Behind the Scenes; The power of friendship

I took a nap on Wednesday afternoon and kept the phone in silent mode as I usually do. When I woke up, I found about 8 missed calls, 3 text messages and endless whatsapp interactions.Logged onto facebook and even more buzz in the inbox.

I thought nothing of it (It is when you are away from the phone that it usually goes crazy so I know better than to be moved by that) until I started to read the messages. There actually was a mini-emergency regarding our Saturday event Hoops for Grace IV. I had to get up, get dressed and find a mobile money outlet that had enough ‘float’ for at least 1,000,000 shillings so that a couple of service providers could actually begin to work. One friend sent a message ” It is not like you to go quiet for this long without letting us know.” I replied and explained to him that I had taken a nap and asked if I should be informing people that I am going to sleep.  Believe it or not, he said yes!! I laughed and realised that sometimes 24 hours are indeed not long enough! Life has to move on whether one has an ache, sleep debt, emergency et al.

Fast forward to Saturday, D-day. We had done our best regarding planning and marketing the event, we prayed  about the weather and everything else, surely things were going to go according to plan, right? Wrong!

I hardly slept the night before and just as I was beginning to find peace, morning was upon us. I got up, took care of a few chores and then loaded mum’s car with merchandise to use at the event, left space for one person I was to pick and then got in to start the car.

Alas, it had no plans of moving! I could hear it sing “No, no,no!” (Amy Whinehouse voice) The battery had gone to sleep. I laughed! After doing everything on time, this is what fate had decided? Obviously ‘star ta fa’ but only because of the amazing team that I belong to. In ten minutes, some friends who were heading to the event to ‘work’ passed by, we pushed the car, jump started it and then it was ready to move 🙂 Phukes!!

When we got to Bush Court, it was difficult to do anything, the first few minutes were characterised by an argument that ‘we were late for.’ After standing around staring-trying to make sense, of it and failing, we started to off load the materials and set up. We were doing great on time, *see the positives*

Then suddenly everything was ready but the players were only strolling in casually in ones and twos, not the complete team. Looking around there was even a team that had branded shirts, with their name and hoops for grace written at the bottom, eh, people can be prepared!!

Eventually, the games began and things were running ‘smoothly’ but you know it can never be perfect, at least not behind the scenes.


Several things still needed to be bought and while I was lamenting that I needed a ‘loose 200k’ (albeit half serious) to take care of some bills, my friend said she had something to give me. Believe it or not, it was 200,000UGX!!

Suddenly our ‘ poor gate collectors’ were being bullied by over 6ft tall muscular beings who did not want to pay a measly 3,000sh for entrance, then those who said they were actually players got to registration point and decided they weren’t ready to part with the 10,000sh for players. In fact, some pretended they would not play then somehow sneaked onto the court (God is seeing you) It was so frustrating but the 40-40 team still managed to keep calm. It stopped making sense to remind people that it was for charity not our benefit.

I joined my friends at the drinks section and we began to switch the cold drinks to the top and warm ones to the bottom. Some not-so-gentleman found me and yelled “Stop laughing and give me a mirinda!” I was speechless and gave him his Mirinda..all the while thinking, just because we are asking for help does not mean people should be rude. I had to be fine. Turns out several other arrogant customers haunted the poor girlies (and later guy too) who were at the ‘bar’ especially when change ran out or the ‘fresh’ drinks took a while to get delivered. They still stood strong

You still had to smile and act like it was all okay. Voices were raised when the delays occurred especially amongst the team but we are all human you know. If yelling is how one deals then so be it.

As if that was not enough, the car key decided to disappear yet the DJ’s laptop and turn table were ‘chilling’ in there.
I was afraid to call and stress the mother for a spare key so instead I made myself busy. MC’s announced the missing item but still nothing. I decided to keep myself occupied so I would forget but every two minutes someone innocently asked ‘Did you find the keys?,’ #Fail.

I decided to accept the reality and make that call. I could tell that I had woken her up and the response seemed to suggest mum didn’t know where her spare key was so I had to either find this one or…find it!

