Their Words. Not mine.

Location

Uganda

What did your uncle say? (Or another man-to-man…):
When you become a man,
You’ll understand life more than a boy can,
Don’t live in the past or you’ll get left behind,
Life is what you make it, except make it rewind,
I know you have issues of loss and abandonment,
It’s never God’s fault and don’t blame the government,
What would you do if you were in his position?
What he went through in life alone was more like perdition,
He couldn’t be a good father after he lost your mother,
There’s no closure with the dead, so don’t even bother,
Tough times don’t last but tough people do,
Life is a trip; do you know where you’re going to?
Reject the negative and embrace the positive,
Reality manifests from thoughts that you make repetitive,
What your mind can conceive is what you’ll perceive,
Then you will believe and that is what you’ll achieve,
Focus, practice and hard work equals success,
First impressions matter so always dress to impress,
Forgive and forget; even those you hate,
Family is everything; you should learn to relate.

What did the teacher say? (Or you don’t need the lecture but…):
Are you “alright”?
Slow in class because of pills; that was never my plight,
You look like you think of too many things at a time,
Daydreaming when I teach; your hair with white lime,
Your way of thinking is so divergent,
Be like the other students and you will never lament,
Put your theories aside and simply open wide,
Gulp down our cool-aid and relinquish your pride,
Questioning our teachings, disrespecting authorities,
Chasing skirts and not deadlines; better revise your priorities,
What is it exactly that you’re trying to be?
You’ll have to work twice as hard just to end up like me,
When I was your age, I studied like it was for a salary,
All day in class and all night in the library,
Everything outside of books to me was trivial,
Likes and house parties were so inconsequential,
But that was then and of course I wasn’t you,
Still, hard work will get you past what you’re going through,
You think money and fame will drop in if you drop out,
But real change comes from within and not from without,
See the beauty in life even though she is never fair,
You may have hit rock-bottom but you can only go up from there.

What did the ex say? (Or Relationship goals):
Good luck finding another dime,
What do you mean that you need more time,
To get it together; getting it on your own,
But you can’t reap where you haven’t sown,
Telling me you can’t own a car and you can’t drive,
When you complain, all you do is deprive,
You said you would soon be in remission,
I feel for you but love isn’t really my mission,
You were the type that I could probably marry,
But your affliction makes my cross too heavy to carry,
For now I just need you for the things I don’t already own,
The least you could do for me is try to get a loan,
An arm and a leg for my hair to look chic,
So that my instagram pics get a hundred likes a week,
Thirty minutes for make-up; I believe in perfection,
I’m a slave to vanity; I need all the attention,
You call me pretentious; leaving me for the “martians”,
You’re not the only one I know; I’ve always had options,
Flirting with the professor for fifty percent,
Slept with the landlord so I didn’t pay him the rent,
Relations with politicians could pay that tuition,
A dreamer is still broke, albeit rich with ambition.

What did your roommate say? (Or "playmates" and peer-pressure dictates):
Get a girl on the side,
Never chase a chick; it’s a matter of pride,
Guy to girl ratio is less than one to three,
So don’t buy the cow when the milk is for free,
The next time you and her get into another fight,
You can make a booty call on the very same night,
Just be clandestine and she will not get to know,
Not unless the snitch in you starts to show,
I know the last “plague” left a mountain of bodies,
But even if you catch it, you’ll live past your forties,
You go to work and school to become a magnate,
I lift weights and do sports to be a chick magnet,
Chivalry is dead; it was killed by the lass,
The true measure of a man is if he’s tapping that ass,
Nice guys finish last, going nowhere fast,
The modern-day gentleman is a thing of the past,
You’re too empathetic and you’re too prone to shame,
Have you ever tried not taking the blame?
Love is just a game, so let’s be the players,
Why do you think sex is called “Ugandan affairs”?

What did the doctor say? (Or “Mind-shrinking” and “mind-reading”):
Here’s a prescription,
It’ll take away dark thoughts and your inhibition,
This after you rise and this before bed,
The other one is for the voices in your head,
ADHD, anxiety and depression,
Avoidant personality explains your regression,
Perception equals possession: three words for freedom,
Twenty patients a day; more money treating the symptom,
The end justifies the means so ignore the side effect,
Bigger problems arise from the self-neglect,
You have to lighten up; where’s your sense of humour?
The accident gave you a concussion and not a tumour,
You say your affliction is the reason you’re single,
But no man is an island; you should learn to mingle,
The more you share the less heavy the burden,
But you put up walls and call them a haven,
Prognosis is best if the bill matches your wealth,
There is never a price too big to pay for your health,
But the latter is the former so the rich don’t know death,
To withdraw the last of your funds is to draw your last breath.

