Friday, April 15, 2011

I am NOT an enemy to the State!


 
So this is to clarify I AM NOT a politician! I do not have the intention to anger or promote any kind of inciting of violence in any way shape or form. And if I do manage to offend or anger please be aware that it was not my immediate intention.  I am simply of the belief that it is still my right (for however much longer I have it) to express and extend my opinion to those who are willing to hear it in a public and free forum.  I would also just like to say that the only reason I am in fact expressing myself on this issue publicly is because I feel that it is our right as citizens to peacefully express our issues with the current state of our country, and that the recent occurrences in KLA and all around UG can only be described as Neanderthal acts of bullying on the people.
O.K. so with that said….I think most people especially in UG probably already know what I want to talk about. For those of you who don’t this is a quick bullet point presentation to catch you up…. Basically what had happened was;
·         All our fuel prices in Uganda rose by a ridiculous amount of money
·         So have all the prices for things like veggies, sugar, milk etc
·         As a result, the opposition of the current governing body  decided that they would activate the people (who were all already complaining about the rises) to activate themselves and become agents of change
·         They decided that they would abandon their cars and take the issues out of offices by walking to work and encouraging others to do the same
·         As a result the people gathered and began to walk to work, which seemingly pissed off the police, because (for those who may have thought otherwise) walking is a criminal offence
·         The walkers did not make noise, they did not promote/incite violence or ill behavior and they did not taunt or provoke the police who intercepted them at any point, simply saying that it was their choice to walk to work today.
·         As a result of all this peaceful action, OBVIOUSLY the police became irate, and as we know very well here in Uganda once the police become angry they call on their friends the military police and the anti-riot squad who always come fully equipped with the necessities, you know, tear gas, rubber bullets, real bullets and giant water hoses….
·          I think most of you can pretty much guess what happened when they arrived and it wasn’t pleasant, friendly or peaceful.

So that’s the juice of it. And why am I writing about it? After all it is blatantly unfair and there is maybe nothing I can do to radically change the situation. What will my words accomplish? Maybe nothing, but maybe they will encourage those who have been in the thick of it to not be defeated, and maybe someone will feel the gratitude I have for them for trying to benefit everyone with their actions, and maybe it will make those of us who haven’t done much or anything to support our fellow people and do what we can to contribute….
It started when it became 3500ugsh for a liter of petrol. Starting my car I dread to look at the meter, I see two bars…a small sigh of relief, but is it a full two or is it going to be one soon? Either way I know I can make it from Kansanga to Kamwokya to pick up my daughter and get back home. I take a deep breath abandoning the vision of me and Imogen on the side of the road somewhere making that embarrassing call to say I ran out of fuel, and thank the universe (and my mother) for a very fuel efficient little runner!  And then it hits me, it wasn’t too long ago that the fuel prices were much lower, where my 50,000ugsh fuel input would last me well over a week, and didn’t I just put fuel in my car? Am I not traveling the same distances, if anything I am moving around less than I used to? But in the thick of it, what can be done, I don’t have a friend who can get me a deal on some cheap fuel, and if fuel is up for me then it is the same for public transport providers so I might as well just keep using my car, after all I have it for convenience and I don’t see Imogen sitting peacefully in a taxi.  And so we push these things to the back of our minds and just ‘deal’ with it.  The unchangeable facts that cannot be changed because you know that higher powers wouldn’t listen to your one lone voice anyway and might simply tell you to get a better paid job to suit your lifestyle, which is commonly said when you’re trying to convince people that being an artist is a legitimate career choice!

And then someone said they were going to walk to work.  And what logic! It’s free, and other people will do it too, so you’ll have company, but most importantly (not really but it was a vital point) it will most defiantly help me get back into my size 12’s comfortably! If anything I need to start walking for my figure!

