1. Tenders and Credibility
  2. Infinity of the word I’m not supposed to say loud
  3. Good divorce is better than a lousy marriage
  4. However a small line
  5. About the blind texts almost
  6. It is a paradisematic country
  7. The lights divided
  8. The coast of the Semantics
  9. Supplies it with the necessary
  10. Made open likeness
  11. She hasn’t been rewritten
  12. Dragged her into their agency
  13. Had grass morning
  14. Where they abused her
  15. Nothing the copy said could
  16. Heaven it in so upon so life
  17. Said could convince her and
  18. Around and return to its own
  19. Plants are noticed by me
  20. Simple and regular than
  21. Replenish itself
  22. Came from it would have been
  23. Pityful a rethoric ques
  24. If several languages coalesce
  25. When I hear the buzz
  26. Spirit gathered divided
  27. Cattle i green first good
  28. Pronunciation more common
  29. She reached the first hills
  30. To achieve this it would be necessary
  31. I neglect my talents
  32. She packed her seven versalia
  33. Appear she’d also seed
  34. Heaven and earth seem
  35. The blind texts it is an almost
  36. I should be incapable
  37. Evening be whose seasons
  38. Plants are noticed by me
  39. That it might be the mirror
  40. Don’t Walk On Our Grass
  41. Their pronunciation and their most
  42. Unknown plants are noticed
  43. Grammar resulting language
  44. It is a paradisematic country
  45. World among the stalks
  46. Tuesday Morning
  47. A Man Drowned In Memory
  48. Onboarding for New Hires – The time that makes or breaks them
  49. Short-term Hiring – A crisis or an opportunity?
  50. Strategic planning for maximum performance and ROI – How will your employees know, buy in and deliver
  51. Selection Interview – May the Best Candidate Join Your Organisation
  52. Oh, Jenny. Did Five Years Fly By?
  53. Then they are still using her
  54. Could refuse to pay expensive
  55. Could impress upon paper
  56. Morning Thoughts
  57. Her for their projects again
  58. Heaven and earth seem
  59. We Deserve Better
  60. Where it came from it
  61. Constitution
  62. When darkness overspreads
  63. Then she continued her way
  64. Theft on a Grand Scale
  65. My soul is the mirror
  66. Into the belt and made
  67. The breath of that universal love
  68. Your Business Objectives: Set Them, Meet Them, Beat Them
  69. Of Language and Love
  70. Remebering Tumusiime Rushegye
  71. Star and Billy
  72. Being Blocked By @KCCAUG, @KCCAED and the rest of KCCA
  73. Born of a Rock
  74. Anything and Nothing, Really
  75. Hire and Fire – Management Reality; How is staff turnover affecting the workplace
  76. No, I Don’t Believe In You
  77. Tenders
  78. The other day I drove through Zziru
  79. Advertising Wife
  80. Somewhat Strange
  81. Beware of this when you hire your next ad guru
  82. Creative Director – What Animal Is This?
  83. Advertising Scene in Uganda – Highlights
  84. It’s That Simple
  85. Passion, Motivation, Team Integration – How To Get People to Open Up, Style Up and Step Up
  86. First, Break All the Rules – What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
  87. Business Model Generation
  88. Bold – How to Be Brave in Business and Win
  89. Thus Flied Away Life
  90. Facebook Friend Insist – Turned Bad
  91. I Am Vince
  92. Is Your Latest Recruit Fit For the Job At Hand
  93. Fishermen on Lake Victoria
  94. Unconfused Mind
  95. #CancerUG Alex Mulamba dies
  96. Amama’s Diction and People’s Funny Reactions
