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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Final Day: Appreciation Letter

Dear Afrobloggers,

Let me start by saying I’m dissecting Afrobloggers into two groups i.e the Afrobloggers who are the mind behind the WinterABC challenge. It was my first ever Afrobloggers challenge and also the very first blogging challenge ever. (I like to call it a retreat)

I’m lucky to have clicked the follow option on Twitter otherwise I wouldn’t have done this in the first place. Thank you for bringing together amazing African talent to the world. I’d never thought that one day I’d blog in a matatu on my way home or late in the night. The blogging community of Africa is really lucky to have passionate people like you.

The WinterABC challenge was a real challenge for me. I’ve only successfully completed one challenge, this was a sit up challenge which was more of a dare actually. This one was different, balancing life, work and my passion was such a rollercoaster but it also taught me how effective utilizing 24hours is. With that being said thank you for allowing us to be this creative and step out of our comfort zones.

The second part of this letter is for you my fellow Afro bloggers (see what I did there). I’m still amazed by how talented you all are, yes every one of you me inclusive. Thank you for putting yourselves up to this. I’m glad I made new friends. Well we have interacted mostly through comments and liking each others posts but that is a start.

Is it acceptable to reach out to you via email or Twitter, I mean DMs and all? I had to ask for permission as I don’t like to impose. I look forward to seeing everyone getting back into their usual blogging element.

I’ve been able to read some of your posts outside WinterABC, again Africa is filled with quite the talent. Thank you to all of my followers on the blog not forgetting my visitors from all over the world. The blog is growing and I couldn’t be any prouder.

I’ll have to add that the challenge got my creative juices running and I thought up a whole series. That in itself shows you how helpful being a part of the challenge was.

Thank you, asante sana *thank you in Swahili* , eyalama noi *Thank you in Ateso*, mwebale nyo *Thank you in Luganda* and lastly merci beaucoup * Thank you in French*

To a chapter closed and the beginning of another,

Love, Linda Stella ❤️

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 21: An Old Blog and Bringing it Back To Life

Welcome back from the weekend that was. How are you doing? The second last blog of the challenge is here and what an experience this has been. I’m more than grateful to Afrobloggers and all the amazing bloggers I’ve come to know. I’ll never stop talking about how great y’all are.

The topic for day 21 is reviving an old blog and bringing it back to life. Originally I’d planned to revive My Becoming piece but along the way I started a blog series and the reactions I got were far from my expectation. Hence I’m reviving part 1 of the series.

The blog series is dubbed Brave Women, Unique Tales. It was inspired by one of my many thoughts when traveling back home. I had a few people in mind that I was going to ask to take part, little did I know I’d sparked something in many women who have been dealing with conditions so heavy and living their lives down for a while.

So friends with that being said, I introduce to the Afrobloggers WinterABC challenge on the second last day my first guest on the series.

Flower is the name I gave her as she preferred to stay anonymous. Kindly read her story and reach out to the women in your lives. We may not know as much as we think we think we know.

Also be on the lookout for our next episodes (is that what they call blog parts…help) I’m amazed by the number of beautiful and strong women coming up after Flower’story.


FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER (it’s been a part of me that long), I’ve always had irregular periods. At first I didn’t really care about it, one less thing to worry about womanhood. No cramps, no annoying moist feeling down there and certainly no feeling like the entire Niagara Falls was coming out of you when you burst out laughing.When I brought it up casually at any doctors’ appointments (it wouldn’t really be the sole reason for my visits, but I’d sneak it in because WHY NOT? I’m smart like that) the response would be that I’m young and my body would find its natural rhythm eventually.

I WAS OKAY.

IT DIDN’T REALLY AFFECT ME.

THIS WAS OKAY…I HAD MY WHOLE LIFE TO LIVE AND THIS WOULDN’T BE A BIG PART OF IT….RIGHT?…right?

right? *seeks validation from imaginary audience*

WRONG!

The moment it hit me like Simon Cowell hitting the huge red button that is followed by a large red “X” to symbolize rejection on the show “X Factor” was when I joined campus. I started to notice I wasn’t really “normal”. Remember those doctors that promised my period would normalize? Yeah they were wrong.

