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A time like this

Dear Valentine,

The dreams have altered from the fun lovey-dovey kind to the monstrous witch hunt and creepy shadow kind. There are no more whispered I love yous, shared breath or light chuckles and holding hands. But rather, “too risky to have it” and, “you are gonna die” kind. I think I know why. My subconscious is trying to knock sense back into me. It is awakening me to the true absurdity of my desirous quest. The fact that I should have let you go a long time ago but, valentine is coming and I am reminded that you should be mine. So, suppressed emotions are raging out to tell a forbidden tale while i slumber.

We have been dating since January 2022. Wait! You don’t know? I didn’t tell you? … My bad.

Remember the time I came to visit? You wore gray shorts and an oversize vest. The vest revealed a divine set of biceps and allowed a small peep into your broad hairy chest. The shorts permitted sight of beautiful black shiny legs with well shaped calf muscles. “Heaven must have taken an extra hour molding you into perfection”, I thought to myself as you stood there, hands holding door frames side by side while smiling sheepishly at me.

“Welcome stranger! “, you teased as I shyly rushed to enter so I could escape the inquisitive eyes of the neighbors. And no, you didn’t mind them staring. My attempted escape landed me into your strong arms and had me wrapped in a warm embrace. I don’t recall how long it lasted but it felt like a life time.

The plan was to teach me how to cook ‘Ataapa’, your favourite local dish. But you and I being in the same room stirred up my hormones- the happy kind. I twirled and kicked around like a little girl and you chased me down in attempt to bring me to attention. You insisted it was important that I learn because I could use the skill some day. I didn’t take it seriously because, you were always going to do it at our house after all. With more concern than caution, you held my hands, looked me in the eye and said, “You have to take this seriously. My mother will be impressed to know you can do this”. “What does that have to do with me? I asked, offended by the implication of the need to please your mother. “We are going upcountry next weekend to meet her”. My willow heart skipped both in surprise and fear. ” Is this serious?”, I inquired anxiously. “I am meeting your parents!”, You nodded approvingly. My thoughts lingered and wandered at the fact that the last time I reached this stage I ran. Fear? Self doubt? Unreadiness? I don’t know but I ran.

The day we were to travel, you joked about how small my feet were, I feigned offence which ended up in a long silence as I stared out the car window, counting the passing trees while you held my hand asking if I was okay. My reassuring responses weren’t convincing enough to satiate your worry but I loved that it kept you thinking of me.

In our ki love love, you have thought I am smart, but I have thought you are a genius. Of course I haven’t told you this because you are a terrible listener, but what’s one flaw against a thousand perfections?

The last time we saw each other, you were in a hammock sipping on white wine, your favourite kind. I noticed how you clicked the tongue to savour the taste in every sip. I smiled as I flipped pages of my favourite book “The sense of unending”, the title is a premonition of what lies ahead. Nevertheless, I want you to read it. I have told you about it because I am too enthusiastic about the things I love. This makes me spoil them sometimes and perhaps this is why you haven’t taken me seriously. Anyway, back to the hammock, as I immensely concentrated and flipped the pages, you slowly slipped away, and when I looked up, you were Gone. Never to be seen again. Forever to be missed.

They say the more you think of someone, the more likely it is that they are thinking of you. So, how come you never call sweet valentine? Are you too slow to pickย  on the clues, or telepathy is a scam that gets us hooked on an oblique hope?

I acknowledge that you are not mine because I live in my head and most of our relationship has been imagined, even in your presence. Our memories are a fraction of my imagination. And this insurmountable pain is proof of having loved correctly. Pain is love, a reminder that we can feel, breathe and live amicably with no regret.

My prayer this valentine is you get better gifts than a watch, socks and boxers.

I love you my valentine.

January Chronicles

Dearest inquisitor,

January 2023 has been mysterious. And by that, I mean the unpredictable weather; Too hot today , too cold tomorrow or hot mornings and cold evenings. Save for the usual global impoverishment around this time of the year, and the ultimate heat on some days, it has been an incalculable January. I had hoped I would be somewhere by now, but the world is not my mother so, I get to eat whatever it serves. It is what it is. Allow me recount a few things that have happened.

Firstly, I thought I would fast for 21 days. A result of peer pressure, overboard faith and sheer foolishness of the ignorant. As you might have already guessed, this mission came crumbling to the ground on day 3. The intentions where good but the plan was poorly executed. Yes! By day two, I was repenting to God for starting something I wasn’t prepared to finish. I had a few days of guilt after that especially when it was time for a meal but, it soon came to pass. I healed from my apparent disappointment with a repentance prayer whenever it was time for a “bless this meal” prayer. Trust me, it was more of the guilt on my part than the willow thought of God not having forgiven me.