  97. #9 vs Obama Challenge
  98. The Ugandan Workforce – A Challenge to Employees and Managers Alike
  99. Sequence of seven in 140 characters
  100. Pesma bezimena – A Poem With No Name
  101. Things I Learnt from Pumpkin
  102. Understanding What Infidelity Does
  103. We are Developing World with Manhattan Prices
  104. In Love, Loving, Loved
  105. The War Is Real
  106. When Montenegro Declared War on Japan
  107. An Update on Mediation at Commercial Court, Closed Today
  108. What Clients Want From an Ad Agency?
  109. Time to rethink the things we do #CancerUG
  110. Rainy Season
  111. Why folding your trouser leg can bring misery of catastrophic proportions
  112. Gypsy-orange
  113. #CancerUG – simple thoughts but let us start
  114. Little Treasures, Rediscovered
  115. I’ll make you a deal.
  116. The days I left in the past
  117. Road to Home
  118. Loved by the Darkness, 1996
  119. A tribute to Rosemary and the legacy her passing has the opportunity to create
  120. Damn it!
  121. When it rains, it kills.
  122. Kao da ne znam – As if I don’t know
  123. The War is Real!
  124. Joan. Gone Too Soon.
  125. The Story With No End
  126. Inspired by Technology – My impressions of entries into 2014 ACIA Awards
  127. To The Pompous Little Dimwit
  128. Blood-green ……. Krvavo zeleno
  129. A message to my stupid girlfriend (or potentially at least half a dozen of them)
  130. Randomness of rain, when I least need it.
  131. Soul
  132. For Kelley
  133. Little Clicking Noises
  134. Walk Alone
  135. It is Grover Washington
  136. Angry
  137. Of The Desert
  138. When I Go To Sleep
  139. Never Fall In Love With A Liar
  140. In The Village Of My Ancestors – by Vasko Popa
Saturday, December 14, 2019
  1. Tenders and Credibility
  2. Infinity of the word I’m not supposed to say loud
  3. Good divorce is better than a lousy marriage
  4. However a small line
  5. About the blind texts almost
  6. It is a paradisematic country
  7. The lights divided
  8. The coast of the Semantics
  9. Supplies it with the necessary
  10. Made open likeness
  11. She hasn’t been rewritten
  12. Dragged her into their agency
  13. Had grass morning
  14. Where they abused her
  15. Nothing the copy said could
  16. Heaven it in so upon so life
  17. Said could convince her and
  18. Around and return to its own
  19. Plants are noticed by me
  20. Simple and regular than
  21. Replenish itself
  22. Came from it would have been
  23. Pityful a rethoric ques
  24. If several languages coalesce
  25. When I hear the buzz
  26. Spirit gathered divided
  27. Cattle i green first good
  28. Pronunciation more common
  29. She reached the first hills
  30. To achieve this it would be necessary
  31. I neglect my talents
  32. She packed her seven versalia
  33. Appear she’d also seed
  34. Heaven and earth seem
  35. The blind texts it is an almost
  36. I should be incapable
  37. Evening be whose seasons
  38. Plants are noticed by me
  39. That it might be the mirror
  40. Don’t Walk On Our Grass
  41. Their pronunciation and their most
  42. Unknown plants are noticed
  43. Grammar resulting language
  44. It is a paradisematic country
  45. World among the stalks
  46. Tuesday Morning
  47. A Man Drowned In Memory
  48. Onboarding for New Hires – The time that makes or breaks them
  49. Short-term Hiring – A crisis or an opportunity?
  50. Strategic planning for maximum performance and ROI – How will your employees know, buy in and deliver