The day everyone walked everywhere……I didn’t walk anywhere. To be honest I didn’t really have anywhere to go. But I felt grateful for the brothers and sisters who did, because really it was in my opinion a really great example of the capabilities of Ugandans as a united people to peacefully demonstrate their united opinions.  There was no violent agenda, no one made a fuss, and they simply walked.
Now in my opinion the ruckus was caused by the opposition parties, this is not to say that they are to blame for the violence, but obviously they were not walking in groups of 10 people, they had an entourage.  And this was done to show that as the people they were moving together on this journey both physically and politically.  As a result, in order to assert themselves as the more powerful group the police (government) needed to stop their actions.  What was not taken into consideration, in my opinion by the police (government) was that the people and in fact the politicians were not moving as entities of their political parties but simply and innocently as members of the general public who are displeased with their governing party. And therefore in bullying/attacking/keeping public decorum in fact what the police (government) were actually doing were creating more and more displeasure and distance between themselves and the public they are trying so hard to keep the peace for.

We cannot be ignorant by saying that the opposition had absolutely no political agenda of their own, but in my opinion it was not one which was offensive or threatening to the governing party. In fact I can only compare it to that of celebrities who swear off fur for PETA or become UN ambassadors. Not only does it increase their profile as Celebrities but they expose themselves to being considered of the people and for the people and their concerns.  And it is also not like this is the doing of just one political party, no I think there is credit to the fact that all of the opposition came together to say this is beyond our individual presidential aspirations, this is simply for the people and about the people.  I mean they are not the only ones who took the opportunity to make a stand; they were supported by the taxi parks that refused customers and the boda bodas who halted themselves because they too are feeling the pinch by having to increase their transport prices to a place that their target markets cannot afford. And this to me does not sound like the political agenda of one but the unified opinion of the masses.  

It is not only the fact that the police (government) are arresting people, when I first read about the likes of Mao and Besige  being arrested my question was, ‘well what exactly did they charge him for exactly walking?’ Only to find out that the charge was ‘inciting violence.’ If I am honest, I had not seen any footage or pictures and so living in Uganda there was a part of me that thought that maybe some people had got rowdy as they are known to sometimes, but then I watched the news….Police pickups blocking roads and pulling up, arresting whichever opposition candidate with no problem and loading them into the back, and as they drive off the officer pulls the cap of the gas and throws it into the crowd! You see the back of one truck but also now the military pulling up to finish the job! Now I do not claim to be an expert on social behavior but I do pride myself of having some common sense, and well if you throw a crap load of teargas into a crowd and then shoot a bullet in the air I am almost 100% sure that this would cause a general state of pandemonium and disorganization! Now is that the fault of the people in the crowd or the fault of the clever young man who threw teargas at them and his friend who thought it would be funny to shoot some pigeons!
So that is my general opinion…..and where do we move forward from here? Part of me is hoping some of you my friends and peers will leave a little comment of inspirational thought, but on my front I think that it is now in the thick of it that we as the people need to soldier on! I love the t-shirts I been seeing people rocking and as an individual have made the active choice to walk from A to B as much as possible! I am going to drive to pick up my daughter this afternoon…. on one bar of fuel…… but I think we need to show those in control that we as a people will not be moved….And they as the governing body will have to realize that if they were voted in ‘fairly’ then surly they should be listening to the voices of their people, otherwise just tell us that we are living in a dictatorship and let us move on from there!

Below are some of the more powerful images from the press, the one that moved me the most is of the woman, not only because I am a woman, but as a mother I find it hard to believe that this young lady holding her heritage inside her and one of our future brothers or sisters would have deliberately put herself in the position to be harmed. Sometimes the casualties of war are not those at the forefront of the picket line but the bystanders who meant no harm and had no choice but to continue their days and lives trying to survive amongst the chaos.




