Categories
Love

old sport

Let’s talk magic; let’s talk love, let’s talk gibberish and a bit of sport.d

So many words unwritten, stories never told, loves lost and never found.

Situations. Cries smothered by pillows. Harrowing tales never believed.

No one feels your pain for you. Pain equated. Pangs of regret. What ifs.

Love; a myth, the known unknown, the smallest voice that makes it major.

Stories of eyes, heavy eyes. Days of dust. Forgiveness less forgetfulness. Unrelenting.

Head alongside heart. Spirit painted gold, hands raised high. Legs, the same. Tip goads.

Rains on the window pane. Count me in. Tingles in this silly place. The right places.

Undercover staying dry and warm. Adored nose kisses. Wherever, whenever.

Smiles. Stolen stares at your spumy face. Feelings. This is us. Blendy. This is us.

Once again it’s my soul. When all is lost and I lose control. I always know, it’s you. It is.

What we found, an epithet for Love. For you make me smile, time after time.

Been awake from this slumber now. It’s the soul again. It’s the story never written.

Those bites, bite your best friend like chocolate. Go on, go go. Car smells like cigarettes and cum. Go.

Hair still smell like coconut cum and chocolate and cum and more chocolate.

Steamy windows. Friends calling. Lips bitten. Marks left. Mental photographs.

Memories

Categories
Fiction Imagination Life

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a man; who fell in love with a woman. They got married had children, and lived happily ever after…


As kids, stories were such a five-finger exercise. So smooth, so penny-plain and so subtle. Then growing up happened. Curiosity set in, many a cat died, the cats with in us. Schrodinger’s too.

Adam and Eve eating an apple metamorphosed into something bigger. You start to wonder how thighs come into a story so pristine.

Little wonders about what Jack and Jill where doing up that hill, and how the well could be up, not down the valley.


Stories ceased to make sense, as we drowned in novels, belly-flopped deep into meaningless books, got lost in Mangas. With each text read, a realm of Sunyata. A rabbit hole with a trap for light at the end of the tunnel.

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But still there remained that crave to read. To feed our little minds with something, anything. Twitter and Facebook happened, blogs too. And Snapchat and Instagram were invited to the party. And it was lit. As it was intimated that, as the Social Media platforms are food for the eyes, books and in particular short story books were food for the mind and the soul. So ensnaring…

One thing that’s eerie about stories, and mostly short stories is how quickly they can shape your surroundings, life and emotions.  Maybe you start reading one over your lunch break and, if it’s the right one, before that peanut butter cup you bought for dessert even has a chance to finish its melting shape-shift into some kind of sugary cement, the whole world has been destroyed around you and then rebuilt, and then remodeled into something outlandish, Museveni has retired and Nelson Mandela resurrected. Nothing is quite the same again. Ohhh, until it ebbs away.

This happens whether you like it or not. The best short stories haunt you for days and weeks. They take you to a dimension you can feel but can neither live in nor touch. Great stories exercise this violent beauty on you in a variety of ways: some by making an absurd world familiar (or vice versa), some with a slow burn, some with a voice that colonizes your thoughts. Some do it quietly, almost without you even noticing, and some do it with high wire acts of imagination or intellect that make you into a breathless witness.

The trick, then, is finding the right story, one that is capable of such a thing. This is no easy task. Tastes differ, of course, and it can be confusing to spot the small boat of a great story on the wide sea of fiction. What any reader can offer you in terms of guidance is actually the same thing that any good writer can offer you with the story itself: a way of saying, This is what moved me and made me feel strange and alive in some way; here, why don’t you give it a try?


I could say it’s the same with Music. Find a song, and it takes your soul through every valley with all sorts of shadows, of course you fear nothing then for the beat is your comfort.


 

Categories
#UgBlog Topics Uganda ugbloc

More like a Comeback Post

It’s been a month 12 days since pen last kissed paper, since I wrote a meaningful post. See writing is like sex, when it’s good both the smasher and the smashee feel it. Both the writer and the reader will feel it, deep inside. Like the clay outside on a rainy day, the petrichor maybe the same but the taste, the feel on the tongue is quite antithetic.

See you’ll write, taste it and it tastes unearthly and you spit; drop the pen and go dance your frustrations away, or you save. And there you have yet another draft that will most probably never see light. Soon as mood changes, the draft all of a sudden looks like stale yogurt. You wonder, “What was I thinking? Damn.”

