This is the closest I have ever come to writing about love, thanks to Muwado’s Roland for the constant nudge to pen something for Valentine’s day. It’s one of those things I am surprisingly shy about. Do not ask me ‘Why’ because I have no answer, but here I am, thinking of love in a whole new way. This I will attribute to one word-smith I encountered recently through social media and this particular Twitter post stood out for me on the eve of Valentine’s Day, 2018. It says;

One of the deep short pieces by @iambrillyant

Now to say these words didn’t cut through to my heart would be a lie. I read and re-read these words and pondered on what he really meant. Then I watched Flicka, a 2006 movie about the Wild West and a wild horse (Mustang) that wouldn’t be tamed except by LOVE, the love of one girl. No force but love would settle this wild beast. And to crown the story, she had the following words to say;

Kathleen McLaughlin – Flicka (2006)

“I believe there is a force in this world that lives beneath the surface, something primitive and wild that wakens when you need an extra push just to survive. Like wild forests that bloom after the fire turns a forest black.

Most people are afraid of it and keep it buried deep inside themselves. But there will always be a few people who will love what is untamed inside us.”

These two messages got me thinking about love and my ‘supposed’ experience of it and asking myself if I had ever truly appreciated what love is. Do I even know what love is? At this rate, I think not. I have mixed feelings about all this now and I am trying to work through it.

First and foremost, I acknowledge the Love of God. This love by the Lord Almighty, my true Father and source of all things true. For every moment I have pondered what a force love is, I have grown closer to Him who gives it. He has nurtured me through it all, even when I looked the other way and momentarily forgot about Him. He never blinks and never tires. Oh how many times He corrects me. I love how He reminds me that it is Him I need. And how fresh it feels to acknowledge His presence in my life. Read Proverbs 3:11-12

If you have never known the love of an earthly father, you may have nothing to compare with the heavenly Father’s love. His love is more gentle than a mother’s breast and stronger than a father’s arms at the same time. It is more intimate than a lover’s caress. It is more consistent than a child’s affection. It is agape. It is God’s love. If you could ever fathom it- His love alone would heal the aching of your broken heart. He absolutely adores you.  – Bishop T.D Jakes

And as I stumbled around some more, trying to understand love as we humanly perceive it and find clarity, this post found its way to my space. It’s a conversation between Kiah McBride and Billy Chapata, whose tweet I captured earlier in this post. She asks;

Would you say this generation has a false perception of love? What’s your perception of the current state of love?

Billy: I think this generation of love is just very skewed, and it’s very misleading.


… we base love on the premise of it being a feeling, and the problem with feelings is that feelings are fleeting. So if you feel happy or you feel sad, whatever the case may be, feelings are fleeting—they come and go. And the problem with basing your idea of love on the fact that it’s a feeling is that you’re also giving me (read: your loved one) the permission to just come and go as well.

“Love, in all honesty, is a choice.”

Read the full post here.

Do you now get why I am confused about this whole love affair? The hustle is real, I tell you! But in all this, and after looking back on the few relationships I have had in the name of love (count family and friends too), I believe I got it all wrong.  While I so much wanted to love the other person and make them happy enough to stay, I forgot that if I didn’t love myself first, I would never be truly able to love another person. Nobody else can make me truly happy. They can contribute to feelings of joy and satisfaction but happiness is my responsibility.

More importantly, you cannot give what you don’t have. Oprah says it best; “It’s okay to be full of yourself, because it’s only when your cup is overflowing that you can be able to serve others.” You can’t keep giving from an empty place. You have to keep yourself grounded, full. This may sound selfish but I have experienced it. I am at a point where I feel tired, drained and now I know, I have been giving a lot of what I did not have. It tires you emotionally, so you have to pull back a bit and take care of you first. Give the love to yourself first.

glow of woman
Written by Billy Chapata (@iambrillyant)


My third decade just dawned and with it, Hope. I hope that I will love harder than I have ever loved. I hope that I will have someone deserving to share this love with and who will truly love me back.

My twenties were a roller-coaster ride, graced with enough bumps to summon maturity out of me, just enough to appreciate the life and experiences I have so far. And above all, to learn to love right and to never forget myself in this picture.

