What goes around…

32

Originally posted on 2, April
Sometime back, a company organised an event and fronted 4040 as the charity of choice, to benefit from the proceeds.
I had met the M.D, *Charles a few times before.
When he pitched the event to me, I wasn’t moved. Not because I felt like there was anything wrong with the concept but for the mere fact that I was tired of users and could not imagine another scenario in which I pick up the pieces. The charges were also high and I knew that it would be a hard sell even to people who would ordinarily want to support our different campaigns. I shared this concern and he assured me they had it under control.
He was persistent.
We had a back and forth, including meetings which involved other members of my team.
I told him my only condition was that they did the work without expecting the ‘beneficiaries’ to go all out on promoting the event. Since it was primarily a business venture, they would go on about their work and contact us when ready to make statement or contribution.
Our plate was full and we couldn’t be adding events we didn’t plan for to our calendar.
He agreed.
We set the plan in motion.

They got to work marketing the event and my team even pitched in once in a while.
A few weeks to the event, I tweeted about a friend’s perfomance, asking people to attend. One of Charles’ colleagues,Tracy sent me a message that read “I saw you tweeting about a perfomance instead of telling your followers about our event.”
What in the world? I was furious. Now my personal pages were being policed? I couldn’t support my own?
I tried not to be rude as I explained to Tracy that I have many different interests and cannot be expected to only speak about matters pertaining to 4040, not to mention I hadn’t promised to promote their event. We were just adding to their existing strategies.

D-day arrived and as (partially) expected, the event wasn’t well attended, not enough for it to be profitable at least. Charles and his team had clearly invested money, lots of it. What they didn’t invest was more time in the planning process, to allow for better execution.
After the event, I made a courtesy call to Charles to congratulate him upon a milestone. Putting together an event of that magnitude in itself is/was huge.
A week went by and I asked Charles if we could have a meeting just to discuss the event, learning points and put a close to it.
He declined.
At this point, I already knew they couldn’t have made money and I was not even the tinniest bit mad that no ‘proceeds’ were shared.  I know how difficult it is and being their first event, it could only get better.However, when he ignored my second attempt, I picked a clue and moved on.

Soon after, I found out that he was telling anyone who cared to listen that it was 4040’s fault the event flopped.😮
He added that we were ‘nobodies’ and in fact every company they approached seeking sponsorship had never heard of us. (How is this even a problem? We get to spread the dream further,no?)
Apparently, they (Charles and his company) were merely doing us a favour including us in their event and yet we thought we were big shots. We would never prosper..
He went on to say that “If 4040 comes to look for their hours of footage that we filmed, we shall not give it to them. ”
It goes on and on but I will save you the other details. By now, you already get the drift.

When I heard these stories I was sad. Not sad for myself or 4040 but for Charles. I was sad because I did not think he believed what he was saying and if he did, it was simply in an attempt to find someone to blame but himself. On top of it all, that level of petty does not a leader make.

I kept this information to myself. Whenever someone cared to ask about the proceeds of the event, I told them the company hadn’t made enough to include us.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, Charles’ operations manager contacts me. I am suprised because my last encounter with the company in general was in form of the ‘blue ticks’ Charles accorded me.
I ask what it is about and she tells me about an upcoming campaign they have..😞
Yup..it is indeed what you are thinking. They want us to get involved.😥
Sigh.
In their world, everything was erased by time and a clean sheet could just be opened, new script written.
No questions asked.
Well, I made a call and asked some questions, engaged in a mostly one sided conversation in which I sought the closure I never had the chance to get.
I assured Tracy that there was no way we could work with them again especially since they are not trustworthy. I explained that I neither wanted their money nor an apology but I needed them to know that “I know” and that is no way to work with people.

I hope that one day soon, I will get to meet Charles, not to ridicule him or remind him of how he wasted a learning opportunity and future partnerships (although the latter would most likely come up) but to encourage him to look in a mirror, like really look; and then surround himself with more honest people.

 

 

Adult education (2)

29

When I received the email that I had made the shortlist, I was in shock! How?!

Then the second round came and I was elated to find that I was one of the 15 East Africans chosen. Euphoria!
We went for a training session in Nairobi, to get to know how to use the system, interact with alumni and get ready to begin.
I was the youngest least qualified person in the room. Some people were doing their second or third Masters,others were speaking of PhDs; They worked in established institutions and here I was trying to explain the mothful that is “40 days over 40 Smiles Foundation.”
In the afternoon, one of the Professors who had flown in for orientation asked, “How many of you got permission from your bosses to pursue further education?” Hands went up.
He turned to me and asked why I hadn’t put up my hand..then added “I forgot, you are the boss!” Everyone laughed. I didn’t. Deep down I felt intimidated and undeserving.
It was the continuous joke from then on. I perfected my poker face.