Anyway, I have been working on a feature film script. This is the first time I am writing a feature as the only writer. Most of my works have been for TV series, amounting to 30 pages per episode. The last time I contributed to a feature, I shared credit with 3 other writers. Writing this feature has got me questioning lots of things. Like, do I even like writing? Am I really good at this? What if this is not what I am supposed to be doing with my youthful days? I have reconciled the doubt with, “I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t good at it.” But even then, I have had good and bad days. For most days, I have been looking at badly written scenes and rewriting them or intending to, before I fall into a deep slumber or switch to something else. Tiktok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp and refreshing my email like I am expecting a bank deposit notice. Hopeless!

What has stolen my time however, is series. I have watched more series than I recall. Like over 15 series in a month. Truth be told, I don’t even remember most of the things I have watched or their titles or what they are about. For the most part, I have been watching to kill stress and pass time but, I will tell you what I remember; 1899, Euphoria 1&2, Last Resort, Kindred, Let the right one in, Jack Ryan 3, The most beautiful flower, and these are just the ones I watched last week. Beyond that, like I said, I don’t remember. Just a bunch of Netflix crap I came across. Entertaining but not enough to retain attention and stick to memory. If someone came through with the same series I would probably tell them I have never watched only to open the first episode and realise I have watched.

Inquisitor, I had a very interesting encounter last Friday. It’s probably the reason I am motivated to write this. I love documenting my anecdotes because they remind me of small delights, small mysteries and small pleasures which are the nuances that make up life. When you are a writer, you spend most of the time in the house writing obviously or, overthinking, brainstorming and distracting yourself from writing the next paragraph. Perhaps it’s writer’s block or not, but whatever it is, you spend most of the time in your head than with other people. So believe me when I tell you, I have barely stepped outside my gate. I can count the number of times and they are not very many. I would say I relish my own company very much but then I would be lying โ˜บ๏ธ

I was compelled to go to the centre to get ‘supplies’. I might have had a certain glow, you know, like the one Moses had when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting God? I say this because I happened to be attracting a lot of attention. ๐Ÿคฆ

Kakati, do you remember the stranger I told you about? The one I have met so often that it has become a “thing”? If you have been reading my statuses then you surely remember him. If not, I will recap.

Mr Stranger and I often meet around the same place. Either he is going and I am coming or the reverse. I am sure you were wondering what happened? Well, I have been spending more time in the house hiding from my potential destiny๐Ÿ˜‚. I still don’t know his name neither does he mine.

Allow me go off the rail a bit. I wear glasses. Mostly, because I am short-sighted. But recently because they  have  enabled selective visibility.  And for a person that avoids unnecessary eye contact, they have given me a super power. If I can convince myself that I am invisible, others will start to believe I can’t see them. I love my glasses because now, I see people before they realise I have seen them. Then I can avoid them or pretend not to have seen them.

Back to Mr Stranger. Like with most of our encounters, I was going while he was coming. Thanks to my glasses, I was able to see him before he realised I had. He was with someone, a brother perhaps, and as soon as he saw me, he whispered something and they both laughed. I wonder what he said! There was a weird silence between them as our distance narrowed. The person he was with trying not to look but not helping it, and him trying to make sure I see him. It was a mini staring contest as I painstakingly tried not to laugh. Perhaps he noticed my cheeks pulling back into a smile as I bit my inner lip to stop an itching laughter. As soon as he had passed, I laughed, my body shook but I didn’t look back. I knew he would catch me. Once again, we didn’t say anything to each other. I don’t intend to. It will probably end into a story of two people who know each other but don’t really know each other.๐Ÿ˜‚

But that’s not what made this interesting, On my way back, in the same exact spot that I met Mr Stranger, I met two young male adults. I was hiding behind my lenses and lost in thought when I looked up and caught them staring at me. By the time I looked, it was too late for them to pretend they were not looking so once again, I had a staring contest which ended with me asking,” what?”

They burst out laughing like the gremlins they are. I must have made their day because they were overjoyed. I looked back and they were cracking up at their own foolishness. They laughed until they vanished in the distance. The thing about being shy or acting as such is that people tend to dare you. I like dares not because I enjoy them but because I dread failure. So usually, this is my chance to shine. If we had a staring contest, you would probably lose.

In a nutshell dearest inquisitor, this has been my January. Tell me about yours and if you want me to bore you with foolish anecdotes, this is the place to come to and please leave a comment.

Yours Miss Chronicler ๐Ÿค—

“These Things” _Book Review

Are you seated?

No!!๐Ÿ˜ณ

Okay..Grab a seat. Let me tell you about “These Things”.

“These things” is a collection of poems and prose by Elizabeth Awori. The author uses the two genres to deliver a great deal of impassioned poetry and coherent prose thematically connected and deeply rooted in personal experience, and general societal themes.

Written in mainly two narrative forms; first person and second person, the book conveys hyper imaginative thoughts, feelings and ideas. The author uses a simple but heartwarming diction combined with exquisitely designed figurative language to tackle complex themes and Ideas such as; love, loss, pain, rejection, sexuality and boundaries, faith, growth, equality, acceptance, among others.

