I saw her in a smoky night club. She’s what my cousins would call: “A pretty young thing”. Her face perfectly sculptured and a figure to match. My attention was drawn to her the second I walked in, which was pretty easy, seeing that she was dancing on a chair and all. My friends and I settled near her table and my attention kept drifting towards her. She danced, her movements bold from liquor. I watched fascinated and looked around at the rest of the group with her. The men looking up at her approvingly, nodding to the beat she danced to. One can almost smell their self-importance and pride from the way they looked down on those around them. Or from the way they have a neat collection of thoroughly overpriced bottles on the table. A signpost of those willing and able to spend without a second thought. The waiters eager to serve them, ceremoniously carrying the bottles. The pretty young lady eager to please and bedazzled by quick glamour, is willing to step up on her chair and dance for them. And all eyes, including mine mostly, were on that table. She was literally on top of the club at that moment, but her eyes under the heavy makeup were lost. A slightly hungry look crossing her expression for a second. Hungry for the attention and approval. Hungry for the toasts in her name and the eyes of the few who didn’t notice her moving. It struck me how such a beautiful creature would measure her worth by the approval of others, the lusty looks or the jealous glares of other insecure ladies.


I saw him when getting drinks from the counter of the very same club. A noticeable young man leaning by the bar, a drink in hand. He still held the look of most young men making it out to the world, determined, sharp eyed and still a believer in his unending ability to achieve greatness. He was dressed with care, making every detail seem effortless, although a closer look would suggest otherwise. He seemed like a guy who wanted to look like someone on his way to success. The lady bartender had only eyes for him and ignored my attempts to get her attention. Next to him stood two delighted ladies that he leaned to talk to and occasionally dance with. While waiting for my drink, I watched as he charmed the ladies and offered drinks, and saw the slight cringe on his face when he reached for his wallet. He would keep that charm on for as long as it took, offer drinks to the ladies while nursing a single one himself. Once in a while, he would glance at the VIP table where the spenders sat on clouds of success surrounded by gorgeous ladies. At that moment, his charming face would freeze and the bright eyes fade in a flicker with unmistaken longing. There, is where the good life is. There were one left the house without stuffing a folded bill at the back of the wallet for transport back. There where one spends with a slightly bored look and ladies dance on chairs for the fun of it. It struck me once again on how such a good looking, promising young man would thirst for recognition and appreciation. Even if those who would drink his wallet dry and probably never cross paths with him again.


So, I saw a pretty young woman and a promising young man in a club. This is way too much observation for a person hanging out, I know, but the thing is, I saw them! They however, do not see themselves, which is sad, because it’s simple and easy when you see yourself and let yourself be. And the regrettable part is, the pretty young lady and the promising young man, do not see each other.

Sila, a Wish

Find a dream I can call my own,
On a single smile, tear or frown,
A drifting, floating, blossoming dream,
Like a pure free flowing love stream…
A dream to call my own!
Finding a love that can change a life,
With every hug, walk or running strife,
A love strong and not there for sale,
And not necessarily a magical fairy-tale…
A love to call my own!
Finding a smile on a falling tear,
Love, comfort in times of great fear,
A burning fire when my heart is a-chill,
A never-dying power of self and will…
A smile to call my own!
Finding that place I can call my home,
Where there is peace when I go, or come,
With loved ones, a family of my own,
In any country, city, valley or town…
A home to call my own!
Quiet days, warm loving nights,
No conflicts, no strong emotional fights,
A heart at home, in the world of imperfections,
Solid, clear reflections, sharing completions…

The Art of the Dress

When going through fashion magazines or even adverts, shopping for women is a mega glamorous venture. We see pictures of smiling girls, in high heels and perfect make up, shopping in spacious air conditioned malls or elegant shops. Oh! And on a very good day, holding the occasional champagne flute!

This highly sophisticated shopping is almost a dream to the females in my neighborhood. I would personally take you on a trip through the typical cloth shopping day in Kigali.

On an average wallet, a girl would opt for a second-hand market. Where contrary to the women you’d expect to serve you in the beautiful boutiques, you’d meet a sea of sellers trying to get your attention. Some would even physically be pulling you if your facial expression allows it. After a short fussy moment of hesitation, you follow one of them. That is if you manage to untangle yourself from the one glued to your elbow or the two others behind your back. Better yet, head to your common seller if you are a frequent buyer. Getting there, state the type of clothes you want and wait as the seller sorts them. That being done, head to the impossibly squeezed fitting space. Which mostly comprises of a curtained sheet of cloth. And try to squeeze into the clothes.

A few things will result from that:

  • Some clothes will magically fit you. Perfect!
  • Some of the few you really like will not, either being too big (then you opt to take them to a local tailor for reduction and hope to the goddess of fashion that they don’t get completely ruined). Or they can also be too tight, but because you are a female for one, (or just a holder of endless faith), you decide to take them. Your final verdict being either the hope of losing some weight or adding to the tailor heap.

That being sorted, find a place to sit or support yourself and start bargaining. That seller who knows the minimum price, will name double or triple the price and let you bargain for 30 healthy minutes. All that without even a re-conciliatory glass of water, leave alone the champagne flute.

Almost there! You reach what you decide is a reasonable price, (this is usually after developing a slight headache or voice loss) and ready to leave. The summary of your state of being now is;

Extremely dehydrated, stiff-tongued, uncomfortably hot and if you happen to have a sensitive nasal passage, you would be sneezing out a few cells from your lungs. Only to reach home to find that you picked all the wrong clothes. All because those you liked did not fit or were too expensive. Or that you picked the right trousers but they don’t match the coat you had in the wardrobe! So finally, you are in bad clothes, a bad mood and a bad wallet situation.

All is not lost, however, more sophisticated options can be looked upon. Some boutiques offer better choice for those willing to stretch the clothes budget. You could get smart and befriend a designer or owner of a fashion shop and get the good friends-only service. Without forgetting the occasional clothes you might fall upon on a street hawker on the road. Chances are they might fit and be torn or damaged somehow, or if heaven is on your side, then they do fit! Eureka! life is worth living.

With all this, if anyone (and by anyone, I literally mean everyone) would dare to say shopping is not a sport for women, a woman might fight. And hopefully, she could lose a little weight in that fight and fit in those new very tight jeans. I personally salute the Kigali females. Just for the mere fact that they look good. Also, simply because they still manage to match those pieces and not look like clowns or out of season Christmas trees! Honestly, looking decent out here is an art and it requires skill and endurance. It’s a wonder we don’t have that many female managers around here.