Forty three days. Sounds like a good number to call any lull a Writers Block. Forty three days. Only that I was writing but not publishing. Call that a Publishers Block. It’s not easy, it doesn’t feel good. It might leave you sad or to some people depressed. Well that’s hyperbolising  but it leaves you wondering Can I Really Write?

To the Sixty Nine bloggers who followed me in those Forty Three days, I don’t know how to thank you. Oh wait, I know how to. I’ll write some more and write sweet. To you the Two Hundred and Thirty Seven who viewed my musings, may you live to see whatever you’ve always wished to see. Even if it’s Bathsheba taking a bath. To the One Hundred One that actually visited this blog, may you be visited by your wishes riding on fancy horses. Thank you so much.

You know Ugandan bloggers haven’t been writing because the mood has been low ever since the rigged elections. You might not see it, but such affect the mood of the country. If you’re Ugandan, you very well know of the increased accidents, the increased suicide attempts, Supermarkets closing, Businessmen needing bail outs, and Writers not writing. It’s simple sociology. I believe Zimbabweans  can relate, that’s if they haven’t assimilated to the circumstances. Well Zambians can relate atleast, ever since they were Lungufied. And Malawians who were Mutharikafied before them.

Times haven’t been good. But to tell you one thing, the sun still rises, even with the pain.
The sun still rises, even through the rain. That’s the way it is.

Categories
Love ShortStory Stories

Pricks Dicks Pricks

Just like that.
His words were so smooth they wiped her tears away. Words of promise.
Rivulet after rivulet fingers cleared the waterworks as the words soothed the heart.

They had a promise made, pairs of lips and then away. Both under the influence, it was a night to be confused.
She was the ‘you’ll send me a letter and a rose’. She was the ‘we’ll grey together, we’ll hold hands forever’.
It didn’t hurt in depth of the night, it was the sweetest pain. With numbness it was only but a memory.
It was a night of magic rush, it was a night of torn knickers and soiled sheets.
Like a knife cutting through her soul, she cried for the scattered petals scattered all over the bed.
She cried for what would have been, what is, what are we and what will be. She just cried.

It started with a simple touch, a dance, and then a warm embrace at the stroke of midnight.
He knew what to say, when to smile. He just knew. He was just cute and his chest was the warmest open field.
Every step he made, every breath he took, he was her refuge, and she was as smitten as she was tipsy.
Just another clear, lit night sky and the coldest breeze left yet another couple with pointed nipples and hard-ons.
It was a strange night, cold winds, signs of rain but no dark clouds.

She was the girl in the corner in a crowded bar. He was the boy with the prettiest girl and a standing out leather jacket.
“I want to dance with you, take my hand, and let me get your jacket off.”
“And if you care about me, don’t go for the cigarette break.” “You might get a kiss if you behave, you know”
She’d come with friends, she wasn’t to leave with them. She was having the night of her life. And cock-blocking is a sin.
It’s well written in the old old Testament. In Song of Songs to be precise. And she was enjoying each passing song.

They could have danced forever, but the DJ cut it out. He just did. He said the rat had eaten the wires.
But we all knew it was time to close, we all knew they were avoiding a fine by the City Council.
Just like we all knew it would start raining in the next… It rained.

The ride back home was parked in the lower basement, it’d need a walk down the stairs, a walk tired legs in high heels wouldn’t or rather couldn’t make. She had to be carried, it was romantic, and it was sensual, much as it wasn’t necessary.
It must have been his idea because his finger found their way to the ridges of her butt straight to where the heart of her womanhood was. The cloth that covers the beautiful was the only impediment.
She was enervated buy the sudden touch and threw her legs in the air begging to be put down. She was put down.
She wasn’t happy with his touch, and told him so. She told him how she was from a religious family and was expected to keep some moral standards. In her stupor she told him a lot. She told him how she was keeping herself for the man she’d marry, for that night after the wedding vows.

She told him how she really loved him and wished they could walk down the aisle someday.
She told she wanted to be dropped at her apartment. How her roommate must have been worried all this time.
He listened in silence, probably being a good listener or perhaps counting his losses.
All that was interrupted by the startling realisation that the car keys were nowhere to be seen. They’d been in his jacket. The jacket she’d been custodian of. He was angry, more like disappointed but angry. He’d been guilty seconds before and wasn’t the type to get angry for long.

