Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ladies, Free That Nipple!

Out there are a number of pressure groups and before I get into the meat of today’s column, there is a need to explain what a pressure group is to people who don’t know.

In a nutshell, it’s a non-profit organization whose members have a common cause for which they seek to influence political or corporate decision makers to achieve a declared objective by promoting it and changing the status quo.

Pressure groups vary from those wanting to save trees, to those who believe meat should not be eaten to those wanting to save the ozone layer and those who want smoking banned.

I don’t have any beef with most of them save for those who want to ban meat for they do not know what they are talking about – and perhaps those who have issues with the tobacco companies.

Now this is where it gets complicated. Google tells me that a nipple, in its most general form, ‘is a structure from which a fluid emanates. More specifically, it is the projection on the breasts of a female by which breast milk is delivered to a child.’ However, what Google doesn’t tell you, is that nipples are considered an erogenous zone, a zone that makes me and men go gaga and start drooling.

I have lost you, haven’t I? Worry not, because you will soon see where I am headed. So I am reading the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, when I come across a US based female pressure group that I have not heard of and who call themselves – wait for it, wait for it, Free The Nipple.

I think I have gotten your attention – well at least most men’s attention not so?

One Sunday, about 20 female protesters took to Washington Square Park, proudly parading around topless and trying to recruit more activists to join them. They also used the opportunity to promote their upcoming feature film about their endeavors to end this insane war on women's boobs!

Free The Nipple, believe women should have the right to bare breasts and have beef with Instagram for women are regularly kicked off the site for posting photos with any portion of the areola exposed, while photos sans nipple - degrading as they might be - remain unchallenged.

Free The Nipple founder Lina Esco, 29, explained that: “In the USA it is Illegal for a woman to be topless in 37 states. In New York City, in 1992 it became legal to be topless in public, but the NYPD continued to arrest women. I believe these laws do not reflect the dream upon which the United States was founded.”

Hmm, so some women out there believe that wearing a bra and covering up is an infringement of their human rights? That is really very interesting.

So what’s going to happen next? Obviously one of our Ugandan sisters living in New York and who has been following the saga is going to get in touch with her sisters here in Kampala and persuade them to open up Free The Nipple – Uganda Chapter. And with that, in their topless state they will take to Kampala Road, get arrested by police and charged with moral indecency.

Of course in the beginning it would be fun to watch them, because there are a number of women whose breasts I, Anus, Doc and many other men would love to see. And when it came to arresting them, would they have only female police officers?

While the law here has problems with women and miniskirts, then I am certain that they will have more than just problems with women wanting to bare their breasts. But sisters, stand firm and free that nipple!   

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Skin Colour Is Still An Issue

There are, some things that fascinate me, but skin colour is not one of them despite my having a soft spot for the ‘hot chocolate brown’ South American skin. And, I won’t fuss about it.
It was a quiet Monday at Jeremy’s carwash by the rail lines on the way to Nsambya and I am alone in the restaurant as the ride is being washed and engrossed in newspapers and magazines when he walks in.
Chinese Man was not of the affluent Chinese expatriate set like Madame Fang of Fang Fang restaurant fame. Going by his tattered dress code, he was scraping at the anus of the economic ladder.
In the restaurant that could probably sit 40 plus diners, and which was empty, save for three waitresses  - two who were asleep near last night’s left over chips and boiled eggs display, and one who was hoping I would leave so she could join them, Chinese Man chose to sit next to me. Hmm!
I expected him to ask questions and put down the paper but all he uttered was gibberish which, was the least of my freaking out. What freaked was when he picked up my arm and gingerly started stroking, rubbing and pinching it. Is there any need to tell you that my brain went into freak overdrive with thoughts of - he’s gay and he’s flown all the way from Guangdong or Sichuan Province to be with me? Another ‘hmm’ is called for don’t you think?
However, Chinese Man and with a big phew, was not rubbing, stroking or pinching my arm in a depraved, morbid lust filled drool coupled with a perverted gay twist, but rather in a strange curiosity of feeling black skin. Another hmm!
Satisfied there was no sexual intent on his part, what to do next? Do I still slap his hand away or do I let him live out his thrill of having touched black skin so he can tell the folks back in Guangdong or Sichuan Province? I let him be and once he’d had his fill and his curiosity quenched, he got up and left as nonchalantly as he had walked in.
Chinese Man, he, I could deal with, but Danish Man who I met in Sombrero’s Nightclub in Jinja two weeks ago was something else.
He accosted me in the VIP wing and like Chinese Man, he too had a fascination about black skin and as soon as I gave him audience, this is how the conversation unravelled.
Danish Man: “Gwe, ogamba ki? You know I am not really white but black?”
TB: “Oh really?!!”
Danish Man: “I have been living in Jinja for six years and I am even going to marry my Musoga girlfriend. Gwe, obade ki, leta Nile Special!”
TB: “But you are white with a European accent?”
Danish Man: “Am black, forget the white skin.”
Danish Man was in his element. Every ounce of Luganda or Lusoga that he had mastered in six years, he threw at anybody who cared to listen. He was as proud as that female peacock at Entebbe zoo on heat displaying its feathers and ecstatic at being ‘black’ and that he had a black woman.
And that got me thinking. If I asked him to give up his Danish citizenship and become a Ugandan, would he? And black people with white girlfriends who live in Europe, do they see themselves as being white?
I couldn’t be bothered with identity crisis Danish Man who thinks sleeping with a black woman makes him black. I would rather deal with unpretentious at the anus end of the economic ladder Chinese Man who felt black skin and still felt Chinese and not black.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sirens And Flashing Lights

I have done research on this. Last year, in the British paper, the Daily Mail, the article was as follows: “PC Thompson was dismissed because he drove his police patrol car complete with lights flashing and siren blaring to get through traffic – not because there was an emergency, but because he wanted to get to the bank before it closed.”

