A young concealed affection

In my primary five, I was in a boarding school that used to serve us white porridge in blue bowls and our lunch in the same bowls. They were large and would wholly cover our young faces as we drank black tea and ate porridge out of them. They also smelled funny all the time, so I hated porridge. But, I liked a boy. I first noticed him in primary four, I hoped we’d be friends then but we became friends the next year. He had smiling eyes and a bright smile, the kind that would make you think you are goofiest person in the world. He always had his shirt and khaki shorts well ironed and he was liked by most of the matrons of the boys’ dormitories and the female teachers. He also had the coolest digital watch the 9 year old me had ever seen. One day, he came to my desk randomly and said hi, that’s how we started saying hi and waving to each other. Then he changed his seat and sat right behind me in class and I’d find myself turning around to borrow a pencil or smile or poke him when he dosed off and he would poke me back and whisper something in my ear sometimes or just because I was dosing during the lesson.

Credit: www.wiseoldsayings.com

This new friendship was like a breath of fresh air, I’d wake up early morning, take a bath in the stone cold water I fetched from the previous night, dress up in my grey pinafore and white shirt uniform all looking forward going to class to study and meet him. On some days we’d talk about the teachers we did not like, the sweets and buns we liked from the canteen and how the blue and green quenchers were sweeter than the basic red strawberry and yellow pineapple flavours. Sometimes it was about what we had watched on television during the holidays or what our dormitories looked like, our favourite food and my hate for posho. He became friends with my best friend at the time, a very smiley girl with shiny curly hair, the kind that most Somali people have. We’d all talk about random stuff, this one time it was the porridge, they had recently improved it with adding some milk, my best friend and the boy I liked both liked it, I still did not, the other time it was about the Nile perch (empuuta) fish newly added to our lunch menu. It made the blue dishes smell worse than before. It felt great to have the boy I liked get along with my best friend. I was a happy child.

The bowls were plastic and looked something like this (photo credit: indiamart website)

My best friend had another friend called M. M also liked the boy I liked, sometimes she’d join in our conversations during break and lunch time, she’d share some of her snacks with us and put her hand around the boy I liked’s shoulder. I noticed and started to get jealous. One evening I came back to class because I’d finished bathing earlier than everyone else and I found the boy I like in class. We sat down and talked about our parents, he told me his father was from a certain country in Europe and his mother was with him here in Uganda, he wished he would see his father more. I told him my parents were both in Uganda and I stayed with both of them but sometimes I wished we would all travel to Europe. He also told me his father was not happy with his grades, I told him my parents seemed okay with mine because they never said anything. After that somewhat sad conversation, he left the class and went back to his dormitory and I went to my desk. I found a crumpled paper in the locker of my desk. On it, someone had written that they hated me, I was ugly, the boy I liked did not like me back and I was trying too hard to make him like me. I started to cry and showed the paper to my best friend during supper time. About a week later my best friend told me M had written the note, I confronted M and she denied it. She went and told the boy I liked that I was accusing her falsely. So she started to hang out with the boy I like alone. A week later, she told someone that she is the one who had written the note, that person told my best friend who in turn told me. So I cried some more and this time I went and told the boy I liked what had happened, he comforted me and told me sorry, everything was going to be okay. He told M he did not want to be friends with her anymore. We all stopped talking to M and the boy I liked and I became closer friends for the rest of the term.