P.S If anyone knows where I can get a license to walk to let me know….I is after all one of those people who likes to be legitimate innit! Tho I do wonder how hard the test is… 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Treasure Hunt......

video


I have so much I want to talk about today because it’s been a while since I updated so I am going to just run through.....I will probably try to make this as short and sweet as possible because it seems that my serene Sunday is being corrupted by the ‘pleasant’ sound of Radio and Weasel ‘singing’ their hearts out at the hotel behind my flat.  And while I have no problem with these two lovely gentlemen it can be a very loud and intrusive distraction.  Especially when I am trying to recap on a very inspirational sound I heard over the weekend....The Verses and Pros of one Mrs Ife Piankhi and her band....But onwards and upwards we can muffle out the pretend Jamaican accents with earphones which reduce them to a mumble and move forward! (I don’t mean to sound offensive I am the first to sing along to ‘Bread and Butter’ but I am not drunk enough and it has been such a pleasant Sunday afternoon)
SO....As I write, I replay the audio clips I took on Friday night.  Trying to figure out how I can manifest what I feel into words on a page.... My friend Ife singing ‘Redemption Song’ and taking me through my ‘Black History’ using music and poetry. Prolific....is the word that springs to mind and I strongly suggest you click the links and have a listen to this Empress. Her words infuse world issues and personal triumphs to fill the soul and question the mind. She really is the first of her kind in Kampala, I mean it seems to be the start of a different type of music, not quite a song and not quite a poem and yet the more you hear the pieces the more you find yourself singing along to the chorus and listening to the verses.  Accompanying her is her collective of artists and Instrumentalists.  On the drums Kaya, a soft spoken and heartfelt percussionist who seems to meet every emotion with the heartbeat it deserves. And on the acoustics’ there is Frankie Ruin, a Doors obsesee who brings an element of darkness and soul to the mix, with his guitar playing the underbelly of the words being spoken....This is truly a good mix of all musical genre’s brought together by the poetic workings of Ife. You should really try and get at the clips while you read this post because bar my muffled Jamaican boys it really is putting me in a very serene mood!

So on to the next! 
 
There is a talented new designer called Kasoozi. Kasoozi is a young man who is affiliated with the Bavubuka Foundation (who by now you must know I have mentioned a million times!) He is a unique designer, who has until recently only seen himself as a semester, and young man with the gift of manifesting other people’s ideas into perfectly stitched designs.  Kasoozi is capable of looking through the pages of Vogue and perfectly recreating the images he sees only he adds his own unique African touch to it which is completely brilliant and awe inspiring. And now it seems that he allowed the pages of Vogue to come alive, reform and reshape his ideas from simple mimics to inspiration which is forming his own unique and individual line of clothes. And it is refreshing; Kasoozi takes on the female form with great ease, using his dramatic flair to accentuate elements of the female form in an elegant and equally striking way. I hope you enjoy taking a look of some of his first pieces which I had the pleasure of shooting.  The model in the images is a one Miss Jessica Mumford who is always a beauty to work with. 

 And Finally!










I want to talk about something I did a couple of weeks ago. So around two weeks ago a friend of mine by the name of Naomi invited me out to Jinja with her, the idea being to see if I could push my T-shirts and see if the event I host, Poetry In Session (the next one being on 24.01.2011 J), would find itself a listening audience in the area.  Now whilst I don’t think that there is a huge poetry community in Jinja I did find a place to put some of my shirts (NRE) and I also met a very special little girl.  I would just like to quickly thank her parents for letting me ramble on about her, they by the way own a really cool place where you can do horse ridding and stuff! Anyway, Kaya, a little girl who still believes in Treasure. Yes Treasure, I helped her find it in the stones we were moving about to help flatten the ground for a horse path (I assume it was for a horse path but quite frankly I wasn’t paying much attention after I was told we had treasure!). So we find treasure and we start to clean it, using anything we can, expensive hand soap, sponges and her dad’s toothbrush to reveal a somewhat uninteresting white stone.  By Kaya is enthralled, telling me about the importance of this treasure, till eventually I start to see myself, part of the game, so keen to scrub all the dirt off of this treasure in the hopes of making this little princess happy.  My imagination along with hers begins to open itself to all these possibilities and I find myself looking forward to the day when Imogen will be old enough to play these games with....So what is the importance of all of this....Well I will openly admit that for a second....It was Treasure....and it was Perfect! It felt nice to shed my usual thoughts and concerns about money, bills, work, family, friends etc and just indulge in the simplicity of having found treasure....which made me start to think about the treasures I already have in my life.....The little things I overlook and forget that I have.....The  tiny insignificant seeds that start big Ideas....
I don’t make New Year Resolutions; I think that it is pointless to break promises to yourself, set unobtainable goals, or convince myself that last year was not exactly what I made it BUT IN FACT   some accident that happened only so I can realize it this year and make everything better.  No I do not make New Year Resolutions....but I do believe in Treasure....and this year I hope to open my eyes and my mind a little bit wider....that I might see more of it in everything I do!
Wow was that a bit cheesy? Maybe it’s due to the fact that they have switched to some serious power ballads/ love songs at the Diplomat....I seriously need more high tech earphones......