An Uber had to be called. They were half drenched in rain, half drenched in silence. First to the apartment, then to his home. It was to be.
“Hey, guess what, I’m wet, “slowly leaning on his shoulder. He hastily and subtly angrily shrugging her off replied, “Like we both are.”
“No, I’m wet,” she winked at him and placed her lips on his. Without minding the Uber driver they kissed, lower lip, upper lip tongue and all.
And he couldn’t help it, again his hands were up her skirts and it wasn’t the rain wet, it was the wet wet, the cream wet.
The Uber driver played deaf ear the whole journey and did what he did best. Hit potholes, it was sensual with every hole hit. The journey was as short as short journies come.

Soon they were at her plush apartment. She kissed him goodnight, they moved out, him opening the cab door and all the other endangered chivalric antics. He now had a smile on his face and evidence all over his fingers and palms.
She moved out but her knees couldn’t hold. So they paid the driver for waiting charges would be exorbitant.
Up they moved, up the terrace to her door. She fumbled for her keys, finally finding them in the deepest chambers of her bag. All this time she was sat on the veranda by the living room window pouring out all the contents of her bag, as he watched. Men don’t touch into ladies’ bags, it was written.

The door was open just in time to realise the roommate wasn’t around. Who jumped at who, it’s hard to tell. Her last memory was opening the room, which subsequently closed her mind.
Skirts tossed via the door mat, jackets under the bed. Bras half removed. Shoes on top of the bed and torn panties.
It was a night of pushes and screams, drips and creams. It was a night of dancing to perfect tunes. A night of shared heartbeats and wolf teeth bites.
It was the night. But they had a promise made, and now had a promise broken. The writing written on the wall in hand of the devil.

Categories
#UgBlog Infinite Love Life Love Stories Uganda

Loose Talk.

What pulse drives you? Is it ambition, is it fear? Is it desire? What is it? Is it love?
Something has to be fuelling your fire, or else your flame will burn out.
And please don’t tell me your life runs on solar. Just don’t.

For you I know, clearly know; it is love, I can see it on your lips, I can see it in your eyes.
That glow on your skin tells one thing, you are neck deep in that shit that is love.
It must stink, doesn’t it? Oh, you can’t smell that, can you? Love numbs all senses remember.

I’ve been stalking you for eons now, and guess what;
You’re weird, he’s weird too.
You’re an idiot, he is too.
Okay, you’re real and so is he.
Don’t get me wrong. You two are special.

They say, to be in love is to be anchored in the safest anchorage and I can see you’ve really landed bulungi.
I can see the intensity of your feelings, your emotion of being, that passion, that self-surrender. They’ll Mollis you!
The love you’ve got isn’t Romeo and Juliet, isn’t Abelard and Heloise either; it certainly isn’t the imagination of countless poets, it’s Kampala love, it’s real love. Street Love.

Tell me you don’t keep his undershirts on.
I hear you sleep in his large T-shirts.
I’ve seen you kiss on the sidewalks from work.
You kiss more than you hug. To think you used to fist bump.
He now smells like your favourite perfume and you, his.

Late night calls. Frequent calls. A distended call log.
Imagine one chat, his chat is always above the ever vibrant Whatsapp group chats.
One word sentences for others, paragraphs and essays for that one chat.

I can smell love even in the filthiest of sewers.
And what you guys have is love love, it’s affection love, might even be sex love.

They say, only sex love can create the homogeneity, equality and reciprocity between two persons and drown egoism.
I can see the way you relate.
You girl, you must have seen each other already, unravelled things hitherto hidden in laces and all.
You must have eaten each other already, yes.

Remember the bruises, the other time, now I know they were bite marks.
What! So who is Dracula now?
Or have you been in a WWE fight ish with him, 12 rounds; no knockout.
I know, if there’s a drop of love in sex, 12 rounds isn’t a hard ask.
You know with love sex, it is said over and over again; means insatiable participation in the existence of the loved.
12 not out? Wow. You guys are great. Deserve a medal

By the way, Love is blind for those in the realm of love.
Had you noticed that you two were holding hands for more than 10 minutes instead of downing your beers?
Aha. Anyway, I’m happy for you. Nice hair by the way, where did you do it from? I want.

A girl talking to a girl, about a boy who is in love with a girl.

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Gregor Cresnor
Categories
#UgBlog Imagination Satire Uganda

Fonts and Lanes.

