researcher Prof. Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports science expert from the University of Besançon in eastern France as saying “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” Click to read more–>BOOBS

Am I going to stop wearing bras completely? Not yet. Probably never. Baby steps. I am actively working on killing my biases and widening my world view to include all kinds of beauty. I mean, my breasts are big, so they curve and dip.  I am not going to go about life being ashamed of my genes or of gravity and neither should you.

However, now that I have proved my point, that I can still look like a million bucks and more without a bra (I mean, 28 days), I am more and more considering following the advice of Ife’s mom and getting (or making) myself a couple of well fitting bras.  

Shame on my face.

It’s been two weeks and two days since I last posted anything. The excuse I’ve been clinging to is that my bosses have blocked wordpress, but seriously. There are like 5 modems at my home. I have allowed certain silly happenings (not so silly. Letting go of a living breathing person you still care for is fucking devastating) to paralyze me, to kill my motivation dead.

Um, some special stuff has been (and is) happening, so I’m just going to dump it all below. Yes?

  • I wrote an article about breasts, popular perception and beauty but I haven’t been able to put it up because I’m constantly rearranging my thoughts on boobs, popular perception and beauty. Really I could write a book.  I need this article to be perfect! It will be up by tomorrow, I promise. For now, stare at this glorious pair
Yea

Yea

  • I made a call for stories about bizarre/funny experiences had while using public transport in Uganda. Many of you responded with such great stories, that I didn’t have to write Stiletto Point Articles for two weeks. Thank you!
  • I entered a writing competition called Writivism a few months ago and the finish line is close. Terribly close. I like to pretend that I’m not at all anxious about the outcome, that whether I among the top 3 or not, it has been a fantastic experience, but I care. I care so much. I hope that when the time comes, you will read my story, fall in love and vote for it. Here is a video of me talking about why I write. Thank you Writivism!
  • I had the best pilawo of my life yesterday. Seriously. It changed my life. There’s nothing better than perfectly spiced meat and rice. Holla at these guys for a plate.
Is there anything better that perfectly spiced meat and rice? NO.

Is there anything better that perfectly spiced meat and rice? NO.

  • My weekend is going to be full of DIY. Today, I am meeting Akiiki and Liz, two lovely ladies from Arisu.ug to make accessories and maybe even skirts out of my lovely kitenge material. Check their work out HERE.
  • Tomorrow, I am meeting another pair of ladies who make shoes. Shoes! Shoes! They are going to help me make some pairs, using some more of my lovely kitenge. I have an almost unhealthy adoration for love people who can do great things with their hands. This is probably because mine ate the clumsiest pair ever to exist.
  • I’m going to be better about posting. I promise. In fact, here is a gift for you. A really good story by Doreen Baingana. Banange she snatches a chunk out of life and presents it perfectly preserved.Just…read it.

http://caravanmagazine.in/fiction/gorging

Voluntary Deafness and Victory Over Lokodo’s Brothers

One of the best things about life on earth is time; the passing of. I no longer want to break my work neighbor’s imitation beats by dre headphones. I no longer fantasize about stepping on them “by mistake”. My heckles are resting and show signs of staying down as far as this issue is concerned.

Walking Kampala’s streets with noise cancelling headphones wrapped around your head changes the way you experience many things.

First and most importantly, the headphones disarm street hecklers (who henceforth shall be referred to as Lokodo’s brothers).

Lokodo’s brothers have one method of operation. They identify their prey, line their ugly words up, wait for the lady to get within hearing distance and then attack. If they are feeling particularly creative, they grab some part of her body. Usually, she’ll just walk away struggling with a thousand and one feelings like “Should I turn back and slap? But what if they gang up and beat me? Should I just sit down and wail?”

The first time I walked past Kamwokya stage with my headphones on, I was nervous. The usual suspects arranged themselves along my path and everything from their body language to their eyes emanated lechery. When the moment of attack came, uncertainty danced on their faces. They froze for a couple of seconds and then one of them shouted, “Nyabo, owuliira?”

