WOMAN FIRE GRACE is a story of redemption, grace and restoration for Rebecca Kisakye Makyeli from a life of addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex and homelessness. The book is divided into three parts: Woman, Fire and Grace. Each part gives a detailed account of Kye`s life. Woman-her growth spasms from primary school to higher education. Fire is about her days of enduring hardship and pain. Grace is all about God restoring and redeeming her.
Kye is introduced to alcohol at the age of 15 when she`s invited to a popular discotheque by a friend. She orders a red Smirnoff and with its sweetness, it is love at first sip! This marks her inaugural journey to partying hard, drinking alcohol like she`s pouring it into an endless pit, and smoking cigarettes like one lighting a sigiri with wet charcoal.
Her life becomes a whirlwind of parties comprising alcohol, sex and drugs which distorts her concentration levels while at university. Low self-esteem and bouts of depression set in and completely overwhelm her and she gives up on school.
Gifted with oratory skills, communication and creativity, not having a degree does not deter her from securing good jobs. But all the money she earns is depleted within a week or two. In comes the debt cycle. Work becomes a blur as she battles with severe bouts of depression, using sex, alcohol and cigarettes to numb the pain.
Kye moves from affluent status to street pauper when her father throws her out of the house. With pride in tow, she`s homeless for three years and seven months!! I could not fathom this. How did this happen? Why didn’t anyone reach out to her, and get her into rehab? Why didn’t her friends offer her food and shelter instead of more booze?? My heart broke for the young girl who craved a high and accepted her lot in life as one who belonged on the street.
All stories have a good ending with Jesus at the centre; this is the same for Kye. Her brother Nicholas (who to me is the perfect embodiment of the scripture in Proverbs 17:17, A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.), informs her that he has her money from a land compensation from UNRA. He instructs her to find a house and pay four months’ rent, buy basics, etc. She is off the streets and into a new home!!
Her salvation story happens during the lockdown. With time alone and no work, she is directed to two radio stations by friends: MCF led by Pastor Tom Mugerwa and later Power FM by Watoto Church. The latter becomes her high as she joins the pastor in prayer every morning. Her life is transformed, and her desire to drink and smoke dies on spot!! She starts a communications consultancy, Nova media and later auditions to work on Power FM, where she is now a morning show host on Kickstart!!
Listen, this book is POWERFUL!! I wailed when I got to the restoration bits of GRACE. What can`t our God do??
This memoir confirms what is said about Uganda, `the most happening country in East Africa. People in Kampala party hard, drink and use all sorts of drugs as Kye reveals in her book.
In high school, like many teenagers, I craved to go to the club. During senior four vacation, Joe Thomas aka Joe was in town and I convinced my aunt to let me go. I went with my two aunties and an uncle. As a huge R n B fan, this was the best night of my life. Later, we went to the Garden City rooftop (a hot spot back then) where I met many of my friends from St.Lawrence High School. It was a night of firsts: I tasted my first red Smirnoff and had many more; I was in a dancing/dubbing situation most of the night, and I stayed out till 4 am! (Curfew was observed strictly at home but that night we were exempted). I finally had a story to tell when I got back to school! All this earned me a place in the cool kids club not only at Horizon campus but also on other St.Lawrence campuses.
However, this did not become my `usual’ occurrence since I am a homebody. hahaha! But while at University, I attended events organised by Power FM and Watoto Church like Phatfest, Campus Kara and many more. The events never ended late so I would be back at the hostel at godly hours. LOL!!
With Kye`s restoration, God has birthed in her a sense of activism. `I am currently a strong advocate for addiction recovery and awareness. I have been invited as a speaker at a number of mentorship spaces for teenagers and young adults.’’ She works with a small outreach programme that visits the Bakuli slum area and reaches out to young people who have been driven away from home because of drug abuse. Through the programme, some lives have been restored.
Kye’s account is a story of many young people not just in Uganda but all over the world. It starts with one drink and later it becomes more until it becomes a cycle of alcohol and drug abuse. But we thank God for restoration and the many outreach programmes helping these young people get the help they need.
Kye`s story has taught me a few lessons:
- No one is too run down for God`s grace. God will find you and save you.
- All ministries working by the spirit of God are important. We must stop bickering over which man or woman of God is more powerful than the other. Kye listened to MCF radio by Pastor Tom Mugerwa which is run in Luganda and later switched to Power FM, which runs shows in English. Both stations played a key role in her life. May we support all ministries as they preach the gospel.
- Support your friends. Check-in on your friends and never stop.
- Drug and alcohol abuse is real and we shouldn`t play around with it in the name of being cool kids. The cool wears off when you can`t hold your liquor anymore.
- Mental illness is real. Seek help.
- God is more real than anything and anyone. I pray that you give your life to Jesus. Surrender and let Him come into your life and make a change in you.
If you desire to give your life to Christ. Say this prayer which Kye includes at the end of the book:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I repent of my sin. Forgive me of all my sins. I admit that I am a sinner and from this day, I put away my old life and accept you as my Lord and Savoir. Lord Jesus, come into my heart and dwell therein. Make me new. Make me whole. Thank you for your saving grace and mercy. I decree and declare that I am a new creation and will live to follow you from this day on. In Jesus’s name, AMEN!
We hope that you join a bible believing church and start your new life with Jesus.
Get a copy of Kye`s book today on Amazon, Mahiri at UGX 50,000, Power FM offices and The Coterie Book Cafe in Bugolobi. It is a perfect gift to anyone who is struggling with the notion of Jesus and salvation, condemnation, addiction and lifestyle.