My creative tribe

** A creative tribe is a like certain kind of creative: the creative people out there who share similar quirks and ways imagining and doing things.

They are timid people. Timid in a way no one would ever understand because on the surface they look oh so intimidating and bold. They are crazy people, that tribe of mine. No, I don’t mean that they like to go clubbing or diving off cliffs. That would be the last thing they would ever think of doing. Instead they’re crazy because they have way too many dreams. They want to be writers and graphic designers and programmers and engineers and crafters and chefs and pianists and I don’t know what else. Ask them for their passion in life and they’ll freeze, unable to say just how many little passions and big passions they have, for fear of sounding unserious. They love the color green because it’s life, refreshment, harmony. And they are artsy, always making little sketchy designs in any of their numerous notebooks. Virtually any sort of design appeals to them, whether they can contribute to it or not.  They like to travel and meet new people because much as they are mostly introverted and shy, they have always harbored a burning curiosity about the lives of people in other parts of this great wide world. On that note; they love food. They’d kill for a chance to travel the world sampling the cuisine from each continent. Coffee is liquid gold. Yoghurt, possibly silver. Veggies and fruits, bronze. Everything else, they’ll try it if it doesn’t give off poisonous vibes.
Above all else, though, they love to put into words the amazing things that happen in life every day. They watch life through narrowed, deeply interested eyes, knitting stories and whipping up poems. One thing stands out; they are not really sporty. They may admire sports from afar but participation……not so much. But they can dance. Kind of. They like music and wouldn’t mind moving the body a little, just not in front of other people.
Brands? Anything with a really creative logo, or any that oozes sophistication. Plus Coca-Cola. Any day.

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The race to outrun life; we’re defeated

The start of the race

Anticipation still shone on our face

We could still dreamily gaze

Into the early morning fog haze

Happily, excitedly,

Looking forward only,

We couldn’t wait to start.

.

And start we did, with such energy,

Run we did, such agility.

You couldn’t stop us if you dared.

But you tried, life, you did

You were always trying to get in our path

And trip us so we’d fall over.

.

But we trudged on, life, we trudged on

When we fell down we crawled

And soon we’d be back on our two feet

Running again, flying!

.

In that moment you began to understand

That you couldn’t outdo us with simple stunts

You came up with a most lethal trick

You’d tire us out and leave us sick.

Employing confusion, you made us run in circles

Go here, go there, go everywhere

So we’d end up running but never going anywhere.

.

You made our legs tired.

Tired legs.

Slow, numb legs

Leg-freeze.

.

But we learnt to deal with our bodies

If our legs hurt, there were remedies

Headache now couldn’t kill us

Exhausted bodies now couldn’t stop us

We’d go on and we’d not pause.

We’d accept no tricks, especially not yours.

.

Life, though, you just don’t give up

You came at us, nuclear options in hand

If the bodies were strong,

Then you’d fire at the mind.

Curve it around your wicked finger.

.

The result?

Tired brains.

Weak, rigid brains.

 Brain-freeze.

.

And that was it.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

You won; we’ve never finished the race

Yet we still try, more slowly, more softly

No destination, no end in sight

No light the end of our tunnel.

.

We tried to rise and take back what’s ours

But as we began, you pulled out the guns

Machine guns aimed straight at our hearts.

And you proceeded to do your final work

.

You took our souls.

And with that you took all our power

You’ve thrown us off the race tracks.

.

And now;

Tired souls

Hard, un-loving souls

Soul-freeze.

.

Greatest treasure gone.

I weep for us; no more souls

We have no more souls.

The fault in our Ugandan TV commercials

Okay I lied a bit in the title there. I don’t exactly mean “faults”, but lately I’ve realized that there’s a hidden message/lesson in most of our Ugandan TV commercials. Next time you’re forced to endure one of those things, look at it this way: there’s a lesson to learn. Like those things of “moral of the story” in our primary school storybooks.

  • First of all, there’s that DStv commercial with Patrick Idringi (Dr. Turner Show).

This one truly taught me something about life. The guy was complaining about not having DStv in his home and therefore missing out on lots of football matches. Dr. Turner then tells him about DStv and the channels it has, on which he can watch all the sporting action he wants. His reaction is simply crazy! The guy screams and jumps into the sofa in excitement, which makes me wonder what he’ll do when he actually gets the DStv connected in his home. In short, he’s happy at the prospect of it. Even before something actually happens in your life, just the expectation of it should be enough to give you happiness. Great lesson there.

  • Then, that infamous MTN commercial with the geeky kid.

