Friday, September 13, 2013

To All Young Women Who Break Our Hearts

Today I am going to share with you a post from a Facebook friend of mine, Adonia Waibale, that I would like all the ladies, especially the young ones that keep breaking our hearts, to read.

Forgetting Tracy Amazing

Did I just call a woman amazing? Oh yeah that's right, everything about her was amazing especially the way she dumped me without breaking my heart - i still have no clue how she managed that but when she left she took all the pieces with her. I still have nightmares of her chocolate skin, big twinkling eyes, lips that could act like cushions and her smile was more beautiful than the horizon where day fades into night. I'm haunted by these images. Her bosom, well crafted with surgically equivalent breasts and hips as wide as a six lane free way; her posterior was molded by Leonardo da Vinci himself. Her legs straight like eucalyptus trees; when she walked all her accolades flourished in chorus complimenting each other. And in that moment beauty made enough sense to last me a life time.

She was the perfect score for an SAT and she was my score long enough to know how it feels like to be an A student in a biology class. 

Tracy Mirembe was her name, her pleasure was my purpose, well, it was until it was useless to keep all the promises we had made in all coyness. 

Whenever we hung out i worried because she commanded attention like a top less bartender, I'm not the jealous type but you should have seen the way men ogled at her, sometimes i felt she was virtually undressed the minute we walked into a bar. In the genesis of what is now clearly a bad idea I enjoyed commendations from my peers who appreciated my taste in women, infact I believe many of them thought I had punched way above my weight. They called her deep waters and I was only a star fish marinating in her waters. Time and again i simply nodded my head also in total awe of her beauty. It was here that i started writing my vows- 'I will love you till all the oil in bunyoro is reclaimed, I will stay with you until bwaise gets her independence from poor drainage." Such was the magnitude of my commitment to her. I promised myself that i would spend all my bonus payments on pampering her and my actual income would be dedicated to things like her hair. All the fish in the sea disappeared, the few that remained were no match to her; now i only had eyes for her. But as it has become the play these days, she had her eyes on something else and it's now that I realize it wasn't me. Deep into her eyes there stood, erect a faint image of me and each time I held her close it felt like the last time. For months I attempted to marry her vanity with my imperfections and find good reason to fight for her. I know nothing is meant to last but i was hoping to prove Boolean wrong. I could have given her all my love, I could have been more than just a knight in shinning armor. I could have been her Mr amazing. But here I am writing stories in her memory, inking her memory away into a canister of 'has beens' and girls I hope get hit by a bus or something more heinous. 

So Tracy, if you are reading this, I hope you are not happy, i hope you have kids now and those curves of yours are no more, i hope those breasts sag all the way to your belly button. It's my humble prayer that you got married to boda boda guy and that his helmet is the only item of luxury. Please don't think I hate you, I only enjoy a good rant and you seemed like something I could rant about.

So, Ladies, the next time you think of breaking a guy's heart, please remember the Emotional Rape you subject us to.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How I Lost My Pentecostalism

I grew up in a church where Jesus’ words, “Unless you are born again, you shall not see the kingdom of God” meant “Unless you join this church you shall not go to heaven.” I felt privileged to be among the chosen few to go to heaven because even Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.”

The road to hell was very wide and almost everyone was on it, enjoying the temporary pleasures of the earth. But my church taught me to keep on the straight and the narrow, because only a few lucky people like us found it.

There would be more souls lost in hell than those redeemed in heaven, I was taught.

And I believed it.

But that was before my brother, Alex passed away.

Alex was a devout Catholic. Many of us at home had turned Pentecostal, but however much we evangelized to him, he refused to convert. I was very worried about him and decided to delegate a good chunk of my prayer time to him.

The last time I saw him, we passed by a ramshackle Pentecostal church on our way to a restaurant for lunch. It was a Monday. And they were having “Lunch Hour,” their two-hour lunchtime prayers. The wooden structure had less than a dozen Pentecostals in it but the sound system was deafening.

