Feel your feelings, read and travel.

First of all you guys, Chuma Nwokolo Jr. just followed me on twitter.  I don’t know. The world is so strange. My great grandmother, Apenyo the 1st would not be able to wrap her head around why a thing such as a ‘follow’, a little bit of finger pressure on the right space of computer screen would make a person so hysterical with joy. I barely understand it myself.

Chuma is the author responsible for Diaries of a Dead African, one of my favorite books this year.

Read this book

Read this book

It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me eat a lot. Give my mind a moment to explode with bright yellow joy.

Yes, it disturbed me that the few female characters in the book were two dimensional, but  Meme Jumai will always live in my head. I’ve made for him a special space where things like desperation and hunger and indignity don’t exist. His section was my favorite.

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I’m still obsessing over what my Thursday posts should be about. Should they chronicle the little dramas in my life? Should they be about herbs? Sigh.

For this post, the first idea that came to me was: What to do when you’re contacted by an ex who you have very deliberately cut out of your life? This is probably the most used and abused subject in the history of the internet, but I wanted to add my angst filled voice to the choir, but then I actually met with him and my anger went away. How disappointing.

But maybe I’ll write about it when I feel less lazy.

I then considered writing about the process of finding your correctness and how you can get thrown off your path by hypocritical and condescending people who are convinced that they know you and the workings of your mind better than you do. But then I realized it would get too personal then I’d begin to over edit, then I’d just choke on angst and die.

Sometimes, an asshole is somebody you appreciate on other levels and it is better to shift your focus on to things that matter.  Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu and all that.

But maybe I’ll write about it when I feel less lazy.

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You all know how much I love traveling. Travel writing is something I’d like to dedicate a large part of my life to.  Sabili Tours contacted me at the beginning of the year and together, we came up with a campaign called Around Uganda in 7 trips. These guys are passionate about getting young Ugandans to travel around their country.

This talk nti being a tourist is for bazungu is just lazy. People are coming from other continents to look at your baboons and to hike up your mountains and to rent rooms around your tea plantations and you’re here in Kampala choking on matatu fumes. People, tutravelinge!

Come and we model next to falls and such

Come and we model next to falls and such

Season 3 of Around Uganda in 7 trips is taking us to Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is going to be brilliant on so many levels (foh exampo):

1. Road trip!

2. Spending the night close to animals that you have probably only ever seen on TV.

3. Actually meeting these animals (from a safe distance).

4. Hanging out with some of the coolest people I know.

Click this link to see evi-da of how epic these trips get and then book your place.

In final news, Sunday is going to be a very special day in my life because Writivism is taking me to Hilton High School to read and discuss True to Nothing with the literature club there. Bless them.   

To find out more about my involvement with the Writivism competition, watch this video. 

Kawa Apenyo out!

See you on Monday 

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We’ve failed at humanity.

Occasionally, one stereotype (out of the many) will be true about members of a particular community. This can be put down to factors like tradition and the similarity in value systems that they are brought up in. That said, a stereotype is the haziest and shallowest lens through which to view and relate with
the many new people you meet.

It’s impossible for everybody in a group to fit into a particular behavioral box, because people are constantly learning and growing and watching TV and rubbing off on each other and trolling the internet. This means that the amount of new information that a person consumes everyday is immense, and so is their capacity to change and move on from what undesirable traits they may have picked from the people who brought them up.

So when you judge somebody by the stereotype attached to their tribe, you are wiping off the face of the individual and replacing it with a placard written in indelible ink. You’re saying that every person from the east is a thief and everybody from the west a whore and everybody from the north a paragon of aggression and everybody from the central a two faced sneak. Disgusting. When you brand somebody without the backing of experience/ interaction, they’re going to endeavor to prove you right, if only to annoy you. Give people the chance to prove themselves.

Even more terrible, the most popularized stereotypes are never positive. You won’t hear about honesty, energy, generosity, etc. It’s like people are always looking for a reason to build us-them boundaries and such division is what’s going to stagnate us (even more).

