Our Three Years of University life that hold endless Joyful memories. By Lukonge Achilees

I went back to my University on Tuesday 11th June 2019 few months ago after being invited to participate on the event of instalation of Vice Chancellor of MRU Prof. Vicent Kakembo and to talk to soon-to-be graduates and a wave of nostalgia slammed into my chest. Looking at the main entrance where, Five years ago, I stood for the first time, entranced by the possibilities it represented, I smiled a little. I thought of that 18-year-old walking through those doors for the first time, his backpack strapped securely in place with at least 10 highlighters inside, ready to take on his first University class and start the path to his life.

Walking through campus that day as a grown man, memories came flooding back. Good memories, hard memories, and memories we made together.

Even though I’m happy where I am in life, it made me a little sad to think those days are long gone and life has moved on.
It made me sad that all those moments slipped away so fast.
It made me sad that I didn’t even realize what I’d be missing.

Social workers infront of administration block.

It’s been Two years since we took that graduation day picture in front of the main administration block, two twenty-somethings ready to take on the world. We’d met during the formative years of our lives, three small-town boys who happened to sit near each other in our first university class, and other 20 colleages.

We grew inseparable over laughter and stories about girls, over classes that put us to sleep and classes that made us want to cry.

Three years. It seems like an eternity, yet at the same time it feels like these years have passed by in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t just the sheer amount of time we spent together—it was the fact that these were the most transitional, impactful, life-altering three years of our existence. In three years, we’ve seen each other at our very best and, inevitably, at our very worst.

From day one, we saw each other through every up and down on life’s greatest emotional roller coasters. From being heartbroken, to falling in love, to even falling in love with the ones who broke our hearts—we were there for each other with advice, hugs, moral support, tissue boxes and of course, plenty of laughs.

For three years, we laughed, cried, and trudged through the exhaustion that is university life.
At the time, all we could think about was getting out and moving on. We talked about dreams and how we couldn’t wait to start life. Those three years seemed like a stopping point or like a purgatory before we could get to the real parts of life, the good parts.

hen there was the anxiety of selecting a path for our futures. Sometimes we changed our minds, like myself i changed from Education to Social sciences, sometimes we second-guessed our decisions and sometimes we just sought reassurance for the path we were already on. No matter how impossible it all seemed, we were in it together.

Everyone told us college goes fast and we’d miss it, but we didn’t listen. We were in such a hurry to grow up and move on. We complained and moaned and whined about our exhaustion. We couldn’t wait to take the last exams, write the last papers, and say goodbye to those years.

Now those inside jokes we made and those moments we had are faded memories. We’ve grown up. We’ve traded our weekly frozen mocha runs for the doldrums of adult life. We traded meticulous study sessions of Mr. Luttamaguzi Johnbosco we’ve long forgotten for 40-hrs of work.

We still talk, and we still share our laughs. But the laughs are fewer and farther between because we’re busy now, busier than we ever thought was possible during our university years. We’re busy living life, and we don’t have time to laugh about funny Luswata Shafik’s Jokes, Mario Akatusasira wierd Statements, Erumbi Ritah’s Adult comic jockes with Uncle Ssembatya Deo, Mr. Luttamaguzi’s happiest Lectures, Mr. Lwanga’s Craze actions and talks, or go on crazy field trips like Nabugabo Sand Beach, Mbarara and on sad events like Funerals or make up ridiculous dances in Club Ambience.

Standing there on that day where we used to sit and talk about tomorrow, discuss about papers and coursework, I wish we’d have held those moments a little tighter, grasped the moments a little harder.
I wish we hadn’t let go so easily. I wish I’d known when we said goodbye on graduation day, we’d miss that time more than words could explain. I wish we’d have taken a little longer to soak it all in.

I wish we’d known the time we felt rebellious for talking to each other would be something we’d laugh about later. I wish we’d known that those moments of laughing until we cried on our crazy field trips would be things that would make us smile and miss who we used to be.

I wish we’d have known it would all go too fast, and those moments were good moments to cling to, even if they were in the midst of sleep deprivation and uncertainty.

ut we didn’t know. How could we have known?

They weren’t great years because of a lack of responsibility or because of an excess of freedom. T hey were the best years because they were the years of dreams, the years when life had so much potential and yet such simplicity, too. They were the years that we bonded over crazy hopes and uncertainties for the future. They were the years we decided who we wanted to be—and none of it felt out of reach. Reality hadn’t tainted our perfect views, and working hard made everything feel within reach. We felt like the world could be ours, and we were energized by that thought.

