Saturday, 31 July 2010
He took a step, and then another. One small step, the next bigger. Carla followed suit.
''Please. Please'' Chris was desperate. ''I want to go home now. Home time. No place like home, no place like home, no place like home''.
Silently, Carla agreed with Chris. Obstacles had come, it hadn't been easy.
They had to move downwards to reach up, made some unsolicited maneuvers to reach the next stage.
''This is worth it'' Carla coached Chris. ''This will be worth it''.
They were both sweating. It was hot and humid and the added effort they were putting in was beginning to wear thin on their sustainability.
''Water''. Chris croaked. ''I...need...water''. He stopped and took a long drink of the cool rescue.
It seemed the closer they reached to their destination, the harder it became.
Chris had been bitten by a snake, luckily not poisonous, but the pain was real.
''Devil right up in your face'' Carla had said. ''Don't let it phase you''.
Carla had become delusional. ''I see a rainbow...And a pot of gold...and a butterfly. A Beautiful...gold...butterfly flying over a rainbow in search for the pot of gold''. They both clung to each other, and cried.
But they continued. Sweating, moving forward, a few steps back, bigger ones forward, huge steps backwards, smaller ones forward.
''Are we getting anywhere?'' Chris asked.
Each new step forward was a step closer.
''Enough'' Chris screeched dropping to his knees. ''Enough! I can't go on. It's too much!'' He gasped for breath. ''Lets go back. I can smell fried chicken, I can taste it right now''.
Carla reached out, pulled herself up, then gasped. She stopped and stared.
''Chris'' Carla whispered. ''Look''.
''Nooo, fried chicken is all I want''. He grasped at the stones beneath his hands, sobbing.
''Chris!''. Carla's voice was laced in awe.
Chris stopped, opened one eye. He reached out, and pulled himself up.
He gasped. He stood to his feet then fell back down to his knees. He was overtaken by the sight before him. He stood, enveloped by paradise. The crisp blue sky, the clouds so close enough to almost touch. They were spun like candy floss, smoothly, gently, moving past his face.
Below, hills upon hills, the green of the landscape seemed surreal in contrast to the sky blue perfection of the heavens above. The sunlight glowed and caused a shimmer that only accentuated the beauty of the sight before them, as rays of sunlight danced across the sky and echoed its beauty on the earth below. Nothing could have prepared them for this.
''We made it Chris'' Carla gasped. ''We didn't just move the mountain. Despite the valleys and setbacks, we climbed and conquered it''.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
She had been hit and she was bleeding. She looked down and could make out blood trailing from her side and mixing with the dirt ridden floor.
She had managed to crawl back inside the dark encased mud hut which was her home. She had briefly left her home to find her parents after their venture to find help meant they had not returned for some time. They had assured her that they would be back and she was to stay hidden in their home until their return. After witnessing them both being shot by passing bullets in the mayhem that was, right outside the market where Mirembe would often buy fish and pepper, she did the best she knew. She ran.
Mirembe cowered in the dark and heard the voices on the outside. She curled herself up in a ball as she winced with pain and listened.
She heard voices quarreling.
''Let us go Bale!'' Akello screamed, ''We have to leave now! Our lives are in danger! Our own are after us!"
''But we cannot just leave her!'' Bale cried. ''She is our very own! She is an Acholi child! We need to do something! If we do not take her they will be sure to kill her!'' They were both frantic.
''She is as good as dead!'' Akello screamed pulling Bale. ''We have to go! They are getting closer! We have to go! She is not worth it!!''
Mirembe listened out. The footsteps of the two men running away grew fainter. The decision had been made.
A flash. A bright light. She squinted. A flash of hope?
She was cold and shivering. Maybe this was her destiny. Left to die in the genocide.
''Father please'' Mirembe prayed, slipping in and out of consciousness. ''Father, please. Help me''.
She heard loud sounds, feet racing, voices shouting. Tears ran down her face, Mirembe hoped her hiding place would keep her safe. She was struggling to breathe, she could feel her life slipping away.
The loud sounds seemed to be getting closer. Footsteps running. Running towards her. Big strong hands lifted her up.
Mirembe's pain grew dim. It began to ebb away.
She took a breath, her last breath. The strong hands held her tight. Her body fell limp and her eyes closed to darkness.
'It is too late''. The one who held her said. ''She is dead''.
Nasiche was exquisite in every way. The way she walked. Her head held high, her back straight. Her lips smiled slightly and her eyes glowed.
She had finished her acceptance speech for the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. She thanked her listeners and made her way down from the stage.
''Wow'' someone said. They all exclaimed. What a beauty.
''Hi'' another acknowledged. ''I can't believe it's you! You are beautiful. The world acclaimed author... I can't believe it!''