I would have liked it if they had been playing music. Instead, the pastor, or whoever he was, was shouting incessantly into the microphone at God in a mixture of Luganda and tongues. He was telling God how good He was but by the volume and forcefulness of his voice, if you didn’t know Luganda, you would have thought he was having an argument with God and was winning it.

However, though I was a committed Pentecostal Christian, this was one part of Pentecostalism I never understood. I don’t know how to shout, and so I wondered why in the world one felt the need to shout while talking to God. It’s not like God is near-deaf. Or, if one was praying for the benefit of the others in the room with him, why amplify one’s voice with a sound system that cost more than the structure under which they are meeting.

“It’s Lunch Hour. Go and join them,” Alex said, rubbing in the fact that it was totally absurd, what these guys were doing.

“Nah! I’ll pray over my food,” I said, as we entered a restaurant.

That was the last day I saw Alex.

One and a half months later, I received the news that Alex had passed away. I’ve never felt so heartbroken and disappointed. I had spent half of my life praying that Alex would cross to my Pentecostalism so he wouldn’t go to hell, and God hadn’t answered my prayers.

I didn’t go for the funeral because I was in the middle of exams at school. But as I cried, I failed to picture my brother burning in the fires of hell, just because he had refused to believe that one had to pick a certain church over another one in order to go to heaven.

Then God started ministering love and comfort to my heart. He showed me how much he loved me and hated to see me so heartbroken. That was when I got a glimpse of God’s love for the first time—the light that had been hidden from me by Pentecostal dogma.

That was when I started to lose my Pentecostalism.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I am Coming Out of the Closet

A friend of mine came out of the closet a few months ago. It is now common knowledge that he is gay, at least among his close friends. Well, I am happy for him. In Uganda, it takes a lot of balls and guts to say you are gay. But he is very lucky. His mother did not throw him out of the house.

I would like to think that I might be as lucky as he was. So I am also coming out of the closet too. Finally.

I am straight.

And I am sorry if I have disappointed you. It’s just that, I would like to know, why is it that the gays experience the pressure of having to come out of the closet yet us, the straight guys, have it easy? Everyone should reach a point in their life where they are expected to come out of the closet. And it should be ok whichever closet you come out of.

Late last year I wrote a story that I submitted for a competition called Writivism. I titled it Emotional Roller Coaster. Recently, my story has caused a lot of debate both online and offline. It is about a gay guy who has his first heterosexual encounter. I can’t really tell what I was thinking while writing this story, but I enjoyed writing it.

After all the debate it garnered, I started thinking about the issues the story raised, especially regarding homosexuality. My gay character enjoyed the sex he had with his female best friend. (Do gay people enjoy straight sex? Someone educate me!) The next morning, he wakes up confused. He had already come out of the closet as a gay guy. Would he now have to come out of the closet as a straight guy?

So while I’m advocating for us straight guys to also come out of the closet, I suggest that the closet should remain open, so that we can go back when we feel like we are threatened. I’ve heard of middle-aged men with wives and teenage kids who finally figure out that all along they’ve been gay. Now I don’t know how that happens, but as for anything to do with closets, I am open for dialogue.

And I will stop here, because I clearly don’t know what I am blabbering about. I just wanted to simply come out of the closet, but because I’m a writer, felt like I should write more than a few sentences.

As an afterthought, I think I should now join some straight club. Anybody know any straight club?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Coming To Kampala: a short story