So on that day, standing on campus, I took a picture to remember. I took a picture in honor of all the memories we made so that I had something tangible to attach to those moments.

It took a picture to remember, but maybe I didn’t need to. We didn’t hold those moments tightly when they were happening because we didn’t know they would be important. We didn’t know they would shape us and move us into the adults we’ve become.

But now we know. Now we hold those moments tightly and appreciate a friendship, a segment of life, and the part of our journey that turned out to be more than just exhaustion and cramming for tests.

It turned out to be the foundation for who we would become and for the good moments we will laugh about for years to come.

I’ll miss each and every one of you for more reasons than I can count, but most of all, I’ll miss you because of the way we took care of each other. Looked out for each other. Loved each other, in spite of the stupid arguments or frustrations that occasionally threatened our relationship.

So, friends, I hope you know how much I love and adore you. I hope you know how much I respect each of you. I wish nothing but the best for you; you all deserve love, happiness, and friendship.
This isn’t goodbye, it’s just a “see you soon.” Nothing is ever permanent, our distance is only temporary. Friendships are like flowers, we must continue to water them so that they can grow. Our friendships have grown and blossomed, and they will continue to blossom as time goes on.

Thanks Marion Akatusasira, Kizito Abdu, Namatovu Safiina, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Namagembe Doroth, Katushabe Gloria, Natulinda Prudence, Kirabo Joan, Ssembatya Deo, Matovu Steven, Luswata Shafic, Nambalirwa Diana, Waliggo Keneth, Lukonge Achilles, Kasibante Gilbert, Nakafuuma Lilian, Erumbi Ritah, Birungi Sarah, Nakabira Soadu, Precious Chloe (Shamim) and Kwagala Betty for the memories.

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Our friends and Soulmate that defines the course of our life. Thanks Social workers for the memories. By Lukonge Achilees

Your twenties are a weird time, for a lot of reasons. You become an actual adult with real responsibilities (because college didn’t count). People your age start having babies. You start looking at the world with a new pair of eyes. Topics like the merits of using one communication company versus another become part of your everyday conversations. You think about dating everone. You think about 401k’s. You think about your own mortality. You talk about how Christiano Ronaldo is better than Messi. Sports become the talk of every day, Man u vs Arsenal, Chelsea vs Liverpool, on the side of girls, relationship conversation become daily routine, Marion is in love with Nicholus, Abdu loves Safinah, Shamim has four Boyfriends, Ritah in love with…) that is twenties..

But one of the weirdest parts about your twenties is the way that your friendships change.
It was so easy, before now. Yes, you worked hard to make sure your friends had good birthdays, and someone to talk to about their worries and fears, and someone they knew they could always count on. But still, there was less effort that went into it. Because your friendships in college were your LIFE. You saw them every day. In class. In your dorm room. At any Club around campus that you went to. On the walk to Ssaza. When you stopped in aresturant for a Lunch on your walk back. At the meetings for the organizations that you were involved in. At any party you went to. In the dining halls. In the kitchen you shared in your beloved 4-person apartment senior year. Your friends just showed up, like magical little surprises, everywhere you went. Sometimes took you in his or her room, like i used to go to Marion’s Room, Prudence/Gloria’s room, Kenneth’s room, Abdu’s room and Ben/Elipu’s room.

And it was such a natural part of your existence – the knowledge that you would simply see your friends with no planning required – that you didn’t even think about it.
But then you’re in your early mid-twenties and slowly, and then suddenly, no matter how many friends you have, you feel so, so alone.
Because the foundation of your life, no matter how happy or unhappy you are, is this: wake up, make a living, go home, sleep, wake up, do it all over again. And if you work hard enough, that existence is sprinkled with little happy hours, intramural sports leagues, book clubs, catch-up dinners and Ahh-I’m-so-tired-can-we-reschedule dinners, Memorial Day Weekend reunions, Kabaka birthday run, MTN marathons, Facebook chats. And they make you happy, and keep your social calendar full, and ensure you get the emotional recharging you need from the people you care about. But it’s not natural. It takes effort. Even the most exciting reunion dinner with a friend from college is still tiring – no matter how happy it makes you – if you’ve been up since before sunrise for work.

So little by little, after you blink and realize you’re now twenty-seven instead of twenty-two, your friendships begin to fizzle. Not by choice. Not because someone did something wrong. Not because you no longer have anything in common. But because your friends aren’t the sole focus of your life anymore. Because your life is no longer just wake up, go to class, do homework, and then socialize.