That said, I celebrated myself on Valentine’s day. Not by doing anything out of the ordinary, but by renewing this relationship with me, and committing to myself in a way I had never done before. Allowing myself to feel and get lost in the motions of my emotions, taking note of every moment. And so it will be all year through and beyond. Therefore, to myself I say;

love yourself
Another piece from Billy Chapata


Lastly, a few titles I will be reading as I enjoy this self love include; Billy Chapata’s Sour Honey & Soul Food, for obvious reasons and A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson because every excerpt screams ‘it’s worth a read’ and Lupita N’yongo endorsed it. I’ll leave you with a famous quote from this book.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”




Only the Best that can Be


Sipping on a glass of wine in my awfully quiet little apartment (no one else is home) and I am so lost in thought, I didn’t see the lights go off nor be aware of the darkness wrapped around me until the lights come back on. My mind is invaded by troubled thoughts.


Today, 21st February, 2018, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) released the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) 2017 results and the pressure I felt from the former candidates was alarming. I am seriously concerned for these young people and this feeling brought to mind my own experience of this very moment, 11 years ago.

I was besides myself before the results were known to us. Unlike today, you had to wait about a week or so for the headteacher to pick the results from the city (if you studied from an upcountry school like I did) and you could then visit the school and check for your results, which would be displayed on the notice board for all to see.

Post to the UNEB Facebook page by a former UACE candidate

The pressure of not knowing what a certain group of people decided your brains amount to, the shame of being reduced to a failure if you didn’t get the maximum (read other people’s expected) score, the broken dreams because you didn’t satisfy society’s standard of academic excellence, all weighed down on my youthful hopes and dreams. Suddenly what could be, seems unachievable and you’re doomed to fail for the rest of your life. At least that’s what every influential figure in your life will make you feel. And by influential, I mean your parents, your immediate family and close friends.

For some reason, even if you scored the required minimum to be accepted into a decent university, it does not count. Whether what you scored is enough to get you into your dream career, they do not care. You simply didn’t score what they wanted and for that, you failed. You failed them, and they will make it clear to you. It won’t matter that you could cry tears of blood, no. They will make sure to make you feel their disappointment for all the wasted resources invested in your education thus far. And today, this hit close. My emotions were stirred and my heart cried for my girls and other young adults in their position.

Two of my nieces were part of the expectant lot, and as fate would have it, they didn’t score what their influential figures wanted. One of them, I delivered the results myself and made it clear to her that she made it, no matter what anybody else says. She can get into a decent university and set course for the rest of her life. She shouldn’t be discouraged. Right away, she started researching about possible careers to choose from. Great attitude.

The other unfortunately, I got to hear from her after she had literally starved herself all day because she had failed. Just so you know, she performed far better than her cousin but the feeling that dad and mum would not hear of it brought suicidal thoughts to her mind. She told me they would kill her and asked for the deadliest poison she could take before they came home. My heart was torn apart while reading her messages. She didn’t have to be feeling that way because she did well enough. Far better than many. But that wasn’t enough.

Newspaper headline

When I got my results, I felt awful. Not because I had the worst marks but because I had buried the only person that had promised to support me just a couple months before the results were announced. He had promised to help me enroll for the course I wanted regardless of what the results said. But that year, God had other plans. And my dad was called home exactly a week after I wrote my last exam. For me, he went with my dreams. Little did I know, I actually owned my dreams and had 100% potential to still achieve them. Instead, I was let to believe I was a failure and with that, I decided there was no point trying. I stopped trying and ‘let what come may’ became the motivation of everyday of my life for a long time.

Hearing these girls’ lamentations triggered a new feeling. The urge to protect them from the naysayers, parents especially. Because they aren’t to blame. Their parents are because their methods were wrong and that’s why they feel disappointed in their children. They did not empower these children to excel academically. The WHY was about them as parents and not the children. The children who excel are; 1. Already smart (they pass even with little effort) or 2. They have a strong reason to pass their exams. Which reason might as well be to leave their parents’ house for one reason or the other. Basically, they have a strong WHY (reason) to pass.

