007,breeze and froth

The boat bobbed gently in the evening breeze, like it was getting in step to the music. It  may have been hard to differentiate between a missed step due to the waves or the beer effect. The team had started a keen analysis of the brand yet to be launched, right after lunch,with bright eyes-slowly turning scarlet as the actual taste test got under way.

You can tell a great beer from the after-taste and the packaging-much better if you can carry it away- I mean the bottle not the after-taste-without having a burly bouncer block your progress with a heaving tree-like chest. That is why this boat ride gets maximum scores for their choice of bouncers,they were more gentle,easy on the eye,female and only blocked your progress with nice green six packs-with a sweet smile thrown in.

New breed of bouncers.

Steve,the mr-fix-it for this ride was all over,not the girls, but everyone, to answer any questions and make any arrangements for,well,arranged interviews. A few must have been turned down,if they were directed at the girls,till Juliana came over and the time was right.

By this time the boat has set off and everyone had chosen a nice corner,either due to the breeze or its nearness to the serving points.

The best crowd of scribes my as well be inebriated scribes,till you have to follow them up for a story the next day.But still,the fun follows right through into the main interview,which tends to be all businesslike-even on a boat. Given the environment,you  may have more questions about James Bond’s moves,like kicks per second on a good day- than expected queries about branding and performance or market strategy.

So you understand if I only get you a peek of what I remember. Juliana, Heineken Country Manager performed wonderfully. Aforementioned event on a boat was the launch of Heineken operations in Uganda-with a fully fledged Country office. You now know why Champion League parties are slated to get even better.

Uganda arguably has the youngest population in the world. So when those peeps grow up,they will want to drink-legally. That may explain Henieken’s official entry into a bar near you. They bring you quality in caps.

In other news,James Bond,the man himself made a sneaky entry.Don’t ask me how you sneak into a moving boat.He’s Bond after all. Now,you must know that Bond will be in your neighborhood before anywhere else on the 25th October 2012,to be precise as darkness falls. Be there.

Sneaky entry.

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SKYFALL: This is James Bond. Do you want a piece of the adventure?

SKYFALL: This is James Bond. Do you want a piece of the adventure?.

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When life deals you a harsh hand, you pick yourself up and make the most of what you have. Samalie did just that-picked herself up-literally; and she has a tale to tell, overcoming challenge after obstacle to claim her self respect, education and enforce observation of her human rights from those who trampled them in the first place.

Nangobi Samalie is a Senior three student at Bagiire Memorial College in Ngando Parish,Bugaya Subcounty in Buyende District. She comes off as a chatty and confident girl, but according to her peers and local leaders she has not always been like this. But a tinge of sadness does not escape a keen listener as she speaks about her life at home and through school. Samalie suffered Polio in the right leg and she walks with a limp and the support of a stick.


Surviving in school started off on a challenge since her father refused to acknowledge her as a child, from birth due to her disability, and also refused to pay her fees till this moment. It is her mother who would pay for her school fees -after everyone else in her home had received their share of fees and scholastic materials- until she passed away two years ago.

Despite domestic challenges, Samalie went to school, limping all the way and most often getting to school late and being punished for it. This was not helped by the little pranksters who would hide her walking stick, immobilizing her the whole day, with little interest from her teachers on top of being called names like kolobba(a derogatory vernacular term to mean lame one).

According to James Kaboggoza,the assistant Commissioner for youth and children in the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, there is a lot of stigma within communities towards homes with children with disabilities. “The public [however] needs to know that they can be useful citizens in the future and also contribute towards the development of the country,” he counsels.

According to Kabogozza, “Most facilities, schools, public places and hospitals are not friendly to children with disabilities,” He said at this year’s day of the African child.

Samalie would knowingly agree.

Life started to change when the  National Union of Women with disabilities of Uganda(NUWODU) started working in Buyende, then part of Kamuli district with  women and girls  with disabilities in an attempt to advocate for their sexual and reproductive rights. It is this project that Samalie credits for the improvement of her life through their advocacy awareness in her community and school.

The project ‘Sex by Choice  not by Chance’  carried out a recent research  among women and girls found that due to disability most of the girls miss school and this affected their attitude, confidence and economic self sustainability as they had no employable skills.

According to the research report   43 percent of these respondents were below 21 years, indicating the high number of girls with disability in our communities. Despite the free Universal Primary and Secondary School Education, over  87 percent of those in the school going age either have not gone to school at all (26 percent) or have not gone beyond Primary Education (61 percent). Probably due to the same challenges of accessibility and perception, as mentioned by Kaboggoza.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) puts governments under the obligation to provide education free from discrimination. Yet many countries, Uganda inclusive, have failed to fulfill this obligation, and children with disabilities are left out of the education system.

