I am Ready to take care of my twins. The young Mother who gave birth at 16 Vowed.

I am A social Worker, no daubt about that, i am Author, i am working with young mother, I would like their stories to be heard and their faces to be seen: to portray teen mothers in their living and working environments, collect their testimonies and show the consequences of early pregnancy.

During interview with the young mother, she expressed her life story.

And the moment that I have been anticipating for days, months, and years even has come. I took a deep breath and pushed down my baby with own power while I followed my body. Before my breath finished, my first baby came sliding out of me and the next follows. While I exhaled, I quietly said that they are born. They put my twin into my arms even before cutting their umbilical cord. They were warm, wet, soft, and smelled sweet. They screamed joyfully, and I thanked them repeatedly for giving me this wonderful experience. The doctors and nurses were looking on at that remarkable moment when our twin joined my family, confused, happy, and teary eyed. They stared at us with questioning expressions because they had just watched a birth so vastly different from the fearful births they had witnessed in the past—fearfulness that resulted from the negative birth stories that have been handed down to women for years especially women who passed through difficult life and have eroded their confidence and power regarding birth. How had it come to this?

In the beginning of 2017, my father died, following the mother, who was deceased before, the elder sisters suggested that everyone was to start living on his or her own. Being the last born at the age of 18, I decided to come to kampala to look for some work to do. Later got a job as a maid; I only managed to work for few months since I was always suffering from a severe headache and brutality from my bosses. Later I went back to village where I met a man aged 23 who promised to take good care of me. I came to town with a man and lived together for one week. Later, I went to look for another job. After some few weeks i realized that, I missed my periods that I am pregnant, I went back to a man’s place to tell him about the news. The man denied the pregnancy and told me never to come back looking for him.

By that time, no jobs, and lost focus and hope, I started living on streets and in churches. I went to the village. Elder sisters got mad about the pregnancy and they advised to abort. I resisted, not killing the innocent baby, I was chased away from home,I felt that everything was over, no hope, no money, and no any assistance.

I went back to Kampala but no where to stay, I started living in churches like Christian life church of pastor Jackson Ssenyonga in Bwaise, and Miracle center cathedral of Pastor Robert Kayanja Lubaga where I was receiving some help from the volunteers.

So, the matter worsens, she went back to streets, sleeping on verandas, and tree shades for couple of weeks, she met a woman called Musawo Jane in Bwaise, she gave her tea and what to eat, she told a bodaboda rider to take her to Lubaga miracle center cathedral of Pastor Robert Kayanja, she spent their 2 weeks since they was still chased because it is prohibited to deliver from church, she went again back on streets.

I walked with my baby inside right from Lubaga heading where I don’t know, sometimes the sunshine and heavy rain barely hit, stopped on the church called worship house of pastor Wilson Bugembe, slept there one day, and heading to a health center called Kawempe Mulago where she stayed 5 days getting medicine and other post natal care for free, because I explained my story to doctor, he was touched and decided to help me for free. From there, I continued the Journey, walking while sleeping on people’s retail shops, petrol stations, verandas, and streets; I went back to Christian life church.

Forty weeks and 5 days into the pregnancy, my Twins and I were still together. In life I don’t wished anyone to live in, I felt their movements less now—they were smaller than they had been but stronger. My friends on streets, in churches, at least 20 people checking on me every day where I used to sleep on cement to ask when I will give birth and scaring me by saying things like, “What if something’s wrong with the baby?” no one among my brothers and sisters wanted to know about my life, My mother and Father up in the sky/heaven may be were watching and praying for me, and waiting impatiently for their first grandson, constantly saying, “It’s high time the baby made an appearance.” Because they used to say that when they are still alive, they loved me so much. I became so fed up, especially in the last 10 days of my pregnancy. I suggested to the close friends-to-be that they not tell anyone the approximate birth date to avoid similar experiences.

I made myself believe that my Twins would be born in the night, having heard somewhere that animals that sleep in the daytime birth in the night and vice versa (which seemed to show that privacy and protection are important in nature.) In the weeks and days leading up to my due date, I tried my best to go to sleep in people’s houses, or people’s veranders early every day so as not to be tired when I finally went into labor. I would fall asleep rubbing my abdomen and thinking, “Maybe I’ll smell you tonight babies.” But when morning came, I would wake to find my babies was still saying, “Good morning, mommy!” from my womb.

