So I promised Daniella some stories on my birthday

The Girl Who Wanted to be Good.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a beautiful baby called Kuch.

Kuch was good, great, grand! But also rather naughty.

She could sing Twinkle Twinkle Little star, which is good, so good in fact that,

Twinkle Twinkle little star,

how I wonder what you are.

Up above the sky so high,

like a diamond in the sky,

Twinkle Twinkle little Star,

How I wonder what you are!

At bathing time, she would go to the garden and pick red roses for her water, but then refuse to enter the basin.

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Once in the basin, Kuch would name all the parts of her body, like ear, nose, eye, mouth, hair, chin, teeth, hand, leg, bum-bum but then refuse to wash her hair.

At lunch time, she would eat all her food and say nyummy nyummy nyummy! But then refuse to remove her dirty clothes afterwards

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Kuch could even count up to ten in Acholi, which is good, so good in fact that

Achel, aryo, adek, angwen, abic, abicel abiru, aboro, abungwen, Apaaaaaaaaaa!

But immediately after, she would pull Salvie’s tail.

At night, she would drink all her chac, which is good, but then refuse to enter bed.

She was good good good and bad bad bad but that wasn’t too sad because everybody, even me, is good good good and bad bad bad sometimes.

Beautiful baby Kuch didn’t like being called bad, and would cry for hours if anybody called her that, so she decided to learn how to become good.

So she asked her sister, “Sister, how do I become good?” and her sister sang for her:

Tetete tetete, tetete, tetete x2

Kuch, kot u binu, ting com pa meru i teri ot yo.

Gidigidigidigidi! (while tickling her)

Kuch laughed so much that she forgot about her question. By the time she had remembered, her sister had gone to work.

And then she asked her bother, “Brother, brother, how do I become good?” and her brother began to sing for her

Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep little Kuchie,

Go to sleep…

But before he could finish, she yelled “Oh nooo” and ran off.

Mornings are not for sleeping!

Kuch then went and climbed her daddy’s big bed and asked him “Daddy, do you know how I can become good?” and he sang for her:

TIILE:                      Nyok Dyel miya wii

 NYOKDYEL:          Tiile wic yam kiloko bo Tiile

 TIILE:                   Nyok Dyel miya wii

 NYOKDYEL:          Tiile wic yam kiloko bo Tiile

 Hm Hm Hm! Tiile wic yam kiloko bo Tiile

 Hm Hm Hm Tiile wic yam kiloko bo Tiile

Kuch danced so much that she forgot about her question. By the time she remembered it, her daddy had gone to work.

And then finally she asked herself, “Kuch, how do I become good?”, and she thought and thought and thought and thought until the answer came to her.

Do you want to know what it was?

Really really?

It turns out that Kuch could rub away the badness by saying: I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart!

By saying what?

I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart!

And the badness would fall away like chillu and drop to the floor and she would run away from it saying eeew, dirty. Dirty!

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End

 

Hello. Happy birthday to me! In last Sunday’s Stiletto Point, I promised that I would write Daniella a short story. Oh heavens. This has not been easy, and it is still a work in progress. All too often when people try to write for children, they write like they are talking to idiotic adults. I’m not sure if I have survived that bar.

I just put in all the things she knows and the songs I want her to know and then edited like mad.

Anybody who can help me edit the Alur in the Gidi Gidi song, and the Acoli anywhere else, please help. All other suggestions are welcome.

Otherwise be well and enjoy this special day!

I’ll toast to me.

I’m passionate, no, manic, about my birthday. With the way I carry on sometimes, you’d think that the month of August was chosen specially for me to be born in and everybody else in the history of ever had to be squeezed into the other months.

My celebrations usually begin on the 1st of August. I wear something bright and lovely, phone all the people that I can easily manipulate (because of how much they love me) and then go shopping or eating or dancing or all the above. This goes on until around the 15th of the month when a strange calm envelopes me, but only until the clock strikes midnight on the 19th – then I erupt in a series of whoops, giggles, large grins and dance routines.

By the morning of my birthday, I have ascended into a mental state that only allows my words to leave my mouth in short! Squeally! bursts! I walk almost everywhere on this day to avoid imploding and treat myself to the most expensive self-gift of the year. Whichever lucky (or unlucky) establishment I choose patronize has to bear my incessant chattering, bouncing, clapping and vicious bargaining because it is my birthday after all. They should be generous.