I was absent minded, and I believe I heard her ask;
“Are we on the same page?”
I must have replied “Yes we are,” much as I couldn’t remember muttering it out.
Here I was lost in thought again;

On the same page! Really? Yes, but only in a different font.
Perhaps the same typeface, but stull different fonts.

I’m a Times New Roman, you might be a Times Old Roman.
By your skirts, I can see you and Ma have a lot in common.

They say I’m italicised, and I know you’re not.
I don’t know what they mean but I sure know you’re not what they mean.

In fact I’m ultra-light and you’re extra bold.
See, I’m compressed, condensed and you’re wide, extended.
I’m more like a caption to your poster.

I’m Grotesque, you are not.
You’re Antiqua, I’m not.
I’m who you aren’t. Never will be.

I’m sans-serif, you are all things serif.
I always hated strokes anyway. Elongated and clumsy they are.

I’m underlined, you’re striked-through.
Yes there’s a thin line between us, but it’s more through you and under me.

I’m a super-script, you’re an under-script.
See we aren’t even on the same line.

I’m more like a Webding and you, a Goudy Stout.
We might be on the same page but we aren’t the same.


Do you know your fonts? Neither do I.
Do you know your lane? Neither do I.
We all live on the same page, or do we?

Categories
#UgBlog Topics Uganda ugbloc

Boda-Bolder Boda-Badder!

‘Four wheels good, two wheels better’. This isn’t Animal Farm but is life.
The life of a young man from a not so rich family, the life of a stay home mum; the life of a pretty little girl at university, that of a ‘working class’ guy, this is the life of a Boda Boda user.

Still, this isn’t Animal Farm much as we all know that ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others’.
Some get 4 wheels as a 16th Birthday present, some are dropped to their destinations, some have worked their ass off, and have stalled buying a piece of land just to buy their first car. Some ‘married well’, while others demand a car before you dive into their DMs or before your wood-pecker sees off that, that covers the hole of the wood.
Either way, they drive or/and are driven. They may or may not know that special wind-cutting experience on a 2 wheeler.
That jump. Onto that seat, no seat belt, no handles, just you and your ass on the hard seat, legs on the stands.
That experience, as you pass by all those in their cool cars, as you swerve here, turn there.
The flight you get as you avoid yet another close shave with death, yet another knock.
That feeling, that your ride might be the last time you hear yourself breathe.

The Boda Boda, the first of its name, king of the roads, fuel maester, princess of convenience and the devil’s advocate. It graces the streets of Kampala, and any road, alley, boulevard, path or whatever of any city in Africa.
You’ll need it. No, you’ll need to use it. You can’t avoid it. You can’t hide away from it. It’s here, it’s there. It’s everywhere.

Too late for that final examination! It’s there.
Woke up at 8:30 with an interview at 9am! There it is.
Drunk you to stupor, can’t drive? At your service.
Late for a flight! Jump on it.
That midnight call for sex in Mukono! You know what to do.
Cramps at 1am! Period at work! It’s your SOS.
Kids will be picked from school. Yes they will.
Someone to assassinate, shoot. Count on them.
From a Rolex, to Orange Airtime. From directions, to directories.
From dawn to dusk. Whatever the time, whatever the weather.

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Source: cnn.com

 

The Boda Boda will be there for you. It’ll let you down once in a while but will never late you down.
It’s not just the boda that you’ll have faith in; it’s that knight in a shining, rather dirty jacket. But don’t mind the jacket, blame it on the roads, blame it on the dust.

Some have made relationships with these men, others, unbreakable bonds. Some have saved their contacts just in case, others saved them as My boda guy and call on them whenever, wherever. And they are dependable. They never let them down.
I have heard stories of boda guys who have let their clients down. Only that the down in this case is a cosy, sometimes not so cosy places for wrong side business. Funny business. Adult business. Okay, for cat and mouse games. House. Sex. Coitus.
They say those that say; the vibrations from the boda boda engine have a rather lascivious effect on some parts of some ladies some times. Tale for another day.

Not a day goes by without hearing news of yet another boda guy involved in a nasty accident. Not a day goes by without sending off of a boda guy or their victim or client.
It’s become such a customary manifestation that the causality ward of the main referral hospital has been christened the boda ward.
Whoever is in wrong whenever these accident happen, we’ll never know.

