Day 19 of #BOTY2019: Function/Show/Festival

I almost skipped Day 19 because I skipped attending a certain festival this year,which would have been a perfect entry for this day. I also missed out on seeing Jidenna in the flesh because I didn`t attend ASFAS -Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards and Blankets and Wine.

Not to worry,I made it to all the African Writers Trust events which had cool writers like Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi ,Jackie Kay,Okey Ndibe. When Billy Kahora was in town for the  launch his new book-The Cape Cod Bicycle War and other stories, I was there.

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Here is a link  to those events-https://africanwriterstrust.org/category/uganda-international-writers-conference/

I also attended an aunt`s 10 year wedding anniversary where I was an MC. I  have officially become the family MC. It Feels good to be trusted with such responsibility. LOOL!!

I`m  planning on attending the finale of Aka dope with George the Poet this Friday. I hope I go through with it.George the poet performed the official poem for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Did you attend any  function/show/festival that  this  year? Do tell.

Day 7 of #BOTY2019: Experience

I have 1000 experiences that have qualified to be on my #BOTY2019 ward list. I could talk about them until the cows come home.

Experience one is courtesy of my work place-African Writers Trust. What an experience it has been working with a place that agrees with my passion and calling. I love going to work each day-no lie!!

Follow African Writers Trust on Facebook:https://web.facebook.com/AfricanWritersTrust/

Twitter & Instagram: Trustawt

Experience two was on adulting 101.I promised to pay for Ann (baby sister in O-level),for a school trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park. I totally forgot about it until Ann called me in tears. I had to find that money and fulfill my promise. I think I took the trophy home,for best sister in the world(sorry Ronnet and Joy. Work hard in 2020)

Experience three goes to hangouts with my girlfriends.You ladies bring balance to my busy life.You bring laughter,heat,crazy,prayer and so much more.2019 wouldn`t have been the same without you. Keep the dates coming in 2020.

Experience four goes to joining the #BOTY2019 challenge. What a way to end the year!!

Share with me some of your best experiences from 2019.

Hosting tips 101

Ever had people crushing over at your place for a few days,weeks,a month or two,years?
I have been hosted before by friends and I have learnt a couple of things about hosting people. There are hosting Dynamics and today Rachel and I share tips on how to be a good host.These tips are in no particular order.

+Always know your people.What do they like to eat,what are they allergic to.This helps to plan better for their stay.

+Plan!plan ahead for their coming.Stock whatever you need to stock for their stay.

+Don’t change your menu for your guests.Make adjustments depending on who likes what but don’t do a 360 on your menu.This might be costly and draining as well on your pocket,house help if you have one or yourself too.

+Take/accept the help.The more people in the house, there is multiplication of house chores.Incase a guest asks to help out ,let them help.

+Ask for help.Remember some of these guests,like to work and if African ,they have been trained to work and might be uncomfortable sitting all day.Ask them for help.This helps you bond and you could learn something new about each other.

+You are bound to meet people of various cultures.don’t be alarmed.

+For guests who stay for long;months or years, purposefully involve them in the house chores and activities.If you go by a rota include them that way they appreciate and are part of the family and it also lifts the burden off of you to do everything. Everyone has to have some form of responsibility.

+It is important to know how long a guest is staying, especially if you are in a family setting, that way there is no uncertainty and family members are well prepared. Guests who stay for Ununspecified days can easily feel like a burden and there could be the anxiety of how long is the person staying.To avoid such discomfort and uncertainity,it is good to know the length of the stay.

+Be ready to be vulnerable.This comes with letting someone in your space.Be yourself and don’t adjust your lives completely. Let the guest adjust to your system (this can be added to the menu as well)

+It is great to learn from your guests as well, as much as it is your house, your rules, try to involve some of their ways especially if they are from a different culture. You could ask them to cook a common dish of theirs or show you how they do their things. This way the guest feels appreciated and is able to involve a part of them in the family

+When a guest does something wrong or off, it is OK and right to tell them directly and in a kind and polite way. It is so easy to find yourselves discussing the guest behind their back with other family members yet the issue would have easily been resolved by speaking to them. This can also breed contempt and ruin the whole experience.