For sure, the lesson in this one is that you’ll raise/grow crocodiles with the help of the internet. It’s actually symbolic. See, much as the internet will give you all the information you’ll ever want and more than you’ll ever need, it will also give you ways to put your life in danger, like, you know, how to raise (or grow) crocodiles. Be careful with the internet, people.

  • That Camay soap commercial. And the Lux one, for that matter.

The fate of the ‘true African woman’. This commercial is just too full of underlying meaning. Its soundtrack is a song talking about how that particular man is always in a hurry and has no time for his woman, so she begins to seek ways of getting his attention. Of course, the moment she uses Camay soap, he pays attention to her. And the song goes on to say something along the lines of “I’m a true African woman,” after she gets the man to look in her direction. In short, you marriage-age African women out there, this commercial just might be telling you of your fate; a life of seeking the attention of your absent-minded spouse. God forbid.

  • And then, those Mun G Airtel commercials.

Very straightforward lesson here; that two minutes is so so so much time. In that amount of time you can talk about the chicken and the egg, your nursery school days, the milk you bought at the supermarket  and just about anything else. Of course, this shows us the value of time. Never ever say that a minute or two is too little time. Have you seen how much Mun G can say in a minute? Patrick Idringi even sings an entire song in another commercial, this time by MTN. You can achieve things in two minutes. Stop saying you’re time barred.

  • And then, that Skin Guard commercial with a white woman.

This one is obvious; that sometimes (or many times) we need/want a white person to validate something we’ve not been giving much attention. A white woman, in a very sweet voice, assures us that Skin Guard is the best soap (or is it lotion? I forget). This isn’t the first time this has been done. I’ve seen white people in Ugandan commercials before, for some toothpaste or other, and I guess it works.

*Please note that the above is strictly my own interpretation and therefore not representative of what the companies actually want to mean in their commercials. At least, I hope it isn’t.

Virus

#UgBloggers7days

Another Ebola headline. Boring. Why was she watching CNN anyway? A quick flick of the remote and she was on the next channel. BBC. Which had yet another Ebola headline. She rolled her eyes in deliberate slow motion and turned to the local television stations, resigned to the fact that she wasn’t going to watch international news channels without Ebola being shoved in her face. Couldn’t a girl watch a little news to keep up with the world and go back to the Food Network in peace, without being forced to think about crazy virus infections? Eh? She was even starting to believe that these big news networks exaggerated the extent of the infections to keep people glued to them. But she was above that sort of emotional manipulation.

On second thought, perhaps it was better to watch something else altogether. She threw herself into the couch in a lying position, one leg up on the arm rest and the other down, grazing the velvety maroon carpet. She stretched one arm to her laptop to log out of Twitter and turn the computer off before it began its normal routine of freezing like it too had a case of Computer Ebola. Just as she began to click, though, something caught her eye. A tweet mentioning that Marburg was apparently back in the country. She sat up and in the process almost slid and fell from the shiny leather of the sofa. The news was all over. How is it that it had come back right when Ebola was in full gear across Africa? Did these viruses sit down in a secret meeting and plan to all come at once? Somehow, though, this one made her scared. It was close to home and it spoke to her subconscious in a way she couldn’t quite explain.  All thoughts of watching TV vanished, not with the speed with which her fingers were flying across the keyboard. She hit Enter and Google brought it all forth. Cases. Warnings. Uncertainty. Virus beginning to spread. But the words “Mengo Hospital” stood out like a sore thumb.

In the next two minutes she flew off the couch and halfway around the house to look for her phone while at the same time trying to remember where she had left it. When she found it on top of the microwave, she speed-dialed her father as smoothly as her fidgeting hands would let her.

“Dad! Where are you? Where did you say you were going today after work?”

“Why?”

“Just tell me,”

“I told you I’ll be visiting your uncle in Mengo. You should even be coming with me but you children don’t care about you family members and-”

“Dad, are you already there? Are you inside the hospital?”

“I’m actually getting out now. I’m almost at the gate. They’re acting all funny here and chasing out all the visitors……”

“Marburg,”

“What?”

“Marburg, Daddy,”

“Let me get out as fast as I can,” Continue reading

All fiery at 6:00am

7 Day blogging challenge  #UGBloggers7Days

Today, I woke up to a sky the colour of fire. I refuse to undermine its beauty by calling it orange or red. It was fire. And when I looked at it again, it looked pale, like the fire was slowly smothered by cold, grey ashes. Or like the fire was lit amidst ice, and the ice made the fire look pale while the fire made the ice melt. It looked like the two were not exactly delighted by their union, but it had created this indescribable beauty. It is just like the forced marriage that surprisingly works out despite the couple having never shared any romantic love.