Your life now is bills and deadlines and job interviews and performance reviews and taxes and maybe searching for a mate and maybe trying to make it work if you’ve already found a mate and attending weddings and being in weddings and going to baby showers and trying to find the energy to do laundry after work and crowded subway rides and snoozing the alarm three times and flying home if you (ever) have a spare weekend because you haven’t seen your family in four months. There’s so much to think about now, so much to worry about, so much to get done.

And it is in these moments, in-between the grocery shopping and the cooking and the commuting and the late nights at the office, that your soulmates begin to emerge – the two, or three, or four friends you have that become your other little family. The people that carry you through adulthood. The ones that act like a talisman inside you on your darkest of days. There is nothing wrong with your other friends. Nothing they are missing, nothing they did to upset you. But there is something extra that exists between you and your soulmates. There’s the warm feeling you have in your stomach when you sit at dinner with them – a feeling that comes from the easy conversation, the bottle of red wine that you all agreed on with just one look, and the feeling that you are sitting amongst people who truly understand you. There’s the wave of relief that washes over you when you are reunited with one of them in a hug, because it’s been a few days since you’ve seen them and it feelings like eternity. There’s the knowledge that when you have a bad day at work, or a broken heart, or a feeling of being lost in the middle of your own life, that they will listen to you, they will hear you, they will know how to make you feel less alone.

Your twenties bring the death of a lot of friendships. But they’re also responsible for the birth of friendships that are much deeper, fulfilling, and heartening than you’ve ever experienced in your life.

For my first couple years out of college, I mourned a lot of friendships that I just wasn’t ready to let go of. Like, Akatusasira Marion, Naturinda Prudence, Waliggo Kenneth, Luswata Shafic, Katushabe Gloria, Kizito Abdu, Namatovu Dafinah, Nakabira Soadu, Shamim Precious, Kwagala Betty, Kasibante Gilbert, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Matovu Steven, Erumbi Ritah, Nambalirwa Diana, Humaya Swalehe, Ssembatya Deo and many more from lower classes. I thought of the way we were in college – how light, how simple, how easy it was – and I wanted it to still be that way. But it couldn’t be. I had friends across the country, some halfway across the world. Friends who were getting engaged, friends who were having babies, friends who were moving up the corporate ladder at a shocking pace, friends who were drowning in the stress of grad school, friends who literally had no clue what they were doing. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t be friends with people who were in different situations or stages of life than me – on the contrary, that’s one of the most beautiful parts of friendship. But I couldn’t have a three-dimensional, all-encompassing, we-know-every-detail-about-one-another’s-current-life relationship with all of these people, all of the time, all at once. Because life was getting in the way. And it just wasn’t possible anymore.

Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that it just couldn’t be the way it was in college. Life was different now. Not worse, not depressing. Just different.
After a long enough time, a space began to grow between my friends and my soulmates. Not a bad space, not a negative space – just a space that helped me to understand the difference. My friends were still my friends – we occasionally exchanged funny text messages back and forth, especially on our whatsapp group Social Workers. We liked one another’s statuses as a lazy way of showing we were happy for each other about the good news we were sharing, I smiled when old pictures of us popped up on Facebook especially about our graduation. And that was it.

And then there were my soulmates. The home I had away from home. The family that took care of me when mine was five hundred miles away. The ones who never had to ask “What’s new with you?” because they already knew my boss’s name and my plans for next month and how I spent my Saturday mornings now that I was no longer a drunk college student. The ones who, even if they didn’t live in the same city as me, I somehow felt even closer to now than I did in college.
It’s great to have friends in adulthood. People you look forward to seeing again at weddings, who make you smile when you see they’ve written on your Facebook, whom you exchange texts on whatdapp, whose Snapchat stories still make you laugh. But what’s even better is the emergence of your soulmates. Your tribe. Your supporters, your family, the ones who keep you sane. The ones you would do anything for, and vice versa. The sanctuary from small talk, the pep-talkers, the ones you can trust to tell you what you need – not want – to hear, the ones who will watch Making a Murderer with you for six hours. The people who make you feel like the best is yet to be.
Most of those other people will always be my distant friends. And I’m okay with that. I’m at peace with the fact that it will never be the way it once was. Because why would you want to go back to the past, after you’ve found your soulmates? But all in all memories of your best days still ring in your minds. Thanks friends, thanks social workers for the best memories.

Live a dream and Life to inspire others. By Lukonge Achilees

Many people dream about how they will end up in the future; in a huge house, a fancy car, an apartment surrounded by city lights in a big city dream, or in a mansion alongside the beach with beautiful white sand.

They dream about success in a cliche-kinda-way, they measure success by an exact amount; by something just in the surface without any hidden values underneath.

