Author Archives: Bonny Tamale

About Bonny Tamale

Social media, Marketing, Writing...and so much more. Very open minded too

Treasures And Myths: How Buikwe ‘Gave Birth’ To River Ssezibwa

Uganda is indeed blessed with nature and my daily prayer is that we are able to appreciate and ‘conserve’ these treasures.

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The Ssezibwa falls, located in Kayanja, Mukono

The Ssezibwa falls in Kayanja, Mukono district are indeed a beauty that, to me, ‘seems’ virgin. I couldn’t help but make sure I take as many photos as I could, and also, most importantly, learn as much as I could. It was a weekend trip worth taking with my family, a trip that could, eventually lead to a few discoveries hidden behind a beautiful story with different shades of truth.

The story of Ssezibwa, according to a senior traditional healer I met there, begun about 200 years ago in the era of the Buganda king, Ssemakokiro. In this era, access to hospitals was highly limited because of the, bad road networks. (And of course there was no ‘medical concierge’ app so please do not go there.) And because of this, Ssalongo Nsubuga Ssebwato, of the ‘Mamba’ clan and his wife Nakangu, from the ‘Kibe’ clan would end up in a dilemma and tragedy that would give birth to the geist of this story. The two were residents of Kawuna village in Buikwe.

When Nakangu was due to give birth, she set off for long journey to the hospital. Five miles into the journey, she decided to take a ‘short cut’, having realized that she might not make it to the hospital. However, even with the short cut, she was forced to stop, lie down and push new life into the world. A set of twins, Mubeeya and Ssezibwa – a girl and a boy, were brought forth!

At this point, I interrupt and ask my narrator if Nakangu had thus given birth to mere water, a question, which is on your mind right now. He cared to clarify…

The human twins did not make it. However, it’s the ‘placenta water’ (Amniotic fluid) poured that sunk into the ground and later sprung out to form two separate streams of water; Mubeeya and Ssezibwa. Of course I posed for a few microseconds to rationalize but I did not interrupt him.

According to my narrator, Mubeeya, the girl and Ssezibwa, the boy had actually travelled together underground but had to separate. Mubeeya settled in Banga village, Nyenga, still in Buikwe while Ssezibwa chose to travel farther.

Along his journey, the great Ssezibwa was approached by a number of tributaries, which asked him for permission to join him. (This consultation, according to the narrator, was spiritual)

He allowed some and refused some. It was his choice. But it is these very tributaries that gave him the strength to conquer more spirits that did possess the various landscapes through which he travelled – including the Kayanja rocks where he showcased his mastery in form of a beautiful waterfall before moving on to finally rest in the Kyoga.

John went on to let me know that Ssezibwa is a humble, kind, listening and giving spirit. On any given day, you will find a couple of people consulting with the spiritualists in this place for his blessings. They are thus asked to offer eggs to Jjaja Magobwe, a spiritual head of the Mamba clan or wash off from the falls or even carry the water home for blessings.

However, no mother of twins, a ‘nalongo’ is allowed here because being a male, he cannot ‘work’ on his ’mother’.

Ssezibwa has also now allowed tourists to visit, which he had earlier forbidden. (This makes it clear why the place is so ‘virgin’). After a lot of consultation, Micheal (not real names) was also permitted to have the place enclosed off for resort purposes.

He has however, recently become angry and dirtied the waters because of a spiritual wrangle between Bambejja and the Mamba clan, a case that is now in court.

According to the Bambejja, the cave where Magobwe is worshipped is supposed to be for the sun god, Musoke. You will thus find a yellow cloth over the cave and ‘obusumbi’

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Opening to the cave which, according to the Mamba clan is supposed to host Magobwe

(local pots) with two openings in the cave. The Mamba people claim that the sun god can not be kept in a cave and that, the fact that Ssezibwa is from the Mamba clan then, the clan spiritual leader, Magobwe should be residing in the cave. (Do not get tempted to ask me what the two spirits in question say about this.)

 

Away from all that, the falls are definitely beautiful and are a breathe of freshness. Micheal has established a ‘resort’ with board walks, accommodation and camping facilities. The place still needs a lot of facelift for comfort and I hope to see that when I next visit.

