Saturday, October 19, 2019
They don't call them monsters-in-law for nothing. Mothers-in-law are notorious for being controlling, judgmental, critical, and overbearing. And like any toxic person, a toxic mother-in-law is a soul-sucking parasite that feeds on your misery. To protect yourself, you first need to know your enemy, so here are 6 signs you might be dealing with a toxic mother-in-law.
1. She is always right, without exception.
2. She is dismissive.
3. She makes it clear she doesn't like you.
4. She doesn't respect your words, choices, or personal space.
5. She engages in smear tactics.
6. She's vindictive, spiteful, grudge-holding, and punishing.
Except in Okello’s case, he had not yet married into the family. As far as Susan’s mother was concerned, any man who came from across the River Nile was a savage, uncouth and not good enough for her Muganda daughter. When Okello started dating Susan – just fresh out of her O-levels in England, her mum flipped. She went berserk, ranted, raved, did cartwheels and was on the first plane to London to assure that ‘northerner’ as she called him that he was not fit enough for her daughter.
No sooner had the old Uganda Airlines plane touched down in London than she was in his face. She lashed at him, mocked him and hurled all kinds of expletives at him.
With hindsight, Okello, should have walked and gone and found himself a woman whose mother would not stress. But he didn’t. The love they had for each other was so strong that despite all the abuse that went on for years, it didn’t break his resolve.
The tide changed when Okello, graduated and landed a very respectful job that enabled him to buy a house for him and their now three kids along with all the trappings of a luxurious family life. Right now, Okello can hardly put a foot wrong because Mother-In-Law kneels for him whenever he visits and dots all over him – something that was would never have happened at the start of the relationship. Hmmm.
They were neighbours in Ntinda during their teens in the 70s. But in the 70s, having a boyfriend would be enough to get you a lashing from your parents and especially if you are a girl.
So when Harriet’s mother found out that The Boy Next Door would come and visit while she and hubby were at work, the issue needed to be nipped in the bud. First she gave Daughter a lashing of a lifetime which was followed by words of abuse. Next, she went next door and assured the boy and his mum never to step foot into her compound and to have nothing to do with her daughter. Like in the first story, this went on for a good number of years.
Harriet and The Boy Next Door eventually grew up and went their separate ways and got married to different people and had children. He lived in Scotland and she lived in Uganda. Then she relocated to Manchester and a good number of years went by until they bumped into each other at a party.
As fate would have it, they both were both single – with their previous marriages not having worked out and there is no need to tell you the direction of the tale. They became friends and one thing led to another that they got married.
The most interesting thing that happened at the wedding was the speech by Harriet’s mother. She was full of praises for The Boy Next Door – saying all these good things about how he used to come and visit and how he was well mannered as a boy and how she hoped her daughter would end up marrying him. Hmmm.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
“As a society, we must recognize the barriers that men face when choosing whether to speak out about a sexual assault. When these men do choose to come forward, it is important that male survivors, like all survivors, be believed and supported by those around them, and allowed to make their own decisions about what courses of action to take.” - Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Centre – University of Michigan
It was 1999 and I was new in town after a very good number of years living abroad. Obviously, there was a need to get a job as fast as possible. And getting a job so I found out, didn’t come from newspaper adverts, but connections – somebody who knows somebody, who knows somebody.
Cousin, worked for an international hotel chain in the middle of town and knew the hotel was looking for a PR Manager. She managed to get my name on the interview list with the head of Sales and Marketing - a lady whose initials are GM. The picture I had of her, was a chic in a power suit, high heels, full of flair and hair tied back.
When she flaunted in, she was all that and more. She was very arresting. Her legs so I thought, were specially hand crafted by God and almost the height of the hotel she worked for. There was however, no power suit. She was wearing shorts with heels. Of course, I gave her the once over while her back was turned on me.
During the interview she asked some hard-hitting questions which in my opinion, I floated through. An hour and a half later as it came to a close, she eased up, sat back in her leather swivel chair then asked: “Do you like women?”
