As a young man at university, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen never made sense and meaning to me . The tempo was sluggish and the melody wasn’t nice, it was just another song. I have learned that you have to live a life for some art to make sense .I have lived that life and every time I think of the song,I see my life story. The song has been covered countless times but it is the Alexander Burke version for me.
4th August was the fourth wedding anniversary of the Kasujjas .Daisy is a sister and great friend of mine. She came to check on me at the time I had fallen ill. She came with another friend, Joan a Kenyan. Drew and Daisy whom I refer to as D² were then dating and I think this was intentional dating one where both were looking at a union. You know that dating where both people are looking at marriage and not wasting another’s time. The Kasujjas first met me when they were boyfriend and girlfriend and right now, they are husband and wife with two amazing little ones Avery and Asante
The 18th of April is like yesterday, I remember it vividly. It was in the afternoon at the rehabilitation center, I was then an inpatient, they entered the room and I was happy to see them.At the time , I had made tremendous gains with the Physiotherapy that she remarked,”Roland you will be fine and I hope you dance at our kasiki”(Most of my classmates use the name, Roland in reference to me). Alot of things were talked about and when it came to FI( Financial Inclusion) I had written something about it, Daisy was surprised to which Joan said,”Roland has a beautiful mind”. On hearing that, I smiled of course I couldn’t talk but my mind ran to Professor Nash and the movie,’Beautiful mind’. Life being life, there was a regression ahead and I had not been prepared for this. To understand my illness, it was before Trump was elected.
When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes, I alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate. The late General Elly Tumwine used to remember the day he was shot at and lost his eye on the 1st of November every year and used to say that he died 40 years ago. I never used to understand the statement but now it seems to make sense. I died in November 2016 I know there is hope in swimming but I am slowly drowning. Losing movement and speech is akin to dying while alive. Whereas I am no quitter, I quit living on dreams. In paralysis there is no incentive to dream. Hope can sometimes be a dangerous thing because it raises your expectations in an imagined lie. A lot of times when chatting with friends or on a phone call with a friend and I am asked how I am the reply I give without even thinking is that I am fair and I have questions like,’why fair?’. Well here is the answer I may say that I am okay, but I am not,I’m broken and therefore the answer is reflex.
Monday was my birthday,this is the fourth birthday in Paralysis and so the day was just a day but days before the day, my heart was full and this joy rolled up to the day.
The Afrobuddy from the slopes. One thing that has carried me through all this is the love from friends. In November 2020,I joined a family of African creatives with an aim to capture the emerging digital African voices. Afrobloggers is the name and so I made a good friend and descendant of Mumbi, Wanjira is her name. Last Friday the 16th, she decided to surprise me with a visit and blessed I was she carried along one of my favorite books, A collection of Wahome Mutahi’s articles in the daily Nation and as an old man, I knew about the prolific Whispers. I later told her that we have to form a book club and review his writing thereafter. What is amazing is that she freed her time to come check on me and these are the things that bless my heart. Such acts of love lift us up at our lowest and Iam more than energised to carry on even with a life altered.
Hallelujah took Leonard Cohen five years to write and fifteen years to get famous. I am holding on for my hallelujah.