One thing we know though is lives are being lost, loved ones are being lost. And it’s not about to stop.
Another thing we know for sure is that there’s too much naivety on the roads. Road signs wherever they are unusually erected, can’t be read properly. ‘Don’t drink and ride’ is just a five worded sentence but carries little or no message to the masses. Boda boda guys ride without reflectors on their jackets. It’s a mess.
It’s hard to understand how a Knight can go to a battle, to a war without his armour. How these Knights in dirty jackets can’t or won’t cover their heads with helmets is beyond comprehension.
Someone once said, “Commuting in Kampala is like a war, so you don’t use indicators. You don’t want to indicate your moves to your enemy on the road.”
You don’t want to lose the battle, you don’t want to die.
If you don’t want to lose, your life, your battle, your war; boda guy or passenger, please buy a helmet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
#UgBlog Care Comedy Fiction Imagination lush Nature ShortStory Stories Topics Uganda Yap

Well. Fare thee well, Well.

I’ve been quiet all this time. But not anymore. Infact, I’m done.
Silence is never empty, it’s full of answers.
Just like I’m always full, full of life.

Your ancestors have been to me, I’ve fed them, I’ve quenched their thirst, I’ve filled their pots.
I’ve been a confidant to their secrets.
A testimony to their beingness.
I haven’t expected a modicum of discernment from them. Not for a moment.
I haven’t asked for anything from them.
I haven’t complained, not for a single time.

Your Children have played around me.
Every morning from bed. As they wash out shnooters from their eyes.
Every evening after school. I love it when they discuss their homework as they graze goats. Reminds me of when I was young.
One or two has pulled out his elongation  and peed on me while his friends aren’t looking. I’ve felt offended.

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I’ve tamed my anger and haven’t  swallowed, eaten one up.
Lord knows I’ve tried. And it’s been.
Their balls have hit me in the face.
It’s hurt but I always dust my face and return their balls.
Their goats have drank from me, with their unblushed teeth and nose dripping of mucus. Their cows too. It’s too much.

I’ve seen many a woman’s creation. But I haven’t told a soul. Those that don’t cover their slit, I’ve gazed. And they and I share a resemblance until they cut those bushes. I like looking but I’ve overgrown that.
I only listen and can’t look beyond my lips, and if I did, it’d be the blue sky of day and the stars at night over and over again.
The bushes around have told me alot.
They say they have seen men unbuckle their belts, lower their trousers and shamelessly leave a heap of nasty things.
They’ve seen women’s navels as soap and water caress their body. And sponge scrub their frame.
They’ve held their clothes as they purify.
They’ve heard Ssengas spit chants and pull flesh.
They’ve seen alot, and they’ve intimated to me. I know. Everything. And say nothing.

I won’t say I’ve seen your neighbor get naked and do bad business with your daughter on the grass that covers my belly.
I won’t say I’ve been soaked by the blood and more that spilled on that grass.
I won’t tell you how she cried, laughed and cursed all in unison. I won’t.
I won’t tell you nothing, it’s our secret; the vultures, the sky and I.
Even God doesn’t know. He must have been reading a book, he didn’t look, he didn’t see. I didn’t tell.

Vultures have circled above me. I’ve only been left with empty dreams of flying, soaring high in the skies.
If I could fly, I’d never have to feel the excruciating pain in my eyes.
These birds throw their flying toilets straight in my eyes and there isn’t a single thing I can do. I can’t even visit an optician. It hurts.

It hurts I don’t sleep. I can’t sleep.
I’d love to. Like you do, but can’t. Mosquitoes buzz in my ear all night. Crickets compete for my audience and owls for my attention.
I’m always awake, counting stars, listening to the frogs snore.

I’m tired. Let me return to middle earth to my father’s father’s dwelling. Deep down.
I’ve been here a thousand years, I’ve seen alot. I’ve heard alot. I’m tired.
I’ve said too much today, I’m tired.
Hope all will be well when I’m gone.
I’m tired. Let me dry up as the good old well I’ve been.

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Categories
#UgBlog #ugblogweek Freedom of Expression Imagination Tech Uganda

#UGBlogWeek: Day IV. Freedom of Expression and Go!

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Let me just type away my opinion and go.

Social Media has overtaken the Bar in connecting people of different backgrounds. Not even the Church comes close.
With the bar, #JamrockThursdays:
You’ll make genuine connections, have the best of conversations and for those that do Quiz Nights; learn a thing or two. You’ll get to realise that you really don’t know much and have a lot to learn.
You’ll leave as learned as you’re tipsy. The bar is the perfect connections pot. 🍺🍺🍺
But not all of us frequent the bars in search for the bitter, happiness and one more stranger turned acquitance. 
Comes in Social Media.