I felt like I had been sucker punched by a question in quantum physics. What sort of question is that I wanted to ask but didn’t. I cleared my throat and let out a feeble “pardon”. Again she asked and three billion different thoughts ran through my head with all three billion thoughts causing utter carnage and mayhem as they tried to conjure up an appropriate answer.
Was she asking about my sexuality? Had she caught me eyeing her handcrafted legs? What did she want to know for? In a trembling voice I said: “Yes, I like women and I have no problem working with them.” At that, she leans forward and says: “TB, some men don’t like it when the woman is on top.”
I understood where she was coming from, but it was the tone that made me feel very uncomfortable. It didn’t come across like she was asking if I had a problem having a female boss. This felt sexual, like she had made a sublime sexual pass.
Big George as he likes to call himself and I needed haircuts, so we went to Soya. At the barbers, Girl Assistant’s job is to wash heads once cut. When I walked in, she was giving Big George a head massage and in a not so bothered way, I asked why I never get that part of the service. All I got back was a sneering look.
After my cut and hair wash, she did give me a head massage. It was soothing to say the least until her hands slid down my neck, under my t-shirt and started on my shoulders. I felt a tad uncomfortable, but let it slide. Next, her hands slid down to my pectorals (chest) and really started on a thorough massage that included twirling at my nipples! She didn’t stop there. She whipped my t-shirt out of my jeans and started massaging my belly that was still bloated with last night’s beer.
Pictures: indiewire.com, moviemem.com, nypost.com, nbcnews.com, plbsh.com
Saturday, October 5, 2019
There is something about leaving. Be it employment or the better half splitting up with you. When it comes to domestic help, most of them, if not, all do not have contracts or terms and conditions. They don’t have working hours. All they know, is that they are supposed to look after the house and only go to bed when the rest of the household has retired.
Of course, during the day and once the household has gone to school and to the office, they lock up and go and do their own things. If not, they have friends over and spend it watching Nigerian movies on DStv.
|Nothing Left But The Bed|
However, when they tire of the job, nine times out of ten, they don’t feel obligated to inform Employer. They simply say that Grandmother in kyalo is sick and they want four days off. And that’s the last you ever hear of them.
Days after their departure is when you suddenly notice that you can’t find things. Bras and knickers have gone missing as have the children’s clothes, shoes and other items. Basically, Domestic Help gave herself a ‘retirement package’ before she left.
Joshua was in a long term relationship with four kids under his roof and a wife. Okay, so they had been having some problems, but he took them as minor teething relationship problems that could be sorted out when he returned from a trip upcountry.
He was somewhere in western Uganda when Domestic Help called sounding very unsure of himself. All he kept on saying in a croaky voice is that they have left. “Who has left” so Joshua kept on asking, but Domestic Help, simply repeated the same thing over and over like a CD that is skipping.
So he called Wifey to find out. In a straight and upbeat mode she told him all was fine at home and there was nothing to worry about. Confidence restored, he finished his work and returned a few days later. When Domestic Help opened the gates, he looked almost ghost like and trembling all over. In fact, he broke out into a sweat the moment Joshua stepped out of the ride.
It was when he got into the house that he realized what he meant when he said: “they have left”. Wifey had packed up the kids and left. Not only that, she had swept the house to through that there was no evidence of the kids and Wifey ever living in it. But she was however, ‘thoughtful’ enough to leave him a few ‘essential’ items. An ice bucket, salt shaker, a teaspoon and the matrimonial bed – oh, and the DStv. But no curtains.
Then there is Joseph who moved in with Girlfie. But let’s back track. By the time Girlfie moved in, Joshua’s house was bare and with Girlfie insisting they can’t live in a bare house, he embarked on a building spree to make the house feel homely. Cooker came as did a microwave and all the other essentials to run a house.
However, one evening upon returning home he pops into the kafunda for a drink and the neighbors are surprised to see him. “But Joseph, what are you doing here, we thought you had moved” – something that took him by surprise. Everybody kept on saying it.
|That Empty Feeling|
Trying to put the whole saga to bed, he asked how they came to such a conclusion. It turns out that while he was at work, Girlife turned up with a Canter truck and packed up the house. She even got the neighbors to help her pack up and also had the audacity to go to the kafunda to pay off any outstanding bills.
