In my heart, all I could hear were whispers, write write write. Deaf ear,I turned.Legal writing,policy briefs were no problem, I had never tried blogging, because Facebook was always available ready to take in my a quarter baked grammar in the pretence of a post.I was unimpressed and felt useless.I knew that I had to do better but I didn’t know where to start. Life was watching and taking notes, now all I do is read and write and “I am learning on job”. In my chair is where the magic happens. I write one hand at a time since the other one is paralyzed and can’t function. With the keyboard,I disturb the comforted and create vayolensi.
I opened a WordPress account in 2014, I was a lazy blogger and preferred Facebook to write as it seemed the better platform because of its engagement, there is no writer who writes without sharing the linko save for the more established writers with more email subscription and devoted readership. I write to disturb the comforted and here was one of my first posts where I was hitting at fellow university students for exhibiting, intellectual laziness. This is the more reason I share screenshots not to appear as some know it all but because I am ignorant and learn everyday, there’s nothing as sad as being a ‘know it all’ because it means that you have stopped learning.
Thanks to the Stroke Foundation Uganda, I found hope again. I now focus on what I am able to do rather than what I ‘should’ be able to do, and I celebrate every tiny step. Whereas I am not an evolutionist, I agree in entirety with Darwin that it’s not the strong or more intelligent species that survive but rather those that are able to adapt. So I adapted and here we are. I had aspirations and they were gone with the illness, so I resorted to writing as I journey to recovery. I had to tailor the current reality to fit my aspirations.
Writing is therapeutic in that it ‘keeps me sane’ or prevents me from losing it.I describe self as Utopian or an idealist and believe that the world ought to be run on principles. I’m more into social-political commentary. Let us look a low income family in Uganda that survives on a hand to mouth economy and how COVID-19 has affected them. The dad is a motorcycle rider so that is hand to mouth economy. With the total lockdown, issues arose and I highlighted them. The child doesn’t know the class in which they are because of the longest school lockdown so I write about how education has brought about inequalities. The child has to collect scrap metal for the family to survive so I write about child labor. The private hospitals were overcharging COVID-19 patients so I wrote about Covidpreneuship . These are some of the emerging issues I write about. I believe that I owe my country and continent alot and I believe that writing can contribute to the national policy and debate. Like a hummingbird small as it is,I do the best I can to ‘ put out the fire in the forest.’ I am a writivist and write with a hope that I will right society.
When it comes to Africa,I have written about how we are a country and a few readers may not be happy but this is my take. We are the children and grandchildren of the movement . We may use Facebook daily on our smartphones (emphasis mine) , but we also read Biko and Franz Fannon while listening to Music that enlightens and inspires us. We listen to Lauryn Hill as equally as well as Hugh Masekela. We hear and believe in young people . We chose to pursue ideals however unpopular they are. We have stopped living the dream of our fathers. We cant further their dreams, their time has come to give way. We are setting a new trend and mark. Do we make mistakes? Certainly the road is not paved with fine stones, we have to stumble and learn on job and be better.
Political commentary is not like poetry where readers are supposed to be wowed and happy, my aim is that we stop in our tracks and do some introspection. Some readers may not be happy with my Afropessimism but events that I write about have happened, the only crime if any that I am accused of is writing it is as it happens and for that I am unapologetic. Other articles have expressed similar fears as I have.
November 2nd, marked my anniversary as an Afroblogger, I have grown as a blogger and during the Winter Afrobloggers Challenge, I was nominated as an outstanding blogger. I want to think the nomination was out of working hard and not working well. Writing with one hand as the other is paralyzed is no big time deal, the body is amazing,it adapts. My biggest artiste in Uganda is Joseph Mayanja alias “Chameleon”, Chameleon has a brother known as,”Pallaso”, I want to assert that Pallaso works hard musically and has of late started working well. I was the Pallaso of the Afrobloggers, I would write in time and managed to post every single day, but wait, was I writing well?, I don’t think so. I’m my own critic and I think that you should write something you want to read. Can you read your own piece before publication and the paragraphs are flawless, the syntax is in place, with the sentences structured as you want?. With that in mind, I strived to get better at writing and I’m trying or so I tell myself. Every aspiring writer like me tries as much to find their space, work on their strength and reduce on the weaknesses. That’s what I’m doing and so far, so good.
Afrobloggers awards 2021 so I make it to the finals which is no easy feat given that it is my first anniversary, this is more than growth,it is an achievement. I think working well not hard got me to the finalists. A nomination is a huge honor in itself, because it means your content is considered worthy for an award. When Afrobloggers put out a tweet about the awards, my response was simple, I was already a winner inspite of the final results come December 15th. A Facebook friend’s comment sealed it for me.
The results have been announced and let me put it politically,”my win has been postponed to 2022″. Congratulations are in order to The weight she carries , now that is activism. If you asked me about my blogging niche, I would not have a definite answer because I write about everything, be it a book/ song review, personal story and Social-Political commentary. Moving forward,I have to find a niche and stay with it as I better my art.
I would like to thank Afrobloggers family because without them,I wouldn’t have bettered at what I’m doing. I’mma mention people in no particular order, Uncle Beaton Mabaso, Musanjufu Benjamin, Bolaji Gelax,Valentine Makoni,Amuron Mable ,Tikia Joella and Elsie Tirza who continue to advise me and are kind enough with their time.
Most importantly, I should mention Olivia Byemera who’s the reason I am writing all this, she is the kind person who felt I needed a nod thus the nomination. It is very humbling when a fellow blogger takes time to nominate you.I would have self nominated if the category of social-political commentary was announced in the current 2021 awards. There is a thin line between political commentary and activism thus the nomination or so I think
Leopard; One of my other monikers is, leopard. It’s said that a leopard never changes its spots however much it rains, well that’s me. I have always been a fighter and even in the current storm, I will fight through and overcome.
Adversity causes some men to break and others to break records, I am not about to break. Happy Holidays y’all and stay safe lest you will catch the COVID-19 Omarion.
Happy holidays dear friend!
You’re doing well!
Happy Holidays Mwene. Your story really inspires me.