Blood Donation: The Politics and The Media

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On February 4, 2017, my friends and I at iTiS Well of Worship Fellowship organized a blood donation drive at Mount Zion Hotel in response to the recent press reports about acute shortage of blood in the country. Mulago Hospital, the main referral hospital in the country, publicly announced that they would stop carrying out major surgical procedures that needed blood and will only focus on the critical cases such as delivery and accidents.

Read: Mulago suspends operations over blood shortage (The Daily Monitor, January 21, 2017)

That wasn’t our only motivation, however. You see, one of our own has a daughter who, just a couple of weeks ago, needed blood and she just couldn’t get any. The mom spent four hours running around and making desperate phone calls. And it is only after raising a certain amount of money that she was able to get the much-needed blood for her daughter. It could have been worse, four hours is a long time! What would have happened if she hadn’t raised the money?

We (iTiS Well of Worship Fellowship) decided to be part of the solution and not the problem. Instead of whining, complaining and saying “Tusaba gavumenti etuyambe“, we decided to donate blood to save another life out there. Donating blood can also save your own life. You never know when you will need a transfusion. So donating blood is like keeping money in the bank, at a certain point x, you will need to withdraw it.

So it is against that background that we contacted the Nakasero Blood Bank or Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) as they are officially called. They initially gave us a date of Tuesday, February 7, 2017, which was later changed to Saturday, February 4, 2017, our preferred date. We were even given a contact person to help us coordinate our efforts on one condition, mobilize at least 100 people.

On Tuesday, a few days before the event, we called UBTS just to confirm if the program was still on and were assured we had been scheduled into the program for the week. The field team would be on site at midday. Not too bad considering that people usually have a few errands to run on Saturday mornings.

We proceeded with our mobilization drive which was clearly bearing fruits. We were on track to meet and beat the 100 people target. The donation was meant to run from midday to about 5:00pm. That would be enough time for all our donors to drop in at their convenience.

We officially wrote to KCCA Central Division, to request them to allow us to use their parking lot as a donation center. For those who are familiar with the geography of that place, it is a perfect spot because we could talk to some passers-by to come and join the cause. There was no way we were going to fail to raise at least 100 pints of blood.

Come Saturday morning, the contact person’s phones are off. Maybe she had a long night and will be up soon. It was just 9:00am after all. At 10:00am a mini panic sets in, the phones are still off. We are now just two hours away from the start. A few people have in fact arrived on site. What is happening?

At 11:00am, one of us drives to UBTS offices just to find out what is happening. We are now one hour away from the start. Surely we can’t afford to lose time. Being Saturday morning, there is barely anyone in the office. One lady has come in to specifically take blood from two donors who had booked earlier. She can’t help much except give us the phone numbers of the Principal Assigning Officer and the Director.

We call the Director who assures us that she will do something.Surely blood will be donated today. She hands us over to the Principle Assigning Officer who in turn hands us over to the Team Leader of a field team already in Kisugu, after all, they are doing a short donation there after which they will come to Mount Zion Hotel.

We go back to site and wait for the team to arrive. We assure our donors already on site that UBTS has been delayed but they are surely on their way. It is now 1:00pm and we are desperate. We call the Team Leader of the team in Kisugu and guess what, he has no idea where his team is. He confirms that he heads the team but he is not sure “where they worked today“. He was probably at his farm somewhere. What else could explain this incompetence?

3:00pm, no team on site. Contact person’s phones still off. The Team from Kisugu nowhere to be seen. A heavy downpour is now beating down on us. We still wait patiently but desperately. We have to donate blood, whatever it will take.

Another call placed to the Director and she says, “Why don’t you reschedule to Tuesday?“. You are kidding me, right? We couldn’t have gone through this pain for nothing. Besides, who will be available on Tuesday to make sure the exercise is conducted? Some of our donors are students, other live out of town. It is just not possible. We politely decline the Tuesday offer. We must do this today, even if it means finishing late.

4:00pm, the Kisugu team is now done and “they are on their way” to Mount Zion Hotel. OK. At least we’ll do some donation. This can’t be a total waste. We call the nurse who delivers the final blow. “I have been dropped at Kobil (Bombo road) by the driver and I don’t know where he has gone. All the equipment is in the ambulance. Maybe we reschedule. It’s too late now.

