Friday, December 14, 2018

It's Time To Declare War On The Scroungers!


The Oxford English Dictionary describes a scrounger as: “Someone who tries to get things especially money or food, by asking for them instead of buying or working for them.” That’s an apt definition for men, as in men scrounge while women slay. For the record, a slay is: “Naïve girls who do not date broke men. They don’t work yet, they are able to afford and their apartments are aptly furnished.”


Scrounger One

Timothy – and not me I might add, hangs out with Alan and Angie in the suburb of Kyaliwajjala – a name that sounds and reads more like a dreaded disease than an upcoming affluent suburb hence, people who live there say “Charlie” rather than “Kyaliwajjala”. Getting back, Timothy, Angie and Alan meet up at least once a month in one of the local bufunda’s, to catch up and do a spot of gossiping. And when they do, rather than going through the tedious task of summoning Waitress multiple times to take their beer orders, they simply buy a crate of Castle Lite and tuck it under their table. However, when other ‘friends’ join and see the crate, none of them bothers to ask. They simply reach over, dip their scrounging hands into the crate and help themselves. Some go even as far as swapping the bottles of Castle Lite which, they don’t drink for their preferred brand.


Scrounger Two

At a recent Buziga party, Host laid on a good spread – everything, right down from food, beers and more importantly, an array of spirits. Johnnie was there as was Ug Wa, Courvoisier and Vodka. Amongst the guests, were Four Scroungers. When it dawned on Four Scroungers that there was a run on Johnnie, one of them did the ‘needful’. He casually scrounged his way to the table and scrounged the entire bottle. Returning to where he was sitting, he put it under his seat. Johnnie was no longer for all Johnnie drinkers but for him and his Scroungers. And when Friend of Host eventually found the bottle and put it back on the table, ten minutes later and with no shame, Scrounger took himself back to the table, scrounged the bottle and this time, hid it behind some shrubbery.


Scrounger Three

At the same Buziga party and while it hadn’t even yet caught fire, when Floss Slay walked in with her Slays, within fifteen minutes she (Floss Slay) was at the barbecue. Nothing wrong with that I might add. But there is an Except. The except, is that while everybody else presented Barbecue Man with a disposable plate, Slay opted for more than a rip of tin foil and once served, she wrapped it all up walked straight out of the compound and deposited it in her ride. The norm in this case, is that one waits till the party is over and for Host to make the kalango that: “If anybody wants to pack some food, they are free to do so.”               
   

Scrounger Four

After a Munyonyo ‘beach party’, KK decided that the night was still young. Piling a bevy of Slays into his dudu, off they drove to Cayenne in Bukoto along with TB – one of his tights. At the Mukwano junction down the road from Namuwongo, they encountered a police breathalyzer road block and no sooner had Cop stopped the dudu, than Slays flung the door open and fled. Getting past the roadblock after some palm greasing, they caught up with Slays at Shell Jinja Road and KK stopped for them despite TB’s protests. Upon reaching Cayenne and after KK forking out close to 100k to get them in, they vanished into the crowd. In fact, the only time KK saw them throughout the night, was when they slayed up to him in needed of more drinks then vanishing off!

  


Friday, December 7, 2018

In Greed We Trust - Until We Get Caught or We Lose Money

In Greed We Trust?
Bernie Madoff, was an American former stockbroker, investment advisor, financier and now a convicted fraudster who is serving a federal prison sentence for a massive Ponzi scheme that he ran. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies in which, he defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars – almost $65 billion that, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison. So what does Bernie have to do with today’s Sunday ramble so I hear you asking yourselves?


Bernie Madoff
Until Bernie’s Ponzi scheme collapsed, I had never heard of him (Bernie) just like I had never heard of Nasser Nduhukire until, pictures emerged on social media showing him being pulled out of a ceiling by the police. Don Nasser, as the baleebsi that followed his every move called him, literally popped out of nowhere as in, one day he wasn’t there and the next, he was.

Greed Got The Better Of Nasser Nduhukire

The swanky Speke Apartments in Kololo, was one of the places where he was a regular and when it came to rides, they were all personalised – Nasser, Nasser 1, Nasser 2  - right down to a Rolls Royce worth sh1.7bn. Like many mystery tycoons so a post on social media read “he took over the social scene and splashed wads of cash like he had a money printing press in his garage at home.”

So where did all the money come from? Does he really have a money printing press? Did he win the lottery? Did he inherit? Err not at all. Don Nasser was a just another Bernie Madoff except, he wasn’t operating a Ponzi scheme, but like Madoff, he had the gift of the gab to prey on peoples greed and John Hill, an American national, was just one of those people consumed by greed.