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WARNING! THIS BLOG IS NOT OVERLY COMPLIMENTARY: Young Achievers and Wonder World...



So I think I am going to start with a bit of complaining and then move on to the more fun stuff.... I think I will start with the Young Achievers Awards 2010.....last year I attended as I did this year as well and whilst I have respect for what is trying to be done I have to say that the second edition was a complete and utter disappointment.  To begin with, unlike last year their seemed to be a serious lack of importance given to the actual nominees.  As I sit in the back bleachers with two of them, I find it completely off key that firstly we have pay for drinks etc, whilst the VIP guests sit comfortably with their complementary drinks and such .....I hate to state the obvious but are the nominees not the whole reason we are all gathered here? I’m just sayin.....But really this is a massively disappointing change from last year where the Young Achievers themselves where in fact treated as ‘Achievers’ not the accompaniments to corporate and political face’s who claim to be ‘celebrating’ the achievements of young Ugandans.....more it seems like they are simply using the event to make themselves seem youth conscious.....There is a certain rapper who is trying to tap into the same ‘market’....but I don’t think we need to talk about him....Do you want another rap? Enough said......
I mean in all honesty I am really rather confused about the situation....We get told at the start that there is more funding for the event....only to be met with hard seats and well quite a boring programme, I can honestly say that had I not had to wait for certain categories I would have followed the flood of people who all left about 20seconds after H.E.Sevo!  But for those of you who don’t know, or have not attended let me give you a bit of background on last year’s ceremony.  Guests were greeted and seated and then treated to a simple but to the point ceremony which included a beautiful dinner.  The entertainment was bland....and that was improved this year so I will have to give it some credit (although the sound was a bit off as was some lip-syncing).  Last year there was a sense that all the guests, from the cooperate to the Achievers, and their guests were all as important as each other, they were all contributing factors to the night and we were all  treated equally...which didn’t seem to be the case this year.  I cannot be lead to believe that it is coincidence that certain people and nominees were placed in ‘V.I.P’ when they were not even ranking in the top 5 of their categories and I am not hating on them as they realistically did not pick their seats but there was something very disappointing about watching nominees squeeze their way from the back bleachers to the stage while others who are here to celebrate them sit in comfort.....It all seems a bit messed up to me....
Also I just want it to be known that it was noticed that the Journalism, Art and Fashion and Entertainment categories were moved to the end, you know after the President had left the building and then rushed through like they needed to be over with as soon as possible....yeah thanks for showing the arts....or people with actual self expression not spoon fed to them by the education system....some recognition for their work....at least we can see how the arts and creativity  are ranked in importance!
So what is my message to the Young Achievers Awards? You had a good thing going last year, and if this year you got more funding and yet the treatment and standards of the ceremony went down (at least the treatment of the nominees anyway) the question needs to be asked....’Where is all the Money?’ I’m not saying your corrupt....I’m just saying....maybe if you knew where it was....you could collect it together....save it up....and maybe next year  treat your nominees with the respect, acknowledgement and sense of importance which you did last year instead of saving it only for those who are already established and ‘elite’....I won’t say anything about the actual V.I.P guests....only that they gave H.E.Sevo a Very listening and attentive ear....almost like they were all supporters....
But please don’t get me wrong I do think that the Young Achievers Awards stand for something good! I think that it is really good that they have set up this Award system which celebrates the Achievements of the Youth.....