During our end of year examination period, the boy I liked and I sat on the same desk and shared answers during the exam, I tilted my paper in such a way that he would see and then I’d look over his paper so that I know which page I needed to turn to next. No teacher noticed we were cheating the exam. During and after our mid morning break, as we were waiting for another examination paper, the class started to make a lot of noise, the teacher on duty came at the door and asked us to put our heads on the desk and sleep as we wait for lunch otherwise he’d ask us to bend over our desks and cane us. While we were putting our heads on the desk, I started to wonder what if I instead put my head on the boy I liked’s laps, what would that be like. Curiosity got the best of me and I tried to fix my big head in the nook under his elbow so as to get it to rest on his laps. My head did not fit and the class that had been watching us because they knew about the drama between M, the boy I liked and I made noise, the kind you make when the drama in the series intensifies, the boy I liked and I both froze then I put my head back on the desk. At the beginning of our lunch time, the boy I liked left the desk and went to sit at another desk with another boy. At the end of the day, a new boy K in the school who had joined the class that term started spreading rumours about the boy I liked and I. He said the boy I liked and I were boyfriend and girlfriend and that he had seen us kiss before. When I heard the rumours, I stopped talking to the boy I like for the rest of the term. I cried some more but I could not talk to the boy I liked, I was scared of what else people would say. We finished our papers, waited for our results and went for the end of year holidays.

The next year, we were all reshuffled much like the ministers are by the president, the boy I liked, I, my best friend and M were placed in different classes. The boy I liked and I never spoke to each other again. We hardly saw each other on the compound, even when we did, none of us looked at the other to say hi. I left the school at end of that year. I still thought about him.

I saw so many people that looked like him in the street over the years, but they were never him. One day during my secondary school holidays, my sister and I were walking out of Garden city mall and there he was at the second floor entrance of the mall dressed like a basketball player about to hit the court, he still wore a digital watch on his wrist, better one. His cheeks had lost the chubbies young children have, but it did not take away from his features, if anything it accentuated them, his face was now lean, his nose was still a little pointed, his cheekbones were slightly visible, his forehead was still big and evened out by his tall frame. His composure as he talked still made him seem like the cool kid around just like in school. He was talking with his mother about whether they should go somewhere else or first check the mall. As I watched him, I rush of nostalgia and awkwardness hit me. He hadn’t seen me yet, which gave me enough time to recover and hide the too wide smile on my face. His mother saw me first and smiled, I smiled back, he followed his mother’s yes until our eyes met. While I had my recovery time to act unbothered, I saw all his reactions, first disbelief, then a head shake that seemed like a no, it can’t be you then finally acceptance and that smile came through first the eyes then the mouth as he said my name, I nodded then we hugged. From secondary school, I’d learnt to act normal even when too many emotions were hitting me all at once, I tried to put my lessons to work as we chatted about the old times and where our mutual friends were, who we were in touch with. I knew I’d failed when found myself grinning too wide the entire time as he talked and his mom looked on, I think she is the only one who really knew I had a thing for her son. He asked for my phone number but I did not have a phone at the time so I told him so, he wanted to say something else but I felt like it was my cue to say bye, which I did. Until another time.

Happy Valentine’s day y’all.

Credit: http://www.wiseoldsayings.com

Anitastoriesblog 2020

A musical journey up close – Kia

As we talked, I kept thinking of her present and future. The people who get to work with her or listen in will experience an emotional rollercoaster because of who she is. Her laughter is melodic, so you can easily tell she has a singing voice. The kind of voice that’d make you enjoy a bubble bath just a little bit more or start to imagine the place she is telling you about in the song. Behind this melodious voice is Kia Sharon Peace, a girl with a big dream who has fought a lot of expectations to be where she is. She is a dark chocolate brown-skinned girl, when she smiles her teeth showcase an even brighter white.

Kia Sharon Peace (L-R) performing at music school, at a wedding

Kia Sharon Peace was born and raised in Kampala but her parents have roots in Lira, Northern Uganda. Kia as a name in Lango (the language spoken by the Langi) has no meaning but as a word it literally means, “look out for me”. A google search also showed more meanings for this name, in Greek it means a Christian woman from the name Kristina and in Hawaii Kia means a pillar. In retrospect, Kia is all these things. She is the first female to study classical music composition in Uganda, she dreams to write film scores for renowned movies and to inspire other young women that they can do it too. She has a passion for music, a deep love for creating, one that started budding in her teens. Her parents, like many African parents, insisted she study something with higher stakes and a safety net in form of a job. They thoroughly convinced her to do her A level certificate, study a B.Arts in Social Science majoring in Political Science at Makerere University and apply for a government job. She did the first two and decided to craft her path on the third.

