World AIDS Day – PBL

When Philly Bongole Lutaya sang Alone about his plight after getting HIV, the lines that kept on playing in my head were ‘today it’s me, tomorrow it’s someone else, it’s me and you we got to stand up and fight…’ and these have set a precedent that has guided my life in one way or another.

AIDS -HIV in Africa, Uganda in particular has affected every family in one way or another. We have relatives, close family friends who have caught the virus and we have seen what it does to them and us. For a very long time I have hated to celebrate this day let alone consider it as important because every day, a child is orphaned by this crippling disease.

The thing about HIV for me is that it is greatly transmitted through man’s greatest canal desire, sex. I once remember an old doctor who came to our school, he was in charge of the ‘AIDS’ ward at Mulago and he was frustrated at how the disease cut across the age demographic. Old or young, anyone was susceptible and could easily get it. Seeing as we were in our final year of High School, he warned us and pleaded with us to be as careful as possible.

HIV in this day and age is now less evident physically with ARVs playing a big role. You can no longer tell the black spots and the thin bodied man who we thought had AIDS to the fat chubby good looking lad.

Do you know what you status is? And we are not talking about Museveni’s fabled Middle Income Status? I know mine and eventually I will go check again. The first time I did – Doctor’s recommendations, was when I was jobless and highly stressed. I had a fever, general body weakness and no signs of malaria or flu. When I did the full blood work, the lymphocyte count was slightly elevated than the usual and I was advised to check for HIV and Hepatitis.

WHAT? Check for HIV? How? I started reviewing my sexual history which was evidently not cause for concern, neither did I do drugs or had been in contact with anything suspicious. None the less, I did go and get tested and waited on the results.

When the doctor walked into, nervous and all, shaking and praying, I asked what the results were. He then proceeded to counsel me before eventually telling me what the results were.

We live in a generation that would rather be HIV positive than pregnant and that scares me. We live in a generation that is now hyper sexual, evident in the language and ease with which it is to have sex. A generation that has forgotten the countless parents, uncles and aunties, brothers and sisters, friends and extended family who have been affected by AIDS.

I spent most of my vacation nursing an uncle to health. I remember at one point thinking, will he make it? The pain and the struggle. I’ve lost countless relatives and I’ve lost a close friend to the virus. So yes, as we celebrate World AIDS Day, let’s not forget what it does to families. Let’s not forget how it would affect you. How it affects me!

Also, let’s not stigmatize victims of the virus. Let’s not hate them for having it because we are afraid they will give it to us. I love my uncle and I’d hate to see anyone’s hatred for him. To understand stigma better – especially for those who seem to be aloof about it, would you hate your father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, or son if they had the virus? No! So why hate someone else?

But, on this auspicious day, I write this to celebrate the man, the legend and great musician, Philly Bongole Lutaaya. I wish the country would feel the same way I do. I mean, it’s December, and if I am not mistaken, all our early childhood Christmases had him crooning all over our radios. He made my childhood, his music made my childhood memories, memorable. I wish we had a memoriam of this great man in our museum, or at the National theatre, a street named after him perhaps or even a monument somewhere! We need to celebrate this man.

Long Live Philly Bongole Lutaaya!

Stay safe. Protect yourself. Abstain. Get checked.

And if you have it, don’t despair, get counseling, surround yourself with a support system. And keep healthy.

Interstellar

When two geniuses combine, you get something of the likes of Interstellar. Yes, I am talking about the movie. I am a big Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer buff and when the two combine, it’s beyond magic. I always like to look for the inspiration behind a movie, and how it came to be. It’s not just the pictures and the sound, but the story behind the making, the story behind it.

So, as I was googling and going on about the inspiration – Jonathan, Christopher’s younger brother thought about this idea of space exploration based on a scientist’s musings and decided to share this idea with Chris. The way they work is they both go and brainstorm on the idea and its complexities before writing a script. The same was done for Inception and the Batman Trilogy as well. Jonathan does confess however that Chris’ thought process is a lot deeper and scarier – if you’ve watched The Prestige, you should know. Anyway, Interstellar was born from the genius of these two brothers.

But that’s not all.

For Interstellar, Chris approached Hans Zimmer with a basic idea and told him to come up with a soundtrack for Interstellar without any preconceived notions of what the movie is about. In fact, he just hinted that the movie is about the relationship between a father and a son…which if you’ve watched is about a father and a daughter. None the less, Hans sits down and comes up with these amazing compositions.