But not in my case. To live in the middle of millennials generation makes me want to dream bigger and think harder than that; artificial things are too shallow, I want depth, a huge depth more than just something that could be counted.

I want to plant a brilliant seed in people’s mind, I want to invest values inside them; all I want to do in my youth is to inspire.

I want to dedicate my energy to lit up the flames within somebody to grow; to realize that each of us has something inside that needs to be woken up.
I want to be that person who sees passion within everybody’s souls; I want to see the passion they had reflected in their eyes as they speak about the things they love to do.

I want to lit up the fire inside somebody’s dim inner self; I want to be somebody whose positive energy is contagious to each corner of the room.

I want to be the reason someone’s insight; the realization that s/he is actually could be as valuable as gold.
I want to give my time to ignite somebody’s soul; they need to know that they impact their surroundings.

I want to be somebody who will honestly tell the truth; that failures are unavoidable, but it’s not the reason we should stop.
I want to make them immortal; to always pick themselves up if the world tears them down to the ground. I want to be somebody’s caffeine; to insight them that hard work pays off in the end, that everything they did will actually give them result, sooner or later.

I want to be the reason behind somebody’s statement of “I have finally did it.”
I want to be the golden sun rays to the people’s gloomy days. I want to bring the wind that gives them ease as they make their eyes kaleidoscopic with tears.
I want to be their fireflies in the darkness so they know which way to go; I want to be their path just to survive.

I want to make them see the galaxies within themselves; that actually they have the constellation of stars inside them which could lead to a magnificent supernova.

I want to be the person who simply is happy just to see someone’s night sky filled by a glorious shooting star.
I want to dedicate myself to speak the truths through my actions; to make people get what they truly deserve.

I want to be somebody who turns on the light bulb inside someone’s head; to be the source of their ideas, to be the spirit which gives them enthusiasm to implement their bright ideas to come true.

I want to synchronize my own heartbeats to the people; to make them feel how to be, to make them embrace each emotion that they feel, to always make them true to themselves, to always be honest within ourselves.

I want to be that someone who brings somebody’s wall down; to make them brave enough just to open themselves up, to make them vulnerable yet they know how to be stronger.

To be somebody’s place to rest their messed up minds but as well as to be their reminder to begin their race so they can arrive to the finish line.

I want to be their music in their life; so that they can dance towards this battlefield called life; I want to be somebody’s favorite song, to be their mood booster and an escape towards a bad day that they’ve gotten into.

I want to give a message in everything that I do; behind each word that I speak, behind every spaces and lines in my writings. I want to have an impact through the arts that I’ve created; through each moves, smiles, quirks, and the giggles during hard times.

I want to be everybody’s reminder that we are actually never alone. In this confusing life in our 20s, we are in this together and we will surely survive.

I don’t want to be seen as something shallow, I want depth; huge depth which artificial things are not there to be seen. In my 20s, I don’t want artificial things; all I want is to inspire.

Rules you really dont know for happy marriage. By Lukonge Achilees

1.Respectfulness is oftentimes more important than communication — if your partner doesn’t want to talk, give them the space they need
2. When someone is wrong, don’t keep score
3. “Love your partner the way they need to be loved, not the way you need to be loved” (and take the time to understand Respectfulness is oftentimes more important than communication — if your partner doesn’t want to talk, give them the space they need
2. When someone is wrong, don’t keep score
3. “Love your partner the way they need to be loved, not the way you need to be loved” (and take the time to understand what that means)
4. Don’t punish your spouse for being honest — you won’t always like what they have to say, but punishing them for it will ruin your future communication
5. There’s no such thing as “winning” an argument — if you can’t come to an agreement that satisfies everyone, you’ve both lost
6. You’ll see each other at your grossest, like when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea — don’t use it to humiliate each other later on
7. Be the kind of spouse you would like to have by your side
8. Don’t correct the other person unless it’s important
9. Never hold money against each other
10. Similarly, never make a big purchase without talking to the other
11. Always keep an extra blanket by the bed, just in case you have trouble sharing one night
12. If one person voluntarily cleans something, the other shouldn’t complain about how it was done
13. Give each other alone time, even if you aren’t fighting
14. Never disrespect your partner — not in public, not in front of your friends, and definitely not to your kids
15. 50-5o doesn’t exist, so expect something closer to 60-40 — who gets what will change from time to time
16. Never, ever bring up divorce, even in a joking way — pretend it’s not an option, like doesn’t even exist
17. Cultivate separate interests and encourage one another to pursue them
18. If you have kids, it’s okay to put your spouse first — a healthy marriage will ultimately benefit them
19. Learn to know when you fucked up and apologize sincerely without adding a “but…”
20. Make these rules spoken that means)
4. Don’t punish your spouse for being honest — you won’t always like what they have to say, but punishing them for it will ruin your future communication
5. There’s no such thing as “winning” an argument — if you can’t come to an agreement that satisfies everyone, you’ve both lost
6. You’ll see each other at your grossest, like when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea — don’t use it to humiliate each other later on
7. Be the kind of spouse you would like to have by your side
8. Don’t correct the other person unless it’s important
9. Never hold money against each other
10. Similarly, never make a big purchase without talking to the other
11. Always keep an extra blanket by the bed, just in case you have trouble sharing one night
12. If one person voluntarily cleans something, the other shouldn’t complain about how it was done
13. Give each other alone time, even if you aren’t fighting
14. Never disrespect your partner — not in public, not in front of your friends, and definitely not to your kids
15. 50-5o doesn’t exist, so expect something closer to 60-40 — who gets what will change from time to time
16. Never, ever bring up divorce, even in a joking way — pretend it’s not an option, like doesn’t even exist
17. Cultivate separate interests and encourage one another to pursue them
18. If you have kids, it’s okay to put your spouse first — a healthy marriage will ultimately benefit them
19. Learn to know when you fucked up and apologize sincerely without adding a “but…”
20. Make these rules spoken