It was another such morning when I went to the toilet of one of good Samaritan and saw the first thrilling sign that the birth was finally going to happen. I had to go to nearby church to pray, There came a lady dressed well, totally in the same age group, she was from Pelletier teenage mothers foundation (PTMOF) it was the first sign that Miracle exists, and God is always there for the poor, she told me about the services they are offering, at first I was in fear of strangers but finally I trusted her since we met at the church.

She leads me to where she stay, I found older woman at home, to find that she was the mother of that lady I met, but I told them everything I passed through, then, after, they tried to link me to my older brothers and sisters who chased me, but all in vain, in the end, they sent me back to my Sister Called Namatovu Zaina to first deliver, then I will come back to acquire skills. Since the organization don’t accommodate mothers due to its little facilities.

Reaching to My Sisters home, Waves from my other sisters and brothers ordering my sister to chase me from her home, because I was pregnant at young age. Looking to the situation, at home, I developed feelings to escape from my sister’s home to go back to street. On the street, the contractions became more frequent. I put my hand on my abdomen and could feel uterine contractions, but they were not bothering me at all.

At around 2:00 a.m., I put my hand on my abdomen. Because of the stories of labor pains that I still had in my mind, however, I didn’t think they could be birth contractions. I went to church of Pastor Jackson Ssenyonaga.

While at the church, I suddenly felt nauseous and vomited I could sense an amazing cocktail of hormones flowing through my body. I had never felt so happy, energetic, and motivated. These were the last moments of my babies inside me, and I was enjoying it! I went to Mulago hospital. The on-duty doctor put a hand on my abdomen and said, “The contractions are severe. I think I should examine you.” I lay on the examination couch and he made a vaginal examination. The doctor told me that they are Twins! I said what!?

This is exactly what happened in my birth. Overcome by a sensation like the thrill you get at the moment you parachute off a mountainside and shout out with joy at the top of your voice, I screamed uncontrollably.

Realizing that the doctor, Mrs Alice from PTMOF was already in the house and the nurse were all staring at me in amazement, I told them, “Everything’s okay, don’t worry. There is no pain, just a sudden adrenaline rush. I settled myself back onto the bed and felt the urge to push. My body position was as straight as possible. I took a deep breath and pushed my first baby downward with all my power. “Push slowly,” my birth doctor warned me. “The baby’s coming too fast. After few minutes, I pushed the second baby! Doctor told me! Again “Push slowly,” I’ll have to do an episiotomy.” But I just could not slow myself down. In my terms, it was a natural birth throughout.

I was in a state of shock after the delivery, unable to believe my Twins was now in my arms. It was 3:15 a.m. Just 25 minutes had passed since I had gone into the delivery room. The birth was not the way some people had described it. It was totally painless, joyful, exciting, and quick. My Twins was so good, Looking healthy. At first, They greeted the world with loud screams, presumably because of the effects of the hormone cocktail, but they calmed down after they was cradled in my arms and heard me say, “Welcome, my Twins. I have been waiting for you for so long. I love you so much, do not cry.” They began looking around curiously with their eyes wide open. One named Wasswa Miracle and the other named Kato Favour.

From hospital, I came with Madam Alice at the centre, where I was given a room to look after my little young ones, as well as learning hairdressing to be equipped with skills. It is now a year living at Pelletier teenage mothers foundation, my twin’s looks very heathy and energetic, I am glad to be part of my new family.
I am thankfu for all the support. May God bless you!

After told me the story I Asked about her dreams, she mentions two things: she would love to raise her twins well, and be able one day to return to school. She cannot afford either.

Unfortunately every year the same tragedy touches thousands of Ugandan girls: 39% of women in Uganda under the age of 19 have already had a child or are pregnant. Most pregnancies are the result of rape or other sexual abuses, including survival sex. The consequences are extremely serious: school drop-outs, mental health problems, family and social rejection, forced marriage, domestic violence, increased poverty and children sent away as restavecs (a modern type of slavery). The impact is also considerable on the well-being and functioning of society as a whole.

Some time ago I started meeting women, young girls and older women, who became mothers much too early. I wanted to listen to their life stories and look into their eyes, which often say more than words.
These women are one of the reasons I came to Nansana Uganda and joined the mission. Being aware of the daily struggles of Ugandans is very important and motivational for my work.

