Another sleepless night. This time I did not even have a nightmare that woke me up so I have no excuse. I just do not have sleep.

Times like this, I do not waste the time hating the fact that everyone else is enjoying a peaceful rest and I can’t. Tossing and turning just messes up my bed. Picking my phone and checking social media is the worst. That just keeps me awake longer and again, wastes my awake time. So instead, I get out of bed and make a cup of tea and head to my work station to create magic.

Today the magic has refused.

I will write a letter to Santa instead. I know as an adult there is no real Santa but because I need a Christmas miracle, I want to think that my Santa is God or the Universe and they will hear my prayer and desire this Christmas. Growing up we didn’t have Santa. We didn’t have presents but we did have family all around and I know that is what Christmas is supposed to be but right now I need a miracle. So I need Santa to show up.

You must be dying to know what I’d like from him.

I am waiting on news.

I know that sounds very vague. I do not expect anyone who reads this to be my Santa or maybe you are. Come down my chimney and lets talk. Gosh that sounded a bit uncouth but you know what I mean. I guess I am not confident enough to write my wish list on my blog. Just a hint though, it has everything to do with my works. So it is quite specific.

I have written my letter to Santa in my journal and sealed it in a prayer. This is the week of miracles, right? All I can do is stay positive and hope that Santa can hear me.

In the mean time , imma look out the window at Mr. Ghost. He is swaying vigorously like like he has some place to be but is held down by the wires that are his bones.


I am thinking about space. My own space. I need my own space.

I know this article is not as interesting as you would have wanted. I’m sorry. I guess I needed someone to talk to. Or rather someone to listen – by reading my thoughts.

I have work to do. Or rather unfinished work to complete and polish. I just do not have the energy. Also a part of me just wants to rest. I have had a long year and I have worked long and hard. Maybe this is why I’d like it to end with a miracle. Something to look forward to in the New Year.


It is so cold right now. I am bundled up so much that I look like a human blanket and I’m still not warm. Maybe that explains why I feel the way that I do.

Santa, I guess I need you to help me get through this day.


Dances of the Acholi

I have always been fascinated by the different dances of the Acholi people. Even as a child I could see the joy with which my late father broke into one of these dances at random around the house. He always had his traditional spear and shield at the ready. That was when you knew that he was truly having a good day.

It does not matter what occasion the Acholi are having, there is a dance for everything. Listening to the chants that the dancers sing as they dance reveals amazing poems that date as far as the colonial times when the white man was trying to take our lands. One of the chants that I heard more recently is this one…


Iyee Miringole the enemy

Miringole wants to get rich with people

Heee, Get rich with people

Iyee get rich with people

Iyee Miringole the enemy

Iyee get rich with people

Iyee Aliker says the white man has no sins

Acileng stands on the anti hill and yet he says the white man has no sins

Iyee he just opens the shield

Now he will spear the white man

Iyee ayije

Ogwok, now he will spear the white man 

iyee ayije iyee ayije

He just opens the shield

Ogwok, now he will spear the white man

People of Palabek

Look here is the spear I used to kill Uboni

This is the spear

See Oketa restarts old enmity

Lutony Moi, he pokes and finds

He killed Arumu

Oketa restarts old enmity

The enmity of the Payira people

He killed Arumu yee

Our enemy runs away from our warrior-Otara

They ran frantically saying we have no spears

They ran away from our spears

Ayige yee they ran away from our warrior

The spear is a person

You see, the Acholi have a wealth of glamorous traditional dances, the only significant remnants that provide them with the vital link of their old time picturesque lost past.

It was at the Oling dance, commonly known by its other names Moko or Orak that the Acholi youths used to pick on their possible future partners. This was a delightful expression to the piquancy of youth. The intensity of a feeling was most effectively put across during the dance; for joys of new lovers and sorrows of broken loves, or the sorrow of not being able to marry a loved one are here translated in words, action, and rhythm. Boys form rings around their female counterparts. The song is called awere. The chorus is immediately and adeptly picked up. Nothing is intoned in prosaic and lifeless manner. Throbbing with vitality, the mother and lesser drums set the pace. The calabashes collaborate, the tinkling bells lend support. And the demons in the youths are let loose. The sons and daughters from good wombs twist and wriggle away. They shake and wobble in perfect rhythm and competitively. The dance calls for a great deal of stamina, vigor and youthful energy.

Then there is the Otole, a war-like display of the enduring, fighting spirit of the Acholi. The look of chivalry, the hardihood of the men and their female folk are put to rigorous test here. With shields and spears, dancing to the rhythm of a set of drums, the men occasionally burst into wild gallops, wielding their shields and chanting their symbolic titles. The climax is struck in the attack and defense mock duel mimicked so elaborately. To a foreigner it may look frightening but to the Acholi this pantomime of war duel, jocosely gone through, is only a source of entertainment.

Myel lyel, the funeral dance is solemn. It shows the pathos, the sense of emptiness created in the hearts of humane tribe at the loss of a soul from amongst their midst. The steps are a gentle dragging of the feet forward and backwards with occasional up and down jumps both gathering tempo gradually in a mood of rising emotion. The heavy funeral songs have a penetrating effect. They intelligibly interpret the sorrows nibbling at people’s hearts. Thus, death is muffled and dissipated by the gruesome solemnity.

