Actions speak louder than words

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A number of people have asked if 4040 is a Christian organisation; others have assumed. Many a time, I have heard expressions like “That 4040 event is for balokole (born again Christians) I can’t go.” Or been asked ” How come there was alcohol at your event? I thought you are saved.” The responses don’t vary too much. I don’t see reason is constantly justifying my beliefs.

I remember a 5 aside (soccer) event at Bush court a couple of years ago, vividly; Dora walked over to me,Guiness in hand, visibly tipsy.
She was yelling my name. Earlier that afternoon, I had been attacked by John* because he felt his team was cheated during a game. He had downloaded profanities, one after the other and left me feeling both insulted and repulsed.
While I later found out he was a perpetual trouble causer, his breath betrayed another reason for his increased confidence.
A friend had whisked me away in time, as John was threatening to beat me up. I could not wait for that day to end.
The tone of Dora’s voice simply made me think “Not again!” I turned around anyway.
She gripped my arm and said “Thank you.” I was puzzled. Although I had seen her before, I could not imagine I had done anything for her to warrant gratitude. That is when she told me that she herself had had a troubled childhood and was glad that 4040 was helping vulnerable children. She added that she was excited to also be supporting in a small way and was thinking of ways to do more. My eyes welled up. I spent sometime talking to her and blocked out the earlier incident with John.

What I am about to say can be interpreted and debated in several ways but I hope that the message shall be well articulated anyway; I subscribe to a brand of Christianity that encourages Doers. The word is important and so is sharing it especially to those who most need it(we,sinners);but I believe that if we spend all our time preaching, it will keep us from actually practicing that which we preach.
While the organisation upholds Christian values, we also do not turn away anyone-after all, we are all sinners alike.

Atheist,Agnostic,Traditionalist;so many of these individuals are more Christ-like than those who shout ‘Lord,Lord!’
( “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”)

Millions have died at the hands of people practicing ‘religion,’ and using God’s name for these atrocities; It’s about time we stopped casting stones,and spent time saving our brothers and sisters so that by standers can see/feel the power of the mighty God we serve.

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Step by step

Recently the 40 40 team and I had an opportunity to spread the word about our cause and sell some of our branded merchandise that helps us raise funds.

It was one of the most difficult crowds we have had to deal with.

Below I share some of the highlights and ‘low lights’ of the evening.

Team work

I got there a bit early and didn’t see any face I recognised so I started to make some calls.

In a short time, I had the merchandise delivered, found the table we were to use and was joined by a friend to help with the set up. Company just makes t all a little easier.

Good Samaritans

The sun was blazing and if you have been in Kampala lately, you know that is a bit of an understatement.

My friend and I camped under a tent with some ‘strangers’ and tried to get comfortable.

Before long we were joined by some familiar faces. In a short while, we had a gazebo lent to us and could start to set up with some smiles.

We hadn’t carried our banner but when a Good Samaritan gave us some manila, we improvised. It was given a personal touch with….*guess what*….lipstick! Cool friends, yes? Yes.

Panic

When we thought we were ‘ready,’ some of the merchandise mysteriously disappeared. Thorough searches and a police dog later and voila- the badges, mirrors and wristbands re-appeared! Phew

Bloopers

This is the ‘fun’ part. We tried to attract as many people as we could to our table as they passed by or generally share info about the cause. Some were polite, others…not so much.

  • This gentleman walks towards our table at a point when sales were pretty low; serious face, wearing spects and looking pretty sure.  We immediately prepare ‘the speech.’ He leans over and asks “Where is the bathroom?”  It was so sad and extremely funny.
  • This other not-so-gentleman came by and picked a badge. We told him it was 4,000 shillings. He threw it and mumbled ‘I thought it was free.’ Believe it or not, several other people thought like him or at least pretended to.
  • Two members of my team were engaged in a conversation when I noticed two guys peeking over them. I sent them away, told them to find someplace else to talk. They obliged. Then the ‘customers’ asked  “Is this where we buy the cocktails?” Hahaha, really? Right behind the t.shirts and wristbands, we were mixing cocktails according to these guys?