Pictures: freepik.com, tenor.com, alamystockphoto
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Wikipedia, describes work ethics as: “a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue or value to strengthen character and individual abilities. It is a set of values centered on importance of work and manifested by determination or desire to work hard.”
To be honest, that narrative is all complex. Mine would read something like this: “Doing the job with all due diligence.”
There is something about blue collar workers – house help, waitresses, drivers and so forth. Their work ethics especially when it comes to leaving the job, differ from that of a white collar worker. When house help asks for time off to go to the village, it’s usually the signal that they are not coming back. And for most of us, we learned the hard way because we didn’t see the signals. Like Dora says: “It’s imperative to check their rooms before they leave because it’s not in their work ethics to tell you that they are done. They have quit. They just go and never come back. If they have left say their radio, some Sunday best clothes, the nice suitcase and a neatly laid bed, then they are coming back. But, if on the other hand, they have left tattered clothes and worn out slippers, then they are gone for good.”
But sometimes, the blue collar work ethic does cross over to the white collar worker. A while back, I was invited to sit on an interview panel of a company seeking to hire a receptionist. When Interviewee walked in, she had receptionist attributes and the interview was going well until she got asked - “if she you were offered the job, when could you start?” Interviewee’s response simply astounded. “Right now” she said. “But wait up” I interjected. “You told us you were working at a company on Bukoto Street. Don’t you have to give them some notice?” Interviewee didn’t even bat her eyelids when she said: “I told them I have a problem. I just won’t go back.”
With that she failed the interview. If she was willing to ask her employer for a couple of hours off to go sort out a ‘problem’ (read: going for an interview) and not going back because she was offered the job on the spot, then, she is obviously going to do the same thing to us if we had offered her the job. And the saddest part of it all, is that she did not see where she went wrong.
There are a number of offices that, overlook Kampala Road. And at least once or twice during any given week, there is a parade from City Square down towards Centenary Park. These marches that have been sanctioned by the police are usually led by a band and behind them anybody from school teachers, nurses, prisons, National Water and so forth. All are marching for a cause.
As we sat in the boardroom overlooking Kampala Road, we could hear tunes from the band get louder and louder. And the louder they became, I started to notice concentration beginning to wane in the boardroom with people trying to peer out of the huge windows to get a look. As a joke I said: “Perhaps we could adjourn the meeting for two minutes so people can get to see what is going on outside.”
To my utter surprise, literally the entire boardroom leapt out of their seats to go and gawp at Buganda Road Primary School – it think it was marching past!
Speaking to one of the managers after the meeting, he had this to say: “It don’t understand their work ethics. People march past every week and my staff will rush to the windows. An ambulance siren also attracts their attention as does that of a bullion van, police car……”
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
There is something about the Speaker of Parliament, the Right Honorable Rebecca Kadaga to shout out loud about. Not only is she the first female speaker this country has had, she is a Musoga at that - which, gives me bragging rights because I am a Musoga. While I do know Ms Kadaga, I wish I could have gotten to know her in my own right, as me – Timothy Bukumunhe. However, there is another Musoga who is more eminent that I am, and whose name has far more clout and it’s through him, that I met Ms Kadaga. PST Bukumunhe so they call him. But I can live with that – I think.
Ms Kadaga is a jolly woman when you meet her socially and despite the high profile job she holds, she seemingly has no airs or graces – unlike the Members of Parliament she presides over during the course of her duties. The thing about our Members of Parliament, is that they have this air of ‘entitlement’ simply because they have the MP title after their names. They strut about town in oversized and ill-fitting suits they bought clandestinely from Hawker in that dark restaurant – Maddona (just across the road from Parliament), if not, from Hawker who discreetly plies his trade between Amber House and Social Security House.
Our MPs don’t derive their bravado or bragging rights from debating in the chamber or giving interviews to reporters on the steps of Parliament after a session. Rather, it comes from public functions because they love the attention they get from wanainchi when introduced as they sit in the covered pavilion sipping on a cold Coke while, the rest us, swelter in the scorching heat drinking oven temperature mineral water. But, it’s when it’s time to eat that the real swagger of MP shines through.
