Amazingly Ugandan

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I have been invited to Speak to inspire fellow young people on the subject of Positive Thinking. Being an area I have focused on for several years now, and with great humility, I said yes. Thank you Mawa Baker and the team for putting this together.
The zoom link:



A story is told of a man who decided to invest in aquaculture. He did a small cost-benefit analysis and market research. Once he confirmed the business was a very good one, he then established a fish pond with the help of some specialists in aquaculture.

He stocked the pond with 2000 fingerlings and then hired his brother to manage the fish pond, additional to providing security so that he can keep away thieves and other predators.

Initially, all seemed well but after some months, the owner decided to sample and see how big the fish had gotten. They were big and healthy. He then went to the market to book buyers and showed them a few pictures as evidence of big fish. The buyers soon got notice of him and even started fighting over him and some even contacted him secretly offering better prices for his fish.

On the day of harvest, it was such a happy and busy morning and the pond was drained.

But what they saw shocked them and some of the businessmen collapsed. Out of 2000 fingerlings, only 100 fish were harvested.

The pond manager was questioned and admitted to eating and selling some. But he said that he thought the fish would multiple. I'm defence, he added that it was unfortunate that this breed of fish didn't reproduce.

Establishing and sustaining family-owned businesses is a way of accumulating wealth and securing the future of our generations to come.

However, It is also very common and true that some family members or relatives are the ones who plot or cause the downfall of certain businesses owned by their relatives.

Sometimes, it's because they feel that if they are not in the driving seat, then it's none of their business. Others are just envious while some take it for granted because they know that they won't be questioned much since they are related.

This is an attitude that we should strive to wipe out so that we can end this terrible cycle of poverty. It's is a huge challenge to be the only person in that is doing fairly well in a family and yet the rest are struggling.

Somehow, the one doing fairly well will soon break down because they carry almost everyone's burdens. And yet when everyone in the family is empowered, then there's no need to wear out one person. Instead, we support each other.

It's key to build family trust from a tender age. This can be by engaging the family in small projects, to encourage teamwork and bonding.

Treat family members fairly so that no one feels sidelined and they want to revenge by tearing your investments down.

Set clear boundaries for the business and make it known to all those involved in the business.

Establish quality and risk control checks. For instance, the fish farmer placed all his trust in his brother who fell into temptation. If only he had possibly put someone else on security or would visit in once (regular monitoring and evaluation) in a while, it would have kept his brother away from the temptation of stealing the fish.

Explain and make every family member know the importance of owning a family business that will stay for generations.

Employ or help family members to attain the necessary skills and qualifications for managing the family business. Do not employ family members simply based on sympathy because it could jeopardise the business rather uplift them to the level you can comfortably employ them.

Written by: Theodorah Mary Akoth
The Two Sides of Theodorah



"Daddy, someone has beaten me. Come and also beat him". This was what my son kept reporting in his earlier days of playing with other kids.

Apparently, he still thinks that I am the strongest and tallest man. He once saw another huge man during our evening walks and asked me if I could beat him.

Long story short, I thank God that I didn't try proving a point不. Maybe, I wouldn't be here to write this piece 不.

Occasionally, he even says that he wants to eat alot of food so that he can grow very tall like me 不. He doesn't know that in the real world, some people still use me as an example for short people 不. Of course, I am not telling him about that now 不.

Back to the fight with his playmates

I remember how I began telling him to go back and play, and that if he got beaten the next time, he must defend himself. Eventually, peace prevailed and he stopped reporting everything. Apparently, he had asserted himself and they were now respecting each other in their group.


To your child, you are a hero. Be a good one. Use their belief in you to build them up.

Enable your child to build their self-esteem, from winning those little battles, especially if it's within their own circle of age mates and play mates. You won't be there for them always. This builds their self-esteem and confidence. You just have to be keen and certain that they aren't the ones causing all the trouble or being beaten by older people.

Away from the story....

The Enabling Rural Innovation Approach (ERI Approach) which I keep talking about builds the self esteem of farmers.

As they learn to find Markets for themselves and negotiate with traders, there is an unexplainable sense of pride they develop. This pushes them to do more and better. Whenever we take over this role completely from farmers, we deny them an opportunity for sustainable growth. From those little wins, they find the motivation to take on bigger challenges.

Therefore, ERI promotes self confidence and motivation. If you work with communities, you need this approach.

Enabling Rural Innovation Network
Rural Innovation Network

Written by:
BANIO Luiji Nobert.
A trainer for the ERI Approach and GALS Methodology



There are stories told of parents who brutally punish their children to assert authority, as punishment for wrong doing, to avert bad behavior. For what ever reason, sometimes the punishment meted out is not commensurate to the offence.