Not over yet

Just when I thought we had seen it all. Someone I shall call Peter came over to our table. He seemed to be tipsy, with a lot to get off his chest.

I began to tell him what we had on offer and that is when the outburst began. “You must be millionaires by now. How did you even manage to get into this event? You are such a business woman Esther.”

Me: Uhm, all the proceeds go to charity, We simply wanted to reach more people.

Peter: Shya, you are just getting rich. I heard you built a hostel and are now building classrooms.

People take years to do those things and you have done it in such a short time. Do you expect me to believe you?

At this point I realised defending myself wouldn’t help.  I simply listened and tried to smile.

His banter lasted longer than I wished. When he left, another member of the team told me she knew him from a past event. He had given her trouble because he didn’t want to pay the 3,000 UGX entrance fee and kept swearing unnecessarily.

I am not sure if this made me feel better or sorrier for him.

At the end of it all, this evening had so many lessons for us to learn from.

I was particularly pleased with the team effort and how everyone withstood the tough crowd to actually make sales and network while remaining pleasant through it all.

We exited after midnight but the learning shall probably go on for a lifetime.

step

 

 

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 🙂

Giant Killer*

“You’ve got to understand the anointing.”

This simple phrase is from one of my favourite gospel songs at the moment, ‘Giant Killer’ by Pompi. If you haven’t listened to it, slap yourself then run and find it ASAP.

I have listened to it over and over again, sometimes numerous times in a single day. The message is simple really, no matter how small or insignificant you think you are, the truth is you are a giant killer.

Let me take you to a story of a giant killer that you may or may not be familiar with.

His name is David.

David was the youngest son of Jesse. While the elder ones joined the army, his duties were simple; to attend to his father’s sheep and go check on and feed his brothers.

On this particular day when he went to take them some food, he started to hear some talk about Goliath. Who is Goliath you may ask, only a 10 ft giant (picture that height with massive weight)

David wanted to know what was in it for the man who killed the Philistine(Goliath).When Eliab, his older brother, heard David asking the men nearby about this, he lost his temper: This is how he reacted;

“What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!”

“What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” He ignored his brother.

Why? Well, I will tell you why David ignored all the negative energy.He understood the anointing.

He was determined to fight Goliath even if he was deemed young and inexperienced.

When he was second guessed by Saul, this was his response. “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”

Sometimes we look at our dreams and feel ‘inadequate,’ yet this teenage boy saw a challenge and knew with God by his side, he was going to overcome it.

I have heard countless times that one can’t have faith and then fear at the same time. I have tried to ‘balance’ the two, now and then, albeit sub consciously but in the end, one has to tramp the other.

Like everything else, it can take some sort of ‘practice’ to get accustomed to. If your immediate reaction to a crisis is “I will get through this” even before you know what that entails, chances are you will battle every ‘giant’ that gets in the way of your happiness.

When David came face to face with Goliath, he could have ran, but no!He assured him;

“You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”

You can’t speak like this unless you believe in the force behind you, and in this case his was the strongest of all, the spirit of God.

This teenage boy who was uncomfortable in armour given to him by his father took it off and fought off the giant with only sling and stone!

David

This could be you…

Think about a time in your life when you did the same; teachers said you were not smart enough, boss equated you to a failure, doctor said your loved one’s cancer had been caught too late for them to make it, your friends called you a dreamer, your family a time waster…The list goes on.

Did you prove them wrong? Are you ready to?

As long as your assignment is heaven sent, I assure you, it will pay off.

You have to be prepared for the persecution but oh that just makes the victory so much sweeter!

See, we are all offered a kingdom, and that kingdom is our life. This kingdom has enemies from within and without. Yes, you may be your own enemy, telling yourself you are not good enough, making yourself easy prey for the ‘outside’ enemies. You have a kingdom and you are in control!

What have you always wanted to do? How can your skill glorify God’s name even in the smallest of ways. You need to search for that anointing and once you have found it, start over new.