+Always consult with your family members before agreeing to host someone, that way they are prepared cause even if you are the one taking care of most of the things, they have a right to know and agree as their space will be invaded/interrupted

+Considering all the above, it is actually OK to say no to hosting someone, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it does take grace and quite some work, so be willing to give 100% rather than say yes and your heart is not in it. Whatsoever you do,do it with all diligence as unto the Lord and not man.

This post was co-authored by Racheal Atieno-my Kenyan sister,who has hosted me and so many other people at her home in Nairobi over the years. It is right to say her home is international 😂😂.

Kindly leave your views in the comment section.

Photo credit: Gakosun Photography

©Racheal Kizza 2018

Extraordinaire 3 : Noeline Kirabo

Women empowerment can best be done by women who know and understand fellow women. Meet Noeline Kirabo who is building an active legacy when it comes to empowering young ladies to live out their God -given potential. Many know her for Kyusa but today, she tells us all about the New Generation Mentoring Program and how to be apart of the upcoming cohort in September.

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1st NGMP cohort, Further left, Sumaya, Cathy, Grace, Noeline Kirabo , Fifi and Justine on the extreme right. Certificate ceremony.
1.Who is Noeline Kirabo?
NK: Noeline Kirabo is a family therapist by profession and a social entrepreneur by passion. She has over twelve years’ experience in the nonprofit sector mainly working with children, youth, women and community self-help groups.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Kyusa, a registered organization that empowers out of school youth in urban slums to become employable by developing passion driven sustainable careers.
She is the Co- Founder and director of Newen Consults a personal and business development consulting firm.
Noeline is also the founding president of Christian Women Entrepreneurs Network (CWEN); a platform that brings together Ugandan Christian women in business to connect, create and collaborate.
As part of her passion for women, Noeline has also pioneered a four months coaching program called New Generation Mentoring program for young adult women 20 – 35 years preparing them to identify their potential and use it to strategically influence in the market place.
Noeline is an author, writer, motivational speaker, life coach, career mentor, trainer and business development consultant. Her life mission is to empower people to identify their life purposes and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living.
2.The name Noeline is synonymous with kyusa,but what is New Generation Mentoring Program (NGMP)?
The mentoring program was birthed out of my passion and commitment to nurturing young women to actualize their potential so as to influence in the market place. I had been mentoring and coaching ladies one on one for years so I just decided to turn it into a group mentoring because of the number of ladies that were approaching me for mentoring.
New generation Mentoring Program is a four months mentoring program that aims at developing outstanding female leaders. It is an experiential program that nurtures holistic development and equipping of women for kingdom service in the market place.
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Noeline Kirabo
3. How many Cohorts has NGMP had so far ?
NK: Currently, we are running the third cohort and applications for the fourth cohort that will be starting is September are open.
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Bonding moments with cohort 3

4.How does one apply to be part of the program? Any qualifications needed?

