Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just Buy Her Fene!

Easter is over. I thought in the scriptures, they might call it: ‘The Sunday after Easter Sunday’ but according to Google, it is just a plain ordinary Sunday.

And seeing that it was Easter, I restrained myself. I bit my tongue and did not unleash my favoured swear word – tumbavu that is.

In my younger days, when it came to vibing chics (sorry, I meant to say ladies), it had to be verbal. You actually had to talk to the damsel. You had to make sense and you had to be well versed in a number of subjects that chicks would find appealing.

Today’s youngsters have it easy. They don’t have to vibe her any more but merely confuse her with airtime (which she won’t use to call or txt you), take her to Nandos, Cineplex or Friday basketball at YMCA. If you really must talk to her, it is to ask her if she wants another Smirnoff Black Ice or if her baleebesi friends want more chicken gizzards.

Near the MTN Switch in Bugolobi, there is a car wash and a pork joint. Surrounding the car wash, are a number of container shops that sell women’s clothing. One shop in particular, gets more customers than others because of the Rwandese shop attendant. To be honest, she is not all that and she will probably balloon into the size of a whale, have legs like tree trunks that will be riddled with varicose veins once she has popped kids.

A good number of men go into her container under the guise of wanting to buy something but in reality, they are looking for her charms. But none of them stood the test of time.

Until he walked in. He didn’t look like the sort of chap who had a fly name like Matthew, or Jonathan or Marvin. Rather, he looked like a Swaibu, or somebody you would call – gwe gundi.

Obviously we expected Shop Attendant to toss him out but no. Swaibu or Gwe Gundi, did not come bearing airtime and other fancy gifts to get her charms. He came with a container with some edibles in it. And in the container? Jack fruit! To ram home the point, I will put it in Luganda. He had fene. Shop Attendant went from being hostile, to being all coy and shy to warming up to him over a mere container of fene!

And once he knew he had her firmly in his grasp, he came out of the container, stretched himself up like a peacock does once it’s spotted a potential mate – a clear signal to other men in waiting that: This babe is off limits.

But let’s go back a bit. What are the mechanics of wooing a babe over a container of fene? Did he hop down to the market and spend hours looking at the texture of the fene? Did he peel it himself? Did he specially arrange it in the container? And what line did he use on her once he popped the container out of the plastic bag?

With that, there is no need to impress babes with Cineplex, airtime, a Nokia Aisha phone or taking her to Friday night basketball at YMCA.

Take a walk down to the market, have a word with Mama Boy and ask for the best fene that she has. The downside to it is that when you are with her in the taxi, everybody will know that she had been eating fene because the fene smell lingers. 

Caricature: Danny Barongo  


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Sunday Is A Con

It’s Easter Sunday, so I guess in St. Peters Square, countless of idle Catholics are craning their necks towards a balcony in an attempt to listen to the ramblings of some chap called Francis who holds the post of Pope and who is clad in a white robe and a modified swanky beret.

I have never met this Francis fellow and I have never quite known why Francis (Below) and all who have held the post before him have gone against the agreed norms of male dressing and have decided to wear a robe as their daily wear. The beret, that, I can understand. But the robe, bleak.

Since he became pope, the media have described Francis I as a ‘modern pope’ and if that is the case, why doesn’t he squirt his way down to the shops and buy himself a nice Versace or Hugo Boss suit?

Anyway, I have been doing some reading on what the fuss is about regarding Easter Sunday and frankly there is nothing to it save for it being Sunday.

There are issues with Easter Sunday which I have to bring to your attention. According to the scriptures, some man called Jesus (Below) who didn't go to school but spent his time in bars and gambling dens kicking over tables and chairs, never shaved or had a haircut, did some juju stuff with six loaves of bread and three fish that he was able to feed the equivalent of a capacity filled Namboole Stadium and who wore a tattered robe and who had been killed on a cross the Friday before, rose from the dead.

Pause there. Rose from the dead? Time to consult Google with this question: “Apart from Jesus how many other people have died and been resurrected from the dead?” Google spat out something about people rising from the dead in Nigeria but as we all know Nigeria is just full of con men.

With all the scandals surrounding the church which, they have tried to hide and then you throw in this juju mix of people coming back from the dead, do you really want to be in that square paying homage to Francis as he sashays about on a balcony while wearing his modified beret and a white robe? I think not.