Did you know that, in Uganda, hailing from a particular region of the country is a status symbol?

Two years ago, I was sitting outside my grandmother’s house in Kiswa, watching children play. All of a sudden, one of them began to cry, to the amusement of the others. He was saying, “Naawe ndi Muganda! Naawe! Ndi Muganda! and his friends were laughingly assuring him that his mother was a “muteso” so he didn’t qualify. The things we’ve been taught to value are ridiculous.

Tribalism and colorism are two other cancers that are eating our society up. Just how stupid are we going to look in our descendants’ history books? When my family first moved to Komamboga, our neighbors were openly disdainful of the fact that we were Luo speakers. “Mulugwara” was the term that they threw at us at every opportunity and Chandiru! not because they thought we hailed from Arua but because of because of our dark skin.

Another time I experienced colorism was when I took my phone to a highly recommended repair shop at Mutasa Kafeero. The place didn’t live up to my expectations. Service was bad, attendants were sulky and everybody had shifty eyes. When I asked for a receipt indicating the deposit I’d just paid, everybody became indignant. Finally, one guy was like, “This gu black chick, what does she want? Let her take her blackness away if she doesn’t want us to repair her phone” at which point I grabbed my money out of the moneybox and stalked out.

Clearly, we’ve failed at humanity. We score zero out of infinity. The aliens should do us a favor and wipe us out. On to you, Nibiru.

So, what exactly are interns?

What:

An intern is a person who doesn’t know anything. They don’t know what you’re doing, they don’t know what they’re supposed to do but they want desperately to learn. They are hungry for knowledge and willing to work at acquiring this knowledge, which is why they’re so annoying.

Why:

That kind of motivation and bright eyed enthusiasm comes only once. The people the intern is bothering for help and lessons were likely interns a long time ago. They don’t remember why the hell they wanted to join the field and they sincerely hate what they are doing. If they don’t hate their jobs, they simply tolerate them. It is a most annoying thing for somebody to express so much interest in something you can no longer be bothered with, something you only stick to because man, fees have to be paid.

If the intern chances on somebody who enjoys their work, this person is usually too busy working and enjoying to willingly teach.

So often, they just hover with a piece of paper and a pen hoping to catch and jot down THE MAGIC SENTENCE that will make them useful.

Where:

Interns can be found everywhere. Banks, telecoms, schools, name it. Look behind you. They don’t usually know how to dress. If they’re working a cool advertising job, they come dressed like a morgue attendant. If they’re working in banks, they come with their chests and thighs hanging out. They’re usually students, so they don’t have money to shop for new clothes and so wear whatever it is their universities tolerate.

You can also find them in the toilet weeping or in the kitchen, finishing all the milk. Sometimes, they are to be found parked at your work station, facebooking the hell out of your computer. I don’t know what it is about office computers that make you feel so proprietary, but it feels like violation when somebody just logs you out and checks their facebook, doesn’t it?

When:

When are they most annoying? When a new intern comes into office and the old one starts to boss the new one around. That’s not fair. You’re both flies. You can’t feel superior to another fly around when you both have so many compound…eyes. This kind of behavior makes you feel sorry for the new intern, which makes you nicer to him or her, which is going against principle! You’re supposed to be rotten at worst; indifferent at best; because that’s how they’ll become ambitious and competitive. And then they’ll escape maggotism and become rich. Like you.

How:

You can become a compound fly by walking into an office, any office, and telling them how cool their establishment is, and how you’re willing to do anything that will help you become a better, more professional fly. If you’re convincing, they’ll hire you and then, welcome to hateville, yo.

I have been an intern before. Twice. I often wonder, now that I have a real job, I wonder how the people I worked with were able to tolerate my earnest, gasping-for-knowledge self. An intern is not a human being and it should not be treated as one. It needs to earn its humanity by gaining experience quickly and making a decent salary.