Shadray’s Top 5 Life Hacks

In life, everyone is trying out the next, nearest or easiest thing to make it through. Some go legit and others are living by the “fake it till you make it” code. As long as they get to their goals. But on your way in trying to get there, there are a number of factors I think one needs to consider;

  1. Talent/ Skill/ Hobby

I would like to carry all the above three under one basket because none is hardly different from the other. When you master one, it may just as well pass off as the other. So, to the point, it is best in life for one to have a talent. It may be a sport like soccer, athletics, chess, tennis, fencing name it. It can be passive; like reading, oratory skills etc. and these are important because;

We are never sure how life turns out. Unless of course, usually, when your parents wield a lot of power that they can influence companies, organizations or government departments to slip you in. Or maybe, they stacked up a bank account for you with all the dollars. Ching*

Talents/ skills/ hobbies can act as alternatives in case one’s education career turns out different. We have all seen footballers start their careers at early ages of life and now they’re mega-rich. Musicians like Eddy Kenzo of Uganda. dropped out of school at a very tender age, did some odd jobs until he joined the music industry, and went on to be the first and probably the last Ugandan artist to win the BET which his fellow educated counterparts haven’t done yet and probably won’t do and he is at this moment the biggest music export Uganda has.

It can be a good means to keep fit as an exercise and keeping busy. Imagine all the calories you burn while trying to extinguish your opponent.

It can be an alternative in one’s retirement days when they cannot be employed anywhere.

It can get you a job where academic qualifications are not needed and we have over a million other examples of people who have ea rned and made it in life because of how far their talents, skills or hobbies have taken them like David Beckham, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Dennis Onyango Serena Williams, Adele, Beyoncé etc. therefore as much as we are pushing our children and friends or even ourselves to excel academically, we should also strive to discover, nurture and promote our talents.

However, we should not force people into it but one should discover it from within themselves because these are usually inbuilt and passion about it is a great attribute.

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” ― Benjamin Franklin

2. Education

In present day, you can hardly be successful anywhere without an education. However minimal it may be. At least you should know the basics. It is thus advised that much as you have a talent or any of the above, an education must also be in tow. It is the springboard to higher positions in life because it is one of the major things they look at when you want to take up more responsible and or bigger positions and projects in life.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

3. Social Skills

How we relate with others can also determine how we far we fare in life or the distance our life is pushed forward. Poor social skills will at times get us into more trouble and back steps than forward therefore we should teach ourselves and especially the younger generations (Millennials) on how to relate with others because the world is becoming smaller and yet one giant global village. Unless you can get along with others, everyone is going to leave you behind and no one will miss you. Friends are important because;

  • They can be there when you are sick or doing badly in life and financially.
  • When you are looking for jobs or favors.
  • In times you need company and companionship.
  • When your life is going astray they can counsel you. The list is endless.

“It doesn’t matter how many A-levels you have, what kind of a degree you have, if you have good manners, people will like you.” Kate Reardon

4. Positive Energy

Sometimes our life is controlled around what our minds think of ourselves or perceive of the things around it. In case your mind is always negative when in situations where you are faced with favor, opportunity or grace, the outcome may just well be poor because your negative mind could not give you a positive feeling therefore, we are usually advised to wake up feeling good and then also stay away from people with negative ideologies and mentalities.

Always teach your children to be and think positive or good of themselves. It will reflect in their activities and outcomes.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson

5. God

And most importantly, we cannot forget or put aside the biggest factor in our life. That is God and always putting Him first. He is the holder and provider of everything so it is best that we always put our life before Him and our trust in Him because if it wasn’t for Him who knew us even before we were born then none of everything that we are would be. Teach everyone to be religious. Pray to the Lord you believe in always. He is the alpha and the omega of everything.

“Let your life reflect the faith you have in God. Fear nothing and pray about everything. Be strong, trust God’s word, and trust the process.” ― Germany Kent

With these simple life hacks, I believe life can never go wrong, unless of course, if your fate is entirely doomed. Be blessed.  

“…..Life is a beautiful story but we’re the ones who determine it with our, Actions, Thoughts, Beliefs & Choices.” – Shadray

Save Me…

Like words in your mouth till the next time we talk to each other.

A space in your hands till we get to hold each other.

Moves in your steps till we get to dance with each other.

A kiss on your lips till the next time we kiss each other.

A place in your memory till we see each other.

A place in your heart till we meet each other.

That love…….as you & I get to champion the world…together.

Of Good Character, Rashida’s Qualities…Of A Perfect Partner

Sometime in 2020, during one of those (#MeToo campaigns), There was a social media topic about people’s characters. Commonly, such topics involve qualities one looks out for in a partner. Amongst a number of comments on a certain post I can’t seem to find anymore was a comment by Rashida Namulondo, a poet and actress. I was so captivated by a fellow creative’s comment that I had to capture it and reproduce it for the world to see how beautiful she described qualities of her potential partner.