For gaiety and colorful performance, style and splendor the Bwola, or traditional royal dance. This one I dare say is probably unrivaled in Africa. The men and women wear crowns of colorful feathers, tie soft skins of wild beasts around their waists, whilst on their arms are bands of whisks and on their ankles jingle beads of bells. Each man carries a small drum which he strikes, when required with a piece of stick the size of an orchestra conductor’s baton. Women wear short skirts and various ornaments on their necks, waists and arms. Singing in poetic rhymes, saturated with the noblest sentiments, the dancers form a circle and dance with eloquent movements. This is a treasure of an innate civilization rarely failing to thrill even traditional enemies of the Acholi.

Myel jok, a ritual dance to the gods, brings you nearer the realm of super naturalism. The dancer looks like he has been possessed by the spirits of the dead to perfect his steps and make the performance a success. Of a singular character and rich in variety, the music is in keeping with metal objects and shouting to stir the spirits. A witch doctor directs the show, whilst making pleas to the gods. It is so dramatic that the inner urges of the dancer literally oozes out of him before the beholder.

It’s not by accident that the strong, stoutly built, millet eating women of Acholi should seek relaxation and recreation through the Apiti dance. Dressed in colorful short skirts and brassieres, with jingling bells on their feet, the women dance, moving in circles to the tune of a song whose verses are repeated in rapid successions. The movements of the feet are precise, brisk but not rigid. They all work together to a stunning effect.

But when you come to the Dingi dingi, it is at once the melody of the flutes and drums that leaves you spell bound if you resist the excitation produced. Agile girls, wearing pleated bellowing skirts, spread out in straight lines. As the music plays, a signal is whistled and the dancers stump their feet on the ground, twist, wheel around fast, then beat time. They roll their necks like venomous cobras, spit a song and throw their fore limbs like Indian folk dancers. This adds color and gaiety. The men on the one hand bend low blowing on their flutes that sends a deafening shrill of music. The music and dance are synchronized perfectly well. But it is the various combinations of postures assumed from time to time by the dancers that endow this animated dance with exquisite rare bliss.

The Nanga dance occupies a pride of place in the recreation of this Northern folk. Nanga dance music is rich in tunes and pre-eminent amongst the music of the Negro nations for its high sensitiveness. Usually Played by elderly men, the melodic content is either an out pouring of gay spirit or a strange fitfulness of lamentations. The nanga instrument is sacred to the Acholi.

Like the Dingi dingi, Lukeme dance is another hub of cultural activities for youthful Acholi. Here only one type of instrument is played resting on king-size calabashes. The Lukeme dance differs from the dingi dingi dance in the complicatedly timed footwork. In style there is little to choose between the two dances.

I absolutely love watching Acholi dances. Acholi dancers I feel offer a living image of our people. With a dance for each and every occasion and mood, words are spoken with the gaiety of dance. I just love it.


Everyone has their own definition of what home means to them. Even advertisers use it to describe why you should choose their product. I often wonder about what home means to me.

Home is being able to write what I want when I want

Home is having my own space

Home is being excited when I do not have to leave

Home is loving who I am when I am in it

Home is being excited to invite friends over for tea

Home is being able to afford tea

Home…home makes me laugh and cry and feel everything in between

Home is complicated for me.

So today is one of those days when I am thinking about home. Maybe it is the holiday season. I have never been one for the holidays but lately it is my favorite time of the year. I use it as an excuse to buy myself certain things that I’ve been ogling all year.

Home is wrapping myself gifts and waiting to unwrap them on Christmas day

Home is being happy and surprised when I unwrap my gifts

Home is joy, home is peace, home is love

I have already planned the meals I will be having this Christmas. Did I mention that I will be spending Christmas by myself. Do not feel bad for me, I rather enjoy the notion of a solo Christmas. I get to make my own traditions.

Home is being happy at Christmas

Home is starting my own traditions

Home is sleeping and eating and making calls

Home is calling home and wishing my family A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

Home is having peace. and looking forward to the New Year.

Home is ME

Mr. Ghost

I want to stop looking but I cannot. There is this ghost outside my window in the front of the apartment across the street. He just keeps swaying in the wind looking at me dead in the eye. Yoh, even when I am not looking he is still looking at me. Maybe he wants the tell me something? He is quite a sight to behold.

Let me explain properly.

He was put up during Halloween and he has never been taken down. It is almost Christmas by the way. I do not mind that he is up. I mean why wouldn’t he be? He really is quite a specimen. Almost everyone who walks past him for the first time takes a picture and a selfie with him. He is made out of light cloth and he is grey. During Halloween he used to have colored lights in his face. I guess the electric bill was not forgiving so after Halloween, those came off. He was surrounded by a lovely bed of graves and cobwebs but those were removed too. I like him. He is so huge, and seriously always looking through my work table window at me.

I like that someone is watching me as I write. Almost edging me on. Sometimes we spend countless minutes just staring at each other. No words spoken. He gets me. I think he is an introvert like me. We get each other. Rain or shine he is there with me. I will be sad when his life comes to an end. Or is it when his death comes to an end? Ah, whatever it is, I will be sad when he is taken down.

Alright, gotta go now. Mr. Ghost has reminded me that I have work to do.