Unicef estimates that there are currently an estimated 67 million primary school-age children who are not in school in the world. Of these children, 45 per cent live in sub-Saharan Africa and another 24 per cent in South and West Asia. The  research further reveals that in both regions, girls are less likely to enroll than boys; and in sub-Saharan Africa, two-thirds of out-of-school girls are expected never to enroll, compared with only half of boys.

So surely, Samalie is one lucky outstanding girl.

Compounded by low or no awareness of their rights, a lot of girls and women with disability then fall prey to men’s sexual advances, often forceful and in secret. This denies them any security as women and their children when they conceive, ending up as single mothers with disability. Most of them neither have any awareness about sexual and reproductive health as they are left out of community awareness activities to poor self esteem and sheer ostracism  leading to birthing children who are fatherless who are an extra burden to the economically and mobility challenged mothers.

According to the research report, eight percent of the respondents have sexually been abused, mainly through rape that has resulted into unwanted pregnancies and infections with Sexually Transmitted Infections. Making matters worse, over 77 percent of those women and girls interviewed did not know of their rights as girls and women with disabilities. Some have come to think that it is normal even when their rights are abused. Majority do not know of any programs or institutions that help women and girls with disabilities.

Human Rights watch at this year’s annual Conference of States Parties for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities taking place this September calls on governments  to  show that they are not only serious about the rights of women and children with disabilities on paper, but that they intend to put those protections into practice.

The now beaming Samalie, also talks about the impact rights awareness has had on her life. “Before, not even boda bodas could accept to take someone who is disabled, perhaps thinking the condition is contagious, “she shares.

She reports that her teachers are more supportive and her school has given her a bursary to study since her mother who was paying her fees died two years ago. Her father is yet to come around and play a more active role in her life, but he has allowed her the use of a family bicycle which she rides to school due to the long distance between home and school.

“I have been prepared for body changes as I grow up  and  I know  what the engagement in sexual practices can lead to  so I am keeping way from sex despite the pressure;” Samalie says.

More awareness of the community, immediate family and women and girls with disabilities themselves about their rights and responsibilities surely created a visible impact in their lives and the way they are treated. At least according to Samalie, despite the fact that her father has not come around to treating her as an equal among siblings yet, she does not lack of scholastic materials, reminding him of his responsibility and how she may report to Child and Family protection Unit at the Police if he neglects to provide for her education needs without fear of reprisal from him.

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SKYFALL: This is James Bond. Do you want a piece of the adventure?

There are those people you have  always wanted to be like, or to put it better(in case you are female), men you want your guy to be like. Take your pick. Sometimes All the time,you   outgrow them,(or your guy never becomes like them,so you quit trying).

It is much harder though  when they are characters and not real people per se,you see,like James Bond. They always seem to come up with godlike James Bond guys-right ladies?

And have you ever realized how James Bond always has a hot girl in tow? Distracting ,yes. But not to the guys.

Can you  imagine how hard life can ne when your girl keeps nudging you to be like James Bond? Annoying ,right? Well ,unless you can study his moves. It’s an idea,right?

The beauty in all this  though is that the creators of such characters continue to feed our imagination with grown,now more modern creations of our desires or loathing depending on where you stand. And by keeping abreast of what the ‘new guy’ does makes us live that dream.Like we haven’t lost the ability to be like him anyway,see he is still there,and the women have more reason to demand for impossible feats from their men just like James Bond.

If you haven’t followed closely thus far,you may be beyond help. Wait,there just could be a solution yet. Men first:Since your woman will compare you to James Bond anyway,be prepared.Study the guy.That means,go watch the movie. Study the competition. You just may find a  way to come up on top.

Women next: Take your guy to watch the movie,so he can catch up fast when your craving for real men hits.Like anything is real these  days!

Now that we are on the same page. Let me let you in on a secret. Pay attention: This girl will be there.

But I can kick a** too

Since every Bond has a Bondess,the current Bond(Daniel Craig )stars alongside Bondess(Bérénice Marlohe)-above- in a new adventure(not movies like those others) SKYFALL,the 23rd James Bond movie.

Now to spice things up,cool beer makers Heineken, will  bring you  SKYFALL. Just imagine,beer and James Bond.

