The Pressure!

I went for a job interview once. Years later, I happened to get access to the evaluation form that had been used as I spoke.

I had scored highly on confidence. I laughed so hard! How was that even possible?! I had been a total nervous wreck. All my clothes looked like rugs, my vocabulary was at 2 on a scale of 1-10 and my heartbeat could have been at the level of a marathon runner. Somehow the facade worked.

Fast forward to this week, I am supposed to receive a Young Achiever’s Award, “Heroine of the Year.”

It is an honour I couldn’t have foreseen at the beginning of this year or even dreamed of.

When I checked for the dictionary definition of ‘hero,’ this is what I found “a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

For a heroine, it applies and just changes to ‘woman.’ Who am I that I should be considered one?

40-40 first got honoured by the Rotaract Club of Kampala South in October this year, we went on to win a Social Media Award last month. As if these pleasant surprises weren’t enough, there is one more in store just as the year ends.

This week’s award shall be an opportunity for my team to get great exposure and possibly have more ‘influential’ people listening and joining in. I am excited at this prospect but shaking like a leaf at the thought of that large audience. Woah!! :O

Despite the fact that I have known about this day for several weeks, it is still surreal. I have been getting nightmares even during the day and it doesn’t help that these past couple of weeks have been extremely trying.

The obvious thing is that I am being given an opportunity to speak about something I am passionate about, that is my life, not some random theory that a genius came up with hundreds of years ago. This should make it easier, right? WRONG! The pressure is even rising with each letter I type here.

For fear of sounding like a drama queen, I shall henceforth compose myself. If we meet and I can only nod or shake my head, just go with it. I have warned you.

Did I mention the cold that decided to attack last night? As in on top of tripping at the Serena, stuttering as I pronounce the dignitaries names, now other thoughts of ‘achhhooo’ after every sentence have began to fill my imagination. Over 600 people shall see this, in 5D :O. Isn’t life grand?

nervous

Drama aside, I have only ever attended one ‘Young Achievers’ event. It was three years ago and I got an invite for my friend and I from a pal who was part of the organising committee.

The event was so big; we barely saw or heard anyone. Instead we chatted and giggled for the most part of the night. I remember clapping for a few winners and when my friend was commended for assisting the team. The rest is a blur.

Everyone left with a ‘Young Achievers Awards’ bag and a magazine among other things. I have used that bag to carry snacks to work and sometimes a laptop or reading material since then.

It only occurred to me recently that this bag is actually symbolic of a dream that I never even dreamed coming true.

Whereas I am still overwhelmed by “Heroine of the Year ,”title  and everything it represents, I am also honoured that anyone would think of me this way, let alone have an award dedicated to this sentiment.

However, one of the most puzzling bits of this state of affairs is the fact that I am convinced what the team and I are doing isn’t extraordinary. Not only did Jesus teach us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, it should also be natural that as human beings we look out for each other because we are ‘One.’ Notwithstanding belief in God, race,tribe,level of income or any other ‘barriers.’

Our successful events, accolades and attention are just an added part of the package but really all we are doing is fulfilling our purpose, as we should.

That said, I am extremely proud to represent 40 days over 40 smiles, this award is acknowledgement of all your hard work and perseverance plus proof that HE who started a good work in you shall surely see it to the very end. You chose to join a good fight without any coercion and have remained vigilant despite all the toils and snares. I need you to always remember that I am eternally grateful for each prayer, helping hand or donation; the team’s long days and nights when we have an event, never ending meetings and constant call for sacrifice; everyone who has followed or supported in any way. It is not something I take for granted.

To my amazing family and friends who have accepted to dream and believe with me, I can’t even begin to try and repay you for I shall fail miserably.

To the organisers of the Young Achievers Awards, thank you for the recognition, not just of our work but youth in Uganda generally. It is no secret that our time is now, and we need every platform we can get.

To the Lord, the author of it all, we can only try to ensure we colour your pages with grace.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is my feeble attempt at some closing remarks so that if I am dumbfounded on D-day, you can refer to this blog post 😉

Bless you!

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BE Santa this Christmas

Every year, 40-40 has both an Easter and Christmas drive to make these days more special for disadvantaged children in the country.

These young people(40-40)  are even cooler because they make other ordinary days special too but you know, these just stand out more 😉

A few months ago we embarked on a project to build a dormitory at Happy Times Junior School, Luweero. It seemed like an impossible task at first but well….See what we had to do;

Ninjas be like

Ninjas be like

After all that,this is what came out of it….Not to say I built alone, but just leave me to have my building moment of fame, thanks 😀

Dorm-

So we were like ‘WOOOOOPPPP!’, Dreams come true!Let’s finish this by end of December and then we can begin on a clean slate next year.

We can’t do it alone. This is where you come in.

#BuyABrick and #BuyABag raised 10 million shillings in 12 days and gave us so much hope. This time after 8 days, we don’t even have 1,000,000 shillings 😦

It is not about the money by the way, it is about the hope, the promise, the joy when we realise this dream and  this building that can be a home to over 200 children.

What do we need? Well, I am glad you asked. 😀

Item Quantity Price Total
Doors 4 300,000 1,200,000
Windows 10 250,000 2,500,000
Concrete Stones 5 Trips 120,000 600,000
Sand 16 Trips 50,000 800,000
Cement 80 bags 26,000 2,080,000
Glasses (Windows) 400,000 400,000
Paint 12 Jerrycans 1,200,000
Labour 2, 000,000
Total     10, 780,000

We have to throw a massive party for the kids this Saturday and plan for logistics so that brings our target to about 13 million shillings.

If you can get the actual materials, we shall be amazed as well. Feel free to contact us on facebook, twitter or numbers 0777499991/0773152701.

Most importantly, we would love it if you joined us. Your time is the most important resource you can ‘donate.’

Meanwhile, this post wasn’t meant to ‘beg,’ its real purpose is to represent the before and after. Today I am ‘weeping’ because the campaign is so slow but at the end of it all, I shall have a testimony! We all shall.

Find us at Kyadondo Rugby Club during Power Fm’s ‘Phatfest’ on Friday and then  join us Saturday for a Christmas party with the kids in Luweero.

It is going to be one big celebration I tell you! Can’t wait!!! 🙂

See you before and after we have our complete dormitory and a generation of change agents!!

This is how to join in

This is how to join in

Merry Christmas 🙂