One of the requirements for the scholarship had been to explain how you would develop your country after the degree and I had given an elaborate plan; my vision for 4040. It was all I had. It had to work.

Little did I know that getting in was the easy part.
We received our first major assignment and boom, another blow. I fell sick and doctors could not figure out how/why despite tests. I hated to be the new student asking for extra time but I had no choice. It was granted and I literally
The next assignment came with it’s challenges. I mistakenly used a phrase without crediting the author-plagiarism! I received a stern warning thereafter. My undergrad hadn’t prepared me even by 20% for this new system.
I continued struggling though. After year 1, I was convinced I would fail.
I said it to myself and anyone who asked.
Whenever results were about to come, my body went through pretty much everything but a stroke.
I knew if I had been paying my tuition I would quit but I kept telling myself this scholarship could have gone to anyone and I was privileged, how could I ruin this? I decided to hang in, albeit painfully.
The work load was crazy. I didn’t really have a break in my own life and there was no one who understood. My classmates were miles away, dealing with their own issues. The few times I tried to reach out didn’t yield much.

I had no clear time table because there was no physical class to go to. That meant, more often than not, everything else came before school.

I jumped in and out of depression. Some weeks I simply stayed in bed all day, cut off the world and then eventually willed myself back up again.
Trying to work in this state was futile which in turn frustrated me and left me feeling like a fraud, a failure completely unworthy.

Trying not to write books under the pretext of posts😞
3rd and last installment comes tomorrow.

Disappointment and hurting hearts

15

This is a ‘real time’ tale in the series.

Two years ago, I applied for the YALI fellowship hosted in Washington DC. This initiative is the brainchild of a man I greatly admire, President Barack Obama. It supports young African Leaders. *I think I am fairly young..and a leader, yes?* Moving on;
I made it to the interview stage and then didn’t make it.
Last year I applied for this year’s cohort. I thought I was ready this time, more experience, better application. Yes?
Uhm..Perhaps not.
I found out that I didn’t make it.
The email response basically says “You’re good but not good enough.”
It stung but I told myself that it wasn’t time..then I told myself that 5 years is a long time..then I decided it wasn’t for me and I shall move on, keep doing what I do.
We have a 5 year anniversary dinner in a little over a month. We have approached over 20 companies for sponsorship and we chose a pretty awesome, influential woman to be our Guest of Honour.
She stands for everything we believe in.
We wanted Michelle Obama but thought it’s best she enjoys this ‘chill time’ with her hubby first😉

Yesterday, I started my morning by calling 4 of the companies I spoke to about sponsorship. One person picked up and said they would not partner with us, the other made her line busy and 2 didn’t even pick up. I was devastated. I considered cancelling all the day’s plans..Instead, I wore some red lipstick and got up to face the world.

This morning as I was recovering from what sounds like an action movie scene, the murder of AIGP Kaweesi (RIP), I checked my mail.I am always hopeful that I will find good news when I log in.

Instead I found a letter from a representative of our preferred Guest of Honour, she will not make it.
Tears started streaming down my face at an uncontrollable rate. I had to sit and try to take it all in. We have courted her for a month or so and my faith was immense. We halted printing of invites so that she could confirm and then we distribute.
I prayed, hard; had dreams in which she featured, I brushed up on the language she speaks so I could ‘impress’ on D-day and in all our meetings, we spoke like she had already said yes.
I didn’t know how emotionally attached I was to it all until I received this email.

Now I have gone back to bed to mourn some more before actually starting the process again..and continuing to work because the world doesn’t stop..or wait.
Pain demands to be felt; so do change and time.

The recurring questions about these scenarios, include but are not limited to; “Aren’t we good enough?”
“Haven’t I done enough?”
“Where did we go wrong?”
“What more could I have done?”
“When will it be the right time?
I am more hurt than I thought I would be and quite 💔 to be honest.