It got worse and my esteem got lower because I bottled it all up. My period got scarce, I’d get it about twice a year. My flow also got super heavy…pads couldn’t contain it, I’d stain my sheets even when I slept like a log (no seriously, I once googled “how to sleep like a log” and tried to stay in said position all night). It was frustrating to say the least- still is. The salt to my wound was that I had lots of friends but only one out of them shared my condition.

It wasn’t something we really talked about, it wasn’t something people sat around fires and told stories about during camping. It turned into something shameful for me. I would be perceived as less of a woman if anybody knew this side of me ..so I got an empty CocaCola bottle and did what I do best… bottled up all my feelings. (Won first prize in the annual Bootling Up Feelings Olympics that year).

Wow, Anonymous person writing about her story, that must have been tough to live with, the dear reader wonders. Yes, yes it was. It affected my esteem greatly…I had horrible resultant acne that was like a stubborn stain. No matter how hard I tried (and still do) it couldn’t allow my face to breathe. I hated myself. Fell into depression.Hated taking pictures with a flash on, I stopped looking into the mirror. There were nights (and some days…and some afternoons) where I’d cry my eyes out in frustration. It was unbearable.

What made all this worse was that I became my acne. All the good things about me were overshadowed by the acne because it affected me so much. People would say stuff like “oh she looks nice but would look better if it wasn’t for the acne”. I’d be in a good mood,walking with a happy skip in town and get stopped by random people giving me unsolicited advice on skin and telling me to try out “new” things…things that I had already probably tried before as a result of watching thousands of “Get clear skin instantly DIY” youtube videos.

“HaVe yOu TrIed GLyCerine”? *eyeroll* “Drink more water” *as if I don’t already swallow the whole river Nile* “Sister kozesa kano, kajja kuyamba” (translated as sister use this one, it will help) *eyeroll*. “Have you tried this (extremely bitter) herbal concotion?” All this irritated me and my “leopard print skin” even more. (Oh, btw, H.I also brings gifts with her, mood swings is one of them)

Last year my visits to the doctors became more intentional and specific to my hormonal condition. It clearly wasn’t a casual consultation anymore. The doctor mentioned that I’d have difficulty in conceiving at a later time in life and that crushed me escpecially because I have beautiful nieces that I LOVE TO BITS and I would absolutely love to have kids of my own someday. They just became a reminder of what I could possibly never have in my life. A “kokonyo” (translated as a showoff/enticement) of sorts. I got so angry at myself, at my body for being so damn incompetent and at God in general to whom I had prayed severally to heal me. *Cue “GOD WHY ME” and listening to sad depressing music all day phase*

I started to distance myself even further from any men/ attention I was getting from them (not that I had a variety to choose from to begin with), I decided if I stayed alone (with 80 cats) I wouldn’t have to share this tough experience with anyone and they would probably leave me if they found out. I would be a lone ranger! ….aaaaaaaand then I watched “Pretty Woman” for the 100th time in my depression and decided I wanted to be loved and I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to know what that felt like rather than olympic run from my problems like I usually do (Usain Bolt ain’t got nuthin’ on me). I figured the right person (who hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting my awesome ass yet) would love me, flaws and all.

This year I decided to live courageously, to dare to love myself inspite of my flaws because for anyone to love me and vice versa, I’d have to be able to acknowledge my own badassery. I’m a smart, beautiful, stylish, accomplished,witty, beautiful woman with a great taste in music and movies and H.I can no longer hold me captive.

It’s not easy, but I’m taking one day at a time, praying about it, seeking practical solutions because I have heard of people that have been able to beat this.

*IN GOD WE TRUST. WATCH OUT FOR PART 2* *CAST*


Hope you enjoyed it. Love and light all the way from the back seat of a matatu. Be Blessed.

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 20: The R.A.I.S.E Program

Today is all about sharing a life changing event i once attended and mine was more of an event that was broken into weekly phases. Around 2014 many high schools were having R.A.I.S.E programs for their higher class students.

They were opening our minds to the life after school which included youth unemployment, lack of funds to enter tertiary education or start small businesses, global competition for jobs, being under-prepared for the world that is moving so fast and so much more.