Black Saints, 3rd June Every year. Uganda Martyrs Day for all christian believers

How Uganda Martyrs met their death

By Lukonge Achilees

On June 3rd of every year, Uganda commemorates Martyrs’ Day at Namugongo Shrine.

for more information about Uganda martyrs watch videos by visiting this page. https://www.facebook.com/muteesa1royaluniversity/

Every June 03, the world remembers the Uganda Martyrs who were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887 by Kabaka Mwanga II for their faith in Jesus Christ. They included 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic.

History

uganda martyrs church kabong ditrict

The arrival of the Christian missionaries, Anglican and Catholic, set the stage for new developments, and marked a turning point in the religious life of the people of Buganda; as well as the political structure of the kingdom and the region at large. The history of Buganda from this point on took a different turn. A social revolution that was to transform all aspects of people’s lives had set in, and the events that followed, unpredictable as they were, added to the discomfort the new changes had brought about. The untimely death of Mutesa I in 1884 just a few years after the arrival of the missionaries, left the kingdom in the hands of Mwanga II, a youth whose ruling style fell far short of the charisma and political astuteness his late father had demonstrated in dealing with the foreigners.

Mutesa had the astuteness and maturity of dealing with conflicting forces that struggled to influence his court. The Arabs (the Moslems), the Catholics (the French or Bafaransa as they were locally called) or the Protestants (the English or Bangereza) operated, of course not without constraint, with some minimal success during his reign. He let his subjects of all ranks to join any creed of their choice. The Arabs also having seen the Christian missionaries’ efforts to convert the local people also diligently started to teach Islam. There was a competitive struggle among the preachers of the new creeds each attempting to assert more influence and recognition among the most influential officials in the inner circle of the king’s court. The king himself never committed to any single creed. The Moslems denounced him for his refusal to be circumcised, and he could not be baptized in the Christian denominations because he did not want to give up polygamy. He died still a traditionalist.

The Christian religion was received with much excitement by the converts but it came with its own requirements. It denounced all the native religious behavior and practices as heathen and satanic. Therefore joining it meant a commitment to break away from the old life style, make and adopt new alliances, and adjust to new moral and religious standards, adherence and allegiance. The new flock of believers ( abasomi, or readers, as they were called) therefore, were seemingly regarded as ‘rebels’ who had transferred their loyalty to new religious systems thus abandoning the old tribal traditions.

Although Mwanga had shown some love for the missionaries as a young prince, his attitude changed when he became king. The once lively and enthusiastic prince in support of the missionaries turned into an intolerant and vicious persecutor of Christians and all foreigners. He felt, with good cause, that the powers and authority his predecessors had enjoyed were dwindling, and had disintegrated under the influence of the missionaries and their converts. The converts had diverted their loyalty to some other authority and their allegiance at all costs could no longer be counted on. For Mwanga, the ultimate humiliation was the insolence he received from the pages when they ( the least subservient of servants) resisted his homosexual advances. According to old tradition the king was the center of power and authority, and he could dispense with any life as he felt, hence the old saying Namunswa alya kunswaze (the queen ant feeds on her subjects). Although homosexuality is abhorred among the Baganda, it was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king. (It is alleged that Mwanga learnt or acquired homosexual behavior from the Arabs). Given those conflicting values Mwanga was determined to rid his kingdom of the new teaching and its followers.