  51. Selection Interview – May the Best Candidate Join Your Organisation
  52. Oh, Jenny. Did Five Years Fly By?
  53. Then they are still using her
  54. Could refuse to pay expensive
  55. Could impress upon paper
  56. Morning Thoughts
  57. Her for their projects again
  58. Heaven and earth seem
  59. We Deserve Better
  60. Where it came from it
  61. Constitution
  62. When darkness overspreads
  63. Then she continued her way
  64. Theft on a Grand Scale
  65. My soul is the mirror
  66. Into the belt and made
  67. The breath of that universal love
  68. Your Business Objectives: Set Them, Meet Them, Beat Them
  69. Of Language and Love
  70. Remebering Tumusiime Rushegye
  71. Star and Billy
  72. Being Blocked By @KCCAUG, @KCCAED and the rest of KCCA
  73. Born of a Rock
  74. Anything and Nothing, Really
  75. Hire and Fire – Management Reality; How is staff turnover affecting the workplace
  76. No, I Don’t Believe In You
  77. Tenders
  78. The other day I drove through Zziru
  79. Advertising Wife
  80. Somewhat Strange
  81. Beware of this when you hire your next ad guru
  82. Creative Director – What Animal Is This?
  83. Advertising Scene in Uganda – Highlights
  84. It’s That Simple
  85. Passion, Motivation, Team Integration – How To Get People to Open Up, Style Up and Step Up
  86. First, Break All the Rules – What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
  87. Business Model Generation
  88. Bold – How to Be Brave in Business and Win
  89. Thus Flied Away Life
  90. Facebook Friend Insist – Turned Bad
  91. I Am Vince
  92. Is Your Latest Recruit Fit For the Job At Hand
  93. Fishermen on Lake Victoria
  94. Unconfused Mind
  95. #CancerUG Alex Mulamba dies
  96. Amama’s Diction and People’s Funny Reactions
  97. #9 vs Obama Challenge
  98. The Ugandan Workforce – A Challenge to Employees and Managers Alike
  99. Sequence of seven in 140 characters
  100. Pesma bezimena – A Poem With No Name
  101. Things I Learnt from Pumpkin
  102. Understanding What Infidelity Does
  103. We are Developing World with Manhattan Prices
  104. In Love, Loving, Loved
  105. The War Is Real
  106. When Montenegro Declared War on Japan
  107. An Update on Mediation at Commercial Court, Closed Today
  108. What Clients Want From an Ad Agency?
  109. Time to rethink the things we do #CancerUG
  110. Rainy Season
  111. Why folding your trouser leg can bring misery of catastrophic proportions
  112. Gypsy-orange
  113. #CancerUG – simple thoughts but let us start
  114. Little Treasures, Rediscovered
  115. I’ll make you a deal.
  116. The days I left in the past
  117. Road to Home
  118. Loved by the Darkness, 1996
  119. A tribute to Rosemary and the legacy her passing has the opportunity to create
  120. Damn it!
  121. When it rains, it kills.
  122. Kao da ne znam – As if I don’t know
  123. The War is Real!
  124. Joan. Gone Too Soon.
  125. The Story With No End
  126. Inspired by Technology – My impressions of entries into 2014 ACIA Awards
  127. To The Pompous Little Dimwit
  128. Blood-green ……. Krvavo zeleno
  129. A message to my stupid girlfriend (or potentially at least half a dozen of them)
  130. Randomness of rain, when I least need it.
  131. Soul
  132. For Kelley
  133. Little Clicking Noises
  134. Walk Alone
  135. It is Grover Washington
  136. Angry
  137. Of The Desert
  138. When I Go To Sleep
  139. Never Fall In Love With A Liar
  140. In The Village Of My Ancestors – by Vasko Popa