The bus came to a halt at the traffic lights on Jinja Road. It was the first in line, and I thought the driver had to feel disappointed for having been too slow to beat the red light. We were finally in Kampala. I expressed my excitement by inboxing Lillian.
“On Jinja Road. Will be there in a few minutes.”
She replied immediately: “Can’t wait to meet you!” and added a smiley at the end.
That’s why I liked Lillian. She was always online, and I was assured of never getting bored whenever we chatted on Facebook. Lillian had this infectious smile that drilled dimples in her cheeks, accentuating her beauty. Her large, innocent eyes sparkled in the light and were always happy.
On Jinja Road, the light turned orange, and the driver started the engine again. He turned the key in the ignition, and all the engine did was cough.
He looked at the orange light. Sweat broke out on his forehead.
The engine coughed again. It stopped.
The old, gangly driver, with hands trembling on the steering wheel, turned in his seat, looked directly at me and said, “Banange, get out and help me push the car. It won’t start!”
I averted my gaze from his tired eyes and looked at myself in the rear-view mirror. I was dressed in a new, cream dress shirt. My suit was recently dry-cleaned. I was going for the best date in my life. I hadn’t taken all my time and effort to look impeccable for my girl, travel all the way from Mbale, to get myself dirty just a short walk away from my destination.
“Banange, munnyambe,” the bus driver pleaded with us, glancing at the orange light. Any time from now it would turn green.
I could get out of this bus and walk the rest of the journey. I might be a little late. I might get my new dress shoes dusty. But that was better than getting my suit dirty.
Four men stood up and walked out to help push the bus.
The driver’s hands were shaking so badly they could barely hold the steering wheel. He turned the ignition. The engine started and died almost immediately.
Three policemen were looking at us from across the road. The driver saw them and said, “Those policemen are going to come and fine me!”
The skin on his arms had developed goose pimples. He drew in quick breaths.
He started the engine again as the men pushed. The bus shook, but stayed in the same place.
I stood up, ready to get out. Not to help, but walk to my date. It was getting late. My reputation was hanging on the line right now.
The light turned green.
The driver turned the ignition again and revved up the engine. The cars that had lined up behind us started honking. Loud, angry noise. Two of the policemen started walking towards our bus.
The engine coughed one more time. The car moved a little. The cars behind us honked.
The policemen were now a few feet away from us. The scowls on their faces carried question marks.
The four men outside pushed again. The bus came to life and started moving. It accelerated in speed and the men who were pushing started running after it so they could get back on. The driver smiled as he drove past the bewildered policemen. He increased his speed as soon as all four men were back on board. He had a silly grin on his face that he seemed unaware of as he bobbed his head to the kadongokamu song that was playing on the radio.
I sat back. I had been on the edge of my seat.
I fought the urge to gawk at the buildings on Jinja Road. They were tall and their glass, tile and aluminium surfaces glinted in the evening light. When we reached Uganda House, I said, “Maaso awo.”
The bus stopped and I got off. I checked my phone. It was four-thirty. I refreshed my Facebook inbox and read Lillian’s latest message.
“Where are you?”
“I’ve just arrived at Uganda House,” I replied.
I saw what was to be our meeting point—Cafe Bravo. I entered and was immediately welcomed with the strong, sweet aroma of coffee. I stared at the exquisite wood panelling and the large display of mouth-watering pastries.
I checked my phone. Lillian had replied, “Ok”
I typed, “Where are you?”
“On my way.”
So she wasn’t here yet. That was good. I made a beeline for a table in the corner so I could sit facing the entrance. I wanted to see her as soon as she came in.
A waiter approached my table, gave me the menu and asked, “Would you like anything, sir?”
“Let me go through the menu, then I’ll call you,” I said. He left me.
I opened the menu and started perusing through it. My jaw dropped. My eyes became saucers. The chicken was twenty thousand shillings!
It dawned on me that I was going to leave Kampala broke.
I checked my phone. I didn’t have any new message from Lillian. I almost asked her where she was again, but I thought that I would come off as desperate. I put the phone on the table.
The waiter came back to my table. “Are you ready to order, sir.”
“You see,” I said, “I am waiting for my girlfriend to join me, then we shall order together.”
What I didn’t tell him was that I was afraid if I ordered before Lillian ordered, and she ordered an expensive dish, I might not have enough money to settle my bill.
The waiter left again.
I waited for Lillian.
Just as I picked up my phone to ask her where she was, she entered the cafe. The sunshine entered with her. She scanned the cafe till her eyes landed on me. There was a hint of recognition. I smiled. She didn’t smile back, but her eyes moved from mine and continued scanning the cafe.
I almost stood up and waved my hands to catch her attention. She turned and walked back outside, like she had forgotten something there.
Fidgeting, I grabbed my phone. No new message from her. I frantically typed, “Where are you?”
I looked out at the girl I thought was Lillian. Long, manicured fingernails were tapping away at the screen of a smart phone.
The answer was instant. “Stuck in jam.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Rat

Once upon a time, there was a rat. It lived in my house. I had never seen it, but I was almost sure that it was there. I was also almost sure that it might not be only one rat. Maybe there was a whole family of them—mother, father and baby rats!