Nasiche smiled, and moved on. Gentlemen tipped their hats, others just stared. Some blushed as she brushed past.
Women stared, eyes glowing with envy, some in admiration.
She sat quietly, confidently, assured of who she was. She ate her meal and drank her drink laughing with those at her table. She looked at her watch. She had to soon go.
Across the way she could hear a commotion, men in conversation.
''I'm going to go and speak to her'' one man exclaimed.
''Please, let me go first'' the other pleaded. She smiled and raised an eyebrow.
They both walked over. They extended their greetings and joined the table. One of the men talked, the other laughed.
Nasiche was silent. Her phone rang. She answered, nodded and smiled. She got up to leave.
''Ma'am'' One of the men stood up, ''May I have the pleasure of taking your number that I may speak to you again?''
The other followed suit. ''No, Madame, may I?''.
Nasiche stayed quiet. She drank the last drops of her juice, and paused.
She smiled at them as she bid goodbye to those at the table. As she left, she opened her purse and pulled something out.
There was a picture of a young girl, blackened with dirt, lying on the floor, in a war torn Uganda, one hand reaching out.
Their backs turned running away. Nasiche threw the photo on the table and turned and left.
''It is me'' Akello said as he picked up the picture. His face turned as he realised he was the one in the picture. Bale was sober as he realised he was the other.
Akello turned the photo around. There were words written on the back.
''I was your very own, an Acholi child. I was the one you thought was good as dead. I am the one who is today very much alive. I am Nasiche. Nabulungi Mirembe Nasiche.''
Bale whimpered. Akello sobbed.
She was met outside by a man, the same man that had taken the picture, the same man that had carried her away all those years ago. They walked away hand in hand.
''On that dark war torn day,'' She smiled up at her husband, ''you were my hope, my saving grace.''
He smiled back.
''It was our God's saving grace that He chose to bring you back my love, for you had surely died. He knew your worth, and He heard your cry and my prayer that you may live, my exquisite and beautiful Mirembe''.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
B&Q must be happy with the frequent visits. Well maybe not, as mostly visits are to return and refund colours provided by a rather expensive Dulux that doesn't quite happen to meet expectations.
So it's me and the Madre ready to take on the kitchen.
Fill the holes.
Sand the walls.
Mask the areas where paint need not reach, and then tackle the job at hand.
White for the ceiling, blue for the walls.
Madre decides to repaint the wooden window ledges. Advised her not to buy that ugly brown wood varnish. Ugly brown wood varnish drips over the recently painted lovely Dulux blue.
Madre apologises. I grin and wave a hand. Ain't nothing but a thing. (Grinning and waving is the new in thing don't you know? It waves away a mistake, and covers a multitude of exasperation).
Mask the botched wood paint job and repaint the blue back to it's original state.
One side of the kitchen wall is white. May look better in blue.
"No", says Madre.
"Yes" says I.
Two hours drying time later, Madre thinks it was better off white.
I stand back.
I grin and I wave.
I repaint over the blue with white, back to it's original state.
We stand back and reflect, stretch and yawn.
What a hard days work!
I peer. Madre peers.
OK. So nothing has actually been accomplished after 8 hours work. The kitchen looks exactly how it did before we decided to ambush. Like, hello?
Though weeping shall last for the night. Joy comes in the morning.
Hallelujah and Amen to that.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
She had ordered a hot drink.
She shouldn't have. She had no money to pay for it. But she desperately wanted something to warm her up after the many cold nights out on the street with no where to go.
Her hands, blackened with dirt cupped the mug from which she drank from. Her desire had over ridden her reality, but right now, the reality was comforting. She nervously tried to smooth out her dirt caked hair.
Two beautiful women sat looking. They sneered. One whispered something to her friend. They both huddled over and sniggered.
Riko blushed, embarrassed. She pulled her filthy torn coat tightly around her.
Someone came and sat beside her.
Riko looked at him.
He had warm eyes and a kind smile. She looked down at her worn out clothes.
He spoke to her. Riko was shocked. Many were often repulsed by her.
He seemed drawn to her, and she to him. He called her by her name. She wondered how he knew. She smiled shyly and looked down at the floor. He laughed. She sipped her hot drink.
They moved over to a table and talked and enjoyed an exquisite meal.
Riko liked that he was so kind. He didn't look at her for what was on the outside. He seemed to see more than that. He told her she was worth more than she thought. For Riko, the meal spoke for itself.
The man got a phone call, he got up said goodbye and left.
Riko was astounded.
She ran outside to look for the man with the warm eyes and kind smile.
The man had disappeared. He was no where to be seen.
Riko went back inside. At the bar she tried to explain. Her eyes were sad, her words spilling over one another.