It was hardly a year after Mwanga’s assumption of the throne that he ordered the execution of Yusufu (Joseph) Rugarama, Makko (Mark) Kakumba, and Nuwa (Noah) Serwanga the first three Christian martyrs, who were killed at Busega Natete on January 31, 1885. In October of 1885 the Anglican Bishop James Hannington recently dispatched to head the Eastern Equatorial Africa, headquartered in Buganda, was murdered in Busoga on his way to Buganda. Mwanga had ordered his death. Hannington’s crime was to attempt to come to Buganda through Busoga, a shorter route than that employed by earlier visitors who took the route from south of lake Victoria. Buganda’s kings regarded Busoga as a backdoor to Buganda and thought that any one coming through the backdoor must have evil intentions towards the kingdom.

every 3rd June People from all over the world join

Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, a senior advisor to the king and a Catholic convert, condemned Mwanga for ordering Hannington’s death without giving him (Hannington) a chance to defend himself as was customary. Mwanga was annoyed that Mukasa would question his actions, and he had him arrested and killed. On Nov. 15 1885; Mukasa became the first Catholic martyr, when he was beheaded at Nakivubo. Between December of 1885 and May of 1886 many more converts were wantonly murdered. Mwanga precipitated a showdown in May by ordering the converts to choose between their new faith, and complete obedience to his orders. Those unwilling to renounce their new faith would be subject to death. Courageously, the neophytes chose their faith. The execution of twenty six Christians at Namugongo on June 3, 1886; was the climax of the campaign against the converts. The last person killed in this crusade, was Jean-Marie Muzeeyi, who was beheaded at Mengo on Jan 27, 1887. The complete list of the known martyrs is given below. The list of forty five known Catholic and Protestant martyrs includes only those who could be formally accounted for, many more murders went unreported and without a record.

Here is the list indicating when, where and how they were killed.

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In his efforts to curb the Christian influence and try to regain the traditional and customary powers and authorities over his subjects, Mwanga was adding more chaos to an already chaotic situation. In the north Kabarega (the king of Bunyoro Kitara a traditional arch enemy of Buganda) was raging, fighting off the pending invasion from the Khedive of Egypt and for sure he never lost his intentions towards Buganda. Further south it was reported that the Germans were annexing territories in the regions of the present Tanzania, and Mwanga was caught in a threatening position. His suspicion of the missionaries was therefore real. Buganda also was experiencing internal strife, the Moslems were plotting to overthrow him and replace him with a Moslem prince. The political upheavals combined with religious instability constrained the country’s moral stamina. The kingdom was thrown into turmoil; Moslems fighting Christians, traditionalists plotting against all creeds, untimely alliances concocted to survive against a common foe and later unceremoniously discarded. The kingdom broke into civil strife during which Mwanga was briefly deposed, although he was able to regain his throne later.

Rather than deter the growth of Christianity, the martyrdom of these early believers seems to have sparked its growth instead. As has been observed in many other instances, the blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of faith. Christianity (in its various flavours) is now the dominant faith in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. The 22 known Catholic martyrs were declared “Blessed” by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. This is one of the key steps in the catholic tradition that eventually leads to canonization. The 22 Catholic martyrs were indeed canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964; during the Vatican II conference. Thus these martyrs were now recognised by the universal church as being worthy of being honored as Saints. This was a first for modern Africa and a source of pride throughout the continent.

To honor these modern saints, Paul VI became the first reigning pope to visit sub-saharan Africa when he visited Uganda in July 1969; a visit which included a pilgrimage to the site of the martyrdom at Namugongo. He also dedicated a site for the building of a shrine church in honor of the martyrs, at the spot where Charles Lwanga was killed. The shrine church itself (shown above), was dedicated in 1975 and it was subsequently named a basilica church, a high honor in Catholicism. Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury, and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, also came on pilgrimage in January 1984. Pope John Paul II in turn honored the martyrs with his own pilgrimage in February 1993. Every year, June 3rd, when most of the martyrs were killed, is marked as a national holiday in Uganda. It is also marked worldwide on the church calender as a day to honor the Uganda Martyrs. Following is a portrait of the 22 canonized Catholic martyrs.

uganda martyrs Basilica


My Friends, Social workers, one important thing missing into your life “Kindness”-Lukonge Achilees

Lukonge Achilees with A young Mother. from sadness to coziest smile.

