Mother’s Day is nothing without Mother Mary

Mama

So its mother’s day! Yes a mother is a very important Person.
I have seen quite a number of posts on social media about how wonderful everyone’s mother is, I haven’t posted to that effect though.
My mother passed on almost 11plus years ago, leaving a very huge gap in the family but with a Gallant Soldier (my Dad) who with all brevity stood to take us on, running all roles mother would have run.
I will never forget though about the activities preceding my mother’s death.
On a dull Saturday Valentines day morning in 2004, my then aging Papa and I sat in the sitting room, almost hopeless, my dad was washing my bedridden mother’s clothes that I would later take to Mulago hospital where mom had been admitted and lay in coma.
A group of Christians from our church came in that morning to pray with us for mother’s quick recovery and this lady, in agreement with my dad revolved the prayer around Mother Mary the help of the Sick.
She sang a Song many Catholics would be conversant with, “Tukulamusiza Nyaffe owekisa” and there in is a part that goes like “Abanakuwadde wamu nabalwadde obajjukiranga nobakubagiza” Those words spoke to me. Yes the spoke to me! And During the prayer the leader invoked mother Mary to come and mother our family that was without a mother.
It had always been a habit at home that the radio nob  got stuck in 103.7 Radio Maria the ‘Christian Voice in your home’, we time and again (even if some of us did not really care) treated our ears to numerous prayers casted by the waves of the Mother Mary station….the Rosaries…and my father continously reminded us of how the greatest mother let alone intercessor one could ever have is Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus so from that day on , we would take Mother Mary as mother while mom was away. I for one had known mother mary for a mother as a child but I never felt her closer to me before the way she was going to be this time round.
That same Valentines night, 2004, we were woken upto the bad news of mom’s passing. The news that tore our hearts apart and left even the strongest of us frail.
Papa, with a confused loom put his hands on his head and said “It was Saturday last week, today is also Saturday, Oh God!” Our brother had just passed on the previous Saturday and had been buried during the course of the week. In fact, my mother’s condition had worsened when she received the news of her son’s untimely death.

It was a moment of panic, like wax we melted, but had to look forward. I was only 15, young and Naive but had taken on mother’s roles at home of cooking for her grandchildren and Papa, I had kind of grown so good at it, but I missed mother because her food was incomparable, her tactics in making us happy were unmatched but now she was gone. Yes she was gone!
I asked God why, yet I couldn’t find a ready answer, I had last seen mom a few hours ago at her death bed and she could barely speak to me, my big sister had pulled me aside and hopelessly whispered “Mother is going to die” but I did not despair as a priest had just anointed her with oil in the sacrament of Life ‘anointing of the sick’ I was brave that she would see the new day alive and smiling.
I had witnessed tears rolling down mother’s cheek and I remembered her words someday as she nursed my dying cousin’s wife “when a mother sheds tears at such a point when she cannot speak, she is grieving for her children she is leaving behind”
It was that moment, I knew mother was grieving for us, yet I could not lose hope.
I was a liar. Mother was gone.
The unbearable pains  continued with only one consolation though – we had been adopted by a new mother who had watched over us always even when mom was alive. Mother Mary was now the woman I had to tell all my secrets, the woman whose mantle I had to hide into when times get tough.
Papa always reassured me of mother Mary’s presence as as a mother. Everytime he visited me at school, he reminded  me to always talk to my mother and at numerous visits left with me a Rosary.
The one time I can never forget is when I was going to sit for my Senior 4 exams, while parents showered their kids with success cards and so on, Papa gave me a Rosary and reminded me still to go with Mother Mary into the papers. I must have thought that guy was crazy then, but today that craziness is the reason for my success.
When I was going for my job interview, I told papa about it and he simply told me ‘go tell your mother about it’ I remembered and rushed out to Mother Mary’s Grotto at Church and placed all my papers at her feet and my prayer was “Papa has said I should come and tell you…..”
I got the highly competitive slot.
Mother Mary, I learnt was mummy and I had to run to her in whatever situation. Today I call her mother and tell to her whatever I would have told my biological mother. Yes I miss my mother but I have a Jesus’ Mother. Who wouldn’t be proud to be Jesus’ Sister?
Happy Mother’s Day.

Advertisements

An open letter to Hon. Maria Mutagamba – Mama, please sort the mess in Uganda’s Tourism Ministry

Its been a while since I last updated my blog. In fact its exactly 4months since my last post.

Anyhow, am here, not on a good note though.
I know this may seem like an outpour of my harsh emotions, but I also want to consider that someone has gone or is going through the same but they chose or have chosen to shut up about it.