Interesting facts:

1. Kia can speak baby-voice, it’s funny to hear her speak as a child. She used it in an ad for Picfare one time.

2. Kia and I were both at Marystuart Hall in different year groups while at Makerere University.

3. We both served for the Speaker office during our residence in the hall, her as deputy speaker, me as the speaker.

4. Her first Degree program is the same as my sister’s.

5. Kia and I share one similar dating story (maybe one day we will tell you all about it).

After University, she met Joe Kahirimbanyi, member of Ugandan Afrofusion band Qwela. She played him a song she had written, a love song. She didn’t have a love interest at the time, she was only expressing herself. He hired her to sing with a band called Zawuka and she wrote collaborated with him to write Okello, this song would make it to the final cut of the Qwela band Afrotopia album. In Zawuka band, Kia sung with two friends Irene and Idris.

Kia, Idris and Irene (R-L) during their days in the Zawuka band

If Kia had it her way, it would have been music all the way, but she succumbed to some pressure and took on a copywriting job to fit the mould of a stable 8-5 job. She walked into an ad agency, showed them some of her poems and writings and they hired her to write adverts and jingles for companies including Uganda’s household brands: Rwenzori, Picfare, Uganda Telecom Limited, Nile Special. So she was now a copywriter by day and a singer by night.

As part of Zawuka band they’d sing at hangouts, Film Festivals, weddings while doing compositions late in the night. She sung in Luganda, English and Langi, keeping the torch burning for her dream, to create music.

Kia Sharon singing Sunshine with Kalunda Yosia (Youtube)

Five years later this wasn’t enough, Kia wanted to have a deeper knowledge of music, she quit her copywriting job, left the gig life as well and enrolled for a Diploma in Piano performance, completed it and further enrolled for a Degree Program (B. Arts Music majoring in classical composition) at Africa Institute of Music (AIM) on scholarship, which she will complete soon. All for her dream to create original content for film scores (the background music in a film) and become a professor in Music.

She has sung in church, at events (twice at the Bayimba Festival), concerts prepared by friends and school, tutored music students. She can play the piano, Cello and Adungu and has taught our church choir how to sing the Hallelujah chorus and coached them how to how to hold notes as they sing.

Her Degree includes an exchange program in Baekseok University, Korea for the next 10 months (2 semesters) in orchestration (Harmony, Voice and Piano) that starts this February 23rd 2020. She needs $6000 to cater for her upkeep, dormitory fees, books, insurance and travel ticket during the next months.

Please financially support her for her final lap as she reaches her dream, by depositing a contribution via her Go Fund me page

You may also check out some of her work on;

Youtube: Kia Sharon

Soundcloud: Kia Sharon Peace

Kia’s musical journey is a confirmation that dreams are worth fighting for when you believe regardless of the status quo. A girl beyond her time. She has done all the things we only see in movies, now she will write soundtracks for those movies. As I wrote this story, I realised we need more stories like this to confirm that the path to great things isn’t one, outlying stories like this also have amazing endings and are extremely rewarding. It’s the only way we can encourage our siblings, friends and children that they too can pursue their dreams.

Anitastoriesblog 2020

Early morning confessions before I go to church about me, my blog and Uganda

Have you watched the Morning Show web series? Am only three episodes in and here’s what I have gathered, its about an American television show called the good morning show, it’s host Alexa Levy (Jennifer Aniston) is trying to change the narrative and take back control. In the wake of the #metoo movement her former talk show host partner Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) is accused of sexual misconduct/harassment in the work place and Alexa Levy realising that she is being played by the Network she works for, chooses to announce a new partner Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) as the new replacement of Mitch at an award show in front of the press without approval of her bosses. So I started to think about power, not the electricity kind of power but that thing that makes you take charge of your life and speak up. That thing that keeps you up at night writing candidly and gives you courage to set boundaries so people do not take advantage of you. Though I wonder, is power also power posing? If someone can pose powerfully as they talk, are they powerful? Anyway enough of the intro let’s get into the thoughts.