Just this morning I read a tweet from my friend Raymond, about a taxi driver in Wandegeya. His first route every morning is to Kitante Primary School, taking pupils for free. He probably didn’t dream of being a driver as a child, but now that this is his kingdom, see how glorious he has made it! What is our excuse?

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practice.

Have you ever looked at a peer or superior and felt so much admiration it almost bordered on envy? They seem to effortlessly have it together.

Alternatively, they may perhaps have this great ambition you feel you may never be able to attain. They are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves either academically or professionally and almost always succeed.

Do you know what they have that you don’t? Nothing really, except they have chosen to fight the giant head on.

Not even God wants you to be the one who constantly follows, he wants you to lead. He wants you to rise up, say “I don’t need armour but I am going to be a giant killer.

Maybe you won’t run your company, but you can be the best salesman they ever hired. You will become so indispensable the boss easily considers you his right hand man.

Can I add that this glory does not have to be public? If you choose to love your spouse, like a man after God’s own heart, your compensation will not come in form of a raise or an award.

However, it is the best gift you will ever give your loved one, your children and all those who know you. If those who know you are trying to emulate you, and the father in heaven is nodding in approval, I know not what can top that appreciation.

 

And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Shall you kill a giant today? 🙂

Life-Precious (Part II)

If you do not remember or did not read what part I was about, it was basically a summary of events that occured a fortnight ago as I battled ill health.

I left out a few of the other parts so it would not be so crowded.

The day I git admitted, a gentleman who knows mum came to my room. It was filled with my friends and we were chatting away. “What are you sick of, he asked, Is it malaria?” By then I hadn’t even been told the diagnosis so my response was unclear. This sparked off a one-man conversation that I had not anticipated. “What would a young girl like you be suffering from?,” he mused pondered out loud. “If it is not malaria, it must be issues related to men.”

The mother burst into laughter and would not ‘recover’ for the next 24 hours. Of course my friends began to joke that I was love sick, hysterical or heart broken. All this while I was thinking but the near-stranger in here has guts.

Poor Uganda. The only disease we ‘accept’ is malaria? How sad. This guy also laughed himself into a stupor till he left. It was hilarious. Mum later told me he is a driver for a company that makes deliveries at her office. She barely knows him. The fact that he was that cheerful around people he barely knew amused me even further.

Later that night, I asked mum to go and get an update on my lab results. I heard her laugh a few minutes later. It is so distinct, you can’t miss it. When she returned I asked what was funny. She was shocked it had ‘reached’ me.

She explained that she had met someone who asked her why she was in hospital. When she told him I was sick, he asked. <drum roll> “Is it malaria?” I am sure he thought she was insane because she laughed at her inside joke and left. See,  the entertainment for that first night was covered 🙂

The less you know…

The next evening, another patient was brought it. There were two non-practicing journalists(mum and I) in there so we found out he spoke Swahili. A few pleasantries were exchanged and then we went on about our lives.

On day 3 however, as we spoke to a nurse, we found out the patient had no family or food. He had been dumped at the hospital. Mummy dearest went over and obviously returned with full details.

This Congolese National had been ‘hired’ by a Pastor and was working with a church in Kampala. He too did pastoral work. When he got ill, the Pastor dropped him, left 20,000 shillings and disappeared. What can 20,000 shillings even do? Being admitted obviously comes with extra costs but by the time we left, the nurses had promised to treat him with or without payment. *They asked him to go to Mulago before but he declined*

Mum began to give him meals until we left but one can only imagine what became of him after.

I would like to begin a rant which focuses on Christians and our lack of compassion, hypocrisy and other related issues but I shall save it.

My little testimony here is/was, laughter and a short conversation that begins with “how are you?” can be all it takes to make someone feel better 🙂

The day after I left hospital, I found out about two breakthroughs that had happened in lives of friends I was praying for.

