Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Progress Report Numero...: 2 Months 19 Days

Ola Dolls,

You have not been abandoned. I am simply busy. Building a startup is hard. But so is building anything worthwhile. The highs are incredible, the lows even worse. It's like raising a child (and believe me, I know all about this)

So a quick update before I run off to a meet with a UX designer;

- The team has grown from just me to 2. I was overwhelmed and the business was starting to suffer. I have been lucky to find someone who believes in this even more than me maybe. Very very valuable addition to this TBS journey.

-We're overhauling the site design to something super cool and super professional. We're are overwhelmed by the reception from early adopters and we have stopped thinking local. We recently fulfilled an order from Rwanda so word is spreading faster than we had anticipated. We are playing catch up.

-I am now part of 2 prestigious mentor-ship programs; Mara & Cherie Blair. Building that social capital.

-I have marketing help from 2 reknown marketeers. I hope am doing them proud every day. Building a brand is hard work but it has to be done. We want TBS to resonate within this region and it will. Bold, Aggressive and Bullish is our strategy. Watch this space.

-The e-commerce scene is red hot in kampala right now. OLX, Jumia, Kaymu, Cheki and Hellofoods. Can't call it cause it's early days but change is upon us.

-In the midst of this hullabaloo, managed to attend a Unix workshop (My IT skills are my backup plan, can't let them rot) and I am working on another venture.

-I do not sleep. I am cranky. My social life is suffering. I have a wonderful support system. The most has been from a totally unexpected person. Lesson....never ever burn bridges. Ever!!

-I relate this journey to when I just had my baby. The first months were the most difficult, being in and out of hospital. Adjusting to nurturing this other being that is solely dependent on me. TBS is my new baby.


Sunday, November 9, 2014


I am a woman's woman!I am not a feminist. They are different, I do not demand equality and fair opportunity. I demand more! A woman nurtures life. A woman feeds a nation. When a woman is empowered, her family is empowered. Her entire social circle is empowered. Heck, I believe God is woman. I am proud that all of my initiatives right now involve and are about women. I will happily spend the rest of my life lifting myself and my sisters up. 
There has been a lot of furor all over the place about two women; Desire and Leah. One has been slut shamed and turned into a meme, the other( the equivalent of slut shaming but based on physical appearance. See,there's even no word in the English dictionary to describe what was done). The treatment has been brutal, I can not imagine how they are surviving. I'd need therapy. The professional kind. Scratch that, I'd need to lay in Oprah's bosom for awhile to heal! What has hurt me the most is that the loudest voice in all this noise has been from women. We have abused, slandered and beaten down our sisters.  Why? We women need to stick together in the face of adversity. If we cannot be for each other, who will be. We already have so much working against us. We live in a patriarchal society where we need to break down barriers every single day. Everything we get, we have to work harder than normal for. There is no need to make this work harder for each other.
Anyhow, both released statements soon after the hullabaloo. Leah laughed in the face of this adversity (standing ovation for you, my sister) but on the other hand, Desire has apologized. WHY? My dear Desire, you did nothing wrong! It is your body, your prerogative on whatever you do with it as long as it within the bounds of the law. Your only mistake was to trust a fool but who hasn't. You should not be prosecuted on such baseless terms. That summon to police, hire a good lawyer and tear it up. The person who should suffer is everyone who has distributed those images. You need to take back your power and along with it that of many women,should we be victimized for a crime that is clearly not ours.
 What Father Lokodo is saying in essence is that if I were raped, I would be summoned to police as opposed to my rapist. Lokodo, desire's reputation has been raped repeatedly, by several publications in this country! They and that man who started this storm are the ones who should be summoned. SHAME ON YOU FATHER,for participating in slut shaming. You of all people should know better.
Desire dear(and all my women), I leave you with this;

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

#UgBloggers7Days Blog Post Numero Six: Ani andooga?!

I don't even know how to begin this quasi post/lamentation/rant. Do you know how you have those really horrible nights, straight from the hottest part of the hideous belly of hell? That make you want to go native ergo the post title. If I could, this entire post would be in Luganda. Alas, I struggle to speak it so writing it is a myth. I just had my second horrible night from hell of the year! Why is the devil working overnight on my account?! Why Lord?! Why this year?! The year that I've clocked in more Sundays than the past five years combined?! Who do I need to appease to correct things? Must I find a one mutula ku ngo (he who seats on a lion)? What? Cause clearly am doing something very wrong?

Current feels.
So here's what happened just a few hours ago. The girls and I have been planning to check out a place called Blue Ice for awhile and we chose this auspicious night to go. Everyone was in high spirits,excited, the works. This was going to be a good good night. We drive to Blue Ice at about 11.30pm. We get there and the place is dead. I could count the people there off one hand. We didn't even get out of our cars. Spirits were dampened but we were relentless. We drove all this way for a good time and a good time was to be had. The closest place next to Blue Ice was Kuddy's. It's new so we figured it'd be a good idea to go check it out. We get there and are happily welcomed by the proprietor. There's a good crowd so we decide to stay. We get a table and order drinks. We chat for an hour and decide to call it a night. We go to our separate cars to leave.

I get to my car and lo and behold, the door at the driver's side is open. I am taken aback cause am pretty sure this damn door was locked when I left. I try to insert the key in the lock (side note:the next car am buying will be those ones with an auto lock thingy as a result of this! You know the ones with a start button. Am done with car keys). The key refuses to get into the lock. I take a closer look and see that it's been tampered with! My heart drops out of my chest to my feet. I think of the stock worth over a million in the car. I get into the car,turn on the light and start to take stock of the damage. The bags I left on back seat. Gone! I run to open the boot, everything's there. Thank Jesus. I ask the friend I was with what I should do, she says we need to inform the owner. So I head back in and politely ask to have a word with the proprietor. She obliges and steps away from her company. I tell her that my car has been vandalized at her premises and my property taken in full view of her guard who was claiming that he'd seen nothing. Hard to believe seeing as I was parked right in front of two (not one, TWO) bright lights. 