Elizabeth uses snappy description to construct a wave of imagination to provoke a great deal of emotions and feelings of love, nostalgia, melancholy, disappointment, peace and betrayal in the reader’s mind. Her impeccable writing prowess embedded with a smooth conversational tone creates a profound sense of belonging and acceptance to the reader as they peruse through the pages making “These Things” not just a good book but a relatable and well executed piece of art.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow the link below and grab yourself a copy
๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/these-things

Lower your Jembe

Welcome back to #winterabc2021 week 2 #advocacyweek.

Advocacy to me is a school of thought; Brilliant minds pondering on diverse ideas and ways of life and in a way either standing for or against a given societal construct. I am more ready to be the reader this week than the writer, because why? Let me put it this way, if you had asked me out for coffee and asked what I stand for, you would probably get one word: spirituality, and if this is not your area of interest, we would likely spend the rest of the evening locking eyes and me pretending to enjoy your jokes. Anyway forget it, I am a lot fun than that. Let’s dive into day 5.

Jembe

Toxicity is a new societal norm that is justified with phrases such as; Regardless we move, just saying, it is what it is, if I die, I die, normalise this normalise that. All of that sounds relevant to us because we are a generation that lives in Denial; of love, of pain, reality, or even a living God. All we once stood for now seems wobbly and has been compensated with compromise.

In most workplaces, women don’t speak much in the staff meetings not because they don’t have a voice but because their male counterparts have embraced a given Vocality that is rather offensive and kills self esteem. Their roles during the meetings are reduced to serving drinks or food, writing minutes or listening to the brilliant ideas of the patriarchy.

In one memorable meeting, a male teacher filed a complaint against female teachers on indecent dressing. He said that their dress code was meant to seduce the male teachers who were supposedly married. Most of his colleagues applauded him for this but, one brave female teacher stood up to him and I quote “We do not dress up for you, we dress up for ourselves. It’s not our fault that you salivate everytime you see us dressed the way we want, lower your Jembe”.

Though they laughed at her forthright lash back, the communication was made and the issue was put to rest but you see, it doesn’t always end there. When someone implies you make them uncomfortable even just a little bit, they guilt trip you into unnecessary self consciousness and in the end, your comfort is determined by them.

Most people think toxicity at work places isย  about being abusive, bossy and exploitative but that’s not it. To me it’s about being opinionated on matters you should shutup about. Inappropriate actions, questions and statements made to question one’s moral, religious, physical and personal beliefs. Which may include: Are you in a relationship? But you’re very short/tall? Do you have a life outside this place? When are you getting married? You have lost weight! You have gained weight? I can imagine you pregnant! When are you having children? But your boyfriend/girlfriend is oba how? what do you do with your money? Why are you dressed like that today? Someone must be pampering you these days?You look smarter in long things, your can over make up!, I prefer the other hair style, Can I get some? I don’t see you with anyone, are you normal? etc

We live in a sensitive era where emotional growth is paramount, and a mere statement, meme or action can push someone to suicide. Please, maintain healthyย  boundaries and be mindful of anything that comes out of your mouth. Stop inviting yourself into people’s lives, and don’t feel entitled to opinion.ย  Let others live Life according to their standards not yours.

Most importantly, lower your Jembe.

And… Action.

#creativewriting #winterabc2021 #winterabc Day 4

At some point, we have all wished we were that person inside the TV, computer, phone or, on a theatre stage: plotting the moves, making the rules, dropping the lines, bombs, punches or bullets, showing everyone who is Boss; that person everyone loves and admires. We have elected them our favourite super heroes, actors or actresses and have adopted certain mannerisms of speech, movement and behaviour. We have related with them to a point of obsessively stalking them on their socials because, they always understand the assignment.

No lie. That stuff is cool. In fact, i have consistently consulted google on the subject more often than required for a normal human. But truth be told, if by any Camel through the eye of a needle chance, we had been granted the opportunity to work with them, we wouldn’t like them very much. Why? Because their characters are fictitious and naturally, human beings are annoying.

But I am not here to change your perspective or feelings towards your crush. So in 3,2,1. I will dig into it.

The Ugandan film industry is undoubtedly growing and numerous writers, directors, D.OPs, costume designers and even channels are sprouting out just like the beautiful flowers of spring. Obviously for all creatives in the country, I will not be wrong to say it’s more than exciting. But just like any developing field, country or place, there is what we call the incumbent. We have lived under the leadership of one for 36+ years so I believe I don’t have to elaborate on the matter. I will say this though, this bureaucracy starts on the skin, gets into the blood stream, down to the bone marrow and before you know it, the system has crumbled and you are on wheelchairs being rolled in and out of hospital with nothing but promises of improvement each time you check in.

One would say the phrase a new broom sweeps best but the old broom knows all corners has allowed most of these excuses. But that’s just a phrase, it can be changed…Heneway, let’s talk about film. In my opinion, these factors have in a way affected the growth of the industry.