1. Liz(not real name) graduated on 1st November. This should not be such a big deal ordinarily, except it is.

See Liz is about 34 years old. She decided to pursue a degree against all odds, cut her hair short and shared a class with 19 year olds who downloaded I phone apps while she raised her 3 children and juggled coursework and wife duties.

As if this was not enough, her husband was diagnosed with Hepatitis B, a disease that is 50-100 times more infectious that HIV. His treatment was costly and now more than ever the children needed her.

While all this was happening she got mugged after lectures, twice. One time it was so bad she literally crawled home. After such a dreadful year, she graduated with honours.

How many people do you know who have had everything given to them on a silver platter and still collected more retakes than awards?

She is super woman and she does not even know it 🙂

2) Jenny is a good friend who is quiet but somehow surfaces at the right time. Our friendship isn’t conventional and sometimes we go a month without speaking. Nonetheless, we mourn and laugh together.

About three months ago I was in a rut. I took her to lunch because I had been procrastinating. During the meal, she broke down in a crowded restaurant. I was crashed. I would later find out her family was losing their family home to the bank because of one mistake and Jenny had also been recently cheated on by someone she thought was her soul mate.

All my problems became inconsequential and I felt terrible for being so helpless.

For all the time I have known her, she has been unhappy at her work place and constantly getting so close to getting a good job but only managing to come in second place.

Well, on this suddenly cheery Monday she let me know she had finally got a good job and was to start right away. She would then move her mother to a nice place and begin to save, something she had been unable to do in all her un fulfilling yet demanding positions.

All things work together for the good of those who love HIM!!

Why is life precious? Well, we are granted second chances, sometimes even more and it is up to us to utilise them, over and over again.

Are you the only one who is suffering? No! In fact, your misery pales in comparison to the ‘happy’ smart lady in your office. She smiles because she is out of tears.

What can you do?

Treat life like the miracle it is and your loved ones like the precious gifts they are 🙂

 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

xoxo

suuun

Life-Precious (Part 1)

At exactly this time last week I was doing what seemed like fighting for my life. It is for this reason that I have since put myself on pressure to get busy and be completely occupied at all hours for fear that still moments shall create an avenue for an episode..

How?

I had been feeling ill on and off for weeks but I simply took medication and carried on like everything was normal while my system silently crashed. It eventually gave in.

The Irony

On October 29th I received a Vocational service award from Rotaract for work done with 40-40.

Needless to say, I was surprised and excited before, during and after. I knew that this would do a lot for the team’s morale and also serve as a reminder that we are on the right track. I hope it did because on my part, I am still amazed.

Anyone who saw me that day realised I was as bubbly as always but perhaps a little more laid back because this experience humbled me even more.

Coincidentally, three years ago on that exact date, I was hospitalised and missed my graduation. This time, I was receiving an award. Weird,right?

I told a friend later that night something within me did not feel right. I later felt selfish for ‘whining’ when I should have been celebrating. After a silent prayer, I ‘forced’ sleep. I was to wake up at 4 a.m with the mother of all stomach pains. This was the beginning of a week long series of not-so-exciting-events.

The worst bit about experiencing pain over and over again is that sometimes you begin to think you deserve it and that it is ‘normal.’ This dim thinking is what got me to spend the day at home ignoring the fact that I was weak, nauseated and generally far from fine; this and the fact that my parents were unavailable and I had no ‘safe’ means to leave home.

When mum called later that afternoon, I told her I was ‘a bit sick’ but would await her return.

She got home and we drove to the hospital. Hardly had we arrived when I was drenched in drips and medication. I did not sleep that night.

Let’s get back to Thursday. I did not want my friends to know. In fact, I am still getting angry messages and calls from those that got the news after the ‘drama’ was over. It is difficult to explain, but once you have lived a certain life, you stop alarming people each time you have an ache. In many cases, they are fighting a different battle and you just want to let it be. Sometimes though, you want them to keep the image of ‘smiley you’ in their memory while you take care of the fight on the other side.

