Today, I resume writing for pleasure after a long while. What has prompted me to resume? The desire to find a social group that shares my writing passion. And as I was at it, I came across a meetup called “shut up and write”. I immediately joined this group, but before this, I had to write a short description of what my writing project is. I do not have any right now, other than the work related proposals and reports. Then I remembered, I have been wanting to journalise my transition from fulltime formal employment to fulltime farming…. and I had wanted, and indeed tried to write about my Covid-19 experience, particularly the stigma that came with it… but somehow, I procrastinated. Procrastination is such a bad thing, it made me forget that I even have a blog. Anyways, I have also just realised the next meeting for “shut up and write” is only is 2 days away. What am I gonna write about? I suppose I will have to start with one of these issues mentioned here… then I will take it from there. Looking forward to my writing meetup.
Understanding multi-generational transmission of poverty through the lives of domestic workers in Uganda
How society polices women’s clothing
What do you think? http://pin.it/uiXEnXm
My health and fitness journey
Today, I embark on journalising my health and fitness efforts. I am a fanatic of sorts when it comes to exercising and feeding well. I am now gonna focus quite some on the objectives of this attempt: what do I hope to achieve from deliberate good feeding and regular exercise? I believe that journaling my thoughts, intentions, experiences, and achievements will motivate me not to procrastinate, as I have some
times done in the last few months. So let the journey begin…
World Happiness Report
Of born-again churches in swamps
In the last few rainy days, I have wondered about this “Born Again” phenomenon that sins against the environment. Having grown up in the city, I have sadly noted, for a long time now, that majority of the “born again” churches have been built in swamps. Let’s just mention a few: Lubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral (of Pr.Robert Kayanja); Kansanga Miracle Centre (of Pr. Isaac Kyobe Kiwesesi) – I pass by these two churches every day on my way to and from work. This Morning the tent at Kansanga Miracle Centre was half submerged in the flood water. The tent is sitting right where there was a river (not merely a swamp) at the time I graduated from University. Others are Kakande Ministries ku Bbiri (of Prophet Samuel Kakande); Liberty Worship Centre International, Lugala (of Pastor Imelda Namutebi), Christian Focus Centre, Mengo Kisenyi (of Bishop Kiganda – the name Kisenyi speaks for itself); and several others in and around the city.
In 2008, the Vatican added seven new deadly sins including damaging the environment. At that time, many people probably did not take note because matters of the Vatican were not as widely publicised as they are are today with Pope Francis at the holy see. But when Pope Francis declared that degrading the environment is a grave sin, many non-Catholic sisters and brothers sneered. But I believe the Catholic Church in general, and Pope Francis in particular have a point. Destroying/ not preserving nature is a violation of God’s creation and as such shows disrespect to the creator.
Putting this in day-to-day perspective, how do we (pastors and preachers) lead our congregations to implore God to cool down the air or bring rain when we have destroyed the nature that would contribute to cool winds and rain making? How and why should we beg God to spare us from floods, cholera, etc., when we are worshiping in the way of the water? Just like I keep wondering, why do the people of Bwaise blame the government for letting them suffer from floods year in year out when they built in the swamp? Where do they want the water to go?
I know many are reading this with indignation, thinking this writer does not understand. But may be if we just opened out eyes and minds to these things we would begin to appreciate the pain we must subject God to. It is like a parent who gives a child a cup of milk, the child pisses in it, and then asks the parent to please prevent the milk from going sour.
Recently at two events in Kampala and Mityana, President Museveni decried the practice of encroaching on wetlands and decimation of forests for human activity (I shall not ask where he was when they were doing so). He instructed, rather weakly, that the encroachers in Namanve and another forest in Mityana should vacate in the coming months. Shortly after that he visited Lubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral. I wondered to myself, being an ardent supporter of born again churches, will the President also see to it that the churches in wetlands vacate? These churches are a bad example and influence to their followers!!!
Over to you.
To pull or to cut – Tampering with women’s genitalia.
This is a debate I have been having internally for quite a while now. The practices of elongating the labia minor (herein after referred to as pulling) and Female Genital Mutilation (herein after referred to as cutting) are practiced not only in Africa but many other parts of the world as well. Proponents of both, and indeed many women who have experienced them claim they enhance a woman’s sexual pleasure and therefore satisfaction. But the more honest ones say the women who do not undergo those practices, whichever applies to their culture, will not get married, and if they do they will not keep their husbands. In other words, the practices are not done with the needs and interests of the women in mind, but putting the interest of men at the fore.
My own impression and experience are that this is all cultural rhetoric and rubbish. But before I give my opinion, let me pose a few questions:
For the men reading this:
- If you are a happily married or relating man, and your partner (girlfriend, wife) has elongated labia or has been cut – whatever her culture may be, would you confirm that this aspect is a most important factor in maintaining this relationship?
- If you have had sex with more than one woman, some of who having elongated labia, others probably cut, and others with neither of this situations (neutral), would you like to suggest that you have found that the pulled and/or cut ones are sweeter?
- If you have a problematic or failed relationship or marriage, would you say that, at least to a 50% extent, the problems arose out of your partner’s not having elongated labia or not having been cut (whatever her culture may be)?
And to the women reading this:
- Does your partner (boyfriend, husband, etc) even know that women are supposed to pull or be cut?
- If yes, how has this knowledge impacted on your relationship?
- If it has, is this effect really in your favor/ interest or in the interest of the man?
- If you have had a struggling or failed relationship, would you say that, at least to a 50% extent, the problems arose because you did not pull or were not cut (whatever your culture may be)?