#1. Some producers/ directors/casting directors call out for auditions only to see who will show up but truth be told , they already have someone for the role. This ulcer silently nibbles in every field in the country and it’s sickening. Talent has been reduced to mere faces, names tribes and accents. Producer X will cast miss H because she is an influencer/ radio presenter/ TV presenter excetera. Their reason is centred around the publicity of the film before it’s officially aired. Of course as a producer or director, you have the liberty to choose who you want to work with but as a creative, casting choices should be based on talent in relation to the role, and I am not saying these factors are never in consideration. Except for a few masqueraders in the industry, every producer/director or casting director has earned the title which is to say they are smart but that doesn’t make them proof of mistakes. I have seen actors from different countries pull off their first time role straight from acting school and I have thought to myself, woow!! What a great risk!!! So what’s the problem in our industry? could it be that our producers are fearful of risk? Or could it be that the renown actors have all the talent required? Could it be that certain elite/prominent actors want to run things to the grave? That’s a point to ponder. I have met young vibrant and enthusiastic actors who would do anything in their power to deliver, if only they were given a shot.

#2. Actors. It definitely can’t just be the director/ producer/ casting agent’s fault for consistent casting of the same faces which has amounted to under performance. On some dreadful occasions, producers and directors have cast potential actors from auditions only for them to deliver garbage. And for that matter they have opted for a secure path which is- Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t know- and that, I understand. But as an actor, ask yourself this; what are you adding to your performance other than the face, body or voice? What are you giving the director in the frame other than your presence?. Consider the following:

*. Introspect/ meditate on your character. Find out their emotional strength and weaknesses. Delve into their mental and physical ability. what is their goal/motive?

*. Don’t read the script, understand it. Find out the purpose of the scene. Why is your character in the scene? What are they saying? Why are they saying it? If you understand why your character is saying a particular line, you won’t have a problem memorialising it. Listen to the other actor before you deliver your line. Carry each scene, each line, each shot and each take like it’s your last because you don’t know what shot or take they will use in the final cut. Let your every take be performed as your first and last.

*. Avoid mixing up your personality with that of the character. You’re not your character; yes you might relate with them but you’re not them. Unless of course it’s a documentary ๐Ÿ˜‚. Save time on set by coming on time and prepared. Be humble. Don’t throw tantrums at people in the name of being the star, crew might be invisible to you but in most cases, it’s the stepping stone towards your future roles. Remember this, no one wants to work with a disrespectful egotistic maniac.

Casting directors: There is more to this job description than jotting down the names and numbers of people who say they can act. How about you start a film school such as Yenze theatre consavatoire where actors are trained in movements, performance, delivery etc. Ensure to know every actors strength and weaknesses before you recommend them for a role. The least you want to do to your persona is have your judgement misrepresented.

Finally: We might have a long way to go but we are on truck. I understand, friendship and all but Compromise Breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds contempt. Hire someone who is going to take their job as the job not as a favour they are being paid for.

I came down harsh on this one but I am sure you will understand oo.

Writing for Television

#creativewriting #winterabc2021 #winterabc Day 3

Welcome!! If you have screen writing aspirations, you may find this useful.

Just to put it out there, I will be lying to say I am a well experienced Writer and for that matter, the views here are entirely personal. But allow me say one thing, Writing for television needs a lot of emotional growth in a writer. I fully understand we possess different styles, approach, diction, experiences, excetera, but emotional growth is a necessity for any Creative so we have a lot of leveling up to do each time our work ceases to be for our eyes only. For all i  know,  I thought I had it only to realise i lost it.

1. Writer’s room

My first time in the writer’s room was scary because you know, it was my first time ๐Ÿ˜‚. Writers are called to brainstorm on the story which usually, the head writer would have structured themewise and characterwise or even the pilot (sample/first episode) has been shot . That’s to say there is a story which needs to be developed further. Television scripts are mostly commissioned and that means targets and deadlines have to be met. The head writer or producer will need as many writers as possible to help in the story development and structure. So the writer’s sit and layout the continuity of the story. As a writer, this room is also an opportunity to express you brilliance and vibrancy towards story development but most importantly, it’s a room for making connections. What happens here is you structure, restructure and structure again to make sure the storyline is strong and captivating. In this same room, you will make notes and know which episode you will be writing. My advise to you is contribute towards the development of the story, make notes, pay attention and ask questions. Don’t lay off a beautiful idea that could save the story. To me, this is the most crucial step to every writer on the team. If you miss it, you will have ISSUES.

2. The writing process

If writing is your thing and you have every detail you need to commence, this should be the easiest step. But if you missed out on anything in the first step, then like I said, you are going to have issues. The thing about writing for TV is, there is no time, that means you are working on deadlines and the priority is to be in sync with all the other Writers. Writers who don’t pay attention in the writer’s room often drift off and work on notes that are meant for a different episode/writer. You don’t want to be that Writer, least the shooting starts while your script(s) isn’t ready which adds to the pressure, and in the worst scenerio, fired. The fact that you are all writing at the same time, means you can’t wait on another writer to determine how you start or finish your episode. The notes should guide you on how to proceed.