Is Greed Really Good?

Don Nasser preyed on Hills greed – telling him that he could supply him with 75kg of raw gold and just like Madoff convinced investors to invest with him, Hill did just that to the tune of $700,000 (sh2.62bn). Except there was no gold – but Hill didn’t know it just like Madoff’s investors didn’t know that he (Madoff) was simply running a Ponzi scheme. By the time the dust had settled, Hill had lost everything. He lost his job and had to sell his home.

Following on Don Nasser’s heels is Charles Nwabuikwu, a Nigerian national who landed here almost a year ago and ready to satisfy our greed. His scheme was too good an offer that with all our greed, you would stupid not to take him up on it. Simply buy a computer tablet at sh580,000 and every month the buyer would reap in sh370,000 in monthly earnings.

Charles Nwabuikwu's Greed Brought Him To Uganda

Better still, if a child bought an iPad at sh327,600, they would earn sh185,000 every Christmas until they were 21 years old. His Ponzi scheme was so successful that anybody who worked for him felt they had the dream job. He threw them monthly Request Night parties and lavished them with gifts. And when his employees went out do marketing, they didn’t use bodas or trudge the dust beaten streets of Kampala but, went by Land Cruiser Prado – 67 of them which he hired to drop his employees to cut business deals with unsuspecting clients. Then he targeted single mothers with soft loans except, they had to fork out sh1m of their own money to be eligible. And like all Ponzi schemes, Nwabuikwu’s scheme burst. The single mothers lost their sh1m, and the kids won’t be getting their sh185,000 this Christmas. 

Greed Is Good Until We Get Caught Or We Lose Money

Greed is good - until you get caught or lose money. But Madoff, Don Nasser and Nwabuikwu are not crooks. They didn’t steal our money. Rather, all they did was they rightfully took advantage of our unsatisfiable lust for greed. You see, we were too consumed by greed hat we didn’t even notice that the deals they flaunted before our eyes were the dodgiest of deals. 


Pictures: Spy Reports, Galaxy FM

Friday, November 23, 2018

When Man Goes Into Self Destruct Mode


By all accounts, Anthony Weiner, a former member of the United States House of representatives from New York City, was a brilliant politician who had everything going for him. However, he careered off the track because of his amazing ability to ‘self-destruct’. You see, Weiner had a thing for sexting. His first scandal began when as a Congressman, he tweeted a link that contained a sexually suggestive picture of himself to a 21-year-old woman – a habit that went on for a number of years until 2016 when he pled guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor.
 
Antony Weiner Self Destructed His Political Career
Others with the gift to self-destruct include golfer Tiger Woods, former President, Bill Clinton and the artiste R. Kelly for example. Now the question begs - do you think Wiener, Woods, Clinton and Kelly woke up some morning and decided to destroy everything they worked for in their lives? Probably not. So what would drive accomplished men to do something so self-destructive?
 
Tiger Woods Had It All Until He Hit the Self Destruct Button
The answer has to do with how the brain works. Our brain likes to operate on autopilot as much as possible because it takes energy to focus on important tasks. And the brain likes to conserve its energy for those actions that require focused attention such as learning or other important tasks. That means we only have so much energy to focus on several things at once. Everything else that is already learned is being controlled in the background.

Self-Destruct Case One 

Closer to home, Odongo so I am told, is brilliant at what he does as a Gulu based accountant – except as you have already guessed, he self-destructed. The last time he did it - which I might add, saw him sent off the coolers for three years, was after picking up sh38m or so from Supplier to bank on the company account – something he didn’t do. Instead, he banked it on his personal account. When asked why he did it, his answer sneered: “The bank was about to close and I would not have made it in time to the bank where the company held its account. My bank was closer.” Odongo further continued to hit the self-destruct button when it emerged that the company bank, was just across the street from his bank plus, he didn’t credit the company account the following day when there was enough time. Rather, he feebly only tried to do so 14 months later when he heard a snap audit was being carried out in which he was rumbled.   
 
Self Destruct One
Self-Destruct Two

When Fred asked Tight to pick up his car from the bond and have it registered, Tight duly obliged. Two days later Fred flew out for a year of studies in Scotland. When he returned, the car was in his garage where it had been parked for a year. A couple of days later and on his first outing into town in the ride, around The Village Mall in Bugolobi, a Premio pulls up behind him starts flashing lights with the occupants all over themselves pointing that he should pull over. He did so but took the precaution of driving to the police post lest they were thieves. They were not thieves. Instead one of them was the real owner of the car for while he was away, Tight had given in the log book as collateral on a loan which he had not serviced.
 
