Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Year Is Nigh!

I am more than a trifle concerned. I am concerned because come Tuesday – 25th December to be precise, there is going to be a Christian jihad.

There is something about religion and Christmas day that I don’t click. It is one of those days when people run amok. And the thing is, they start doing it at least three days before Christmas. They rush out to the stores to buy just about everything that is on sale even if they don’t need it. It is only when they get home that they realize that they don’t need what they bought so they wrap it up and then off load them at the next kwanjula or wedding that they attend.

If they are not busy buying up everything that they can possibly buy from Nakumatt or Uchumi, then they are on Luwum Street looking for shoes, a shirt, blouse or a pair of trousers for Christians, believe that when they go to church on Christmas day, they have to wear new vaz because they have to impress.

Excuse me!? Why would I go out and buy new vaz to pay homage to some zungu who did not shave, go to school, and was born in a barn where the pigs, sheep and cows were sleeping. And then when the zungu got older, he did not aspire to be a doctor or an aeronautical engineer Rather, he went into juju because how to you explain feeding a crowd of people who could fill up Namboole Stadium on just five loaves of bread and two fish!

The funny thing, if Pastor Gary Skinner or Robert Kayanja did that, the tabloids would be screaming out everything from juju to witchcraft.

But I am a sane person. I have not fallen for the Christmas prank of going out to buy everything I can possibly buy from Uchumi or Nakumatt. I have also not gone down to Luwum Street to buy new vaz and certainly come Christmas day, I will not be in church listening to the ramblings of some old fogey who has given himself a title like priest, vicar, archbishop or bishop for I have better things to do.

Anyway enough of religion, and let’s move on to something more interesting don’t you think?

A week ago I was invited to a smoker’s convention and at this point I would like to state that: SMOKING CAN KILL. But I live life on the edge so of course I ignored that that statement for I had to be there. The function was at Club Venom in the mall opposite Quality Cut’s in Kabalagala and the funny thing is this. Why hold a smokers convention in a club that is a no smoking club?

I you wanted to light up, you had to go outside. Secondly, in this club they did not sell beer like Tusker, Bell or Club. They brew their own beer which is served to you in a pitcher for 20k.

Tumbavu to that so I told the event organizers and promptly made an exit to find something better to do.

As I end, I know I have to say this. I don’t really want to but as I type it out, I am biting my tongue and hoping that one of my editors will read it and say: “Hey this is not TB’s style. TB does not say things like this” and promptly delete what you are about to read next. I wish you all a happy Christmas and all the best for 2013.

That was tight.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Kwanjula

Sanjay Patel, is an authority on fireworks for he has been dealing with them for a number of years. And he will tell you that they are ‘explosives’ and are not to be taken lightly. They can burn and even blind if they are not handled correctly.
So I am at a kwanjula that was beset with issues from the start. But I will start off with the fireworks. Well they weren’t really fireworks that shoot up into the skies but mini ones that sparkle. Once the cake was cut, Chap who thought he was Sanjay Patel lit a couple of them. As soon as he lit them, it was obvious that something was bound to go wrong. He kept directing the sparkles into the guests and for the fear of going blind, I did the needful and shielded my eyes.
There were a couple of fly looking girls who, were dancing round the cake and that is where Chap took himself next. He lit up another one but got too close to one of the girls that her hair caught fire! This is no joke. Her hair was in flames with a plume of smoke billowing out of it.
This is what happened next. The girl had no idea that her hair was on fire so Chap did the needful and battered her head in a bid to put out the flames. It worked but in the process of battering her head, she was elbowing him in the ribs and in an act of ‘self defence’. I should not have laughed seeing I was sitting on the front row but I had to as it was comical.
Still on the kwanjula, it was one that appeared to have a tight budget. Yes I know not everybody can afford to have a lavish one, but in some instances especially when it comes to service providers, you might have to think twice when going for the cheaper option.
The chap who provided the PA system let everybody down. From the start, the microphones were not working. And when they worked, there was feedback – a screech that had us covering our ears for the best part of the function.
And what was the DJ up to? He thought he was playing music for school kids on holiday because the volume level was so high that every two minutes or so, the spokesmen had to keep on telling him to tone it down. Even when the two spokesmen were doing their thing, he ashamedly, saw no harm in playing a song or two.
If the DJ was that bad, it was the one of the photographers who took the biscuit.
Do you know those tacky pictures of weddings and kwanjula’s that you sometimes see in the papers? I now know who is responsible for them.
Photographer was in his element in trying to get the groom and the bride to pose in what he presumed was an award winning pose. At one point when the couple were sitting on the sofa he thought it would be a good idea to place a bouquet of flowers on the headrest in between them.
He also thought it a good idea to have their hands entwined while holding wine glasses and flowers. What was he on – crack cocaine?
Finally there were the caterers who, saw it fit to turn up four hours late. Their excuse? Traffic. And after keeping us waiting for four hours, the food was nothing to write home about. Biting into the chicken luwombo was akin to biting into a piece of rubber!
As end, I still feel for the girl who had her hair burnt and have to wonder what chemicals she had in it to make it so flammable.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

