I come from a long line of army men. From uncles to brothers, cousins, you name it. Growing up, this made me feel safe. Granted, sometimes the tough love was a little too much. Often because like in many households discipline was needed but mostly because of the burdens the job entailed. Looking back, however, I would not change a thing. I needed all of it.
The Uganda People’s Defense Forces were respected and trusted to do just that, defend the people. The police and the Local Defence Unit personnel were always there. We counted on them whenever the need arose. They were as friendly as they were voluntarily reliable and professional.
Stories were told, of the 1986 transition and how the National Resistance Army liberated Uganda led by the current president of the Republic and as granddad always said: “no one in their right mind would want to go back there.”
Fast forward to 2020, like the rest of the world, Uganda is battling a pandemic: Lives and jobs continue to be lost, children are out of school. The economy has taken its share of a hit as the country is sinking even deeper in debt. Nothing is or will ever be the same.
To top that up, we are trying to survive a wave of police brutality. It is political, bloody, deadly and getting loudly out of hand. For those of you who don’t know we are in election period here and that often comes with unnecessary arrests, deaths and the whole shebang.
This time however, it’s intense. We are living a version of the stories that our parents witnessed and lived through hoping they would be just that, history and I can not begin to tell you how angry and mortified this makes me. The saddest part? It is not just us.
From #BlackLivesMatter to #EndSars in Nigeria where I lost two of my beautiful friends, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter in Zimbabwe, and here at home, #StopPoliceBrutalityInUganda. These are the ones that I am involved in with the help of social media. Now think of what happens when the camera is not recording. Think about the ones we didn’t get to hear about because they did not make it to our radar.
It has been said in Uganda that you have better chances surviving COVID-19 than you do the police. On Nov/18/2020 Uganda registered 37 deaths which later escalated to almost 60 deaths in a single day including women and children.
People exercised their right to protest after one of the Presidential candidates was arrested and next thing you know, tear gas, live bullets fired into people’s offices, markets sieged. The streets became a blood bath. I was among the people who almost spent the night in the office because the roads were more deadly than the virus we had been masking off and social distancing from for months.
In the days that would follow, the government came out and said: “Police has a right to kill.” No apology, no condolence message to the bereaved, no accountability, none! They also went on to say that they were “protecting their people.”
This government continues to use every opportunity even as deadly as a global pandemic to commit crimes, swindle money and suffocate its citizens. They have no problem breaking every law there is and yet, they do not expect us to say or do anything about it. They even dare to track down people who use social media to call them out, arrest them and concoct some law to justify all of it.
Countless children violated during the lockdown with no repercussions, families going hungry while waiting on the government promised food, women continuously abused and their abusers walking free, oh and lets not even start with the government labelled masks that presumably cost Ugx 35billion.
Needless to say, I have lost faith in this government and everything it stands for. They have no regard for the people, mock any efforts for change, arrogantly lie and kill their way into holding onto power a little longer only to fend for themselves all over again.
Many things about this government are wrong and one would have to be voluntarily blind to not see it. I say it’s way past time to reap off the band aid. Because at this point, I can easily argue that any change is good. And that is worrying even for me.
“There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning is all linked”. Eric Jensen
It is a lovely Sunday. You have decided that one of the things you will do is take those medical checks you have been putting off. You do and one surprises you. It is positive. It is life-altering. Please keep in mind that you are at the peak of your career, as a matter of fact, this is the week you are moving to a different department because you recently got that long-awaited promotion and you have been over the moon. Now, however, everything is radically falling apart.
Question; Would you be capable of finding a balance? Know how to tend to your emotions, deliver at your job and adapt to the new changes that each of these circumstances carries without losing yourself? If yes, how?
Before I go an inch further, I want to believe that by now you know the definition of each of these quotients. If you do not, please go to https://wanamworld.wordpress.com/ as this is the residence of this series as I won’t dwell deep into them. Now that you are up to speed, let’s carry on.
I first intentionally learnt of the three quotients when I decided that I was going to be an expert in my line of work. My brilliance was the one thing I relied on to take me places because quite frankly, my emotions and adaptability were one giant mess. As I learnt more, however, I realized how crucial these quotients were. The one advantage; It was not too late to learn and improve in any of these areas so, I did.