Food for thought:

So here’s what I have to say to parents:
If that child didn’t register an F, they they did well. Celebrate them. Maybe they could have done better, but that’s a by-gone. That’s as much as you empowered them to perform. Yes, I mean that. You only focused on what you expected but did not sit with your child and make them comfortable enough to share their troubles with school or even better, help them clarify a vision for themselves to motivate them beyond your encouragement. Even worse, some of you think paying school fees was enough and didn’t engage your children further. And another percentage of you thought that by enrolling your children for all the extra curricular activities was enough to say you sacrificed a lot for them to pass.

I know because if anyone had paid enough attention to what I loved, it would have been different. I was prohibited from participating in many activities that excited me, as opposed to help me learn the balance between the two. And even for my first university experience, I juggled two (boring) courses because someone else chose them. I had never been taught to object to anything an older person said. I was taught that being young, I didn’t have any right to an opinion. Still stands today in many ways, but I know better now.

I am grateful to have discovered my gifts before turning 30. Now, all I have to do is work on monetising them. For many, including you parents, you do not know your passions yet nor how to make a living with something you’re truly passionate about. It’s all about a job that pays you to survive and that’s the doctrine you are passing down to your children, the reason you are frustrated with their results. But times have changed.

I say, let them be. Congratulate them for passing through high school and not getting an F, or being a public nuisance. Then show them how the next step is up to them and that whatever they choose, they are solely responsible for. Help them appreciate your sweat to earn their livelihood and education. Take them to work. A real job to earn their first pay and save it for shopping for university. And whatever it is they choose to save for, totally exempt yourself from contributing to it. Key point is to teach them to be independent.

You’ve let technology be their master and then wonder why they do not respect you. Technology is good, but you are giving it to them the wrong way. You are not involved and are so distant to notice what they are doing with it. Its a force much needed but only the wise can benefit from it. Many are killing themselves because of all the negativity coming to them through their gadgets. They need a balance to overcome this. And that’s your love and support.

So calm your nerves and celebrate the child for completing high school with two principal passes or more. Help them choose their next step wisely. Show them the bigger picture. We sell to them shallow visions and wonder why they do not excel. Now’s the time to help them build their own vision. They still have a few months, get them a job to aid that vision. But in all you do, avoid negative criticism. Its the biggest crippler of a child’s (anyone’s) self esteem, which they need to make it through tomorrow, lest they crumble and be the failures you are calling them now.

Tomorrow is theirs, not yours. Forget about what you want them to do, we agree that you want the best for them, but it’s their life to live, their mile to walk. And no matter your best intentions, you can only make it worse from here. They are now adults, above 18 years of age. Your role in their life has now changed from being in charge to being a support system. If you truly want the best for them, hand them the steering wheel of the vehicle called their life and trust them to make it safely and with excellent decisiveness.

You may break your back trying to force your way on them, but the time will come when you will lose them to resentment against you because you got in their way of being the best version of themselves. And often times, as parents, you impose certain standards on the child because you aren’t happy with where you are. You are not living your dreams.

So forget about what you want for them, and guide them to find their path. Trust them to do the right thing and they won’t disappoint you. Stop looking for what they are not and focus on who they are now. See their strengths and nurture them. Your belief in them will make them apply the best of themselves and achieve the results that will make you proud as a parent.

They did not fail their national exams, they did their best.


Books, Tents and Buddies

Part of the team #EscapeToJinja

Talk about #breakinglymyts and you will describe my last weekend of 2017 fully.

I have, for a long time wanted to celebrate the holidays differently. And this year, God answered my prayers. Although Christmas found me gloomy and broke, the new year weekend fully compensated for this.

I arrived from a burial in Kanungu district, in South Western Uganda on the morning of Christmas eve, tired and sore. The journey to the town had been tedious and extremely uncomfortable, given the multitude of boxes and suitcases packed in the isle, leaving us sitting with our hand luggage and squeezed to the toes. I always travel comfortably with the Rwanda bound buses, which strategically pass through my hometown(Kabale) and have a thing for comfort of their passengers. Not only was my first trip to Kanungu tiring, it left me with swollen feet, something I had never experienced. I was scared to bits by what that meant, even though everyone else seemed familiar with the phenomenon. I had to stay an extra day to allow my blood pressure to normalise and my feet to lose the swelling.