Anyhow, she calls a couple of her people and we go back to the car to assess the damage. One of them (small guy) apologizes, says they'll deal with their employee and take care of the damage. I tell them the contents of the bags that were taken and explain that those cannot be recouped, not immediately anyhow but what I really needed sorted ASAP was my lock. I explained that my car is a tool of trade. I cannot possibly go around with a damaged lock. Small guy seems understanding and takes my number, sets an appointment for midday the next day for me to return and sort this out. 

I get into my car to drive away, then comes big guy. He asks me to reverse back into the parking. I do, and ask him what the hell he wants. He asks me to wait as he's called the police and would like for me to wait for them as well. I look at my watch and it's coming to 2 am. My friend whispers to me that this fat dude probably doesn't believe us. Hoooooooooo!!!! All calm and sensibility vacates my brain. I get out of the car, now screaming on top of my lungs about how my car is my business and I could not possibly have driven a car with a damaged lock to their premises just so I can later pretend that it was vandalized there. How much is a lock anyway? I could have lied and said there was a laptop taken or 50 million!! My bags had been taken (containing sentimental items by the way, shoes I'll probably never find again, a sweet sweet outfit for my child) and I didn't want those replaced. I just needed my f**king lock to be fixed! That is all. Plus now it had become a matter of principle. They had a guard. I was parked in their parking lot. I saw no sign anywhere saying parking was at my own risk. My dudu, my baby had been injured and this fat man was standing there thinking I'd lie about that! I wanted to spill blood!

So before this small altercation could turn into full blown murder, I jumped back into my car and drove off but not before shouting that they'd best call me tomorrow or wake up to a proper place bashing PROMOTED post on facebook! (Sadly, Idle threats are my cup of tea). I drive to Kiwatule to drop my friend home so I can be on my way home. I play my Tracy Chapman CD cause my soul needed soothing and I needed my blood pressure to return to normal. 

Just as I thought the night could not possibly get any worse. I drive into a police road block. They were holding breathalyzer tests. I parked behind a Noah as the policeman walked up to  my car. He asks me to get out of the car and I oblige. I line up for the test. I am confident cause my last drink had been taken many hours before and all that shouting and venting surely should have worked the alcohol out of my system. Alas no! Immediately after blowing, I see 0%. The policeman presses some button and shows me a blood alcohol level of 0.06. (what's the illegal limit by the way?) Anyhow, now my mind's racing;can I bribe and get away with it? How much would they want as a bribe? F**ck,I remembered I had just 5,000/= left in my wallet! Who can I call to bail me out? My father is going to kill me!! My father is going to kill me! Oh my God, I am going to be in the papers! Oh my God, am going to jail!! I had a full on panic attack in that moment. So the policeman takes the details of the lady who was driving the Noah and starts talking about how he's going to have her car towed to the police station. I am livid. This is really happening! Jail!!

The Noah lady breaks down and starts crying.I see an acquaintance waved down by the police but he doesn't get out of his car, he just slips the policeman something and he's let go. No test. My brain takes that as its cue to start working. In that moment, I decide that I need to do something and do that something quickly. I assess the situation; About 6 police officers. 5000/= can't cover them. All of them on foot. All of them currently engaged with other drivers.No police motorbike. My car strategically parked next to the shortcut to my home. My details not submitted yet. Perfect! The police lady starts walking the Noah lady to her car. I walk beside them as if to support her, get to her car and quickly dash to mine, start it and hightail out of there like a bat out of hell. I was doing 80 K.P.H on a horrible murrum road and hit 100 when I hit the tarmac. My baby flew like she knew mama was in trouble! 

Now here I am in bed, blogging, wondering if am a fugitive, if the loss of my super cool, super pricey phone earlier this year and this incident are related and asking; Why me? Why me Lord?!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#UgBloggers7Days Blog Post Numero Cinq: Dear Miss Rhimes.

Dear Miss Rhimes,

Sher here, avid (more like slightly obsessed) watcher of your shows ; Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder (Chile, that title is a mouthful! Why not something super short and sexy like Murder Inc?! No? Moving on then). I just finished watching the 3rd episode of that last one and now that my blood pressure has returned to normal, I have questions! Ohh so many! But you're a busy woman, producing 3 primetime shows is no mean feat so  I'mma let you finish but I have 3 questions that I gotta ask. (See what I did there?) Then I can live.

Question one: The HAIR. Olivia Pope and Michaela Pratt hair (Annalise is wearing a wig. Nobody got time for that). How do they get that hair? It is not fair for you to send  perfectly laid hair our way without telling us how it got that way. Yet you are fully aware that the black woman's number one struggle is hair! Miss Rhimes,Where is the Olivia Pope hair blog? We need tutorials. We need product reviews. We need Olivia Pope and Michaela Pratt hair!! Perfectly layed like goddess hair.

I need this magic spell! I have suspicions that the secret ingredient is newborn tears. That hair is coiffed!! Damn!!
Question two:Side Piece Activity! Why Miss Rhimes?! Why this bad behaviour?! Miss Pope is a side chick and Ms.Analisse has nookie on the side. Why? We black women are not about that life, are we? That can't be the co-curricular activity that the ONLY black female leads in a primetime show can do. How about psycho serial killer? I see Annalise pulling that off superbly. She's the pro at getting away with murder. Something for you to think about.