What did the preacher say? (Or the last psalm):
Accept Christ today,
Bathe in his blood to keep the devil at bay,
He will cure all illness and erase all doubt,
Come give him a try and see what he’s about,
You’re a man of logic; so you don’t believe,
All you need is faith; ask and you will receive,
No need for plain English when you give him a call,
When I shove your head, that’s the sign you should fall,
The poor remain so because they fill the basket,
Charity “ends” at church so there’s no tax bracket,
They ask for money, health, a job and a spouse,
But their prayers got me a sports car and a bigger house,
The lady over there is poorer than a church mouse,
But it’s not just money that I get out of her blouse,
That video of me was doctored and got a million views,
When no one makes news, the press make the news,
The old church hides behind the veil of history and policies,
But I unveil prophecies and reveal their inadequacies,
Your roommate’s thoughts only reflect his lust,
I guess he has a hard time finding a girl he can trust,
The MP’s sins are envy and greed,
Lack of money wasn’t just the root of his evil; it was the seed,
Your ex-girlfriend is a slave to appearances; that defines vanity,
Being with her for three years is what defines insanity,
The hobo over there is as lazy as a sloth,
But we have to be charitable as men of the cloth,
Only good has come out of the leader’s presence,
Except that when he talks he has to make a food reference,
And you are so angry at the world and the system,
But your wrath will only make you their victim.

What did the hobo say? (Or He-who-has-seen-it-all):
Lost your way in life; you could use a rutter,
Lucky you found me lying down in the gutter,
It’s ironic, isn’t it? How you ask for advice,
From a man whose head is only filled with lice,
Forget the lecturer; experience is the best teacher,
You have the mind of a sheep if you follow that preacher,
The pastor is a lie; God doesn’t need wherewithal,
True salvation lies in the neon cathedral,
The only difference is you don’t need to pray,
And the tithe is for you to drink your troubles away,
It’s so easy to judge a man who’s out of his prime,
I was snug in your shoes once upon a time,
I went to fight a war, only to be surprised,
To find that my dreams never materialised,
He made many promises that we all imbibed,
And he’s now the very enemy that he had described,
I came home to my wife in bed with my bunkie,
Shellshock and morphine; the shrink called me a junkie,
Did time in the joint and became a recluse,
I’m wise like a hermit but gin makes me obtuse,
I don’t need your pity while I bask in this apathy,
But still I see why your generation needs sympathy,
You seek validation; that is why you connect,
Citizen of dragnet nation; no likes if you defect,
Zero chill lifestyle; why live in that fashion?
Master inner peace and don’t be a slave to your passion,
Till my credit runs out, I am on a living spree,
But to you, life is debit so you’ll never be free.

The power corrupts (Or "the root of all evil"):
I really had no choice,
You think I made it here just for having a voice?
I was where you were, idealistic and naïve,
But this world is not round like you were led to believe,
It’s full of peaks and valleys; I have been in the latter,
Unless you have a giant wallet, a giant’s brain doesn’t matter,
I came out of school, thinking I was free,
But I didn’t want to be like the hobo sleeping under the tree,
So I set out and sought an occupation,
It didn’t match my degree but who has a vocation?
Starting wage was good but I would ask for a raise,
I just had to work hard till I got the praise,
Three years passed with a one-bedroom apartment,
So I asked to work in a more lucrative department,
But I couldn’t get past all the elitism,
And the boss promoted his home slice; there was the nepotism,
My fiancée wanted a honeymoon in Turin,
At this rate, I couldn’t escape financial ruin,
Then I met the leader and he made me an offer,
What I was to do wouldn’t be right but it would fill my coffer,
So I said yes, without asking a question,
And did everything he asked, without hesitation,
I rigged every election and kept him above suspicion,
I bribed every rival, judge, lawyer, policeman and politician,
You say there is nothing I could say to justify this greed,
But unlike you I have two mortgages, a wife and six kids to feed,
Now I’m beyond keeping up with the Jones’s in this rat race,
Cheesy as it sounds, the side you choose will determine your pace.

The state-of-your(?)-nation address (Or an Orwellian story):
Till the day I die, this country is mine,
You only get what you want if you show them your spine,
Mine was like mahogany, waging war in the forest,
To free all of you so I have no need to be modest,
Now the millennials have found the nerve,
To tell me “not to touch” what I truly deserve,
I needed approval ratings to cross the generation gap,
I’m no MC but I’ll give them “another rap”,
I know where you’re from; the wrong side of the track,
Political pie is so sweet that you’ll never go back,
Received threats from many a brave fellow,
But even the bold have fifty shades of yellow,
Their “revolutions” never cease to amuse,
I just made them an offer that they couldn’t refuse,
I’ll give you a post for which you don’t qualify,
And you’ll be my scapegoat when things go awry,
The joke is the righter and broke is the fighter,
I’m constipated with cash because I lack moral fibre,
It’s “For God and my stomach” so in money we trust,
Everyone has a price in this kingdom of dust.

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country

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