The journey back, although a little more comfortable, was longer than normal. The transport team made a stop in Rukungiri district, and without any communication whatsoever, parked there for three hours. The passengers on board were agitated but what could we do? We eventually noticed the bus tyre was spoiled, thanks to the driver’s hasty driving through the rocky paths from Kanungu. It was frustrating because not only do the buses strictly move at night, we were subjected to a long wait without a place open to find food or water. While we were supposed to arrive in Kampala at about 5:00AM, we arrived at 9:00AM. I couldn’t wait to alight from that bus.

Fast forward, it’s yet another exciting weekend and there was a trip I was looking forward to. You can only anticipate what it will turn out to be but can never prepare yourself enough for the reality of how the events unfold.

The whole crew #TeamEscapeToJinja

A bunch of strangers meet at the New Vision Head Office in Industrial Area, and head out to the unknown. Among the group we were travelling with from Urban TV, was the famous Tinah Fierce, who hosts the show, Scoop on Scoop. I am not one for TV but every popular show will always find its way to my space, and I always look it up. I had watched the show a couple times and was shocked by her boldness as she called out on the most popular personalities in town. I honestly, was looking forward to meeting her and super careful not to make news for her. Lol!

First stop was Griffin Falls, a place well hidden in the mighty Mabira Forest along Jinja road. An hour long nature walk through the forest and we finally get to the activity I was highly anticipating above all those prepared for us. Zip Lining. Yes, I had decided that come what may, I was doing it. And bold I was, while getting the gear on, until the climb started. Mother of God!! I have never been so scared in my life. By the time I got to the top of the first tree, I was shaking like a leaf on one of those trees. I even thought I would throw up when the reality of how high above the ground I was hit me. The gentlemen handling us were kind, and by far the most patient people I have met. A little pep talk and I am reminded about my resolution to do this. Conquer this fear girl! And then came the push, Looooooorrrrddd!!! If they hadn’t specifically told me to pay attention to the person receiving me on the other end, I would have closed my eyes all through, while screaming my lungs out, which I so sharply did by the way. But then, what’s the beauty in not seeing the life above which I flew?

I, ready for the zip line experience
And the journey begins
Somewhere in the trees
Climbing up to the starting point

From the first tree to the sixth, I swang with the monkeys high up on the tree branches. And with every tree, my fear diminished. And just when I was getting the fun on, I had to descend back to the ground. How disappointing! And especially, what a thrill it was. If you want to defy death, or at least convince yourself that you are, Zip Lining should be on your list. It’s now checked off mine, with Bungee jumping and White Water rafting to go. Don’t ask me if I will dare, all I know is I have to try.

By now we are all friends, cracking jokes and laughing away like we knew each other before that day. A few puffs on the cigarette here and a couple swallows on beer there. We were quite a sight of excited comrades.

The venue was lit, tents prepared ahead for us, Goat roasting waiting for us and we can now call out a few names and faces off head already.

We were warmed all through the night
Yummy yummy yummy #GoatMeat
First tent experience

The Itanda falls was a force of nature to reckon with. Tales of rafting and dare-devil swimming on these waters were only imaginable. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would risk their lives like that. But then, I want to join the club, don’t I? So, my comment was reserved.

Earlier that day, something hilarious happened at breakfast. Someone opted for a beer and ripe banana instead of tea like everyone else. It was the talk of the moment, and all kinds of jokes were told around it. Who chooses beer and a banana for breakfast? The art of drinking alcohol was redefined for me, and I will never brag again that I have a strong head for that thirst quenching option. I met the champions. Hats off for these guys.

Many, many, many pictures later, it was time for the long awaited boat cruise to Samuka Island. What a fun ride on the waters of lake Victoria. A brief stop at the source of the Nile, and about half an hour or so of drinks, music and dancing, we get to the island. Beautiful place. I wanted to stay. It’s been added to my bucket list.