I would like their stories to be heard and their faces to be seen by others as well, which is why I started the “My GIHAPOAF” project. The objective is to portray teen mothers in their living and working environments, collect their testimonies and show the consequences of early pregnancy.
I also ask women about their dreams. “These are usually very ‘ordinary’: return to school, have the family together, find a job, ensure a better future for their kids, stop being abused, be happy.”
I truly believe that we should, and can, strive to make these ‘ordinary’ dreams come true.

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To Rema and all Ladies out their, understand when to let go.

I know Rema lost the battle at unexpected moment. I know there could be many reasons as to why she surrendered, those we could mimic, and those we dont know.

But, according to what Kenzo wrote yesterday in the last lines of his fairwell separation letter to Rema Namakula said,

“Yogayoga (Congratulations) Mr. Sebunya, yagala Rema, (Love Rema) your a man of her dreams, your the reason why she made such a big decision. She is living her dreams”

When you quote that statement, you could get answers , to me, Rema played a big role toward breakup, she had someone special she felt and liked to marry in future. But Kenzo was still loving her, to me he only lacked some basics that explain what marriage is, what you should do etc, this might be because of his young age and fame and popularity, since he raised his music talent at young age to become international star.

Rema being a top female musician in Uganda, she had dreams, She married Eddy Kenzo not because of love, not because they share same characters and personality, not because he was man of her dreams but Fame and popularity of Eddy Kenzo.

Rema played on minds of Ugandans, seeking attention for us to feel pitty for her about her relationship with Kenzo, she behaved as if Kenzo is Bad, dont love her, dont take care of her, dont give her time, she even expressed her feelings in her top hits like “Sirimuyembe” (iam not a mango that you wait to ripe). She did all that, to play kenzo victim in their relationship to pave way for her separation to meet the man of her dreams

All in all, they finally separated, but let ask ourselves, when and how to know its time to let go?

You cannot force yourself to let go, no matter how much you know you want to.

You cannot force something out of your brain space, no matter how much you don’t want it to be there.

You cannot just simply loosen your grip and relax a little and will yourself to stop thinking entirely about something around which your entire world used to orbit.

This is not how it goes.

You are not going to let go the moment someone tells you to “move on,” the day you realize you have to admit certain defeat, the heart-dropping second it occurs to you that hope is, indeed, futile.

You do not let go by simply willing yourself not to care anymore. This is something that people who have never been really, really hung up on something think. This is something that people who have never been deeply attached to something for a sense of safety and security and love and their future believe.

There is nothing wrong with you because you almost get angry when people tell you to just “let go” so nonchalantly, as though they couldn’t fathom the storms in your head and heart.

How can you become so passive about something you have spent so much of your time, and your life, actively working to maintain and restore?

You can’t.

You don’t.

You start to let go the day you take one step toward building a new life, and then let yourself lay and stare at the ceiling and cry for as many hours as you need.

You start to let go the day you realize that you cannot continue to revolve around a missing gap in your life, and going on as you were before will simply not be an option.

You start to let go the moment you realize that this is the impetus, this is the catalyst, this is that moment the movies are made about and the books are written around and songs are inspired by.

This is the moment you realize that you will never find peace standing in the ruins of what you used to be.

You can only move on if you start building something new.

You let go when you build a new life so immersive and engaging and exciting, you slowly, over time, forget about the past.

When we try to force ourselves to “let go” of something, we grip onto it tighter, and harder, and more passionately than ever before. It’s like if someone tells you to not think of a white elephant; that’s the only thing you’ll be able to focus on.

Our hearts work the same way as our minds in this regard. As long as we are telling ourselves that we must let go, the more deeply we feel attached.

So don’t tell yourself to let go.

Instead, tell yourself that you can cry for as long as you need. That you can fall to pieces and be a mess and let your life collapse and crumble. Tell yourself that you can let you foundation fall through.

What you will realize is that you are still standing.

What you build in the wake and the aftermath of loss will be so profound, so stunning, you will realize that maybe, the loss was part of the plan. Maybe it awakened a part of you that would have remained dormant had you not been pushed the way you were.

If you are certain that you cannot let go of what is hurting you, then don’t.

But take one step today, and then another tomorrow, to rebuild a new life for yourself. Piece by piece, day by day.

Because sooner or later, you’re going to go an hour and realize you didn’t think about them, or it. Then a day, then a week… and then years and swaths of your life drift by and everything you thought would break you becomes a distant memory, something you look back at and smile.

Everything you lose becomes something you are profoundly grateful for. With time, you see that it was not the path. It was what was standing in your way.