3. Feedback

Just because they say feedback is good doesn’t mean we like it. We simply tolerate it because it helps us polish our product for the client. I mean, who doesn’t want to get it right the first time?. Admittedly, feedback can be painful and demoralising because interpretation or reception of a given art piece varies from one audience to another. As a writer, you have to be more than tolerant. You have to acknowledge and accept. Your best piece could be someone’s worst. Bare with it . That’s how we grow. As a screen writer, nailing each note for your episode is crucial but your story has to be in sync with everyone else’s in terms of storyline, theme and character development therefore make sure you get it and get it right . Grasp the storyline, avoid jarring scenes/dialogue, repeated phrases, cliche phrase; “if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you” etc. Above all be rest assured that unless the writing editor says ‘it’s good to go’, expect feedback.

4.Final draft

If there is anything writting and directing has taught me these last few months, it is that, the final draft is never the final draft until it’s on screen. Here are possible things that might happen to the writer’s final draft:

*Actors.

1.Hopefully, i will get to write about actors soon but, here are a few things they might do to affect the script. There are actors, who never have their lines and that means, they will blend, or clip or improvise on the script just to fit their incompetence.

2: There are those who can’t pronounce the words correctly and sometimes, it’s too late to recast and TV productions work against time so you improvise again.

*Stunts. While in your room drafting scenes dear writer, it’s import to visualize how the scene will be shot. Sometimes we write scenes with perilous stunts that our productions can not pull off. So, as a writer, think on it. Also consider safety of the actor, excetera.

* Production costs. Your producer should be able to roughly reveal the production budget. Otherwise, you are going to write scenes with planes, jets, range rovers , expensive locations, large number of extras of which the production may not be able to afford. Ask these questions, least you are asked to change the script days to the shoot and you don’t want to imagine the pressure that is.

*Editing. Much as editing puts together the scenes to creat visual sense, possibilities are, as they make the cuts, the script might be affected . In the worst scenerio, they will cut out your favourite dialogue or scene, but these changes are usually justifiable so do not explode. Most times it is to ensure the episode meets the time frame requested by the client or the scene/ dialogue doesn’t affect the story in anyway. Know this and know it now. A script is not written in stone.

Thanks for reading. All the best.

From Teacher to 1st A.D

Last year was a rollercoaster for most of us and pretty much everyone was unhinged from their normal schedule, job or environment. If nothing changed in your life, consider yourself rather very fortune.

Professionally I am a teach of English/literature so before Covid, my job was to read books and passages and have them interpreted to my students. 9-5 , 6 days a week. That was the norm.

Teachers aren’t the most apreciated civil servants. Therefore, other than the affection you might develop for your students, there is nothing much to celebrate about the job it’s self. In fact, it is more draining for private school teachers than public school teachers. The latter’s assurance of their salaries makes them get away with pretty much anything, but for a private school teacher, you reap what you sow. So just like any exploited private teacher, I hoped this would change. And then Corona Happened.

I was still in Kampala when corona first hit Uganda. Schools closed, and then transportation was shutdown which meant from there on, i had to fend for myself on my little savings. By the end of the three or so months of lockdown, I only had transport to take me back to my village..so I did.

It’s not always the most pleasant thing to be in the village when you are at the age where everyone thinks you should be married. The questions come by in the most uncomfortable ways and you just want to vanish. In this case, there was no where to run to. It was either here or my work place which I had left as a result of the virus and bankruptcy. So again, I prayed it could all go away and it didn’t take long before my time came.

I received a phone call to help create an original TV series for DStv. You can imagine my excitement. As the caller went a head to reveal the details, I was already in my head packing the items I required for my journey back to Kampala for the writing workshop. This was my first paid writing gig so the anxiety and fear was at bay. In the taxi, I remember rereading the emails over and over again. I needed notes on the storyline. I was incredulously nervousness but I knew I wanted this, no, needed it. At the workshop, i did more of the listening than talking. Little did I know that in months to come, I would be assistant directing on this same project. Another BIG challenge, probably worse than the previous. I had never been on a set before.

In the history of this my life, I have never been on so much pressure and anxiety that i literally felt physical pain. If you have never been on set before, the assistant director (A.D) is the boss. You have to make the most difficult choices and decisions on set. Your duties include:

#1: Drafting shooting schedules, callsheets, and drawing storyboards.

#2: Ensuring required crew and cast are on set and have the right, scripts, schedule, location etc.

#3: calling the roll

#4: Liaising with the crew.

#5: Ensuring safety of the entire team

Find the job description here: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-a-first-assistant-director-job-description-and-responsibilities-of-the-1st-ad-on-a-film-set#:~:text=The%201st%20AD%20clears%20the,props%2C%20and%20cast%20are%20available.

There I was, fresh in the industry with no clue of how things are done but after what i had been through, I can assure you I was up for the challenge. My producer was kind enough to go through the basics of the job with me, but producers don’t have a lot of time so like any techy millennial, I googled my job responsibilities, some of which were had to comprehend so i kept inquiring from mr google. I believe once you self educate yourself, that knowledge sticks with you for a lifetime therefore, more than often I educated myself. It took me weeks to familiarise with the role. What made this job a nightmare was I was dealing with adults who like me, never had much set experience and yet kept consulting me on pretty much everything. I was drained and dehyderated. Hell broke loose when my cast and crew started falling sick day in, day out. The pressure was infinite and the production had to keep running, I had to make compromises on a daily. I felt my nerves, my voice,my tongue and my skin dessert me. Eventually, we all got used and things eased up a bit. I say a bit because filmmakers are soldiers in the real sense of the word. Morning to evening, they shoot.๐Ÿ˜‚

Jobs that give us houses, transport allowance, food, medical allowance get us thinking we have arrived in life. But the truth is, this is an exploitative quality used to pay you pennies as they will remind you of these privileges to silence you each time you ask for more. In fact, they will go ahead to tell you you’re indebted to them and will threaten to take these so called privileges away In case you don’t comply. As you start to question yourself on how you will start a new life: paying rent, electricity, water bills and other utilities, you start to conform and settle for what they have to offer because you don’t even have enough savings to start with.

So on that cold evening when I called my parents to tell them I was going to write and direct films there on, I knew I was taking a big turn in my life. Yes I was afraid. Yes I was scared. Yes I was uncertain. And truthfully, Career change is one of the most scary things in the world. You can’t see the other side so you can’t measure the green of the grass. if you do, then you don’t have the certainty of how long the grass will remain green. Self doubt sinks in, fear of the unknown, anxiety, loss of friends, paranoia, change of schedule, environment, etc. You feel alone and these insecurities become your companion but, don’t let them win. It is okay to be afraid but unless you go a head and do it, you will never know. And the least you want to do is spend the rest of your life lamenting on how things could have been had you been bold enough to take that step.

I’ll say if things become uncomfortable, seize that moment and use it to make those difficult decisions you have meditated on for weeks, months, or years. Discomfort comes with a shift, swing it the right way and you might catch the biggest fish.

Photo credit: Google.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

I am more of a vanilla person. That is to say I am boring. I would rather spend the day in my house listening to my neighbors than go out. I recently changed career and moved into a new neighborhood. It is peaceful and quiet on most days and I absolutely don’t mind it. Nothing beats serenity. Unlike my former neighborhood where my neighbor’s kids deliberately left their homes to come to my veranda, bang my door, scream, collect all the dirt they could find (I am talking about bricks, sand, polythene bags ,stones, toys ) and make the place untidy , this neighborhood is different and I relish it’s abundant tranquility. I have never understood why those kids chose to displease me than their parents who bore them into this world but I guess it is part of being a child. Your reasoning can’t be questioned because you don’t have any. But in this case, I translated it into contempt. I mean, there is no reason for contempt right?๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

My new neighbor’s kids ain’t like that. There is only two of them and they are both girls so, less trouble. They come to my place in the mornings when their parents are cleaning up or have stopped them from messing things up. So they come to mess me up instead. They are torelable though. In most cases, they only play with remotes but as you might know, kids are tricky and can not be trusted. You never know when they will choose to change their mind so I am often on tenterhooks to make sure they don’t spoil anything, or get burnt and their mothers come for me.

Truthfully, I am not a kids person. I have never been. They are hard work and you have to be sober and on your feet to protect them from themselves and from you. Any single diversion of attention is equal to enormous damange. I have never been good at withstanding pressure so for that reason, i avoid them as much as i can but recently I delevoped a strange tolerance for them. Call it growth.

I have six neighbors, which means there are seven doors inside the muzigo. We all know, neighbors can be nosy and dramatic so I am going to tell you about mine .

#1 . She is a mother to one of my kid friends. Her child has ludede (a Lumasaba word to mean spoilt baby who cries about anything). Her mother’s absence means a whole day of crying, I dread such days. The mother is polite, inquisitive and very vigilant. When i first came to the house, she asked me to be vigilant and not to leave my door open whenever I am going out. She said the neighborhood isn’t as safe as it seems. She also told me about a neighbor just behind us who woke up to an empty house few days before my arrival. I commended her for the warning and took on the advice. She makes jokes about me everytime I do laundry because it rains on such days. She says she was once like me and her neighbours never washed on days she washed. I have no idea what this means but i clap back with, “it will always shine the next day”. So it’s more of our joke now. i too tease her about it. She asked about where I pray from and it so happens we pray at the same church, she said she had a feeling and wanted to ask me the day we met. Interesting! Right? she told me about the cell group in the neighborhood so we get along really well. She doesn’t beat her daughter because her husband promised to depot her back to her father’s home if she ever tried, which explains the ludede. Everytime I am leaving the house, she asks her daughter to tell me I am smart. I love her.โ™ฅ๏ธ

#2. This one is a tough mother, she beats the girl on petty things. She has a temper and has no time for excuses for her child who barely speaks. She likes katogo for breakfast. How do I know this? On very many occasions, I have seen it boil on the sigilli outside the veranda. She likes to tell me to change/flip my clothes on the wire so they dry quickly or , she asks me to take off the ones that have dried even when she doesn’t need the space. My guess is, she doesn’t like me very much. Of recent she comes back very late in the night and goes early, I haven’t seen her in a week now. I wonder if she misses me๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

#3. This one is the famous one. Loud in speech and laughter. She lives alone like me. She has friends all over the neighborhood. In the evenings, they gather at her home and talk about culture, weddings, politicians, friends,children etc most of Which I don’t know but I still listen and hear their judgements. Other than the other neighbors, this one likes to prob. I recently learnt that she is a freelance surveyor which explains her questionnaires. When I asked her name , I was astonished to know she already knew mine. How? She says she heard one of my visitors call me. Weird right? She is surveying me๐Ÿ˜Ž. In our most recent conversation, she asked if I had applied for any jobs. I was speechless and i felt judged because She had never asked if I had a job in the first place. It seemed to bather her that i am inside my house all day doing nothing. For a surveyor, I am pretty sure she has terrible observation skills but anyway, I took the liberty to explain to her what I did inside my house to which she was shocked to hear but still insisted on letting me know if she heard of any job opportunities. I told her I would be very pleased. I am still waiting.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

#4 This one is a new mother. Which is to say she is very busy but she has time to surprise me. When I asked about her child, she told me the kid was fine and went ahead to say the child was my tribemate. We had never talked before so I asked how she knew which tribe I was. She said she once heard me speak over the phone. One Sunday when I was washing, her husband told me  of how she had told him I am a gishu. He has been speaking to me in lumasaba since then. In the evenings, she runs around chasing a hen that was given to the baby by the relatives when they went to the village for Eid. It’s been weeks but that hen doesn’t know where it sleeps . So i help her chase it sometimes or hold the baby as she takes it to the store room.

#5 This neighbor is a man. Perhaps in his late 20’s or early 30’s. He is always speaking on the phone whenever i see him. Once in a while , his girlfriend and her girlfriend come in the afternoon. They cook, eat and leave by evening before he comes back. I don’t know how their relationship works but I think it’s interesting. On rare occasions, I see her leave in the morning.?????????

#6. I have never met this neighbor. It’s almost three months now and we haven’t crossed paths. He is never around even on weekends. He often leaves his clothes to be washed by the laundry lady. I see female clothes too but I don’t know if he is married or cohabiting. At least I have seen a silhouette of him but never of the wife. On days I have come back home late. I have found his car packed and lights on. He is a mystery I plan to solve.

Living in this neighborhood has taught me one thing. Mother’s like to talk. Mostly about their children and as I sit in my house listening to them, sometimes I think it’s unnecessary. If you ask me, I know everything about the kids in this muzigo. From how long they sleep to which food they eat, to what their fathers say about them, when they stopped peeing on the bed, what their mothers ate during pregnancy. Their bad/good habits. when they were first beaten. Who they look like. whose habits they possess. Which kind of medication they prefer. Truth is, women like to talk. So, i listen.

Do you have neighbors? What are they like? Which kind of neighbor are you? Please leave a comment.

Read at your own Risk

I haven’t posted here in a while..my excuse is, I have been busy. Too busy for even the people I love…I really apologize.

I am mostly here today cause I want to talk about very many things.. Probably unleash what is stopping me from writing my episodes of Mama and Me.

Last week was its own crazy…I made a life changing late night phone call to some guy .. PAUSE. stop judging!! Let me explain myself small small, I was calling so I could move on, well knowing my place in his heart!!

You are still Judging, I know. Let’s skip that.

Have you ever felt so much pain and desire at the same time that it totally unsettles your belly!! Well, I got there and it was BLOODY..I liked it (Angel had told me about it in one of our late night conversations in her room, Except that hers is for holding back Susu (hihihi)I think she is crazy) so I held on to mine. Perhaps too long that it pushed me to making the phone call.. Let me brag a bit…I am so lucky to have friends that bring out the best in me…and they will always know when I am not okay..it’s like we are synchronized in a way.. Thanks my tights! Big Hugs .

This particular, friend comes to tell me, he feels like I am not fine. I lie that I am but then I am sitting with my elbows to my thighs and hands to my cheeks fumbling with my hands and fingers. I am close to crying..I don’t know what is going on. My stomach is miserable and sending SOS in vain. I insist I am okay but then I am NOT.. Being in Love is not okay.

Anyway, the phone call was a horrible decision but Ojok is to blame because he is a very supportive friend that helps me make irrational decisions in the middle of the night (hahahaha) .

We had a wrap party for season 1 of Mama and Me i got drunk, really drunk and blacked out at the wrap party (Please don’t tell my father)..but if you must tell him, also tell him that I still had the sense to climb up stairs to my room and that I remembered to lock it too. Above the music, I snored in peace until I woke up after two hours ,sober. and went back down stairs..This time, I said no alcohol. There is so much to say here but then, I have a word limit (giggles).

Let’s talk about this week. I just moved into my one bedroom apartment, it’s cozy but for a girl that has been sleeping in a hotel room for 7 months, it feels like too much space. i am still trying to get used to it. Matter of fact, i like it here. It’s a very quiet neighborhood with neighbors who mind their own business, or so i think.

It hasn’t been an easy decision to rent, let alone move to Kiwanga, it’s scary and for people who know me, they know that I have never rented all my life. I feel like it’s alot already but God is faithful.

This evening, someone asked if i was staying a lone..I told them yes and I was scared but I would get used. He said “cool, Choose feminism”.WAIT .Pause. What!!…I am not even mad but WHAT THE HELL!!!!Like Yooook!!

Anyway, I have done my best to make the place as comfortable as it can be. I bought most of the important stuff and I am so happy with what I have achieved in a few days..Thanks to Kebba and his speed!.

I had a writer’s workshop in the first days of the week, it was amazing hearing all the great ideas from the brilliant writers..The producer is an interesting guy, I would tell you about him but he is going to read this so, No.

Anyway the workshop, Clive (cute guy) asked for a staring contest, ‘I like to stare but not like this’, I told him. he and his friend Sam laughed. Because, it was a funny excuse, but then I know what I mean. After they teased me a bit, I decided to give it a try. It’s so Hard to stare Back at someone who is determined to win.. I laughed in the fifth second…Turns out, I can’t stare.. Sam and Belle tried the contest too, Belle failed..Truth is ,writer’s are shy people except this one..

I Want to tell you something else that has happened to me this year, but I am afraid i will be giving away Leverage. Otherwise what will bring you back here. chao!l!

Drowning

I am chewing a piece of fish. I have been chewing it for some time and still haven’t felt it ready to swallow. My jaws hurt as I munch slowly, carefully and steadily. It’s getting to my head. I am tired.

I look at my plate and there is still more. Around me are people eating different dishes. Till now, I hadn’t even noticed. My brother Eddie is seated right next to me. He is looking at my plate,eyes loaded with appetite. I interpret the look and put a piece of the remaining fish on his plate.

Unlike me, Eddie takes a pinch and gives it to the next person, the next person pinches and sends to the next and then to the next until everyone on the table is served. To my surprise, obviously, it’s enough for everybody. I am in shock because I thought it was too small. My face flashes with guilt.

Embarrassed, I pull out the piece in my mouth and I am puzzled to see that I have been chewing fish bones all along. I spit out a mouthful of fish bones. My dinner companions turn to look at me with accusatory looks. Their faces immediately turn to concerned ones, maybe because my own has shared the surprise. I swipe my tongue through my mouth and a motion of pain sweeps through my jaws. I stand up and leave the table.

Look, I know what you are thinking. That I am selfish and mean, blablabla. I like to think of myself differently, in the sense that I am not. I am not selfish. At least not with food. So please, don’t judge me. ๐Ÿ˜‹

The other night, it was a different episode. I was at home in a garden uprooting cassava when I heard a cascading roar of a flood coming towards me. I ran so fast that it hardly missed me. It looked as though the floods were sent to me, because I was the only one running away from them. And for the entire day, I was dodging or swimming through clean floods and hot red floods. I survived.

I dream. More often than I should. My friends say they don’t dream in weeks or months. I dream every time I go to bed. I dream that I am gazing at a magnificent art piece in the clouds or that I am watching a music video in the clouds. I dream that I am in my high school classroom with university course mates. I dream that I am flying down cliffs, that I am eating Jackfruit (this is a recurring dream). That I am replaying a character in a movie I watched before bed (I am totally badass in these) . That I am in a new place. That I am in a ravaged town surrounded by debris. That I am plaiting hair. That monsters are after me. Etc

My dreams can literally be about anything, some are recurring and they make me angry. All my dreams seem to be having a particular meaning beyond my comprehension. I remember most of them while some come in random flashes and these set in distressing anxiety. It’s disturbing to know something means something and not know what that something means.

Wikipedia defines a dream as – a physiologically and psychologically conscious state that occurs during sleep and is often characterized by a rich array of endogenous sensory, motor, emotional, and other experiences.

My favorite psychologist Sigmund Freud believed dreaming was a form of wish fulfillment that reflected a dreamerโ€™s unconscious desires. He also claimed that the manifest content of a dream, or the literal story or events of the dream, masks the latent content of the dream, or the symbolic or hidden meaning of the dream. (The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud.)

To help interpret my dreams, I have read dream books, I have googled symbols but in most cases one symbol has three to five significances so I never tell which is which. All in all, I have never come to a meaningful interpretation. When I sit down and think of the symbolic correlation of the dreams and the time at which I have dreamed, there is no match. Which makes me wonder, does our conscious really concord with our subconscious or dreams are just ramifications of the two?. Is there a formula that can help decode these encrypted messages we call dreams?

If you are reading this, share with me. Do you dream? Do you believe dreams have meanings? Do your dreams come true? How would you interpret my dreams. What’s the weirdest dream you have dreamed ?

Help a sister because every night, I drown in a subconscious that I live through the day.