The City We Walked.

There was a time when we used to walk the streets together. Hand in hand I held you like my purse. Side by side like a holster. Babe, oh, those times when we was together. Lovers. I used to cling to you like a sticker. The ones we walk past on the street lamps of Kampala, Uganda.

Now I see you on the city streets walking with another girl. On the pavements we treaded. I feel like calling out your name but I am afraid to disrupt your romantic stroll.

You & her, hand in hand, like how you used to hold mine now you hold hers while retracing our lanes like we used to, me & you. Now it’s you & her. And I remember the shops we used to go to. The restaurants we ate & dined from. Are you taking her there now? Seating her in the chair I used to? The corner I liked? The same table jokes? Fuck this small city & the familiar streets. Its habits and its traits.

I wanted to call out your name but at that moment, the traffic lights turned green as I saw my lover turning a corner with another woman.

Silence In A Relationship

Apart from saying that silence is a form of communication because by keeping silent you’re communicating that you don’t actually want to say anything, they have also added that silence is the best weapon. That is especially supported by the ladies. That gender! So many a times when the lady wants to get you tripping into confessing even the sins you did before you guys ever thought of dating each other, she’ll keep quiet & shut you out. In that process if the guy isn’t strong willed, he’ll cower & come out of his hole & talk everything that she’s hoping he would say or do things she wants him to do that she knew she would fail to get if she asked for them verbally & boy has it has always worked. The dreaded silent treatment.

Silence is surely one of the best ways to communicate that something isn’t right without even having to break a sweat trying to speak a word & works best if your partner knows how to interpret it. It has always worked & during its course, some people have broken down & confessed things that leave many dumbfounded. Yes, it’s that strong.

However, silence as a tool of communication has its negatives but which also come with solutions like;

Prolonging the silence. If you see that your partner has noticed your silence & is willing to talk then drop it, open up & voice your reasons because prolonging the silence may force the other to think that actually things are over. You may think you’re on the winning end when actually the other is starting to get over you & move on & by the time you decide to talk, it’s too late to save anything. But if they show signs of wanting you to open up & discuss the matter then drop it & state your issue because they’re human so they erred & now they want to make amends for it. You’ve achieved your goal so now it’s time to settle down & find solutions.

Your silent treatment must be for a genuine reason because since it is usually a delicate matter, misusing it & making it a common occurrence will make it lose its value & eventually you will get negative responses from your partner because there will reach a time when they’ll think you’re just playing & your target will never be resolved. That’s if your partner isn’t nagged already because of your constant demand for attention especially in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

If you notice your partner is silent, take it slow & easy. Don’t trip all over the place like a wet chicken or lose your cool & rush to sudden conclusions before you hear what they’re silent about. You may also try to pay back & act tough yet in the meanwhile, your partner is getting frustrated & moving away due to your lack of attention to detail, pride or insensitivity & by the time you decide to act on it, they’d be half way out of your life.

Relatedly, you must as well learn to read your partner’s body language. You should be able to notice when they’re silent & how they should be treated when they’re giving the silent treatment. Some people are known to shut down when their partners are in this state & instead of both coming together to discuss the matter, they’re both competing to see who holds the record for the longest silence & in the end they end up being very frustrated love birds with unresolved issues that will keep on recurring thus leading to a very disgruntled relationship because eventually the silence turns to anger & fights.

Therefore, learn the tricks that bring your partner out of their silent cave. It may be ice cream, pizza, affection to some part, your response to her body language. You may have your secret dance, jokes or anything. In a good relationship, there are always those things that couples do only known by themselves that can create magic between the two & after they’ve shown signs of willingness to talk, sit down & give in your full attention & cooperation to the matter at hand because your indifference to a silent partner may be an indicator to your lack of desire in working out things in the relationship & if there’s no corporation between lovers especially in clearing the stumbling blocks in their relationship then what else are they living together for?

So, in case you’re thinking of using the silent treatment, think before, know for how long & it must be for a genuine reason. You wouldn’t want to find yourself silent in a situation where you’re totally in the wrong. Embarrassing.
Thanks for reading, stay loving. See you wedding after surviving COVID-19.

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.