Question three: The Oreo Situation. Miss Rhimes,I love that you are bringing diversity to our screens daily. Love it. Absolutely. But (very big but) there's such a thing as diversity overkill *side eye at Glee*
Olivia's first love interest was white. We said OK, lovely, how cute, very fresh. Then you threw in a black dude who didn't last 2 seconds (Poor Edison. Didn't have chance with his big Ole ring. Olivia's a fool.) Then came another white dude. Ahh more diversity. We're cool. It's alright. Then came Annalise and you gave her a white husband?! Why Shonda?! Why?! Is this a theme? Am I missing something here? 
And then you went and made Michaela's fiance a down-low dude! Why Miss Rhimes?Why don't you let these women prosper in the love Olympics struggle? We can't win in real life and you're taking it away on TV too. No. We can't have this. Look into your heart and have a storyline where a black woman is happily married. She may kill people for fun in her spare time, have a gambling addiction, be a pimp. But for God's sake let her win at love!  

Miss Rhimes

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#UgBloggers7Days Blog Post Numero Quatre: On Sex and the City...

I met (let's call him Jake)a couple of months back and  we'd been doing the should we, shouldn't we dance for awhile. You know, you like a guy but it's still very murky waters in terms of where this "thing" is so your hot for him and you'd let him do anything and everything except it. "It" is for people who you're dating. Exclusively.

So I go out with Jake, New Years night. See, so undefined! I don't even know whether it's a date or not. He just says, "hey come lets hang" and there I go. Short skirt, red lipstick and that delicious strawberry mist he loves. Tottering on heels that'll break my legs if I miss a

But I really like Jake and it's New Years. We kiss at midnight. Ring in 2014. We drive around,  house party one is a bust. We leave. Club Amoeba. His friends are here. We have a little competition at the entrance; who has the best Fred Astaire jump. I win. The one wearing heels. One drink and we're gone. House party two, how come there so many house parties on new years? More drinks, we dance. We dance alot. Intoxicated. High off each other,liquid happiness and prospects of a new year,a clean slate.Hopes of prosperity. It's a good high. Everyone's leaving now.

Jake goes to the car. Lights a J, calls me. I'm still dancing. Gosh,I love dancing. I go to the car. All the windows up, he's hotboxed the car. I get in. A waft of the good herb hits me. He passes the J over and starts the car. He thinks its good night to show me the hand brake turn. See this is when you deliberately  turn sharply reversing the direction of a vehicle by speedily applying the handbrake while turning the steering wheel. I think to myself, we are
going to die. But I don't care. Live fast , die young right. That's the thing about Jake, my demons are friends with his. They dance and call this chaos we create home. I really should not like Jake. But I do.

Jake is driving to his apartment, windows up and we're singing(more like shouting) along to Power Trip-J.Cole and suddenly the car is spinning and I'm screaming on top of my voice,this feels like an orgasm. He spins the car again, I throw my hands in the air cause I see it coming this time and it feels like floating . I turn to look at him and he's looking at me, smiling, awed. We just died.

We get to his apartment. He turns on his big TV and sits, smoking a cigarette. Time to serenade the king.

Disclaimer: This is fiction. New style of writing meant for a commercial project I'm working on. Yay/Nay?! Let me know in the comments.

#UgBloggers7Days Blog Post Numero Trois : On "Free" work!

Ola Dolls,

An acquaintance called me up this morning talking bout some work they'd like me to do. I say; "cool, aight. I'll swing by and see what you've got. Am a tad busy but if the pay is right, am good." She says OK.  I get there and she's talking about a really exciting project. She's re-launching her fabulous urban fashion store and she needed to gain a legit social media and web presence for her brand. I am about that life! I love fashion. I love social media. Bring the two together and we have a winner.

Yass! Bring that work here. Momma's gonna do it.
So we sit down to discuss strategy; I was supposed to cover five sites, twitter, Facebook, instagram, pinterest and her website. It's a fashion store, a lot of images to be taken and edited but I wasn't fazed. I love my work, I do it wholeheartedly and it shows.
So at the end of this, she gets up as if to leave. And I'm like, wait. Wait a minute, we haven't discussed my fee. She looks at me like all of a sudden I'd started speaking in tongues.

Seriously. This was the look!
So she settles back into her chair and goes on about how she thought I do this for free. FOR FREE!
What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where and when did I say that. Free! Am I the UN? RedCross? Bono? Who pays for my internet? Are the pictures going to take and edit themselves? This  *insert expletives* woman wanted to pay me in air and gratitude. Gratitude don't buy food. I cannot go to emirates and book a ticket to Dubai with oohh so much gratitude! Jesus, take the wheel. This b***h cray! What part of: "if the pay is right" did she not understand?! No No No. I was having none of that. You want to make money off the exposure that my hard work (And it is hard HARD work I assure you) is going to garner but you want to pay me in feels. Of Gratitude!
Damn right!
Got up. Gathered my bags and was out of there like the air currency I was going to be paid in.

I know my profile is not big. I have not done work for any major brands but for those that I have, they are happy and have seen returns. Unless it's for charity, am done past the free work. I have 2 mouths to feed! It is not much but I do charge a nominal fee for my services. I can't waste (yes, it's a waste) any time on freebies cause it takes away time from my essential nation building projects , from my family time, from my social time all of which I hold very dear. So for anyone hoping to suggest such nasty things to my face again;


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#UgBloggers7Days Blog Post Numero Deux: On Unemployement....

Ola dolls,

So yesterday was my first Monday of unemployment! One would think since I have been brimming with energy, project ideas coming out of my ears in alarming amounts, I'd be beside myself. Alive with the promise of unlimited opportunity. I was supposed to get out of bed like this;

Hells Yeah! Am the issh! Am about this business!
That did not happen. My feels would not let me prosper! See, I've been gainfully employed for 5 years and I have been receiving some type of allowance from the man (read government) for the 3 years preceding that. I've been getting paid my friend! I was making money. My bank is one of my bestfriends, what, with the timely deposits they've been receiving on time. Chile, I was in that dough.

