Monday, December 22, 2008
Have you ever felt a chill when someone’s long nails scrape the chalkboard? That’s exactly how my husband and I felt. We heard the house help adding onto the screams by threatening anyone who dared interfere and help. That meant us, the willing to help neighbours. We were actually more curious than willing to help. We heard the sticks thrashing someone’s back. Does that constitute as domestic violence if one woman beats another? That is something for NGOs to fret about. As I mentioned before, why not fight over a Christmas turkey? That would make the season a little more merrier and meaningful.
I do not know how the fighting women story ends. I just hope that I do not have to spend the night before Easter listening to the same cries. I would rather hear women fighting over an Easter bunny or Easter egg.
My daughter’s first Christmas will be at Kingfisher Resort in Jinja because Christmases in Kampala can only be summarized as cooking, cleaning, washing, serving guests and lying idle and it doesn’t get better with a baby. We want to change the tradition. Cooking not, cleaning not, working not and stressing not.
As one wise man once said, no, not wise man, wise woman. As one wise woman said, Anyway since there are many wise things that women have said I am finding it very difficult to choose just one.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Outside my room window, hundreds of tourists are milling at the diving center at the
Unlike most five star hotels whose shops are obscenely expensive, I find
The shops are lined up just outside the reception area.
“Sister, sister,” the men from their shops call out to me.
So many trinkets, souvenirs, metals of all kinds and perfect clothes for the weather.
“Where are you from sister?”
“Okay, you are very beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I answer with dignity.
I notice immediately that there are only men who work in the shops. There are actually only men at the concierge, men who carry the luggage, men who deliver the room service and also men who operate the telephone booths.
“Where are the women?” I ask.
“Oh, they are in entertainment,” is the response.
I look at the US dollars peeping out of my handbag, each dollar worth just over 5 Egyptian pounds. I look forward to changing my suitcase.
I hear that Black is Back. It is the next best thing. I don’t know if this emerged after Barack Obama’s successful election to The US Presidency or if it is a more analytical view of the socio-economic cycle of life. Well, whether it is black, brown, blue or green, I tell you that certain hues will remain the same.
How about the dim-witted parents who begin to fret just because their newborn babies are growing dark at the ears? Such lack of confidence in one of God’s most beautiful miracles is a reason to believe that black is not back.
The husband who lets his wife do all the bread winning in the name of pro-feminism and activism just doesn’t get it. Black is not back.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The writers are convinced they will write
The lovers are convinced it’s love
The Beach Boys are convinced it’s theirs
The ocean doesn’t care
Neither do the donkeys
I shall call you Horacio-my Mexico
After the long-haired Spanish speaking gentleman;
Mexico-I implore you. Let me call you Horacio
You rubbed balm on my Uganda ness
I gloated over others who paled against me
Your sombrero blushed as my hip glossed over the pyramids
The water fountains spurted tequila as we fluttered by
The daunting Palacio de Mineria followed us towards the clothes market
30 pesos for you Horacio; 5 pesos for me
3 hours shy of Kigali
The gorgeous visage of the populace
I succumb to my vanity.
Doodling like an overpaid journalist
So tell me about the genocide?
The ugliness of my interview mars the University Woodland
I peer at the pines
Right on the graves
The sniffer dogs decide
I am unworthy of their time.
My budding dreadlocks relax
Under blondey’s armpits.
I stir to the bathroom
Peculiar gawks from a woman.
"I’ve had a long journey."
Her response - a stiff exit.
My dollars cum Euros
Clogs and chocolate are
My visas for a safe return home
Posing like African magic
I feel wasted.
Tourists cling to their egos
Animal statues mock my feeble pockets
The water slide carries the screams
Of spirited infants.
I scream too
At the ice cream that has stained my last Rand.
Kingdoms and dominions-romanticising black wealth
Lies in saying no
In Sun City.
Mamba Crocodile Farm
80 and counting
Snapped at the hand that fed him
The v is silent
It stands for violence.
A trimester of empty promises
Larger than croc’s jaws.
Big Daddy watches
As fifty tiny crocs feed and grow
The fifty ministers of his kingdom.
His children sit on the throne of Bid Daddy’s nostril
To grab at the chunkiest pieces of meat
The leftovers feed the 28 million populace.
Freckled legs in roller skates
Firing water guns at the tramp
Kissing lips and kissing lollipops
At Thorpe Park.
Sun-tanned babes line up for a ride.
Mittens for overcast times
Nervous teens chewing their nails at the underground.
Graffiti-Terrorism is a hoax.
The cold fought for my attention.