I did not know whether it was as big as a shoe or as small as a large cockroach.

There was a rat trap behind the fridge. There was another one on top of the cabinet. There were two under the sink.

I had never seen this rat. The only evidence I had that it actually existed was the fact that the bread I kept putting on the rat traps as bait disappeared every night.

Then one day I decided that I was going to catch this rat. I borrowed webcams from my colleagues at work. In total, I had three webcams, one for each rat trap. And my iPhone’s camera was for the fourth rat trap, the one on top of the fridge. Today I wasn’t going to sleep.

I sat in front of my laptop in my living room watching the live feeds from all four cameras. Thirty minutes into my surveillance, I started dosing. I went to the kitchen and made myself some coffee and a sandwich. I chastised myself for going to the kitchen. I could have scared away the rat! I checked the traps again. The bread was still there. I got some more bread from the bread bin, broke it and distributed it to the traps. Some more bread for this crafty rat wouldn’t hurt. Today was the last day it would steal from me.

I went back to my couch and my laptop and watched the rat traps.

I thought I should play music. It was eerily quiet. But what if the music scared away the rat? I remained in the quietness.

Maybe I should switch off the lights. Rats love darkness. But then how would I see the rat on my live feed? I would have to try my luck today. I sat back in my couch. I watched.

I looked at the time. It was ten-thirty. I had been watching for only twenty minutes so far. It felt like an hour.

What if the rat came out at four in the morning? Well, then I guess I should have a full flask of coffee. Maybe even get a book to read. Have one eye on the book and another on the screen of my laptop. I surely wouldn’t miss a movement near the rat traps.

The couch was very comfortable. I felt too lazy to get up and make myself more coffee and pick a book. So I stayed and watched the rat traps.

I woke up to the glare of sunlight coming through the window. My laptop’s screen had blacked out. I didn’t bother to put it on but rushed to the kitchen to check the rat traps. The two rat traps under the sink were devoid of bread.

And I was sure the other rat traps also didn’t have bread on them. I gathered my surveillance gadgets. I’d need my iPhone for Facebook, Twitter and WatsApp. And my colleagues would need their webcams.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Breathe in
Breathe out
Close your eyes
Can you see me?
Be at peace
Don’t struggle
Patience, my child
Hold on

Be still
Be calm
Spread your wings
Can you fly
I’ll be wind
In your wings
Now fly
Soar high

If you think you cannot
I’ll be there to see you try

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Emotional Rape

Rape is such a bad thing. Whenever I hear or read about rape, anger boils within me. For a man to stoop so low as to defile the most beautiful of all creatures ever created is beyond my comprehension. But it happens. The perpetrators get locked up and we feel that justice has been served, at least on the surface, where smiles can easily mask the pain that shatters the poor victim’s heart into a million and one pieces.

I don’t know how a girl feels like when she is raped. But I surely know how a guy feels like. For I have been raped before. Now please don’t try explaining to me how it is physiologically impossible for a guy to be raped. I know the biology involved in copulation well enough. And I am not talking about physical rape.

I am talking about emotional rape.

When I was a teenager, I read a great book on dating titled, Dateable. It taught teenagers how to become dateable. I have forgotten most of what was in that book, but one thing I have never forgotten was the statement, “Girls give the physical to get the emotional. Guys give the emotional to get the physical.” If you don’t believe it, go have a serious chat with some teenagers. Ask them what they want in a mate.