It started with a humble Indiegogo call for donations towards her medical bills. I was still struggling between the PayPal and the debit card and wondering why there are only a few people contributing. I started reading online stories and realized that there was a long time between then and now. It seemed to me that the battle is over and the funds are needed to cater for accumulated bills for palliative care.

Then the carwash PR hijack turned up. I wondered what could have changed? How is she going to be saved when we pronounced her dead several times already? And why a whole well-to-do TV Station has to organize a carwash fundraiser when all it takes is to put her on the flight to Nairobi immediately, if help and surviving adrenal cancer stage four is possible?

She started there, together with them. She brought the English. She brought the accuracy and fairness and dignity in reporting. She set standards, not by her beauty because she was not our typical African beauty on the outside. She set standards by her professionalism, style, poise, correctness – everything that she was, every day, on our TV screens.

Then she was gone for a while, then stories of sickness started trickling in. I did not personally know her but on hearing she is a cancer patient, I felt sad because I saw my own sister disintegrating over a couple of years and I understood how hard it must be for Rose, her family and friends to see her suffer.

I did what I could do – called on NTV to stop the fundraiser and write a cheque. I did this thinking of the urgency of a cancer condition of someone in Intensive Care Unit and why her friends at NTV can’t simply push for evacuation and fundraise later, as much as they want? I asked NTV to give her life.

I opened the can of worms.

The reaction of NTV was strange – we are proceeding with a carwash, you are de-campaigning us, what have you done to help…

I simply thought that action is required now. Not after fundraisers and sponsorship deals, as I sent the following tweet:

Where it came from: I knew the rate-card, roughly. I click that NTV news is the highest-viewership programme and 30sec ads used to be around 1m. I knew that in television, you always capitalize on what good programs you have and I could estimate 12 to 15 30-second slots around the News as a norm. If I was to look for ultimate publicity for any brand, they would be sponsoring NTV news in whichever form or shape: logo on screen, squeezeback, logo on weather screen, ticker line, anything…

My mind was shouting one simple thing: why degrade her to a fun fundraiser circus at this point in time when you believe you can save her life with a mere 100 million? She used to make you daily income of 10-20 million for her two news programs over a period of four years. Why can’t you see that sometimes we need to be bigger than small? Whether she was still an employee or not, didn’t matter to me. For a name like hers, NTV should have pulled out the chequebook.

Reactions to my tweet were pretty one-sided. People I connect with on Twitter appreciated that I asked aloud what others were whispering. But in my ignorance, I pressed for reaction from NTV and I got it – I was portrayed as a heartless bitch de-campaigning their otherwise brilliant fundraiser PR stint.

When faced with what one thinks is immense stupidity, lack of tact, lack of style and so many other negative things, one tends to keep quiet. So I did. I retweeted a few enthusiastic carwash invitations on Saturday and I just felt for Rose. That her destiny is in the buckets, sponges and quickly printed t-shirts with her photo. That sponsors have brought in banners to prove they also have heart. That she must be wishing for a better and more dignified way to get over to Nairobi, to her former employer sister company hospital, in her former employer sister company med-evac aircraft, for some relief and some help that is unconditional and not attached to cost of sponsorship or barter-trade.

So the carwash happened. Amidst those thoughts of how unfair life is. How you give your best years to something that in turn forgets you quickly when you need their help. How Twitter goes abuzz with helpful souls when we need to show face. How the girl must be feeling if she isn’t well, if she is in ICU. How her face now pops up on selfies, posted to social media by duckfaces in tight leggings and platform heels. I was simply sad. But I kept quiet. I let the circus go on.

I felt awkward that Saturday. I wasn’t there for Rose. I didn’t know her but I wasn’t there for her all the same. I had shut up in order to let NTV have a peaceful PR event, have their joy of helping, contributing, driving for results where every bucket of soapy water counts.

I questioned the dignity of the event and how it correlates to the dignity of someone on her death bed. I wanted to understand why is it that I’m the only one who thinks she should have been helped then, when it became known that she’s sick. Why was all this time lost? Why wait to come out and help if you really mean to help? Why?

It’s her family who didn’t want publicity. But of course, they didn’t want publicity! They wanted assistance, care, peace, love for their daughter, not a PR event for her healing. At the end, they succumbed to pressures of a lame PR machinery that should have known better, much better.

On Sunday, she was gone. I woke up to a solemn Easter Sunday, went to the beach and lit a few candles in the sand for the departed souls of people I care for: for my dad, my sister, my lover and for Rose. Those four bee wax candles, blessed in Orthodox Church, carried to Uganda for sad moments like this, shone little light on my emotions that connected to the universe in a light, grey morning drizzle. I knew she was gone. Later, it was simply confirmed. Our society had lost her.