R.A.I.S.E in full is Reap what you sow, Aspire to be the best you can be, Invest in your future, Start now, Education is the key to success.

We all looked forward to Friday prep nights because of these people who worked 9 to 5’s in the day and graced us with inspiration in the night. Some of the tutors were Daniel Kaweesi (who’s autograph i got), Newton Bayo (the reason girls in class paid attention during these sessions…single school problems)

He was popular at the time so this meant something

So R.A.I.S.E is one of the reasons i’m obsessed with self growth, emotional intelligence (EQ), power of positive thinking and connecting to my higher self.

During the third tutorial Daniel Kaweesa taught us how to channel our positive thinking by knowing who we are, understanding that we are valuable and emphasized greatly on changing our attitude. Positive thinking comes with financial security and personal growth. It’s safe to say more people are becoming more aware about financial discipline and embracing personal development. It is important for us to believe we can overcome any problem as long we keep our heads in the game.

My take away from the EQ tutorial was the tips on how to improve emotional intelligence:

Being self aware by being honest about our strengths and weaknesses. The tutor summarized that into three parts. Dissecting each to know where we stand and how we can improve.(Will attach an image) We were encouraged to take control of our lives, have a life plan (visit Khanani’s blog she is very good at life plans) have empathy towards one another and build trust and rapport with other people.

The three parts to help you be more self aware.

Yesterday i was clever so i wanted to change the world today i am wise so i am changing myself

-Rooney

My best tutorial was that of connecting with your higher self. It’s 6 years down the road and i’ll tell you that I do all the things i learned back in 2014 now but unconsciously. Your higher self is your true being and you can learn how to nurture him/her, build a relationship and maintain it with your higher self.

Why do you need to connect to your higher self? When you connect with him/her you start working with God and make the seemingly impossible, possible. The results of that are joy, peace, abundance and self worth. Visit Luke 17:20-21

I enjoyed the R.A.I.S.E program so much, i wish they could make it part of the school curriculum. Imagine the kind of human beings that would be let out into the world. Personally, it has molded me into a decent human being (i’m still doing my best) and i’ll forever be grateful. I still have my notes and questions from the sessions.

Thank you for reading, have a lovely weekend.

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 19: Music Junction

Today’s topic is about sharing 5 songs and why they are special to me. Like many people it’s really hard coming up with just five of so many favorite tracks but this was also super easy for me. They are special because i found each one at a time i needed to hear it and carry the message with me.

Taught Me to Have Hope Again.

There was a time when i got tired of being patient. I almost quit an opportunity i’d worked so hard for only because i wasn’t getting what i wanted. Danny Gokey’s words gave me hope and reminded me to be thankful to God for what He has given me so far. I surely hadn’t seen it yet at the time but the hope and patience got me to a better place. Is your heart heavy, are you tired of waiting? Listen to this song, the entire album if you may. The album is titled Haven’t Seen It Yet.

One Way Got Me Out of Dark Times.

TAMELA MANN!! This woman’s voice is beautiful, she sings songs that will make you cry and run back to God if you’d turned your back on Him. For my Good was a song i listened to over 50 times last year and 2018. Do the lyrics of a song ever get to you and have you questioning your life? (Maybe i’m weird) I could write about all the song’s on the One Way album but this one is special. Our lives are in the hand of God and we have to trust in His plan even when we get distracted by what we see. I hope you get a chance to listen to it.

One of The Deepest Songs I’ve Listened To.

I can’t talk about music and not go old skool on y’all. I’m the biggest RnB old school fan i know but if you want to top my list then be my guest.(You have to earn it) TLC lost their member Lisa Lopes aka Left Eye (RIP) but Chilli and Tboz keep slaying even in 2020. Anyways Unpretty is a song that tackles women’s self worth which is still an issue today. When you first listen to it you’d think it’s about a girl seeking to be free from her oppressing boyfriend but the fact is the antagonist is the woman herself. I was curious what the song meant because I’ve known it my entire life and was not buying the oppressing boyfriend story. So listen to it and check this out.

Their Voices, The Whole Album Is Therapeutic.