Intelligence Quotient, regardless of how complex it might seem and what genes you carry as many have attached to it, can be enhanced. All you need to do is invest both money and time in yourself and be willing to learn at any age to say the least.
Adaptability Quotient, on the other hand, can be a little tricky according to the kind of person you are. Things like your personality come in handy here, so I will say know your personality and learn how to enhance it in every environment without depleting yourself.
Emotional Quotient, however, which is where I want us to focus is far more personal, intimate, deep and potentially unpredictable. It is the capsule that can potentially explode the other two for better or worse.
“The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions”. John Mayer and Peter Salovey.
Let us go back to our scenario at the start of this article. That was me sometime last year. And need I tell you that I have never been so close to the end. Allowing myself to feel and learn why I was feeling the way I was, accepting it, managing myself wholly and still delivering at my work while adjusting to the new environment I had just moved in was near impossible.
Most of my relationships ended because I was emotionally distracted and entirely unavailable to anyone else. I learnt things about myself that I thought were a sheer mystery. Yet the world did not stop for me, not for one split second.
“Relieve yourself of the notion that everything revolves around you. It does not”.
My work still needed me to be the brilliant new hire. My people still asked when I was getting married and, yes, I still had bills to pay. Now you must understand that I am a relatively small-bodied person so, let us not get into the fact that I was shrinking day by day to a point where I was 40Kgs.
What did I do? You must be wondering.
I stripped myself bare to a point where I was able to lovingly and peacefully identify, use, understand and regulate my emotions appropriately without any intervention. I intentionally decided not to move onto the next thing until I identified the honest often ugly answers entirely abandoning the influence of my ego or pride.
Among countless things, I found that this was the only way to know how and when to move on intelligently. You will know when something is about you or someone else and respect that. Stay or to move. To be silent and listen or speak.
This, I found was my emotional quotient growth journey and I am still on it.
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered”. I Peter 3:7 NKJV
This verse in the Bible has often been misused by many people to show that because women indeed are weaker in the physical than men, they therefore are in all other areas too.
An obviously untrue perception and we are going to expound on that in this article.
Research shows that married men are more productive in all aspects of their lives than their single counterparts and isn’t just happenstance.
Married men have the privilege of the care that their wives give them in terms of all they do at home which leaves the men to concentrate on their jobs and thus be more fulfilled.
Additionally, men are inherently interested in their work and everything and everyone that helps, supports them in their endeavors is of great importance. Their spouses providing the biggest unwavering support a man can ever get.
“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen 2:18 NIV
This verse puts it aptly how much men need helpers. Suitable helpers. And, the fact that women in their creation are purposed to be helpers.Let’s expound on this more:
Helpers in all ways are supposed to be either of equal strength to the person they are helping, or stronger. Therefore, it is no mistake that God did not create another man but created a new gender, a woman.
It is evident that your helper cannot be the same as you in everything. Otherwise, both of you would be strong in the same areas and weak in the same areas. Something you would not need.
Concerning women being stronger, one may be inclined to vehemently deny this claim. But, let’s not dispute this entirely without looking into it. Women are the ones that largely carry the responsibility of raising children while most men work although they too work. If they do not look back to see what their children are up to, a detailed generation is what turns out
In being the weaker vessel, women have ruled behind the scenes. Pulling strings subtly and taking charge of situations their men would never have handled alone. Yet, this many a time is ignored.
That doesn’t mean it’s not true.
It turns out that strength isn’t measured in brute strength alone but in the collective effort to influence things, be it in a straightforward way or behind the veil and those behind the veil have done a better job at influencing things.
If you are a reader of the Bible you also know that it describes the Holy spirit as the helper too. JOHN 15:26 goes on to call him a friend, a counselor, an advocate, comforter, encourager, strengthener and is always at stand by. Things that have absolutely nothing to do with muscle and build but rather spirit. This is what a woman is.
But you must let, understand, love, honor and respect her for you to experience all these things lest your prayers are hindered like that first verse says.
On an interesting page, women are masters of seduction and deception. This makes them a phenomenal force to reckon with as they seduce even the mightiest of men (like Samson) into falling by their words alone.Tell us what’s more powerful than that?
So, find your helper and indeed you will have found a good thing.