The Director later talked about “issuing an official apology on Monday blah blah blah” if we wanted.

What does all this mean?

I talked to Theologian, Philosopher and Critical Thinker, Pastor Isaiah White Tumwine, who helped me put this whole thing into context and perspective. You see, sometimes you need somebody to help you interpret failure.

Failure is one thing but it is easy to miss the lessons and the bigger picture. So have a mentor or somebody who has walked the path you are trying to walk before you to help you interpret failure. I digress.

You do not fix the system, you fix individuals – Pastor Isaiah White Tumwine

By donating blood, you are trying to fix the broken system. And historically, this has never worked anywhere. Systems, by default, are meant to function that way. It is not how they fail but how they work! Broken systems after all benefit middlemen like UBTS. Oppositions politicians could borrow a leaf from this, instead of wasting time demonstrating on the streets.

There is no shortage of blood in Uganda. UBTS is simply holding on to the blood reserves and, with the help of the media, creating an impression that there is no blood in the country. The same way every December there is a shortage of sugar and fuel in Uganda because of hoarding by dealers and businessmen. Somehow, we have all somehow bought into this narrative.

In a broken system, you don’t give blood, you buy blood – – Pastor Isaiah White Tumwine

No wonder Donald Trump won the US election, despite a deliberate and sustained media campaign against him. The media is never neutral, it wants to shape your opinion and ultimately change how you think. No wonder politicians always do whatever they do in front of media cameras. Media does not portray the reality, far from it.

UBTS and Mulago Hospital are clearly using the media to brainwash the gullible Ugandans into believing that is no blood in the country. And yet all they want is to sell the blood to the highest bidder. Cry my beloved country.

Otherwise, how would you explain a shortage of blood when willing donors like us are treated like trash by the custodians of the blood bank. I thought they would move quickest to collect blood from every corner of this country.

Why would they even insist on 100 donors before they come to your venue? I thought every pint (and drop) counts in a crisis? Bottomline, there is no crisis!

Over to you Uganda Blood Transfusion Service – UBTS.

Girls, Women and Marriage

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I asked why girls who are not looking for marriage are stumbling on it while those who are desperate for it can’t find it. Here in so many words is why I think that is the case. Every analogy presented here is from my own observation and every phrase employed is coined by me.

Generally speaking, ladies in our society divide their adult lives into four distinct phases. This is just Joseph Kabuleta theory.

PHASE ONE: Play time (Age 19-22)

This is a period where, as Cyndi Lauper’s famous song says, “girls just wanna have fun”.
When a guy asks her out, she comes along with three of her roomies and wonders why he was frowning throughout the evening and drinking only water. She shares almost all her mischief with her friends and they have a good laugh over it. At this stage of their lives, girls see guys as playthings; as a lamentable, pitiable species of people that must continually prove their worth. During this phase, any suggestion of a serious relationship is dismissed with the contempt reserved for fun-spoilers.

PHASE TWO: Open time (Age 23-28)

In this period, girls still wanna have fun, but not just fun. They want to have fun with a purpose. They are looking to fall in love and get married (in that order). At this stage, her ideal man is no longer a set of qualities written on a piece of paper or a guy on a magazine cover, but a workmate, a churchmate, a gym mate. In other words, someone within her realistic grasp. She knows him, she sees him, she frequents the places he usually goes to and she hopes he makes a move.

As she gets dangerously close to 28 and the guy of her fantasies is not any closer to making a move, she widens her net. The bidding process is now open. She imagines that just because she flung herself open, bidders are going to come flocking in by their tens.
If only life was that straightforward.

Her open bidding process lasts a year without a single bid, then reality hits. She looks back at all the bidders she threw out without as much as a consideration and none of them looks particularly jilted. In fact, most of them are probably happily married or inviting her to their wedding meetings.
Tick, tack, tick, tack….

PHASE THREE: Desperation time (Age 29-33)

She is now 29, which means 30 is just 365 days away. So many things have to happen before the fourth decade of her life begins. As the days go by, she forgets that marriage involves two people. She tries to take the bull by the horns, so to speak. Now she can only date ‘serious’ people. Anyone deemed to be unserious is not granted half an audience.
That creates three discernible dangers for her.