She explained that she didn't have the money to pay for the meal, her companion had left her stranded. She offered to pay by washing all the dishes, working for a time to pay off all that had been eaten.
The waitress smiled back at Riko. She was taken by her earnest apologies.
'Ma'am, it's fine' the waitress explained. 'It's all been paid for. The gentleman already paid the bill before you even began to eat'.
Riko was stunned. She picked up her bags and turned to leave.
Oh, Ma'am' the waitress called after her. 'The gentleman left his name. Vation, Mr Vation', she read from a small piece of paper in her hand.
'First name Sal'.
Saturday, 17 July 2010
We all struggle for a while, along the way we
Trip on the stones and debris of life
But because we are so focused on getting things right
We simply and so easily end up doing wrong
So... our focus was merely wrong
And never on right
Our focus became our own and not His own
So shall we define....what says wrong and what says right?
Wrong says you are bad...
I love you in spite of you being bad, right?
So, therefore, I just let my own be
Then God will show me that my own was not His own
And that His own was for me to just be
His in His own
Friday, 2 July 2010
NEVER in a million did I ever think I'd feel this passionate about football – never in a million did I ever think I'd like football. My curiosity was stirred during the World Cup, but after England's somewhat dare I even mention challenging skills, (but we're still there for you ye old England) I was put off. But then everywhere I looked, turned, bumped into - people were raving about my home country being the first African country to possibly enter into the World Cup semi-finals ever. That caught my attention. I was like whaaaa? Ghana be the first whaaaa? I'm there man! I’ll be hot for Ghana for sure!
Well, I got more then I bargained for. From the above statement, you can see I got a little excited, and brought on a self induced head ache. I have only myself to blame for this unwanted niggling pain above my left eye. What with all the screaming, shouting and hollering - 'Mum, if you must pray to the good Lord above for Ghana's victory - and I'm so pro you doing that - must you do so on your knees right in front of the TV? A-ah!'.
But oh, how it was worth it. To be honest, I was getting restless as we entered into extra time. After a long game, the players were tired and so were we who were watching. My blood sugar was low, and I needed an orange Lucozade - which I didn't have at hand - to keep me happy after all the screaming kicking and texting activity on the mobile phone.
Sulley Muntari took the honour of securing a one-nil lead for Ghana just before half-time. Uruguays striker - whatever his name is - balanced this out in the second half. The score was 1-1 after 120 long and tiring minutes of football.
Free kick to Ghana just before extra time was over meant this could have been their moment of victory - best known Ghanaian striker Gyan assumed the position. Close up to Gyan. He was nervous, so were we. He wiped a sweat bead of his forehead, many others replicated that. This could be it - this could actually be it! Ghana's victory to the World Cup semi-finals!! He took the shot. My leg kicked out. He missed the goal as the ball hit the crossbar. Man, water all over the floor again for me. Queue the roar of disappointment world wide (apart from Uruguay). I closed my eyes and remembered a movie I had once seen but I forget the title. A man traveled into the past to try and change some things that would transpire in the future. I imagined back tracking into the past just before Ghana's free kick, freeze framing the game and whispering to Gyan - ‘whatever you do – shoot low bro – just shoot low. Not so high, just shoot low’.
Then after the Ghana Victory, Gyan calls and says ‘Hey, Mama' with his hand to his heart (Wow, he knows my nickname??!!) 'I just wanna thank you so much oh. I was wondering, do you, maybe, um, like, wanna go and get something to eat? I just wanna thank you – ya know, you played a big part in Ghana's win’. I gush and blush and accept and...Say what now? I'm dreaming?? OK, so my imagination invaded the blog. Lets just continue. Father Lord forgive me, thank You for Your small mercies oh.
Ahem… we continue.
Penalty time was intense - nail bitingly on the edge of your seat popcorn popping intense. Get the 3D glasses out, lets make the experience whole man. They almost made it. Ghana almost made it. But Uruguay got a lucky hit. LUCKY….This time….
Uruguay celebrated their Semi Final entry for the World Cup 2010, as Gyan wept soberly. As the other players consoled him, my heart was stirred with compassion. I guess that free kick goal that he missed must have finally hit him. If its any consolation Gyan – we’ve all hit and missed in life. Made terrible misjudgments and mistakes. Yours was on a bigger scale then most, seeing as the whole world was watching, but mate – we’re behind you still.
I think Ghana played absolutely marvelously. You gave it all you had, and it was football at its best. All the way up to and during penalties – although penalties was the heart attack inducing more prayers than you’ve prayed in a week highlight – you gave it good and made a name for yourselves. 2014 can only prove to see you come forth better, with more game and hot on defense, attack and striking.
Proud to be a part of You Mama Africa.