 

 

Why am I sharing this?
Well, your worth can’t be determined by what people think or say; or how many things don’t go your way.
Often things can be a lot worse but of course we don’t want to hear that when we are hurting. Not even close. We just want things to be okay. We want to get what we hoped for, prayed for, worked for..and it doesn’t seem fair when we don’t.
Nonetheless, C’est la vie.
You rant..you *sniff* cry, *sniff,*
You binge eat, perhaps take a shot; talk to a loved one,take a walk, listen to music,nap; write a post like this, you do whatever it takes to help you deal then you dust yourself off and live to try another day.
Friday,5 May will come..and no matter who attends (or doesn’t) how much we raise for our causes (or don’t); we shall be celebrating how far we have come at that anniversary dinner.
We shall give our next 5 years to God and trust that HE shall finish that which HE started.🙏

Note: Originally written on March 17th and posted on facebook

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

This is probably the most excited I have been about writing a blog post! Perhaps it is because I don’t have to write much, or maybe the fact that it is something close to my heart. Either way. I can’t wait to share!

When I read the book Lean in, by Sheryl Sandberg at the beginning of this year, I found myself taking notes, nodding and generally falling in love with the brain of this woman. It is not that what she was ‘saying’ was new, more like she had evidence to back what I felt, what several women have felt for generations.

We are often afraid to risk, to lean in, to take positions of leadership. I mean some of us cannot even take a simple compliment! I can’t count the number of times I have been asked to write a brief about myself, a personal statement or just a simple cover letter and gone numb. I start looking around for someone who can help me describe myself! It is a bit ludicrous when you think about it but it is true. Ask me to point out good qualities about my loved ones, and I can go all day. If you can relate to this, fear not. You are not alone. If you can’t, good for you. You survived the bug!

Do you love your job or is it what your family expects of you, what society finds acceptable? Are you happy in your relationship or afraid to let go because ‘what if I don’t fine someone else?’ These are some of the questions I would like you to contemplate as you go along.

what would you do 1

Please watch this speech by Sheryl, as she talks to these graduates about leaning in and the real world to catch my drift.

I asked a few ladies what they would do if they weren’t afraid. It was so funny because some gave me 431 follow up questions, others told me to give them time to edit their pictures while some were even more excited than I was. Can I just say a quick shout out to technology for making it all that much more bearable?

Some ladies shared about career, what they should have done way back or what they can still do. One even had a complete ‘how to’ guide :D. See for yourself

 

Kyarikunda

Dru

ritah

Sharon

Pesh

 

shunkunu

 

Gloria

A few women have dreams that they are yet to chase, talents they have’t fully exploited, plans to do more with their time, pursue another degree, start a program..Do you fall under this category?

Esteri

Damalie

Karungi

Hannah

Kemmy

Carolyne

Is it a character trait you can’t seem to shake off, does society often determine how you act or feel, are you unable to forgive,is there something you want to say but are too afraid to?

Kamara

Celine

 

E

Violet

Laura

Felicia

I must say, this exercise got me thinking. I think I am going to just pack a little bag and run away after clicking ‘upload’….if I wasn’t too afraid.

I have a sticker on my wall. It reads “Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.”

I hope that you who is reading this can try again tomorrow, that you can face your fear. The worst that could happen is that you will fail and guess what, failure is for mortals like us!

P.s: If you would like to take part in my ‘what if you weren’t afraid challenge,’ send me an email here.

A huge thank you to the ladies who participated, bearing my incessant reminders and letting me share a part of you with ‘the world.’

what would you do 2

When one door closes

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak arms are heavy. There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs”

Lately, I have been going through different versions of what Eminem rapped about in ‘Lose yourself.’ (You know things are a little crazy when you start quoting Eminem) It is a few days to the event croak and rhyme and if you have planned an event before, you know how crucial the last week is. You often find yourself in motion that involves two steps forward, five steps back. On top of that, life does not give you a break for one phase to end before another crops up, one has to find balance somehow. Up till last night, I was far from balance.  I was working on an application for a grant that if received, would change the lives of so many young women in Uganda. The more I got engrossed in it, the more I reflected upon life and the 40 days over 40 smiles dream. Now that I finally clicked ‘send,’ the anxiety of waiting for the outcome is going to follow- a feeling I didn’t think I would have to relive so soon. As December came to an end, a few friends encouraged me to apply for a fellowship I knew nothing about. I ignored the first two, but when four more people who don’t even know each other told me about it. I thought I would give it a shot. I looked around for references and clicked send on the day of the deadline in late January. Fast forward to an email informing me I was a semi-finalist and needed to do an interview. I began to believe that perhaps this was actually meant for me. Do you believe in signs? You know, you meet a ‘random’ person three times in the same place and start to think “Hmm, perhaps there is a reason; we should get to know each other?” Well, I started to think that perhaps these people getting in touch and my getting that far was a sign but I fought the urge to be excited or overzealous (albeit unsuccessfully) Eventually, I didn’t make the cut. I gave myself a week to mourn. It was filled with self pity, telling myself I wasn’t good enough or worth the trouble. No dramatic tears were shed but there was a huge lump in my throat that thankfully only lasted the duration of self pity. Once that was done, I went back to work.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Ironically, about the same time in January,I had received a call from a friend of a friend.She was asking me what 40-40 needed in terms of capacity, which skills I would need to manage the organisation better and how best to train the team. I told her all our dreams and then some.I didn’t think much of it. Last month she called to share some good news. Her organisation (African Hope Network) had secured funding for capacity building within 40-40. Together with 5 other individuals, I had been selected to be a fellow for 2014. They did not want to support our projects but rather support us to become better at what we do for a period of 6 months to one year. Yaay us, right?! 😀 Someone finds you have fallen and are bruised, lonely with no place to go. She picks you up, takes care of the wounds and then gives you a place to stay, this is exactly what it felt like.