Bringing you back to Africa, Kenya to be exact. I came across this one on Trace Gospel one Sunday during the lock down times. They have amazing voices for people with small bodies (this is me trying to make a point) The song is a mix of Swahili and English. It has a beautiful message. El Shaddai or just Shaddai is one of the names of the God of Israel. El Shaddai is conventionally translated into English as God Almighty 

El Shaddai Uko na kile me nadai Ulinipenda hata Kama me sifai translated as El Shaddai You have everything that i want You loved me even though i don’t deserve it. Go on then listen to this beautiful song.

I Relate to Every Line In This Song


First of all big shout out to Marvin who introduced me to NF. Marvin is an amazing human being 2019 sent my way. (Marvin when you see this don’t cry, bask in your moment of fame ) Anyways NF has the deepest, most vulnerable, raw and mind boggling lyrics I’ve ever come across. He is a rapper and the only one whose entire albums I’ve listened to. (Ironically the song started playing as i was writing this) It has so many life lessons and pieces of advise we may want to be told but fear to hear because human beings have a problem with the truth.

Yeah, handouts create lazy people I’m not impressed with
You want something in life, then why don’t you go and get it?
Actions speak louder than words do, it’s pretty quiet, isn’t it?
Look at the world we live in, defined by comment sections
Surround yourself with people that challenge how you think
Not people that nod their head and act like they agree
……..

That’s it folks. My 5 songs and why they are special. Hope you enjoy them and make sure to try out the albums too.

God Bless You All. Until tomorrow.

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 18 : Camping Nightmare

It’s day 18 of 22 which means this beautiful journey is coming to an end. Creative writing is the theme of today specifically forming a story with the line “By the time he woke up, I was dying….” The stories I’ve read are amazing and here is a two page novel excerpt from my mind. Enjoy!


Before i returned home i’d wanted us to go camping for the weekend but Ryan was not having it. I know he is afraid of the dark but they’d be a camp fire to take us throughout the night. So i didn’t see why he was fussing about it.

Gloria rushed into the room and i gave her the bad news. “Ryan this is the one chance we have to go camping before we all get busy with life. Why would you want to pass this chance up?” Gloria said. He looked at us with a little worry and a smug on his face. “Fine but i’m only going because you asked me to drive.” Ryan said. “I could possibly sleep in the car just for safety but we are going anyway” he added.

Two hours later we hit the road me and Gloria excited to the core. While in the car we do a simple roll call just to make sure we packed everything. “Wait a minute….” i exclaim. “Did you guys know we have to do a treasure hunt tonight? Gloria did you know?” i ask. “Well that was the surprise and if i mentioned it before we left,Ryan over here would bail.” she replies. I could read the anger off his face but we were half way the journey. It was too late to turn back.

At the campsite were tents being set up by excited revelers. The music was loud everyone looking for a familiar face and endless chatter from young energetic girls and boys. I’ve traveled with Gloria before but this is the biggest adventure escapade we’ve been on. Left my worries at the entrance because this weekend was about fun and nothing else.

As dawn falls we gather around the blazing fire for warmth and a short meet and greet with other campers. Instructions are given and the treasure hunt lists spread out. Before we head out i rush to the car where Ryan is rested listening to music “We are headed out for the treasure hunt, can’t move with my phone so we’ll see you later” i said hurriedly. “Cool. Hey, be safe…” he replied lazily. I smile and walk way.

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 17 : Of Current Affairs

After a whole day of thinking i decided to sit this one out. There’s so much going on in the world that you’d expect me to have a lot to say on current affairs. We have issues we would like to share but how to put that in words that will not come off as mean or insensitive is not easy.

In Uganda just like any other country we have corona virus cases and they keep increasing. Every day i get to move out of the house and see what this pandemic has done to people. My concern is mostly those who are out of work, the people that worked for money not to save but to survive. I don’t know how to put that in words without getting teary. What is the true importance of the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness?

The news is filled with greedy and selfish politicians who are the least bothered about the people that voted them into power. What kind of leaders live among us? The 2021 elections are coming up, they are warming up their lies and ready to blindside desperate people. I voted once and i’m highly unlikely to vote again. (that could change a long the way)

Rape victims have gotten voices but they are not getting the attention they need and deserve. Coming out and sharing their stories is one step in the right direction but what about the rapists.What happens to the individual that left a permanent scar on an innocent soul. One rapist (student of the bar course in Ug, LDC) had the audacity to file a law suit against the female he raped. What kind of lawyers is the country molding? (Pardon me if i used the law terms wrongly) The lawyers to be reading this, our nation deserves better,we need people ready to fight for justice.