Dear reader, I stopped sharing articles filled with intense emotion about 6 months ago. Because I healed from some emotional issues and also I had this deep seated fear you were judging me and felt the need to protect myself. There is no fear or pain as I wrote today’s post, just some revelation.

Do you know the slogan “men are trash” and what it’s about? I first heard it from a friend in the wake of violence against women in Southern Africa. Women kept adding #menaretrash to real-life stories shared on social media; where men were perpetrators or enablers of gender based violence. Some stories were very gruesome; women being kidnapped, raped and burnt and others were too familiar to traditional African settings, men in homes beating up women who were wives, strangers, girlfriends while people were watching. Also, now am reminded of Trevor Noah’s depiction of the complex relationship between his step father as an abuser and his mother as a victim in his book, in the end, his step father shoots her in the head, she survives and forgives him but leaves him. So I stopped defending men when I hear that slogan, because now I know every time I hear “men are trash” it’s not a time to defend the few good men in my life but to reflect on the ways many men in our “patriarchal orchestrated” societies are enabled to just keep the foot down literally and figuratively on women through the use of systems, money and power.

In mainstream media in Uganda, most of the news you read will be sad. I wonder if there is an app I can find to measure actual extents of sadness (I will check the internet just to see). In my opinion, on every other page, from told stories, reported speeches and events and commentators’ columns, you will find something about missing persons, expired drugs, a collapsed pyramid scheme, dilapidated hospitals and clinics, people dying because of the dilapidated hospitals and missing drugs killings of men & more women late in the night, armed robberies, police brutality, corruption and glossed over consultations by politicians who will not allow to be called bigots to their faces because its termed as harassment.

So I read newspapers about five times a year. And this I have done for about six years now. Because I am not challenged by the news or talk shows in the mainstream media to think more critically about the state of affairs around me. They just overwhelm me emotionally. I find my news and perspectives on blogs, research websites, e-news websites and social media platforms like twitter and YouTube. Also thinking about it, mainstream media in Uganda never asked the “why” question for any of the things it reports and has been fundamental in some of the regressive social constructs around us and portrayal of absolute power by people in power.

The least viewed posts on my blog are the ones discussing or commenting on politics in Uganda. When I started this blog, I knew political commentary was going to be a full blown topic because it makes my blood boil, followed by social issues discussions and my personal favourite stories (both real and fiction – the more controversial, the more interesting, though am still learning to share those with you reader). Also when I started this blog, my biggest interest was engagement of the Ugandan audience both here and in the diaspora about political and social issues. But because the posts never did so well, I sort of convinced myself I can focus on other more interesting topics.

On that note, am grateful for all other Ugandans propelling and having honest conversations in the digital space about politics, leadership and social consciousness in the country, it’s always good to listen in and read. Also, I blocked old acquaintances in my life who learnt the art of manipulation when discussing political issues. It’s one of the best decisions I ever did for myself.

Dear reader who isn’t a Ugandan or living in Uganda but reads my blogs, am grateful for you as well, because of your interest in reading my stories, thoughts and commentary.

Religion is a big part of the Ugandan living in Uganda; Christianity, Islam and African Tradition. Spiritual leaders are some of the greatest influences Ugandans hold dear to heart and they are also sought after by politicians because of their influence, some of them play into this influence with manipulation of the people they lead.

Sometimes I think individual awareness of our actions and their effects on the people around us is like that part of the Johari window that depicts what we don’t know about ourselves but others know about us.

The Johari window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. Source Wikipedia

Some social constructs in Uganda are moralistic and classist all in one. Which I find complex to explain, for example, a rich person will steal money or be accused of a gruesome act and people will express disappointment at the reported news, then let the rain wash it all away two days later, a thief near mini price (a street in Kampala) will try to steal a motorcycle from someone and people will chase him/her like there is no tomorrow and possibly try to burn him.