Making it rain on them disloyal people. I kid. Not!

And now am not! 

Me. In quiet contemplation of the 7-figure salary I just gave up.
I dragged my tiny bottom out of bed to get my laptop and turned it on to work on my projects (am currently deeply engrossed in 2, how I get time to be idle and disorderly and then mop is beside me. The ancestors must be mad). Anyhow, looking at unfinished, income bringing work didn't help. I thought of pending plans and how I have no way of funding them unless I work. That trip to Dubai;Not gonna happen unless I move some product and I move that product NOW. Nope, didn't work. The brain had received a catastrophic dose of cortisol and was not having any chills.

Meh! Meh! Meh!
I went back to bed. Laptop in tow to watch movies. All work relegated to Tuesday,Monday was professional IDAF day. Just I was settling in to Maleficent (Do not judge me for turning to Disney whilst depressed. I live with a toddler!), I got an email notification. A customer was inquiring where she could find one of OUR stores. Wait what? Say that again "one of our stores"! Bless her. I was truthfully in awe. It appears that I have created a corporate enough image of the baby store that people think it's a  proper retail chain (pats self on the back). That didn't get me out of bed though.
I called my own Olivia Pope to read to me and get Sherry's groove back. 

Her words; Get up heifer! You will sleep when rich.
Did not work! As soon as I got off the phone, my brain went back to it's misery loves me state. It was cooing to Sam Smith's lonely hour. It was like I had lost a dearly beloved friend. I was ashamed of myself. I have looked down upon salary dependents all my life, I have striven to fight this dependency since God knows when and here I was, finally free but sad! Pitiful! What is wrong with me! Where is my value system?!

Katniss.Weeping for the loss of my purpose!
Thankfully, after many many hours of moping (I weep at the thought of time lost! Time I will not get back!) I received email from one of my team mates. She'd designed a beautiful logo in record time for our project. And here I was in bed, idling the time away. I got up. If I was going to disappoint anyone, it would not be other people who have chosen to believe in my vision and my dream. I was going to work dammit! And work I did. There's been a lot of traction in just 2 days.

Will I go to Dubai? That is yet to be seen. 

Come to mama!

PS:This was supposed to be submitted yesterday but as you can see, I was busy solidifying the relationship with my bed in the time allocated to blogging.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On Uhuru Kenyatta....

Ola Dolls,

So an African (Leave out South Africa, that is Europe!True story. Go to Joburg and the cape,then report back) President went and handed over power. I repeat, an AFRICAN president handed over power! Not under duress! Not after losing an election! Not after being physically incapacitated (Side eye at you despot Robert Mugabe). His reason; he did not want to compromise the sovereignty of his people. The person of the President shall not be answering charges at the ICC but rather it will be Uhuru Kenyatta, the individual.

Chile! I have watched that speech 10 times and I tear up every single time. His people! His dear dear 40 million Kenyans!

Whether this was a political show or not, I was sold. Father Jomo must have wanted to rise up,shake his hand and pat his back from the other side. Coming from a country where the last peaceful handover of power was when the colonial masters were exiting the colony, I am more or less flabbergasted. Power can be handed over? Just like that?! In a non-self serving manner?! Who knew?!  Uhuru is the bomb diggity. Infact, I shall hence forth stop undermining him and refer to him as President Uhuru (Coolest first man this side of the planet!).

Kenyan state of mind
This also brought to mind the ever growing power vacuum that our very own President inadvertently (or maybe not) has created. He cannot possibly hand over power (Though I still dream about it fervently!) so in the case he were incapacitated, his second in command, our dear VP Edward Ssekandi would be left in charge. He has ZERO millitary clout so this would last all of 5 seconds. The most likely person after that would have been the former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi but he was fired not too long ago and currently being stripped of whatever clout he had. My bet is that the President watched House of Cards and saw a Frank Underwood happening to him. Had to nip that in the bud as quickly as could possibly be done. So that would leave us with; no one?! The horror of civil unrest! See Mr.President! See what you are doing to us! See Libya! I dare you to run a google image search of Libya for the past month. All prosperity has been undone.

Yep! Every single one of us!

Anyhow, back to the man of the hour, he topped that off by flying commercial to the Hague. Saving thousands of shillings of his dear dear Kenyan's tax money. This man can do no wrong! None!

It is I. The President of this Republic.

Maybe I should move to Nairobi.


Monday, September 29, 2014

On Oga Jason Njoku..

Ola Dolls,

Been a minute I know but I will not abandon ship. It is important to me that I document this journey. My audience might be small but it very important to me. I want(NEED) for my daughter to one day read this blog and know that her mother fought. Valiantly.
 So it's official, am running a tech startup. Never in the world did I think I would. It has all happened by accident. But in re-thinkng my business and getting a business model that would work for just little old me, I've stumbled onto something. No details, I am not giving the keys to kingdom away. This town is rife with copy cats.

The Oga!

Back to Oga Jason, tech giant n Lagos, Nigeria (scratch that,the world), been reading his blog and his story is nothing short of remarkable. To say am inspired is an understatement. The man is a visionary. I am bereft of what to say. If you are a player in the tech scene in Africa,I  recommend you go read his blog (the entire thing). He is launching(or has already) Irokotv in East Africa. A friend and I were debating that we(East Africans especially Ugandans) are not ready for that yet. Data is still expensive. Yes, there are 6.5m Ugandans online but what are they doing. Facebook, Porn and Sports betting. No one is willing to spend 100mb(2500ugx) on watching videos. Even I don't download videos when they are sent to me via watsapp, I ask the content of the video and if it's useful, I download. And I never ever download anything larger than 5mb. So streaming movies seems like a far fetched idea. We both agreed that this man has not done enough research and is just stumbling into this region.

