A blog Not about Denzo

 “I have created my greatest work when I am angry or saddened by life – those are the times I have stepped into the booth and blown peoples’ minds” – Denzo.

Now you probably have never heard of Denzo.

Or, you probably think I have misspelt the name and actually meant to type “Denzel”… you would be wrong you damn know-it-all fuck…

I met Denzo a couple of days ago in his recording studio in a Kampala suburb/slam called Nateete that we visited as part of a TV production. I was personally there to take pictures for a different project of my own.

Denzo is a tall, slim, dark, bearded dancehall artist with a hoarse voice both in the booth and out of one that reminded me of Buju Banton, although I have never met the latter in person.

When he spoke (Denzo) you could hear the truth and feel the pain and sincerity in his voice.

And when he walked into the room you couldn’t help but notice his presence, partly because he smelt of weed.

When he stepped into the booth he was like a beast on steroids with so much to say to an extent that he at times struggled to fit all his words within the beat his trusted producer had cooked up.

Every so often the beat would end and he wouldn’t even notice, he would go on for about 25 seconds before he realizes he’s been singing to silence, at which point he would command; “reload dat tune!!”, telling the producer to replay the beat so he can start again and try to fit his message into the beat one more time.

Like many artists, he sang about love, women, and life as he saw it. But it’s when he sang about the music industry (where I suspect his pain lays) that you could really see and respect the musical beast in him.

Anyway so when we got to the studio, almost immediately, he led us to a dark room with a thick wooden table surrounded by old chairs with torn fabric.

He sat in the chair at the end of the table that looked like a throne and invited us to each grab a seat on rest of the chairs.

His crew, mostly dreadlocked guys sat around him, while my team and I positioned ourselves in strategic areas to be able to capture good images with our cameras.

Soon after we had all settled in, he asked one of his boys to pull out the stuff before we could start to which he (one of his boys) responded by pulling out what must have been a kilo of weed wrapped in an old newspaper from under the table.

This looked like some kind of ritual that I couldn’t wait to kick off.

After a few puff-puff-passes later, Denzo begun to tell his story.

One of the things he said that I at first didn’t pay much attention to or if I did I probably thought to myself “he’s just another artist saying the usual shit” is that quote I started with. But here it is again;

“I have created my greatest work when I am angry or saddened by life, those are the times I have stepped into the booth and blown peoples’ minds”

This is however not an article about Denzo.

As I sat at the back of my car

My heart very, almost beating out of my chest

Gazing at the evening commuters

Staring at their faces but hoping no one would see me

For they would see the pain in my eyes

A pain that I try very hard to hide from the world but fail almost every time

Wondering what poison to take

Not to forget the pain but to get distracted by the thought or process of killing a part of me

This is the place I usually wander into when I feel angered or saddened by life

“I have done it all” I thought to myself

“What’s left?” I questioned my conscience

If I have not done it before it’s because I will probably never do it

I was out of options it so appeared

So I left the back of my car and walked to my office

At this point I feel so powerless and vulnerable

And for some ridiculous reason, I ended up on wordpress.com

I have not opened it since March 21, 2013; over 2 years ago.

As I looked at the titles to my previous articles chronologically listed in my dashboard, I realized that I could not remember what any of the underlying stories was about.

I couldn’t remember what any of the shit I wrote was about.

I also noticed that I could not bring myself to open and read any of the articles. In fact the general feeling of what I would find if I opened one scared me.

Part of the reasons I never read my blogs and couldn’t open one even now is because I have never really thought of myself as a good write or a writer at all. So I always preferred to save myself from the embarrassment of reading my raw, below average shit.

I always only used my blog to take shit off my mind that I could never talk to anybody about but would want someone to hear it.

Which takes me to the real reason I could never read my blogs after publishing them and responding to a few comments that would in the next couple of day after posting, I realized that I only wrote when I was in pain.

My pain was usually sparked by different things but mostly it was sparked by my feeling of being misunderstood. And no, I am not gay; if anything I still hate those fuckers.

So whenever I was in pain, I would write. I could never go back to read that shit because it would probably bring back the pain or remind me of it. So my writing was never meant to bring me closure, it just allowed me to take the negative energy and keep it somewhere else.

With time I found other ways to distract myself from the pain or can I say, I found more effective poisons.

Whereas I don’t think that I always did my best work as far as writing is concerned because I was angered and saddened by life like Denzo, I also do not think I did to badly given the fact that I am not a writer.

As I read the comments left by my very few readers back then, most of which I don’t even know and have never met, I realized that in my amateur-ness, I actually wrote stuff that impacted one or two people, here and there.

And whereas I still can’t open and read any of my blogs, I have this unexplainable feeling of importance that someone actually read my shit and got moved by it, so much so that they were compelled to leave a comment.

Here are some of the comments that came in last.


And whereas still I am writing because I am in pain, this time it feels different and has made me realize that it doesn’t matter how good or bad you write, as long as you writing about some kind of truth, someone will relate to it.

So to all my miserable readers, while you keep reading hoping to find some deep, sentimental shit down the page, sorry, this is just me unpacking my pain and storing it on the World Wide Web.

Nothing fancy here, so get on with your life and stop being too clingy.

It’s not like any of you pays me for this shit.


Okay okay, just so I don’t leave you with nothing; here’s some white-people-shit for your ass;

When you are in some kind of emotional pain, it means you have allowed yourself to feel something and have let your guard down and let life in. Much as this is usually a fucked up place to be, it also allows you to fully see life in your own perspective. And if you are a creator of sorts, this could be the best time to compose that song, design that house, draw that art piece or develop that concept. Use it so that it’s not all for nothing.

Or just smoke weed 🙂




~ by arthurscount on July 14, 2015.

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