Our ride to Samuka Island
Itanda Falls
Beautiful sunset

The trip back to the mainland and campsite at Kingfisher resort, was memorable too. Blessed by a beautiful sunset, accompanied by the best DJ mixes, we danced ourselves tired, drunk enough to evoke endless happiness and in this moment, became a family.

At dinner that night, the person that is Tinah Fierce struck me so. I wondered how she became the person she is, what or who is her inspiration, the principles she lives by. And if any, the books she reads. Fierce suits her. I looked at myself and saw shy and timid in comparison, but she was strong, with a presence you couldn’t escape. All I kept thinking of was that I want my daughter to be as free to live as she. If anyone will be remembered most from this trip, it’s her. D’zyre too. The loudest duo on the team. Hahahaha.

The team from Ranges Expeditions, led by Comfort, was so creative in putting this trip together and keeping us engaged all through. This is one activity I would spend my money on every other season for the love of adventure and travelling and I look forward to more trips. And again, for company, these people would be my first choice.

I missed the final night of the trip. We went to Jinja town to watch the fireworks but especially, to experience the Jinja night life. We forgot one detail though; the entire Eastern tribe would be convening in the same town, filling up all the bars and streets alike. There was barely any place to stand and as soon as the fireworks danced to their last tune, we opted to buy drinks and head back to camp. After all, we were enough entertainment for ourselves. Unfortunately for me, by the time we arrived at camp, I could barely keep my eyes open and made straight for my tent and was soon after completely oblivious of the fun going on a few feet away. I only heard the tales at breakfast, on our way back to Kampala and they still continue, thanks to Whatsapp.

It was hesitant goodbyes as we parted ways but we also had missed home. At least I did, especially with the bugs crawling all over the same ground I had to sleep on. Not fun at all, I am still nursing an itchy skin from that dreaded encounter.

Bottom line, we had a great time. My twitter buddy @arthurtotally was part of the group and he has a tale of the Namawojjolo chicken, which he shared here.

Comfort and I
Myself, Aurellia, D’zyre and Agatha

What a trip; I read and finished a book by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. Major achievement. I dared face my fear for heights. I made new friends and there’s still a whole world out there, waiting to be explored, and this was just the beginning.

Therefore, here’s to life and adventure.


Must Read: Selfish Mediocrity

THIS week I caught an interview on the radio in which an Iranian-born Professor and defender of human rights used a phrase that hit me right in the gut when it landed. I knew both words in that phrase and have used them before, but the power of the combination of those word s was […]

via stop living a life of selfish mediocrity — scare-a-hero

Above is an article that has given me perspective, in a way I had never seen it before. Simon Kaheru shares in depth about two words that we know and use every other day but had never put together. When used together, the meaning is deep. Before you #Slay, read this.

I had to share it.

Random Thoughts 5


There times am so scared of being myself. During those moments, I will doubt myself to total incapacity and wont dare attempt anything for fear of being condemned by I-don’t-know-who. That fear is crippling, and almost stops my breath. Then I have to shake myself back to reality, where I remember I am a Child of GOD and totally put my faith in Him. And then a few wise quotes come back to me like;


Some of the times I set out to write, but I feel a discomfort; an insecurity of sorts that my thoughts/feelings expressed here will be turned against me. At the same time, I know I will choke on whatever I keep bottled in. Well, I write anyway and sometimes over edit later, while trying not to change the message. This fear is not unique to writing, and neither is it unique to me alone. We all have experiences to share or adventures to explore but hold back because we wonder how we will be judged or it may directly speak against a particular person or people and you fear for their reaction. I am a work in progress, still learning how to break this pattern of living in fear. I want to be free to express myself and have learned that I simply have to express myself, without worry. So here I am. In all other ventures, I vow to take action despite the fear, especially when the end result is so desired by me.