Self Destruct Two 
Self-Destruct Case Three

When Manesh who had blatantly cut work was called into the office by Female Boss and asked where he had been, all he had to do was say “at the sites solving problems”. Instead he told her: “I was in town.” Frowning she asked: “In town doing what” to which he duly hit the self-destruct button in the most spectacular way. He said: “Nothing.” Is there any need to guess what she spewed out of her mouth at him?

Self Destruct Three


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Can Somebody Tell Former MP Emmanuel Ddombo To Stop Winging?

Can somebody please tell former Bunyole East MP, Emmanuel Ddombo to quit whining after the stark and bleak headline in New Vision (Monday 29th October), that would have been hard for anybody to miss – especially if you are current or a former Member of Parliament. It read: “Former MPs living miserable lives.”


 
Simply Seeking Attention? - Emmanuel Ddombo 
But surely, that can’t ring true because a study exposed that Ugandan parliamentarians are the second highest-paid in the East Africa after Kenya. Kenyan legislators earn $13,740 each month, which amounts to about one-and-a-half times the monthly salary of a Ugandan MP. Our honourables’ as they so often like to remind us of their title, earn a basic taxable salary of sh11.18m, but they also take home a raft of untaxed allowances, which elevates their total pay package above the sh20m-mark - a figure that many would deem good pay for a honest months work.
But the LG (life is good) factor for most MPs concludes the moment they lose the elections in that they end up living miserable lives outside parliament. At Imperial Royale hotel a few weeks ago, Ddombo literally wailed: “Do we become useless because we have lost an election? Can’t Government recognise former leaders such as MPs?”
Hmm and that’s what irks about MPs. An entire term is spent in parliament wanting to be recognised at nursery school openings, baptisms, borehole commissioning, weddings and graduation parties. And still, they want to be recognised once they no longer have the MP title and have been reduced to being the mere plebes that they have always been because before they went to parliament, they were ‘ordinary people, especially ones from the lower social classes’.
Former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, also joined the recognition deliberation when he said: “We still have energy to contribute towards the development of this country and we should be recognised.” But why should government or any of us recognise them?

Former Prime Minister Amama 
Let’s see what happens abroad – in the UK for example when an MP loses their seat. In the House of Commons, MPs don’t spend their time drifting the corridors looking for respect. They do more than that, in that they use their stint as an MP as a stepping stone to financial security after parliament.
Mr Ddombo, marvel at Ruth Kelly, a former Transport Secretary. Ruth didn’t go howling all over London’s bus tops looking for recognition. Instead, she used her MP links to land herself a senior fat paying job with HSBC, Britain's biggest bank within its strategy unit.

Mr Ddombo, there is also Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary who once launched an unsuccessful coup to topple Gordon Brown. When she left parliament, British Telecom appointed her a senior independent director on a six figure sum and has been on the company's board since March 2008. There is also John Reid, the former Home Secretary, who went on to become chairman of Celtic Football Club on £34,066 a year.
 
Patricia Hewitt Rakes In A Six Figure Sum 
Others Mr Ddombolo, use their Westminster contacts to begin careers in the lobbying industry. Andrew MacKay, the former Tory MP for Bracknell has a senior role at Burson-Marsteller, one of the world's biggest PR firms, which boasts HSBC and Danone among its clients and he rakes in excess of £350,000 a year.

So Mr Ddombolo, in all the years that you spent in parliament, what on earth were you doing? Did you think you were going to be there for life and thus didn’t need to plan for life after it? Another thing Mr Ddombolo, how is government supposed to recognize you as a former MP when you spend your ‘miserable life’ whining at every taxi stage that government is not recognizing you as a former MP.  Why should they? Dude get a grip, MAN UP and take a leaf from your UK colleagues. Do you see where I’m coming from? 


PICTURES: kampalapost.com, the guardian.com

Sunday, November 11, 2018

God Told Patience M7 Blatant Economic Fibs......