“I wished for someone to hold me up. Suddenly someone was there.”

When I suggested having a full time accountant as one of 40-40’s biggest needs at the moment and mentioned that we have not been able to afford remuneration for this position, she said the organisation would be happy to help! As if that wasn’t enough, a team member said he had always wanted to do more for the organisation and this was his opportunity.  He would quit his lucrative job to take the accountant’s position that comes with half his original salary and no benefits (except perhaps naps on  the office couch that we are yet to buy) Not to mention, after 6 months, chances are   his pay will be irregular if at all. I smiled to myself knowing that things had happened the way they had for a reason. The gift basket wasn’t quite empty and I learnt this a few weeks ago. When Justin posted a link and asked us to apply for the Tumaini awards, I didn’t know what they were about. I checked the website and found out that they are held annually and are organised by a group of NGOs including UNICEF, World Vision and Save the Children to reward individuals and organisations who are impacting communities in Uganda. I checked the deadline and confidently told him the day was long gone. He insisted on sending the application anyway. On 13th June, I received the award,thanks to his nomination, 1st place in the health category. To say that this came as a surprise is an understatement. This award also came with a 3,000,000 UGX cash prize. After I received the award I spoke to Justin and the phone conversation had one minute of silence between each sentence because he was as shocked as I was. Just a few days before we were joking about in and now-voila! When the prize money finally comes through, I am ready with a list of the things we need. It keeps changing but I am sure it will help us greatly. As a young organisation, all the recognition, funding and support that we receive is a great boost and gives us hope to carry on. Tumaini award pic

“… Because one who seeks the highest must not leave any path untried.”

Of course I wrote this so that you, who may have chanced upon this blog post can be reminded; a closed door isn’t the end of the road. You never know how many more are waiting to open but you will not see them if you keep looking back at the closed one.

“Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

In related News, we shall be opening doors (read gates) at 6.00p.m on Friday 4th July at the Uganda Museum. For only 10,000 UGX, you will get entertainment from the finest Ugandan  artists and poets. More info here There will be lots of food, drinks and great people to meet. Above all, here is a chance to change the lives of some awesome children while having fun. The children t Agape Children’s Home will have a better education and improved standards of living thanks to you. See you there, yes? 🙂

Against all odds

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 

 

A confident 30 something corporate lady walked into the board room at an investment firm. She was one of four short listed candidates for a top job.

She was asked several questions among which was the popular, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” She didn’t hesitate. She explained that she could not see that far and would rather discuss the ‘now’ because it is more realistic. She went ahead to add that her past five years had been filled with impulsive decisions that made her who she was today and she would rather not play the game as it should be but rather re-invent the wheel. Her job experience was impressive and her eloquence matched it. The panelists exchanged looks and promised to call her back as they parted ways.

She was the last interviewee and upon her departure, two out of the three panelists scoffed and sneered. In short, she was not traditional enough. Only one defended her ‘out of the box’ thinking.

Yesterday as I was filling an application I got into a similar mental dilemma. I was asked for my 5 year career plan and I quickly filled all the dreams I have for 40-40. I re-read the question and realised it was personal. That meant my replies needed to begin with ‘I’ instead.  As if that wasn’t enough, the next question was “What is your long term career plan?” I am sorry, 5 years was not enough? I closed the page and moved on to other things hoping I would later be inspired.

It is about 8 months since I got out of gainful employment and it seems there is no limit to what can possibly be learnt about people and life in general. I have had to ‘cram’ responses to questions like ‘What next?’ because to them what I am doing is temporary and I should soon snap out of it.