So, below she said…

‘’People are not perfect!  It depends on what you are looking for. Personally I want a good person, be it a romantic relationship, work relationship or friend. This is how I know a good person that I want in my life.

  • How he treats people around him especially support staff like waiters and cleaners. How he treats colleagues under his supervisor and he is in a superior position than them. It’s very easy to see someone’s manners in these situations of power play.
  • How open is he to the fact that he’s still learning, and that other people’s opinions and perspective on life counts just like his? Basically, I can’t handle people who think they are better than others and have this ‘I am right’ attitude.
  • How does he handle conflict? Let’s say for example, he bumps into someone on the road. Does he accept blame or goes on cursing and denies blame. Now, I know even the best of people curse on Ugandan roads but there are people who go beyond. Also, is he the kind who can be able to take the courage to mend things whether it’s his fault or not?
  • Does he have a plan in life and is he working courageously towards it? If he has no plan, is he the kind committed and interested in learning? Does he seek to improve his skills and take an extra mile to learn new things and skills? I can’t handle people who don’t strive to grow and be better than they were yesterday.
  • Is he a grateful person? Does He acknowledge the mercy of God? The help of others who have helped him? Is he grateful and is he able to meaningfully acknowledge help?
  • Does he take feedback? Is he able to take feedback without turning you into a bad person for giving him negative feedback and does he strive to change?
  • How does he speak of people when they are not around? It’s okay to complain once in a while about someone who has wronged you at work etc. but constantly speaking evil of someone? Noo! Does he ever acknowledge the good things even the worst his enemies could have or has done for him in his life? What is his relationship with his relatives? Even the bad ones. 
  • Now being a nice person doesn’t mean to be a push over. Can he stand up for himself respectfully without insulting others? Does he have boundaries and non-negotiables? And can he tell me the truth every single day even if it hurts?
  • Finally, does he see me? Does he even notice I am there? How well does he know my dreams? My goals. My ambitions. (This question is key because it can only mean a person listens when you talk or even when you don’t.) I know people I hardly talk to but they can recite my dreams, my hopes, things that upset me and those that bring me joy off their lips. And there are those I am close to who even after so many conversations have no slightest idea about who I am, what I hope for, what angers me and what are my dreams.

A person who truly sees you. Knows your soul because they feel it. That is the one that truly cares about you.

NB. These may seem so many things but very often you will be surprised that a good person ticks off all these boxes.

Rashida Namulondo

Rashida is a Ugandan based actress, stage director, and award-winning poet. She is the founder of the Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for Change. A nonprofit organization that uses theatre for peace building.

Our Last Time.

I want to love you properly. Like it is my last time. Your last time. Anyways, it is our last time. Never to see us again, our last wish. Loving someone else, our worst wish. Never to make plans with you again, our lost wish. Never falling in love again with us, our feared wish…so I want to make this be our best time. Sadly, our last time.

I want to hold you proper. Talk to you proper. I want to laugh with you again. Hear that loud chuckle one last time. I loved how you used to look at me deeply. Your eyes piercing into my soul sharply. I felt them. They had love written all over them & I fearfully loved it.

I want to make love to you proper. Break you down and build you up again. With sweat, emotions, and ecstasy, girl, you loved that intimacy, because boy oh boy I sure did it better. I held your hand better on them walks. The walks up the hill. Or the romance on the boda. Weaving through traffic like them roads we owned. The dancing in the room. My Miss Uganda. I made your mind calmer and listened to your dreams clearer. The tears in your eyes I made them disappear faster and on my chest, you laid better. Sweet peace.

But now you are gone. Regrettable tears for the moves we didn’t make. Chess pieces. Like the wind you gonna blow away and fat chance, I’ll never see you again…unless if the world pulls a sneaky one on us…otherwise, this seems like it’s our last time. Wish I could spend it with you because I am sure you will love it. This one last time, the Kindle to the Kitty.

Refuge In The Darkness

I take refuge in the darkness. Its solidness makes me come alive. Feels like a playground for me. Its loneliness gives me strength. Its stillness awakens my senses. Its blindness hides the tears and the fear in my eyes. The stories that hang in my mind etched on my heart like scars of the holocaust. Will never be forgotten. Their perpetrators, maybe they should never be forgiven. We don’t just waste love and forgiveness like that. We must put some respek to it.

The darkness. Gives me refuge to my damned heart and troubled soul. It’s like the safest place for me to run my mind. A table for me to lay my plans. Grand schemes. So many. It’s a crowd. Of thoughts. Wishes. Dreams. It’s like the canvas, a pallet in one hand, brush in the other as I am the painter and so on it I make the master strokes.

Its hideousness knows my pain and the anger, the disappointments and the fears that run and boil like a steam engine in my mind. Thomas. At one time like the unquenchable fires of the Amazon. Oh so help me God.

Darkness to me unfolds like the orchestra and my life is given the baton as I become the conductor…of my thoughts.

Motivated By a David Solis’ Top 10 Piano Covers.