On that note, I think many times there is an attitude that older people, richer people, more powerful people (in terms of office hierarchy) are wiser and therefore have all the answers. Due to this, these people are perceived as incapable of doing wrong. If and when someone questions or calls out an unexplainable action, statement or a contradiction they are enforcing, it is termed as disrespect. I find it preposterous.

I spent half of my last week writing about my essentials for hot weather then I realised that post wasn’t working out for me. But for anyone who cares to know, my essentials this January and February (part of our hot weather months) are Vaseline/lip balm to prevent chapped lips, hair shampoo, water spiked with juice or lemons, hair ties, sun glasses and deodorant. I am skeptical about sunscreen because I used it for three months during a period I was spending way too much time under the sun but I still got sunburn.

My essentials for hot days in the month of Jan, Feb and July. (In no particular order, vaseline, lip balm, sunglasses, deodorant, hair ties, shampoo and hair oil.)

Lastly I believe we need more commentaries, engagement and candid conversation in this country because too many people are working hard to prevent expression, information sharing, education, actual news and what would be honest political consultations. Adios.

Anitastories 2020

Ps: there is such a thing as overcorrection. The dictionary defines it as to correct beyond what is needed. I don’t think Uganda as a country should worry about it because we are still on the other side of the spectrum, so we first need to hang in balance with freedom of expression, respect and dignity for each other, a sense of correctness of what is right or wrong, awareness of who is a victim and who is a perpetrator, hold each other accountable for our actions, foster creativity and productivity in our workplaces, then we can worry that we have a problem of overcorrection. (All this is in context really but The good morning show series had me thinking about the word more).

Another Ps: I feel better now. Have a great Sunday.

Love is

Love is” is a track off an album called The Anniversary Project, by married couple Ntokozo Mbambo and Nqubeko Mbatha. They created the album in celebration of their 10th year anniversary and on this track featured their pastor Xoli Nzo. I find the entire album special, but I wanted to share this particular song with you. To me, this song speaks understanding & affection as someone who has in the past rejected love because I never understood what it really meant. Every time I listen to it I am encouraged to keep opening up my heart to accept love and I will learn to give it. Hope these words envelope your heart and bring warmth and comfort.

Ntokozo Mbambo & Nqubeko Mbatha’s Album Art Cover for the The Anniversary Project

Love is by Ntokozo Mbambo & Nkubeko Mbatha feat. Pastor Xola Nzo. (Lyrics)

Love is beautiful

Love is a gift of God

You are a gift of God to me

I love you

I don’t love you because you have done anything right

I love you because God has loved me first

When somebody truly loves you

They look straight into your eye and see God in you

And see the opportunities

And believe in your dreams and support you

They come into your life not seeking for perfection

But seeking for an opportunity to see perfect love

Loving you, embracing you

And giving you a bright future

Love is patient

Love is kind

Kindness is a trademark of love

When somebody is kind to you, they show tenderness to you

They do not treat you harshly

They show patience and they show love

Many times people have told us that love is tenderness

But truly, the true expression of tenderness is God Himself

In a rough world, He showed love

When everybody was harsh towards Jesus, He showed love

When I love you, in the harshness of life

I choose not to answer back in even ways, I love you

Love communicates

Love expresses its intentionality

That I love you and I will be here for the rest of my life

And I will never walk away from you, if things may not go based on our promises

But I will forever love you, I will forever care for you

Love uplifts

Love defends

It doesn’t expose

Love covers a multitude of sins

Because I love you all your mistakes I am going to pray about to make sure

You turn around to become a success

You never fail in love for scripture says love never fails

Many times people have gone out and loved with hurts and pains

But love says, I will take the pain away

I will be here to comfort you

Love comforts

Love supports at the highest level

The feet of love is truth

The colour of love is presence

And the flight of love is support

I love you and I will always be there for you

God bless you

Anitastories 2020

PS: I have only been able to access the album on itunes so far, if anyone has been able to access it elsewhere do share in the comments.