Honestly, watching the movie and listening to the soundtrack, it does feel like you are experiencing something other worldly. It’s genius. I hesitated to watch the movie when it was released mostly because of the new cast. If you know Chris, the cast rarely changes and the actors pretty much are the same movie in, movie out. And when I finally sat down for close to three hours, my mind was blown.

I was dumb founded at how someone could put to screen such an idea. Let’s not even go into the physics of the movie, the time aspect and relationships between the time space continuum.

Anyway, just check out this link

Mind. Blown.

8 Years

8 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
It’s been a great 8 years and I dare say that my writing and the Thought Process has grown and improved. So here’s to many more.
Cheers!

Beasts of No Nation

“FIRE!”

The child soldiers cheer on after the rocket launcher.

“See that. That is magic. Hunh. We are going to take that bridge. We are going to take that bridge. Hunh! Formation! That bridge we are taking it.”

“YES SIR!”

“Better look me in the eyes mada fucker. Who wants to fight? Unha! I am only taking de brave. I am not taking the scary. I am not taking no girls. Are you ready to fight?”

“YES SIR!”

“ARE YOU READY TO FIGHT?”

“YES SIR!”

“You want to take that bridge?”

“YES SIR!”

“We are gonna take that fuckin bridge!”

“YES SIR!”

“Ibenda ke!”

“Tagalakyuma yo!”

“Ibenda ke?”

“Tagalakyuma yo!”

HAVE YOU WATCHED BEASTS OF NO NATION? Have you? Or have you read the book with also the same title? Or have you listened to the album by Fela Kuti also with the same title? The book which gets its title from the music album by Fela Kuti now has a movie adaption that for once in my life, I counted the 2 hours and 10 minutes of mind boggleness that is this story. Last evening, at around 10:00pm when I got home, I decided to watch the movie. A friend of mine had earlier told me how himself and a couple of others decided to sit and watch it, and for the same amount of time, they couldn’t believe what they’d just watched. I don’t know what exactly inspired the author but this is one deep story talking about the plight of child soldiers in Africa and around the world. 

This excerpt is from one of my favourite scenes in the movie. I have watched this scene over and over again and can’t seem to get it out of my head. The actors are brilliant and Idris Elba does a magnificent job in this movie.

This movie brought out what I am most afraid of…the pulpable excitement I get when I watch or come across something very inspiring. I felt that I could write a 20,000 word masters thesis after watching this movie. As soon as I was done, I was on the internet doing background research on the actors, the directors, the scoring, the Internet ratings, the YouTube reviews, the everything and anything about this movie. The director’s take on the story…and before I forget, Abraham Attah’s magnificent role. Dude totally killed it. 

I literally played the soundtrack on my player the whole day today and as I write this, I am watching this very scene. If you haven’t watched it, WATCH IT. Or read it. Read the book. In one of the interviews, the director and author share their perspectives and one thing’s for sure, the darkness in the book is not fully brought out in the movie. They dumbed it down to allow for ease of view for the audiences around the world. They even talked about the gay scene not included in the movie. Why? Around the time of the final editing, Uganda’s debate on the LGBT community was on going and they didn’t want to exacerbate the situation.

It is a touching story. I feel like I don’t do it justice but maybe encouraging you to read the book or watch the movie is the best I can do. Truth is, this is among the best, if not the BEST movie I’ve watched In a while. There’s very few movies that make you want to cry, and this I do say made me shed a tear. I felt this story told a side to a tale very few can relate with. I felt too that I was a child soldier going through the emotions. I felt that Agu reminded me of a place I never wanted to be but I wished I too could experience what he experienced.

Am I writing too much?

This movie has moments. Moments where you stop and pause the movie, kneel down and say a prayer. Moments where you think back to 15 or so years ago when the LRA abducted countless children in Northern Uganda and used them as soldiers. Moments where you pause and smile. Pause and cry. Pause and rewind. Pause and gasp. Pause and dance. Moments where you fire your imaginary pistol finger guns. Moments where you chant, and scream.

I honestly don’t want to stop writing but let me do for now. Let me rewind and watch the commandant Idris Elba psyche the child soldiers. 

Interesting fact. The story was picked up in 2006, shot in Ghana in 2013 and released just a month ago. This movie is like a fine bottle of wine.