My next stop will be Gulu village in Ssaza, Mukono district. If you know the story of the first two Baganda, kintu and Nambi and how they ran away from ‘heaven’, this is one story you should not miss because this is the place where these two fell after their escape.

[Want to sponsor my trips? Reach me on 0704818626

How my ‘side dish’ relationship saved my marriage

Happily ever after is half a lie. I believe the truth bit only happens after the two of you have given up your last breath, hand in hand after 50 years (or more) of struggling to stay together.

And indeed we were struggling to stay together. Just 6 years into our marriage, we had already agreed to separate. She couldn’t stand looking at me and daily I kept wondering what kind of demon had pushed me into making life-time vows with this woman. I still loved her and struggled to make her realize that. Despite her bitterness, she hadn’t changed much from the girl I had fallen madly for.

I met Esther through my sister at a neighborhood ‘born again’ church overnight. I had dropped by from club to honor a guy bet that the crazy wild me can enter ‘a’ church! I shouldn’t have honored that bet, you could say that was the first mistake before I jaw-dropped for her insanely devastating pretty face and her poise, her unique timid look and her visibly clear innocence. I had never met any girl like her…so natural! I still stand on the fact that to me, that was love at first sight…and I had to get her!

I wooed her for One and a-half years! Yes, that long. Rejection after rejection…trick after trick. I just kept trying, even when all my ‘vibing skills’ had run out completely. She, later on, compassionately managed to give in and we started our perfectly weird relationship, to which all hers and my friends were two hundred per cent opposed.

We were perfectly incompatible in so many ways. We were too different and shared way too little in common. She hated all my flashy rich friends and family, I was always disgusted by her simplicity and her ‘local’ church friends. She hated my wild ways; drinking and clubbing every other day, and I hated her annoying church ways, praying for everything! Yes, there were so many collisions because of our differences but our love was too strong and overriding…in the first few years. Later on, my ego, my friends, my stupidity and a number of other completely nonsensical factors made me the man that she would eventually choose to hate. And she showed it.

I was a nag; wanted to sleep with her whenever I wanted irrespective of her feelings, pinned her on every text message she received, accusing her of all kinds of evil things, things that I personally was guilty of, confronted her over the smallest humane mistakes, pushed her around and poked her often into random arguments. I was a nag because of my ego! May be something within me wanted her to be different rather than the quiet girl she was.

The more she showed me her anger; looking at me with disgust, pushing me away whenever I moved closer for a kiss, choosing her phone over our conversation and so much more, I felt neglected and small. I needed more. The love for her was now clouded by my desires to find better. The voices from my friends for a ‘side-dish’ grew stronger and stronger and stronger until i gave in.

I met someone else…

I met Winnie in a bar; the perfect place to meet a lover, for a man like me. We were an instant flame and hit it off from day one. It was intense and deep from the word go. When we hit the dance floor, our bodies connected like they’d known each other for 23 years. She knew me like I knew her. It’s like we had met before. She was my definite type…

Studied from Namagunga and could thus clearly relate with the “fumbler” that I am. She could relate with all my friends (and of course they ‘stamped’), my sisters adored her fashion style and got along so well with my mum so fast because; they were OGs and she was a Musoke, one of the most prominent families in Wakiso.Winnie was Catholic, open-minded and loved the bottle just like me. She was also a practicing lawyer and a consultant in law of economics. In contrast, Esther was a Senior Five drop out who hated; one of my biggest disappointments. With Winnie, I felt challenged…

I started working on all the projects that I had stalled because of lack of motivation from Esther including my marketing firm. I went into mushroom farming using her Seven acre farm as a model. I was moved by the fact that she had six rental apartments and a bungalow, which she wanted us to move into. I decided to save and also solicit some funds from Eddie, my older brother and built a two bedroom house in Seeta. She had so many high end contacts which she introduced me to, for the benefit of my marketing firm grew. Everything else grew; my social life – lost friends re-appeared, my bank account, career, my personality and my smile! And it was all because of Winnie. The girl who was exactly like me – me, Bonny, the man Esther wouldn’t get along with!