Ok Enough of that!!!!! And on to some more positive things! So this Saturday I took the Ship Crew from the Bavubuka All Starz out to Wonder World for the day.  The day itself was sponsored by firstly a friend of mine who sponsors one the crew Medi A.K.A Mc Ship and me as a kind of Xmas present.  The day was really really really really FUN! I took Imogen with me and it was fun to see her get on rides for the first time and have fun with me in the bumper cars.  But what was more fun....and more the point of the outing was to allow the kids to have KIDDY fun.... In the world, and the country we live in it seems that the youth have to grow up so fast.  They have to use their initiative to make or create toys and they rarely get to enjoy the ‘luxuries’ of swimming pools or games and rides.  And so I just wanted to have one day where my friends could experience the things that I, having grown up in London and having the means, have always taken for granted....things like Bumper Cars at fairs, the Rocking boat thing (the one with the pirates that always makes you feel like you left your tummy in the air), the ferris wheel and the best thing.... WATER SLIDES!!!  And these are no ordinary kids, they MC constantly and have a policy of speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves....they are constantly using their voices, words and actions to combat heavy social issues....and so I thought.....what do you give these prolific children for Xmas....how about a tiny taste on my childhood....real kiddie fun.....And that is what we did!

This last bit  may not have been as long as my beginning rant....but to connect the two...ish....I really hope the organizers of the Young Achievers Award look into their functionality (and maybe find the answer somewhere in the rumoured 300Mil given to them), and look at who they are actually serving....is it the sponsors and the ‘elite’ of Uganda or is it the people who they are claiming to be giving recognition? Because what they are doing in Theory is good and I having spent the day with some brilliant young people cannot wait for them to get older, excel in their chosen fields and potentially get the recognition and appreciation that was shown in last year’s Young Achievers Awards.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's all about me.....well and you too....



What is the truth about beauty? Does it grow in our own minds or is it nurtured and formed in the minds of those who look t us, in men, women, in magazines and on television?  To be honest it is probably a question bigger and more complex than what I currently have to offer you.  All I have to offer in this blog is just one of my many opinions on the matter.  Yesterday I found myself in what I can only describe as a True State of Beauty.  And so I felt it only relevant too share it....and hope that other people can relate, and not just think I am some kind of crazy.....
It started when I woke up, felt fresh sheets under my skin and a voice in my mind whispering sweet words of compliment. And for the first time in a long time I believed what that voice was saying, without question or hesitation....yes I would look good in ‘that’ underwear, and yes today was the day to wear those skinny’s I had been waiting to feel confident in....No I didn’t want to wear anything totally out of the ordinary, but yes I was feeling every inch of what I was in.  I didn’t brush my hair, my curls were perfect.....eyeliner....mascara not for any reason other than to enhance what I felt was in need of some attention....and then I thought you know what....I need to take a photograph of me....in this moment ....in this one, unique moment where from start to finish I have not had a single thought about anything or anyone except for my own perception of MY BEAUTY.  My hips, my thighs, my lips and my eyes, all of them having had special attention paid to them.  From looking at myself in my underwear in complete comfort and confidence to almost feeling saddened with every item of clothing I put on....only to then get another wave of confidence as the ensemble was getting nearer to completion.


