Food

The vice, that is service in Uganda…part one

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Someone once told me, that all we can sell is service, not food. And after a series of encounters with different Ugandan restaurants, I have surely come to believe the truth in the statement.

You know, a predominate number of Ugandans have a tendency to accept the situation around, no scratch that, ignore the situation around them. This goes for food and restaurants too. Ever wondered why “local” restaurants in interesting locations, some called “tonyinyira” survive and have very loyal customers compared to a number of fancy restaurants around. It’s the service that a one mama Nakamaki gives her customers, that leaves an impression and keeps them coming back even when they cannot disclose to their peers, where this amazing local restaurant they go to is.

Last week I went to one of my favourite restaurants, I mean their food is great, and to me, that’s a priority. But it was not the same. As I walked in, hoping my meal would take as little time to make as possible, I was approached by a smiling waiter, who welcomed me and handed me a menu. As he stood and waited for me to make my mind about my order, I gave him a signal of, “give me some space, so I make up my mind privately” with a smile of course, which thank God he was smart enough to understand. I knew what I wanted and I quickly made up my mind and called him back.

As I waited rather impatiently for the meal, I started to notice everything around me, the place was dirtier, less organised than I remember and the tip of the cake was a lady sited on a table in front of mine, yelling someone’s name in the kitchen, rather louder than civil. By the air around her, I knew she was probably the manager. Right next to her was a pile of forks and napkins that she was trying to organise in an unprofessional way, I was bothered by her folding of the napkin and I murmured words like, you are doing it wrong. Any way to get back to the point, this was a table in the sitting area, where we the customers are sited too, it was even more alarming as a waiter who was probably from the same village area approached her, and she laughed loudly and they had a loud conversation giggling. It looked like a market place like it was her homestead or something, I thought to myself and said that I would say something about it.

So as my waiter came back with the order, I told him that this was not a kitchen area and that table putting things together can shift to a back room or something. His expression quickly turned from shocked to embarrassed. I went on telling him that the food being good was not enough to sell them and some people will walk in, look at the place and leave without even thinking twice. He of course apologised and told me that the lady was a manager, in a torn of scared more than respect for her. We continued the conversation and I asked him to inform her, as I walked out.

So people please say something about a situation you see, we have guests that come to our country and are shocked at what we settle for. We deserve the best of life and great service and ambience are a few of those. Am yet to get back to the restaurant and see progress.

 

all things Good

I want more…

I want more to life than the status quo, than just an African gal whose only ambition, is to go through school (now that we are in the 21st century) and only allowed to dream of marriage as the ultimate goal in life. Why should it be like that. That while having a conversation as a current graduate, 90% of these questions are about a man in my life or about my husband to be, or the guy am supposing  staying with, and an addition a true concern and disbelief that am single. Don’t get me wrong, a husban or boyfriend is not a bad thing, these come at God’s timing, but isn’t there more to life? Rarely do people ask me, “what are your aspirations in life? what projects do you want to do? and my favorite, what are you doing to change the world?
Because of some of the norms in our society, girls don’t dare to dream beyond people’s expectations and we also grow up knowing this is the ultimate peak in life. I know girls who were genuinely worried and sad because they are graduating without a stable relationship or one that would lead to a marriage, whose dreams are to graduate get a husband, own a boutique a good house and car. I used to be angry and mad at them that they would not want more to life but released that this is all they choose to know, all they have known, from parents, brothers and friends and this is sad.
We cannot ignore the fact that more than half of our population as Uganda is female, therefore if we continue to put women in a box of what they can achieve then we at a loss. Raising little girls showing them that your job as a woman is to give birth, raise children and take care of husbands and homes. Again don’t get me wrong, this is not bad at all, on the contrary, to me its instinct, the way we were made as women, default settings, so giving birth taking care of a home, children and husband is something normal that brings joy, a beautiful thing but what about more, helping other women out of poverty, raising leaders in communities, raising the money to feed millions of starving children, finding cures to diseases and mentoring young girls to be more, dream more that the sky is only the beginning. Instead, we are living mediocre lives either struggling to feed our children or bragging to our peers on owning latest phones, handbags and hairstyles and how we don’t work but have all these things because our husbands can afford them. I refuse to be defined by what you think I am, because of who you think I am and how I look like. To think for me before I say a word, to judge me with your eyes and not hear what I have to say, to refuse to give me a chance to go beyond your expectations. I choose to walk in the finished works of my father, in my new identity that I have been given everything patterning to life and Godliness.
I want more, to be an agent of the change I want to see in my country, if we keep complaining about what the government should do and forget that the government is made of people like us, repeating the same mistakes generation after generation, again we fail. I choose to find the purpose that God has placed in my heart and live an intentional life, someone told me that however much pressure society puts on you, at the end of the day it’s your choice, change starts in your heart. Embracing the identity that God has graciously given to you and reminding yourself of what he says about you every day. So here is to all the women, girls and husbands who choose to see more, fathers and brothers that encourage the women in their lives to have purposeful and intentional lives. The people in my life have guided me and reminded me of all that God says about me, that am beautiful, am brave, am intelligent, am patient, caring, innovative among so many and taught me not to settle for the middle but always aim for the highest, keeping me accountable and I truly believe that I can be part of those women that change not only my country but the world.