The beauty rapidly faded, though, and I began to wonder if it was making way for another of those unremarkable days when the sun shines so mercilessly that it is no longer an amazing thing, but a giant orb emitting piercing rays. Or would it rain a little today, like on those days of undecided weather when all the different kinds of weather want to happen at once? I didn’t know, but today I felt ready for a surprise. Today was going to be wonderful. Yes, it was just six in the morning, too early to tell. But why was my heart beating so loudly? Why couldn’t I breathe right? Why was all my blood gushing around my body like even it was excited by the prospect of this day? Why couldn’t I stop smiling to myself?

A glance out the window now showed me that the fire was winning. The entire sky now had a scenic fiery glow. Wow. There was a lot for me to take in from this. The fire is like love, and passion. It burns out the cold feelings of dread, fear and despair. But there wouldn’t have been so much beauty without the ice trying to get in the way of the fire. I decided to light my fires, too, today, and burn out all the cold, dark things. I decided to smile, and love, with my entire soul. Today I began my day all happy and bubbly. I guess excitement is a fire, too, so I should let it burn!

I eat everything. Almost. Not really.

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mouths-wide-shut/ 

 

Most people I know hate cucumber, but I’d eat that stuff everyday for the rest of my life. Same goes for a number of leafy vegetables and a few funny fruits that surely only grow in my country (I can’t mention them because I don’t know what they’re called in English). In short, I eat a few things that wouldn’t be many people’s first option. Because of this, lots of people who know me think I eat everything.

If only they knew.

My name is Lydia and I’m a picky eater.

There was even a time in my life, quite recently, when I’d dread meal time. Of course I wanted to eat ’cause who doesn’t? The problem came in later, however, with the effects. The food we eat here generally includes a staple food (usually a very heavy carbohydrate) and a sauce/soup (usually protein food like fish, meat and legumes). Now those heavy carbs……those were mostly the issue (and they still are, sometimes). For some reason, my digestive system wasn’t in the mood for any hard work. I was relieved to know it was a disorder, but that’s where the relief ended. No doctor could conjure up enough “doctor-ly powers” to diagnose this thing and do something about it. I was tired of stomachache. Tired of feeling bloated all the time. Tired of not enjoying food because I was worried about how I’d feel after eating. Tired of my stomach itself.

I stopped (at least willingly) eating most of the food available to me. Some of this behavior still exists, but I’m gradually becoming less picky. I’d only be happy eating fruits and vegetables and drinking tea. Goodness, I love tea. Tea, besides being the best beverage ever, enabled me to take as much ginger, lemon grass and cinnamon as possible, and those helped to calm down my stomach (while tasting great too).

So I don’t eat everything, or even go anywhere near that. But I’m getting better. And I’m just glad I’m able to eat normally. Not everyone gets to eat food that’s not pumped into your system through a web of tubes.

Everything else aside, I just won’t eat fish. It doesn’t even give me any problems. I just hate it.

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And time will pass

From a time in my life when I was afraid I’d waste so much time;

And time, as it always does, will pass. Days will still go by. They may have no life in them, no excitement, nothing to look forward to, and no passion; but they will not linger. They will go by. They will not remember that I lived in desperation, begging them to come with something more; to bring some jump to my soul; to be bright and full of colourful bubbles. They will quickly forget that I sat by and waited for life itself to grant me the things I should have worked for and hand me prizes for things I’d made the mistake of giving up on. They will sneer at the fact that I watched other people thrive instead of survive, that I celebrated when other people achieved their dreams while I passively pondered upon mine. And they will not sneer for long, for they don’t dwell on things not done but on things that are done, because something is greater than nothing.

They will sigh a little, not from annoyance, but from disappointment because I wasted their time. In twenty four hours, a single day, others will have dreamt a thousand dreams and made a thousand realities, while I just sat and looked on. And the days will feel betrayed and hollow for I threw them away like the kind of smelly garbage everyone’s always eager to get rid of. They will not even bother to look back because they’ll not think me worthy of craning their necks so hard. So they’ll give up and move on, they’ll have given me their chance. It comes once. A day, two, three, three hundred. They’ll never return for a second round. And they’ll be gone, and I’ll be here, having had a feast in front of me from which I refused to eat.

Maybe one day, the days will come back and I can ask them for forgiveness. I can tell them of all the new plans I’ve come up with and how it can all be worked out. We can plan new things together, have new visions and dream new dreams. We can rewind to those wasted days and fill them with passion and action and love; we can make them worthwhile. I feel the jitters now; they’re butterflies in my gut; we are going to re-write history! This is hope!

That was hope. There’s this thing called logic, though. Guess what logic tells me. Days indeed never return. So I’ll just never get back my wasted time.