The Rape Update brought to you by…..

Hello people, I wanted to share with you a script early this morning as we weighed in on the current rape affairs in Uganda. We is a dream team of sorts. That’s all the information I can give for now. In the meantime I am still learning about women’s rights, gender based violence and rape in my country because cases are unique, social constructs in Uganda are not as black and white as they seem. Thank you to all the bloggers who shared rants, information & education, you contributed to this post in many ways.

Here below is the script for The Rape Update (Photo is Anita by Anita with a few filters here and there)

Anita: A special good morning to you, I am Kambabazi Anita from Uganda bringing you today’s Rape Update. Please grab your cup of tea, phone or whatever you reach for early in the morning as I bring you the latest on this Like-weather update.

Anita: Early this January someone posted a rape tweet on Denzel Mwiyeretsi, a radio presenter on Xfm in Kampala. A rape tweet is tweet in which one is accused of rape. She tweeted, with screenshots that her friend had been raped by him. This in turn caused a number of other rape tweets also referring to the same individual raping other women including forcing a 15 year old to grope him. He is not the only one accused, more rape tweets have come up on a number of people, radio presenter Big Kahuna, Christian rap artist Ruyonga, a guild president candidate Tevin, club owner Desh Kananura among others. This digital explosion has had a number of women sharing somewhat similar stories about men in homes, clubs among other places forcing women to have sex with them. This digital explosion also had us search the archives for similar occurrences in the past, The Weekly Observer (February 7 2010) reported how the late Majid Musisi (RIP), a celebrated Ugandan Football striker in 1994 was accused of defiling an underage girl and Joel Atuhiire a swimmer who participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics was also accused of raping a 17 year old while in Sydney. Charges for both sportsmen were later dropped. The current digital explosion has stories going as far as 2014. Let’s hear from our twitter feed reporter Amshuuku Agnes.

Agnes: Thank you Anita, the twitter feed has proven that a lot does happen behind closed doors for people unexpected. Also a number of people mostly men have reacted with blame to the raped women. Many saying that these young women had it coming, since some of them were reported to have suffered this gruesome abuse in questionable places like the homes of the perpetrators or during questionable hours like late in the night past 10 pm. Also the chain reaction by some men is, laugh emojis and requirement of proof by the victims. They have been termed as rapist apologists by other tweeps. This is not the first time such conversations have been sparked, twitter has been a digital space in Uganda for conversations such as these in the recent past, renowned men have been ousted for living double lives, rapists and/or wife beaters on one end of their lifeline and prominent business men, political office leaders, social activists, media personalities and white collar employees and employers on the other one. Back to you Anita

Anita: Thank you Agnes, right here in studio is Rape behaviour specialist Kyikwata Ku Bulyomu Faridah. Hey Faridah, welcome here. What is the average reaction by a rape victim?

Faridah: Thank you Anita for having me. I can certainly say there isn’t an average reaction, different people process the attack differently. Some will pretend to consent to prevent more violence from an attacker, others freeze, become immobile sometimes to the point of distancing themselves from any sort of feeling in the moment or after the incident. So you may hear someone say, “I could see myself from outside my body as he tried to force himself on me”. Others pretend like nothing completely happened and have an emotional shutdown. Uganda is a special case but not a unique one because there is an expectation by many, out of ignorance and regressive social constructs that one shouldn’t enable a rapist with how they dress, taking alcohol or having a late night out at a bar or in someone’s home. These expectations are inconsequential because a rapist does not care for these things, they will want to show dominance and force you to do things you do not want to do. It’s some sort of psycho-entitlement of “wanting to have their way anyway with someone else’s body”. They do not care for the victim. Usually all victims blame themselves, feel guilt, frustration and shame, shouldering the blame of the perpetrator.