Just to whet your appetite, Daniel Craig,remember his name from above?) will  bring his explosive game on  as   James Bond to a Heineken ad for the very first time,ofcourse with his Bondess- the stunning Bérénice Marlohe in tow.

Heineken,the beer , will bring you the real thing  on  October 25 at Cineplex  Oasis Mall in Uganda , a week ahead of the global release. That there is reason to go brag on your friends. Mark the date.

It even gets better.During the campaign, Heineken consumers  have the opportunity to win exclusive premiere tickets by participating in activations at various selected nightlife outlets and on www.facebook.com/heineken. Now put your facebook account to good use.




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Dear Jane, R.I.P

Dear Jane.

Do you know  how long it’s  been since I last wrote a real letter! Too long. But for some reason you couldn’t leave my mind  today, since morning. I decided to get in touch. I thought you were calling me out,trying to say Hi,but you know how long it has been.Very long. But I deliberately refuse to count.

I have missed you Jane. Really missed you . I do hope you are okay. I am doing my best here. Being up there Iam sure you know everything that goes on here. I have deliberately kept myself from remembering a lot about your passing,the date,the overwhelming memories,the baby.Just because every time I try, it all seems too real,I break down. The wounds are still so raw,they hurt so bad. So I have kept what I have chosen to keep of you. I don’t want to ask again,why I wasn’t there at your bedside when I was told you were deteriorating. Let me open up,I knew you would be okay.We had been through a lot together,you just had to go through this.But you didn’t,and without warning. I have questions of mine;like why did you give up then,or was it something you couldn’t handle?Was the force that strong? So I try not to remember a lot,because it makes me weak.

You, of all people should know I don’t attach easily.May be it’s me or it was the accident of birth. You know we are more boys that girls; and either the girls were far older,like you or far younger so there was a gap.And  boys do more dealing and inventing than attaching. I had made my peace,being the  quiet boy ,hiding in Dad’s huge library for hours,reading, so I was okay. When I went to boarding school everyone seemed to have understood my needs. I don’t need the whole clan to visit just to check on me. I don’t need a monumental feast at school grounds for me to feel visited. If you think about me and wonder how Iam coping.Send some money. I would be alright. Dad understood that easily.

The only person who seemed to have missed the memo was you.Visiting,unannounced and writing.Really? Writing? I have never been a fan of letters,except later and even then it was to girls, not family,brothers or sisters! I proffered to write stories and sometimes typing them out in our old typing club room full of antique typewriters. Those were my moments. But you insisted on writing.And I had no way out,so I wrote back. The only times I had had to write was when I needed to sort our something with Henry,like World Cup scores when his team was thumped or when I needed to borrow his sneakers. Sometimes it was purely business,like since your Savco jeans are now two months old,can I have them at a discount! Such stuff. But you kept writing,about anything.

I never told you,Jane. You almost landed me into trouble some day when you wrote.You sent me a  picture of you in the mail,at the seminary. I was asked  to explain which kind of girls sends a seminarian a picture. I had to explain it was you,my sister.Luckily the resemblance was visible. That saved me. But you just couldn’t stop writing. Now I miss,it I wish you could write once in a while. I hope someday when technology is better we shall be able to talk more often. But you people up there have means.Send me a dream sometimes.Tell me what you have been up to.

I have been fine myself. Got into trouble sometimes,but Iam managing. You were there the first time I got into trouble; and your concern was discomforting. Who ever asks ‘what can I do for you?’! You did and somehow that kept me strong.Even though I had only been at a wrong place at the right time,the subsequent trouble was somehow  of my own making. Iam trying to remain humble Jane,but there are so many assholes around(forgive my language) it is hard to remain civil.

Let me tell you my worst. I was at Police,for a  business debt that had gone bad. There was no one to ask me what can I do?! You were not there,but I knew you must have been watching somehow.So I remained calm. I explained my situation that I was making an effort to pay and that I would have some money later that day.The shark(Iam not being offensive,they call them that here) refused to listen.He got his Police goons to threaten me some more,so I got angry. I calmly told them to listen up.That I was stopping negotiation and that I would willingly enter the cell. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told them since they had refused to take the money I had,I would save it and wait till they take me to court,then I would use it for bail.  I tell you Jane,this enraged them.They told me I was arrogant. That is partly true. They told me I would rot there. I told them I was ready.They told me they would keep me there for longer. I told them although the mandatory holding time is normally 48 hours,I could do a week,but I would save my money for bail. They got more angry.But it made them see the sense eventually. So they agreed.But not before complaining to my wife when she came to bail me out.Ha ha.Can you imagine Jane,a Police officer reporting me to my wife! Like how we would be in school and someone says I will report you to daddy. I laughed inside. But It was bad. I have an ego,you know  and keeping it in check is sometimes hard. But Iam working on it.

