Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year


Tuesday 31st December – two days away is going to be the most significant date of 2013 simply because it will mark the end of a turbulent year and hopefully usher in a great 2014.

Right now I am busy weighing up my options. Should I see out the year in a blaze of glory, an beer fueled night until the wee hours of the morning followed by an altercation with the police which lands me in the coolers or, a peaceful quiet night at home with Gaana and Natal?

Last year, I stayed home and was in bed by 10:00pm only to be woken up at the stroke of midnight with people shouting out “happy new year” followed by loud explosions as fireworks crackled all over the city.

Obviously I was not amused because people were being inconsiderate because they woke me up from my sleep and I bet that more than half the people who were shouting happy New Year and toasting to glasses of champagne, had a bad year – just ask Erias Lukwago, Kizza Besigye Affande Omara and Geoffrey Kazinda. Lukwago and Besigye spent a good part of the year being tossed into police pick-up’s, while Affande Omara was at his wits end and tired of standing guard outside Besigye’s Kasangati residence. Meanwhile, Kazinda found out that money which was not his cannot buy him freedom.

2013 was a bleak year for me because ninety per cent of the things I had set out to achieve either died sooner had the year started or I lost interest in them. I tried to motivate myself but the more I did that, I found I was motivating myself into fantasy land – mere dreams that were shattered the moment I woke up from slumber.

Okay, I have just made up my mind and decided to go out on New Year’s Eve. I am going to hang with the boys – Doc, Paulo, Julius, Kayos, Oscar, PK, Anus and the rest at Monot till the wee hours of the morning. At midnight while everybody is shouting out the immortal words – happy new year, I will be cautious and reserved and probably reflect on the missed opportunities of 2013 and the zero in on the targets that I have set myself for the new year.

My target is to have my book – all my Sunday articles compiled into a book. It should have been out last year but to be honest I was not serious enough. I had two appointments with Fountain Publishers which, I never turned up to and I also didn’t follow up with a gracious offer from Daniel Ogong of Nile Breweries who really wanted to see that book come out.

And it’s not that I have to start from scratch. The material is already there and all that is needed is for it to be re-edited for the small mistakes.

But for the time being and with nothing to do until New Years eve, I am sitting in the Viking Lounge at Speke resort Munyono typing this coloum and trying to figure what to do with myself once I have finished.

Is 11:00am too early to have a beer? Most Ugandans would say yes it is, but all the visitors from round the globe who checked into the resort for the holidays are quaffing bottles of wine and champagne.

There is a couple from South Africa who have just ordered their third bottle of red wine that Akhilesh Malik, the deputy general manager of the resort is pampering them to the hilt so I too have ordered for a bottle of wine.

Am out of space, but just a quick thanks to my editors - Lucy, Ernest, Penny, Charles and especially my cartoonist Danny for making me look good every Sunday and to all you out there who devote your Sunday’s to reading my works – thanks so much. Have a great 2014. 

 

 

  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Christmas!


Following on from last Sunday, my neighbour is still blaring out Christmas carols and this time, he has gone a step further – on the weekends, the carols blare out for the best part of the day.

The guys on the trucks who rush from kafunda to kafunda trying to get me to buy Christmas carol CDs still don’t know that, My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion is not a Christmas carol as is Do They Know Its Christmas by Band Aid. But they persist. They must have a short term memory span because they find me in the same kafunda on a daily arguing with Waitress who has bought me the wrong beer.

I am trying to be as religious as I possibly can during the run up to Christmas in three days time, but it’s a slog. Does attending numerous end-of-year office parties count? The ones I have so far been to have been all about quaffing endless supplies of beer and spirits. Ok, there were Christmas trees in the corner and Christmas lights strung all over the party venues so I guess, there was some religious aspect to them?

There are some Christians who claim to be more Christian than I am simply because they regularly go to church and they know a thing or two about the religious book - the bible that is. They tell me that Christmas day is about the celebration of the birth of Christ. But how can it be when no one really seems to know his exact birth date? Some religions believe that his birth was in October. Others say it was in April and some have it as being in December or January.

When I asked them if they could be exact, they were at a loss for words and mumbled something about the scriptures.

What they were adamant about, is that Jesus wants us to be ourselves and that he doesn't expect everyone to be perfect. Furthermore, he has given us the freedom of choice.