Anyway, long story short, am here to vomit my displeasure with much hope that by the time I write the last fill stop, I wont bear no straight face no more.

Close to 2months ago I had a clande to with the Ministry of Tourism where I had to surrender my travel documents.

The deal didnt go as expected but still I was never contacted even as the people handling the programme had all my contacts.
When I needed to use my passport I took responsibility to call and find out how I could get it and thats when I got the news that the deal flopped.

That wasnt the main thing that moment, all I needed was my passport and Yellow fever card.
The woman (Barbra) who I personally handed my documents to asked me to go to the offices and pick them, upon reaching both her and her phone were not available.

And since then her phone acted either off or not picked.
About month later as the urgence grew for my documents, on monday I walked to the offices again, only to be informed it was a temporary office and that the event had ended hence the office closed.

Since it was being run by the ministry,I went to be helped only to find the ministers PA or secretary of sorts telling me ” by the way that woman who was cordinating your programme was a volunteer and another person came here also looking for a passport, we found it down in some box, but I don’t know where those boxes are” she added ” Try to call her, I have no credit on my phone”

In my heart am like what the hell is this? So yes that was her response, call Babra to tell you where she out ur passport.
I desparately walked out of the AC filled office habouring seemingly irresponsible chaps and kept trying the advice I got.

Nothing seemed new, I was sure she wasnt going to pick my calls after numerous unsuccessful calls the whole day.

Bless the Heavens she finally picked after a long constipational like struggle.

“Hey I need my passport” My pissed self spoke after greetings.

“I gave your passport to Agaba at the Ministry ask him” she replied witg a guilty voice

“Well, how am I supposed to know Agaba who seems to have one bame like a cat?” I asked myself

Anyway give me his number I asked abd straight away called him.
Skeptical, Agaba says oh yeah she gave me the the the….aaaaaa……

The what?

I mean the things haaa but I doooonttiiii know…..anyway ask Claire

Eh but who the fuck is Claire?

The guy says okay go to the ministry the lady you will find there is the one ask her…

But wait, this is the same woman I was talking to at first and she feigned ignorance..so?

Meanwhile all this is my credit being spent.

Anyhow, mr Agaba, am coming for my passport tomorrow. Good night.

Yes you come, I will be there early to look for it.

As if tomorrow wouldnt come., soon it was tuesday. At 2pm I called and guy is giving me stories, mehn!

When I walk to the the minstry again its blame game, witg me using my airtime to facilitate people’s careless talks of I gave you the passports, yes you did give mw stuff but never told me they were passports, I did no not me,
They were in boxes,

Wait what would official documents be kept in boxes?

Some were taken to the minister’s home, eh! Wait, at her home? For?

What would official documents be doing at the minister’s home?

Holy shit!

Okay am really pissed give me the ministers number, and it’s off.

I gathered balls and boils and traced the minister’s Residence. At 10pm this evening I was at her residence in Nabbingo, luckily allowed in but unfortunately couldnt see her in person because she was in bed and wasn’t feeling well but she sent me a person to attend to me.

The best this person could do was to promise that lets take it tomorrow because its late now.

I agreed.
And just like that I my passport is lost. Because of useless and careless people earning salaries to annoy Ugandans!

Now, dear mama Maria Mutagamba, from where did you fetch these villagers posing around in town offices as officials?

Whats the criteria of getting a job in tourism ministry?

Do you know how many irresponsible chaps who sit in that ministry are?

If yes, do you know how many need to be taken to school of truth telling?

Enough of the questions. I got home at 11: 30 and am not about to push my travel again. I NEED MY DOCUMENTS ASAP.

Tomorrow am resident at the ministry.

Dear reader, sorry for the frustration let down on you but this was worth a blog. A tweet or a Facebook share is all I need from you.

Thanks for your time.

Off I smile. Uwitware

Two hours in Mogadishu

When I say I love traveling, my inner self feels convinced. To many traveling may mean boarding a plane to a place a thousand miles away or probably sitting on  a bus to go on a long journey, but for me, it means refusing to sitting in one place for more than 30 minutes.

This is not because of the kind of work I do, but may be because of my nature – I wouldn’t want to call myself restless but for lack of a better word , Yes! Restless!

Enough

Of course I got excited when my editor’s call came through that I should organise all my travel documents I would be covering the Air Uganda maiden Flight to Somalia.

Did you just say Somalia? The question resounded in my excited mind.

