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?
The primary factor in determining class in Uganda is money. One's income and monetary possessions constitute a lot of how other people view them. However, there are a number of other factors that also go into defining class. Just because two people make the same amount of money does not necessarily mean they are of the same social status.
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 soufflé 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 soufflé 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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