I could go on and on interrogating the connection between the quality of our relationships and these cultural impositions on women. But now, let me give my opinion on the matter.
I strongly and genuinely believe that these are impositions not to help women but to keep our feelings enslaved to men. And the men (not all) like it that way: to hold us at ransom, to always have an excuse for treating us like rubbish, to make us their scapegoats for their inadequacies in relationships. Indeed, I have asked one woman who was trying to talk me into promoting pulling among young girls, realizing that my daughter is tending to adolescence: Did she wish to suggest that all the women who have been rejected by their partners did not pull/ were not cut – or to put it the other way, did she want to insinuate that all women who pulled/ were cut are having blissful relationships till-death-do-them-part? Is it true that the women who have not got married are because they did not pull or were not cut?
I have had a one-on-one discussion with a Christian man who comes from the “cutting culture”and whose spouse was cut. He has expressed to me the frustration he feels trying to have sex that would not hurt his spouse. He acknowledged how, to the best of his knowledge, his wife of over 15 years, has never really enjoyed sex, because it is a struggle resultant from the “modified anatomy in her genitalia”. Need I say more?
I have also had intimate discussions with several men who have had multiple female partners – regarding all sorts of things. But for purposes of this blog, I will focus on one particular man whose escapades were mind-boggling. This man, who I chanced upon in a professional club a few years ago, had a mission to have live sex (i.e. without a condom) with at least one woman from every tribe in Uganda. The purpose for the unprotected sex was to get the “real feeling”. He made sure all his potential partners had a negative HIV test result. At the time I first met him, he had achieved about 60% of this mission. I asked him about the differences he experienced regarding the pulled, the cut, and the “neutral”. His response was quite interesting. In his experience, the emotional depth of the relationship was more important than and influenced the “goodness or badness”of all the physical aspects of the genitalia. He said he was not able to tell the difference especially between the pulled and the neutral. However, he complained about those who had ‘over-pulled’ saying that “the things got in the way, causing much frustration to him”. He also said that those who over-pull got too messy with juice everywhere on their bodies. Regarding the cut, this man said he had a bit of challenge, because, according to him, “penetration was a little difficult and they did not seem to be comfortable”.
I leave this here for your reflection.
From the human rights perspective, I believe that both cutting and pulling are violations of women’s rights: they both alter women’s genitalia; they both scandalize women’s privacy; they both touch young girls inappropriately. Now this last point is something to be worried about even more in this day and age of increasing sexual perversion and both male and female predators on young girls. I look forward to the day when human rights activists would stop the double standards of condemning the cutting and choosing to remain silent on the pulling. Parliament of Uganda, do you read???!!!
You may find the following article by Chanda Buumba Katongo interesting to read: Elongation of the Labia Minora: A Violation of women’s bodily autonomy. It can be found at online.
Madea, Kansiime, or Both?!
My soon-to-be seven years old son never ceases to amaze me. He is so much like me in many ways. Both in intuitiveness and interpretation of situations; as well as in many personal traits. A most vivid one that has emerged in the last year is his love for “creative singing”. So this young lad puts music to every word that comes to his mind. When we get down to pray in the evenings, and it’s his turn to lead, he comes up with all sorts of songs that you’d never imagine –praising God and musing about Tom and Jerry – all in one stanza. But that’s not the most evident similarity. In the last school year, I noticed that every time he got to the bathroom he began to sing … like the water triggered words into his brain. Thinking he was wasting time, other members of my household try to stop him. The more they try, the louder and passionate his “mumble-jumbled” lyrics become. After a while, I prevailed over my housemates – principally because that is exactly what I do!!! Basically, this habit or trait is a sign of intuitiveness.
So, what’s this got to do with Madea or Kansiime? It relates to the spontaneity that my son shares with me – and it speaks volumes about how this close-to-7 lad perceives my parenting style. One morning at the breakfast table, I went through a series of “comments regarding dining etiquette”. Seemingly unperturbed by my concerns and probably reflecting back on my approach towards “corrective parenting” my son sheepishly says, “Mummy, I need to say something to you, but please do not be upset.” I said, “Alright. Please go ahead.” He then says the most unexpected thing a parent might ever hear. He very sweetly says, “BUT MUMMY, DO YOU KNOW THAT HALF YOUR BRAIN IS MADEA, AND THE OTHER HALF IS KANSIIME?” And he has only watched Madea’s family reunion! I was too perplexed to be angry. For what do say such a reflective young mind! The more I think about it, the more I see the truthfulness in this innocent statement.
My Dreams of the Dead
For a long time I have had dreams about the dead … Last night was no exceptional; and it was quite interesting. Someone I revered, and did not wish to die visited me in my dream. He played with my children and had me sit on his laps then hugged me before he left (was driven away). This morning, I was prompted to read about dreams and what mean. That’s how I chanced upon this article. It is very insightful.
Update: March 2016 – During 2016 I am collecting dreams on death, dying, visitations for research on a new dream book I am writing. For more info to submit your dream visit the following link: https://ispeakindreams.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/collecting-dreams-on-death-dying/
UPDATE 2.02.2012: I have edited and updated this posting for OMTimes. It is featured in OMTimes online Magazine February 2013, visit:Why the Deceased Show Up In Your Sleep
(There are many different terms when speaking of the dead: ghosts, spirits, spirit walkers, souls, entities to name a few. For sake of having no confusion I will refer to the dead as spirits or souls in this posting.)
I dream often of the newly dead, but I also dream of those who have died long ago and are still earthbound. Over many years I have been given knowledge in my dreams from the dead about both the physical realm, the afterlife, and…
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Sums me up
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