That lovely girl we used to talk about,Jane,is my wife. She is a nice girl, Jane. I wish the two of you had met. I have two girls and they have your ears,or mine,large like a rabbit’s and they are pretty. God must be paying me back. Having had more brothers than sisters, he is filling my space with girls, and they pamper me. They choose my ties and my shoes and  pick thread out of my beard,all of them at a go. It is nice here Jane. I have a Monica,in her memory,but no Jane. I still think there is only one Jane and she is still around somewhere.

I haven’t gone to see your girl,Jane. For the same reason I don’t want to remember your death. It immobilizes me for days. May be some day I will gather the courage to visit her.She must be grown now. I think you broke Dad’s heart. He was inconsolable Jane the day of your burial. He wept. I wept too,but not that openly. You know I would never cry.But since you,I seem to every time something tugs at my heart. My eyes are welling with tears as I type this.But I sensed your presence today,that is why I had to write this. Talk to me sometime.Let me know how you are. Whether you still sing up there.Have you formed another choir? Do you tell them about us?

Okay those are two many questions.How about the baby? I have never asked whether it was a  boy or a girl. And I have never asked who went first,you or the baby?  I miss you Jane. Stay well.

Sincerely,you brother.

PS.Rest In Peace.

Up there somewhere.

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Pick a hobby,any really.

Pick a hobby,any really..

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Pick a hobby,any really.

Hobby away

When I started active writing three years ago, I had no specific goal other than pass some time,use some of the words I had collected in my vocabulary over time. I was under employed at the time,so leisure writing seemed like a good hobby. I had no expectations and I decided to stir myself up from the barrel -bottom;see what comes out. Find what skills were lying idle inside of me that I could develop. Three came up. Photography,music and writing. Don’t laugh,you silly,not singing per se but writing  music and maybe producing some. I have a good ear. True story.
Writing took center stage because it required fewer resources than any of the other two. I just needed to start. Facebook notes and blog spot provided me with my first platform,till The Daily Monitor picked my work up.
A lot of the people who knew me before seem to think I committed entrepreneurial suicide once again. I didn’t. Iam much wiser now. When you lose a childhood business,get a job and then leave it  to rebuild your dream business,however it progresses, you are much wiser.
Writing has turned out to be better than I imagined. A doctor friend of mine,who writes actually tried to prepare me for it. He shared just how with some effort at research and writing he has been offered a world only reserved for older more experienced doctors. He predicted that something big will happen out of my writing someday.Iam still waiting for a house in Kololo.

This is a post that would normally appear here,but my blogspot has gone all weird on me lumping full posts together without any paragraphs like a heap of matooke.
For me, a hobby should provide satisfaction either mentally,physically or financially. I have got a few millions out of mine so far and Iam settling in.And it keeps awake several nights trying to commit that intro to memory,or else I might lose it. Imagining which directional light may give a better picture. And oh,i have a song written already.Iam just taking my time choosing who can sing it the way I dreamt- perferctly.
When I told a colleague recently that  I had just received my first formal writing or journalism training a few months ago he was appalled as if suggesting, How could I-all this time? I had just completed a  Reuters conducted training at ACME on Financial and Economic reporting and I swear he would have gone back to review all my print and television stories. But I will tell you something ;when you love something you self train even without noticing.
There is someone Iam badgering to get more serious about comedy,if that is possible. He hesitates and I insist, throwing  not so subtle reminders every time I find something comically serious. He promises yet again to follow up his talent soon in a big way. He says he has a killer scrip written up,just wait and see. Chris Rock will have real competition soon.
When I had a discussion about my seemingly  second entrepreneurial suicide I told my colleague I have a better eye now and I don’t do things blindly anymore. I make some money out of my hobbies or I get some leverage off them for my other ventures. I pick out something.
You should too, if you have some lingering skill or talent that can easily grow.
Push it as far as it can go,see what happens. Don’t spend all you have on an idea before determining viability. But hobbies being what they are you will certainly make sacrifices. But the only regrets you will have are to never have chased your dream not how it swings when you do. So pick a hobby,any really,after all we are all heavenly gifted. Put your talent to use.
Why do I tell you this? Because school education is overrated.You can perfect something you have no school education about. And it is good feeling to earn an income from more than one source.

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