For you guys out there who take your spouse for granted.

Break ups are hard. Really hard. So much so that sometimes you end up questioning the decision to break up in the first place. And then, suddenly, without meaning to, you’re standing there with a bleeding heart and a blank text message addressed to him asking the golden question :

Should I get back together with him?,

Therefore, People Like Eddy Kenzo, Musuuza and other guys out there…. You should know:

Taking your spouse for granted and having no time for each other is a sure-fire way to have marriage fatigue set in. All too often when a marriage gets stale, people turn to extramarital affairs to spice up their humdrum life, and the 10 million married people outed by my research and experience, proves my point.

I’m stunned by many of my clents’ excuses as to why they have no time, desire, or energy to make love to their spouses. In no uncertain terms I respond, “It’s your job to keep your marriage partner from the temptations of the world. If you’re not making love to your spouse, someone out their will gladly do it for you.”

The good news is that with a little ingenuity monogamy doesn’t have to mean monotony.
If your love life has gotten a little stale lately, and you need to infuse some new life into it, why not try scheduling an affair with your spouse to spice things up?

Set aside an evening or a weekend on a regular basis where the two of you get dressed to the nines and wine and dine each other. Smartphones are banned from the table. Sit and talk and get to know each other all over again. Look each other in the eyes. Hold hands. Flirt with each other. Romance and seduce each other. Stop assuming that you know everything about your spouse. After dinner, check into a motel. Take your time and don’t rush things. Allow plenty of time for massages, caressing, and kissing. Allow time for cocooning afterwards. Cocooning is the art of deliberately locking the world away, so two lovers can timelessly and intimately embrace, energize, and enjoy each other. Bask in the afterglow of lovemaking by talking, touching, kissing, and hugging.

How many times have you saw these couple really show that they are in serious relationship?

Women needs love, much attention and care, they need your presence so its good to balance your musical journey, work and family, money is nothing when there is no love.

So, always,

Remember to schedule your affair in the day or early evening, so that you’re not too tired for post-sex intimacy. Wait, you can’t afford this? Need I remind you that a divorce is going to cost you a lot more in the long run, and if you let the flame of passion burn out in your relationship, divorce might one day become a very real scenario; so look at this expenditure as money well spent and good investment in your financial future.

Thanks from me, Counselor MRU.

Semester Starts today Royals, here are key 7 things Every University Freshman actually needs to know

My baby (18-year-old) sisters brothers, daughters or Sons are leaving to embark upon the best four years, Three years or Two years of their lives and I’m left here upset (jealous). But it got me thinking – what is the best big-sister advice I could give them that was not the typical “study hard, stay out of trouble” advice?

So here are 7 other important things I wish I had known from the start.

1. Think you studied enough? Study more.

I cannot stress this enough for incoming freshman. Far gone are the days of “reviewing” your notes and getting an A. Welcome to the world of studying for two weeks and praying for a B. It’s so critical to spend enough time studying for exams in University because, trust me, they are harder than you think they will be. And you’re actually paying for your classes now, which means a failed class is wasted money. Or increased loans. But what might be even worse than just a bad grade is the fact that your GPA will have a tough time springing back. Don’t dig yourself a hole – utilize every resource you have from Quizlet to Study Blue to your campus-tutoring center. And if you think you’ve studied enough, study more.

2. Be an adult.

I will never forget my first class of University. I was so excited sitting there, waiting for class to start, when high school behaviours practically hit me in the face all over again. Actually you gotta find it difficult to find your true coursemates and class. I happens if you didnt attend orientation. You always see students moving up and down looking where his/her coursemates are. I remember in trying to look my class i found my fellow Coursemate Marion, she was asking me the same issue being extrovert, she bullied me in the way that made all around laugh at me…. Jockingly asking me my names, Course and many things. Though it was a bullet to me, she later became one of the friends i will never forget. All in all we act that way becsuse we were immature and highschool behaviours hit our heads

Moral of the story: grow up. If it’s “not cool” to actually do the readings and work in college, then why is the library consistently packed? I used to go to the library with my friends to sit in the “Sociology life section” to maintain my social image. Oh, and also to study. High school is over, people. But if your maturity level is stuck there, you might have a harder time in university than you thought.