I’ll only cover Twitter, Swarm[Foursquare] and Snapchat. The apps or forums I mostly use; apart from this app, WordPress.

Freedom of Expression and Social Media:
We are all given 140 characters, we are free to use them whichever way we want. Shakespeare didn’t invent the alphabet but rearranged the letters he had, to make the wonderful pieces he wrote.
We are to be Shakespeares in our own right or so we are made to believe the moment we get a text field.

With the 140, you write whatever comes to mind, whatever you feel like sharing; rants, observations, opinions, quotes, lyrics🎶, name it.
Be whatever you want to be; Influencer, BOT, troll, sex guru, motivational speaker or even Pablo.

See the thing is you’re free to write anything, you’re free to express yourself. You’ve got that ultimate Freedom of Expression with your precious 140.

And you type away. Say things you believe in, chat with people you want to, drop into people’s mentions, hit their DMs and wherever that leads.

That’s where human behavior comes in. The interactions made aren’t in a Vacuum, they involve other people; followers and followers of followers. Strangers and friends. Many people. Billions of people.

You’ll say things, and you’re totally free to say anything considering it’s with in the acceptable limits. *Leave Jews out of this. And don’t exploit minors.
Sad we never read the EULAs and the Terms and Conditions of any app/platform.

Then one day you say something you believe in, anything and you’re castigated by other people that don’t think or believe the same. Funny enough, they expect you to believe and accept what they say on the other hand.

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You’re homophobic and you’re branded an animal for that. But you strongly believe homosexuality is wrong. You were raised to believe so, your mum is a Catholic Nun, so…
They are homosexual and they believe it’s right. Love knows no barriers and everyone chooses to identify as whoever they want! 
And they want you to accept their beliefs, ditch yours and take up their beliefs. And you can’t say what you believe, only what they believe. Freedoms impinging on other Freedoms.

You’re a feminist and believe anyone who points out issues contrary to what you believe, is better off in hell and not in your mentions. If you think women should kneel, you’re less of a woman, self-defeating and saying things to please men. Much as you believe in equality, you’re the enemy, and deserve no seat at the table of womyn. “And don’t say another word, because you lack, intellectually.” You’re muted.

You believe your Soccer Team has the best manager, the best stadium, the best players and the best loos and whoever thinks otherwise should trip and fall out of your mentions. Or kindly see themselves out.

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You embark on the furnace journey to modor, you light a fire in your kiln and dish out blocks, you block this one and block the other. You unfollow and mute. But while doing this you don’t ever realize that another person could be doing exactly the same to you and others. And if each one blocked one. There would be no Social Media, that’d be more of Anti-Social Media.

You think that no one should have a right to be a fashionista, if they don’t have a DSLR Camera and a YouTube Channel. That their opinion and fashion sense is lacking if their Instagram has compact camera and android phone pics.

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You don’t realise that whatever story you choose to share on your snapchat, you’re free. Those cinema stories, the laptop series you’re watching, the sermons, voice notes and the stale jokes.
That whichever filter you choose. You have that freedom to express yourself, embrace it. And no one should set the standards and expect you to tag along.

That there’s Freedom of Expression and 7 billion people can’t have the same values, same views and the same lifestyle? You don’t get that.

Well, be yourself, share what you feel and mind no one. I know we all live for attention and those notifications we crave. It’s normal, it’s human. Share your posts and go.
Embrace the little freedom of expression you have.

Don’t self-censure, the government hates competition.

Categories
#UgBlog #ugblogweek Freedom of Expression Life Uganda

#UGBlogWeek: Day III. Freedom of Expression.

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Day 3 of the Freedom of Expression theme week. Well, my second post but more will be flowing in on a single day.
The last from the government viewpoint.

“Rights and Freedoms are inherent and not granted by the State”. By respecting and promoting the freedoms, the State is merely fulfilling its constitutional obligation and not doing anyone a favor.
The State shouldn’t hold citizens hostage with claims it “brought peace”, “brought back rights”. That is, if the State respects its citizenry.

Is Freedom an absolute concept? Or can it be relative and subjective?
Is it an all or nothing arrangement? You’re either free or you’re not, is it?