Yep, that I can live with, because I admit that I am not perfect in the religious or other departments.

However, I do know many people who claim to be squeaky clean Christians and yet some of their misdemeanours are far worse than mine. But I don’t berate them, like they berate me. Like I said, just because they can quote a verse or two from the bible they think they are ‘holier than thou’ and that the rest of us are ‘pagans’ who should not be celebrating Christmas but rounded up and burnt alive on stakes.

But get this you so-called Christians. I am going to spend the festive season having a blast. I am going to go to party after party and down as many beers as possible and fill my belly with finger bites.

One thing I will not be doing on Christmas day is going to church, because the last time I went, Priest asked me to leave a comfortable seat and go and sit on a hard bench that, was carved out of a Mabira forest mahogany tree back in the 50s because Cabinet Minister who likes to think of himself as being so holy and squeaky clean - yet he is not, had arrived late and had nowhere to sit.

And I thought that in church, god sees us as equals not so? Anyway, at least you know why I won’t be in church on Christmas Day and for those of you who do go, I kindly ask you to please put in a good word for me when you fall to your knees to pray. Otherwise, have a happy Christmas!

     

 

 

 

 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Carols With A Twist


My neighbour so it seems, has made his first Christmas investment. Not a couple of turkeys from a farm in deep Masaka, but a music system that has enough volume output to blow my ear drums. He also got a string of Christmas themed CDs and a friend who is looking over my shoulder as I type my column, has told me that they are not called ‘Christmas themed songs’ but ‘Christmas carols’.

Neighbour started playing Christmas carols at the end of November and if I am not mistaken, November is just a normal run-of-the mill month so why would he play Christmas carols?

Sometimes he starts as early as 8:00am rendering himself a nuisance. He usually kicks off with a Jimmy Katumba and the Ebonies song which, he stops halfway through and then repeats it. Next up is the Celine Dion song – My Heart Will Go On, but I don’t know what the song has to do with Christmas. Is it not a ‘death song’ in the movie, Titanic and was played as the character Jack, (Leonardo DiCaprio) was drowning? Anyway, Neighbour has made it one of his Christmas carols. After the ‘death song’, he follows up with numerous gospel songs for about an hour before he unleashes some Lingala and I had no idea that you could buy Lingala Christmas carols.

But Neighbour, is not the only person making a nuisance of himself. Since the start of December, it has been hard to concentrate – not just at work, but out shopping and especially while having a drink in a kafunda. 

You see, every ten to fifteen minutes, a truck will pass by and on the back of each truck are huge speakers blaring out distorted music and seeing it’s December, I assume it’s Christmas carols blaring out. Along with the loud and distorted carols, there is a nigga (as they like to call themselves) on each truck doing a sales pitch – screaming into the microphone while, an army of foot soldiers run amok, swarming the kafunda’s and trying to shove Jim Reeves CDs down our throats.

The carols were so loud that I presume Waitress did not hear what beer I asked for and brought me the wrong one though truth be told, she still would have bought the wrong beer even if the kafunda was as quiet as a hospital operating theatre and she had heard every word I said. Because that is what Waitress is supposed to do – to bring you the wrong order.

Foot Soldiers wanted me to buy “Do They Know Its Christmas” by Band Aid. In my worst Luganda and Foot Soldier, in his worst English, the conversation went along these staggered lines.

Foot Soldier: “Boss, this one is nice.”

TB: “No, it’s for the bafu (dead) who died in the Ethiopian famine of 1984.”

Foot Soldier: “Boss, eno nnyimba ya Ssekukulu.”

TB: “Yeah, nnyimba about the bafu in Ethiopia!”

As he walked off, above what I am sure was the carol, Silent Night, I hear Foot Soldier mutter to his colleague that: “Oyo, mukadde, tamanyi nnyimba za Ssekukulu (he is old, he has no idea about Christmas carols).

I shouted out my favoured word, that of tumbavu, but he didn’t hear me for, Silent Night was now at fever pitch and Waitress had served me yet another wrong beer.

With ten days to go to Christmas, how many Christmas carols will we have to endure at a fever pitch volume as we shop or have a drink? Will Neighbour have graduated from Jimmy Katumba and Celine Dion? Would Foot Soldier have finally worked out that, Do They know its Christmas, is not a carol but a song for the bafu?