On Saturday a close relative said to me, “ Why don’t you go back to school and do something with your life, you are not Mother Theresa, you know? ” Hehe,  the comeback for that one took a little longer than usual. However, yesterday poor Mother T (rest her soul) ‘came back’ for me. A concerned well wisher asked me what I wanted to do to grow career wise. We discussed options before he remarked, “I understand if your purpose in life is to be Mother Theresa and inspire people. I shall not hold it against you.”

He must have wondered why I burst out laughing after. It was just a weird coincidence that she had come up one more time. Is it strange that I am discomforted by this ‘association’? I haven’t even sacrificed 0.000000001% of what she did for the poorest of the poor. This is not even up for discussion (shakes head), let’s move along.

Why do we have to label everything? Why can’t someone just be who they are?

You are single or married, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, a believer of God or an atheist. When are you just you, a human being?

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” 

Joy, is 36, unmarried and more independent than anyone I know. She has had a series of bad relationships, the most recent being the most peculiar seeing as guy X ran away with several household items because he was apparently broke. She has more money than she can spend so this not so wise gentleman might as well have swallowed his ego and asked. No? Theft works better? Yes? Okay.

Before that she went from one guy to another simply to ‘fit in’ wit the married lot but she has decided to take a well deserved break.

She has reached the peak of her career, takes annual vacations and has pretty much anything money can buy. Is it her fault that she isn’t ‘settled’ yet? What is settling any way?

Society does not want to know her past. This person called society is more concerned about the ring-less finger and her poor ovaries. How shall she manage? Bambi..

Eve, on the other hand, played by the book. We graduated from University at about the same time. Months later she got married to her High School sweetheart and has two adorable children. This is how it should be done, right? She is settled and ‘knows what she wants,’ yes? So how come her and Mark only appear at church and parties together but don’t share a room in their own house? Why does she want to get a divorce but is afraid she will not get custody of her children? Is it her fault? Did she not do what she was ‘supposed’ to do?

Joy and Evelyn represent a world of women and men stuck in situations that are not new or surreal. It is just life being life and male, female, millionaire or pauper, we all have a story and it is even more beautiful if it is uniquely yours!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 

You, dear reader, know countless stories of people that are living a life that is not theirs, heck you might be too. The decisions you make are entirely yours to deal with. God knows all the mistakes I am constantly making are copyrighted. I shall not let anyone take the blame let alone consciously blame them!

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

The business executive who might not get the job because her responses weren’t conventional enough sleeps a lot better than the rest of us who walk with our heads up high because we are conforming to society’s idea of who we are or must be.

I can’t emphasise enough the value of being true to oneself.

If you find people struggling to label you, to explain where you belong or even ‘force’ you to belong somewhere because it will make them feel better, make them understand you or worse still make you just like them, that will be a good time to slowly walk away.

The road to the top is lonely and also narrow, you decide what or who gets to take it with you.

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” 

be you

Winners: Best Campaign at Social Media Awards

“We would like to thank all our haters for getting us here.” These should have been the opening remarks of my speech at the Social Media Awards on Friday 15th November, 2013, right?

I am only kidding! We all know who got us there and we shall thank him for all of our days 🙂

The two nominations 40-40 got for these awards were a pleasant surprise. Faith said we would get the accolades, doubt shouted ‘Never!’ We on the other hand, didn’t know what to expect.

The atmosphere that evening was bright and breezy. I am not sure if I should be confessing the bit below but here goes 😉 *Types with eyes closed*

The terrific organisers of the event had an invite for me, uhm, yes, just me. I could not imagine being at the Hub ‘on my own’ at the time we were announced winners, or mourning solo in the event that we lost. We had to devise semi crafty measures *No further details* to get a few more invites.

If I had my way, the room would have had about 20 members of the team(or more) in one LOUD corner but, we got a good number nonetheless 😉

image

When I got to the venue at 6.00pm, which was starting time according to the programme, there was some activity but at the back of my mind, I figured the event would start an hour or so later. That was the case. However, with the drinks and tasty little bites at the cocktail, I am certain very few people had a chance to look at the time..Perhaps after the treats were done 😉

Roy, the entertaining MC of the night eventually got the ball rolling, and Patricia Kahill, one of the judges later got onto the stage. At this point the short but eventful evening started to unfurl as we watched and listened expectantly.