 

I decided to let Winnie move into my two bed room house but, exactly three months later I just couldn’t wait to kick her out! I couldn’t wait to run back to Esther and say sorry. She was the ultimate me…the worst nag and i couldn’t put up with this at all.

If you read through paragraph five, then you would understand! Yes, she did all that to me. And somehow she had this mentality that my success was heavily built on her and I thus, owed her so much. She ‘dictated’ things; wanted the house organized her way, wanted sex her way…daily, no texting at all in her presence (even if it were a client), no family members in the house because somehow, to her, they were super ‘local’, …you get the point. If I did otherwise, she would throw a fit; it would be a serious fight between us and she would bring out all the times that she has helped the ungrateful me. Oh yes, I had literally become Esther in this new relationship!

Daily, Esther’s shoes grew perfectly fitting on me. I could more than clearly, understand her anger, pushes, disgust, and discomfort around me because I was doing exactly the same. I now understood why Esther always wanted to take that evening walk and be by herself, because it was exactly what I needed often. I needed my phone more than Esther needed hers whilst with me, and not just because I wanted to flirt, but because I wanted a distraction from the constant hymns of complaints. Suddenly my matrimonial ring, hidden in the closet, became the sweetest desire…one I held closely as a love secret. I started looking at this ring more often with a new burning sensation and desire for Esther.

And that is exactly how my marriage was saved.

I wooed back my wife and indeed she made me pay for it with one and a half years of rejections and ‘senile’ vibing tricks to win her back. When she eventually let me in, we renewed our vows and most importantly our strong love. And having understood what it feels to be in her shoes, I was more careful and respectful.

We may never have it all but we have each other and am grateful.

#UGBudget2017: Fashion, Humour and the other positives from Museveni’s speech

Aside from the tax increments on sports betting, imported furniture, beers and soda, i had all kinds of negative perceptions about the budget being read because like many other Ugandans, it had that ‘1986’ normalcy fever. However, when the president stepped onto the podium to make his speech, i found myself listening in, and i must say i was shocked!

It’s been long since the president made it to the budget reading in full combat wear and at first it was intriguing until his speech made it to the ‘Vogue Fashion Runway’.

First, i loved the fact that the president had, after 31 years, (i am avoiding the use of, “since 1986”) that there are “some” clothes, shoes and materials which can and have been made by Ugandans…in Uganda! He quickly informed the audience that the uniform he was putting on was Ugandan made (apart from the beret) before he showcased a few more items; the yellow NRM shirt, “…with 35 per cent cotton from Uganda and 65 per cent polyester, which we still import” and another white shirt which “…is wholly made in Uganda but the polyester is also imported and another fibre which makes it strong is also from Indonesia”….but the labor is Ugandan! Hurray, way to go! We have done a great job!

The president went ahead to emphasize his point with a showcasing of a jungle hat which he personally designed before he gifted Hon. Abiriga with his sandals, wholly made in Uganda. Do you now understand how we reached the Vogue Fashion Runway?

But he was making a point though; we should stop misusing our purchasing power by crediting foreign products when we can support local manufacturers and employ the youth. I honestly agree with this and i am glad that the man has been in support of this angle of thought since the early 1950’s when KCC milk made it to the Ugandan markets and he stopped purchasing soda to support Kenyan manufacturers. I believe we can follow our president and buy Sembule Televsion sets to support the…oh wait, he asked for a bail out and couldn’t get any. Sorry. We can, like i was saying, opt to buy Ugandan clothes from Nytil and…and…(you know it’s really hard to name others!) and i forgot to mention the fact that i am not sure Nytil still exists!

There are initiatives the president has set up to support the youth (…again). During his speech, he showcased one of them and mentioned others where he had spent about 300 million shillings to help curb youth unemployment. He promised them (the ones he showcased today) machines to help them manufacture what they had studied. And at some point i heard my dear president insinuate that we should create jobs for our youth within the country rather than let them leave and go work as house maids abroad. Well well well…aren’t we such a great nation at making plans and keeping them! Let me sip on some coffee as i watch ‘Boss Baby’, another great comedy!

It wasn’t a very uncolorful budget reading as usual thus!