My 22 has been a year of writing, massive personal growth, love and baldness. I include baldness because it is not going to feature in my next year. My period of open mourning for my mother ends in September which means I can allow myself to grow, style and be vain about hair once again. I hadn’t planned to do this, had in fact decided to go bald for as long as it took me to stop feeling crippled by Ma’s death, but that is not going to happen. I may as well let my kaweke out of its box.

The opportunities I’ve been blessed with this year have been immense and I finally got to contribute to African Woman Magazine- something that had been on my to-do list from the time I first read it. My relationship with them didn’t end so well however as they went under, taking my stories and remuneration with them. I have long stopped fantasizing about throwing shit-bombs at the editor (and owner) but the sadness of achieving, then un-achieving my dream has stayed with me.

I have been disabused of my silly belief that I am a commitment phobe. This is as a direct result of my meeting somebody that I am compatible with, that I will spend at least 10 years trying to avenge on the event that he is murdered. I have often been described as difficult to love (remember kids, if it’s said often enough, it’s a compliment), and so finding eki laavu laavu was not one of my goals when I was crossing the age bridge last year.  It’s a very pleasant addition to my list of achievements. Life without love sucks.

I have read a lot about women and women issues and women’s writing and advice which has turned me into a feminist (of the sheepish variety). I’m not yet super confident about expressing my opinions because I’m afraid that I will believe something completely different the next minute. I also still suffer from ‘don’t-be-threatened-by-me syndrome’ which involves me downplaying my achievements and/ or being overly self-deprecating, but according to the internet and my older friends, that’s just one other thing to triumph over in your twenties.

Excitoss is kilinji me!

Happy Birthday, me.

All in the genes (DAD). #3days

I work out quite a lot nowadays. I no longer feel like my blood is crawling sullenly through my veins and I don’t need to crunch my stomach muscles that hard to see the beginning of two WHOLE abs. My workout routine involves a short run (preferably up a hill), a squat (during which I curse myself for ever starting in the first place) and then a vigorous dance that may or may not involve shaking of booty depending on how my day has gone.

When I described this to my boyfriend yesterday, he gave me a look and said, “I envy the way you live, Mildred. Nary a fuck to give” which made me happy.

When I described it to my sister, also yesterday, she called me crazy. That, coming from the person with whom I (regularly) break into song and dance in the middle of the street is very rich.

I wouldn’t call grooving in public with an aim to get fit crazy or eccentric. There are, however, things I’ve done that fit both of those bills and I blame it all on my father.

See, Dad does not know the meaning of self-consciousness. He does not recognize its existence and expects everybody to experience the world as he does, or else they have a bad case of Satan, or something.

Dad got himself a reputation (and a nickname) for being the lawyer who goes to court in sandals. On any given morning, he wears his coat and trousers (mismatched), gown, sandals and then heads off with a weather beaten laptop under his arm.

At some point, he grew as big an afro as his hair-quality would let him. Whenever a client or an employee would poke fun at him/ complain, he’d say, “Mildred says it looks good.”  Self expression oyee!

He wore sunglasses everywhere for some very long months of my life.

He once dug TWO fishponds in the backyard of a house we were renting in Bugoloobi and filled them with catfish. I’m surprised that nobody in the family has whiskers.

He keeps us in laughs, stories, and FML blushes.

The most just-watch-how-much-I-care thing that I remember him doing happened when he took us all to Didi’s world to experience Uganda’s first recreational park with rides and everything. We were excited, but not as much as he was. He herded us to the water slides, somersaulted into his swimming costume, climbed the ladder and slid ever SO slowly down the big, winding slide. He had a very large, laughing and pointing audience but did he care? NO. I don’t think he even noticed. The pool was empty, so nobody died when he splashed Panda-bearishly into it.

I was proud of my family in that moment. We didn’t run and hide inside the bumper cars. We stood torn between cheering him on over-loudly and trying not to cry.

My 22.9 years have been filled with incidents like this and there are many more to come so don’t judge this girl when you see her shaking her belly fat off on the side of a busy street in KLA. Blame her father.

My mumsy outfit of the day:

Mum would SO wear this