The first award was for the best blogger category. Bernard aka Beewol, who is one of our teammates, was up against some credible writers like Ruth Aine. We had our moment of ‘loud silence’ as we held our breaths to hear who the winner was. Beewol scooped the award and in trademark 40-40 fashion, we ululated and probably got ‘those looks.’ Still…yaaayy 🙂

Girls who chill with  winners be like ^^

Girls who chill with winners be like ^^

After this, we knew that only two other categories were close to our hearts, the Social justice award and the Best campaign.

We followed the programme religiously, got mini-heart attacks, pre-labour pains, short breaths and other conditions that I am afraid to put in writing for fear of being blamed for exaggeration:p

Just when it was time for the ‘Best campaign Award,’ as we held our breaths, it was cleverly skipped, leaving us disturbed and possibly numb.

Entertainment went on and I forced myself to sing along to songs, laugh at jokes and make small talk, anything to forget the ‘trauma’ ahead.

Eventually we got to the ‘Social justice’ award. We had each secretly believed this was the one we had a possibility of bagging. If anything, it defined us and the competition did not seem that stiff compared to the other but ALAS!

“And the winner is…… Barefoot lawyers….” Everything after this was a blur.
Some people took to twitter to ‘rant’ others ‘researched and gave stats of the traffic on the winner’s twitter and facebook page to understand why they won. It was too much to take in. My friend Ritah simply walked out.

We did NOT look like this at that point

We did NOT look like this at that point

Through all this, I sent whatsapp messages to tell everyone I knew had voted that we had missed out on one but would have faith for the next. That kept me occupied for a bit, then reality crept back. “What if we walk out of here without an award? I thought.

We had recently incurred losses at our Charity Bazaar. How was I to explain to the team that we had failed yet again? I needed some air so I walked out as well.

When I got to the bathroom, I found a disappointed Ritah. She told me she would stay in there till the event ended. She could not take the pressure and wanted to weep in private. “It is not fair, we deserved that award,” she said. All I could tell her was we had one more to go. I gave her a big hug and hoped to God for a miracle.

I went back inside. I wondered why we had finished the complimentary m n’ m’s. The chocolate would have been a good distraction.

In time, Seanice Kacungira , CEO Blu Flamingo came on stage with Nancy, her sister and their entire team. She gave an emotional speech which left my friends and I going ‘awww.’ This did not stop me from noticing the last three awards of the night ‘chilling’ on the side. “Would one of them be ours?”

The torture was colossal but there was nothing left to do. Breathing into the little ‘SMA’ paper bag did not do much for me either. Judgement day had come later than expected but it was still coming.

Finally it was time to announce the winner of the Best Campaign. I have no idea who handed it over or what he does, to tell you the truth I was in a daze for a while.

Who were we up against? Coca cola, MTN, Airtel and Malaria free Uganda. That must have been the first time ever those names were used in the same sentence. It most certainly won’t be the last. :D. Did I mention we are going to stalk them for sponsorship? Well….uhm, you know 😉

I do remember the camera man focusing on the scan which later unleashed a long-ish name. Could that be ’40 days over 40 smiles?’ It could be…and it WAS!! We won!! How/ When/Who/Where Which? Uhm, who cares, we did! 🙂

The pressure my goodness! I saw everyone around me get up but I couldn’t feel my legs. I let out a loud scream. For a moment, the room was empty except for the 40-40 team.

The Lord never fails his own, never!!

We went to the front; I said a few words (yawn) Let us go back to the real matter. WE WON!! The MC remarked “Indeed there are over 40 smiles!” In that instant, it felt like each of us had 40 smiles independently.

No one had screamed that much for their award, or had a crazy team smiling ear to ear until we did but let’s face it, we are not like anyone 😉

sma box

We were too excited after the ceremony to network, even when we spoke to the MTN marketing manager, there were just smiles, the photo op with the judges, also a blur, Navio in our photograph asking to also do the 40-40 sign (woah!!!) all went by too quickly.

We walked out with our excitement and had a mini celebration. I doubt I shall forget this special night any time soon. The award was great but everything it represents is so much more amazing.

Perhaps, another blog post shall be written for that bit.

In the meantime, (Didn’t get to say this in the 20 word speech), we thank Blu Flamingo for the initiative, and all the sponsors that believed and came on board, the amazing people that nominated and/or voted for us-family members and ‘strangers’ alike, the awesome 40-40 team that works tirelessly like they are expecting a reward simply because it is the only way they know how…and God who has NEVER forgotten us, as we come close to our second birthday.

ASANTE!!

Blessings 🙂 🙂 Love…love…xx

Wululu!!

Wululu!!