7 Years

Final Project
Final Project

So I randomly checked my wordpress today only to find that it is my 7th year anniversary since I opened this blog. I am beyond ecstatic that I have managed to come this far. And we all know what 7 implies, only good things are yet to happen or are in the process of happening.

That above post is my final project. It’s been close to 2 years since I presented that and after 2 failed jobs, I decided to rather employ myself. Obliviously this has been met with angst and frustration, which is acceptable from my old folk. They’ve worked all their lives and see no reason as to why I should employ myself yet I can be employed all in the name of having a stable job.

And I intend to prove them wrong. I set out this year like a man ready to jump on the first spaceship to the moon and even with frustration daily, I am barely hanging in there. My first job taught me that I should never underestimate my worth and when I got my second job, I realised that there’s more to work, and that’s ambition. I decided to go for it. I knew what it was that I wanted but hadn’t defined it. I run myself broke pushing a restaurant in Mukono (oh the mathematics of running a restaurant) and now, I am here. Back to my roots. Back to my architecture.

At the beginning of the year, I told myself that this was my year. I felt it in the bone. I am just hoping I don’t prove myself wrong. At least one thing’s for sure, I am done writing bad/incoherent posts. I want to one day just print out all these posts and hope that they are able to define what I believe and stand for, but also share with you my experiences, hopefully making your day in the process.

So, here’s a toast to 7 years of blogging, and to more years, but most especially, to my year of awesomeness.

PS; I am not going to promise you much, but I will endeavour to post as much. My only challenge is I sometimes digress to what I love, architecture, and I am afraid that I might bore the living lights out of you. But please, bare with me.

To 7 years of blogging.

Music!

I hate it when people claim that they were the first to listen to a certain song.

I hate it when people think that the song playing on the radio must be the best song on the album.

I hate people who just listen to radio waiting for the latest hits.

I hate people who claim to be experts in particular genres.

I hate people who flaunt that they’ve listened to the newest songs.

I hate when people ask if you like a particular artist.

I hate people who think their music is deep.

I hate people who hate you for trying to associate with a particular genre because its ‘theirs!’

I like that I take time to listen to any kind of music, and I struggle sometimes, just hoping that the album could surprise me.

I like lots of genres, but I am more attune with rap/hiphop/techno/rock/alternative/edm/rnb.

I prefer to listen to a whole album.

I sometimes skip songs I find boring on an album.

I don’t care much to the lyrics. I like the sound and you’ve caught my attention.

I like sound because it is easy to figure out the undertones.

I like techno/edm because of the original Jabba.

I like watching movies/series for their soundtracks.

I think most of my playlists are from soundtracks of movies or series I watch.

I sometimes download the whole album/or a bunch of songs if the soundtrack is amazing.

I have the weirdest (I hate using this word because it seems to make people special or something) playlist.

I like my playlist because it sounds a lot like I am watching a scene from a movie or a serie.

I play/listen to music according to my mood.

I can’t do without my earphones.

I think the fastest and most replaced item in my music life are earphones. It is the first thing I put in my pockets.

I sometimes play albums while working because if it is a nice song, it will definitely catch my attention.

I try to listen to all genres. For me, it has always been about sound.

Music is just that. Beautiful and eclectic.

Good Music

So, I was listening to this two-hour chill-step (soft dubstep) and in one of the mixes, a poem or prose was spoken in the background and I felt that I should share it with you. Wise words from an unlikely source.

I hope people still have time to read my poppycock. Anyway, here goes…

I am sorry
I don’t want to be an emperor
That’s not my business
I don’t want to rule or conquer  anyone
I should like to help everyone if possible
Jew, Gentile, Black man, White
We all want to help one another
Human beings are like that
They want to live by each other’s happiness
And not by each other’s misery
We don’t want to hate or despise one another
In this world there’s room for everyone
And a good heart is rich and can provide for everyone
The way of life can be free and beautiful

But we have lost the way
Greed has poisoned man’s souls
Has barricaded the world with hate
Has goose stepped us into misery and bloodshed
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in
Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want
Our knowledge has made us cynical
Our cleverness hurt and unkind
We think too much and feel too little

The hate of men will pass
And dictators die
And the power they took from the people will return to the people
And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Deadmau5 – Strobe (Mr FijiWiji Remix)