Stella Nyanzi only did what we have feared to do

IMG_4956When the First Lady Janet Museveni, in her capacity as education minister called the media to advise parents about among others, not to transport their kids to school on Boda Boda’s, or if they should, not more than two on one bike, no one dared to respond to her unrealistic advice in this Uganda that’s marred with a lot of inequality.

Only one outspoken woman, Stella Nyanzi – who I am actually so proud of to this effect – dared to insert her finger in the anus of the “leopardess.” I salute you Nyanzi

Many, without taking in the crucial points passed judgment over Nyanzi for her response that made rounds on social media as largely vulgar, missing the point therefore.

The filthy – mouthed mother of twins spat rubbish as many who claim to be morally upright perceived it but a few of us ( now dubbed anti government ) wore no gloves, pulled up our sleeves and dug down the filth to find the pearls in Nyanzi’s dossier directed to the ‘Marie Antonette’ of our days.

“But why would a woman as educated as Nyanzi burst out in such unexplainable anger, moreover in a language so demeaning?” I thought to self. After much meditation, I realized she was only being the true Nationalist that this crumbling Nation needed. I am sorry my silence has let my nation down.

Nyanzi the fearless woman who would get up and speak for the girls who have to miss school days because they cannot pad them selves during the bloody days of the month while billions of tax payers money is whisked away in presidential handshakes, not even the innovative youth who could invent re usable pads can be facilitated to do so because the money has other things to do such as make sure the state house has security as big as that of heaven.

Nyanzi an iron lady who no matter the forces she attacked, dared to say that if the First Lady cut on her luxurious spending and that of hers, the hospitals would maybe never run out of medicine. – as we speak now, more than three patients are sharing an oxygen can at Kiruddu hospital, just a few days ago, a friend lost a brother because the oxygen shared with three others run out. Four lives lost. When a member of the first family will be flown out of the country to treat a bout of flue. Is this government really sensitive to the needs of the ordinary Ugandan?

Nyanzi, the vulgar mouthed mother who puts the plight of women dying in labour before that of a First family that rides around with a motorcade of 1000 vehicles while rural mothers die for luck of a bicycle to take them to the nearest health centre located kilometers or even miles away. Just the other day the ministry of health was celebrating a drop in the ocean reduction in the number of mothers dying as told by the Health demographics survey, the truth is mothers still die not because there is no money to fix the reasons they are dying but because the money has concentrated in the hands of a few First citizens.

Deep in Mityana, mothers have to opt for a visually impaired traditional birth attendant because she is nearest to them than the nearest health centre.

With no doubt, Janet Museveni is one meek person I have ever known, reading her book, ‘My life’s Journey’ (assuming she didn’t lie) further confirmed the character I thought her to be. Having gone through the humble beginnings like she narrates them in the said book, Janet Museveni should not be the woman to advise parents the way she did , seemingly unbothered about the fact that majority a Ugandan family lives in the lowly life where for instance Boda Boda transport might be the only option they find, again because teachers are poorly paid so they create early classes to get students pay for an hour before actual school starts and that explains why pupils have to be early to school.

What if there was a better transport system that children had to jump on say a train to rush to school?

One will argue that it’s not Janet’s mandate to fix the dead transport system nor is it her role to work on the ailing health system but come on, then freakin stop calling her the First Lady, mother of the nation and so on, besides, she is not exclusive to this oppressive government – maybe she shouldn’t have joined politics, even as a minister of education, you don’t want students missing school because they are sick and cannot find affordable healthcare.

Maybe mrs Museveni should not have come to speak to us about our children’s safety when in fact she is like the proverbial bible tale of the Pharisees who prayed for the poor but never did something about their poverty.

You sit up there eating bread and come and tell me stop eating cassava for breakfast? Mam, that’s all I have, if you are really bothered that I am eating poorly, give up some of your loaves for me.

I am wailing for my country, My rights are raped by this regime like Nyanzi would say. I am crying for the pearl of Africa that once was.

I do not condone Nyanzi’s vulgar language but I stand with her on the points that matter to me as an ordinary Ugandan. I don’t care what others think of me, for all I know, in my line of work I have travelled this country, spoken to the poorest of people, who cannot even afford a meal a day. On the other side of life I have seen Government officials enjoy a luxurious life oblivious of the dying population.

I have to pull aside while driving for a convoy of uncountable cars carrying just one important person to pass? Really? In a country where we were all created equal? What’s the difference in a country where the president for example gives all he has to the poor?

Tuffa tuggwaawo, who will save Ugandans? The army wont, the opposition has failed because of their unending fights, not even my religious leaders can help because their advice is so humble and full of reconciliation and will be swept under the carpet as soon as they say it.

May be we need more of Stella Nyanzi Characters to join the war, to rid this country of these moles eating it at a slow but steady pace.

If only the media used its tool to hold accountable rather than please the First family, may be things would be better.

I stand up, I will fight for mother land as long as I can, this is a solemn pledge I make, I’m only answerable to God who will ask me what my contribution was to this world.

Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion, the views in here are mine,you may choose to agree or disagree.

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

Help this blind 8months baby see

 

Eight months ago, Faridah Nakalyango a resident of Masaka, Uganda gave birth to a bouncing baby Tasha Nakigudde.

All was well until the baby opened her eyes.

Faridah says when the child first opened the eyes, there was a milky coating, upon check up, the the doctors said the child could not see.

All diagnosis reveal that the child has an eye condition called primary congenital Glaucoma.

Consequently, the baby has since been blind.  On the outside, the eyes are visibly swollen, while closer look at them reveals how unstable they are in the eye case.

Doctors she has visited have recommended a cornea implant which is pretty expensive and worse still cannot be done here in Uganda.

Faridah has no option left but to look for 20 million to take the child for an operation in India. Unfortunately, she cannot raise the money by herself, she is only appealing to people of good hearts to give her a hand if her child’s sight is to be restored.

Faridah, who is a mother of two is also worried because her first born who got an accident that made one of her eyes blind. She seems the most unfortunate woman, having two blind children with the blindness arrived at in two different ways.

These are true tears of a mother…

Let us help Faridah live as a happy mother.

 

 

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.

Its been Nine Months

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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.

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