  1. Her definition of a serious man is one who is willing to have the second date at her parent’s home, and the third date at their wedding reception. Any man who can be rushed like that is either a very old man or a conman. So her definition of a serious man inadvertently excludes all serious men.
  2. At this stage, a girl has lost the ability to fall in love, all she wants is to fall in marriage. Men notice this attitude from a distance and take off. Men want to be the star in their own movie, not to be enrolled as support cast in a woman’s movie.
  3. The third problem is; desperation doesn’t sell. And it doesn’t hide either. The harder you try to suppress it the more it sticks out, like a cockroach on a wedding cake. Like a wet stain on the fry of a trouser, desperation can never be hidden.

PHASE FOUR: Single motherhood (Ages 33 –)

When the prospect of marriage seems to be vanishing with the horizon, it’s time to look for a prospective baby papa. He must be responsible (not the kind who will switch off the phone when school fees time arrives). Good looks are an added advantage.

Remember those distinct phases; Play time, Open time, Desperation time and Single motherhood.

Anyone who has been through campus knows all about the nightmare of registration. You get to the faculty and there is a queue of students waiting to enlist. Exams are around the corner and you must complete the process in time or you miss out. But the lady in charge of the registration process looks tired, bored, demotivated and desperate to milk that moment for self-importance.

Hanging above her desk is a notice that reads: “A delay on your part does not constitute an emergency on ours.” And so she remains oblivious to the haste around her. Yet, in spite of her apparent callousness, she has a point. The office was open throughout the semester but no one showed up to register until the final few days. And now we expected her to jump up and down at our whims.

Back to the subject of marriage.

From my observation, girls who end up in stable marriages are those who use their Open Time wisely. But so many girls tend to abuse their Open Time in one of the following ways.

1. The dream man

In every grouping or confluence of bachelors and spinsters (church, club, workplace etc) there is often one suave, smooth, seemingly accomplished guy who is seen as the ideal husband for most girls. He is the man of their fantasies. The trouble is; that prize man is being eyed by twenty girls; all of whom are hoping to win the race. If only the dude would make his choice early enough and free the girls from the prison of their fantasies, but such guys are never in a hurry. He plays ‘good friend’ to all the girls and keeps them hanging on the cross of hope. When he eventually proposes to one, he leaves nineteen others flat on their faces. By the time they get over the disappointment, and try to look elsewhere, their Open Time is coming to an end and Desperation Time is knocking on the door.

2. Ideal vs Available

Then they wake up to the realisation that they wasted their Open Time eyeing that prize man. While they were at it, other guys came and expressed interest but they were roundly rejected because the belle was determined to land the trophy guy. So when she wakes up from her disappointment, all the guys who were interested in her, the guys whose proposals she threw out, have moved on and they seem happy. Many of them are dating or married. If only one of them would come back she would gladly take him in, but none of them returns.

3. Extended Play Time

Many belles choose to prolong their Play Time and eat up all their Open Time. So they move straight from Play Time to Desperation Time. One day they are singing “girls just wanna have fun”, the next day they are desperate for a proposal. A few of them might get away with it, but most don’t.

4. A delay on your part…

Like those women at campus would say, a delay on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency elsewhere. Just because you are running late doesn’t mean menfolk are going to change their behaviour. Guys don’t want to talk about marriage or the ideal family size on the first or fourth date. They don’t want to meet your parents before they are well acquainted with you. Don’t expect the world to align itself to your desperation. There are certain things you cannot push; the only pushing you will do is pushing prospective husbands away from you.

Now for some advice:

  • Even if you have entered desperation age, never act desperate. It can only work against you.
  • Don’t waste your open time pursuing a so-called dream guy. He is probably not worth it. A dream guy today might turn out to be a loser tomorrow. That’s usually the case. Remember those guys whom we celebrated in Secondary School? Where are they now? Don’t be surprised to find them riding boda bodas. The guy you turn down today because he doesn’t meet your lofty aspirations might turn out as the dream guy tomorrow. If you cannot catch a buffalo, settle for an antelope.
  • Don’t put the necessity for marriage ahead of the person you are marrying; that is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.
  • Remember, the people who are desperate did not end up that way because they didn’t have opportunities; they ended up that way because they spurned their opportunities.
  • God doesn’t see us for what we are, He sees us for what we can be. How I wish girls held the same attitude when considering prospective husbands.

If you have read this to the end it means you have enjoyed it. Now share it with your friends (especially young ladies). It might just make a big difference in their lives.