OK so I might be sounding and looking really random and a bit full of myself right now....but my point is this....I began to thin ‘when was the last time I actually dressed solely for me?’....without the element of consideration on the eyes that would find themselves gazing in my direction? Not for the conservativeness of meetings, or the acknowledgment from the man in my life.....or even for the saintliness of my father! When was the last time I dressed for me....feeling truly beautiful from the top of my head to the tips of my toes? And you know I couldn’t pin point it....Because quite frankly I rarely do it! Please, don’t get me wrong I am not the kind of woman who is constantly thinking about my body image or what I have to wear for people but I cannot deny the truth which is that as I look at myself in the mirror every morning before I go out, I not only give myself a ‘thumbs up’ from me....but also from the people I may potentially meet in my day.
Wait.....
am I  rambling a bit....
back to the point I was getting back to....
which was the pictures.....
Yes....
I decided that in order to celebrate this feeling naturally I should photograph it! Out comes the tripod....Set up camera.....put on auto timer and think you know what! I deserve a soft box or light as much as the next person! So out it comes.....fully set up and ready to go! Snap! Snap! And I am out the door! But why? Well part of it was in fact to see if I actually looked as ‘hot’ as I felt but also and more importantly because I want to capture this moment of me! The best way I know how.....with my camera....I wanted to remember my moment of true beauty so that the next time I am feeling shaken I can present myself with Proof of this moment..... Because it is hard sometimes to feel beautiful without justification or affirmation from others....

Plus....In my opinion beauty is connected to how we feel.....we have the same nose we had yesterday, the same lips, the same hips, the same tummy.....but each day it is the mind which tells us what to pick on....what not to love and what to accentuate or dumb down.....so for one day I wanted to remember that I was utterly and completely perfect....my hips were big enough....my stomach flat enough, my eyes big enough and my lips lush enough..... So homework....and this goes to the boys as well because I have a sneaky suspicion you feel like this sometimes too....Take a minute.....look at yourself and love yourself completely...because as the world is turning we are expecting too much from other people by way of affirmation of self....If you feeling it...and by ‘it’ I mean how you look and feel....take THAT picture....or draw or write....but try and capture it as a reminder!  I saw my baby girl today and I told her she was beautiful.....I saw my eyes in her eyes and I saw that there was nothing wrong with her having my nose on her face or my hair on her head....true beauty (or at least an element of it) is doing things for yourself....putting together the elements of what we were given to make ourselves happy and not the eyes we aim to please....

Ok sorry if that was a bit deep for some of you....but really try it....If anything because I can testify to how bloody good it felt to just love every element of me for a minute!

Till next time....be blessed!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First Poetry In Session


Ok so it is over and done with, my very first event organized all by myself! Well not all by myself I had some help in the form of Bavubuka All Starz Gilbert, on media, Blaze on the technics and Babaluku on sound and vibes, and of course Isha’s!  But I can’t deny it felt good to be the boss! Be able to set things out how I wanted and to really put all the elements together to make the night move and flow the way I wanted it..... But enough of that the real stars of the night were my Poet Family! Who were absolutely brilliant, I love that feeling when someone is speaking and all you want to do is close your eyes, lean back and let their words wash over you! In my next blog....or maybe tomorrow I will post up some clips of my favorite poems and moments, but really every poet had their own vibe.....from the acoustics of Waterfalls to the spirit of Sister Ife all the way to Jason’s humor and jest.  
But all in all I am inspired! And motivated! I want to take it to Jinja, Ebbs EVERYWHERE! I know it’s a bit quick but it’s all in the works and it is all down to this positive response! My mum came out, and I don’t think she really knew what all my ‘poetry business’ was about, until she came out and lived it...Brilliant!

