Hello:)

Hello from the other side. Which other side you may ask..? The other side of the .com!

You may or may have not noticed but we discreetly graduated to dotcom status. I was equally surprised when this new development came to my attention. A little fairy was working overtime to deliver this package (Thank you Gloria :-*)

Last week when I received an email from WordPress asking me about this website kaboozi, I simply moved on and refreshed my inbox. Oprah might finally reply and I need to be ready on that day :p

celebration

 

If you are good at this stuff and can make this look like a ‘proper’ website without losing its identity, please help a sister out. My only skill lies in clicking the ‘publish’ button so it is unlikely that I shall succeed on my own.

In the meantime, as I try to push aside all the internal puresha (pressure) to make the page more appealing, the show will go on. It has too.

 

Xx

Advertisements

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

The lovely empty office :)

So, here I am at our office, yes, our!! It is so surreal, I am not quite comfortable saying it yet but yes, the little baby 40 days over 40 smiles has grown! We are crawling now 🙂

What? How?

Well, I don’t know!! We had a thanksgiving on 28th July at my friend, Diana’s home.  We simply wanted to thank God for having been with us throughout the journey. After a beautiful sermon and lunch that included meat balls. Side note: Harris had prayed for meat balls for minutes on end and thank the Lord I had ordered for them as part of the menu. I think we all gave him ours. I am not sure what the situation was in his tummy that evening but, I will leave it to your imagination.

Yes, after the lunch we had a talk from a social walker. She gave us pointers on how to run a charity and then said we had grown and needed an office. Office? Ha! As in, we don’t even have any employees let alone rent. Well, she said we needed to employ someone to coordinate the activities and they would need an address. Up till then, I had carried out meetings at the ‘Chillies’ restaurant below my office and was happy telling people our offices were on facebook and twitter. Yikes! Growing up!

That night I went home and told mum about it. “Oh, I know someone who is moving out of an office near ours, you might want to speak to him,” she responded casually. Wait, what? She had no questions on how we could afford it,why now etc? Okay.

A few days later, she travelled to Nairobi for treatment. I went on about my job and my life. One day, as we spoke over the phone she asked if I had contacted the tenants. Hmm, procrastination 411. I promised to. I think I did a week later. The gentleman passed on the landlord’s number and I also kept that for a while not sure what the plan was.

Why?

As soon as August began, I made up my mind to quit my job and it actually had nothing to do with the prospect of a 40-40 office. My time had come. Mid-August arrived and I was unemployed. Suddenly I had time on my hands to ‘chillax,’ except not quite.

Instead of balancing work and 40-40, I could do the latter full time but now I had zero resources and no end of month salary to look forward to. How about we eat,sleep, read a few novels and watch lots of movies, shall we? Yes, sounds like a good plan.

As time went on, this office space thing started to seem like a good idea, perhaps I could talk to the landlord and just see the place, for ‘just.’ I consulted members of my team. It was split, some thought the timing was right, others believed we had important things to sort out and I was, well, somewhere in between. I prayed about it, worried, procrastinated and then decided to let HIS will be done.

I met the Landlord after a couple of weeks. In his words “Nga yakuwanye nnyo,” loosely translated to mean the current tenant had  showered me with praises in my absence. Apparently he had been told I was a responsible person doing a lot of great work to change the world, bla bla so he pleaded for us to get the place at the same rate even if the landlord wanted to hike the rent.(Bless his soul) I used all the Luganda vocabulary learnt, inherited and forged to ‘beg’ for this deal. He agreed to keep the rent at the current rate, but with a catch, 6 months rent down payment. Lodamacy!!(Read Lord have mercy)

I told the team what the situation was. The tenants were leaving at the end of September. Now to get these millions by then. Sigh. We needed a miracle.

When?

The team decided that each member would loan 40-40 a certain amount and then we would look for ways to top up. It seemed easy, until the pressure mounted and a few days to D-day, I did not even have half the amount required. When I realised putting pressure on people who had salaries and responsibilities was not going to yield much, I decided to think outside the box. I would just use the money the team contributed to settle the other debts as we sort out our income generating projects for 40-40. The faster, the better.

My dad pledged to contribute to the rent too and much as the Landlord put me on pressure, I did not want to do the same so I waited for him to read my mind. What do you know? On the day of the deadline, he did read my mind. He asked when the rent was due and I might have screamed ‘now!!’ He passed on his donation and along with a major contribution from one friend and a couple of other loans, I was able to carry these millions with me onto a bike and hand them over to the Landlord. Phew! If I was a drinker, some tequila would have been abused that afternoon but well, I think I made up for it with chai(tea) 😉

What next?

The office needed to be painted, an M.O.U was drafted and signed.  Over this weekend, Saturday to be exact, the Landlord called and told me everything was ready. I thanked him but after hanging up I started to panic. What in the world was I thinking? :/

Where will the money to pay back come from? What about the water and electricity bill. Furniture, no? All these things had troubled me before but now it all became even more scary.

As a team, we had decided on the urgent needs and those that we can acquire over time. Do you know what I have from the entire list? A clock. Yes, a clock! I haven’t even bought a battery for it 😀 (Thank you Pesh by the way, it is such a pretty clock:) )

Well, Monday was not a good day and Tuesday was Eid plus I had a houseful of sick people so Wednesday seemed like a good day to ‘move in.’ I woke up determined but then I ran out of data on the modem and had to house-sit at some point in the afternoon so I postponed to Thursday.

At about midnight yesterday, my friend Leah called and said we should have a party for the grand opening. We laughed so hard knowing there was really nothing to ‘show,’ except the newly painted walls perhaps.

P.S: If you want in on this party, you will have to carry your own seats,music, food and drinks. We shall provide the venue 🙂

So today, I got up early, did a few chores and started to decide what to carry to the office. A plastic chair? No, it may attract attention in the parking lot. A mat? My mum works around here, she might be judged for her daughter’s strange antics. How about a nice lesu safely tucked in my handbag? That works! So I carried that 🙂

I would love to share photos of this beautiful, spacious office which has such great ambiance but our office camera, I pad and other such fancy gadgets are yet to be delivered.

Kalango/Announcement: If you believe in us and what we do and have some items that would fill the space we have here plus be of use to us including that table you are tired of but still has four legs, and works fine, give me a call. Okay even if you know nothing about us and have some ‘useful trash,’ one man’s trash is another man’s treasure 😉

That said, all official meetings shall be held at a restaurant of your choice for now but if you are a cool guy/lady, then you will realise that the clean floor can make for very comfortable sitting right here.

Just like that, an ordinary day in October feels like the day I moved out of home,without a bed, couch or money to buy food but at least, there was a toothbrush!

Team 40-40, I think we can whisper ‘started from the bottom now we are here.’ (Whisper because our coffers leave a lot to be desired) but very soon we shall be able to sing out loud.

To say I am proud of you and how far we have come  TOGETHER would probably be an understatement, but I will say it any way.

This year has been difficult but you have stayed close, keeping the fire burning and that’s something I do not take for granted and appreciate each day. You chose to be my friends but I choose you to be my family.

This empty office makes even more sense being empty(for now) because we shall watch it ‘grow.’
Location: Sir Apollo Kaggwa road(Next to Multitech Business School)

Bless you!

Yours,

40/40 Afande/E.D/C.E.O/NRM/UNDP/WFP/GM/M.D/WHO/UPDF etc

smiley