Well, soon after that, this friend went to buy a battery for his phone at one of the malls in town. A few minutes to 7pm, the shop attendant went out to buy airtime and proceeded to load a data bundle worth 100mb. His reason, he was going to watch the NTV news bulletin live via the recently launched app. Mind blown!We checked later that evening and the app had already been downloaded more than 5000 times. In 3 days! Oga Jason is onto something.

For the longest time ever, I have wanted to meet Dangote. Not to ask for a handout mind you but to know how he could turn a small retail firm into the amorphous conglomerate it is today. I believe in enterprise yes but there is no need to reinvent the wheel,copy, edit and paste works just fine.I actually asked Robert Kabushenga to host him for the next Pakasa forum. (He responded that he would try). I have a new request. I want   need to meet Jason. As if I needed another reason to go to Lagos.Tsk tsk. Saving up for that ticket money is on! I leave you with this snippet from one of his articles;

"Ecommerce was another naked opportunity a year ago, today that opportunity has disappeared. Done. Between Jumia and Konga, I speculate they have raised $50Mn+ in the last 10 months. All of the future funding will be absorbed by those two as they duke out to be the number 1 in Nigeria and Africa. Everyone else, the 60+ guys racing around attempting ecommerce should polish off their resumes or go niche. I would rather go niche. There are big businesses within the cracks of the big bland consumables. Search there for your alpha. 
Today is today. Stop the delusions of grandeur of a successful future. Some distant alignment of events which will connect to make you the next Dangote. The future is 5mins in front. What can you do today to own your market tomorrow and thus control your future." 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Progress Report Numero Cinq..

Ola Dolls,

I hope all of you are as happy and sunshinny(not a word but it should be) as I am. So it's been 21 days of the site being up and so far so good. More than good infact. Excellent! I have hit 1000 page views. I have 30 site members (people who actually signed up) and most of the reviews I've received have been positive.
I'd set a revenue target for 30 days. Some days looked really bleak and I started to think I wouldn't hit my target. I really needed to hit that target cause am obsessed with numbers but mainly because it would determine how I'd go about the business and whether it was even viable. I hit that target yesterday. On day 20!

Going back to the drawing board to further refine the process, tweak a few things here and there and set even higher targets. I have a couple of meetings with key people this week and excited does not even begin to cover how I feel. Yes, there will be pitfalls but I am ready. Bring it on,Bitch!

PS:This is a fabulous song to listen to when you're up late at night on the grind.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Current State of Mind...

Ola dolls,

For the past two years, I've been walking around in a haze of dreams with brief spirited break throughs but alas none that lasted long enough. I have longed earnestly to get back into this mental head space that I am getting into right now.

I want that old Barbie back. Barbie who got on a bus and went to Kenya to ask in person for an internship at Google. Barbie who landed an interview to Ericsson by head hunting for the head engineer from LinkedIn. Barbie who jumped on a plane and went to seek out suppliers in Istanbul. Barbie who would ask for doors to open and if they did not, she broke them down.I feel like am getting there.

Right now, this is how I feel. FIERCE!

Mrs. Carter. Oh so articulate!!


Friday, September 12, 2014

On Marriage...

Ola Dolls,

Been sitting on this post for a while. Was finally irked by a facebook post enough to blog about it. Offending post below;

Alot of the comments were that it is preposterous not to be married by age 30! What's she been doing this entire time?!

Most of the advice given to her was in the direction of prayer; the holy ghost fire kind! Apparently she has ancestral spiritual ties that are binding her husband from appearing. She needs to be running to a Prayer Warrior/Sangoma/Healer/Oprah/ Anybody.


*How some people’s minds work! Bangs head on table*

My problem with this is that madame over yonder aspires to marriage. The big shebang! Why? How is this even logical anymore? How can you aspire to something that is solely dependent on a variable(another person) that is not constant. You aspire to wealth (and hence work your ass off). You aspire to fitness and health (and again, work your ass). You aspire to be a religious person( working your ass off; all those hours being good, reading the word e.t.c). See a trend here? 

Then comes Marriage? How does one work hard in this regard? I know y’all are going to say, the same working your ass off applies i.e get fit, get religious, get wealthy to attract a potential spouse. But this is where the problem is. You are essentially turning into a fraud. For example, You’re not a skinny bitch. But you’re starving/exercising yourself down to skinny bitch status to attract a man who likes skinny bitches. Man who likes skinny bitches marries you and since your aspiration ergo Marriage has been attained, there’s no need to maintain status quo of working hard. Then previously skinny bitch balloons to fat bitch! Man who likes skinny bitches is then in shock and distraught. He finds out he’s been lied to. Hoodwinked into a sham of a marriage! Man who likes skinny bitches goes back into active hunter mode looking for an actual skinny bitch. Fat bitch is distraught and due to all the stress eating grows fatter. Man who likes skinny bitches hunts harder. This carefully placed pack of card falls. This is marriage today.

After only 72 days!
 Marriage is a BIG deal here Everywhere, making things like this happen;

But why is this holy grail of matrimony failing? Are we focusing too much on the wedding and not the marriage? We need to rethink this whole institution. Listen to this talk by Chimamanda. I hope it blows your mind as it did mine in this regard.

 I never thought I’d say this (on a blog moreover) but I am now firmly in camp Kourtney Kardashian. The get together, have kids, buy property together and never marry camp. I really see no reason why one must put undue societal,legal and religious pressure on the already fragile state of a human relationship. The End.