My friend’s 8 year old cousin asked me what was wrong. When I told her she gave me a big hug and said “Don’t worry, you will find the key.” I fell in love with her all over again. Bless her.

I later went to sit by the merchandise table and think of a break in or plan C, only to have another member of the team tell me she was going to hunt the key down.

Five minutes later, she was holding it up after finding it ‘hiding’ in a random polythene bag (kavera) that I must have carried at some point.
Ululations happened 🙂 (We are set to marry in December :D)

My mood lightened up and suddenly, nothing could make it bad again.. or could it?

Expenses kept coming out of nowhere to the extent I had to go and ask members of my team for 10,20,50,000 because I did not want to ‘touch’ the event money . None of them asked how or when I would pay them back, they just gave it to me, one even checked her wallet to give me 10,000 and only found 3,000 🙂 Team work is a beautiful thing!

Everyone was fighting some sort of battle to make it work- carrying,counting,climbing to put up the screen, driving back and forth to purchase items,pay service providers, insisting friends should come e.t.c and make it work they did!

People left after the movie ended at about 9.00 pm and the team still stayed to clean up,pack and up and deliver property that wasn’t ours. By 1.00 a.m we were home, exhausted to bits but still, happy!


Well, it even seems more worthwhile now with a surplus of  5,204,000 going to dormitory construction (our main goal) after investing 2,840,000  and making 8,044,200 at the event, one can only say the efforts really paid off!!

P.s; I deliberately left out the names because each and everyone played a huge role and it was team effort indeed!

To say I am proud and honoured to be part of team 40-40 would be a huge understatement.




Thank you to everyone who had a hand in our success no matter how small.

God bless you forever and a day more 🙂


Beautiful little hearts

At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine whom I shall call Madeline lost her sister. I can still remember the night she called me unable to stifle sobs. She was broken and I heard it in her voice but had to stay put until the very next day.

The following days were difficult for her and although time and events may shadow the grief, loss remains well- loss.

My heart went out to the family but mostly to the deceased’s daughters. I was so broken on their behalf and could not even try to imagine what they were going through.

We had a breakfast at God’s grace orphanage a month or so after and these two beautiful girls showed up. They immediately mixed and mingled and one would not tell by looking at them that they were going through such a terrible ordeal. In fact, they had a little dance performance that was quite energetic but left me in tears and when a video of it was uploaded a few days later, it left me speechless.

At the end of the breakfast the elder sister told me “We have to go to Bimbo for Ice cream like last time, each scoop is 3,000 so you need to save 15,000 for 5 scoops.” I laughed. I love ice cream but five scoops? We exchanged numbers and planned to catch up on said date.

Fast forward to two weekends ago. We had a scheduled trip to Happy Times School in Luweero on a Saturday morning. The rain decided to ‘show off’ at about 7.30a.m, even if we had planned to set off at 9am Consequently, RSVPs started streaming in and several friends called to say they would be late.

I knew I would be yelling at some individuals if they came after the agreed time so I decided to be at the meeting point promptly even if it meant that I had to sit on a boda boda in the rain complete with an Uchumi ‘kavera’ (polythene bag) on my head because an umbrella would have been blown by the wind. I laughed at myself all the way to Open House so it wasn’t so bad 😀

Madeline was one of the people who arrived a little late. The weather played a role in this but she had another reason. Her niece had told her to pass by her home and pick something. She told me she had not opened the brown envelope yet as she handed it over to me so I quickly did.

It contained 6,000 shillings; a 5,000 shilling note and coins worth 1,000. I just stared at them for a while. The little sisters had sent their contribution to the vulnerable kids that 40 days over 40 smiles supports. These two little girls who had to lose their best friend had saved up during the term so they could play their own small role.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Theresa

I was humbled in ways I can’t even begin to  explain. We were short of cash that day but I swore to myself that I would not use this donation. In fact, I still have it kept safely. I am not sure what for but there are a few things I am sure of;

That these amazing girls shall be blessed beyond their years. I am also sure that as ‘selfish adults,’ these children can teach us a lesson or two for it is not necessarily those that have the most that ought to give.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston Churchill