When love comes to my mind, I think of Kenny Rogers’s lyrics. They pretty much up sum up the kinda support system I want in that man I will share forever with. And now learning that what people think of me don’t matter that much, here is him who will have my heart. See that dreams part? Very important;

I’ll be there for you
You don’t have to feel alone
Like a shadow by your side
I’ll be with you right or wrong

You stumble and you fall
But you can always lean on me
I’ll be there to see you through
I’ll be there for you

I’ll be there for you
When your dreams seem far away
Even in the darkest night
You can face the world unafraid

And if you close your eyes
You will feel me next to you
No matter what you’re going through
I’ll be there for you

Here today, here tomorrow
Through the joy, laughter and sorrow
You’re in my heart with candid souls
If you could read my mind
You’d know …

I’ll be there for you
The one who comes to your rescue
I’m the one you’ll never leave
I’ll be there for you
No matter what you going through
I’ll be there for you


We all love an exceptional customer service experience, right? Especially when you least expect it. Well, am the type of Ugandan who uses a particular bodaboda cyclist whenever I am on the road. And from the three major stages I use around Kampala, I have my guys. It’s just three of them, not many. One in the city center, another at Jinja road; who by the way works the night shift, so no worries when I want to stay out late and the most important one is at the Home stage. This one has been a loyal partner for the last six years. I sometimes wonder what I would do without him.

Well, the Jinja road stage boda guy has been very observant since he started taking me home, and given he has small but pretty loud speakers attached to his motorcycle, he asked what music I am always listening to through my earphones. Being an addict to Country music, I tell him so. And he just said; Okay. I inquired to know why he asked, and he simply tells me to remove my earphones. And then just as we are taking off, my Gentle Giant, Don Williams’s voice comes blasting through the tiny loud speakers, followed by other famous Country songs from Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson and Dolly Parton. You can imagine my surprise and the smile I carried on my face all the way home. In fact, that trip was even shorter than everyday. With that, he won my loyalty and I call him every other evening, no matter where I am. No one else is taking my money. Hahaha.


Ever caught yourself doing the wrong thing at the wrong time? I know, that feeling of guilt and shame you get, I just felt it moments ago.

I am seated at my office desk on this Monday morning, with a line up of tasks to finish properly listed down in my notebook and spread out before me. But for some reason, my mind drifted to a place unknown. I honestly cannot tell you what was on my mind, because when I came to, I was playing a game of Mahjong on my phone. I shook my head and wondered how in the heavens I got to do that.

In case you did not know, that is a sign of boredom. And if you do not have tasks to complete on you, then you are very clearly idle. Bottom line, revisit your schedule, re-prioritize your tasks and or switch them up in a more exciting way to keep your brain awake and focused. But if, like me, you drifted off in the middle of a task, take a walk. You seriously need to re-energize your brain to focus on what’s in front of you and not drift off to things unimportant.


Strange but true. I needed a vacation after my vacation. Okay, maybe the word vacation is overrated. I took a break from work, just three days, with a weekend in between. In other words, Friday and then Monday and Tuesday. Saturday and Sunday were a bonus. But when I reported back to work on Wednesday, I swear to God, I needed to rest some more. As in, I had just come from an upcountry trip. I literally dragged myself through Wednesday. And then I crossed the line and my boss wasn’t gonna have it. She let me know how unacceptable my conduct was after I didn’t show up to work on Thursday without an explanation. Honestly, I just needed to sleep some more.

I did have have to check myself for what’s up, why I was feeling that way. I decided to blame my low energy levels on my poor physical exercise routine, low water in take and sleep deprivation. It’s true, I have been lax in those areas and I really have to step up my game. It’s on. I am up by 6:00am to workout and I am seriously considering signing up for swimming sessions in addition. Previously, it did wonders for me, my mood and my physic, it was great. Maybe that’s it!

I need an extra curricular activity. Away from work and home, a social but rewarding activity. Done! Thanks for helping me figure it out.

Let’s soar. #BreakingLymyts


Flowers for Mum

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” —Maya Angelou

Truth be told, we never really appreciate our parents until we have fully grown up. Through your younger years, it’s just about obedience to stay out of trouble and loads of feeling boxed in as a teenager. And as you grow and become a young adult, and start seeing what others have become, you then look back on your life and thank the heavens for who your parents have groomed you into. That you can start with your friends and be appreciated. And so is the story of my life. From wanting to grow up quickly so that I can leave home, I now have moments when I wish I could just go home and sit down with my mother and just talk. If my dad were still alive, it would probably be somewhat different but pretty much the same. I know, mixed feelings.