So for those of you who may be wondering what I am babbling about basically (if you don’t want to read my last blog J) I held my company’s first event....’Poetry In Session’ it  is a night inspired by the Spoken Truth movement where Artists, Poets and Writers congregate to share, express and inspire to a listening audience.....As a  Poets, Writer  and Expressionists  I was quite frankly starting to get sick of competing with the chinks of glasses and the incessant sound of chatter that is encountered through most readings, and so the only thing to be done was to ‘borrow’ from the Spoken Truth template (Which is more high energy MC’s, Comedian’s, Dancers etc) and create a space solely for the poets and writers of KLA City. The event just wanted to be an intimate gathering of people who were coming out solely for the pleasure of listening to poets and friends showcase the Art of Spoken Word to a more listening ear.  And we really found it at Isha’s which is appropriately names ‘Isha’s Hidden Treasure’s’ because it really is a treasure....in the heart of Kamwokya a little oasis that has this Cheers meets Uni  bar feel.  And by that I mean that it is friendly and inviting, everyone knows everyone and if they don’t know you they will surely make a point of asking you where you’re from and welcome you into the community. At the same time though the space is very intimate and private, with a sense of romance and quiet, beautifully decorated with iron wall pieces and the most exquisite bone lamps.....AND THEN THERE IS THE GALLERY!  But basically what I am saying is that I found this little oasis (with some help from my friend Rosa) and I think that I should be telling everyone to run through it if you’re feeling for that quiet space to chill relax and play Scrabble (yes Scrabble.....you know it’s the best of the board games!)

But all in all I am feeling very blessed this week people! And I just want to thank all the poets who came out, the listening ears that came to hear, and the fam that came to support.  Not to mention my mum for her PA system, Bavubuka for being the back bone of technical operations, Isha’s for the space and forum and Spoken Truth for the inspiration!  The next poetry in Session is on the 21st of December and I will keep you posted on that one....

Till next time (I am trying to go photograph at this Buddhist retreat which should be fun!)
Peace, Love and Blessings to all the travellers, friends and Revolutionaries out there....We may be a million miles away but as I sit on my stairs, looking out on Kampala, I can feel your hearts beat and your minds manifest dreams into reality, and as I finish I know that the world is full of possibilities!


Photography and video by Gilbert Frank Daniels and Editing done by moi! The rest of the photo's can be seen at  Masaani Facebook

The First Poetry In Session


Ok so it is over and done with, my very first event organized all by myself! Well not all by myself I had some help in the form of Bavubuka All Starz Gilbert, on media, Blaze on the technics and Babaluku on sound and vibes, and of course Isha’s!  But I can’t deny it felt good to be the boss! Be able to set things out how I wanted and to really put all the elements together to make the night move and flow the way I wanted it..... But enough of that the real stars of the night were my Poet Family! Who were absolutely brilliant, I love that feeling when someone is speaking and all you want to do is close your eyes, lean back and let their words wash over you! In my next blog....or maybe tomorrow I will post up some clips of my favorite poems and moments, but really every poet had their own vibe.....from the acoustics of Waterfalls to the spirit of Sister Ife all the way to Jason’s humor and jest.  
But all in all I am inspired! And motivated! I want to take it to Jinja, Ebbs EVERYWHERE! I know it’s a bit quick but it’s all in the works and it is all down to this positive response! My mum came out, and I don’t think she really knew what all my ‘poetry business’ was about, until she came out and lived it...Brilliant!

So for those of you who may be wondering what I am babbling about basically (if you don’t want to read my last blog J) I held my company’s first event....’Poetry In Session’ it  is a night inspired by the Spoken Truth movement where Artists, Poets and Writers congregate to share, express and inspire to a listening audience.....As a  Poets, Writer  and Expressionists  I was quite frankly starting to get sick of competing with the chinks of glasses and the incessant sound of chatter that is encountered through most readings, and so the only thing to be done was to ‘borrow’ from the Spoken Truth template (Which is more high energy MC’s, Comedian’s, Dancers etc) and create a space solely for the poets and writers of KLA City. The event just wanted to be an intimate gathering of people who were coming out solely for the pleasure of listening to poets and friends showcase the Art of Spoken Word to a more listening ear.  And we really found it at Isha’s which is appropriately names ‘Isha’s Hidden Treasure’s’ because it really is a treasure....in the heart of Kamwokya a little oasis that has this Cheers meets Uni  bar feel.  And by that I mean that it is friendly and inviting, everyone knows everyone and if they don’t know you they will surely make a point of asking you where you’re from and welcome you into the community. T the same time though the space is very intimate and private, with a sense of romance and quiet, beautifully decorated with iron wall pieces and the most exquisite bone lamps.....AND THEN THERE IS THE GALLERY!  But basically what I am saying is that I found this little oasis (with some help from my friend Rosa) and I think that I should be telling everyone to run through it if you’re feeling for that quiet space to chill relax and play Scrabble (yes Scrabble.....you know it’s the best of the board games!)