But what the heck, it’s the Christmas season, the silly season where everybody takes leave of their senses.      

Friday, December 6, 2013

The World Of Reality Television


Recently, the media has been awash with reports of sexual liaisons happening at Uganda Christian University, Kampala International University and Makerere.

Our naughty sons and daughters have been filming their sexual escapades and posting them on Face Book and YouTube for all of us to see. And they are not bashful – no hiding faces or bodies while they satisfy their sexual lust in showers or dorms with other people watching.

Welcome to the age of reality television! I don’t know who invented reality television, but he or she hit on a winning formula. Flipping through the TV channels the other day, just about every channel is swamped with a reality show from Tusker Project Fame, to Hell’s Kitchen to The Real Wives of Atlanta and so forth.

People who go on reality television are brave because of their ability to leave themselves open to ridicule, like the couples on Swingers’ Wives on TLC Channel. It’s an intriguing, if not disturbing reality show. But before I get into the swing of things, there is a need to bring you up to speed about ‘swinging’.

“Swinging is a non-monogamous behaviour, in which partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activity with others as a recreational or social activity and takes place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity at informal gatherings of friends to hooking up with like-minded people at a swingers' club.”

 

The show followed a number of couples as they drifted from club to club trying to hook up other couples. For Christ sake, there was even a black couple. One lady was so aggressive that no sooner had she hit the club than she was looking round to see which couple her and her hubby could ‘get down’ with. If she liked the couple, they would snogo and feel each other up then go home for foursome sex.

 

Perhaps that’s where our university students got the idea from for according to my sources, in their campus dorms they hold boyfriend and girlfriend swapping sexual liaisons which they film. But why would anybody want to be in a room as you watch your better half having sex with somebody else? Hmm!

 

Reality television is not all about sex, Tusker Project Fame or Big Brother. Since Erias Lukwago, assumed the mayor’s office, he along with Kizza Besigye, have been starring in their own reality show.

 

The gist of their show is as follows. Lukwago gets into an argument with a woman called Jennifer Musisi. Getting vexed, he starts throwing tantrums, storms out of his office and calls Besigye and together they drive downtown to a place called Kisseka Market where goons slither out of the sewers and start causing chaos – throwing stones, burning tyres and so forth.

 

A phone call is soon placed to a man in the police force called Affande Omara who swings into action with his anti-riot squad and beat up everybody in sight, fire tear gas and close down the market stalls.

 

That done, they go after Lukwago and drag him by the scruff of his neck like a chicken thief from his luxury Land Rover while he protests after which they go for Besigye and throw him onto a police pick-up and dump him in CPS.

 

Each episode of The Lukwago/Besigye Reality Show usually ends with Lukwago being a drama queen - lying on a hospital bed on an intravenous drip while babbling on about how Musisi does not know what she is doing. For extra effect – to get the television audience on his side, he also sissy cries about how Affande Omara fired tear gas at him. I can’t wait for the next episode! 

   

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Just Because You Have Money, It Does Not Mean You Have Class!


What is class and how do we define it in a person? Is it about money, education, cars that they drive or that they live in an upscale suburb like Kololo?


One's taste, values and even mannerisms can help classify them. In fact, there are so many factors that contribute to the definition of class, it often becomes difficult to define at all. If looking past wealth alone, so many factors come into play that no person can totally fit into one specific class.

Still, many people wrongly assume that just because they have money or that they went to school, that they have arrived and that they now have class.

Class can’t be bought. It is acquired through a good upbringing, going to the right kind of schools, learning how to talk properly, having good social manners, reading the right kind of books and so forth.

But on saying that, just because you went to King’s College Budo or to Gayaza Girls and on to Makerere does not necessarily mean you will have class. All it means is that you went to a good school and passed exams.

A few years ago, I was invited out to lunch by Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige, who is popularly known as BMK at his Africana Hotel. So he has money, but he does not have class. He had also invited some of his colleagues and friends to the luncheon.

My god, what a disaster! Yes, his friends were loaded and drove expensive cars but they didn’t have class. When it came to eating their table manners were pretty much like those of a bunch of two year olds.