There is, a very good chance that in a million years I would have never heard of John Piper - founder of desiringGod.org, if I had not done research for this Sunday tirade. Piper wrote: “Early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o’clock, God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, and had an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth.”
John Piper  - Founder Of desiringGod.org
On the other hand, Mother Teresa so claims Fr. Vazhakala, who co-founded the contemplative branch of the Missionaries of Charity says she (Mother Teresa) kept notes of her conversations with Jesus and adds he has a document handwritten by her where she discusses what Jesus told during a period lasting from Sept. 10, 1946 to Dec. 3, 1947.
Mbu Mother Teresa wrote that one day at Holy Communion, she heard Jesus say: “I want Indian nuns, victims of my love, who would be Mary and Martha, who would be so united to me as to radiate my love on souls.”
Did Mother Teresa Actually Document Her Conversations With God?
Closer to home, sometime last year, the man in the white suit – Pastor Mbonye that is, audaciously admitted how he had met Jesus. That he (Jesus) came to his bedroom and far from being anything like the pictures of him (Jesus) with a scraggily hair and beard that have circulated the globe for years, he is a young man who is handsome and beautiful.
Why Didn't Mbonye Take A Selfie With God For Evidence 
Everybody has the right to talk to whomever they want to talk to just like I will talk to whomever I want to talk to – be it family, friends or even foes. I have conversations – some of which are documented because minutes are taken, and sometimes because I am in the company of other people, or on radio or television.
When I turn in, I do just that - turn in. I’m asleep and when I sleep like most sane people that I surround myself with, we do that – sleep and nothing else. I don’t have conversations with myself, God, Jesus or anybody else. But when people claim to have talked to or met God, my first thought as a sane person are to ask the men in white coats at Butabika to expect a new intake.
I’ve never had any real interaction with Patience, daughter of The Man With The Hat. I don’t hang in her circles because her circles are too ‘godly clean’ for my liking plus, I doubt her friends and especially her mum, would approve of my wayward lifestyle and morbid views on religion.
Getting back, according an online news feed, Patience told her church congregation that: “I saw God with my own eyes, he promised to transform Uganda.” Hmm, statement enough to alert the men in white coats to get the straitjacket ready? I think so. And what did God have to tell her? That: “Uganda is the heart of Africa. Just as a light comes from a heart that is transformed, a life is transformed. When Uganda is transformed, he said, Africa will be transformed.”
Where Was Patience When She 'Saw' God?
After she reads this paragraph, Patience will brutally learn that  you need not go putting all your faith in God but into Google because if he (God), had done some simple Googling as I did, the African Economic Forecast Reports as of September 2018 from IMF, World Bank and ADB amongst others, would have told him that the countries transforming Africa are not Uganda, but Ghana (8.3%), Ethiopia (8.2%), Côte d’Ivoire (7.2%), Senegal (7.1%), Tanzania (7%), Sierra Leone (6.3%), Burkina Faso (6%), Benin (6%), Rwanda (5.9%) and Niger (5.2%).

Do you see where I’m coming from Patience, don’t you think Africa stands a better chance of transforming by sticking with Ghana or Ethiopia?
 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Zungu's Beef With Rasta


An understanding of what Rastafari is all about is in order before we get into the meat of today’s ramble. Rastafari, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Rastas refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as ‘Rastalogy’. Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. Former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is given central importance with many Rastas regarding him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Christ.
 
Was The Haile Selassie Really Jah Even Though He Had No Dreads?
In reality, many – especially those of my parents’ generation have a different perception of what Rasta’s are all about. In the 80s, I was in school with Shirley Ashbridge who as the surname suggests is white. Born to a farmer and a housewife of a mother, she came from a small town called Cold Kirby in North Yorkshire, in England. Cold Kirby back in the 80s was farmland territory and a village at that. It was such a small village that everybody knew each other and if any of them bought new shoes, the entire village would get to know about it. Another thing about Cold the village that forms the basis of this ramble, is there were no black people or Asians.
 
Talent In Dreads - Lauryn Hill
At Shirley’s invitation I went up there with Norris Wiltshire who was also in school with us. Though British, Norris came arrived in England from St Kitts when he was four years old. And over the years, he cultivated and grew his dreadlocks to a thick and impressive length.
 
Despite His Dreads, Yanick Noah Was A Top Ten Tennis Player
While the rest of England was sort of used to seeing dreadlocks, as far everybody in Cold Kirby was concerned, black people – especially anybody with dreadlocks was a gangster, a thug, a goon, was high on cocaine and were most likely going to rape the first white woman they came across.

The two things that Shirley didn’t tell her parents about is that Norris and I were black and that Norris had dreads because when we rolled up to their farm which also doubled up at a small inn, ‘time stopped’. Her mother had the most terrified look on her face while her that of her dad to the best of my recollection, read something along the lines of: “Take what you can but please don’t kill me and please don’t rape my wife.” 
 