At that, the religiously confused people should stop reading any further and go and read the scriptures or grab a bag of stones to throw at me. By the way, God doesn’t really care about you – he never has. But on the other hand, Allah does. Allah rewards you when you go to heaven. He is so generous that he gives us men 75 virgins to satisfy our lust if we strap a bomb to our bodies and then blow ourselves to smithereens in a crowded market place. And what will God give you this Easter? An Easter egg that costs a mere sh300!

Now that we have gotten rid of the religiously confused people, and I have just over 100 words left to reach my word count, I have had pause for a while because I really don’t know what to write next without offending people. So I will eat up the space by sending a couple of shout outs.

I like Felix Kulagye, the former army spokesman. I once sent him a txt by mistake and thought he was going to give me a roasting since the txt read: “F**k you, tumbavu”. But he took it in his stride and was able to joke about it. And now that Paddy Ankunda is back from Somalia, I dare suppose he will make good on the promise he made when we last met at Zanzi a couple of years ago. 

And to the Christians whom I have gleefully offended, I have two trays of Easter eggs to give out. I don’t need them for I am sure the calling from Allah is soon coming for me to take up the 75 virgins (Below) plus it’s a better deal than tinkering about with Easter eggs don’t you think? Just check out what awaits me.

Pictures: Internet

Monday, March 18, 2013

Proudly Ugandan!

The people who live in Bunga and beyond will surely have seen this. Assuming your driving from town, the authorities have put up a zebra crossing on Ggaba Road just past Shell Bunga – which is a good thing.
However, it is plainly obvious that Authority really didn’t think about it for while the school children and anybody who uses the zebra crossing is able to cross the road without getting knocked down, the downside of it is when you get to the other side of the crossing, you walk straight into the road coming down from Montessori School and St. Augustine’s University. Authority so I figure, feels it is much safer to get knocked down by slow moving traffic coming down from Montessori and St. Augustine’s than the speeding trucks that hurtle down Ggaba Road.
So I am tempted to think that as Ugandan’s, we have a strong desire not to get anything right. It is in our system and perhaps part of our hereditary right.
Authority also decided to tarmac the road from Kansanga that goes down past Didi’s World, into the valley past Kansanga Miracle Centre and up the hill past Rainbow International School.
Authority duly closed off the road and deployed heavy duty graders that created a dust bowl. He then brought in heavy duty trucks with stones which, another heavy duty truck fitted with a heavy roller compacted down. That done, the tarmac was laid.
Assessing Authority’s work, it was well below par. From Kansanga to the entrance into Didi’s World, he laid smooth tarmac. In the Valley where Kansanga Miracle Centre is, he didn’t bother doing a thing. It still remains a murram patch. Across the valley past Rainbow International School and beyond, it’s a rough tarmac. And Authority reckons the work has been satisfactorily completed?!
But it’s not just Authority who has issues. A special hire taxi driver will never tell you he does not know how to get to your chosen destination. Well before you are through telling him where you want to go, he is already in his seat, the car is fired up and get this, his only thought is the petrol station round the corner.
Once he has put in gas – which he won’t pay for but you will, it is then that he will start asking for directions. And when you remind him that before you had set off, he had said he knew where the place was and now he doesn’t.
Whether he knew, knows or didn’t, he is not bothered because you have already paid for the gas. He is content. And he is smirking because he has pulled one over you.     
When a friend contracted a painter to paint his company name down the door of his 4x4, Painter during the interview assured how he has done it many times before. He even had a brochure of the work he had done.
And so we watched Painter at work. He got off to a sizzling start but as the work progressed, it was obvious the words would not fit into the door. By the time it dawned on him, the damage was done.
But he didn’t give up. He stepped back and thought of a plan B. And his plan B? He simply reduced the font so it came out looking like something like this: Timothy Bukumunhe. And guess what, like Authority and Special Hire Driver, Painter felt he had done a grand job and expected to be paid as well!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Learning How To Write

When I was growing up, colouring and writing was an issue. Like most kids, when I was presented with a box of crayons along with a colouring book, the colouring book was tossed aside in favour of the walls, floor, dads briefcase, his white shirts and anything that could possibly be coloured and plastered with some form of ‘art work’.

I am sure Mr. Bukumunhe, my dad that is, must have wondered what went wrong. “Why won’t the boy colour in the colouring book and not on the walls or my briefcase” he must have asked on a number of occasions.

But it happens. I was not the first kid to do it nor will I be the last though today, some kids whose parents did not give them crayons or colouring books have decided to pick up stones and do their colouring and writing on cars as happened to mine last week. They wrote their names using stones or a metal object into the paint work of my car. Not content with just their names, the also drew circles, lines and a house!

