Posted in Short stories

Book crazy

I have been reading quite a bit ever since I went on holiday.

I am enjoying this so much because even though most of the novels am reading have been prescribed for my course next year, I just love reading so much.

I find it therapeutic. And. If you happen to be a dreamer like I am, reading gives me the opportunity to relate with a character. Most protagonists in the novels I’ve read become my family.

Anyway.

Ive just been feeling quite uneasy lately.

I need someone to vent to about novels that I expect to be good but turn out horrible.

Also I have been talking about books ever since I got home and I think my dad will move out of the house soon if I start another conversation with “Dad! Have you read…..”

So

Over the next few weeks, this blog is going to be that friend that I speak to when I fall in love with a novel and when I absolutely loathe what I have just read.

Also I missed blogging. Writing this feels really good.

See you soon xxxx

 

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Posted in Short stories

No Trespassing Allowed

On a sunny Ugandan afternoon. My family and I arrived at Para safari lodge. Para is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful scenery, swimming pool and overpriced soda’s.

While my mum was at the reception getting our accommodation sorted, my dad and I decided to take a seat outside by the pool. The air was humid and the pool was surrounded by overly excited white Europeans and Americans.

We were seated waiting to be served. A gentleman approached us. He greeted us with a fake smile and proceeded to ask us whether we could move inside as the poolside was reserved for guests.

I looked around and noticed that not only were we the only Ugandans excluding the waiters around the pool. We were also the only black people around the pool.

Furious. My dad asked him why is it we were being asked to go inside.

The gentleman exaggerated his fake smile and said again that the pool area was for guests. Only this time he added that it was for guests sleeping at the hotel. He said guests who are only visiting for the day were welcome to sit inside.

This man had not offered us anything us anything to drink nor had he even bothered to ask us where we were from.

This man was Ugandan.

Trying to avoid a scene, I picked up my glasses and prepared to make my way inside. My dad continued staring at the man. He laughed and asked the man why he simply assumed we were not guests at the hotel. Not waiting for a response, my dad proceeded to educate the man on effects of colonialism.

Defeated. The man let us be.

Already irritated but still hungry my dad decided that we would have our lunch at Para and find accommodation elsewhere as it was clear that we were not considered “tourists.”

We made our way to the dining hall.

Outside. The tables were neatly arranged and decorated. The tables faced the lake were guests could watch the ferry float by while having lunch.

We got a table.

As we got comfortable. Another man approached.

This one was serious.

He greeted us and then asked to take a seat inside. He said the chairs outside were reserved for their guests.

There it was again.

“Guests”

This man was also Ugandan.

Exhausted from the previous incident, my dad picked his keys from the perfectly laid out table and walked out the door.

We drove back and had lunch in Masindi.

I have always known I was black. This has never been a problem for me. However, that day. In that hotel. In my country. I felt black. I felt different. I felt unwanted.

Posted in Short stories

Dear dance

Thank you for making me love me!

Thank you for making me shakey bum bum.

Thank you for getting me out of bed at midnight just to shoki.

Thank you for making me coupe decale to Awilo Logomba’s coupe bibamba when am working on an assignment due the next day.

Thank you for making me kutagurira when I miss home.

Dear dance thank you for making me feel free.

Check out the video below to learn a few moves we Africans love to use when we get down

 

Posted in Short stories

Confused as fuck!

INSECURE

Nathan: (Speaking)

I really like his beard It is clean not like those dirty ones covered with food…. their daughter is pretty too I remember what it is like to be that young she looks so free look at her his wife she is so beautiful okay focus…. Jess just walked in why is she so late… okay….. Marj  pay attention there is an award winning poet in the room look around you everyone is writing….. but I do not understand

Stop it look around you everyone is writing

Nathan: (Speaking)

Wait!

Jess is not writing but Guin is going hard okay focus listen….fuck I cannot understand anything he is saying why am I being rude stop it Marj how can you not understand everyone else is writing start writing ……okay….. I will write that he says fuck a lot he says fuck a lot I wonder what his wife thinks about that ……mind your own business

(Laughter)

Shit wait what did he say come on man focus what don’t you understand look everyone is writing but you…. focus…. just relax…. focus

Nathan: (Speaking)

Let me grab a copy of his work I like that he is changing the narrative I have not come across many comic books with black characters

I grab a copy of one of his many comic books. I am so excited to open and read the content.

Fuck it is in Afrikaans

Posted in Short stories

Once upon a failed assignment

I am ashamed to admit that in two years of being at Rhodes University the old white and partly brown stained building next to Drostdy Arch has never struck me as interesting. But Scifest is in town, taking me where I have never been. Believe me when I say I was shocked to see that there was actually stuff in there.

I immediately abandoned my African fresh water insect mission (sorry, Scifest) and quietly followed the pushing and shoving of eager students into a world of adventure and learning. The Albany Museum is really something else. It is a great learning space for students and adults who prefer to be in the company of artefacts and objects that are well taken care of and secure parts of our history that we tend to forget.

Each room exhibited different animal species, fossils and several traditional fishing objects I did not even know existed. From mammals to different types of insects – you name it, it all exists in that haunted looking building. I was quickly spotted by the tiny humans who discovered I had a camera in hand and they eagerly stepped forward to have their memories captured by a stranger.

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I was clearly not the only one having a great time at the museum. Photo credits: Marjorie Rugunda

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Photo credits: Marjorie Rugunda

We left the world of mammals and ventured into what resembled a bird sanctuary. The students stood with their cell phones taking selfies while others preferred to listen keenly to their teacher who quizzed them on what bird species were most common in Africa. I then followed the beaming smiles to a section of wetlands, were we were taught about the importance of conservation and preserving our wetlands. The knowledge shared within that space was truly exuberating.

I was content and satisfied with much of what was on display but while taking a picture of three fashion-forward students from Amazizi Senior Secondary School, I noticed that the tiny feet I had met on my way into the museum were in a room that exhibited important aspects of the AmaXhosa culture. The walls were covered with photographs of astonishing AmaXhosa women covered in traditional cosmetics. Together with photos that showcase different rites of passage practised by the AmaXhosa. In the middle of the room, a casket-looking glass cabinet displays different traditional plants, sticks and stones used by the AmaXhosa. These objects raged from Umnquma a traditional stick to Umavumbuka, a root parasite that the AmaXhosa use to prevent pimples and as sunscreen.

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Students pose for a picture while navigating a room that displayed  aspects of AmaXhosa culture at the Albany museum. Photo credits: Marjorie Rugunda

Museums are there to educate and to exhibit important aspects of our history. This room in particular I felt was really important because it conserves significant parts of a culture. I was glad to be among the students as they glanced at photos and objects celebrating their culture. It was an amazing experience for me being that I am an international student living in the Eastern Cape. I felt that in that room at that moment it was the right time to ask the students if they were enjoying themselves. And in high-pitched voices they all screamed YES!

Posted in Short stories

Unforgettable experiences

Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I especially love to engage with children and find what is they are thinking or interested in. A few months ago I was lucky enough to teach Grade 7 students by partnering with Awarenet an organization located in Joza Grahamstown South Africa. Together with a few classmates of mine from Rhodes University, we embarked on a four week journey with these students teaching them how to write articles for Youth day.

Photo credits: Chiara B.

The biggest challenge was really to break down how to write an article in the easiest way eleven year olds can understand. The first few weeks were particularly interesting because we got some really exciting story ideas from the students. I was impressed at how aware these students are about some of the important issues that affect a number of youth in South Africa. These story ideas raged from teen pregnancy to drug Abuse and some decided to write about the youth that inspired them.

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Group photo with Grade 7 students from Awarenet and fellow classmates from Rhodes University. Photo credits: Awarenet

Personally I learnt how to communicate and how to listen. But most importantly how to be patient. Teaching younger students can be a bit stressful especially because their minds tend to wonder constantly. The teaching process also took place in computer laboratory so that made it the teaching and guidance process even more difficult because they were more interested in surfing the net. However these particular students were also eager learners and despite a few setbacks by the end of week four we had about eight well written articles for youth day that were then published in Grahamstown’s local newspaper Grocott’s Mail.

 

Posted in Short stories

Blogging: (Eish the struggle)

I have been blogging for a  few months now and “boy oh boy” it has not been the easiest thing. I am generally an individual that does not like to share much, so this process has been a difficult one.

I apologize   for not blogging frequently. The last thing I want is for this to be one of those once a month post blogs. I have day to day activities I love to do and as much as I wanted to share these things, part of me felt that I would not enjoy them as much as I do if I opened up.

But I think we grow from taking risks.

So…………..

Indoor cycling
The Indoor Cycling Studio at Rhodes University Grahamstown, South Africa

One of the things am completely passionate about is cycling and more specifically Indoor cycling. I have been a frequent spinner for two years now and proud to say that this passion pushed me to apply for the position of Indoor cycling manager at Rhodes University which I successfully got.

At the moment am waiting for a response to whether my audition for as a spinning Instructor was successful.

I am more than happy to share this because I hope someone out there is as passionate as about spinning just as I am,

Over the next few months I hope to open up more about my passion for adventure, health and generally life.

Here’s to being brave and risk taking.