Anita: Thank you Faridah, also with us is Police and other agencies watcher Orweny Michaelson. Orweny, how would you describe the usual feedback from the police and work environments after such incidents?

Orweny: In this particular incident, I noticed some people on twitter, ask for proof from the victim or demand that the victim uses the right “channels” for her “issue”. My assumption is the “right” channels is the police, some committees set-up at the victims’ workplaces or an NGO championing gender based violence. The investigator or handler of the case will come up and say they have noted the case and will investigate, a few months down the road, they will say no sufficient evidence was found and that will be it. Many times rape victims have no choice but to show up in the areas where they were abused, especially if these are places of work or homes they live in. Facing the rapists go on with their life or even torment them some more. Many times, this and stigma from other people who blame them forces them to wither keep quiet or close the case. Mainstream newspapers, politicians vying for offices at presidential and district level will usually lay low during such times. Politicians, who are our legislators, have been quoted in the news championing women repression talk. Which means a signal for conversations to be pivoted to accountable policy formulations, by-laws, acts on rape or gender based violence and how they can be implemented will most likely be missed.

Anita: Thank you Orweny. I would like to bring Agnes back into this conversation. What has been the reaction by police and political leaders on twitter or any other digital space on the internet?

Agnes: The conversation seems to be concentrated in particular circles, civic rights organisations, activists of social and women’s rights and a great number of women and men of Uganda. From the look of things, Uganda Police, National newspapers New Vision and Daily Monitor are unaware or unwilling to cover or comment on the issue. Details of the people involved have mainly been covered by online news platforms like The watchdog and Softpower news. Also part of our team recovered two quotes from D+C Development and Cooperation, a website that discusses international-development affairs and explores how they relate to other fields of policy-making, such as security, peace, trade, business and environmental protection. The Dutch website quoted youth MP Hon. Ronald Kibuule and another MP Hon. Onesmus Twinamasiko blame women (name is misspelt in screenshot). Below is the screenshot of the quotes.

Anita: Thanks Agnes. As we come to the end of this update. I would like you all to complete the following statement, “Married women also suffer marital rape……”

Faridah: …….“and many suffer in silence.”

Orweny: …….”they are never acknowledged as victims either, just like the women we have discussed today.

Anita: Thank you all. This Rape Update was brought to you in partnership with Invisible sellotape. Goodbye

Anitastoriesblog 2020

Small things of Christmas and the end of the year 2019

I am currently trying to write my way into the new year, the plans are few, the desires are many. I will focus on enjoying my baby steps through life to the things I want and hope for.

This particular post was inspired by another from an amazing writer, the link is below this post, and thank you to the person who recommended this writer. On days like this, it pays to read, because I learn new things, discover people, perspectives and opinions without really intending to.

As the year comes to an end, I realise this was the first Christmas I was both physically and emotionally present to feel it all. Usually am physically present but too worked up by the things that are not working out, because I always thought my future life is supposed to be better than my present, now I know my present life is my best shot at having a great life, so am making major changes to enjoy it, here are my Christmas aftermath thoughts.

Music makes everything more beautiful, so play more of it during Christmas.

Some things you expect to come later will come earlier than planned, enjoy them – the picnic at home actually happened on Christmas but your family is camera shy so no photos there.

You can eat way too much food but you will still feel hungry the next day. The menu was large, breakfast to supper. But you still woke up the next day and rummaged the pots for left overs because you were hungry.

The excitement that went around as we worked together to get this prepared and just before we served, made it all worth it.

On that note, there is joy in going to the loo, you get to relieve yourself. So keep enjoying that joy especially every Christmas.

Rain can deter travel plans or wet already dry clothes if they are still on the hang line but it also makes time in bed warmer if you are under a blanket.

Share with your loved ones in your festivities. Time, money, gifts. But don’t forget to be financially alert for January.

You wanted to find out the origin of Christmas from old times and its association with religion. But it paid more to forget your questions & enjoy the holiday.