In the scheme of things, our lives are a millisecond in history compared to whats happened and what’s to come. As consequence, a majority of us strive to make a mark with little thought to the consequences that come with it. Our days are made up of the main prerogative of looking and analyzing our own success or likeability. Un fortunately, the times when thinking of others comes into play, is either out of benefit towards ourselves or how it comes across to the people we surround ourselves with.

Often times we forget the suffering that other’s outside our lives carry before our own. We forget that our love and understanding can be expansive. We take the kindness that we receive from others for granted and distribute little of our own. We forget to ask questions like: How have others taught me to choose kindness? How am I bringing kindness into my own life, so that I can bring it to others? You’re the start of kind. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and the actions that you choose are what it means choose kind. Choosing kindness is more than donating money or calling a long distance friend. It is a daily practice that you choose to bring yourself and the people around you. It is a practice we often forget. To choose kindness we are extending compassion and understanding to our own and others sorrows. We are saying to others and ourselves: I hear you and I am here for you. Which I know sounds a lot like marital counseling advice, but sometimes you need to set aside your pride to accomplish a larger picture. In the end, we are choosing to allow others to speak out and suffer less; this is also the start to learning how to love.

Kindness is often something that I forget to extend to myself. It’s easy to lack understanding when we are looking at our flaws. It’s even easier to lack compassion for ourselves. Often we have the feeling of mediocrity, lack of self worth, and hatred for the things we cannot change. How do you choose kind for yourself? Do you acknowledge these flaws? Do you I hear you and I am here for you to yourself? By pushing aside your own self –hatred and by dismissing the acknowledgement of compassion for yourself you are turning away from kindness. Happiness cannot exist without the acknowledgement of suffering.

Once you can choose kindness for yourself you are able to bring it to others. You are able to extend the same amount of compassion and understanding that you would to yourself. When others treat you with hatred or bring their burdens to you, you should extend your kindness to them. Love is as expansive as you allow it to be. It’s easy to forget that others carry the same burdens that we do. By simply choosing to listen, we are choosing kindness, because we are extending our compassion and understanding to someone other than our self. In part we are starting to create an environment in which people look at you in appositive light and ar able to reflect our actions upon them and the people they love.

You can practice choosing kindness by simply being there for others.  You can make someone’s day easier by doing something for him or her. You can smile and display love in the capacity of offer joy. You have the ability to choose to offer kindness everyday through active listening and the kindness you extend yourself. But more than often we forget, we get frustrated at our own suffering, and we miss the opportunities we have to practice understanding. So while mindful of how we treat others and how we treat others and how treat ourselves, remember to choose kindness.

Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you? Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.

Move into your heart and notice the feelings there. If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and experience-leaving a lasting impression.

In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.

Every person is waiting is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of the fame and celebrity.

I enjoy this quote by Professor David W. Orr:

“The plain fact is that the planet doesn’t need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it”

Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.

Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.

Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness. Each individual has opinions on how to improve world, though no one wants to practice kindness.

Do no harm

World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.

I have often repeated that peace is only a thought away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.

“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The science and practice of open-hearted awareness.

Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.

It involves judging less; however compelled you might be to do so.  The ego is quick to judge because it is victimized and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.

Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind. You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting and separation. It was the Lebanese-born poet khalil Gibran who wrote:

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” –Mark Twain

It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?

No, not by any means, though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I am not implying you become a doormat; however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?

“no matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exists each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author matt Kahn in whatever Arise, Love That that: “A Love Revolution that begins with you.

Benefits of kindness.

Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.

People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.

Kindness broadens your life’s frame of reference and is a symbol of respect to value the receiver.

It influences the giver more than the receiver and has correlations with enhanced mental, emotional and physical well being.

People believe kindness signifies weakness and being taken advantage of. Its important to delineate between kindness and being a door mat to others. You can be kind and assertive when others attempt to profit from your kindness.

Author Matt Kahn states:

“When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love”

You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity.

Be kind anyway

It’s no surprise wicked acts have a greater impression on us than acts of kindness. We are alerted to fear more than goodness.

Psychologists believe we are wired to detect that which threatens our survival and happiness. We give attention to acts of cruelty in the news because it is perceived as threat to our survival.

In these times of disingenuous social media interactions, unkindness abounds as people hide behind screens.

This does not make it appropriate to abuse others. There is a person on the other side of the screen with feelings we must take into account.

An important lesson in kindness involves asking yourself:

How would I handle being the recipient of this? If it doesn’t fell good avoid the behavior.

“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us,” avows author and social researcher Brene Brown in Rising Strong.

I wish to leave you with a passage from mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”

Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness into your everyday life and notice the ripple effects.