3. Be independent.

There’s nothing more irritating in University than the person who can’t do anything by themselves. Independence is something you have to get used to in college. This means eating a meal or two by yourself, occasionally going to the library by yourself, or walking to class by yourself. All of these things are perfectly normal and practically unavoidable in University. University forces you into being independent whether you’re ready or not. But when in doubt, at least your mom is always a phone call away on that lonely walk back from class.

4. Try new things.
Most people go into college with an idea of all the things they’re going to try once they’re there. Some people envision Social life, others sports and others Music Club. But don’t limit yourself. As cliché as it may sound, there are endless different things to try at school. Give them all a fair chance. You’d probably never know the Club Ambience exists until you venture out and try things. Try out for a sport, rush a sorority or fraternity, join a School club, etc. If you actually explore what schools offer, you’ll likely end up doing, and loving, something you never thought you would.

5. Experience the nightlife, WITH friends.

For a lot of people, experiencing the University nightlife and party scene is at the top of the list. And you should go out and experience it. Everything from tailgates to bar specials to socials will happen every weekend in Masaka and Kampala. But remember that University is a balance, which means balancing your education with your social life. And on weekends, balancing your drink, wallet, and cell phone. But seriously, University is the only time in your life where you can go out four nights in a row and only be mildly hungover. So experience all there is to offer on the college party scene, but use your brain.

Thinking that heading to the bar solo sounds like a good idea? Think again. Be smart and go out with your friends. And most importantly, be a good friend.

6. Don’t major in something you hate.

I went into University completely set on being either a Teacher Education major or Information Technologist and pursuing the path of athletic training. Within my first semester at University I quickly realized how wrong I was, after being advised by my Father. I am now a Social Scientist, Psychologist professional. Do not stick with a major that isn’t working for you. You have plenty of time to explore and change you major and you should take full advantage of that. You’ll never know what truly interests you until you give it a chance. If you have the slightest interest in something, take a class on it. It could spark a passion and be your future career. Or it could be a bust and serve as nothing more than credits. But you’ll never know until you try.

7. Cherish every single second.

People are not lying when they say these are the best four or Three years of your life. So go out on weeknights, celebrate every little event, make meaningful friends and enjoy every second. The years of college will fly by – enjoy it from the very start.

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.

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.

The kind of president i want. By Lukonge Achilees

I do not write about politics because I want to.
I write about politics because it is my responsibility as a human being.

If we were in a different world, or in a different situation, I would much rather get to my writings about Social Work, Counseling abd adventuring, and philosophy first (I will get to them, eventually).

But I have spoken before of the fire consuming the world, and of my existential responsibility to douse the flames. Alas, I write about politics. Because it is my responsibility. Because it is what I need to do as a human being.

I write about politics because I see a society corrupted by money, I write about politics because of all this, and because anything less than screaming the truth at the top of your lungs would be outright cowardice.

I write about politics because I don’t want to come up empty-handed when my future kids ask me what I did to thwart the danger of Dictarial leaders, of Global Warming. Because I want future generations to know that King Mwanga and president Museveni gave their heart and soul fighting to make their future a better place: to ensuring that it’s even livable in the first place.

I write about politics not because it’s what I want to do, but because it is what’s right.

Therefore,

I want a president who knows the worth of those around him and doesn’t wish to step on that.

I want the president who feels the life of the poor, who grew in the same situation, who can inspire the lower class people.

I want the president who is loyal to people, who is common in the eyes of civilians, who not so brutal and arrogant.

I want the president who is not tribalistic, not nepotistic, not oppressive, not seggregative, and discriminative.

I want a president who respect people, who respect government institution, who dont call himself superior than others.

I want a president who wakes up at 5 in the morning to see the sunrise because it’s the simple things that matter most.

I want a president who isn’t afraid of standing for what he believes in, or against what he doesn’t.

I want a president who puts himself low so others can feel what it’s like to be high.

I want a president who isn’t afraid of the truth, but sadly, it doesn’t take much to get under your paper skin, does it?

I want a president who’s been where we’ve been. Who’s felt what we’ve felt.

I want a president who listens more and talks less.

I want a president who breaks glass ceilings every day and is proud of what they’ve spent their life creating.

I want a president who practices mindful thinking, not mindless tweeting.

I want a president who would throw themselves in front of a bus for us,but unfortunately, I think you’re the one driving the bus, Mr. Museveni.

I want a president who does yoga.

I want a president who wakes up every day blessed to be alive.

I want a president who practices kindness in the most sincere way.
Because that’s what makes a president worthwhile, President Bobi Wine.