“Celebrities” are running out of what to do and wasting their hard earned money to look for cheap popularity in the media. The economy is already bad as is, they could use that money to invest or diversify their brands or businesses. (But who am i to judge)

Outside my third world country home, racism has never stopped and some white people have the audacity to portray their ignorance. I’m not letting all the other silently supportive anti racism folks of the hook. Its is a united we stand, divided we fall kind of situation. There’s something wrong and i still don’t get it. What is extremely harmful or scary about a black person, what is wrong with accepting someone for who they are? I still don’t get it God, maybe one day.

2020 has and is still a tough year but it has challenged me to think about so many things. The people or places i thought were superior are not superior after all. Is the world coming to an end? I don’t know either. Is this a sign from the universe that people need to change their ways, maybe but i will never know. Or is it a second chance at life but to be lived differently, with intention, faith, respect and genuineness.

I will never know but maybe you do. Folks as much as i did want to share what is on my mind, i actually don’t have it in me to go that deep. I’d like to commend all the people in their different capacities fighting the good fight for the girl child, women, mothers, unemployed youth, SME business owners,the individuals whose homes and businesses have been occupied by the ever so strong waved Lake Victoria (will do a piece on this) Not forgetting the boy child too.

Love and light to you all.

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Lock Down Challenges

Proverbs In Vernacular

FUN FACT: My father is an Etesot and my mother is a Muganda. This makes me half and half but due to male dominance i’ll introduce myself as an Iteso. Luckily i got a Kiganda name, Suubi which means Hope.

Today i’ll share with you a couple of proverbs from both tribes some of which i just learned today. My grandmother all the way in Butebo must be disappointed. The children of my father’s household need to go back for lessons myself included.

1. Eyauni epejonon aijar

Translated as: The visitor brings life.

To mean: Its better to share with visitors because they add more blessings.

2. Agali awamu g’egaluma enyama

Translated as: Only the teeth that are joined will bite the meat.

To mean: When people are united, even the strongest enemy or the toughest challenge can be overcome.

3. Ebibe tebyala

Translated as (Loosely): Stolen things don’t yield much

To mean: There is no gain from stealing something that does not belong to you.

4. Nantabulirwa asaabala gwa bumbba

To mean: A person who doesn’t heed to advise is bound to fail.

5. Ekigya omanyi kinyagga bitono

To mean: If something comes your way and you had a clue it doesn’t break you down as much.

I need to visit both my grandmothers and go deeper into my roots. They are always telling us stories but we don’t go much into things like proverbs.

Despite that finding, i enjoyed doing the research for today’s topic.

I would also like to add that during my research someone I reached out to blatantly told me and I qoute “things to do with my tribe will take me no where”. Let that sink in (I still am), we need to reflect on how detached we are from our roots.

Blessed Week Lovely People.

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Lock Down Challenges

Of Social Media Accounts I Love and Why

Today’s topic is interesting. It’s like a step further getting to know something about all the amazing bloggers I’ve met thus far.

Here are four of other amazing accounts that I follow on the socials.

Pearls For Her (PFH)

I love entrepreneurship and being a career woman. PFH is an amazing platform that was created to help women be both and enjoy every second it. It’s mostly beneficial to already existing businesses but I’d recommend it to anyone. Through their programs and trainings I have learned and I’m still learning. Anxiously waiting to apply my skills. It’s simply two amazing ladies helping other women flourish. Check them out!! They are Ugandan.

Crystal Newman

I listened to her all the years she was on Sanyu FM, my favorite show was a Saturday one where she invited celebrities to share their stories. She left radio not so long ago but came back with a YouTube channel and maintained her concept. It’s no longer about celebrities though but rather people who have stories worth sharing and been judged differently by society. *I’m a very good listener hence I love stories* I also follow her on Instagram, she’s such a foodie and always shares amazing recipes. *I’m a foodie too* Check out her pages. She’s also from my motherland.