PS: There is a world called wanamworld.wordpress.com. You will find the most amusing and intriguing words. This is where Mr. Rogers Wanambwa resides.
The word love appears 57 times in the Bible which is quite intriguing because wouldn’t you expect it to appear more there? Anyway, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s know what love means, at least what the word means! Love is defined according to the Merriam Webster dictionary as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person, or attraction that includes sexual desire, or the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship, or a person you love in a romantic way.
But away from the dictionary definitions, what is love really? Where do we find it? How do we hold it down in this generation where it seems so fleeting? Join us on this journey as we talk about love for the love it. It appears along the way many have lost the meaning and reason for love and perhaps therein lies the problem.
When one sets out to find a lover for example, what is the end goal of that relationship you want to start? Is it marriage? And if it is, what will you do to direct the relationship to marriage? Because if that’s not your intention, then isn’t getting into a relationship unnecessary? In an article one of us wrote about dreams, decades and decisions, we see that in whatever we do, there really should be an endgame to it. So again, where’s that love going? This should be a question asked at the beginning, throughout the span of that relationship and should be why it ends (if really, it’s not going anywhere).
Basically, for the love of love, we should really be more invested in the relationships we get into and this goes to both parties. Plan out where you want to be and when from the start. Why not? That way, both of you are working towards some goals and you can hold each other accountable if things aren’t going to plan. It may seem martial-like but the alternative free ride doesn’t seem to be producing great results, is it?
I first fell in love with my little brother. He was born on a Sunday afternoon that we went on to nickname him the Reverend. His baby smell, cries, laughter, everything about him gave me sheer joy. I babysat him every chance I got. As he grew older, I could not fathom the miracle that life is.
Then it was my first pair of Bata shoes. They fit so comfortably that I took care of them like they were my very feet.
My little sister came along. And oh, she was precious. Hands so tiny , to date, I can not look at her without going back to the first day I held her.
And yes you guessed it, adolescence was not too far off as I would have my first boyfriend soon enough. I liked him a lot. And with his charm and wit, his pursuit eventually yielded him a picnic under the school’s famous tree. His smell was it for me, the twinkle in his eye when he laughed and, of course, his non-existent hairline was always a twirly adventure for my fingers.
As I have evolved, other factors have come into play one thing , however, has stayed; I am a lover of love. I love seeing lovers kiss in the strangest of places. I can not even start to tell you how many books I have read about love and romance, the fifty shades of grey series being one of them. I love cheering my friends on as they thrive in relationships and cry with them when they are sad.
I have been in several relationships. Most have ended. I have cried, healed and moved on only to find my self longing to try again. What usually helps me to hold on though is how hard I loved the other person. The fact that I loved them for the purest of reasons and never held back. I go all out for people I love, easily. Regardless of what they do, what they have or how the world perceives them. I quite simply do not know how not to.
Love has caused me more turmoil than anything else in this world and my soul knows this too well. I also recognize, however, that love is the purest source of my joy. If you are anything like me out there, I implore you to give the things and people you love another chance. For the love of love, dare to love again. Be intentional, be real, be you.
Wrap your arms around your lover like it is all they need to breathe. Sing that song like your voice is the only chance the sick have to heal, love your children until no one can convince them otherwise, dance, write. Do it if you love it. Love until you can see why you can not afford to vow never to love again.
It is when those of us that love for the Love of it continue to do so that everyone will know Love is not Dead. That it still lives in us and we are the proud banners showcasing its existence.
So go out there and Love. For the Love of Love.
Important to note; Mr. Wanambwa resides at https://wanamworld.wordpress.com/. and i gotta tell you that it is a full on “wordy” world over there. Visit him and you will love it.
On one hand I am relieved. You have released me from this need to stay loyal to you. In the same breath I truly sympathize. Fear has made you become that that you once rebuked. You must have been terrified!
I accepted your flaws but when mine showed you fled. I stripped my heart bare but you fenced off yours. I watered us and we blossomed only for you uproot us to non existent. We wailed; “God help us”, I know now that you meant “God help me”. I should hate you!
To be human is a limiting thing sometimes. If I had seen this end from the beginning I would have prayed for you more earnestly, It is clearer now that you are going to need it.