Freedom is not absolute. It is a relative and subjective concept. Freedom cannot be measured, the degree to which a person is or is not free can only be determined through comparison and that comparison is completely subjective.

Freedom is also a diverse concept. It can be applied to personal, social, political, economic, academic, and religious spheres. A violation in one or more areas does not negate freedoms in the others. Nor does freedom in some spheres excuse violations in others. We can’t look at freedom as black or white, whole or nothing concept.

Does that mean infringements won’t occur at the hands of the very government erected to protect our liberties? Of course not.

Sadly the country I live in, the continent I live in and to an extent the world we live in infringes alot on freedoms.
And my country Uganda has mastered the art of infringing on freedoms and getting away with it scot free.

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Bills have been passed, Acts signed. And the rights of a free man eroded.
Freedom of Expression has suffered the most with a great deal, if not all of the recent Acts of Law curtailing expression in general and dissent in particular

•The Anti-Terrorism Act (2002).
•The Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (2010).
•Uganda Communications Act 2012
•The Public Order Management Act, 2013
All these Acts have limitations on nearly all the Freedoms a Ugandan is meant to enjoy. And heavily infringe on Human Rights.

And incidents of mass abuse of rights have occurred in the light of day, most with impunity.

• In October 2014, Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi was convicted of criminal defamation over a 2011 story implying a connection between a former Kalangala district chairman and the theft of solar panels that the African Development Bank had donated. Ssembuusi was sentenced to pay a fine of 1 million shillings ($375) within a month, or serve one year in prison.

• Broadcast media regulations issued in March 2014 required all outlets to provide one free hour of prime air time per week to government officials so they could promote government policies and programs; however, the regulations have not been enforced.
Independent journalists and media outlets are often critical of the government, but in recent years they have faced substantial, escalating government restrictions and intimidation, encouraging self-censorship.
Journalists often face harassment or physical attacks by police or ordinary citizens while covering the news. And some are banned from covering certain events.

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• The restrictions on internet access, and online media. Social Media has been shut down, not once but twice in 2016. During the 2016 contested Elections, Social Media and Mobile Money Services were shutdown, effecting an order from the UCC citing security reasons.
It was once more shutdown in May 2016, on the day of the swearing in of the President. A trend that is sweeping through other despotic states in sub saharan Africa.

• The government has reportedly sought to increase surveillance of internet and mobile-phone communications in the context of antiterrorism campaigns, as permitted under the 2002 Antiterrorism Act and the 2010 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act. Under the latter, all mobile-phone users were required to register their SIM cards with the government by August 2013, after which unregistered cards were deactivated.
And earlier the revelations of the Operation Fungua Macho, an operation by security and spy agencies to spy on the prominent opposition figures and the talk of a plan to procure a pornography detection system left the country in disbelief.

• In March, police in eastern Uganda blocked two demonstrations organized by the opposition pushing for electoral reforms. Police claimed the politicians had not sought permission from the inspector general of police, as required under the new law. Eventually the rallies were permitted, but those seeking to protest against the current electoral laws often face unclear procedures and prolonged delays when seeking permissions.

• Former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi a presidential aspirant at the time was stopped from going to Mbale to consult his supporters and detained at Kiira Road Police Station till the sunset when he was released without caution or charge.

• In June 2015, two men were arrested for smuggling two pigs into parliament as a protest against high youth unemployment rates. The two were charged with criminal trespass and conspiracy.

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• In August 2015, police arrested 20 members of the Uganda National Students Association for holding a protest at the Ministry of Education, which police deemed to be an unlawful assembly. The same month, police arrested seven young men in Kampala who were peacefully demonstrating against unemployment.

• The closure of two newspapers and a radio station in 2013 and new ad-hoc policies introduced by the minister of information negatively impacted media’s operating environment. Station managers and journalists report fear of reprisals if programs are highly critical of the government.

• In March 2015, a regional police commander stormed the studios of Guide Radio in Kasese, western Uganda, and stopped a program in which the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change was participating. The police commander claimed to be under orders to stop the program because it was “inciting violence.”

• And there has been frequent break ins into offices of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and Law firms, with fingers pointing to organised raids from government security operatives.

• Nalufenya, Kasangati, Moroto and Kiira Road Police stations have become infamous for having a negative correlation with liberty.

These and many infringements have been carried on against the Freedoms that the government swears to protect and to uphold. This begs the question.

Is there Freedom of Expression in Uganda?