PS: I am not teaching my daughter to aspire to marriage. Instead, I shall teach her to aspire to be the best possible version of her that ever was for HERSELF. This way she will attract the best possible people to walk this journey of life with her. If this is a husband, Great.  But this can also be a friend(s), a sister/brother from another mother. Alas, Man is a highly social being and cannot be alone.

PPS: My advise for madam in distress on Facebook. Have your babies! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You are already a prime candidate for a high risk pregnancy. 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

On the first week of business...

Ola dolls,

Hope y'all are OK. It's still so cold, so so cold (Mother Nature, what have we done? How can we appease you?)
Anyhow, this week I launched my online store. This was a huge leap of faith given there's very few Africans let alone Ugandans online. Refer to the internet traffic map below;

Africa; Always winning as the dark continent!
There's been a surprising amount of traffic on the site so far so am hopeful. The reaction of my mother when I told her I hope to make money off a website;

I love you baby but that shit's hella funny.
She composed herself thereafter and called upon Jesus and the ancestors to help me prosper. I love my mother. She's a rare species of person. 

The project has been sanctioned by the tree of life so it's full speed ahead. World, here I come.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Progress Report Numero Quatre

Ola Dolls,

Cold weather this side of the tropics. It actually snowed (I think, not really sure about the authenticity of the picture on which am basing these assumptions. See below)

Climate Change!

I figure it is time for another progress report seeing as that was the reason for the starting of this blog. Enough with the foolery! Serious things people! I remember when I started out as IT Barbie, I wanted to take over the IT world (still do, but now I want the WHOLE world. Greed!) I was going to be the best Network/System Engineer there ever was. I don't even know why, I just felt this was what I had and needed to do. After a baby, change in Job title and a few financial talks along the way, I started hawking baby clothes to supplement my income and finally opened a shop. I was happy, delirious even but I was torn.This love story about my career was not going according to plan. I think I now understand people who cheat.

I met Jake in high school, we flirted a little but never got serious. We maintained communication and met again in college. Things got serious with Jake. He completed me. He excited me. I could see, feel and touch the future we could have. I saw our babies. Named them. Jake was the one.I would do anything for Jake. I swore my life to Jake. Till death do us part. I married Jake.

Unbeknownst to Jake, I had a little dalliance on the side. I'd met Edward 4 years after I'd met Jake. Edward set me on fire. Ed turned me inside out but Ed was not reliable. Ed was the proverbial bad boy. Ed was flighty and uncouth. Delicious highs, excruciating lows. Ed was not going to give me the world. Ed was with me one day and gone the next, leaving terrible wounds, burning holes into my soul. Every encounter with Ed left me scarred.

So I married Jake. Had his baby. And I got bored. I was bored out of my mind. I begun to loathe going home. I wanted to be anywhere but near Jake. Inspite of this, Jake's love grew as if to entrap me even further. He threw love at my face and beat me with it. He showered me with gifts. He'd raise our child on his own. He'd heal whatever was broken in me. He'd never leave. So I talked myself back into loving Jake. I promised to go to counselling. I was going to fix this. Jake deserved better.

Then I met Ed again.Lord knows I tried to run away but I couldn't. Ed sang a song my heart could hear. Ed knew me. I was his fiddle. And he played me well, oh so well. Before I knew it, I was running around with Ed. Crossing seas and oceans, creepy little hotel rooms in Nairobi and Mumbai, Lavish suites in Instabul. Ed was my life and I had returned to him. Jake raised our baby. 

And as fate would have it, Jake got tired. of giving and receiving nothing in return. Jake complained but I would not budge. Jake threatened to leave but I only laughed at his gimmicks, dared him. Told him he needed me more than I did he. Finally, Jake left. 

I was terrified. Distraught. Running after Jake. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. One night, during what had become a ritual of searching for Jake online, Ed came to me. He would stay. He would be good. He would not leave. Whatever happened, he would give me the world or at least he'd die trying.

So here we are;Ed and I Redefined. Come take a looksee; www.thebabystoreug.com

For those still lost, Jake is my IT career and Ed is my Business Career. Jake and Ed are twilight references. Team Jake Vs Team Edward. Get it?! No! Am judging myself already, like that 50 shades of grey chic.
This is how y'all are.

So that's the report, am doing business full time. It's been upgraded from side chic to main chic status. So more writing, more baby time, more me time.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

On Bungee Jumping..

Ola Dolls,

This morning, we're in a pensive mood so deep meaningful thoughts coming your way. I have always wanted to bungee jump. It's on my bucket list. Ok, it was! Till I had a baby and I read about a freak accident where someone's head exploded after they jumped due to the pressure. That there was the end of that desire. There was no way I was making my baby an orphan while thrill seeking like a white person. Now way. Nope. Never. Jesus did not die for me to engage in such foolery. So when it was my girl's 25th birthday and she chose to fling herself off the contraption below;

This was me, when it came to my turn:

No, No,No,Never!
Instead, like Kim Kardashian I was taking selfies;


That was last year. This year, a dear dear friend of mine moved to Zambia. My first thought was, "OMG, Am so going to go bungee jumping at the Victoria falls!" I won't jump into the seemingly tame River Nile but bring on the valley of death. What is wrong with me?!

Where I plan to meet my ancestors
But that is not the gist of this post. (Don't judge me, am a baby writer!) Yesterday, someone said I have a pretty huge appetite for risk. I couldn't believe this. Am sooo risk averse, am those people always counter checking everything, planning things way in advance of their happening. I do not have an appetite for risk but what I do have is an appetite for adventure. Having the baby dulled this some and I've been battling and losing to get this back. Funny enough, I think God was watching this struggle and waiting for the right time to force my hand. And he has. A couple of random events that have happened in the past few months have set off a domino effect and the cards are starting to fall in place. Am setting off for a new adventure. I have never been so scared but then again I have also never been so excited. The world is soon to be my oyster.