I refuse to resent you. To curse and regret you. You were the light in my every dark place. My favourite scent in every mess. My thread to every tear. You were my love. The same love that made me will keep me.
I will cheer you on like I did when I first met you. I will love you from a distance. Only now I will love me more because it’s not my job to sacrifice any more. And no, that is not loyalty, that is the grace of God.
The same Grace that He availed me when my toil failed. In Him I can handle this wreckage too. After all, He saw this from the beginning and perfected it to His will. I trust him to keep you.
I hear it when you speak. Your voice trembles to your effort to make a sound. As you clear your throat it lingers still.
I see it when you look at me. I can almost see you begging me to not take you there. Those teary clouds in your eyes as you blink your strength into existence tell me that there is more than a spake in them.
You have been wrecked. Pieces of you spilled all over, your every effort to put them together seems like a lifetime chore. You have given yourself away so much for so long you are almost bare.
I know you have wandered a while, but I am here now. What do you say we make up for lost time? How about you rest your hands in mine, lean on my feeble shoulders until your voice mends back to verbal strength and your eyes restore their beautiful brown clarity?
We shall dust these pieces at your pace, fit them back lovingly until you can look back in the mirror and recognize what you see. Until then, we will not stop. Because this is no longer just your wreckage but mine too.
She tells me all this and I really want that, In fact, I need it. I need everything she promises me! But the demons, those demons of old. They don’t allow me to move past them. To see a future where I am happy for once. Perhaps if I had seen her before all this happened. Before I was broken beyond repair.
But I really love the promise of better. Maybe I really should give it a chance, Give her a chance. Maybe I should accept to be on the receiving end this time.
After all, everyone deserves a go at Happy. I know she deserves happy too. We can mend ourselves back to a happy place, If we gave it a chance. If we gave ourselves a chance, We can make it. We can Mend Us.
I knew a young and enthusiastic man once, his ambitions I often found disturbing, a work ethic so rare we called him “The man who pays rent for his belongings” as he spent most of his days and nights in the office. Like many, Leonard was subtly eager to find someone “to grow with” he called it. And the universe was rooting for him as he would soon meet someone incredible. They loved each other, entirely. She was a few years younger than him and whilst that came with challenges, in hindsight, it gelled them together beautifully.
“This has to work, she nourishes a part of me that I can not live without,” he said during one of our conversations visibly confused. To which I responded, “Then don’t lose her”. His hand in mine, we took a slow walk around the block and by the time we returned he was less confused. She loved to dine and wine, the wrinkle in that was that neither of them could afford that, yet. In the grand scheme of things, however, that was not nearly the problem but rather the fact that she hadn’t the slightest idea of what independence entailed let alone accountability. As we came to learn, unlike him nobody taught her these things. But he was in it for the long haul. So they worked through a plan; She would enroll for a financial literacy course off her usual school schedule, he would go full-on with his photography and take on every reasonable offer. Soon enough they were on the same page and boy oh boy have they grown!
Watching these two over the years, I am always reminded of how no one taught me certain values growing up, not even in school. I just followed the rules and went by what society justified. As I have evolved, I regret not having expressed myself or unlearning these lessons earlier on in my life and carved out my own rules and values. I don’t blame any of those people because I realize that that is what they were taught too but I wish someone corrected me.
Often you will meet people whose beliefs, opinions and perceptions you do not share. Instead of discarding and ridiculing them, I implore you to listen to and learn their whys. Do not enable them, puff up their ignorance and carnal man and think that won’t spill over to the next generation. Correct and lovingly critic them. If they do not take it, too bad that is on them. But I promise you that many of us are trying to unclothe ourselves of our unpleasant shells and you will be surprised to know that most of them were not self-inflicted.
This life O’ Lord, your daily undeserved gift to me. A life rich and adventurous, yet I grumble and whine. Living it like its mine still , worrying about how to sustain it. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
This life here and now O’Lord, I will live it for you. I will soak in the sun, gaze at the moon and marvel at the stars. Savor every meal to its aroma. I will guard my heart and reserve it for your truths and commands.
Be diligent and persistent. I will be kind. Learn humility and twirl cheerfully. I will laugh, dance, sing. Yes, I will praise you for every moment I have to that you have entrusted to me.
For here and now O’ Lord, I choose to live not to merely exist.