When Opportunity Knocks

When opportunity knocks, grab it by the balls and don’t let them go. This is my Sunday tale.
Affande is one of those affande’s who is likeable. Yes, he is in the army and was recently promoted and he is the commandant of a military facility in Kampala but one thing he never does, is to flaunt the pips on his shoulders. He is down to earth, reserved and speaks well.  
A couple of weeks ago, along with a friend of Indian origin, we were off a pork joint at the MTN switch in Bugolobi. But rather than eating the pork in Bugolobi, we had it packed so we could eat it with LP, who was waiting for us at Kilama’s, which is just past Zone 7 in Mbuya.
Now this is where things get tricky. At Kilama’s the TV was on and spewing out the excited commentary of a sports anchor and something to do with Tusker CECAFA football. Not being a sports person, there was a need to find out what CECAFA was all about.
Ten seconds into the explanation and I was bored in feeling your Sunday needs, I will not bore you with what I was told, but if you persist in wanting to know what CECAFA is all about, I suggest you read the back pages of this newspaper for in this column, you have a more interesting read like the pork we got from Bugolobi. Exactly!
With the pork packed, we were in Affande’s Pajero or ‘mamba’ as he calls it and ten minutes later we took up our seats at Kilama’s in the middle of a semi rowdy crowd of CECAFA football fanatics.
Akodi, the young lady who helps out at the shop did the needful and served us the pork on a metallic plate, the size of a tyre rim on your average Squeeze ride – some Toyota brand called a Spacio. Or is it a Raum?
As Akodi put the plate down, the crowd that had been into screaming football was no longer into screaming football. The waft, the smell, the delights of a plate of pork mixed with cabbage and whatever else the Pork Roaster and put in derailed the crowd. CECAFA ceased to exist. It was pork that now existed.
And I saw him. He had sat at the back near the road in a yellow Obote II era shirt. But just like that, he was no longer sitting at the back but on the fringes of our plate of pork and yes, he went for it – the piece, the succulent one that Affande, Clement, LP and I had all been eye balling. I don’t think he even chewed it for no sooner had he put it into his mouth he was reaching for another piece.
Obviously, I was vexed but it was not for making noise because I thought he was Affande’s friend. Affande in turn thought he was Clement’s friend and Clement thought he was LP’s friend while LP thought he was my friend.
So we ate our pork with our new friend who ate the bulk of it. And when we were done, he asked for water so we could wash our hands, tooth picks so we could pick our teeth and serviettes so we could dry our hands.
And he was gone. He had gone back to CECAFA. And while he was at CECAFA we all asked ourselves who he was and that is when reality set in. We didn’t know him.
He on the other hand had seen opportunity and took it. He had free pork and beer on us. But that does not really irk me.
What does is that he went for THAT piece of pork! THE succulent one that was wrapped up in cabbage and with MY name stapled on it. IT WAS MY PIECE! So you man in the Obote II era shirt, when I next see you, just flee UG the way Obote did when Okello and Okello were breathing down his neck in 1985.


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