And about that Bungee jumping, some people can jump on their own but am not one of them, I'd definitely require pushing. After which I would not scream since I'd be too busy saying a gazillion Hail Mary's, a dozen Surat Al Fatiha's and for Allah to receive my soul. But one thing am certain about is that my eyes would be open. They would be open to take in the wonder that lies beneath.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

On the Pakasa4 forum....

I've never attended or watched any of the Pakasa forums (Go here to learn more) but I'd heard a lot about them.The keynote speaker for this edition was H.E Kenyatta Uhuru the current President of Kenya, the chairman of the East African Community and according to Forbes the richest African President with a net worth of $500 million.The theme of the forum was creating opportunities for the youth in East Africa.

I was so there for that. I sent my email request for an invite and got one but was told that queues were going to be nasty and that I needed to be there by 6am. I am not about that life so I watched it from the comfort of my living room.Here's few of my observations and thoughts on the event;

1.Everyone was singing the entrepreneurship song! Everyone was talking about building a business and creating jobs. This is all very well but y'all need to know that not everyone is cut out for this. Infact ,MOST of us are not entrepreneurs. To start and grow a business requires a particular set of skills that very VERY few people have (and school can't give you). In a country where up to 90% of businesses collapse within the first year, we need to start thinking and doing differently perhaps. Do not go into business because it's a fad. Most Ugandans are not aware of the extent of their entrepreneurial ability and  do not carry out a market survey to determine the viability of their venture. They start businesses just to exploit what initially looks like a potentially profitable business opportunity only to realize later that they do not have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. How can this be solved? No ideas here. Ask me after I've finished a year doing my dream MBA, if and when I find a sponsor for it. (Shameless plug!)
And for all the "successful" entrepreneurs that were present, *side-eye at that dude making UGX 50million annually off 4 acres of land* I have this to say;

2.You must save. Most of the speakers, immediately after singing the entrepreneurship song, they went; "youth must learn how to save". Dude,you are speaking to almost 10million people, 60% of whom are unemployed ergo no money, what do you suggest they save, sweat,ideas?! NEXT please. My advise, you think you have a viable business idea(ati you have insisted on this business thing) borrow or better still, look for someone who believes in you and this idea;an angel investor. Good luck though, those are hard to come by.

4.We should stop looking to the government for help. Wait,What!! Why are people telling themselves this. It's like going to a hospital, paying for treatment and medication and then sitting back and saying "I need to get better by myself, this hospital can't help me, it is not the doctors responsibility to make sure I get better".
You people need to wake up and smell the coffee. You pay tax, every single one of you. Even if you are not employed,you pay VAT, ON EVERYTHING;clothes,sugar,fuel,matchboxes, EVERYTHING!!! You voted this government into power *coughs*, You are a law abiding citizen (if you're a thief, no one can and should help you),the government owes you. Look at the Americans, they know this. That's why things like this happen. And to think there's is just 10% now.

I love that when Uhuru spoke, he put this crop of naysayers in their place. THE GOVERNMENT ARE FACILITATORS! I was like tell em. PREACH homie!

Know your rights people. Do not abdicate the government of it's responsibility. There's a lot that the government can and should be doing to help youth 'create' opportunities. Tax breaks for example, why are they privy to only some investors(local and foreign). At the moment, every venture pays an income tax. This should be reserved for only profit making ventures. If I declare no profits for that year, I pay no tax. Whether am lying or not is up to how badly I do not want to see the inside of a prison cell.

3.Uhuru. God,This man. He is eloquent. I have never really sat and listen to him give a speech and I regret this. It's already a year into his term! He was rolling off numbers off his tongue just like that, cracking jokes (that are actually funny), being real and connecting with the audience. He was lively and vibrant. In 5 minutes flat, I was a converted! Am a believer. Kenyans can't tell me nothing. Y'all have an Obama right over there. If his policies suck and he's corrupt, it's OK. He'll explain your anger away. No wonder there was no uprising after Westgate for better security. He must have constantly soothed the nation with verbose.
When Robert asked him about coming to Uganda more often, he said he hopes to see more of the country when he retires. RETIRES?!! An African President! Talking about retirement! For someone who has had the same President since my birth, I was in shock. Presidents hope and plan for retirement? Like Pope Benedict? Retirement?! I was like, did he just say that? He did?! He's the man! *applause*

He spoke truth's about Oil production, the East African Community, cross-border trade and believing in oneself. He had me in front of my TV like;


4.The moderators. Lord have mercy, where do I start? For one, when Forbes says one has a net worth of $500million, that does not mean that that is what they have in their account. How can you even think that? *bangs head on table* The moderators were dry and the discussions were all over the place like this post is so no hate. I know it's hard being thorough and concise with such a vast topic but for an event that's going to be broadcast worldwide; PREPARE! Research like your life depends on it. This should not happen to you:

5.Notable Attendees: The Sudhirs. He gave comment about how Ugandans just want to ladder climb undeservingly(This is not a word!). Fagil Mandy, who said youth are physically too weak to prosper. Y'all need to hit the gym! Alot more was said by both but by then my mind had been numbed by most of the audience's submissions and then horrified by let's call it limited knowledge *ignorance* of the moderators.

6.Notable Unattendees(again, not a word just go with it *could have said notably absent but i dont care*): Our very own President, Members of Parliament, of whom 5 are representatives for youth,Not a single member of  the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs,The state Minister for Youth and Children affairs, Ronald Kibuule. What is wrong with these people? Who voted them?! Why do we pay these people?! Perhaps they live streamed the event on their government bought iPads. We want proof!!!! We want our money!!!!!This is why we can't have nice things. My country needs help.