The friends who made it to hospital that afternoon did not head back to their offices.Two even left but found me in a bad state then decided to camp with me a little longer. I know that my condition scared them and if I could rewrite the script, I would have them sit in  a beautiful room as I battled with the devil alongside medical personnel who see such hurting often.

On the other hand though, I am glad they held the mantle as mum rested because she was to experience many other troubled nights that week on my account. Their presence made it all easier.

The Wonder

Through all my pain and anguish, these guys sat and prayed for and with me, sacrificed time and threw in a few anecdotes that just kept me going.

At some point I broke down not only because of the pain within but also as a result of stupid self pity, self loathe and several other emotions that I can’t quite expound in writing. It was not a new experience. In that moment though, I felt I had had enough.

I eventually calmed down.

Throughout my stay at the hospital I got no less than 20 drips and about 15 injections. I did not eat for 4 days and had to get supplements through the drips. When I would see the doctors cringe, I would think ‘Please smile so I can get some reassurance,’ but their reactions were simply natural. It is this stuff that moulds you munange. One day I will be a rock inside, oba diamond? 😉

Light moments

I had to search for sleep amidst sounds of Radio and Weasel, Mafiki zolo and Konshens at nearby bars between Thursday and Saturday. I often laughed at myself.

On Friday night, I actually heard a lady scream ‘woooooo’ when ‘her’ jam played. That could very easily have been me on any given day. I often scream or sing along when songs I love play. Instead, I was trying to stay in one position so that the drip would not move. It was a sad kind of funny.

Other dramatic events gave us hosptal peeps good laughs, from random guest’s conversation, ‘made up’ tales to mum’s laughter. I got me some good memories in there 😉

Each night I prayed to sleep, then prayed to wake up. My prayer was answered every time.

Now

I got discharged on Sunday morning. I had been told I would leave from Friday but each time, I got worse and had to stay. This time, together with my friend Zindzi, we began to pack the ‘migugu’ and take it to her car even before we were told. We forced LOUD laughter each time the doctor came in so he would see how FINE I was.

Eventually, it worked 😀

As soon as I got into the car, the lyrics ‘Though I ain’t good <Lord> HE still loves me’ welcomed me. I sang happily. Mum joked about me seeing the outside for the first time. I was genuinely glad to be out of that room.

Just before we got home R.Kelly’s ‘storm is over’ was on radio. How timely! How perfect! “I can see the sunshine; somewhere beyond the clouds….heaven is over me….” As in!!! Sound tracks to my life.

So here I am, running around to ensure the Charity bazaar is a success..but every moment I get, I sit and thank the Lord. He saved me and I shall use all the energy I have and don’t have to praise and glorify his name.

I have to thank my amazing friends who stayed with me and those that kept ‘the secret’ so I would not worry others; those that insisted on visiting anyways, the ones that called and sent messages even if I had mini phone fasts so I could recover, my family, the staff of AAR that constantly popped in and withstood the thousands of questions from my friends and I when the drips had honestly become TOO much. I am eternally grateful and can only ‘revenge’ with prayer.

I encountered a few other testimonies while I was in hospital but I shall save them for a part two.

Here is a short story within a story though. I like to send ‘Happy new month’ messages but this time 1st November found me indisposed. The funny bit is some people sent texts to ask why I hadn’t wished them a good month, and others happily ‘beat’ me to it. I didn’t let most of them in on ‘the reason’ but it was funny.

I can’t end this without some mushy clichés even if I know the lessons have been evident from reading it already.

However, I just need anyone reading to actually believe ‘Life is short’ because it is, however subjective this said length is. In essence, a 90 year old loved one is still mourned after his/her departure. That said, may we always remember to show those we love that we do and take care of them and ourselves. Goodbyes don’t quite come with a timeline but when you are ‘threatened’ with one, you begin to realise how precious this ‘unfair’ thing called life is.

 heaven

Each second is a new lease on our existence.  Mehn-let’s make it count!!

See you on Saturday at The 40-40 Charity bazaar and family day, I will be the girl looking like nothing ever happened because star ta fa! 😉

xoxo

 

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 🙂