NK: We are looking to work with:
 Women who actively seek ways to maximize their own potential
 Individuals who enjoy problem solving and creative thinking
 Women who thrive when working with other people
Ultimately, we are looking for 20 women per cycle who want to use their talents to make positive change in their lives and the world.
If you are thinking “wow, this sounds like me!” we would like to offer you an opportunity to apply for the next class of women influencers.
Weekly sessions will be held every Tuesday evening at Kyusa community library in Kalerwe.
Program requirements:
 20 – 35 year females
 Commitment for the entire four months
 Commitment to team work
 Positive attitude towards learning
 150,000/= program fee
You can apply through this link: https://goo.gl/forms/p9X65h1AgsD9H41x2
5.Benefits? what is it set to achieve?
NK: Selected Mentees will be receiving:
 Individual mentoring and coaching
 Field study exposures
 Leadership opportunities in different projects
 Opportunity to take part in community service projects
By the end of the program participants have developed life plans, mapped out career and personal development goals, acquired leadership skills, public speaking skills, ability to effectively work in teams, financial management skills and have a supportive network to enable them continue growing into their full potential.
6.Achievements so far?
NK : NGMP alumni are influencing in different industries which include the legal fraternity, business, fashion, education, social entrepreneurship, telecommunication, IT, agriculture, writing and Beauty industry among others. This provides a wealth of networks and resources that alumni can continuously draw from as they advance in their career and personal development goals.
At the moment 30 ladies have gone through the program and are accomplishing great things both in their personal and career lives.
7.Future of NGMP
NK :At the moment we are focusing on smaller groups for the cohorts with the intention of consolidating the learning experience.
Alumni are expected to also run their own mentoring clusters thus producing a ripple effect of the program impact.
Recently we inaugurated the first Executive Committee that is spearheaded by program alumni with the intention of having alumni take a lead on the growing alumni network so as to strengthen networking, collaboration as well as community impact.
Future plans (starting 2018) include:
  • Hosting an annual women in the market place conference
  • Monthly seminars for women in the market place
  • Quarterly community outreach activities
  • Annual Rising Woman award
The rest will be unveiled with time.
8.As our chat ends, how do people connect with NGMP on Social media ?
We share learning experiences from the program participants as well as inspirational articles written by the mentees.
We shall soon be sharing different offers and opportunities.

Book review#6

homegrown love

Title: Homegrown Love

Authors: Evelyn Karungi & Elma Asio

HomeGrown Love is a short story collection written by two amazing ladies; Evelyne Karungi who is a law graduate with a master`s degree in social sciences ,and a certificate in United Nations Studies. She lives in both Kampala and NewYork. The other writer is Elma Asio who is an accountant with a bachelor`s degree in commerce and has been writing stories for as long as she can remember.

The stories are shared in two parts giving both writers time, space and paper to share their stories. All stories are inspiring and cover a wide range of topics, including importance of holding onto hope and letting go of misguided love, integrating past hurts into a functional life, and how to cope with watching friends disappear as the golden years slip way.

In part 1 ,Evelyn takes us on a journey of love and the forms love takes from heartbreak to the art of confusion. I have been in love before and experienced heartbreak so my memoirs resonated with the flipping of each page in part one. We all react differently to heartbreak and like Livy aka Tough Cookie , “I am not in denial, I just don`t have the time to stop and think.” I relate with her but the pain always needs an outlet. Part 1 ends with the way of love with an attached scripture from 1 Corinthians 13; A beautiful passage on what love is according to God. “Love never gives up.” Love cares more for others than for self.

Part 2 takes centre stage with a conversational tone on a tale of black roses. The pains of love, whether it is with a Dave who put a ring on it or with a loss of a friend like Cookie who made life seem theatrical each day. The chapter is dedicated to Homegrown love where the writer reminds us to remember where we came from. And as we remember that, we know we are perfect, beautiful and special.

Homemade loves are just that and no one can change that fact. I have heard moments where I too wondered where did my love go? A common occurrence in every day life when we wonder where did our love go for our kids, family, careers, God, friends, etc but we say we are okay to the world and strong yet we need to be shown the path back to love. I related with the stories in the book too and the ending is perfection itself-“Only bruised.’’

We all go through situations and circumstances and we all should grieve the best way we know how to and then say “I was only bruised and I give myself permission to live.’’

The Language left me in awe , it is simple and for those who don`t remember their English and literature classes, use google as you enjoy the melody of each sound tagging at your heart and mind.

The book cover is simply beautiful; a glowing lamp with beautiful butterflies looming around it a typical depiction of love tales in our African traditional society. The stories were told over a fire or a lamp and it always warmed the hearts of the listeners. May the book warm every heart that reads it as it has warmed my heart.