This society where we accept to be treated by nurses and have confidence in being doused with drips and quinine, outdated drugs that no other country uses, expensive medical treatments where one has to bribe for everything, including to be given a chance to pay for the drugs one needs, bribe to give birth, to have an x-ray, to have a wound stitched… I can go on for a long time about what is wrong with health system but what is essentially wrong with Ugandans is that we don’t ask any questions, we are just led like sheep to the pasture and fed whatever and we don’t even know how to care for ourselves… Yet we expect the government to care for us.

But Rose is not a political topic, even though it seems she was one of us, one who strangely waited for her condition to get worse and worse in order to admit she is unwell, one who did not know how to look for help until she arrived back to Uganda and was taken seriously ill, operated and never recovered.

But her passing, with all its emotions and energy, should at least start something or give us a hopeful promise. There is an opportunity for Rose to flower forever, even in the hearts and minds of those who never met her and those who are yet to be born. This is the opportunity I hope our society will not miss. It is time we make promises to ourselves and our unborn generations.

There should be no company in Uganda that will not volunteer maximum support for their staff, especially staff who were the pillars of the business, whether former or current.

There should be no month in a year that Ugandan business acumen fails to make donation towards general healthcare, where at least 70% will be spent on treatment and 30% on grassroots communication.

There should be no person, however young or old, who does not understand basic symptoms of illness and what to do in case of an illness.

There should be no waiting room in any of our private clinics without a poster that says you can pay for your own tests but also pay in advance for someone who can’t afford.

There should be no day that any one of us walks to meet another being on the street without calling ‘good morning, how are you?’

We must stop being individuals; we must start being humans. We must look at each other with love, care and need to connect and communicate in a respectful and open, truthful manner. We must pledge that another human being’s wellbeing is as important as ours.

We must teach facts and skills. We must broaden the narrow horizons of many. We must remember that we are all mortal and that any one of us can fall sick any time. We must never forget the energy of togetherness that Rose thought us exists. It is high time we join hands to do something about our own future and health is a good place to start, how do we move ahead from this solemn and sad place?

In situations like this, even those with big feet should make small steps. There are no giant leaps, solutions will not come at once. What I want for Rosemary Nankabirwa is that she is not forgotten (as she already is – Ugandan social and conventional media has zero buzz about her now). I want her to give us guidance on how to do the right thing, how to create something sustainable for cancer testing and treatment in Uganda. The rest is in our hands.

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4 Comments

surfhurry April 20, 2015 at 08:58

Well written piece…thought as much ’bout the carwash! and to think that Aga Khan Hospital is a sister Company that would have treated her against a simple letter from NTV…
well, at least in the eyes of we the ignorant commoners, NTV scored the much needed PR points from it…the death of Rosemary nonwithstandin’!!

    nada April 20, 2015 at 19:40

    It is unfortunately an example of how we must never execute a PR drive. I will not be able to get over it, NTV is done for me. Not watching it, not supporting it in any way.

Trudy April 20, 2015 at 10:20

The age of social media activism has robbed of ‘real’ action, it is not enough to create a furore online but we must act ‘offline’ too. We must demand better from ourselves, leaders and employers. I too thought the carwash was such an ‘ineffective’ gesture for one on the dying bed.

    nada April 20, 2015 at 19:39

    Thanks Trudy. I felt for her. My sister died of cancer and all she wanted is her dignity to be preserved. It was the only thing she had for herself. The choice to die peacefully like a feather falling on the ground slowly, gently. The whole ‘save Rosemary’ was insincere, forced, sold to sponsors the wrong way. If at all the truth was told – there could have been more awareness, more sympathy, more togetherness and one less unnecessary trip to Nairobi. I am still so sad.

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