#TokosaFoodFestival 6 Things You Missed

#TokosaFoodFestival 6 Things You Missed

Lets get it clear,  I don’t attend a lot of events. No weddings. No funerals. No Baptisms. No introductions. No engagements. I used to think it was a countercultural rebellion to my parents. I have come to understand it as never being any such fancy thing. I get bored easily.

Anyways, I end up attending this much talked about socialite thing called the Tokosa Food Festival. Third event happening in as many years. Having never been to one, I was obviously watching with “new eyes”. New eyes = the sense of wonder you have when you have just arrived from the village  into town; also described as the realization of how the other half lives; also commonly called “Maalo” in Ugandan speak

But if you didn’t make it to this Year’s Tokosa event this is what you missed, or didn’t. See the highlight reel here.


Obviously I was going to start with this because I participated in it. There were 4 of us. I was hopelessly under qualified and over confident. Which is why I probably was ranked last by the judges! But to be fair, they asked us to cook a kid’s breakfast and I only learnt his halfway through the 20 minutes!

Now, I grew up in the village and kids there don’t have breakfast. They just eat a left over sweet potato and a melamine cup of water and the day begins. So I knew I was in hot soup. But I knew we (me and my ego) were well and truly cooked when the eponymous Gonahasa (the one who cooks, not the talker) showed up.

Egg fried frankfurter sausage on a baguette with fresh tomatoes

20 minutes and all I could come up with was a starch heavy African child breakfast. But you should have seen me stunting! Banange! like I knew I had this in the bag. But as they say about history and victors.


The Zumba women who came close to the end of the event sent the crowd into a a near riot. of course Gerry Opoka who runs Beats and Steps studio was on hand to teach some moves on how all that food people had stuffed themselves with could be worked out of the system.

I don’t get Zumba but when you see those women gyrating, moving to a rhythm from deep inside you have to wonder. Is it these kind of things that give us the stereotype of a sexualized nation? I wonder because you can’t help but ask yourself, if she can do this on the dance floor what about on a 6×6 King size bed with things like school fees, saloon money, side dishes on the line? Either way, you have to see a video to know what it’s really like. Sometimes the movements are slow and almost sensual, the other times it feels like they are trying to relax an itch that cant be reached. So much fun to watch.

You just start losing weight just by watching people exercise that vigorously.


Another highlight of the day’s activities were the games. The kids were so excited it was not even funny. they had sack racing, egg on spoon, obstacle games. There were even games for adults to play. No, not those games.

As usual, Brian Mulondo (he of the mob FOMO) shone through and tons and tons of kids walked away exhausted from a full day of food fun and music.

Although, I must say some parents looked like they brought their kids there to just stuff them with food!


Of course you can’t have an event hosted by the lady queen Miss Deedan where she doesn’t play a diabolical dirty trick – purely for her own pleasure.

And that is how she tricked some respectable-looking but erstwhile hungry young ladies into trying to eat and finish a 20-piece bucket of KFC chicken. This is similar to trapping you to delicious hot food.

What you really missed was how the ladies were watching Maurice Kirya, King of Mwooyo as if he was “Kyakulya” which means he looked edible, like chicken.


There were just simply too many types, colours and styles of shades at this thing.


I know I will definitely come to the next Tokosa event. Even if it’s to just spend a day giving to charity which is what the event is about. Part of the proceeds went to Bless A Child foundation which is home for cancer children.

So until next time, stay cool and drink Lite!



But why am I lying…. It was a festival right? See all these smiles going down!!



For more images, visit the Kafunda Kreative Tokosa Album or go check out the #Tokosa17 hashtag on Instagram.


Feminism, the enemy within and the courage of a generation

Feminism, the enemy within and the courage of a generation

Feminist this, feminist that, femi -knee-st this, Femi-Nazi this, Tw-eminist that! Thats how a typical day starts and ends on my social media timeline. All sides, all genders and all creeds. The fight has become polarizing to the point that one cannot imagine it once was a joke because they will be called gender-shaming, misogynistic or patriarchal or worse. And the fights are happening even amongst the women too.

I have often wondered how the old feminists did it? How did they get through it? Or did they never get through? How can we fight for something for so long and have made such little gains on it? Therefore, I surmise that at the heart of this movement is a key piece that keeps acting as a saboteur to this whole mission.

Male patriarchy (which among hard core feminists is the heart of all darkness and dwelling place of Zerubbabel himself) has been described as men keeping women suppressed through cultural customs and norms to deliberately create inequality and oppression. In more cultural settings you see mention of breast ironing, female genital mutilation and labia elongation. These crude customs of yester-year have been parked at the doorstep of all men to bear full responsibility for. But, one quickly learns that men alone – even if they wanted to whole heartedly – cannot repeal these customs.

For example, breast ironing was started to flatten breasts of girls entering puberty so they wouldn’t be preyed upon by older men – by their mothers. This was so they could still be virgins when they were married off in a society that valued virginity but that would not punish men for defiling small girls and would rather punish them that speak truth to power.

In the case of labia elongation, the working theory it is that the practice is meant to make women “sweeter” for men because the labia gives extra sensation during sex. Cases where husbands return brides so their mothers so show them the “the bush” are not unheard of. “The bush” is the euphemistic term for girls entering puberty when they begin the labia elongation practice. This practice is enforced strongly by maternal aunties and mothers in order not to bring shame upon the family once marriage time comes.

The more gruesome FGM varies across different tribes but basically involves the carving out of part of or all of a girl’s labia and clitoris. This was ostensibly to prevent girls (who undergo this process on the cusp of puberty) from being errant wives. Its brutally enforced by societal structures and a ruthless shaming system

When I was in the Sebei region on the last #KoiKoiEast trip a few weeks ago, we sat around a fire and a man told us of a culture that praises courage and bravery. He said if your mother ever flinched at her circumcision (which they are working with government to eliminate for girls now by the way) everyone who disagrees with you would always refer to you as the “The one whose mother ran away” and these tags are hard to escape. Like millstones around one’s neck beckoning shame and derision from society. They stay. They hurt. They cut deep.

In all these cases, mothers, aunties and female figures in society play a central role in enforcement and adherence to these norms.

And that is where I get confused.

If we are fighting the men in our generation, are we not self-sabotaging? If a young man within your generation (those of you date cross generationally can stop skip ahead) says to you “I think my wife should wash my boxers” and you stand up bash him or a young woman your age says “I want a man to marry me, provide for me and in return I will raise his children and build our home” and they get railroaded out of town. You aren’t solving the problem. That’s their paradigm. That’s the construct in which they see their world.

But who framed that world? Who told them that these things were acceptable? That women should give up careers and sit at home and that they can’t be everything they ever should? It’s not the boy child who grew up alongside them chasing butterflies and eating mangoes.

And that’s why we must have the courage…

The courage to confront our parents about the things they haven’t done right by us in terms of educating us (not school fees, fool!). The absence of fear when taking down with belief systems, constructs, practices that contradict what we know to be logical truths must be palpable.

And that is both for everyone


Because only by facing our parents (the entire generation) who are bastions of sanctity and are revered can we truly begin to make a difference. We can’t be in a society where you were born in a polygamous family, you have never discussed that with your parents but you are out here calling all men trash. Or you are the child of a concubine, but you go around spreading misogynistic vitriol. You are only playing yourself child.

That’s why it takes courage…

It going to take courage for us to tell our parents that we are gay. That our friends are gay. That we work with gay people. That we share food with them. That we know them. That some of them struggle with it. That we work for them. That they have funny jokes. That they are people. Someone’s son and daughter. That others will never overcome their fear. And that others will never come out because they don’t have the courage.

It’s going to take courage to tell parents that forcing their children to live at home until they get married means they won’t understand the responsibility of living on their own, making decisions, independence, planning, adulthood, looking after their partners. It produces poor husbands and wives. Young people are facing these things in their marriages and their relationships. We need to talk about it.

It’s going to take courage for us to ask our parents who work in government to stop blaming everyone else and ask them what they did to stop the country from going to shit. What did they ever do to keep things on course? To reason with them when they say “we did it for you” and not be relenting in our quest to understand what our own role will be for our children.

It’s going to take courage to have conversations about having sex for favours. For jobs. For cars. For houses. For food. For gadgets. With men and with women. When our mothers did this for security, society respected them as kept women – church or no church; ring or no ring. But the men are different now and everyone fights for theirs. The conversations on men sleeping with women for money, access, property and rent? And men sleeping with other men to take care of their wives? How much courage will that take?

It’s going to take courage to bring up and challenge the tribalism, myopia and archaic attitudes parents get stuck in. Things like “we don’t marry those people” or “You would rather not marry” or “If you marry her I will not attend” must stop being heard as threats to people trying to form unions that are propagating the future. They must be taken down with boldness and furor.

It’s going to take courage to tell our parents that getting married and all the previously accepted forms of social validations will not be our portion. That some women do not want a husband or kids or to settle down. That some want to adopt children instead of having their own. That some men will just not be husbands. Those conversations take courage because they require us facing constructs we have known for a long time. But we must find it.

It is my hope that our generation finds the courage to face our parents and confront their demons because only then can we face our peers in honesty and good spirit. Only then can we stand and share with each other the sweat and tears it will take to rebuild this country after these old people are done phucking it up.

Or we could just give up and emigrate to another country and let it be someone else’ problem? The Chinese are coming here, expatriates come here and never want to leave, multinationals are coming over, oil companies are setting up. They already messed up their homes. If we leave, there’ll be no one to fight for this ugly red-dust pearl of Africa.

So, we stand and fight. As a generation. Men. Women. Gay. Straight. Religious. Atheist. African. Mixed. Light skin. Dark skin. Thicke. Small. Chubby.


But first, how to find that courage… to


@QATAHARRAYMOND: TO ANSWER YOUR CHALLENGE: A treatise on my view towards power and religion in Africa.

“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number that are not good.” – Niccollo Machiavelli.
Following up on that offer to explain my understanding of power and its place in modern society as a means to bringing clarity on the role of religion in the political landscapes I want to first go back to the textbook definition of power.
  1. 1.
    the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.
    the power of speech”
    synonyms: abilitycapacitycapabilitypotentialfacultycompetence

    “the power of speech”
  2. 2.
    the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
    “the idea that men should have power over women”
Its clear that power in its simplest from, and for the purposes of this treatise has to do with ability. But to be specific, I’d like to stay with the second definition as it is of the most import in the argument I’m going to lay out.
For millennia, mankind has grappled and jostled with the idea of a deity. As far back as 10,000 years ago Chinese historians record the presence of deity figures to whom was attributed the control and dominion of the universe around them. The younger religions (speaking purely of the nascent Abrahamic religions here) have claimed this to be false and stand by their 6,000 year old theory of creation.  The origin of and creation of deities is of little concern here. What matters is that they exist and people believe in them. The world as it is today is divided into denominations who believe in one form of deity or other. If you believe that mankind created God to explain the unexplainable world around him, you are probably right. But also if you believe that God or a deity created man and let them evolve over 65 million years and then at some point gave them understanding you are also probably right. Why? Because it is all a subject of belief. What you believe shapes your outlook on the universe, the world, the continent, your country and eventually your neighbor.
Which brings me to the task at hand; you argue that religion is in fact inextricably tied to the political culture of countries; effectively making the argument that religion and its associated vagaries will affect the political upheavals in countries if indeed politics is the study of how people live together.
I argue that it doesn’t. I argue that elements like greed, corruption, social inequality, graft, cronyism and political disruption/instability are more in effect when and where social upheaval occurs than are the forces at war are of different religions. In a report from the Instituteof Economics and Peace a question was polled “How much conflict has religion caused in the world?” The report came back with 14% of conflicts in the world in 2013 were motivated by religion alone (although religion mixed with other factors brought the figure up to 60%). Why is this so? Because the very nature of upheaval and conflict in itself reflects a sense of anarchy, an element that no religion condones. How could it? How would it then control its faithful? Anarchy portends, disobedience, disorder, betrayal, defection, lawlessness and deviance. All undesirable outcomes.
I also believe that the elements above central to social disillusionment. How? Any role that religion might play is mostly as a spark in igniting an existing dissatisfaction and fueling an already underlying current of rage. For example, the Rwanda genocide has been said to have been aided and fueled by religious elements, but closer analysis reveals that the root causes were more socio-political. Therefore, if a society is disgruntled and disillusioned therein already exists the recipe for a fire. It’s simply which causal agent will provide the spark.
Secondly, you argue that the politics of a country will often revolve around its religious inclinations. You are even willing to say that it is difficult to define the political culture of a country minus its religion.
I submit that the political cultures of most countries (African in this case) present largely variegated religious demographics. While these groups disagree occasionally, the political culture of most African countries exists outside these religious faculties. This is not to denigrate the role leaders and influencers play in these societies. However there are more examples of social cohesion for the purposes of uprisings, upheavals and rebellion around non-religious grounds like corruption, election reform or the lack of it, injustice, tyranny, etc.
Alternatively, consider the “peace time” activities of most African countries like appointments to office, election to office, patronage, resource allocation, development prioritization and other aspects of political culture most of them will be done with considerations that are not principally or primarily religious in nature.
If on the other hand you were to consider the “culture of honour” posited by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” you will find that in societies with the honour culture; a culture signified by revenge killings, reprisals, honour killings, and family honour being protected, created a code. A code that makes society shun the likely peacemaker; the element of reason. In such a society you will find that religion could find a place in shaping and even enforcing a society’s own self view where people will steer clear of idle threats (if they make a threat, they will see it through), feeling bound to their word and a blunt and brutal approach to the realities of their environment.  In these cases, the factors that shape these kinds of society are more societal and environmental than religious. For an example, I’d like to use the Dinka tribe of South Sudan and northern Uganda whom people have said are, in their natural habitat, very trusting, generous and welcoming but also lethal, decisively swift and unrelenting about slights against their honour. They could Christian, Muslim or even Jehovah’s Witnesses. It doesn’t change who they are.
If you approach this from the “Spiderweb economic theory” first broached by Malcolm X and later honed and refined by Chika Onyeani in his “Capitalist Nigger” where the idea of ‘trading like the Jews” is discussed and broken down, you realize that while the Jews did in fact trade within their communities, the complex interwoven nature of their societal setup makes it impossible to separate from their economy and religion. A rather unique social glue. The theory basically states that the closely knit Jewish community buy from Jews, will try as much as possible to keep their money circulating within their community and that way they help each other develop and build their community as a whole. This approach for you would of course raise the questions of the impact of a shared history and a communal sense of persecution they all share which further strengthened that historical bond. And going down that route would lead you down the inevitably precarious path of separation of church and state – which in that world is a slippery slope.
Having explained this I feel I must tie this all together with how it all begun; with power. Religion carries the ability to influence, to mollify, to invigorate and even instigate people. That is its power. This power however is given to it by people’s choice to believe for without the choice to believe religion holds no power over anybody and therefore would have no ability influence the political culture of a society in any way.
In a faithless state the power to influence political culture would reside in and with people who had resources, means, money, access to resources, information, state machinery, influence, an ear of the leader, leverage over politicians, blackmail, intellectual superiority, physical excellence and a host of other attributes that you could name. People with these or access to any of these attributes would wield power because they could lean upon them to influence events in their societal sphere of influence; to protect themselves from the machinations of others, to advance individual interests, to gain advantage over rivals and; sometimes, to just even the playing field.
This theory seems to operate in the highly amoral and evolutionary arena of “kill or be killed” and is safeguarded by the old political adage “have no permanent friends or enemies” and would appear idealistic upon first sounding. But upon closer scrutiny, you will agree with me that this scenario is more real than ideal. It is one in which we live every day; sworn enemies coming together to fend off common threats; an estranged couple uniting to defeat an erstwhile ally now turned deadly foe, a national Christian prayer overnight presided over by a confessed animist president, a bishop who has sworn an affidavit changing his name so he can remain in power past his retirement age, a national army caught in 3 wars across the region juxtaposed against the housing condition of the Police Force, and other examples. That is the reality we live in. Those with the ability to move the pieces WILL move them. Irrespective of what they believe.
Over to you

Righteous Indignation; Things That F***ing Piss me Off and Give Me Hope

Last week, the Ugandan social media was awash with the #UGBlooggers7days [collated by the dutiful and obsessive Joel] hashtag. A conversation that started with a one Raymond’s insatiable greed for Ugandan reading material thereby plummeting the whole blogosphere into a blogging frenzy. Suffice to say I’m glad I was there to suggest the 250 word limit because certain people were talking 600 and 400 words as a minimum. And that had its own deliciousness. Savour it
More interestingly, in the course of last week, I read a post by SamiraSalwani where she explained a phenomenon called white privilege and colonial mentality. From thought provoking to downright alarming at the state of affairs in my country. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read it. More, I couldnt believe the directness of it all. It was as if she was being fueled by that calculated methodical anger you get from serving a revenge ice cold. Under the surface but seething. Cold. Calculating. Then I realized that the ghosts I was imagining as racial anger was her razor sharp intellect.
Throw yourself upon it and die.
Die cut up in pieces from it.
Die with your ignorance bleeding from every crevice in your body.
It was not only sharp, it was steady and abiding. Diamond hard. Never goes blunt. So I looked up several of her other articles. Yeah, diamond hard intellect. But I digress.
“White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, or economic circumstances.” – That is how Google describes it.
This is what Samira had been talking about. How Ugandans or Kenyans were more likely to treat people of Caucasian extraction in more privileged ways; quicker service at restaurants, more attention in service queues, etc because of the colour of their skin. Because of a perceived superiority.
No sooner had that storm subsided than Simon released the mother of all hailstorms. The blog post can be read here. At 11:00PM he was livid and frothing at the mouth. Imagine a bull mastiff with rabies and an itch. Tearing into the New Vision and its editors. Asking pointed questions and causing uneasiness all around. He was taking names and no prisoners. 
But what he did do was raise once again the question of how a colonial sport for which every single element (riders’ kits, horses, saddles, jumping bars, etc) had been imported was able to get a page and a half of coverage in a country where our national netball team, which is going to the world cup by the way, couldn’t even afford to buy water last week. I swear I think I saw a swear word in Luganda.  
And as if the night would not end just like that. At one 1:00AM someone posted this scan from a newspaper advert yesterday. An advert for several jobs and an administrative assistant. The admin assistant had to be a foreigner!! What the f*** were they thinking? Can you be more disrespectful than that? How dare you?!! Is this your father’s house?!!
Now I was frothing at the mouth. I wanted to say something. To write to these people. To say to them they couldn’t be so stupid. You can’t feel that untouchable and hope to get far ahead. Then I realized that it wasn’t just me. Its like all the media I had been exposed to had riled me up, had made me think of all the opportunities that people had missed and all the mistreatment people suffered because of this stupid white privilege.
But also I felt a sense of relief as I dozed off.


Because my anger was a sign. A sign that there is a new wind sweeping across Africa. People were questioning these “practices”. And they won’t stop because the awakening was happening. Yes, the good jobs might continue going to the less educated less experienced white people and their lackeys. The projects will end and they will have to go back home, or not. But us here, we are building our country. One brick at a time. One step at a time. And hopefully through blogs like this, one story at a time.
I’m off to lunch

REPOST: Uganda Bloggers 7 Day Blogging Challenge: Calling All Ugandan Bloggers

This is a call to all Ugandan Bloggers, all protocol observed.

There has been a decline in the blogging habits of many erstwhile Ugandan bloggers. We do not know whether it is because you guys got jobs and went abroad but that is not the point. In a bid to renew the blogging culture of many of us RaymondNevAllan with the input of OliveRuthDan Lynn and I, decided to challenge ourselves to write each day for at least 7 days starting today.

You can write about anything and everything as long as it is not less than 250 words.

Please share you blog on Twitter so we can comment and experience your experiences with the hashtag #UgBloggers7Days.

Let others know.


What Does it Mean to Insulate Our Friendships?

Insulating our friendships means doing things or taking actions that will protect your friendship from strong, sudden or violent forces like relatives, family, drama, sudden windfalls, ex-girlfriends, unseen circumstances.
It means taking action:  you sacrifice, you protect, you defend, you give up things you want, you talk about uncomfortable truths, you affirm people so they know how you feel about them, you reassure them when they are uncertain, you fight for them, you bleed for them, and you forgive them, you learn the things they like…
Because all these actions create an “insulating” layer that make you a friend worth keeping in all circumstances.
They say without doubt and in black and white “you are precious to me and I value our friendship
….and I don’t think anyone can do more than that.

#CougarHunterKla; A Quick Guide Around an Ageing Landscape

I went out a few nights ago to see what the town had become like in the long time I had been away. I was curious as to whether the nature of the cougar had changed not just in purpose by also in form. What I saw interested me. The layout of the land, the features, both the predators and the prey had all changed. The game has changed and it will never be the same again. Ever.
In purpose means that even though previously the cougar hunted to feed a basic deep-seated pathological need for control or a base human desire for physical contact and copulation, the current nature of the cougar has morphed in to a veiled, stealthy search for human connection. To reach out and touch another human being and not feel the dirt-related emotion of guilt often brought on by the exchange of gifts, money, or other incentives. There are emotions involved, feelings getting entangled, and dangerous liaisons.
The cougar now looks not for the sick, weak and dying prey; but the young, agile, and ambitious. My deduction is that this feeds their fixation with eternal youth, the search for relevance in a world that is fast changing, and the psychological need for re-assurance that age isn’t anything but a number. This is the new form I talked about above. The form has changed.
And the truth is that with this new form the game has taken the cougar hunter (or the hunted) must adapt. The oxymoronic nature of cougar hunting is perhaps one of its greatest attributes because the actual hunter (cougar) always plays the hunted while the hunted (cougar hunter) gains recourse and validation from playing the hunter. It’s no longer about how you look but what you know,;no longer about what you don’t have but what you aspire to; no longer about where you are from but how you connect with people. There is no place for insecurity and needy-ness. Well-rounded, balanced, mature, driven, energetic and empathetic is now in vogue.
Why? Because as the cougar hunter your duties now extend much further afield than any of your predecessors. You are the silent adviser, the ruthless guardian, the keeper of secrets, or simply a rake. You do not deliver command performances because you can but because they are required.
But above all, when it’s all done I guess the cougar hunter has his own brokenness which he feeds by doing what he does. Whatever pathology exists, it must never interfere with the job at hand. Never bribe you with ambition to go too far, or fast. Never deceive you with the notion of performance excellence. For in a game that sits subtly on the edge of egotism and self-gratification the perfect player must have no ego or satisfaction. He is after all the Van Helsing of cougars.
 Below are what I think are some guidelines on how to navigate the new landscape:
1. Be simple and straight forward
2. Don’t talk about shit you don’t know. Stick with the topics you are flawless at. #ExceptFootball
3. Unlearn everything you think you know. Experience fucks with people, twists them, and sheers their perspectives of the world. You must be objective and receptive. Listen, internalize, understand, and shut up. You must #LearnWithoutPrejudging
4. Do not disclose unnecessary information. Answer what you are asked. Stay away from your life story. People have sadder, grittier tales than you think you have. #SaveItForSomeoneWhoCares
5. Be prepared to walk away from it without any signs of clinginess. The hunter who displays the least sign of creating collateral damage when it’s over will always get picked because he isn’t as big a risk. Clingy=Needy=CougarRepellant
6. Do you. Music, Movies, Food, Conversation, Friends. They are probably doing them too. These things allow you to have personality, character, a soul. Not a mimic. They allow you to have opinions, points of view and arguments. But they are also key to your veneer of normalcy. #NoOneWantsACreepEspCougars
7. Be bad. Not spoilt, just bad. The kind of guy they’ll tell their friends and nieces never to date. This only makes you more of a #GuiltyPleasure
8. When hunting, do not over dress, overuse cologne, over do anything. Too much effort indicates an insecurity which will be prized out before long and then you’ll have no allure. Seeming comfortable in your skin makes you an emotional face in the crowd #OrdinaryJoesHavePotentialToSurprise
9. Always wear clean underwear. Cougars are clean. They hate dirt near their pussies. UTIs, VD and all that shit they don’t need. Also, it says you are mentally not as dirty as the things you do to them.  #CleanYourBusiness #NoUti #LeaveToliletSeatsDown
 10. No matter what it looks like. You are not out till you are out. #ClosersAreBetterThanGentlemen
#BonusRule The following morning; call. Always call. Don’t Text, Call. If you break your leg, Call. If the grim reaper is standing at your door, Call.  Call. Call. #InsecutiesThatMustBeCurbed