Buju Banton - An Awesome Voice In Dreads
It didn’t take long for the village to find out that there were black people in town that they thronged the inn to see, to catch a glimpse of us. While there were no racial connotations to their curiosity, many of them had never seen a black person save for on television. And the majority that came to see, were men. No wives and certainly no teenage daughters – just in case they got ‘raped’.

The irony of a black weekend in Cold Kirby, is that whenever Dale went to the store, pub or restaurant with his dreads fraying all over the village, he pulled out cash to pay for whatever he had bought or eaten and not a machete. And when he smoked, it was not a ganja joint that he smoked, but Marlboro. And when he talked to the women, no he didn’t want to rape them but have a conversation with them. And that despite the dreadlocks, he was in university studying psychology, yet most of the village had never gone beyond O-Levels. 
Even White Women Wanted More From Bob Marley Than Just His Music IF You Get My Drift 
So to American Lady in the blue jeans, white blouse and UN baseball cap who was in KFC, Entebbe two weeks ago on Saturday and who threw a ‘Rasta’s are scum’ tantrum because three Rasta boys politely asked her to pick up her tray and go throw her rubbish into the rubbish chute, I feel so sorry for you. I really do.  


    


Monday, October 29, 2018

The Reason We Like Dimly Lit and Seedy Places...

The last time I went downtown – to Nakivubo Stadium to be precise and before it was peddled off to pave way for a shopping mall, was probably seven years ago when Aga Sekalala and Co used to host Ekigunda Ky’Omwwaaka – a music festival that kicked off at 6:00am on Sunday and ended at 6:00am on Monday! The thing about Ekigunda Ky’Omwwaka is that, most fans came from deep rural Buganda - from kyalos whose names when read out, sounded more like some nasty terminal village disease than a name of a kyalo.

Simba FMs Ekigunda
Most of the day while the sun was still up, the crowd is the most pleasant one. They are relaxed and strolling through the countless food stalls or simply basking in the middle of the football pitch watching the various artistes do their thing on stage.

Then comes that hour when daylight takes a back seat and dusk sets in. It last all but five minutes – no tell a lie, it’s almost as instantaneous as flicking a light switch from ‘on’ to ‘off’ and that it. That split second transformation from light to darkness is what the crowd have been waiting for.

Ugandans have a love darkness. I don’t know where the craze came from – perhaps from the era of endless nights of load shedding towards in the 90s and into the millennium. But that’s beside the point. While we used to complain about load shedding, on the other hand, it was something we wholeheartedly embraced just like the crowd at Ekiggunda do once the skies darken.

The sedate day time crowd start shuffling about and breaking down from crowds an into pairs or rather couples, with each couple looking for the darkest spot in the stadium to call their own for the rest of the night.

Just Dark Enough
In the late 90s when I was still new in town after decades of a sojourn abroad, I was invited out to a kafunda in Wandegeya for a drink just before darkness set in. As I waited for Host to arrive, in walked a couple and after scanning the layout of the gardens, they took their place at a table in the corner that fairly lit. Five minutes later, Dude walks up to Waitress who after a brief discussion returns with a chap who was obviously the handyman. Handyman wasted no time in unscrewing the bulb where Couple had perched themselves and plunged the corner into a dark abyss.     

Just Enough Light
Andy The Greek used to own a restaurant called err, Andy The Greek. What used to amaze him, is how most of his Ugandan customers would literary beg for a table to be set in the far flung corners of the gardens especially behind shrubbery or the roses. He tells the tale of Regular Client who always requested for a table to be placed behind a thicket along with an umbrella – something that he found odd especially at night. But there was a reason. Once he and Female Companion were settled in the plastic chairs, Regular Client would lower the umbrella so low that they couldn’t be seen by others that it was almost like being in the darkest part of sin city.    

Dark Enough To Get Away With It
Nakulabye is umbrella city in that each kafunda in the area has more than a multitude of them – in fact more than they actually need. One night and on my first visit and at night when I returned from the not so pleasant toilets, with all the umbrellas and coupled with load shedding, I couldn’t remember where we were sitting. Straining my eyes I thought I saw a table and umbrella that looked familiar except that when I took my seat, out came this gruff voice wanting to know what I wanted with his woman. A hasty retreat was made.           

Too Much Light At Miki's Pub?
  

It's Time To Declare War On The Scroungers!

The Oxford English Dictionary describes a scrounger as: “Someone who tries to get things especially money or food, by asking for them inst...