Shamelessly copied and pasted from Joseph Kabuleta’s Facebook wall.

‘There is no difference between you and Dr. Besigye’, Henry Mutebe tells Andrew Mwenda

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One of the best responses to Andrew Mwenda’s shenanigans

Friday's Thoughts

Dear Andrew Mwenda

My letter to you is in Dr. Martin Luther king’s spirit who once said that ‘a time comes when silence is betrayal.’ You have spoken; I have read, listened and heard. In your submissions, you raised very important issues which in all fairness deserve a response.
I will try my best, not to attack your character or person, because that is not the ethic of a civilized debate although, I will not shy away from pointing at examples of your own pieces, submissions and words well recorded in history that may be a good mirror for you to do your own self-appraisal on the way you put your ideas forward.

You are no doubt a man of great potential but like all elements of great potential, they can all in the same manner be elements of great danger. The beauty and burden of your gifts is that…

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A review of Hope Nabukenya’s maiden charity concert

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I previously reblogged this promo for my sister Hope Nabukenya’s maiden charity concert. If you didn’t read it, now is a good time to check it out.

Hope Nabukenya is passionate about two things; music and children. That is one of the reasons she chose to return home after her Master’s degree in Germany. She could have sought employment there instead, like many people from Africa do.

When she came back home, she hit the studio and recorded a 10 track album. She also got her charity registered and kicked off working with the underprivileged children in many schools.

The show was, therefore, a good occasion to highlight her passions and bring attention to the children’s charity that she started. I commend her for being brave and following her passions. So many people can only dream of the heights she has achieved at her young age.

Here are my observations from the show, held at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi on Sunday, November 20, 2016.

The Attendance

The show was well attended. The hall was filled to capacity and clearly, Hope will need a bigger venue for her next concert. She underestimated her abilities and popularity, considering she had been away in Germany for a few years. She just wasn’t sure how people would respond.

The Venue

It was a bit too small for the crowd. Eventually, more seats had to be brought in to accommodate the swelling crowd. I guess it was because of the low ticket sales on the days prior to the concert that such a small venue was chosen. Most people, i would say almost 95%, bought their tickets at the entrance. This can be hard while planning for a show like this. You just can’t be sure f the numbers.

The Tickets

There were three categories of tickets, Ordinary at 15,000/=, VIP at 50,000/= and VVIP at 100,000/=. However, in the sitting arrangement, there was a thin line between VIP and VVIP. In fact, most were intermingled due to the limited space. The only advantage both VIP groups had was they were seated at the front so they had a good view of the stage. And of course a drink on the house. 🙂

While getting into the hall, I wondered how the organizers balanced their books. Each ticket was simply signed and given back to the guest. How did they count the number of guests who attended? How did they know how many VIPs, VVIPs attended? Ticket sales are not enough. Isn’t it common practice to tear off and keep a piece of the ticket, at least for the arithmetic while balancing the books later? Anyhow, I saw a loophole that could easily have been exploited but well, maybe am not well schooled in these things.

Time Keeping

This was a challenge throughout. The show was supposed to kick off at 4:30pm but it kicked off way past 5:30pm. Never mind that i arrived late but I only missed one or two curtain raisers.

Also, many people were forced to leave early. The next day being a Monday (read working day) could have been a factor as well as running away from the mini-fundraiser for the children’s charity.

The Mcs

The MCs, a lady (Sandra) and a gentleman, were very good. They easily connected with the crowd and kept the program flowing. The gentleman’s humor especially kept the crowd laughing, and engaged during breaks in performances. Some of the time keeping challenges were clearly beyond their control.

The Stage

The stage was well constructed. It was easy for the artists and performers to get on and off easily. It didn’t have to be so big because of the hall but also the number of artists.Everyone in the audience had a good view, regardless of where they sat.

The lighting was good, most times it flowed with the music and performances. Again, for the budget and size of the show. It was acceptable.

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The Sound

Victor Uringtho was in charge of the sound so most of it was well balanced. I was seated at the front, in front of the speakers but my eardrums came out unscathed and I could have a decent conversation with my neighbor. Victor has a lot of experience as a sound engineer for most of the concerts that take place in this town.