 

I learned a new word from the East, ‘Nyeko’ and an English term, “Change Of Use”. Nyeko is a Langi word meaning jelousy, and allow me use it to those hating on my opinion; you have ‘nyeko’. It was interesting also to learn that we can simply just come up with a new coffee factory in namanve and choose to ‘do other things’ with the existing one in Bugolobi…it’s called “Change Of Use!” It’s a new terminology.

In a nutshell, whilst some may feel like the budget was all gloom and ‘ceremonius’ (Kizza Besgye…hi! Nyeko?) i had so much to take away from the reading especially during President Museveni’s speech. I hope and pray that whatever has been planned and passed may actually come to pass…For God and My Country.

– See more at: http://www.ntv.co.ug/blogs/bonny-tamale/2017/jun/08/ug-budget-2017-fashion-humour-and-other-positives-i-picked-musevenis#sthash.5VWm7IV4.dpuf

Martyrs Day 2017: Of our modern day martyrs who do not matter

Allow me welcome you all back from the 3rd June Martyrs Day celebrations in Namugongo. For those who actually went there, I hope it was worth it. For those who trekked (not on your smartphones), I hope you felt that necessary pain…only that you didn’t trek back! Anyways, please allow me define the word “MARTYR” before I introduce this blog to you.

 

MARTYR

ˈmärdər/

Noun

A person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs.

“Saints, martyrs, and witnesses to the faith”

 

Verb

Kill (someone) because of their beliefs.

“She was martyred for her faith”

 

Here is the big question; would we still call them martyrs, celebrate them, trek for them if those 22 men and woman, were killed in these times for “their religious beliefs”? If there was a modern day Mwanga (and I am not saying he is not there though), and he decided to burn down Twenty-two young men and a woman for disobeying him because of their religious beliefs, would we run to Pope Francis and ask for their beautification so that we can kneel down and pray through their names? Or is it that we are caught in another contradiction?

 

Looking back at that definition, you will notice (if you are still with me) that it’s not just about religion but also other beliefs like; football, atheism, sexuality, politics…! If we are to go by that definition, I am happy to announce that the Ugandans who died defending Buganda, Bunyoro, Busoga, against white imperialism are dear martyrs too; the natives who fought and died bravely in that Maji-maji rebellion ( and other African rebellions) are great African martyrs…who do not matter because we are a very choosy and corrupted lot.

 

According to a few people I talked to, one is said to be a martyr if they are killed under duress! In other words; they are told to choose between this and that or face death. Yes, that is exactly what happened before Mwanga torched those Ugandans; choose religion and die! That already qualifies the Christians who were forced to denounce their religions and recite a few Islamic statements during the 2013 Westgate Al Shabaab attack in Kenya as Martyrs…and certainly takes me to the other point of view.

 

Politics!

 

We all know how dirty politics can be, we do not need a debate nor dictionary for that. Despite the dirt, there are very many followers, world wide, who participate strongly in this muddy game. These ardent believers will choose one side and swear allegiance “for life”! They believe in their “way of political leadership and strategy” and would never see themselves on the other side of the coin. Their political affiliation is like or even deeper than a religion (maybe because they earn or will earn from it).

 

Many of such ambitious believers, like many whose names we shall not say, have been politically (politics, the word, in this sense being equivalent to dirty) persuaded into changing sides by those whose names are many but we are not allowed to say. Well, of course some switch allegiance, just as easily as many have switched religions, whilst others would rather die – both literally and figuratively!

But in many cases it has gone to the point of dying (literally) for choosing not to change sides, raise the thumb over the peace sign or the other way round.

 

Are these too, our modern day unsung martyrs? The ones who do not matter?

 

But this goes wider and wider in terms of beliefs…other beliefs. It makes me feel like there are so many other people who have died because of their beliefs but have been ignored for the reasons that are beyond my understanding. There are so many people who have refused to give up their sexualities, work ethics, nationalities, and perceptions about life and so many other things that they believe and in the end lost their lives. Are these our modern day martyrs who actually do not matter?

 

Yes they are. But because of selective martyrdom, we choose to ignore the suffering and death of people whose cause is non-religious! And even when the cause is religious, the choice of who becomes a martyr and who will not seems to be beyond us.