It blurred my vision
As the golf ball landed at my feet.
The cows stared at me for so long.
I envied their tits
Covering mine in shame
I went to White Horse Inn
To eat eshabwe
Gold Reef City
The man with the gold bar calls me.
I run and bump into a statue.
My obsession with muggers chokes me.
The peacock in front spreads out its crown.
I bend down and touch the real gold.
Wild in Jinja.
Untamed love at the Nile source.
The birds fly away
Before I can catch them.
A hammock for the fearless.
A trilogy of faith, incomparison, tomorrow.
"This is your home,"
I placed my ears
To the hard ground
As it welcomed me.
And the circumcision crowd
Knocked me down in their haste for manhood
I took my thoughts for a walk.
The maize stalks swayed in disapproval
Of my forlorn imagination.
Kitale is for people
The local chatter guided me to the market.
And I laughed as the cowrie shells
Rattled from the shelves
A tourist caught a salmon.
The ocean spat out salt in fury.
As digital photos reduced the salmon
to a statistic.
It almost fit me like a glove
Before I entered into the heart
I heard a widow’s faint cry.
A grandchild ran to rummage for food
Bujumbura is too big for me.
Traces of UN patterned the dust
My eyes grew sore from gazing into reality.
Dar es Salaam TANZANIA
Scorched by the heat of Kiswahili
The coast is dressed in bitenge
Tomorrow I will catch Nyerere
Before they recolonise us.
Sipi Falls, Kapchorwa
Dried coffee guiding my trail
The cold hills warm my cold heart.
Sipi, make me wet
Like the mountain behind you
Make them envy me
That travel to see you.
Friday, December 5, 2008
With a strong belief that women have some of the greatest potentials that go unrecognized and unnoticed, this award is opening up more creative spaces for them to excel. The Beverley Nambozo poetry award is open to all Ugandan females from the age of 20 to 40 who are residing in Uganda. The award, which was launched in December 2008, will recognize upcoming Ugandan female poets. There are three prizes to be won. Working with Uganda Women Writers’ Association (FEMRITE), this award, the first ever of its kind is another opportunity for women to push the pen.
The first prize is 200 US dollars.
Second prize is 100 US dollars.
Third prize is 50 US dollars
· Ugandan females from the age of 20 to 40 who are also residents of Uganda
· Poetry of not less than 15 lines which do not exceed 30 lines
· Poetry that has never been published before
· Each participant may submit up to 3 poems of any theme.
· The deadline for the 2009 award is March 31st 2009 at midday GMT and results will be announced in July 2009 during the FEMRITE week of activities.
Submissions will be accepted by email to:-
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The poems should be submitted in English with a title page including Title of poem, Name of poet, phone number and email address. The poets’ names should not appear with the poems themselves.
Currently the Coordinator of FEMRITE. She is a published writer of both adult and children's fiction. Fina The Dancer, her children's book is an all time favourite amongst children. Hilda is the founder of Women Writers Africa Network, an association that aims at promoting creative writing amongst women of
A Ugandan entrepreneur who has large experience in creative writing especially poetry. He has often taught at workshops and has inspired many upcoming Ugandan writers. Sam also has a knack for public speaking and persuasion.
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva:
Currently serving on the FEMRITE Executive Board and also working at The Eastern African sub-Regional Support Initiative (EASSI). Her passion for poetry and writing has led to several publications and now is a chance for her to open up more space for Ugandan women.
Getting a name for blog is not as difficult as choosing a name for a child. My daughter’s name is Zion. My husband and I chose it a month before she was born. We knew she was coming and so had time to get a name. But this blog-I had no idea if it would ever be born . Needless to say, the name for this blog is The Exodus of Whatever. And that means exactly what you want it to mean. Yesterday was World AIDS Day. On the news, we were told that Uganda’s prevalence rate is 6.4%. I wore my red ribbon and then took it off because I was alone in the house the whole day with my daughter who really didn’t care much about anything else except feeding. She is 2 months and 1 day today.
I do support all measures to lower the rate of HIV infections. I just think that maybe there is need for something newer and more radical.
I have about 6 weeks left for my maternity leave to end. The first half I spent watching a whole lot of series and trying to fit into my old clothes. Now, I am starting a blog and I hope this lasts at least up to the end of maternity leave. I am a member of FEMRITE and have been since 2000. FEM is a great place. It’s like a place I can hide away to when I want to be away from the harsh realities like food crisis, global warming, Mumbai attacks, The King of Bugisu who is not really a King and whatever other problems are threatening world peace.
This is the start of the Exodus to all the places this blog will take me.