The girl will say, “I want someone who cares about me, someone who will understand me and holds me.” She won’t talk about sex. Reason: girls don’t have sex. They make love. She wants a guy who will kiss her tenderly and give her warm, cuddly hugs. Very emotional.

But the guy will say, “I want someone who is great in bed.” Of course if he is shy he will first circle around this answer, giving you a long paragraph of nonsensical words before settling down to one thing: sex. For the guy, all other reasons come fourth, after sex, sex and more sex. Very physical.

Then they go to church and the pastor tells them that they cannot have sex until they are married. The pastor says that the Bible says so. No discussion expected.

The girl does a victory dance. At least she is sure the guy who will lay his hands on her will have to first commit to her by taking her to church for a church wedding, white satin gowns, flowers, jewelry and all.

The guy smiles. Isn’t it such a nice thing to first get married before having sex? Well, if God says so. But that is before he gets into a relationship with his dream girl.

A few months later, guy meets girl. The sparks fly, the butterflies fly and a full-blown romance starts. The guy is so caring. He understands her and even makes her laugh. He holds her and gives her warm, cuddly hugs. The girl couldn’t dream of a better relationship. She has got all she ever dreamed of.

Meanwhile, the guy has not yet realized what he has always dreamed of since the onset of puberty. They can’t have sex until they get married. The Bible says so.

That is when the emotional rape begins.

While the girl gets emotionally satisfied, the guy can’t get physically satisfied. He feels emotionally raped, the same way a girl would feel physically raped if the guy got physical satisfaction from her but never gave her emotional satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the guy doesn’t even realize that he’s being raped over and over again. There is no section in the penal code that describes emotional rape and provides legal action against it. Even if he realized that he was being raped, who would he report to? What evidence would he present? Unlike bruised vaginal walls, bruised hearts cannot be examined.

And when he asks for sex, he is labeled a jerk. He is called selfish. And the emotional rape continues while he suffers silently.

By the way, have you gotten yourself a copy of my new ebook? If not, get it here

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Hymn

About three years ago, I entered my dad’s car and rode with him to Jinja. To be a little more accurate, I was dragged to Jinja. And as I entered his car, I felt like my life as I knew it was about to end, like I had fallen off a cliff and was careening to a very certain death—the death of my dreams of writing.

My dreams of writing were being sacrificed at the altar of a more honourable vocation—Hotel Management—and I was being driven to the best hotel training institute (or so, I am told) in Uganda.

We had just driven a few metres away from home when the last verse of Amazing Grace hit me like a meteor falling from the sky.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the stars
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first began.

Those four lines played over and over in my mind, each line warming my heart and filling me with an inexplicable joy as I sat next to my dad.

“Are you ok?”

My dad had seen the silly grin on my face.

I immediately wiped it off and nodded. Yes, I was ok. I was more than ok.

I was given a place at The Hotel and Tourism Training Institute. The course would take me three years. And though I didn’t know how I would study Hotel Management for three years, I knew that three years were just a molecule of time in comparison to eternity.

Dad called me every single day for the first month of school. He was worried that I might throw in the towel after a few weeks of school.

I didn’t throw in the towel. I completed my three years. My last paper was on Friday. And I entered my bed at 6am this morning after spending the night out with my friends.


This morning I went to church. For the first time, I was twenty minutes late. I was surprised that I didn’t doze through the sermon. But I guess it was because I was excited to be leaving Jinja after three years of school. I couldn’t wait for church to end so I could go and pack my bags. Dad is picking me up in the evening.

After the sermon ended, we stood up for the closing hymn: Amazing Grace.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Even For A Fleeting Second

I’d give anything
to see your face
Light up in a smile
Even for a fleeting second
Even for a fleeting second

I’d give anything
To be with you
Longer than life
Even for a fleeting second
Even for a fleeting second

I’d give anything
To love you
Even for a fleeting second
Even for a fleeting second

I’d give anything
To open up my heart
And share love
Even for a fleeting second
Even for a fleeting second