To Robert Kabushenga, Vision Group CEO, In-spite of the glitches and delays, this was well executed. Well done. For next one, we'd love to have Aliko Dangote.

Longest blog post ever.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Co parenting....

Ola Dolls (I still fancy myself a Kardashian, bear with me),

So my lovely little dragon AKA Aki-Baby AKA Miha AKA my daughter returns to me today after spending a few days with her father. Yep, that's right, we are both full-time parents but for half the time. Ha! See what I did there? No? OK, moving on. She has spent the last week, bonding with him and his family. She stayed a few days with her aunt and her cousin (I see a bestfriendship forming). They are the most adorable lot ever. I tell no lies. See below:

Hasn't your heart melted? They are sooo cute *said in irritating baby voice* She then went on to spend a few days with her paternal grandparents. How you might ask. Well, her father was on this grand tour de paternity with her. He wanted to spend time with her. He'd bought her a bike and wanted to be the one to teach her how to ride it. He also wanted her to spend time with his people. I cannot lie,I have been overwhelmed by the dedication. 

Someone recently asked me how we do it, this 'co-parenting' and I had nothing of substance to tell them. I went to my trustee know it all- Uncle Google and there's so little on the subject. No how-to's, no-one is blogging on the experience, it's all a big blank. There's Dr.Phil, a few classes and workshops here and there but there's really nothing to relate to and especially not in the African context. So how are we doing it? How do two adults who cannot be 'together' but want to be full-time parents to a child they have together achieve this.

Well, I cannot say it has been or is easy. Parenting is difficult even for people who live together. This has been a complete minefield for us. We've learnt a lot and are still learning. But I'd like to share a few titbits for anyone who's having the same challenge. Here goes;

1.Baby comes first: Whatever you do, always always, ALWAYS think of the child first. So you have a 'thing' to go to and it happens to be during the time you are with the child. That 'thing' will be cancelled, unless it's income-generating whereby you can beg the other co-parent to take one for the team and remember to make it up to the child. Also, you will alter your time-schedule for the duration that you have the child. This will be hard but remember, you don't always have them. You can bar-hop next week. For this week, you will go home early, you will cook, play house, you will eat baby food (oats, you guys, OATS!), you will watch cartoons (Not southpark or family guy, think Lion King, Disney, Dora The Explorer). BABY COMES FIRST.

2.Respect the co-parent: It's hard for me as a mother to let my daughter go. Am worried about her even when she's with my own mother, the woman who birthed me. So that worry sky rockets when she's with her other parent. I worry if she's eaten, has she taken the required number of naps? what is she watching on TV? what is she wearing? who's doing her hair? what are they doing? It helps that she has the same nanny in both places but I still worry. In spite of myself, I never call the co-parent to dictate terms and conditions of the stay. We have basic rules that the nanny and everybody knows e.g sleeping time, feeding e.t.c But basically, he's on his own. This is his time, his space. The only way this can be achieved is via respect. Of course we have squabbles here and there and it has taken a lot of time and maturity to get here but we still try as much as possible to keep out of each other's hair. You are a team even if you are not together. Think of it like you would a business venture. You both need this to prosper.

3.Trust the co-parent: This is the hardest. You are both very different individuals. Different core-values, different up-bringing and ergo different parenting styles. For example, am a health nut, we're always eating fruits, raw eggs, vegetable smoothies and whatnot. On the other hand, her dad is a huge fan of junk food so they'll eat that. This rubs me the wrong way but I know he has number 1 (Go back and read it) down so he'll do it in moderation. I, like he have to trust the other party's decision while they have the child. And again, it has taken a lot of time and we are still a work in progress.

4.Create memories: My daughter's first word was mama. But that was a given because she spent the majority of her first year of life by my side. Fast forward to now, she knows her Dad's full name, she can pick him out in pictures, she asks to speak to him regularly on the phone and recognizes his voice. When she's grown, she will remember a childhood with BOTH parents. This is because we both try to be as present as possible when with her. Put that phone down and actually interact with that child. I have a list of firsts with her but so does her father. Am teaching her how to swim, he's teaching her how to ride a bike.

5.Be clear about your intentions: This one is also hard. You have a child together. It is hard to not want to get back together. And all the forces that be (think parents,elders) want you to be together. But there's a reason you are apart. Do not use this experience as a means to sneak your way into your co-parents life. Do not be lurking around. Do not stalk them. Do not start surprise drop-ins/ stop bys. Do not be about that life. If you want to get back together, use other means. Approach them as you would any other person with whom you do not have a child with.

6.Other people: Of course you are seeing other people. Be open about your arrangement. Expect contributions or even support but essentially this is all on you. Refer to numero 2. Respect the co-parent. Applies to the people in your life as well. They cannot speak to the co-parent on your behalf or any of that nonsense, you're the one that had the sex that led to this child,not them. Keep the 2 worlds separate. 

This is by no means exhaustive and I am not an authority on the subject.I am sure we are both going to learn and grow even more the older our child gets. We still have struggles and challenges but so far so good. Baby steps. My child has TWO almost-fully engaged parents and is growing up to be a well adjusted individual. Not the same can be said for many children. WE ARE WINNING! *fist pumps the air*

PS: This is by no means an ideal situation. I'd love for my child to grow up in a 2 parent home. If you can stick it out. Bend over backwards to make it work. Hang in there. HANG IN THERE. But if you must, leave.You are a better parent when emotionally and mentally healthy.

P.P.S:This will only work if you are both reasonable adults. If one of you is psycho, all bets are off and only Jesus can help you.