Picture the excitement and honour. I knew this was going to be fun but of course it was going to involve enduring a Yellow Fever vaccination injection which for years I had been reluctant to take.

“All programmes cancelled. I must get this vaccination done in the least time possible.” I said to myself.

In a few hours I  gladly surrendered my upper arm to the nurse’s palms.

So with all set, all I waited for was the D-day. I wasn’t excited because I was gonna fly, travel or something, the vigour stemmed from the fact that I was going to Somalia – one of  the countries on my  ‘to – visit list.’

My keen Interest in Somalia is also linked to the recent happenings in there, that I have always just read about in the news. I wanted to know how it feels to be in a place like one that is just recovering from insurgency – The journalistic Ego (Of, yeah I once was in Somalia)

I am simply being honest. I did not care if the trip was just for a few hours , just like it was – All I longed to do was to step feet in SOMALIA.

Well, at the eve of the flight, I retired home at the usual hours, and went to bed at about 11pm. I was meant to wake up at 2 and get ready for the 5.30am flight. I was up at 1.30am.

Quick through the process, at 5.30am, the much anticipated Journey commenced. For 2hr and 10 minutes I was catching sight of God’s beautiful space creation.

It was nothing short of Aaaaaammmmmmaaaaaazzzziiiiiing! Oweeeeesssoooooommmmeeeee!

When the hostess announced that we were landing…

The plane hovered over the waters, and soon we were on ground – Safely.

One word – Ancient

The smell of a semi desert.

An airport/ Military base – 9 of every 10 people you set eyes on, are dressed in military fatigue.

Place is guarded more than I had ever witnessed. The beauty was that the biggest number of the AU troops on ground hail from Uganda – they too were as excited to see an Air Uganda Plane jet in.  I keenly remember on of them telling me

“ Eh!, this has never happened, my heart has skipped seeing air Uganda plane land, ayaaaaaa, this is soooo goood.”

With these words I felt the joy and excitement of a ugandan who has been away from home for the at least eighteen months.

The tight security at the seemingly ancient airport for me revealed how much it may not be safe to travel further into Somalia, although the security operatives on ground kept assuring us that all was well.

The head of the Uganda People’s Defence Force contingency told me “People are happy, people are traveling, construction is going on, business is growing, Guns are silent here in Mogadishu.”

“Guns are Silent” that was the gist of the statement – what any entrant into Somalia would love to listen to. It made me feel at home.

And when these Soldiers walked to me giving greetings in our native Luganda language, I even fell more at peace.

About two hours in Mogadishu’s international airport and all I wanted to do was go even further – Oh I wish I could. I all wishes were horses…

Two hours well – Setting eyes on the Somalian President, interacting with Au troops, getting burnt under the scorching morning sunshine ( as If I even cared) and of course using my hand camera to document my first ever trip to Somalia.

In the few hours, I cannot forget to say my head was veiled. Somalia, wait for my Mega Return!

Yours Truely Uwitware

African Blood.

The Little Ethiopian Angel

558691_10200833211342266_1548225842_n

 

Bright and beautiful,

Wrapped in a long cream dress,

Strapped with gold finishings

Complimenting her little curves

Oh! the Little Ethiopian Angel

Corn rows run through her head

Like little meandering routes through a tropical forest

Her little eyes focusing on her little fingers

Her Little fingers banging her little African Drum

Oh! the little Ethiopian Angel

Every thing about her is little and beautiful

Her little glory shaped eyes,

Her little humble nose

Her little kiss spilling lips

Oh! You little Ethiopian Angel

Looking at her drives my soul crazy

Awakens the African Spirit in me

I want to hug her the African way

I want to add her to the list of my favourites

Oh! the little African Angel

I Love you Mother Africa

I love your fruits

Nothing beats you mama Africa

Long live Mama, Long live Africa.

Its been Nine Months

735671_10200155928250612_1944949818_o

 

When I say nine months, first thing in many of your minds is Pregnancy. Yes and no!

Last May I conceived, I was however not sure if it was a boy or a girl but I was sure it would be Joy at the end of the nine-months long journey.

In fact, my belly has for this time through beamed with joy, notwithstanding a few aches here and there.

Now, with only two days to deliver my long awaited baby I am joyful still, but sad too.

One, I am happy because I have successfully come to the end of my gestation period but also sad because I will miss the goodies that happened to me while the pregnancy lasted.

It was just yesterday, I can still smell the mood when I traveled to Nairobi to meet a delegation of fellow young journalists from around East Africa, to put together brains for career enhancement.

I can still remember how I met beautiful and handsome young wits whose names am compelled to mention because of they have been a significant lot in my journey hence this far.