Every instrument and voice could clearly be heard. There were a couple of times when things went haywire but were easily brought under control. For example when The Harmonics came on stage and there were fewer microphones than they needed. They were forced to improvise. Good sound overall.

The Crowd

The crowd was composed of 99% Seventh-day Adventists which easily explains their tastes in music and reception to genres and artists they had never listened to such as Baroness. There were times I felt the crowd should be on their feet singing and dancing along but they were all glued to their seats, as if in a typical SDA church service.

The Music

The Curtain Raisers:

I missed the first performance(s) by Danielle Puleng, @Bond, and The Blended Live Band, as I was still outside trying to find my way in, but I caught the following:

The Heralds Choir – They did some of their new songs which were well received by the crowd, the highlight being the Halleluiah Chorus. It was well executed. They also sang live music, which was a plus, considering that many choirs sing over CD music while pretending to “perform”.

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The Canaan GentsThey put in a good vocal performance. Their last song especially got the crowd on their feet. They had a way of beatboxing local drum beats and it sounded very good. Great performance overall.

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The Harmonics – Great and dynamic group of gentlemen who connected very well with the crowd. They had a way of interchanging the lead vocals amongst themselves without losing the crowd. Their last song Munsi Y’abanunule was a crowd favorite. Great performance.

Ssozi Moses – He gave the coldest performance of the night. The crowd only applauded him at the end out of politeness. Otherwise, he gave a half-hearted performance sang over a CD track. The MC didn’t spare him afterward.

Baroness – It was my first time to listen to her but I loved her. She told us the inspiration behind each song before she sang it. She taught the crowd the chorus of her first song before she sang it. She then sang a couple of other songs as well as the crowd favorite, One by One. I later found out she is a Watoto Church-based vocalist, singer, and songwriter. It explains why she is such a great worship leader and knew how to connect with the audience. Wonderful performance.

The Lady Herself

After the curtain raisers, it was time for lady Hope Nabukenya to step onto the stage. And she came on with a thunderous applause from the crowd. The curtain-raisers had done their fair share to get us in the mood already and we were eager to receive her.

She was very smart in her dress, done by Peponi Clothings and she got straight down to business. The band was great and accompanied her on four songs, done back to back.

It was a performance worth waiting for. The crowd loved every bit of it. They cheered and screamed after every song. The rendition of Alabaster Box was particularly wonderful.

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The Interlude

Hope had to take a break, get refreshed and changed. But, David Pragmo N’saiga and Michael Kitanda almost stole the show!

David Pragmo N’saiga – This brother has a way with keys. My God! He is a star performer. And he knows how to connect with the crowd. A legend in the making. He was later joined by Julius Sewava for Great is thy Faithfulness. What a song! Julius has a perfect voice and blended into the performance seamlessly. The crowd loved it.

Michael Kitanda – I had always heard of this guy but had never seen him perform live. What a performance he put up! The comparisons with Isaiah Katumwa are not far-fetched after all. It just shows how good he is. He has a way with the saxophone that only he can pull off. Yet another legend in the making.

The audience loved watching these guys so much that they emptied their pockets tipping them for every song they did. No wonder the pockets were slightly dry during the mini fundraising.

The Launch and Fundraiser

After the Interlude, it was time for Hope to take the stage again. Of course, she came out all looking good and changed in her little black dress, again by Peponi Clothings.

But before she sang, the CD had to be officially launched, so the guest of honor, Mr. Jonathan Muwonge, came on stage, together with Mr. Andrew Kavuma who led the fundraising which raised 9 million Uganda shillings in pledges and almost a million shillings in cash.

This particular segment took a lot of time and many people left. Others just walked out to avoid the spotlight.

Session 2

Hope then picked up the microphone and did the own charity song and composition, For the Children. She then did her final songs. Her renditions of When Jesus Say Yes and I Know Who I am were wonderful. The remaining crowd was on their feet at this time and it was a wonderful way to close the show.

But not before she thanked everyone for showing up and supporting her.

Backup Singers

Made up of two ladies. It felt like they had not practiced with Hope at all. They didn’t blend in with her one bit and were totally off. Thank God they only did a few songs with her. She was good enough alone.

Overall

It was a very good first show. I have listened to the whole album and it’s lovely. I just wished Hope had sung more of the songs off the album.

But I am sure by the time the next one comes around in 2018 as Hope Nabukenya promised us, a lot will be improved.