One guest, rather than ask that the salt be passed to him, actually stood up and reached over the table to pick the salt shaker. In the process, his tie was dragged through his beef stew. But he was not perturbed. Other guests spat their chicken bones onto the floor or got up midway through the meal to go to the washrooms – something which is just not done.

Former Kampala Mayor, John Ssebanna Kizito may be a wealthy landowner and represents ‘old money’ but one thing that is out of his league is class. He dresses like a tramp and his suits never quite fit him. Worse still, when he goes to the washrooms, he would return with ‘spillage’ on his pants if you get my drift.

Many members of parliament assume that just because they have the title honorable and MP before their names, that they have class. They don’t know that they are temporary titles that can be lost at the next elections.

A Speke Resort in Munyonyo, MP’s would descend on the resort to get updates on the preparations for the Commonwealth Summit. They always made sure they came during the lunch hour because lunch would be served.

But tell me, which MP loads his plate with matooke, rice, beef stew and wait for, wait for it - fruit salad? They do. One minister who was famed for doing that was Max Sepraino. I think he used to be the junior minister of tourism and wildlife and because he had a police bodyguard who had an AK-47, he would make sure his bodyguard followed him everywhere – even in cocktail parties. But the tragic thing is that because he was a minister and he had a bodyguard, he thought he had class. He didn’t.

The MP, Odongo Otto may be educated but is classless. He is just a young frustrated legislator prone to making inappropriate comments and who would probably order red wine with fish when everybody knows its white wine that you have with fish.

While people may ridicule Nasser Sebagala for not being able to speak English, you however have to give it to him for his does have ‘an air’ of class about him. He is a smart dresser, he has impeccable table manners and is very knowledgeable on a vast array of subjects but can’t express himself properly in English. The operative word with Ssebagala is he has ‘an air’ of class. It does not mean he has real class.

Mayor – Erias Lukwago, may have gone to school and been elected Mayor but, he does not have class. His ego has gotten the best of him. He is ‘just’ there, an uncouth fellow who thinks because he is Mayor, it means he must have class.

There are people who have real class. The former Chief Justice, Wako Wambuzi - now he had class. From top to bottom, one look at him and you could feel embarrassed standing next to him because you knew you were classes apart. Dr. Martin Aliker also has class. He is a person who not only has class but is distinguished too. He speaks well, he is a fine dresser and he is well conversant in a number of subjects.

While John Nagenda may not have Aliker’s dress style, he went to the right schools, knows the right words to use does have an air of class and he knows there are certain times when one should not be interrupted. He was having lunch at Sheraton Hotel, when one reporter decided to go and ask him to comment on a topic. His response? He called William Pike and said: “William, I am at the Sheraton having a soufflĂ© for lunch along with a bottle of Chablis and one of your reporters is standing in front of me asking me to comment on a subject that I have not an interest in. Do you know what it took for the chef to get my soufflĂ© right and now your reporter wants to ruin it?” Perhaps, only a man with class could have come up with something like that.

Kabaka Mutebi can be defined as the real definition of class – which was expected of him since he was born into royalty. He has masterminded the walk, the look and the grooming. He has even taken it to a new level that when he sits in a chair, he does not just sit in a chair like we plebs do. He fills the chair, he occupies it, he sits with poise.

In a nutshell, there are probably less than 500 people in Uganda who really DO have class – like Elizabeth Bagaya, Kabaka Mutebi and Wako Wambuzi for example. The rest of us are divided into those who have good social manners and those who don’t have any social manners.    

People we presume have class.

1. Wako Wambuzi

2. Dr. Martin Aliker

3. Morinne Wavamunno

4. Julia Sebutinde

5. Maria Kiwanuka

6. Elly Karuhanga

7. Mayur Madvani

8. Allen Kagina

9. Mohan Kiwanuka

10.                  Moses Matovu

11.                  Charlie Lubega

12.                  Kabaka Ronald Mutebi

13.                  Peter Mulira

14.                  Paul Etiang

15.                  Prince Wassajja

16.                  Dennis Paulo Kavuma

 

People who don’t have class

1. David Obua       

2. Odong Otto

3. Moses Ali

4. The Goodlyfe Crew

5. Syda Bumba

6. Edward Sekandi

7. Ruth Komuntale

8. Drake Lubega

9. Bad Black

10. Strak Mwezi

11. Jimmy Akena

12. Dorcus Inzikuru

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