It’s been eleven years since my mother was widowed and I have not known a woman so strong, resilient, with an unshakable faith like her. I remember vividly her speech at her husband’s funeral. She stood tall and strong, and not once did she break down. I never saw her cry at all, even after. I should probably ask her if she did or maybe not. But she has been a stronger woman ever since, taking charge of affairs, the estate and all of us. I was still young, clueless about life and had just buried my promise for a great future with my dad. I was broken.

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” —Abraham Lincoln

The woman I call mother prays. Presently, she is up by 4:00am to pray and goes to bed around 2:00am, after praying. Being Catholic, she has a special devotion to Our Lady, whom she carries with her everywhere. They do everything together. Her day time is a prayer in itself because everything she does, she is praying while at it. She prays for everyone, and I swear, I live on her prayers everyday, else I would be falling farther than I have in this life of mine. She will visit the sick, those in prison, the troubled she will comfort and when she is not meeting people or doing the Lord’s work, she will be in her garden digging away with the strength of 30 year old. She is 76 years old and it’s rare to find her her sitting.

Meet Regina, my mother


The strongest aspect every single soul will remember about her always is her generosity. She is so welcoming and embracing of even the least persons. The helpless people know the way to our house, because they are sure there will be a plate of food for them. Even when we have close to nothing left for ourselves, mum will still share it with a stranger. Relatives come home for handouts and she never tires. She literally lives the message in the Gospel;

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

Growing up, we most times did not understand why she had to open the door for everyone but overtime we have grown to learn about the great virtue of charity, which she lives her everyday life by. Love for thy neighbor is a rule in her life that she must obey and she has taught us the same, though I believe I personally still have a long way to go, to be as kindhearted as she is. I have still so much to learn from her. She is not shaken by anything in this world because she serves a living God, whom she trusts unconditionally and doesn’t allow her human weaknesses to get in the way.  Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga say it best;

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” —Stevie Wonder

“Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me.” —Lady Gaga

Therefore, when I read a note somewhere on social media that said; “Better to give me flowers while am alive, instead of putting them on my grave”, I thought to myself that if I did not appreciate this woman now, I may never get the chance. I have known four women as her best friends, and they have been my mothers too. My favorite of them was called home by the Lord a year ago today, and exactly eleven months after her, my second favorite joined her, just as she had predicted while bidding farewell to their friend. Almost three months ago, we bid farewell to mum’s cousin, the only closest relative of hers that I knew. She was born an only child and her remaining friend can barely recognize us or do anything for herself. It only felt right that I gather the best flowers and give them to her. After all, the day we bid farewell to her friend whom we remember today, she refused to lay a wreath on her casket because they had agreed to exchange the flowers in their lifetime and only say a series of prayers for each other, whoever dies first. That was significant.

Girl on a mission in me then sent out notice to everyone, asking them to write a gratitude note for her 76th birthday, which I would bind together into a book and give her to read. The love for reading is one of the greatest gifts my mother has ever given me. The most important is herself, her unconditional love and constant support. So many gifts to count. The gift of work, for the hard-worker she is; the gift of friends, because of the great relations she has maintained and how she never forgets anyone; the gift of faith and love of the Lord, a faith so firm, grounded, unshakable; the gift of motherhood, for I know I will be a better mother having been raised by her.

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ―Washington Irving

Friends and family didn’t disappoint, the letters flooded in. The love and gratitude was overwhelming and accompanied by pictures to show her more love. Children, grandchildren, her friends’ children and many acquaintances all expressed their love for her. I delivered the gift, that bouquet of flowers, and her reaction was priceless. What some people wrote brought back floods of memories which she shared with us present. Beautiful moments. And above all, I really got to know her, to see the woman she is. To appreciate her struggles and efforts to give us the best.

After printing.
When it came to life at the workshop

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” —Mitch Albom

I hope to be the best version of the woman she wishes me to be. That I remember all she has taught me and practice it, so that others learn from my example. And I will leave you with a text from one of the letters written to her.

Kiki text
From one of her friend’s children

“If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.” —Booker T. Washington