But in all I am feeling very blessed this week people! And i just want to thank all the poets who came out, the listening ears that came to hear, and the fam that came to support.  Not to mention my mum for her PA system, Bavubuka for being the back bone of technical operations, Isha’s for the space and forum and Spoken Truth for the inspiration!  The next poetry in Session is on the 21st of December and I will keep you posted on that one....

Till next time (I am trying to go photograph at this Buddhist retreat which should be fun!)
Peace, Love and Blessings to all the travellers, friends and Revolutionaries out there....We may be a million miles away but as I sit on my stairs, looking out on Kampala, I can feel your hearts beat and your minds manifest dreams into reality, and as I finish I know that the world is full of possibilities!


Photography and video by Gilbert Frank Daniels and Editing done by moi! The rest of the photo's can be seen at  Masaani Facebook

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Diary of a Juilliard Miracle and Poetry In Session

So it has been a while since I last posted anything, but i am telling you people it is not my fault! Sometimes it seems like the dictionary is too small and the English vocabulary to limited to express the emotions of a stunted artist and writer.  But it is true, recently I have been feeling very unable to write.....I needed inspiration, a breath of fresh air....a muse.....



And I found two, one in the visual form and one in the literary form. And so let me start with the visual. A beautiful and talented young lady called Jessica. Jessica is applying for Juilliard on the 1st of March (coincidently my birthday). She is a talented and beautiful young dancer who is passionate about African Contemporary Dance and once you meet her you can’t help but want to photograph her, her shape, her form, her spirit. Everything about this humble young lady just blows you away! And she believes it would be a MIRACLE for her to get into Juilliard. So I told her along with her talent she can also have my birthday Luck! So I titled her session The Diary of a Juilliard Miracle, not because I believe that it would be a miracle but because it was refreshing to hear someone still believe in them, especially when she is already so talented.


And so these are my observations. (And please do click on the photos I don’t think their size does the justice). Going through the pictures I am not 100% sure that she will approve of all my choices....(one non perfect foot included in my black and white triptic) but the reason for them is simple, we are not perfect, but faith, practice and perseverance will always remind us to aim higher, do better and appreciate all that we achieve. I don't think that she needs a miracle, but I do believe she will get hers!




And so now onto my second inspiration. I am finally taking the plunge, and starting my own event! I am excited, and completely petrified to be honest. The event in question is called 'Poetry In Session' It aims at being a small and intimate event which brings together poets, writers and artist to perform and express themselves to a welcoming audience. For a long time I have been involved in an event called Spoken Truth, a forum which brings youth to the foreground and really was a pioneering force in giving poets, mc's and writers a platform to express themselves (they are also having an event on the 20th in Makindye, and yes this is a little plug!). And it was from my love of Spoken Truth, with its high energy and combination of Spoken Word and Hip Hop that I decided it was time for me to put my vision into practice, someone had paved the way for me to know take on an event which before Spoken Truth might have otherwise been ignored! And so here I am....looking for equipment, speakers, microphones and most importantly writers, to congregate and appreciate with me the art of the poet, the writer and the artist. And Isha's Hidden Treasures in Kamwokya (last turning before the police station, I know another plug but it’s my blog people!) is the perfect place to do it, the small intimate courtyard, the gallery, the organic space. This really has been a new experience for me! And I am hoping that all who read will come out and support....I hate to get ahead of myself, but I am back! the creative juices are flowing and I want everyone to come out and be a part of it....after all I need something to spark of my next post!


                                                   So Love, Peace and Blessings People....
                    (and thank you to everyone who felt the need to call when I hadn't posed for a while!)




                                                     POETRY IN SESSION EVENT PAGE