The men adjust their suits and ties then pretend to be busy in deep discussion with Colleague when Usher turns up to guide them to the buffet table. They keep Usher waiting for at least ten minutes until one of them looks up at her ‘annoyingly’ and says: “Can you wait, because I’m having a discussion with my honorable friend on matters of national importance.” Let me hmm and even roll out a LOL!
At the buffet table, MP has traits similar to that of Villager – when they see the amount of food on offer, they feel Easter lunch, Idd lunch and Christmas lunch have been packaged into one. They want to eat everything so they serve themselves everything. In the process, they also hold up the que as they once again, pretend to discuss matters of ‘national importance’ as they try to deflect the attention of Server from their now overflowing plates of food.
|When It Comes To Eating, Most MPs Have The Most Vile Table Etiquette. The Kyalo Eating Habits Will Never Leave Them|
Once content that they’ve served themselves everything they walk back to their seats. What MP doesn’t know is that at the end of the function when the cleaners come to clean up, they always know where MP sat because there is a trail of gravy on the tiles from the buffet table to their seats.
At this point, many of you are probably thinking I’ve concocted this analysis, but I haven’t hence the need to bring in Ms Kadaga as back up.
With the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference starting tomorrow – Monday 23rd at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, she imparted some advice to her colleagues. “When you load your plates, don’t overload, don’t mix dessert and meat, pineapple and matooke and the soup. While eating, even when hungry, don’t rush.”
She cited an incident where one MP was choking that M7 told his then ADC, Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi to go slap him on the back and when he did, meat flew out and landed near visiting President Jakaya Kikwete.
|After Dishing On Byenda, Quaffing Club And Bell Beer, MPs Take To The Dance Floor Paka Chini Like These MPs|
Despite Kadaga’s advice, watch Bukedde’s Agataliko Nfufu tomorrow to see if your MP embarrassed himself.
Pictures: elgondaily.co.ug, independent.co.ug, ugandajournalistsresourcecentre.com
Saturday, September 14, 2019
He hadn’t yet sauntered into Mbabazi’s, but you could hear him. Whoever he was talking to, must have been on the phone because I couldn’t hear any responses. He was hollering at the top of his voice in Luganda about how he had done this and that, and that the deal was successful. He was all full of grandeur – boisterous at that, but annoyingly, he wanted everyone to know who he was around and that he had just pulled a deal.
Popping his head round the door, I wasn’t expecting what I saw. He was a man who was just ‘there, there’ – in a faded polo T-shirt, green trousers (who wears green trousers?) and sandals. And as soon as he sat, he began barking: “Stella, bring me a beer, you know how I do my things.” For one reason or another, Stella was reluctant to serve him so he pulls out his phone and from where I was sitting watching him, it was a pretend phone call. After a wild conversation about how he’s already in Soya, he calls out to Stella saying that John is on his way and has bought him two beers. Again, Stella refuses to serve him.
On that, he dips into his pocket, pulls out three crumpled 1k notes and Stella serves him a warm Nile Special.
For all his boisterous self, Dude, so I later found out, was a petty house broker – dealing in houses that rent for no more than 80k a month and second hand taxis. His phone was a kabiriti that he had configured in such a way that whenever it rang, the torch would flash on and off. Talking of trying to stand out – hmm!
I also found out that the Soya waitresses, the ba-fumba emeree brigade, the car mechanics know of him as a failed broker who likes to talk grand but in reality, there nothing grand about his talk except a web of lies.
In one of his conversations – to a woman, he talks of how he doesn’t like it when he calls and she takes her time to answer. Then he added: “I am here in Soya, you come and pick money.” Following on, it would appear the mystery woman didn’t have any money on her to come over because next, he was telling her how he didn’t believe in sending money via mobile money, because they are thieves.
|Are Mobile Money Agents Thieves?|
He did though, promise to pick her up because the car was parked at Haas petrol station just up the road. He finished off his beer as he tried to vybe Waitress then left. I watched him walk out towards Hass, except, he didn’t get as far as Hass but to the stage and boarded a taxi. So the ‘car’ was a taxi?