Flow in life, especially when things don’t go your way. You don’t have to always be in charge. Just focus on having fun.

Relationships are places of companionship and giving. So keep growing to be a whole partner who gives with no expectation in return. Also don’t forget to always find time for yourself. You did well in this regard, this year, this Christmas.

You and your sisters watched Crawl, all of you spent over 20 minutes in the movie screaming and one of you started jumping all over the sofa as the alligators attacked and ate people. Why do you always choose to watch horror movies during Christmas? 🤣

You had encounters of unexpected help from the most unlikely people this December, right up to Christmas Day.

God is consistently good and he doesn’t play favourite. So be confident in your faith and humble when dealing with other people. He made you, he also made them.

Watch the Modern Love series again next Christmas, if you still like it, take it as part of your Christmas traditions.

Happy New year.

Anitastories 2019

Inspiration to this post, Bikozulu’s article, A letter to my 20 year old self

My 2019 Christmas week guide

When I look back on my life, I want to be glad that I did the things I desired to do. So as I wrote down my list, that’s what was at the back of my mind. It’s all pretty simple and achievable, but I will confirm that at the end of December. This guide starts on December 24 2019. All the days leading to Christmas I will just prepare and do some shopping and/or reservations that may need to be done.

As I was scouting out Shoprite, there are hampers, decorations, lots of people, it all made me a bit anxious. We usually make a list then shop in the late evening or early night.

The ideal plan is for us all to choose what we want to do and I will try to join in. If my people want to go out and play in the rain, am okay with it, If they want to cook intense things like steamed matooke or Luwombo, I will stick around to tell stories as they cook. As someone who thrives a lot on people doing things the way I agree with, I am happy that am becoming more open with not being totally in control of the situations around me.

Go gift shopping, it’s not a tradition in my family, it’s just been a few spills here and there over the years, I like this part a lot because it’s a chance to check how much I have been listening through the year.

Try out a new recipe. Or give it to my sister to try out and I help out. Last year it was my sister sharing her skills in making Shepherds pie. This year, I don’t know yet what we will experience but am interested in trying out. Lasagna is scoring highly in my mind.

Practice patience. So we are all not yet on the having fun wagon. Sometimes the only motivation to do things by some of my family people is to please the other person or make them feel better. That can be a mood killer at times because actual fun plans can get shut down when they do not favour everyone. To be patient in those moments and still open to the options of activities left.

At our last fellowship of the year, 1 Corinthians 13 was our read. I intend to reflect more on it as I express love to my family

Have intentional conversation about life in general and childhood. I am a sucker for this any day but my motivation to have this is because I care that our relationships as a family evolve as we grow. That we can be aware, open and accepting of each other as we change. What better way than conversation.

Drink wine. This year has been physically chill with great life lessons am grateful for but emotionally gruelling as I learn them. So I will drink in celebration as we do all our activities.

Set up a picnic in our compound on the Sunday after Christmas, I have only set up one all my life and yet am fascinated by sitting outdoors and eating and talking, so I will try that we see how it goes.

Me: in our compound, (photo credit: my brother.)

Prepare a playlist for a dance off mashed with karaoke. This is for laughter. Hope people are open to sharing their dance moves. Growing up we used to prepare playlists for Christmas, somewhere along the way we stopped, I want to resume the practice.

Some of the likely contenders for my contribution on the music playlist, my siblings will also add theirs.

Prepare our Christmas movies, we are still those people who go to the movie shop. So it’s time to stock up, my movie type is cheesy love stories but we will see what else comes up in our stash. Usually our go to genre is comedy, there will probably be one mushy Christmas movie chosen by me and action series to watch till late in the night.

Take long walks and go sight seeing both for exercise and to view nature. I need to pick out the places. I have two siblings who have this particular interest with me. I hope they tag along. Sometimes we talk as we walk, sometimes we each have our quiet time as we go. We have walked the most part of the neighbourhood, now we may migrate to a totally new location.

Yours truly

Anitastories 2019