Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lent, King Nebuchadnezzar and Patriotism

If the rumours of a patriotic bill are true in Uganda, it reminds me of King Nebuchadnezzar who forced all his subjects to worhip a statue made of gold. Those who refused because they only worshipped God, were sent to burnin a furnace.

Daniel 3

New International Version (NIV)

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace

3 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers[b] came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

From Biblegateway

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lent: learning from Donald Trump and DvN

Lent: Learning from Donald Trump and DvN.

DvN sent an audio link from Donald Trump. Today I listened to it. Today, we are a few days into Lent and this is one of the piths of learning. Listening to Donald Trump.

Stay focused. Keep your momentum going. Have the energy to get the job done. Be thorough. If you lose focus, you lose momentum. This Lent, my prayer is for the BNPA team to never lose focus, always have momentum and for the right leadership for the Babishai Women’s Leadership Academy.

We always have problems but it is important to look at the solution and not the problem. Use what you have and don’t dwell on what you don’t have. Winners keep on going. NEVER GIVE UP. See yourself as victorious. It will zap all the negativity. See your problems as challenges. Use frustration to go where you want to go, instead of staying where you are.

See an opportunity for what it is. An opportunity. Learn something new everyday and be open to new ideas. Be thorough and learn everything about what you’re doing. Continue to be passionate and love what you’re doing. If success is what you want, be successful and you will be happy, healthy and strong.

For BNPA, what began as a small dream shared amongst a handful of friends, I can only thank God this Lent for enabling m to continue growing strong, choosing the right team and seeing the award grow to Africa. We haven’t stopped growing. Mwebare.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent: Lupita Senorita

Lent: Lupita Senorita

Lupita says that her mother is always telling her that she is beautiful despite growing up with a sense of inferiority over her dark complexion. Her mother. Drove her to confidence. Drove her to an inherent pride because of her dark skin rather than inspite of it. Her mother. Her joy. I wonder what that’s like. To have a mother who, despite weight gain after two babies, tells her daughter she’s extremely beautiful. Friends and acquaintances tell me I’ m beautiful all the time with an exceptional body. It would mean a lot if my mother did too.

Lupita. It’s important that we celebrate her during Lent so that we can thank God for the gifts He gives us and the dominance over our enemies. There are those, who in our careers, plant time bombs, expecting them to go off at the crest of our careers but no, instead the bombs blow off in their faces and we continue to Lupitanise over their insecurities. You will recognize the time bomb when the talking suddenly stops when you enter a room of your friends. They start talking loudly over each other about the apparent drought and dog’s poo. Your friends who you tirelessly wove from muck to meaning, from apathy to affluence.

You will recognize them when they steal your C.V, plant their name over it and get the award meant for you. You don’t gloat because it’s Lent and because it wastes time. You hope that they see that there is room for everyone at the top and they can stop scrambling. They detest you more with every increasing accolade. You pray for them because it’s lent. When Lent is over, you hope that they will stop scrimmaging in the graveyard of the dead sheroes and heroes, stealing their jewellery, hoping in vain that facebook journalists will notice their external loveliness, that no one will perceive that the jewellery they wear is stolen. You think about the relatives of the dead, who buried their loved ones in one last comfort. You want to give these desperate friends of yours some of your own adornments. They prefer the grave to life. They need counseling from Lupita


Lent: One good girl and three bad men

Lent: One good girl and three bad men.

They came and poured themselves into my every space that flowed with goodness. One of them saw my inter-connectedness with writers, publishers and academics and swooped in. When he was done with sucking my blood, the rest hovered above like vultures.

The next, on seeing me wounded, used the opportunity to soothe my pain with health products, after which he said that they will cost 20,000 Kenya Shs but if I registered under his name, I could make that in three weeks. I sold many health products in his name and the money was wired to his account. You can guess what he wires to my account, good experience, opportunity of a life-time and a free T-shirt. That’s the T-shirt I wear to dance zumba in my living room. I can’t afford the gym or health products anymore ever since all the money was wired to his account.

The third runs one of the most publicized business shows in East Africa. He asked me to edit his book. We discussed at length what it would take. After two months, I am still waiting for the cheque. I should have fled from this gang-bang when this person told me he wanted to bring Shakira and Beyoncé to perform at a large football stadium. His up market over polished over-sized pointed brown shoes against his purple socks and black tuxedo that Tuesday evening should have been the warning sign. He is wearing shoes too big for him.

The fourth in this hideous gang-bang wanted to see what it would be like with his sister. The one whose organization I have been giving free publicity. My friend told me that I should stop giving people and organizations publicity. Anyway, she came to ex-communicate me, stating that the publicity had given them all the funding they needed. Lent.

I am still doing zumba in my living room.

Lent brings discernment. It opens spirituality and draws us closer to the truth.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm letting the Lent in because I'm a reckless lover

I’m letting the Lent in because I’m a reckless lover. I tattooed your name at the bottom of my sole so that I would always walk in your direction. I have a banjo on my knee, a harp in between my toes and a harmonica playing through my ears. You turned me into a musician. I need to let the Lent in so that I can sing to you my last song.

This heavy footed love that thunders through life leaving tellable prints everywhere it goes. You called a meeting and invited all your board members from around the world to discuss how my thoughtless love tore you apart. The 40 days ahead of us will teach me how to unlove you and you will be left with those that don’t care. I apologise for my heart that knows no bounds.

It can’t be by coincidence that this weekend on Women’s Day, my name will once again appear in print. They will write that I have played a huge role in writing in Uganda and elsewhere. You and I know it’s really because my hasty heart has honed hundreds into heroes and sheroes. No more. It excludes me. Loving you excludes me. It discolours my contact lenses so that the colour of your hair is haloed and hallowed. Not this time. I’m letting the Lent in.

I was never a whiner, only a shiner. I was never a victim, only victorious and glorious. Manifestations of this will ripple to you. I promised I would teach you to bungee jump. It’s perilous and requires trust and blind faith. It’s not the bungee jump I’m talking about now.


Round Two goes to my gut

You will know when it’s time to let go. As a woman, we are blest with our deepest gut. It is hardly ever wrong. For me, mine is always right. In December, I met with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years after the office he set up in Kampala folded. He noticed me first, expressed excitement and we shared great ideas. Phone calls followed and he promised to donate a whole lot of money to BN Poetry Award and then some.

We scheduled skype interviews and even though my gut warned me not to pursue this surprise donor after he continuously failed to honour calls, I never let go of my hope and faith. My weakness is that I have faith and hope in people. Then his close friends began dying. After he lost a third friend on the same day, I knew that my gut had been right all along. He took all the business ideas I shared by email and phone and if you ever hear of these ideas. I am sure they are now part of his annual work plan and his profits will rise. I should always listen to my gut. It’s God’s way of letting me know that it’s time to let go.

I hold onto friendships that I know died about twenty emails ago. I hold on because I believe in love eternal, friendship eternal and I have hope and faith in people. People are good. My gut told me that this friendship had ended but I stared my gut in the face and told it within no uncertain terms that its 37 years of experience was no match for my one month of unheeded infatuation and hopelessness. The friendship was over. The other person knew it. Not I.

Here I am. My gut speaks loudly, fondly, wisely. I am standing on the precipice of my dreams. My gut tells me to fly because the wings will grow as I fall. I am flying. My wings are growing. I am learning to soar, to be me.