The butterfly effect in Chaos Theory asserts that a tiny event in one region of the globe can have a substantial effect somewhere else.

Armed with this knowledge, it is the Dalai Lama who reminds us that if you can’t be kind, avoid harming others.

Be unstoppable, dream a new one if the first failed to yield.- Lukonge Achilees

Your life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for the person you are, for who you will become, and for what happens next.

When a chapter ends, another begins and is in our own hands the possibility to write a new and more beautiful story.

Therefore, it’s up to us to focus all our energies not in trying to change our past but to focus all our energy in creating our present moment. The situation doesn’t determine your response. YOU determine your response. Take a moment to pause and remember who you truly are. Take time to reflect on the things that have real and lasting meaning in your life and you wouldn’t guess but…….

DEVELOP THEM

Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending Is really a new beginning.

Why actually matters is that you leave the past where it belongs so you can make the best of the life that is still available to be lived. This ending you have experienced is not THE END; it’s just your life beginning again in a new way. It’s a point in your story where one chapter transitions int the next.

YOU get to choose to live in your present and use it as a canvas to create the life that will bring you happiness and joy. No matter how loud those voices call for you. You don’t have to change the scene. Make a difference in your life first and… Keep going. Be hungry for change. Break down those hard-hitting barriers in your life. Push through the hurt you don’t look back. Get out and stay out. Above all, this is not going to be easy but is achievable and beyond worth it.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and every experience that I encounter makes me stronger and challenges are just part of my everyday life. They make me stronger and without them, it becomes somewhat meaningless because I have nothing to compare the good times to. Facing them is a way for me to push myself and see what I am capable of.

Slowly I began realizing the stories I told myself where a key to unlocking my ability to control my internal narrative and how I arrange the plot points of my life into a narrative can shape who I am, — this is a fundamental part of being human.

And from here, in telling the story of how you became who you are, and of who your way to becoming, the story its self becomes a part of who you are.

One thing I always try to remember is that each sunset is to have a new sunrise, so, what story are you telling today?

Your life is what you make of it, so make it a good one

There are certain moments in life that defines you. During those moments, every action and reaction defines how you are going to progress from the point you are currently at.

When things get tough, you seem to have two choices – let your moments define you or get out there and define your moments. For the longest time, I always choose the first one.

I always choose to let everything define me- the events of life, the moments of life, and the tough parts of life. I played victim, simply because that’s how I would always let the big part of life be my story… when in fact, I had the opportunity to make my story WHATEVER I wanted. Nothing defines me, unless I allow it to.

We all have our own story to tell about our own lives. Hearing someone tell their story is quite incredible, very rarely will you hear someone tell their story- a story drenched in truth, seen through their eyes and told through their words. However sometimes, hearing someone tell his or her story can be incredibly heartbreaking. Especially if that person has written their story off as a sad story, full of negativity and no hope in sight.

A simple conversation with a girl friend recently changed my view on how my story could be told. I was down on my luck at the time, I felt like a certain situation had taken control of my life and I began to feel like my story was “sad” and that’s when she hit me with her knowledge.

“There is nothing sad about it” was a quote was one she had come across years ago.

She then explained why she sent it onto me “it’s a thing where I went from self-pity and hating myself to still struggling, sometimes even daily, but fighting against any though of any part of my story being sad. Are there sad parts, yes? Does that make my life sad, no?”

 Things happening in life make m want to fall back into those old patterns of thinking that my story. But it’s not. I have to actively choose to define my moments, to be UNSTOPPABLE, to be a force of nature, to not let the tough part of life defines my actions. Sometimes you simply have to take a step back and evaluate the things that are putting you in that mindset.

Do you take the victim route because you are hurting? Do you take it because you don’t know any other way? Do you take that route because it’s easier for you to play victim instead of dealing with things? That was my thought process for a long time. I would play victim, I would allow myself to revel in hurl, and I would allow myself to throw pity parties. I am not saying that I am perfect and that I don’t want  to think that way, but the one thing I know is that type of behavior will not get me anywhere in life.

People seem to want to take the easy way put when it comes to their emotions, but expect other people to do the hard work and face their emotions, fears and frustrations in mature manner.

Don’t be like that.

Don’t be a victim

Don’t be a vindictive person.

Don’t be contradictory with your standards for human emotions. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature.  Stand strong in your beliefs. Stand strong in your actions. Define your life, don’t let it define you.

And always remember, parts of your story may be sad and life might be in a tough spot – but in the grand scheme of things..There is NOTHING sad about it. Your story is unique, your story is you and ultimately your story is what you make it.