I recommend the book to all people who appreciate the fusion of fiction and reality. The writers share their stories with humor and compassion allowing the reader to feel every emotion and resonate with a character or story shared.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

Book review 1

Book: The software of sex
Subtitle: Most talked about,least understood
Author: Ken Aringo
Pages:106

Ken Aringo, is an ordained priest in the Anglican church of Kenya Diocese of Nairobi. He currently serves as a vicar at St. Chyrysostom parish in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a Founder Director of Preserving Human Dignity (PHD) Africa Youth Ministry specializing in Evangelism, discipleship, mentorship and capacity building.

Ken is a clergy man talking about sex, a topic many in his line of work shy away from. The most talked about topic yet the least understood. From this book it is clear that sex is a ruling party that needs no president because it holds a one man show.

The book software of sex is simply a conversation on sex; exploiting the deepest realm which is our software not the hardware as we have been led to believe for years.

Ken weaves facts with personal stories of aliases like Sandra whose first sexual encounter felt more like “a loss of something valuable ” than a terrible encounter to Kimberly who at 12 years old is used by an older man in a seemingly safe environment. These encounters curve a sex trail in their lives , a trail that leaves permanent monuments of pain,sex addiction, dead conscience and a deeper need to have an understanding somebody – anybody who can tell what is wrong with the girls.

The girls represent me and other youth who in our “safe environments” harbor deep secrets that we can’t share with our parents let alone loved ones but manifest in many ways and sex is merely one of the many outlets.

The book reinforces the fact that our society is highly sexualized making sex a daily meal for A made up mind. A mind that is a master general that leads an army of action, behavior and the control of our bodies.

Ken dedicates the last chapter of the book to spiritual truth on the topic of sex. It is a gift from God worthy to be celebrated by male and female in the context of marriage contrary to sex deviation-the new normal highlighted in one of the chapters.

This quote from the book by a one preacher and expositor puts icing on Ken’s cake .”There is sex that happens based on hardware alone ….its inferior in quality, immoral in practice and demeaning in spirituality. Sex was created to operate based on consecration. When that is not done, it produces complications. ”

Language
The book language is admirable, very conversational and will keep you glued to each page like a magnet. The humor will have you in literal stitches and you will no doubt appreciate his use of the English language and you will definitely learn new words.

Recommendations
This is a must have for every youth in this generation as it speaks a language we understand and calls forth a strength to uncover truths about our software.
Parents who don’t know how to start a conversation on sex,this is a good way to start. Clergymen who for long have stood in the sidelines during the sex talk, this book will be your starter, main course and dessert.

Lastly for those seeking to research on the topic of sex, the book is well researched with scientific and medical proof.

Order for a copy at KenAringo.com for only 10USD and you can also get the kindle version on Amazon.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

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Heart of Gold

I once read a book in my primary five about a girl who had a “golden heart’’, I literally thought the girl`s heart was made of gold. YES!!! , I laugh about it now because I sat in a literature class and  I know better. The book was metaphorically speaking about a girl who was special, kind, loved everyone selflessly,  was quick to help  and was loved by the entire community. When she passed away, her heart was desired by all in the community.

In life, we meet people with “hearts of gold’’; they are the epitome of kindness and selflessness. Gold is rare, special, precious and important. The bible says, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

My aunt-Hellen Luyima has a heart of gold; she has loved me as though i am her biological daughter.She is quick to help others ,selfless and desires to see the best in everyone.

I pen her celebration because words speaker better things(so they say); she has given time, money and love to me from a tender age.She is a mother to me even if i call her `aunt’. I have utmost respect for her dedication to me.

I thought she was too strict growing up and at times i hated the fact that she seemingly didn`t understand me and my needs.

However, she has passed on invaluable laws and lessons to me that i will never forget -love others, love goes hand in hand with generosity and kindness.Problem solving where by you render help to those who need it .

Empathy which simply means putting yourself in people`s shoes and feeling with them .Handwork which is her greatest trait.

I celebrate  her today for contributing to who and where i am today.I will forever honor her.

Let us honor the people in our lives while they are alive.