Stella says that since she started working in Soya, Dude hits on all new comers within hours of their arrival. She describes him as ‘not attractive, smooth and brash’ - so smooth that it’s impossible not to believe him. He always turns up in different cars. Sometimes he would change cars three to four times a day.
There is the story of Waitress who was just off the bus from Bushenyi and worked for Charles who has the best chicken in Soya. Waitress was brown, tall, good looking but, daft and taking her to work in Soya, was simply throwing her out to the wolves and Dude didn’t waste time in pouncing.
His ‘fleet of taxis impressed her’ as did the number of ‘HIS’ houses he would visit in a day. So mesmerized she was by his spiel and how he claimed to be a low key man but loaded, she quit her job.
No need to tell you how the tale ends except, she got burnt and has resorted to loitering outside Capital Pub in revealing skirts.
Pictures: qz.com, monitor.co.ug, newvision.co.ug, voanews.com
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
One thing Juliana was so fixated with by the time she and boyfriend Andrew graduated, was she didn’t have the patience for him telling her how he would be loaded by the time he hits 40. She wanted him to mint ‘their’ money TODAY and not twenty years later.
To be honest, Andrew was rather dim not to figure out that Juliana had no desire to cohabit with him in a rented hovel in Naalya and play happy families while he builds up ‘their’ fortune. She wanted the good life immediately, and if Andrew couldn’t provide, she would hustle. However, she didn’t want to be known as a hussy who sluts it from bed-to-bed looking to snare a man to give her the good life.
By graduation, Andrew had found a house for them – in a Naalya estate and the rent was affordable – 300k-a-month which, his parents agreed to meet until he found his footing. He was, so he told us, in ‘temporary housing’. Of course Juliana sneered at the ‘temporary housing’ saying she “can’t live in a house that has mabaati for a roof.” So she gave him an ultimatum. “When you get your act together, let me know.” Ouch!
When he next heard from her, she was inviting him to her flat in Bukasa, Muyenga. He went over with an open mind bearing in mind he knew her job a lab assistant in a private hospital didn’t pay well. But when he got there, the flat was impressive enough – three bedroomed, tiled, granite kitchen and so forth. Quickly guessing, he estimated rent must be in the region of 900k + a month yet, she was barely earning 400k. He suppressed his thoughts as to how she was able to live in an upscale flat on her meagre pay.
On that visit, the flat was almost bare but on every subsequent visit and to plagiarize from the NRM Party manifesto, there were signs of ‘steady progress’ - a 40-inch curved Samsung screen, a six burner gas cooker, microwave, and stainless steel saucepans from Game Store. Again, he suppressed his thoughts as to how she was able to afford those luxuries on her pay.
Meanwhile, he was still incarcerated in the Naalya rental and while he had a job that paid 900k, he just couldn’t afford the stuff Juliana had in her flat. He still had to make do with cheap or second hand clothing from downtown. And shopping in Game Store for stainless steel saucepans, was out of his realm. He bought cheap ones from a roadside stall as he walked home from the stage.
Over time they began to drift apart. All updates on what she was doing, he got from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And when he saw the pictures, the haunts they used to visit while dating on campus because they were affordable, had been replaced by outings to swanky high end joints - La Cabana, Skyz Hotel, Jazz Safari in Munyonyo and wait for it, wait for it, securing herself an invite to Rajiv Ruparelia’s wedding anniversary bash – yet Rajiv and Juliana live in different worlds! But he still had hope in her because in the pictures, there was never a photo of a recurring man hovering in the background who might be her financier.
But all scams eventually unravel. Juliana wasn’t whoring around as Andrew and we, his friends suspected but, using her position in the HIV lab to blackmail clients into keeping their statuses under wraps. Obviously she got fired, was blacklisted and went underground. The last Andrew heard of what she might be doing – hustling in Hoima.
By the way, Andrew – so he tells us, bought two acres of land somewhere off Entebbe Road. He might just be true to his word of being loaded by the time he hits 40.
Picture Credits: psychologytoday.com, differencebetween.info
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