 

So, on behalf of all those who have been thinking like me, I celebrate the unsung martyrs; the ones of old and those of the modern days. We may never get the chance to kneel down and pray through you, or trek for you but we recognize your fight.

 

Once again, I am entitled to my opinions just as you are. Feel free to comment and share your views!

A tribute to Joan kagezi…

It’s just one second. Only one…I doubt it’s even enough. No am sure it’s not. But it’s quite long. 
So I look at him….closely. The determination in his eyes, the strength of his motive written across his masked face. What is he thinking at this moment? About his kids back at home?? About the very next moment? Or maybe his mind is set entirely on the large sum of cash balance awaiting him after the job well done. He is a very strong man, I bet he has 5 acres of farm land back at his home. Very young and able….if he was president, he would be so vigilant. 
But well, I have no time. I must… But wait, did I send that email to frank?? Oh no I did not. It’s going to disrupt the entire process for them. And oh, I didn’t send mum her rent….and forgot Grace’s shoes at the store, and the meeting tomorrow with judge Timothy should have made things more clearer….Bob, Chris, Esther at church….The entebbe errands….my daughter’s medication prescription in the bag…sooo many things I haven’t yet done. Can’t this just wait one more day?? 
I ddnt see this coming. Not like this. Seems like yesterday when mum gave me a present for my 5th birthday. How time flies so fast. And maybe I deserve to have said goodbye to her. But not her alone. How about my childre-…they are going to be alone??? No, parent??? I didn’t grow up like that?? Oh this life. They don’t deserve this. But it’s too late now. Or maybe it’s not.
Can’t God stop this?? This man has a mission but, can’t he change his mind?? Can’t he miss?? Can I fight him?? Isn’t there anything I can do to stop this?? Or maybe i should have done it hours ago. Maybe i shouldn’t have used this road today. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought groceries here today. Maybe I should have stopped at that gas station before. Maybe I shouldn’t have handled that case. Maybe I shouldn’t have even been a lawyer at all. But here I am.
Looking at him…so close. So ready and willing. It’s like he hates me. And maybe he is right to do so. But what so bad a thing did I do to him?? Oh wait…he was sent. He maybe has no idea why he has to do it. He just wants the money. So…who sent him?? Who did I do wrong recently? Couldn’t they have called me and told me about what I did wrong?? I could have apologized. But then again, I shall never find out. 
And now I have to bear the pain of a metallic component through me. Does it hurt? Does it pierce as sharp as the dreaded doctor’s injection? Does it feel…oh nooooo…..
I just felt it…it must be just that. 
He must be happy now. 
Eight times. 
I never felt the pain for the second one. I think it’s the confusion; the panic, the cloud of absence and not being understood by everyone looking at the other me…the one on the floor, the silence of my screams as I try to answer my daughter’s cry, the absence of a wave back as I try to wave to Grace and her guards around my other me.
The priest used to preach about the soul, the spirit and the body. I knew about it to. Scientists disputed it though. I wish I had the power to tell them now. To explain to them that…I felt it all. I felt the stinging sharpness of that metal as it crushed through the very first core of my skin, through my bone tissues that science explains so well and…through my terrified soul and my ever strong spirit. I did hold his hand I remember; trying to pull him back and look into his eyes as my other me, my third, fell…but I could not hold onto him. He looked into my eyes though. It’s like he was saying to me; my job is done;I am rich now; I did what I had to do….and he ran away.
It took me a while…but now I know. I clearly understand. There is no need for an explanation because I have it all with me. It’s me…I felt it all. The doctors will tell little. I can explain it better….but I think I cannot be heard now.
My prominent strong voice… is gone. My hands…can wave no more. My perfect smile…can be seen no more. No one knows am here and yet I was…just a while ago. Just a few minutes ago. It’s all gone. Like I never was there. Or maybe I was but…am now not. It’s like…a family picture on the wall, with my face cut out. No more to me?? To all I did? All I have been??
So is this what they call it?? The switch over. This is how it feels like. This is what it is. And i always wondered. But now I know. I do know so. Although I would love to tell all of them…even these ones using gloves to hold my other me…that, I am indeed alive. Am here. 
And for you my children, I always shall be…even when you cannot see.