Taxi Park Tales

It had been an un relenting hot day. After my all over the town spree, it was time to head towards the taxi park. Ladies are familiar with those days when your face ‘shinning’ like you have just been dipped into a can of oil. I had to first sit down, check in the bag within the bag which….

“Hajati jangu otulewano” who you calling Hajati I thought? I wanted to say something, ….. I kept wondering what I looked like under this heat! I let it pass as I prayed not to meet any former schoolmates. I was the first in the taxi so choose the middle row by the window. The first hawker came by “Senga teweguliddeyo kukazigo?”(Auntie won’t you buy yourself this cream?) he goes on to tell me how it would brighten up my face considering that I seem to have a sweaty skin…. First of all I am not his auntie I wanted to say something….. Just know I was not amused.

Just then the second passenger entered and sat in front of me. She was heavily pregnant. Those stages of pregnancy where you want to just go get it over with. I managed a smile, she was ‘shinning’ more than me. I felt for her as she summoned the hawker selling water. No sooner had she started drinking it than the next hawker came by selling men’s vests. “Eeeeh Nalongo, Salongo tomugulidde vesti?” (“EeeehNalongo-mother to twins, aren’t you buying Salongo father of twins, a vest? I nearly burst into laughter but then I remembered all I had had to endure while in the Taxi Park and that her feeling was just like the look on my face. She held her cool, but the hawker just kept at it, “kale mugulire kanokaseevaamwekubilevu. Kwegamba tewali Salongo kyomwagalizawano…?” (Maybe buy him this shaver so he can shave his beards. Don’t you desire for him to have anything from my collection?”)

As the taxi continued to fill up so did the hawkers. The last hawker came to the door, he had been singing “kaaaalekyutex, nekelesi, iyaring, ….kale abyetaaze…” (okaaaaaay, nail polish, necklace, earrings…does anyone need?) When no one responded, he stared some more and then turned to the driver and said “Duleva, abakaazi banobotwalangabanyivubulala?” (“Driver, the women you are transporting seem so angry?”). I could see that he used his mirror to check us out, all our eyes met his at the mirror. “Eeeeeh kambatereko Radio” he said as we started to move…..and there was this kadongo kamu song “Naye Samuwankoolabubiii…..”

In unison, the women said “tugyileko radio yo….” As they burst out and laughed….. then the chatter between them started on how the hawkers had annoyed them and all they had endured throughout their day.

I left the taxi park with a merrier heart I forgot about my face. I guess it’s true “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance….” Prov 15:13 and that a merry heart does good, like medicine…. – Prov 17:22 sometimes it is just good to lighten up and be humored by the whole experience.

 

 

Advertisements

Taxi Tales

It had been quite a while since I used a taxi (Matatu 14 passenger seats). Either I drove or was dropped and picked so that experience had sort of been a story of the paaaaaaast. During my campus days, it had been easy not to pay the conductor if he used a route other than the agreed one, pay the usual fee and or run if I had less than the fare…. Some things have changed, even some of us have changed.

Sister ogenda (are you going with us)? Shouted the tout as I was a few meters away from the taxi. I nodded in acknowledgment as I added some more speed. I normally sat behind, I did the same so as to have a better view of things.On our way the taxi kept picking and off-loading passengers. At one taxi stage, the taxi picked some campus students aka slay queens and ‘wanabe’ slay kings. It was a 1000/- journey at peak hours but normally 500/- would go,at off peak hours. A few minutes after picking the ‘slay’ people the conductor while eyeing them announces ‘Buliwogyikoyerayalukumi. Sagalasawulidde, sategeddenadallamwebasinciweeeni?’ (“At every stage it will be shs 1000/- I do not what you to say ‘I haven’t heard, I didn’t know, or since when?”). I had prepared 500 shillings to go to town and do some debt collection, but had shs2000/- for just in case I come back empty handed – I was on a tight budget.

What? They asked in shock. The chatter died a bit…for just like half a minute. I thought to let these new found friends of mine determine our fate since we seemed to be operating the same budget at the time. As much as I looked like the money bags, the difference between me and them at that moment was big; they were students and each had their ‘slay kings’ and I was alone!

Kasajjagweoyagalakutubba? – (“Do you want to cheat us you ‘ka’ man (used in a demeaning way)?”

Nzenzibemwe? Muja kumpasentezange. – (Me, steal from you? You will give me my money)

The students went on, the argument grew into insults between the driver and conductor against the students. The last I checked I still was only willing to part with shs 500/-. The frustration grew as I neared my destination. In an instance I prayed for one moment of eye contact with the conductor. God in His mercy made it happen while in a small traffic jam. With my sweaty palms I showed him the 500/- coin with that look of ‘have mercy on me’. He gave a slight nod of acknowledgement and asked if I was alighting.

He asked me to send my money which I did. The students went into another round of insults. Is it because she is your girlfriend,……? His response was, “if only you had spoken to me nicely like she did…” His response was biblical.

Prov 15:1“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger”

I was also nearly tempted to add my voice to theirs, I thought all the things they said but kept quiet. I know that my behavior in my youthful days may not have differed a lot from those young people and some older ones, but the proverbs are a word to a wise man.

 

 

External Gratitude

Gratitude is often a hard thing if it’s not an ingrained culture and even worse when everything seems to be going wrong. What is there to be grateful for? One tough moment after another at work, in health, marriage, exam, makes one forget the blessings of yesterday, and the things we deem simple and take for granted. How easy it is to be grateful when everything is going right! I know, because like many others, it is not my first inclination when caught between a rock and a hard place, hopes are shattered…..

David had been anointed King and prophesied over, but Saul sought his life making him live like a hunted man. Finally becomes king, losses a child because of his folly, goes to war and wins many victories with his men. On one occasion however they returned to an empty homestead. Everything they owned had been taken. David had a blend of both worlds – to praise and or to grumble in his lifetime right.

Throughout the Psalms David sings, praises and worships naturally when things are going well. He also trains himself to remember the faithfulness of God from the days of old in the times of great distress. In the midst of trouble, he not only prayed but reminded himself of God’s deliverance as a way to acknowledge that even in the midst of this Lord, I am alive to sing your praises.

Eternal gratitude goes beyond ‘thank you’ to ‘I will anything for you’, because it is to an eternal King to whom you and I owe everything.  The psalmist (Ps 3:5) says

“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for he Lord sustained me” in other words, even when it is not working yours and my way; we awoke because He sustained us. That alone is calls for gratitude.

When Christ died and rose again, He gave us what we could not earn; He eternally purchased for us all that we would physically need. The shelter in the times of storm, the place of refuge when no one can give us the time of day, the promises in His word, the ability to see, hold, feel, hear, taste, ….. may all seem small in light of what one may be facing or going through, imagine how worse it could be without any or either them?

To you Ooh Lord, I owe my very existence. May my heart never forget how you have sustained me and how far you have brought me; let my heart be grateful in every season – Amen

 

 

Stewardship

When we talk stewardship naturally we all think about money. I mean, it’s like the only thing we know concerning stewarding. Taking stock of my life, I realize there are many things that I have been entrusted with, ranging from the gifts I have been given, job, family, friends…

A steward is a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something. And stewardship is the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as time, an organization, the environment, gifts,…..all that we have been given stewardship over, we will not only be accountable to our bosses who we can tell anything, but also to God who will instead be asking us the questions, and to whom we cannot just tell anything.

Chris Brown is quoted saying, “stewardship is managing God’s blessings God’s ways for God’s glory.” The earth and all that is in it are His, so how we manage the environment, the way we handle the natural resources, how we till the ground…. should be to bring glory to his name because He owns them,

“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives us power to get wealth that you may establish His covenant …… Deut 8:18

Yes sometimes we think that our brains, our hands, our jobs… have brought us the material possessions we have! Remember it is He who gives the wisdom, remember that the earth and all its fullness are His and If He is the owner and the giver of them then we are only stewards. At that His desire is that we steward what He has entrusted us with well enough to bring him glory.

When we begin to see ourselves as stewards who are being held accountable for what has been entrusted to us, then we shall begin to treat our spouses and children with respect and honor, manage our time better, value and respect our jobs, love and treat our friends the way Jesus treats His own,care for our family better teaching them about Christ and passing on knowledge and skill, talents…to generations…. down to caring for our environment not to litter, dump or pollute, it all in light of who He is – the one who owns it all and to whom we will give an account.

We therefore ought to hold with regard what has been entrusted to us so as to see it multiply, grow into that which the giver meant for it. in every decision we make may you and I be more aware that we are being entrusted a stewardship role and all for the glory of His name.

 

Debt Paid

When we speak of debt, many times our hearts wonder off to the monetary debts. Okay I agree that debt is associated a lot with the monetary aspect more than any other aspect or sector. Those who become free from debt can relate. If you owe your landlord money, you are afraid of them finding you slaughtering a hen, cooking meat….. all because of what you owe.

Debt is defined as the state of owing;

                                a feeling of gratitude or service or favour

I have been there and I know the feeling when a debt is paid. When Adam and Eve fell we owed so much and there is no amount of cows, goats for sacrifice would have permanently paid the debt. Now imagine what you would have owed today because of the original sin and your own sins? In this day for some of us who come from places or cultures where you have to work for every cow or goat you own; while some of our brethren are given herds on the day they are born. Either way at the rate with which we sin and the sacrifices that would be needed to atone for the sin we would all be in debt no doubt!

After seven years we would be forgiven by those who we owe as was the Lord’s release only to get back into debt. What a cycle because debt would be running for generations and debt brings shame.

The standard would have been high and the stakes higher, we would never have made it and He knew it. Godin all His splendour gave up his best so we can see and experience freedom through the death and resurrection of Jesus. How wonderful that we do not have to live in the debt of sin? We were redeemed from death to life because the penalty of our sin (debt) was paid by His precious blood. That same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave is available to us to overcome debt in everything because He died for everything that would literary keep us from experiencing life to the fullest in Him. He died for all, once and for all so we can live a debt free life; however the choice remains yours and mine to embrace the debt clearance.

“……. Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law…….” Rom 13:8

May yours and my debt be only to love one another; how about that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak peek into my book. “A Retirement PLAN”

one day you will retire. You won’t be going to work. You won’t have office power any more. No influence or at best, a reduced influence. Your cash flow will also reduce! Check retirement date on your payslip.Always go for your 30days annual leave. Whatever you do during your leave, is what you will be doing when you retire. If all you do is to sleep or watch TV, then that’s what you are likely do do in your retirement. Remember the book of Proverbs. A little sleep and a little slumber, so shall your poverty multiply.

Watching Big Brother Naija will not save you heartache in retirement. Learn a trade or a skill during your leave. It will come handy. Spend your after-office hours learning something. Don’t spend it sleeping, Gossiping, watching TV!! Same goes for your weekend. Make them productive. You will thank yourself for spending your time productively.

Invest for your retirement… your children are not retirement investment. Don’t bank on your children’s support or the support of friends or relations. That’s a BIG risk. It may not happen. Be ready to take care of yourself!! Everyone has his own responsibilities. They won’t be able to help you that much. You will also lose your dignity and respect if you adopt a life of begging.

Start a hobby early in your working days to take you along when you retire. Rearing chicken, farming or own a shop. Acquire marketable skills ( not useless paper certificates) Etc

Where shall you retire. Build yourself a home. Don’t retire and start to rent a house or refuse to vacate government house. You will be at the mercy of your landlord at a time when your cash flow is not only reduced but unpredictable!!

Who shall be your dependants. By the time you retire, your children should be above 18, and self reliant.

Don’t retire and stay in a big city unless you can TRULY afford it. You can’t continue living in a big city after 60 with limited financial resources. The language and the hustle will be hard for you. Where possible, Relocate to a less expensive town where your reduced take home (pension) can go further.

Have property which can be rented or converted into cash. Have shares that pay good dividends. Plant cash trees. Rear goats, cultivate vegetables etc. these activities will not only give you income but will also keep you healthy.

Live a simple life. If you never built a house at your rural home, don’t use your retirement package to build. It is unwise unless you plan to live there on a permanent basis or you are super rich and therefore can afford the luxury. The choice is yours.

Note that many of retirees die early because of the following:

  1. They are Not mentally prepared to retire.
  2. Lack of finances
  3. They Lapse into Depression

4 They develop Hypertension/ Diabetes because of worries, anxiety and uncertainty “and financial pressures.

*YOUR DESK AT YOUR WORK PLACE IS NOT PERMANENT. PLAN  FOR YOUR RETIREMENT.

SPEAK WITH CONFIDENCE

Often times we speak to God and wonder whether He has heard, the humanness in us then causes you and I to resort to shouting as if He is devoid of hearing. I know some can relate with me on this one. Don’t you ever wonder, if in all His divinity He decided to create man in His own image, wouldn’t that mean He is capable of hearing? Whatever goes wrong in between praying and not receiving has nothing to do with His hearing abilities. What then goes wrong in between?

In Ezekiel 37: 1-14, God asked Ezekiel to speak the dry bones to live. Humanly speaking, whatever Ezekiel was looking at there, was termed ‘impossibility’. What if I speak and nothing happens? That question resonates with us all at the different times God has asked “child (put your name) all that pertains to life and godliness I have given you. Do you believe it?” which is why like Ezekiel our response would be “O Lord, You know.”

And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!

The act of prophesying which required him to speak is what we do in prayer; speaking to the Father and listening to Him speak back to us. What happens in that conversation requires the simple act of faith in the one who knows the end from the beginning of a thing.  When God commanded Ezekiel to speak to the dry bones, all that was required of him was belief and faith in the One who asked him to do it. When he did as was commanded “So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.” – Ez 37:7

It came to Ezekiel that he not only needed to have confidence in the one who was asking him to speak, but also to speak to these bones with the authority of the sender; not relying in his ability to speak eloquently or even shout.

 

If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. Jn 14:14 commands us to ask not shout, beg, cajole or the other things we love to do as if to arm twist Him, and He will do it. The presence of the Holy Spirit tells us about all things; in this way enabling us to pray within His will and in His name. This is the power and authority He has given to His children. Christ goes on to leave us another command; “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”Matt 18:19

 

How about if we spoke to any situation with that confidence in the authority He left us, wouldn’t we be hearing the rattling? To speak with confidence is to have faith that you are speaking with God’s given authority as He has commanded you. The results which will be by His doing will bring Him glory.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 Jn 5:14