Some punishments, lets say burning a childs hands because they have stolen money, starvation, severe beating, these are forms of child abuse and are punishable by law. Article 24 of the Constitution of the republic of uganda criminalizes punishing children.

Children some times try us to the point that your anger clouds your judgement. I would rather we dialogue and make the child understand and appreciate why they are being punished. Also we need to understand what has caused such behavior in the child. Why did they steal? Maybe they were hungry.

Punishment that dehumanizes a child tops the charts of them developing very low self esteem. They wont even be able to try any thing new because what rings in their minds is what if I am beaten.

Let's discipline our children but not brutally punish them. After all we are all humans who error and we constantly require understanding and forgiveness. Lets not take advantage of a childs being young to lush out at them and do the worst to their bodies and minds.

It's also paramount that our frustrations from work or spouses are not released onto innocent children, in form of punishing them for mistakes that wouldn't have appeared severe, if we were emotionally stable.

Written by: Claire Apayi

Claire is a community psychologist, with a huge experience in child development focused neuropsychology.

Shot by #Photoberry_Photography where Claire is the CEO herself.



Today, my friend Claire Apayi wrote an inspiring article on The WALK of LIFE about double checking everything. I got reminded of an incidence in my primary days which I thought I could share不.

I was in P5, in Oriajini PS, in the current Terego district. On this particular day, my mind was focused on going for lunch 不 since the famous Angara (salted West Nile fish) had been cooked and I knew there was some left for lunch. West Nile guys know the kind of trouble this fish puts enyasa or Ugali through. For a kid, it's double trouble 不.

A stubborn colleague then tells me, "you see, it's lunch time already, but I don't know what's wrong with the time keeper. You go and ring the bell for us".

How could lunch time reach so quickly? I wondered... On taking a little glance, I just saw the minute part and it was correct. I think lunch break used to be at 12:50pm but I can't remember well now. Maybe I am growing old too 不.

Ngilongilongilo......the bell sounded, having hit it with so much excitement.

Most of the kids in P1 & 2 simply came out and took off heading home, with unexplainable excitement. The school had nothing to do.

Then came the consequences.....

There was this teacher then whose beating skills were so good that one would say Olympic awards were given to people out of some kind of favouritism, otherwise, he deserved one. My eyes warned my whole body when they saw him approaching.

Fast forward, .....
The meeting between my mind and legs was short. They all agreed it was too early for me to meet my ancestors then.

For 2 days, I missed school 不, even when everyone at home knew I had washed my legs in the morning. I didn't have the much-needed peace while eating the Angara that day. But still, for a child with unusual appetite, my stomach was clear that, it wasn't part of my mistakes. I cooperated不.

Moral of the story...

Double check everything. If I had seen the hour hand of the watch and not only the minute hand, I wouldn't have rung the bell 1 hour earlier.

Regardless of how correct the email is, read again. Someone once wrote you pig "girl" instead of "big"不.

Regardless of how great a person seems, date carefully. Regardless of how great the business idea is, ask questions.

Double check everything, because, our eyes see what we want them to see and our ears hear what we want to hear. We rationalize bad behaviour of others, just because we don't want to let them go. It's safe to pay attention to detail.

Banio Luiji Nobert

Stanley Rubalila during our ongoing ERI and GALS Training in Mara, Tanzania.



One who chooses to be unteachable or decides not to listen to wise counsel walks with something destructive behind.

This is a wise saying my grandfather always used whenever one of us wasn't paying attention to a set of instructions to perform a task or decided to go ahead of him.

It's very normal to get overwhelmed with lots of information at a given time. It's also common to feel you already know better. This belief could easily make you completely shut down or do selective listening to pick out what you consider important and trash the rest.

It could happen at work or school during some subjects or even at home when they keep talking to you about similar things. You think you have heard enough. Each of us occasionally ends up here, although others do so too often.

On the other hand, you may be the one offering advice, or giving instructions on how to complete a task, but the other person has made up their mind not to listen already, or even thinks their way is the best. They won't entertain any other points of view. Some even shut you down before you say a word.

What would you do then?
Would you just throw your hands up in the air, walk away, or be patient and make the effort to ensure he or she does eventually take your message? The line for whichever side to choose is often thin, and bears consequences.

My grandfather was a very patient and wise man. He always gave us room to share our point of view or let us perform a task if we didn't listen. Halfway or in the end, you realise you are in big trouble. I remember, we always planted climbing yams. He always explained which parts to cut for planting material or how to dig it up without destroying the yam.