Ivan and I think it is Shem, you little f***ers, the day I lay my hands on you, I am going to goof you because my ride now requires a complete re-spray.

Getting back, in my teens I liked to write. My writing was neat and readable too. I also experimented with pens and found that Bic didn’t do it for me. It had to be a fountain pen and as I type, the few people that I know who are seriously into pens are NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba, lawyer Peter Mulira and his son Oscar Mulira. We live in a world of pens such as Parker, Mont Blanc, Sheaffer and Waterman for example.

We sneer at people who use Bic, Nice House of Plastic or any pen bought from Nakumatt, Uchumi or the kafunda shop. We are more than a class above you all. We are the elite and we rightfully belong to an elitist sect.

But since the advent of the computer and being in the media, I no longer write. Rather, I type. My laptop has replaced my Parker as my writing tool. I spend more time typing than I do writing that Parker Pen wonders why I bothered buying him or not allowing anybody to use him but me.

The most Parker Pen does, is to write out my name or to sign my name – period.

I had started keeping a dairy – a written dairy at that which necessitated the need to write more than just my name. And that was the beginning of my woes. Minus the letters that appear in my first and last name, I had difficulty remembering how to write out the rest of the letters of the alphabet. I had problems with the letters ‘G, Z, Q, Z and X’. I remembered how to write them out in capital letters but in small letters, bleak. There was the need to ask Ghana who naturally gave me a: “Dad, you mean to tell me you can’t write out the letter Q in small letters?!” look.

Suffice to say that I have thrown out the whole idea of a written dairy in favour of an electronic one.

But pause for thought. The only adults that are still able to write are those in the police force. They can write out ream after ream of statements and in joined up hand writing too. It’s the only thing about the police that impresses me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Real Men Eat Meat and Don't Wear Counterfeit After Shave!

Last week I did the unthinkable. I did something that any self-deserving African man should not be seen to be doing for it is solely the preserve of the Europeans and Americans. I had a vegetarian meal for lunch!
I can literally picture men as far as Kabale and Koboko wanting to jump onto the first bus to Kampala to come and give me a lecture while the Karamajong as I write, are busy arming themselves with an array of spears ready to stab me the moment they see me.
And I wouldn’t stop them if they did, for it was wrong of me. It was a heinous and self-centered act to do. I should have said: “To hell with the medical experts telling us that red meat is not good for us. What do they know? They are merely alarmists and people who have no idea how good meat is for us.” There is also a chance that they have never eaten ‘a young cat’ (if you get my drift) or gorged on fatty slabs of pork in Wandegeya or Ntinda. And with that I should have tossed my veggie meal aside and asked Waiter to bring me a carcass with a nice chunk of fat on it.
But I didn’t and I paid the price. I got a bout of daios and a serious stomach ache.
Eating a vegetarian meal was about as exciting as eating a wet sock that had been heated up in the microwave. There is no joy in it and quite frankly, I do have to sympathize with people who don’t eat meat.
There are also people who don’t partake in milk, cheese or any dairy products. What is wrong with them? I have a good mind to rant at them for the rest of this coloum but I will leave it here and as a reminder to all Ugandan men, real men eat carcasses and the young cat as well!
The counterfeit market is a billion dollar industry. In the Far East, you can buy just about anything from a fake Rolex watch, to Nike trainers to a Nokia phone. The people who engage in this activity take their profession so seriously that most times the customer is unaware that they have bought counterfeit goods.
The first time I can recall buying counterfeit goods was a number of years ago when I bought a watch from a hawker in Ntinda. As I looked at the watch, I could have sworn it read Casio and duly dipped into my wallet and bought it. However, when I got home, it no longer read Casio but Gasio. And two days later the inevitable happened. It stopped working.
It does appear that some people in the industry are lax and it is quite obvious that their counterfeit goods are counterfeit. Last week I was in a store in Munyonyo and above the counter they had an array of perfumes and after shaves. One after shave in particular stood out – Hugo Boss. But there was something amiss. Hugo Boss for a mere 25k? This of course warranted further inspection. When Shop Attendant handed me the box it was plainly obvious what the problem was. It did not read Hugo Boss but Hogu Boos!
I dread to think what it smelt like – probably like a cat’s stale urine. And furthermore, who on earth would buy it and wear it to work? Ah, let me think… men who don’t eat meat or the young cat at that.        

Expelled From School And Sent to Prison

I was fortunate enough, that during my academic career, I was never suspended or expelled from school – not because I was a good boy who to...