I sauntered on undisturbed and jubilant. The power of these men lies in whether or not the victim hears their disrespectful words. They couldn’t tell whether or not their talk would reach me and were thrown off balance. Somebody ululate with me!

The stings of Lokodo’s brothers have been blunted. I can happily wear whatever I want (short skirts, anybody?) and walk with as much “efujjo” as I desire.

Let me make it clear that these nasty men bother me even when I’m wearing maxi dresses. Anybody who believes that clothes cause rape and/or street molestation is a supporter of rape and deserves jail time for endorsing the behavior of rapists.

When I confirmed that headphones could save me from all kinds of unwanted street attention, I became addicted to them. They were like a curtain between me and the world, a curtain whose parting only I could control.  The only time I didn’t wear them was bath time.

One evening after work, I stopped at a Tuskys. My plan was to visit a friend before heading home, so I wanted to get something fun like muffins. I bounced into the supermarket, picked what I needed, paid and left. Because I was feeling so energetic, I decided to walk to her house. So far so good.

A few meters from her gate, I realized that my hands were empty. My kaveera had vanished. I have never been more confused in my life. I retraced my steps and accosted not one, not two but three people, inquiring if they had perhaps seen a kaveera lying around. I’d say, “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you with such an absurd question, but could you have seen…or picked a kaveera with bread and muffins around here?” They were all carrying kaveeras that were shaped like mine. I suspected them all of picking my groceries and now withholding them from me. They all looked at me like I was mad.

When I arrived at Tuskys, I was received with a lot of laughter. It turns out that after paying, I’d swept out of the supermarket without my bundle and because of the music blasting into my head, hadn’t heard the workers calling me back.

In Pursuit of Sharp Hair I

Humans pay too much attention to each other’s bodies. What is he wearing? How long is her skirt? What does her hair make me feel? We are forever poking our noses into things that are none of our business.

I chose to go bald for a little over a year and during this time, my family, (certain) friends and ex didn’t stop devising schemes to get me to wear some hair. My father told me that I’d get meningitis as a result of all the mosquito bites that my large, smooth scalp would attract. He also said I would get headaches and all the exposure to cold wind would freeze my thoughts.

The shoulders of my aunts would droop with sadness whenever I’d walk into the house with yet another haircut. The ex’s tactics were so many and amusing that I cannot do justice to them in one article.

I ignored them all. First of all, I strongly disagree with the notion that a woman’s hair is her “crowning glory”.  A woman’s brain (and the things she can do with it) is what we should be focusing on, people. Not the dead waves and coils of keratin that emerge from her scalp. I refused to yield to the insinuation that the entire experience of womanhood can be reduced to the ability to push dead cells out of a scalp. It was only after I became bored with baldness that I allowed my hair to grow out.

 By the time it was about half an inch long, I was sick of it. I missed the feeling of a cold electric shaver buzzing on my scalp. I missed the newborn alien look that a fresh haircut gives me. I felt like a teenager among all of the S.6 vacists roaming Kampala’s streets. The hair felt invasive and in a last bid to make myself like it, I decided to style it.

 There’s a rather popular hairstyle around town that many people with short natural hair are rocking. They somehow maneuver their kaweke into little spikes that stick out from their scalps, giving a lovely definition to their faces. I knew from research (loads of facebook updates) that this style could be arrived at by briskly rubbing a sponge or a palm over the scalp. Thanks to the lovely people on my friend list,  I also knew that a cheap locking gel could be used to achieve this style.

I uploaded this to facebook. it helped a lot.

I uploaded this masterpiece to facebook  and captioned it with the words below:

 

(slightly edited) You guys, I need your help. So I have seen this style around town where people with teenie weenie fros like mine curl their hair into spiky little points. I know from a bit of research that this style is arrived at by briskly rubbing a sponge over the scalp. What treatment do they put in the hair to make it form the spikes when rubbed? I love this style but I’m not willing to pay the insane dimes that a salon  is sure to charge me.  A sponge is 500 and whatever product they’ll use can’t be more than 30 bob. Any(really really) useful information will be rewarded with long hugs and a good meal. 