When we had done this for several seasons, I thought I knew it all. So, one time I planted yam without seeking further guidance. That season, we mostly just had leaves and a miserable looking yam. And yet, we had always harvested between 20 to 40kgs. I learnt my lesson.

The reasons that people dont, or wont, listen could be because of misplaced confidence, arrogance, pride, defensiveness, or an unwillingness to admit their mistakes. Others may also feel they aren't being trusted to thrive independently.

Otherwise, there's always something new to learn, even from a story or something you have heard or done countless times, if we maintain a certain window of openness.

The Two Sides of Theodorah



When the hair on my head turns grey,
Greyed by the years of my youth lost,

When my weakening teeth turn the meat loving vampire in me into a vegetarian, forcefully taking away its excitement, even when I will have received my NSSF at old age, will you still stay?

When I struggle to pronounce "photosynthesis" as the diastema forced among my teeth by a few hard loses along the way, when my smile nolonger looks bright like before, because of the unfortunate work done by magadi over the years, due to my irresistible love for gobbe and otigo, will you still stay....?

When I struggle to remember my name,
As years of toil dawn on my memory,
When Naba-nja fails to let me feel the ecstasy of "tititi" on my phone and we can't celebrate with some chicken, when I can't go out to hustle because I fear never coming back because of the army and police, who reside on our roads, will you still stay?

Yes, will you still stay?
When my legs cant walk miles anymore,
When I can't bring home a "black kaveera" because I paid the little I earned the other day as a bribe for breaking the curfew rules while hustling, just to set myself free from the men in uniform, will the memories of the jokes we told and the great old days still matter? And, will you still stay?

They say walking is tiresome but for you, this distance could only be realised while on my way back. Even when my legs cant move that far again and my fears of never retuning home catch up with me, will you still stay?

Away from the poetry,
Mental health is a silent topic. Our society demonizes bi-polar cases. Many people who run "mad" tend to face rejection and discrimination a lot.

During these tough times of job insecurity and financial uncertainties, more people are at the risk of losing their minds too.

Many people are financially hard up, emotionally abandoned because they have lost their financial relevance, and are socially isolated.

We can deliberately choose to be a light in their path and a source of encouragement. Beyond just "casting demons from them", we ensure that the right medical help and psychosocial support is provided. Let's unite for mental health awareness.


End: BANIO Luiji Nobert.

Alexander Ochieng showing the beauty of Tororo.



Children of the same age develop differently. Apparently even twins dont hit certain developmental milestones on the same day. Just as the thumb print is unique, so is every individual child.

Sometimes, we are caught in the web of wanting to see that your child does things the same way as another friend's child does them.

My son and another child are close in age, actually that pretty girl is 6 weeks older than my son but my son learnt to walk three months earlier than she did. On the other hand, she learnt to articulate her words faster and better than my son could ever have learnt. That goes to show that one child might learn this and not that.

Sometimes, some moms love to show off how brilliant their children are, and you feel the pang of the green eye. It could be that a friend's child is good at math. That should not demoralize you. Your child might be a musical genius, a dancer, an orator or another totally amazing being whose potential is yet to unfold.

The quicker we learn to be happy for other peoples children and actually guide them to people who can mentor those talents and gifts they are exhibiting, the better for us, and this world in general.

Be thankful for what God has placed in your child and you will find that you are no longer comparative when it comes to children. Give them the space and support to thrive in their own uniqueness. Diversity gives greater beauty to life.


Claire Apayi



When he smiled, they all smiled back, without asking why he smiled in the first place.

Positive energy is like a smile. It's contagious. It brings out the best in others without too much question.

Leadership is the ability to see beyond the flaws and past failures of people. It's the deliberate decision to see their positive side, appreciate it even when you know their weaknesses, and enable them to believe in a higher calling they have for impacting this world.

In fact, we are not leaders unless we have successors. A candle loses nothing by igniting another, but rather strengthens the brightness. Be that candle. Leaders inspire dreams and confidence.

If we can't find such persons, we can become one. It doesn't take political office to do it. Each can inspire one, that is how from 12 disciples Christianity spread. If everyone only swept their own compound, the world would be much cleaner. There's so much power in every individual, each of us. The only difference is how we use it, and if at all we recognise what lies within us.

May this remaining 6 months of 2021 be an opportunity to see the immense value and influence you actually have. May you choose yourself, and your happiness every day, and do it again. May everything you touch turn in your favour. And, may you find your higher calling, synchronising your dreams with your gift, and purpose.

Since I have reached 5000 friends and can't accept more, please follow me on my page; BANIO Luiji Nobert.

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