In no order of preference, Wahida, Beryl, Mercy, Silvia, Goodluck, Robert, Laillah, Sharon, Athuman, Emmanuel, Mbashiru, Ingrid, Wisdom, Warothe, Peter, Daria, Kennedy and of course Olive.

Our people have been the best brothers and sisters I ever met besides my biological ones. I cannot but be grateful to my other Kenyan family members Maurice, Charity, Alex, Joy, Joseph, Prosper, Issa, Tom, Ray, and Sam who have been there for me.

But of course how can I forget my other buddies Kevins, Griffinz, Quest and Watson, you made me feel at home guys.

It’s surprising how time flies it has been fair yet unfair to me. It feels like I am waking up from a dream that has gone on for this entire while.

It is been a long yet short time, a time to bond with people who have been totally supportive and been there for me in all situations, while I smiled and while I frowned.

A great nine months of learning to deal with egos and temperaments from all walks of life,  but above all a time to climb to greater heights.

If there is something to regret in life, it can never be the walk I took nine months ago. I agree it has had its tough times but I have been able to overcome them with patience and persistence.

Besides, the tough times that there was, were always overcome by the Joy that the people around me gave.

At the end of the day now that there has been no abortion, I can attest to the sweetness of the fruits of this period- they are incredibly honeyed.

My pregnancy is now ripe, like a woman in labour I cry with pains of missing people who have become part of my life for this long, but grinning with excitement knowing that this is just the beginning of another level in life.

The programme has been one of the greatest achievements I will forever boast about, a chance to challenge and be challenged, to learn stuff beyond my understanding and to widen the scope of my knowledge.

It has been hard work but fun too.

All ye good people, there is only one thing, Go, Go and Go, fear no evil and road blocks, you have got all that it takes to shake the world and make it a better place.

God be with you till we meet again.

With Love Uwitware.

 

A letter to President Museveni

Dear Uncle M7, it is 9th October, 2012

It is not my birthday, not my parents’ wedding anniversary, yet I beam with lots of Joy.

I have religiously been looking forward to this day since I was born.  It is the 50th Independence anniversary of a great and beautiful Nation- Uganda.

Exactly 50years ago, this humble Nation received the power of self-governance from our colonial masters.

I would like to bring to your attention that today we remember Five decades of great development alongside numerous social ills.

We celebrate eight presidents not forgetting the incumbent (you) being in power for over 25years. If you are a good mathematician you know what I am talking about.

We exalt the Northern by Pass but not without mentioning the numerous potholed roads in Kampala and other roads.

We jubilate national patriotism regardless of whether Uganda ‘Cranes’ loses or fails to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. World Cup will be a matter of the future.

We are happy for UPE (bonna basome) but not forgetting how our children become academic dwarfs from UPE schools.

We appreciate the freedom of expression and free movement, but it remains true that opposition leaders are abstained from this right.

We are happy for the police keeping Law and order but we cannot forget the numerous times Besigye and I have eaten and constantly fed on teargas.

And, oh please! We cannot forget Arinaitwe, the man who broke Besigye’s window with a hummer and sprayed pepper that got the dude (Besigye) almost blind.

But of course we cannot forget Kiprotich and the Gold medal as we celebrate 50years, but we know he may be stale news like Inzikuru so soon.

And we cannot forget that we have never seen Kony but we have heard of him since we were born.

Most importantly we cannot forget that Mzee, you have taken so long in power, I want to see another president.

Lastly, I will be honoured if you hosted me for further discussions.

Caution: I am a child of 1988.

Yours Truly in love with Uganda

Trudy Tumusiime Uwitware.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Beneath Mulago hill…

Kampala stands on seven hills.

One of them is where Uganda’s referral hospital (Mulago Hospital) stands.

we all believe hills are synonymous with beauty, most times including the surrounding areas (at least as far as I can recall for the ones I have known.)

Yes, but there is something rather unusual about this one.  Between Mulago and another slum Kamwokya lies a very small slum, It is not common, you may be hearing it for the first time, even when you know Mulago, am sure only a few of us can locate it.

It has a very complicated name (Butakabukirwa).

I will tell you why I know it. When I was a child, I frequented the place, because I had an uncle who had a small business there. I was shocked just sometime I was passing by with a friend and decided to branch off, he could not believe what he saw.

He told me “Is there a such a place here in Kampala?”

I told him, “You never dare to find out.”

That said, I took a few pics, which I will let tell the story because I have already written a piece somewhere about it but felt I should share this photography with you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.