A great musical evening.

Lessons Learnt From Google Account Suspension

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Slightly over one year ago, my Google Account was blocked and permanently deleted due to “terms of service violation“, all because i uploaded some videos with copyrighted content to YouTube. Of course it was my fault for doing that, and not reading the updated terms – which apply across all Google services. They are a bit like the 10 commandments, you break one, you have broken all. I wonder why when you keep one, you haven’t kept all. 🙂

I thought i was going to die. What was i going to do without my darling Google? Well, here i am, slightly one year later, breathing just fine.

I usually record a lot of HD videos on my phone – family, work, friends, kids moments – anything exciting for me really. Inevitably, i occasionally run out of space, meaning i always have to delete some or back them up somewhere. I have a two way back up – on my external HDD and in the cloud. My preferred cloud backup location is YouTube. I have always uploaded videos with the default setting private for later retrieval. I want to show some of them to my kids when they grow up. I am sure Shaun will not like some of the tantrums he is currently throwing at me.

With the advent of WhatsApp, it also meant receiving a lot of videos which were auto-downloaded. Damn you WhatsApp autodownload. This was another reason why I used to run out of space a lot of times on my phone. I would then go through them, delete the junk and keep the good ones before backing them up to YouTube. In the beginning, i would get a couple of emails telling me that my videos won’t be accepted because they contained copyrighted content. And then the videos would be deleted. The safe ones would be uploaded fine. How cool!

On this fateful day, however, i opened my videos folder, selected all (Control + A) and dragged & dropped them to an open YouTube upload tab in my browser. All hell broke loose. This was after work hours. Don’t we all do illegal stuff after work?

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Since there were a couple of hundred videos lined up for upload, the emails came in quick succession. Within seconds of each other. Immediately after that, my phone stopped syncing email. That was my first suspicion of something sinister happening. Why had my email stopped syncing? I got my answer as soon as i opened my browser where i had been previously logged in. It was asking me to sign in again! I promptly did that, only to be met with  message: Sorry, your account has been disabled.

I tried all the account recovery options with little success. They are all mechanical and useless since you are dealing with a machine that cannot feel your pain. Never mind there are human beings like that too.

24/7 support from a real person is included with a paid subscription to Google Apps for Work. If you are not a Google Apps for Work administrator, you have to visit Google Help to get support for your product. Free things are expensive. I learnt the hard way.

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As expected, they never got back to me. I wonder if there are robots waiting to review such cases anyway. It slowly started to sink in. There might not be a way out of this. I went back to good old hotmail. I couldn’t trust Google anymore. I wonder how i now trust Miscroshaft!

Losing my Google account meant i lost my Gmail address too [jethro.musoke@gmail.com] and with it, over 12 years of emails and an online document repository. I had ditched Yahoo! as soon as i received that Gmail invitation in 2004. I was an early adopter because i love(d) Google’s approach to email. I was tired of hacked emails and spam mail in Yahoo! mail.

All online websites i used that required a login email had my Gmail address; Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Quora, WordPress, Adobe, etc. My Android phones were synced to Google. All my contacts were synced to Google Contacts. All SaaS websites had my Google address. I basically lived and breathed Google before my world came crashing down. I was like a heartbroken teenager whose first crush had deserted him. I felt like a bride left at the alter.

What was i going to do next? I contemplated suicide (lol). I swore never to fall in love again, or in this case, not to give a single company that much power again over my digital life. How can Google have had that much control over my life and i didn’t know?

Can we honestly do away with the big boys of tech and still live and breathe fine? Your guess is as good as mine.

I have learnt my lessons! How many times do we say in life?


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The Versatile Blogger Award

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I was first nominated by my once youngest friend Jemima Nalumansi and then by my Tech mentor and big brother Stephen S. Musoke. It’s been a while since i last wrong anything here. But after these two nominations, i knew i couldn’t keep quiet any longer. This is also one of the hardest posts i have had to write because i have to THINK and follow RULES. Stuff normally just flows as i type away.

The rules of the exercise are;

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

I hate following rules so i will start with what i like, i.e. some facts about myself. It might make for more interesting reading, especially for those that don’t know me personally or even those who think they know me.

