The Other Son

Rufus squinted into the distance and wondered when the day would come to an end. His father’s estate was vast and he was charged with overseeing all the servants. As a young boy, he had dreamt of travelling and living the life of a merchant; seeing different cities and meeting new people. Dreams that came to a sudden halt when Toby, his younger brother had left.

“You must be mad!” Rufus had told Toby with an incredulous look “Papa will disown you!”

“There’s a whole life for me to live out there” Toby responded with more determination than Rufus had ever seen him have his entire life. His brother was stubborn and had caused their parents considerable stress growing up. However, it was usually nothing they couldn’t blame on hormones and boyish excitement. But this! This was extreme even for a wild child like Toby. To ask your father for your inheritance was akin to wishing him dead. Was he seeking to dishonor the entire family name?

Rufus was shaken back to the present when he heard excited murmurs among the workers of the field. They all went quiet abruptly as soon as he approached. Rufus was a diligent worker. His father’s estate was his entire life. He was also known as a no nonsense man who had a tendency to rule with an iron hand. He continued towards the house when he noticed more workers leaving the fields. There were still about three hours left to sunset.

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“Abu!” Rufus called to one of the servants “Why are you heading out at this time?”

“Your father has sent for everyone to get back to the house, master” the servant responded.

Rufus rushed to the house thinking it strange that his father did that. He usually left all matters up to him. He hadn’t been the same since Toby had left. Every morning he sat in the front yard facing the road that led into the city.

“Maybe today will be the day” he always mumbled to himself.

Rufus thought the old man had lost his mind. Why couldn’t he just consider Toby dead and move on with his life? Why was he letting him bring him this much grief even in his absence? Rufus braced himself for the worst. He was afraid the day he had been dreading since the night Toby had dishonored their father had arrived.

As he approached the house, Rufus was confused with what he heard. Music and laughter coming from the house.

“What is going on?” he asked the first servant he found.

“Your brother is back” the servant said cheerfully “and your father has ordered that the fatted calf be killed for him.”

Rufus looked into the house just in time to witness his father put a ring on Toby’s hand and embrace him excitedly. He felt tears burning in his eyes and stormed off towards the fields.

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“Did you see how the master ran towards him?”

“I thought he had finally lost it”

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On any other day, he would have chided the servants for what appeared to be careless gossip and freely disrespecting their master. On any other day, he would be focused on being the good son. The one who would bring joy back to his father’s eyes. That day wasn’t today.

“Rufus! Rufus!” he heard his father call after him, “come celebrate with us Rufus for this your brother was dead but now he lives again. He was lost but now he is found!”

“Why, Papa?” Rufus cried making no attempt to keep his voice down, “This fool wasted your wealth with prostitutes and has caused you nothing but grief and yet you killed the fatted cow for him. Yet I, even after remaining and being loyal to you, have never been given a goat to celebrate with my friends!”

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His father’s face fell and he moved towards him with open arms.

“My son” the father said tenderly, “all that I have is yours. You can celebrate all day if you want. You are my son.”

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All original illustrations by SketchKlanUG

Not Your own: A leader’s call

My favourite part of Michael Bay’s Transformers are the fights. I love it when the Autobots and the Decepticons got into battle because then I get to witness a whole lot of Transformation. I am not sure if I prefer the robots to the cars or the cars to the robots. All I know is they make change look so exciting. They make transformation look like one of the best things in the world, and maybe it is.

“Your life is not your own. Whatever you do, do it excellently for the benefit of community. “

This was the message that rang through out the Transform leader’s gathering at Worship Harvest Naalya on Saturday, 10th September, 2016. It didn’t matter who was speaking, every message was a demonstration of this. Moses Mukisa set the pace by reminding us that we were not saved just to wait for the day Jesus will come and “evacuate” us but rather to be a kingdom influence right here on earth.

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Moses Mukisa sharing at the start of the conference

Lorna Magara, Principal of Vine International Christian Academy, went on to further display this when she shared her story which to some extent is also the Vine story. A story which reminded us that while we may raise our children in Zion, we are raising them for Babylon. In addition to that, as Claude Nikondeha shared about neighbourliness and the work he was doing in Burundi, it was clear that there’s so much more to life than just meeting my needs.

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Participants during the response session

However, the afternoon session left me feeling like the Lord got me excited for Transform just for those forty minutes. It was near impossible to choose from the 12 sessions that were on offer. It was going to be a “working” lunch. By that I mean, we grabbed our lunches and went to different meeting places according to the session you had chosen to attend. I was conflicted but I finally settled on Personal Financial Management and growth (because money, am I right?)

I resigned from my last place of employment at the end of July this year and have therefore been on a wonderful rest. Contrary to popular belief, I did not jump ship because I had the promise of a better job nor did I leave to join the wonderful world of entrepreneurs. I had lost my peace and joy, and after some back and forth with my Lord and counselor, had made the decision. I left on the promise and assurance that it was time for me to move and that God would take care of me. The issue of money is very dear to my heart because as much as I have spent the better part of my life thinking of myself as low maintenance, I do not enjoy being broke. I was further stirred up by the previous messages about how I am meant to be a blessing. What kind of blessing was I going to be if week-in-week-out, I am believing for money to take me for Garage on Sunday?

I enjoy sitting under Moses Mukisa’s teaching because it is so simple. He gave practical steps to dealing with our financial deficiency. However, the thing that stood out for me and resonated with my spirit the most is the fact that money shows up in my head and my heart before it shows up in my pocket. This does not simply mean that I pray and fast for money and just wait for manifestation but rather that I have to increase my expectation of it. He says all of these amazing things in his book The Wealth Files which I was able to get at Transform for UGX 20,000 only!!! After reading it, I believe it should cost more, but I digress.

At the end of the day, the name made sense to me. Leaders are transformed so that they too can be agents of transformation in the world. I walked out with a mind that had been reminded that there is more to my dream job than just my fulfillment. There is more to the work I do than just meeting my needs and making me happy. I was also reminded that I could have a lot more money. In fact, for the kind of community transformation I have been called to, I should have A LOT of money!

I am grateful that before my next job opportunity makes its way to me, I’ve already gotten an opportunity to be reminded that there’s more to going to work than the end of the month paycheck. I am beyond grateful for the lessons I am learning about money management in preparation for handling a lot of it for Kingdom Business. I am enjoying this transformation. To the organisers of Transform Leader’s Gathering 2016, thank you so much for such a great job! Next year, I want to be on the team packing hampers or something; we shall figure it out.

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Did I mention there was food? 🙂

For The Children Uganda Concert : I think I found the stairway to heaven

I first experienced MoRoots early 2013. A friend invited me to her then gig ‘Soul Deep’ which up to now I’m not sure whether it was the name of the band or the name of the evenings, at Jazzville. It was love at first listen. I wanted to take her home with me. I like to tell anyone who cares to listen / read that I have a forever crush on this girl. I am amazed at how much she has accomplished in the past few years both in her music and in her day job. This lady has a day job!!!

MoRoots has this sweet huskiness to her voice, I prefer her cover of Rihanna’s stay to the original, I get goosebumps when she covers ‘aint no sunshine’ and can’t contain myself when she sings her ‘muluyimba’. If you ever get the chance, for those who have never, to listen to experience MoRoots, you might feel your heart racing while being the calmest you’ve been in a very long while (Even I can’t explain this), you might want to laugh and cry at the same time, you will want to run up and hug her yet be afraid to taint the awesomeness that she is at the same time. It is normal!!!

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Did I mention she slays on the saxophone too? Photo credit: Mukasa Bill 

I have known Sanyu (hahaha, she doesn’t even know I exist) , but yes, I have known Sanyu for about a month now. The first time I saw her, I saw those fiery dreadlocks of hers (they do look like bits of matches on fire) and thought she looked familiar. To this day, I do not know where I know her from. It was my first time at Worship Harvest Kati Kati and she came on to speak a message of encouragement after the music, her voice dripping with passion and that thing, whose name I do not know, that makes you feel like you are accepted, like someone loves you dearly. That is Sanyu’s voice. That is Sanyu’s speaking voice.

My first encounter with her singing voice was about a month ago, still at Worship Harvest Kati Kati, when she and my forever crush MoRoots serenaded us with a song about a man’s cologne and intelligence :). I was sold! At that moment, even if they had said that the ticket #ForTheChildrenUganda concert was the GDP of Uganda, I would have looked for that money. Sanyu and MoRoots sound like they were made to sing together! My Lord!

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Look at Sanyu! If only pictures came with sound! Photo credit: Mukasa Bill

Fast forward to Saturday 23rd July, the day of the concert. My accountant was not giving me good news. I was busy trying to convince myself that I did not have to go for the concert. I would not die if I missed it. I could always contribute to that building project when the money came in. At about 5:47pm, I received a text message asking if I still wanted to go. I’d spent the day lazing around, I’d convinced myself I could do without the concert which was supposed to be starting in thirteen minutes and I wasn’t even dressed. Long story short, I grabbed a dress and jumped on a boda boda to Serena.

The opening act was none other than a wonderful vocalist whose stage presence I absolutely love, Kenneth Mugabi performing his two hit songs “Kibon’omu” and “Naki”. I remember being so excited and wanting to tap everyone and kind of give them a heads up of how awesome he was going to be, but I had to behave, plus I did not know any of my neighbours except for the one I’d gone with. As it turned out, there was no need because he was ready to leave after Kenneth saying he felt his money was finished.

And then there were lights!!! And then there was that band!!! That band, which by the way was just a collection of really talented instrumentalists. They are not a band like Switchfoot or Nickelback that plays together all the time, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they played. You wouldn’t know it from how in sync they were with the vocalists and each other. You wouldn’t know it from the heavenly sounds they served that night. Was there anything about that entire concert that wasn’t out of this world? NONE!!!

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The band!!! Photo credit : Mukasa Bill

If I were asked to tell you what genre was played that night,I’d have to say it felt like a fusion of rock, jazz and soul. The most beautiful fusion of rock, jazz and soul ever. The passion in these ladies’ voices made every song sound ten times better. I am a radio presenter and I research my music. I went into this concert knowing almost all of each of their songs, (Hello soundcloud 🙂 )but I was often thrown aback at how different they sounded with the introduction of extra instrumentation and a new voice. Every MoRoots song sounded better with Sanyu on it. Every Sanyu song sounded better with MoRoots on it. Every song sounded better with the band on it. Everyone looked so beautiful with the lights on them.

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So much talent in one picture! Photo credit : Mukasa Bill
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#Speechless . Photo credit: Mukasa Bill

Things done in the name of charity or for charity are not usually all that. After all,it is a fundraiser, people will not complain if you ask for more money than the product’s worth. However, I feel like I should have paid more for this concert. So many times during the concert, I wanted , if I’d had the money to just go and  throw money at the entire crew Nigerian chief style. I am a lover of live band music. I occasionally attend concerts but truth be told, I have never been part of such a beautiful musical experience. I don’t know if I want to attend any more concerts this year for fear that they will ruin the beauty that was Sanyu and MoRoots.

Thank you so much for not only using your gift for a good cause but for blessing the world with it. Keep singing. Keep performing. Please adopt me 🙂

His ex

Today I prayed for his ex. I did not set out to do so however. I was praying for him and I saw her, no, not her face. Wouldn’t that be something? I heard her Name. I don’t even know what she looks like but that’s besides the point.

I prayed for her heart. When I look at him, I don’t see how anyone could let him go and be fine. I don’t see how he walks out of your life and does not leave a dent. I prayed that she cries her tears in the arms of God. I prayed that she doesn’t get stuck on this :how it could have been. Stuck on hating anyone who speaks well of him, checking out anyone who’s tagging him in pictures. I prayed that this experience wouldn’t define her experience with men henceforth.

The last time my heart was shattered, I felt so lost. I looked around my dark bedroom, clutched a pillow to my chest and cried. I cried because I did not understand how I’d found myself in that situation again. I couldn’t even pray. I just cried. So, I prayed for her because she might not Have the strength to say a prayer. I prayed for her because I’ve caught glimpses of his pain and I know there’s no way he felt it alone.

I prayed for her because my heart is warming up to him and I want him all to myself. I prayed for her because I plan on making him forget her. I prayed for her because she once meant something to him but now…

I am praying her out of him. Travel safe, travel far, let him be. I wish you well and there’s no hard feelings but please be gone because now I pray for him, for me, for us.