Because I’m rich (ha), I visited a salon in town for a cost assessment. The shameless lady told me she’d require sixty thousand of my Uganda shillings. I visited another one, this time in Wandegeya because I figured it would be cheaper, what with the bulk of their clientele being broke campus chicks. I was right. Yusuf told me he’d only need 30,000. When I asked what the styling would entail, he became cagey and it was only after great insistence that he told me he’d be putting Ariel detergent in my hair.

Understand that I really wanted this style. As Yusuf washed my hair, I consoled myself that a little Ariel wouldn’t hurt. It was only when I smelled the actual detergent that I chickened out. The thought of sitting in a taxi going from  Wandegeya to Ntinda while smelling like soaking clothes just killed my morale dead. When I told Yusuf to stop, he was very angry. He rejected payment and snarled something about “losers who visit salons to steal knowledge” at my back.

I then took my research to youtube and thankfully, none of the ladies online were using detergent on their heads.

to be continued.

Stop qwencing Mayans. Try something new.

Hello. Kulika festivities. You must be feeling very heavy from your weeks of overindulgence, and light in the wallet because of the same. I look forward to chuckling maliciously at all the status updates, tweets and blogposts that are going to flood the internet this month complaining about poverty.

The first day of 2013 is behind us, much to the disappointment (relief?) of all the sillies who kept insisting that Mayans said the world was ending two weeks ago. Poor Mayans were minding their own business, predicting the end of one of their time cycles, and the beginning of another. They believe a new cycle comes with changes on the personal, family and community level so that there is balance between mankind and nature.  Their jazz had nothing to do with you trolls.

Everybody on leave put your hands up! I hate working a 9-5 job. I don’t hate my job, but I hate working in the same space at the same time year in year out. One of the things that keeps me sane is browsing what I call beauty-porn. I simply devour any and all sites about facial scrubs and hair conditioners that are made mainly of things that you’re accustomed to having for breakfast.

I especially like to read about the benefits of natural oils like castor, coconut, shea butter and so on. Aloe Vera is one of my most Googled herbs because of how much of it is growing in my dad’s backyard. If all the hype is to be believed, I could have myself looking like a 16 year old in no time!

But wait. 16? No. 16 was a year full of baby fat and emotional turmoil. I remember sitting next to a window in class and staring forlornly out of it, hoping that some handsome, popular boy would catch sight of my profile and notice how beautiful it was. I also hoped he would write me a letter, as proof, and that the letter would be imploring me to become his girlfriend. So no. Not 16. Actually, I’m enjoying my current age very much. Back to beauty-porn.

So although I’d read up on lots of natural oils and beauty mixes, I hadn’t  tried any of them until 20 minutes ago. Why? I was too afraid! What if a mix of honey and salt made my skin peel off?

I’m not even sure that I would have taken the leap if it wasn’t for the four decadently fat pimples that have set up base on my face as a direct result of me rediscovering how cheap La Fontaine’s food is. Couple that with the fact that salaries come early in December, and with another fact that I can’t resist good food and you have a pimpled lady with a new courage.

I took this courage and put it into an old bowl, added a liberal amount of honey, a handful of salt and then spread the goo over my face. According to the internet, you’re supposed to wait 10 minutes before washing the it off so that it can sink into your pores and uproot dirt, pus and unnecessary oils.

I am happy to report that my skin is intact and that it feels both smooth and dry. If no nasty effects follow, this is a beauty regimen that will become a big part of my life along with this smug, naturalista feeling.

Be inspired by my courage and usher the new year in with a new, and if possible, scary experience.

Love in the time of mosquitoes

A short story.

I stand surrounded. They approach drunkenly, wheezing out their battle cries. They’re smug in the knowledge that I can’t win for I am one and they are who knows how many.