Transformation Church/ Michael Todd

The channel and man of God behind Relationship Goals. The story about these two is quite long. All I can say is I’m grateful that I stumbled on the channel. Plus I feel like other people have done the account justice talking about it today.

Afrobloggers

The reason I’m here so exhausted but still sharing this list with you. Afrobloggers is an account I followed shortly after I resumed blogging. They are so welcoming and extremely devoted to uplifting African writers. Through them and this challenge I’ve met amazing bloggers with great talent. If you aren’t following them yet, what are you waiting for honestly?

They are so many accounts I could possibly share but for now that’s all. Make sure to check them out or recommend to people you think would love them.

Sending love to you all. Continue to be safe and cautious during these difficult times

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Lock Down Challenges

#WinterABC Day 8

I write this sitted in a taxi exactly twelve minutes to curfew time. A bit excited to see what happens if I’m not home by 7pm as the traffic was beyond my control.

I almost didn’t get time to write. The challenge has to continue and I thought what better time to write than this rush hour confusion I got myself into. Anyway getting into today’s topic.

Here are a few and short pointers I think all African content creators can stay away from in this blogging, vlogging and influencing world.

  • Don’t Give Up

Nothing ever comes easy so keep trying but don’t fail to try. Beginnings are pretty hard but with the passion and charisma, things eventually get going. So do not give up.

  • Don’t create purely for fame

Give the people what they need and the fame or popularity will come easily to you. The content and how it’s delivered will draw the fame. Do your part consistently with purpose and allow your followers to celebrate you. Hard work always pays off.

  • Don’t try to cover all topics

Identify your niche and engage to understand it better. Base your content on your niche and be creative in a satisfactory manner. There’s a niche for everyone of us. All it takes is continuous research and the internet to get a hold of it.

Love and light esteemed readers.

Update: Got home at exactly 7:30pm. The police officers didn’t question me. It is important that I’m home and safe. (Thank God)

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Lock Down Challenges

5 Bloggers in My Country

I didn’t want this day to reach because i’m somewhat new to the blogging community of my country. That also made me realize i’m not reaching out enough to get to know people in the blogging space but that’s why i joined the WinterABC challenge. (Social media is important after all!!)

There are so many talented bloggers in Uganda. I’d come across some of their pages before the challenge and others along this journey. Everyone of them has a unique style of writing that will captivate you. I honestly feel like a rookie when i read their blogs.

Without further ado, let me share with you my 5 bloggers in Uganda and make sure to check out their blogs if you haven’t already. Follow them as well to keep up with amazing stories.

Khanani Daniella

She is an amazing writer, came across her page when The Paul Coelho liked and appreciated her book review on his book. I was amazed by her pointers too, i intend to get the book too. Then throughout the challenge, she’ll make sure to let you know what she’s learned from your post. I loved her Becoming piece. She’s got a good thing going and i’d like for you to follow her too.

Benjamin Watch

He has a passion for blogging which you can tell through his writing. He’s always sharing bloggers pieces to the world. This is very encouraging and it feels good to know that your stories are appreciated by people you’ve never met but connect with through words.

Katasi E. Kironde

I got to know about her through the WinterABC challenge. Her Becoming story was amazing too and it prompted me to check all her other stories. She has The Lockdown Chronicles series, haven’t finished all the stories but i recommend.

Vocalized Thoughts

Now i came to know Ms Abigaba through this challenge after she liked one of my posts. Went to her blog and read some of her work before the challenge. One thing caught my eye, her review on the The Defining Decade and that was enough for me to subscribe. Her writing style is unique and i like it.

Justified Ecstasy

The lady behind it is Patsy Mugabi. Anything you want to know about personal finance, natural hair and lifestyle she has got you. She also has a page on Femme Money Moves which is basically personal finance for the average twenty something female. Check out her blog and find out more.

I’ve just realized all four of the five are female. Girl bosses out here doing the most!! The future is surely female. They are so many amazing bloggers and i continue to learn from them.

To telling more stories, being heard, sharing others and fighting the good fight with WORDS!!

Mpaka wakati ujao (Until next time……. *Inspired by Daniella* )