  1. I last cried in 1993, way back in primary school. A lot worse has since happened to me but i have never cried. Makes me feel like some kind of non-living thing.
  2. I have always wanted to be a Doctor. The things we dream about as kids can affect the decisions we make in life. I ended up doing Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) at A Level for that reason. The rest, like they say, is a long story but i am not a medical doctor. I am still discovering myself.
  3. My favorite color is blue. I am comfortable in blue. I just don’t know why. And no, i am not an FDC die-hard. I hate politics but will vote come February 18th. I intend to poke the leopard at the end of its alimentary canal with my vote.
  4. I am addicted to Coca Cola. I can drink it all day and all night. It partly explains my amorphous body shape.
  5. I love Football or what the Americans call Soccer. SC Villa and Arsenal are my favorite teams. I just can’t find a second favorite sport.
  6. I am an introvert. I prefer listening to talking. Some people think i am too quiet. I love my silence. I love my quiet private time.
  7. I am lactose intolerant. But i love milk so much that on days when i stay indoors, i indulge quite a bit. I can deal with the consequences indoors.
  8. I love reading. I can read anything as long as it is intellectually engaging. I always steal cycles to read something; on the daily commute, during a boring sermon, while waiting for somebody etc. My current reading interests are Philosophy, Psychology, Theology and of course Technology.
  9. I am very observant. I can remember the tiniest details of what a person was wearing, or the pimple below their right eye long after our meeting.
  10. I love breaking rules. So i included this just because i can and we are already at number 9.

And now, for my favorite Ugandan bloggers. In no particular order:

  1. Jackee Budesta Batanda – Journalist, author, speaker and entrepreneur. What else can i say? She has won many awards for her writing projects. Passionate about this whole writing thing so she started short courses to guide and inspire the next generation of writers under the Success Spark Brand. I took one her writing classes way back in April 2015 and it was worth it. Even though i haven’t delivered on my class project yet. Sorry Jackee. I will come through.
  2. Stephen S. Musoke – He is a PROBLEM SOLVER. Passionate about Tech and other geeky things. He blogs about his challenges, lessons, experiences, failures and victories for the whole world to see (read?). He taught me so much back in the day and continues to do so even if we don’t sit in the same office anymore.
  3. Jemima Nalumansi – Writes some of the shortest blog posts so she is easy to follow. A couple of paragraphs and she is done. No need to bookmark or save anything for later. Her subjects are as varied as the little lessons she picks up from each life experience. She loves life and she loves her friends. Haven’t met anybody who celebrates her friends’ achievements as much as her own.
  4. Solomon King – Founder, Fundi Bots, African school robotics NGO. Echoing Green Fellow, Ashoka Fellow. Serial + Social Entreprenuer. This guy inspires me and has taught me what it means to “follow your heart”, despite all odds. If you love robotics, innovation, entrepreneurship and Tech in general, follow this guy. Thank me later.
  5. Beewol – The humor in his posts is hard to ignore but he is also real. He blogs about his day to day experiences in our dusty little town. He gives life to dead Mondays indeed. Usually initiates social media storms via hashtags. You will love him.
  6. Simon Kaheru – Writes about a variety of stuff and he is a Ugandan at heart. He always celebrates Uganda. Always brings out all those tiny little achievements by Uganda and Ugandans.Prefers facts to emotions when dealing with issues.
  7. TechJaja – Like their slogan says, Technology with an African Spice. I love their analysis and reviews of the Ugandan Tech scene. And they are original. No copy and paste like many Tech sites are fond of doing. Big up Roger Bambino.
  8. Esther Kalenzi – I am greatly inspired and impressed with what she has been able to do using the power of social media. She does not sing “Tusabe Gavumenti Etuyambe” as many people her age would do. She has played her part on the big stage. Her blog is normally about her various humanitarian things she is involved in, specifically, the 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation (40-40).
  9. Siima K. Sabiti – I love the simplicyt and honesty with which she writes. Blogs about life, family and her daily experiences as well as a few rants if need be.
  10. Joanita Male – doesn’t write that often, just like me, but when she does, her creative pieces blow me away. Here is a sample of one of her pieces since her blog has not been updated since 2012.
  11. Ernest Bazanye – this guy is hilarious. Follow him , thank me later.
  12. Bikozulu – just because i can.He is based in Kenyan but aren’t we in the East African Federation? Who doesn’t read this guy anyway?

Finally we are done. Phew!! Or are we?