My hand tightens around Kiboko, the red and black electric racket that we bought as a by-the-way when we were moving. Ha.

Our foes are of two kinds: the hungry and the full.The hungry are fast, light on their wings, flitting from curtain to curtain and wantonly singing their intentions at us. I am silent.

One lands on my back and sinks its proboscis into flesh. I let it. Screw the stinging. I have become addicted to the smell of electrifying blood.

Let it feed.

If two human beings had to exist in the room we’re in, together, forever, they’d kill each other. Not enough space. A galaxy of mosquitos however… I walk ponderously, with a purpose, in slow motion to a curtain on my right and

“Can you at least walk properly?

Sklat!

“What do you mean walk properly? I am Van Helsing. Why would I walk properly?”

I lunge to my left and catch three mosquitos of the full variety. I breathe in deeply.

“Then cut the narration out. I gave up on those bastards a long time ago. They’re too many. Come.”

“I wonder why they don’t smell like nsenene, or at least fried white ants when I hit them. If they did, we’d probably eat them.”

“That would be cannibalism. If you eat a mosquito that has my blood in it, you are a cannibal”

“And you’re a snob”.

We’ve been awake two hours now. It’s early or late, or whatever time it needs to be to ensure we’ll be dripping with annoyance and sleep when our alarms go off.  He’s lying with his face to the ceiling, wearing his hand over his eyes. That’s all he’s wearing.

Somebody told me once that when you can be naked in the same room as your lover and your immediate response is not to jump their bones, you’re in a relationship. We’re in a relationship.

He feels my gaze or my smile and pulls a sheet over his waist. I laugh, turn and sklat! 5 more dead. I’m enjoying this maybe too much?

I fly around the room, beating and kicking at the clusters of hanged clothes. They offer protection, asylum to our enemies. Whenever I make impact, the mosquitoes fall away; thicken the air with their numbers. With pops, sizzles and zaps, my racket welcomes the black, undulating cloud. The sound their bellies make as they explode makes me glad.

The racket eventually runs out of power so I jam it to a wall socket and it’s as I am lowering myself to the carpet that my knees remember they’re supposed to be suffering from runner’s knee. They start to burn and creak. I look at his face to see if the creaking is as audible as it feels. Apparently not.

Fuck these mosquitoes. I detest them but dig the opportunity they’re giving me to show my new body off. With every turn and lunge, I’m saying, “look at what my running has given me. See how firm my belly is, the one you used to frown at whenever you thought I wasn’t looking. I’m trimmer! I’m slimmer!”

As a woman of the new world and a feminist, I’m not supposed to care about such things. I’m a warrior for acceptance and expression. I preach that if a person’s way of owning their body is by letting it get bigger, rounder and streaked with stretchmarks, their decision should be respected, just like the decision to get a tattoo is respected.

But I[often] care. I want to look something like the half-starved girl I was at university. How ironic that when you’re at your vainest, just aching to show yourself off is the time you aren’t getting laid. At all.

My 9-5 lifestyle has come with a slowness that my body refuses to accommodate. It’s refused to expand in what society considers all the right places (certainly not arms, bellies and backs).

Sklat!

Our foes become bold again, leaving their hiding places and dancing around my ears. I jerk the racket off the wall, jam my thumb against the red depressor on its side and swat the air, killing them one by one, two by four, seven by infinity. I take them out swinging and skipping and screeching  until I am spent. Then I return to bed and stare at the bumps on his arm, each representing an attack, blood stolen from his, my veins.

Vengeance has been taken.

Now, for my reward.

End.

This should be on the new blog I opened for my short stories, but I’m too attached to apenyo dot wordpress and I’m trying to post everyday so. Here you go.

Tell me what you think, yea? Kawa.

For more on love (but not mosquitoes, click this link. )

And then when you’re done being happy and amused that a Ugandan has decided to make a living out of selling “game”, go Like the page.