I have no words. I once read this story in the New Vision, and I heard a call to make a social action documentary, about how the government of Uganda ignores certain diseases, and focuses on diseases that donors say it should focus on. They pour money into TB, AIDS, Malaria, and now on maternal health – and yet being pregnant is not even a disease! It’s 100% natural, but (okay, that’s for another story) – there are sicknesses that are killing Ugandans, and no one is doing anything about it. Like DMD, duchenne muscular dystrophy, a terrible killer.

It’s sad to see a young life wasted,
reduced to waiting for the grim reaper.

I visited this family in Wakiso district, and spent a day with them. I am hoping to convince a physiotherapist to visit the family and train them on how to care for their sick children, but this case makes me speechless. I do not know if I have the heart to make this film.

Three children have already died in the family. One boy is suffering from advanced stages of the disease. He may go any time soon. The other three boys are still young, but already showing signs of the killer.

What does the future hold for me? Julius seems to ask.

It is a very depressing story. Of little boys waiting to day. Of a family living in abject poverty. Of disease and hopelessness. Of a family that has been abandoned by neighbours, relatives and friends because they are thought to be carrying a curse.

I feel helpless.

And I feel gagged.

It doesn’t look good at all, Julius seems to say.

There is a very bad attitude going round in the media. It has corrupted artists, writers and film makers. They say you should avoid the kind of stories that BBC and CNN tell about Africa. Stories that stereotype Africa as a place of wars, poverty and disease. The Caine Prize was once heavily criticized for picking stories that some say depict Africa in a ‘negative’ way. Some call it ‘poverty porn’. It bowed to that pressure. Sadly.

But it makes me angry. And I want to ask these stupid people who want us not to tell stories of people like Paul Kayonga and is unfortunate family. I want to ask them one question; If we all keep silent, if we only write about the partying in Kampala, and crazy sex in night clubs like in Viva Riva, and how Africa has a lifestyle and atmosphere that is similar to the good life in Europe and America and Asia — if we do not speak about the poverty, the wars, the diseases like duchenne muscular dystrophy that attacks unfortunately families and pushes them deeper into poverty, is that not escapism?

Who will speak for such people? Who will tell the stories to inspire social action? Shall we not end up like the USA, a capitalist hell where only the rich have a voice? Where only those who have means can be heard?

I think those who do not want to ‘stereotype’ Africa, and want to only tell stories of the ‘good’ side of Africa, have lived in Europe and America, or grown up in cities, and are out of touch with reality.

I want to tell this story. I think that portraying people in a positive light does not mean avoiding ‘poverty porn’. Instead, it involves painting a picture of how brave such families are. Of how surviving against all odds.

I hope I will be able to tell this story. Please God, give me the strength to tell it.

All smiles upon getting beans from a good neighbour. Now supper is assured.
Mother and her children prepare beans for supper.
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Of Dreams and Nightmares

This post is an example of why some people should not be allowed to write blogs without supervision….. 

Photo pirated from facebook, don’t know who to credit

So I’m sitting here, looking at this blank page, and wondering what I can write to make you, my dear Chewy, laugh. Maybe I should put some of the pictures I saw on facebook last week, like the one with the tattoo. But that picture gave me nightmares, so I wonder if you should really see it. I dreamt that I was in China, and this woman with a magic pen was writing on my back. When she finished, I started to grow feathers, and then wings sprouted out of my back, and I turned into a giant cock —

Ah. Not the cock of porn films. But a real rooster, and every time I tried to speak, the only sounds I could make was something like coo-ko-lilo-koko! And then there was this Chinese girl laughing at me, and telling her friends, “Hey. When did you ever see a village rooster crowing in a town?” That is supposed to be a Swahili proverb. I was so pissed with her for speaking Swahili in Chinese – whatever that means, in the dream, it was so real – that I turned my rear end on her and let out a bucket of diarrhoea right onto her face!

 Recommended Video: 6.5 million views on YouTube.
What Happened in Room 13. 

Stupid dream. But it isn’t as stupid as the one you had, of a Japanese ghost. The geisha in a blue dress. I think she came into my dreams too. She was rowing a boat made out of feather — what are feather doing in my dreams! – and she had a face as white as cassava flour. I was sitting with you on the beach, watching the sunset, and at first we thought she was a swan swimming through the lake at sunset. But when she got close enough, we saw what she was. And she leapt off the boat and flew at us —

And we ran further down the beach until we found a group of people dancing naked around a fire, in the beams of the full moon, we stripped and joined them and we danced to the music of a guitar. Only that it turned out they were all dead people —

I think you can guess how bored I am right now. That I’m suffering from what some fools call a writer’s block —  I don’t think it’s that at all. I’m just tired. Tired of making applications. Been making them all week long. Whew, let me go cook some chicken then I’ll see how to make this a blog post worth reading. 

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