I just turned 30. Well in actuality I am sitting in my room about an hour and a half away from midnight, attempting to put effective adjectives together to explain how I feel about it. But that’s beside the point. I don’t feel any older. I am not being doused with waves of longing, as some do. I am not going to begin asking questions of myself that involve what I have done thus far with my short-term lease in this body.

I’m all for introspection.

I’m all for looking back at the breadcrumbs you dropped in the forest, not for purposes of retracing your steps, but rather for seeing from whence you came. The awkward black boy who grew up on Kingston Drive has come a long way:

Fresh bullet casings on the porch steps



Getting my first job in fashion at Crooks n Castles

Graduating with an MBA

Working at Pepsi (for my 9 to 5) and Killionest (another fashion brand)

Moving the Bay Area to work in “Silicon Valley”

Co-Founding marrón. (what up Niko)

Formative. A foundation built on the back of a single Ugandan mother who was strict and imperfect, but loved me as best she could. A family of 9 siblings ingrained with the edict of protecting this house and those in it above all. We are each other’s keeper, and the older I’ve gotten the greater this has taken place as the centerpiece.

I am for US.

I am for making sure they see us, even if they can never feel us. That’s what this next chapter is about. Control the narrative. Tell our stories. Protecting and projecting the magic of WE. They’re always watching. So even when the lights out? They’re never truly off.

You know what I feel in this moment? Gratefulness. Nervous excitement. Peace. Grateful for the blessings from God above for bringing me thus far, and allowing me to wake up anew for the past 3 decades. Nervous excitement as I anticipate the next chapter that I am penning with every stroke and moment of my life. Peace because the confidence I have that this middle child of East-African immigrants will awake… and then elevate each day as he has done for the past 30 years.

kitara | winter ‘18


- marrón.