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my expression of worship

I would not say, per say that am a very emotional person, I would rather think of myself as “Martha suck it up” .of course compared to an average gal ,hereby saying my  sister, let’s just say the gal is too emotional ,so I base on her  most of the time to rate myself. okay so I cry at a few movies and TV shows like undercover boss when the boss and the hardworking employee with three jobs are both crying, or that old show extreme makeover , when they rebuild homes for well deserved people, They feel me with a lot of emotion so I join the cry party, so one of those random days when an episode of undercover boss was on TV , and I was alone, I wasn’t embarrassed to cry and it so happens I had just gone through my first real heart break and it was still fresh and yeah painful, the crying was more, my elder sister walks in on me and she rushes and hugs me saying my  heart will heal and I would get over that boy, I accepted the hugs although the irony was that an episode of undercover boss was on, she didn’t know that when she is not home every one cries at these episodes , the gals I mean and my brother is always just in owe of our misplaced emotions as he calls them. Anyway stay with me, am getting to the point. Above all these things, music moves my emotions most, I love music and I learnt that music is not only an expression of worship but a spirit that can move even the most solidified hearts. I just break down and sing listen, let the music feel me up.

In the past being a Christian I had struggled a lot with keeping up my time table for reading the word but my relationship with God was growing, then I realized that it was the music, I sang songs to God all the time because as much as I loved singing I also realized that I always felt better and I was declaring God s word in my life. Someone once said that music is meditation explaining that ‘WORLDLY MUSIC” as they refer to it,( funny term) is not necessarily bad but what is the song saying, as a person you may not think anything to it but what we declare by month spoken or sang tends to actually reign in our lives, saying that how can someone think of being faithful to one person and respects them listens and sings music that idolizes women as b### and other words saying you cannot  have just one, and expect them to act otherwise, that’s word for thought.

Anyway my expression of worship to God is through music, that’s where I feel am close to touching him, if that’s a feeling, I feel un judged, safe, peaceful and home. So when I get up on stage on a Sunday morning, it doesn’t matter what am going through, all of a sudden my insecurities and fear fade and I let go, I sing so that others can also experience what I feel, experience a piece of their father. Sometimes my friends that come to church joke that up there I look like I smoked something, that am overly excited. well dah, to me music is my safe place and sometimes I like artistes and their music by the emotion I feel through the music or what they are trying to tell people whether they are in pain, experiencing amazing love or happy, I feel there spirit…I think. Anyway find your expression of worship, a place that keeps you sane and grounded.