In another story, this time in The New York Times, an ambulance driver was sacked for using the fire brigade with siren blazing to take his four-year-old kid to school’ so that Kid could impress his friends.

There are laws governing the use of emergency lights and sirens on police and private security cars, fire brigade and ambulances, but it seems the rules do not apply to Uganda. This is what happened.

Friday evening at 5:00pm and the traffic on Kira Road by the museum was chock-a-block. So bad it was that most motorists turned off their engines save for those on air con. After sitting in the traffic for 20 minutes there were sirens and flashing lights. Looking in the rear view mirror, an ambulance was a weaving through traffic and pulled up alongside me.

I was about to pull over and give him way but looking into the passenger seat, there was something amiss. There were four people crammed into the seat meant for two. In the back and despite the smoked windows, I could see numerous heads bobbing about.

I guess there is no need to guess what happened next or is there? There is. I was out of the ride and in the drivers face asking him why he is using his flashing lights and siren. He was mum. Looking into the back, there was no patient being rushed to the hospital but it was crammed with workers from the clinic – Case clinic along with their bags and being given a lift to the taxi park.

Obviously Driver and his ‘patients’ had no recourse but to start hurling abuse, abuse that fizzled once I lashed out with: “Tumbavu, stupid”! As other motorists took stock and joined me in reprimanding Driver and his ‘patients’, they almost cried and wished the road could open up and swallow them. Driver duly switched off the lights and siren and waited patiently in the traffic like the rest of us.

Then there is a man called Elijah. All I know about Elijah is that he donated an ambulance (UAT 056M), has been an LC5 Chairman since 2011 and will step down in 2016. I know this because his face and the details I mentioned are plastered all over the ambulance.    

Last month on Wednesday 21st, his ambulance was stuck in a traffic jam at 6:00pm. So was I. To get out of it, he switched on the lights and sirens and off he went with cars pulling over to give him way. I followed suit except that I was on a bike. Right from 7th Street, he went blaring to a clinic in Namuwongo with me on his tail. When he got there, there was no patient on board for when he opened the back door four healthy people – kitchen staff with bags of groceries, saucepans and toiletries tumbled out.

Confronting Driver, his defence in Luganda was: “Why do you think an ambulance has lights and a siren? To get through traffic! Now leave me alone!”

The people who abuse the system, will one day actually have a patient in the back and in critical condition but despite the flashing lights and siren blaring, we will not give them way as they rush to hospital because we will think they are once again taking workers to the taxi park.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Let's Protect Our Children

We need to protect our children. Anybody who lives in Kansanga, knows the area is littered with bar after bar that belt out music at fever pitch, have scantily damsels whose dance moves would have Pope Francis on his knees weeping and in prayer if he saw them and where the language is so foul that the ‘F’ - word is used without reservation.

Along with Doc and Nodin, we hit a bar run by an Oga from Nigeria. Oga’s, are very loud and vocal people that when we walked in, we thought a melee was brewing. There was no melee. Rather, they were boisterous and making merry for a birthday party due to take place in the establishment.

Lady Oga’s wore skimpy outfits – with bras and boobs hanging out and dresses so short that whenever they bent down, the views were not flattering.

As the evening wore on, more Oga’s filled the place. Shortly after 11:30pm – note PM and not AM, Emcee took to the floor announcing that Birthday Boy was ready to cut the cake. Seeing this was the first Oga birthday party I was about to witness, I took myself over to the corner to see if they celebrate birthday parties any different from us.

Looking at the birthday cake, I noticed it only had one candle. I didn’t think much about it until Birthday Boy stepped forward. He was not a full grown Oga draped in flowing Oga robes, nor did he wear a Goodluck Jonathan brim hat. Rather, he wore a Scooby Doo coned paper hat from Aristoc bookshop and Oga was having trouble getting him to cut the cake because he was deep in slumber.

Yes, Birthday Boy was celebrating his 1st birthday and of all places in a beer, boobs hanging out, fever pitched music and smoke filled bar! The only other person his age was a three year-old-girl who pulled off the raunchiest dance moves that gave me palpitations and made Rihanna’s gyrations look tame.  

Oga persisted in waking up Birthday Boy who with yawns, strands of regurgitated spit oozing from his mouth and crying out for his toy car, just about managed to cut into the cake a little after midnight.

So why am I beefing? As a parent, I don’t think it was proper of Oga to have taken his kids birthday to a boozer at midnight. