Oh (un)happy day! 🎶

Stuck in traffic. The bad kind. The stagnant kind. The one right outside SHOPRITE mall in Kampala. Yes, that one! And that’s not the worst part. I’m in a matatu. The bad kind. The smelly, scruffy kind. A couple of bad breaths and men who smell like saliva is the only moisture that has had the privilege of getting into contact with their bodies since Easter.

I open the window I’m seated next to. Oh, relief! A lady beggar walks to the window. I almost cry. No, not because I’m touched by her condition. She is blocking the only source of fresh air (Kampala air is anything but fresh but it’s all we got so hey!) She walks away. Good relief! I stop and think “Oh my, I’m a bad person. Instead of thinking about her plight Im worried about oxygen I knew I wasnt going to get in the first place.” I immediately brush off the thought. The beggars in Kampala work for someone else and I can’t support such a selfish user. I tell myself that. That’s what I always tell myself.

My train of thought is disrupted. My neighbour is answering a call. It’s bad. Very bad. Not the call. I mean his breath. What am I going do!? I’m going die! I’m having a panic attack and it is so stupid, so petty and absolutely unnecessary. But I’m human, right? I’m allowed to overreact sometimes, right?

I interrupt my mental fray with the thought “What if I bought some mints and passed them around? That would be generous and would solve some of the problem. BOOM! I’m a genius.” But my black behind has been Ugandan long enough to know that that gesture won’t go down well with them and I’d need Ugandan MP level security with the truck and bodyguards and all to be able to walk out of the matatu alive. So I do what I know my security level can allow me to do and leave with minimal damage: I pull out my phone and type this.

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There is Something About Mondays

There is something about Mondays.

No, it is not the fact (in the blue mood indigo corner) that the weekend has come to an end and a new, possibly drab, week is upon us. It is not the nauseating traffic jam and it definitely isn’t (in the red optimistic corner) the start of a great new week! Yeeey!

There is something about Mondays.

No, it is not the boring start of week meeting. It definitely isn’t having hundreds of emails to respond to. It’s not even the piping hot coffee (mmm😋😋) served with delicious croissants and it is NOT having tea with lip-smacking katogo at Mama Sarah’s down the street from the office.

There is something about Mondays.

No, it is not fact that you have to suffocate in those office smart clothes so you won’t get sent back home for wearing a t-shirt with a digestive system on it (Yep! I once got sent back home for rocking a bold tee to work on a Monday😂😂). It’s not even the fact that you get to show off your shoe polishing skills with your black shoes polished to mirror level perfection 😂😂.

There is something about Mondays!

I guess it’s about time I said it, innit? Well, Monday is when Church begins. No, no, no, not the activity that involves people gathering in a building. I mean church! Monday is when you get the opportunity to put into practice the stuff you heard or learnt on Sunday that left you itching to conquer the world. Monday is when you go out to love people like a problem. It’s when you begin to impact society (or really your little part of society) in a profoundly positive way. It is when you begin to show appreciation to people around you. It’s when you start to be the most amazing version of you. It’s when you begin doing your job as diligently as possible. You catch my drift! It’s when you begin to infiltrate this dark world with your light. Monday is the day you begin to BE Church!

Church begins on Monday! And guess who can be church…yes! You!

– Pius Andru’da

Of Monsters and Men

Monsters? Men?

They were one and the same to her

Always hungry for the kill!
With them,a tragic history she shared

Black,white or red..

Each was just as deadly as the next ogre in the storybooks she read as a child
And just like those ogres,they were best kept away from

They’d beaten her

Ripped her heart apart

Cooked her brains

Devoured all happiness from her soul

Everybody called them Tom,Joe,Mark
All she saw was monster, beast, monster
She used to blame herself
Maybe I’m a monster making machine

She’d thought

But those days were gone now
SHE was the damsel in distress
But where was her knight in shining armour??
Aaargh,another man,another beast

So she let her hair loose and hung her head and said a little prayer
Would it be answered?
She lay there anyway

She lay there waiting

Waiting for the day the monsters would be slain..
Waiting for the end of Monsters and Men!

-Pius Andruda

My Janello

Janello,
From the day I met you I became a possessed man
I see a piece of you in every beautiful woman I meet
I no longer see women, I see versions of you.

Janello,
Your words are an incantation serenading me to a sacrificial altar
Your touch is an initiation into your cult of love

Janello,
Forgive me when I close my eyes in your presence
For to look at you and to think of you with my eyes open feels like blasphemy
Janello,
I love you

I don’t know if these emotions will last forever
but I know this:
What God has put together, no man can separate
I know that I choose you!

My Janello!

So, moving on…

I have had a blog for nearly two years. It looks like one that has been here a third of that time😅. Anyways, for months now I have received taunts of all kinds from some of my classmates because I blog and write poetry. Initially it bothered me. I often took offense (I’m still angry at myself for being so gullible😤😤) and it took all that was in me to stay calm and smile. Thank God I did each time😂. A few years ago that would be a punch in the face or a particularly snide reply to send you to your momma in tears. Thank God for His grace 🙏.

A while later it struck me that most people only applaud the things that keep you mediocre. Anything that catapults you in the opposite direction is an enemy. Don’t get me wrong. My classmates are great. But it’s natural (I hope not) to resist anything that throws us out of our comfort zones and in the face of greater things. Even when we see people we know taking that path, we get defensive. I must admit the constant (sometimes very unpleasant) taunts pulled me away slowly till I stopped posting as regularly as necessary. Of course there were other self induced factors but that is a story for another day.

Strangely, I wasn’t listening to my devoted readers or the people that kept asking me to keep writing. I recall how about a fortnight ago a friend read some of the content and said she loved it and offered to help with the process of making the content even better. I recall thinking ‘You love me, not the content.’ 😂😂

I was hung up on the fewer voices of opposition including the ones in my own head. But now I know growth isn’t an easy thing and there’ll be resistance. Some external and definitely some internal. Focus!

Also, pull the people around you as well. Try and fail but dont fail to try. Maybe if I wasn’t pushing on alone those taunts would never be there.

The experience may be different for you and perhaps in a different probably more serious aspect.

This morning, I urge you to stay focused on the goal! Remember who called you. Remember why you’re here. Then close your eyes, stretch your lips for a smile, put one foot forward and keep moving! 😊😊

Now pull your people forward along with you!

God bless you!

Dear Future Me

Dear future Pius, How are you doing mate? Have you gotten used to the name Pius yet? Haha. Have you eaten? Have you hugged someone today? Have you done something to make the world a better place today? Have you spoken to the most high today?

Dear future Pius, I hope this finds you well. I got this idea from Mable. Y’all had better still be friends. If you’re not then go out, find her and become friends again. Thank you 😀. Mate, you’re probably a best selling author now. I’m gonna try and keep it short so you can get back to writing your next book(yes, I typed ‘gonna’) I wonder what took you so long to just ‘write!’. There was no point in all the insecurities after all. Just as you conquered that huddle, you can conquer more huddles in other fields. You can.

Future Pius, you probably have a beautiful wife and the most adorable kids. They are your glass balls. As you juggle them with all these other balls in your life remember that dropping them is not an option. Treat your wife with respect, love and care. Take her out once in a while. Get her gifts occasionally. You used to be horrible at giving gifts. I hope you improved 😂😂. I bet you got yourself a wonderful human being for a wife. Make her feel that way.

The kids. Train them to be good children. Teach them good values but most importantly be a good example to them. Theyre watching and learn best from what they see. Do not stress though😃😃. They will grow up and turn out just fine. Momma, daddy and your entire family are also glass balls. Hang out with them once in a while. Stay close.

Future Pius, I know you are still an Arsenal fan 😂😂. I really hope the Arsenal of your time is not breaking your heart the way this one is finishing me 😂😂. Did Wenger finally leave? Who left first? Him or Museveni 😂😂?? I wish I could walk into the future and find out.

Future Pius, are you changing lives for the better? Are you causing a positive impact in society? If the answer is NO then I suggest you get up and start NOW!

Future Pius, are you eating healthy? Are you exercising? By the time I wrote this I had neglected my own body and nutrition and health for a while and with the cummulative effect it felt really bad letting myself go like that. Future Pius, have you read your bible today? No pressure. But you and I both know how important it is.

Future Pius, I hope you are saving and investing money. I hope you’re using money wisely. I hope money is NOT at the centre of whatever you do. Let it be only a tool to enable you to do the more important things. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be important. Just don’t let it rule your life like it has a lot of people.

I said this would be short so I shall stop here. As time goes by I shall drop by and add a few more things. One last thing though: I believe in you 😃😃. You are awesome and you are loved!

Yours sincerely,

Pius Andru’da of 2018

Uncle Jonah’s Corner – Of One Drop Beats

I probably experienced reggae before I knew it. I came into this world at a time when the likes of Lucky Dube were household names, little did I know that it was reggae music that they were singing. Reggae is a music genre that originated from the black communities in Jamaica. The genre evolved from folk songs sung by the African Jamaicans, spa, rock steady and the many other forms of reggae now playing on our airwaves. The name reggae is said to have been popularized by the 1968 hit song by the Toots and the Maytals, ‘Do the Reggay’. There are different versions for the meaning of the word reggae or were it originated including; regular, rags, ragged, quarrel, row, streggae (looking raggedy) etc. Reggae covers an assortment of topics in its lyrics ranging from love, sex, politics, religion and social lifestyle. Reggae during its inception was more rooted among the lower social classes as it presented them with a platform to express their true feelings about the conditions affecting them during an oppressive period.

The typical reggae instruments; the bass guitar, drum kits, percussion instruments, guitars and electric organs produce a very irresistible and meditative melody that you would never want to end. The mash up of the musical instruments and the authenticity in the voices of the singers have this knack to draw you so deep into the song that the message being passed on inevitably becomes part of you with the power to influence your life. I started becoming mindful about reggae at the age of 19 years. I remember songs like Pepperpot by Sean Paul, Cry by T.O.K, Always on my mind by Daville had this ability to trigger a cocktail of emotions within me at the very same time. Reggae would evoke feelings that I didn’t know I even had. Over time, my interest for reggae started growing stronger and my playlist started having more reggae songs and other modifications of reggae.

About a year later during my university studies, I happened to reside in a community dominated by Kenyans and these guys just had every version of reggae that probably existed. It is during this period that I was introduced to subgenres like roots reggae and lover’s rock. At the time, Lover’s rock was my preferred subgenre probably because the messages about love appealed to me at the time. I remember having a special liking to music by the likes of Alaine, Christopher Martins, Cecile, Gyptian, Busy Signal, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley and so much more. These songs told me things about love that I never thought were possible, they would draw you to this dreamy world were everything was so beautiful and lovely.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior a few years later, I realized that the message passed on in some of the lover’s rock conflicted with my new values yet I didn’t want to stop listening to reggae. Reggae resonated so much with my lifestyle, thankfully some brilliant people had thought about gospel reggae. I could still enjoy the inescapable rhythm of reggae music but still worship God. It was such a relief knowing that I could receive the right kind of message but in reggae. Musicians like Kingsley and Phila, Positive, Christafari and many others now became part of my life. My reggae was now worship music but still reggae. During this period I became more aware of my purpose and made a decision to live a life that would impact positively on people and well, this is exactly why reggae was created; to impact on the people. This set criterion for the music that I like to listen to; it must preferably be reggae, it must send a positive message and this finally got me to a devoted love for the roots reggae subgenre. Why? Because it encompasses everything that I desire in life; freedom, positivity, love, unity, forgiveness, kindness to mention but a few. My playlist has any reggae artist that communicates this kind of message regardless whether it is Benon and Vamposs with their song “I know” or Bob Marley with ”Three Little Birds”. If it is reggae that communicates a good message, I want it and I will do what it takes to get it. Well, it has been a good experience with reggae thus far and I am only hoping that it gets better.

Like Deitrick Haddon sings

“I will give anything to see you smile again, to know your love again, to have my friend, and I will give anything to hold your hand again, to watch you laugh again, to have my friend. Oh! I want to see you happy; and oh I want to see you dance, I want to see you happy. You should be dancing”

I hope reggae will make you happy and dance.

Uncle Jonah’s Corner

Woooooo. It has been quite a while since this space was utilized. After so many months we are baccckkk so brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for more fresh, entertaining, inspirational, boring, amusing and of course, annoying content 😂.

In the same spirit, we are introducing Uncle Jonah’s Corner. It shall be a special corner reserved for Uncle Jonah’s wisdom to be manifested. He is a very wise man I found on the street (technically this is a lie). We’ll be giving him a topic to write on every month 😀 and he’ll dive into them head first. I shall be sure to keep them spicy.

At this point, i feel like I have written a truckload of crap up there 😂😂.

Very rusty.

Anyways, without further ado allow me to officially launch Uncle Jonah’s Corner!

Be sure to leave your thoughts on any post in the comments section and give a man a reason to smile 😀.

Life is For living. Live!

In my first year of university, I told myself that when I got to second year I would really live the campus experience. When I got to my second year I told myself I wasn’t much different from how I was in my first year so I basically existed through that year as well earnestly waiting for the third year so I could “Live”. Now I’m in my third year and I’m not much different from the teenager fresh out of high school. I sit back and listen to people reminisce about the past two years and all I can do is stare mouth agape and wonder where the hell I was when these people I know were out adventuring. The mistake I won’t make again is wait for my fourth year or life after school to start living.

LIFE IS FOR LIVING. LIVE! This is an idea that can’t be stressed enough. As corny as it may sound, life really is for living. So live. Before I wrote this post I thought, ”Dude, you can’t be serious about writing on a topic this cliché!” but you see the thing with actually living is that you don’t  always have to listen to the thoughts in your mind tearing you down. As a matter of fact, you need to listen very little to those limiting voices, both internally and externally.

Rosie, in the beautiful Cecelia Ahern novel put it wonderfully.

“Why do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we let facts and figures and anything but dreams rule our lives?”

Just like me in my past university years , a lot of us are stuck in a rat race of existence. We basically scroll through days like we scroll through Facebook posts. No real interest, no ounce of enthusiasm, no love, no action. Pretty much no nothing! Your life is a box! But you see, you can’t postpone your living each time because now is also a part of your life. As a matter of fact, today and all the days before that make up your life. The future will have its time.

Robin Sharma put it fantastically in THE GREATNESS GUIDE ”Your days defines your life.”

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Also in the book Love, Rosie is a beautiful paragraph that sums up much of what I’m saying.

 “Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a quick few minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?”

Powerful words there! Get out, go eat at a fancy restaurant, make something with your own hands, dance in the rain, take risks, start a business, write a blog, fall in love, take a road trip, laugh hard and loud, confess to your crush, JUST LOOSEN UP! You don’t have to be reckless and inflict emotional or physical injury on yourself or the people around you but you have to live!

Beloved, life is for living. Live! Now!

I finish with the great words of a Chinese proverb.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW!

All the very best!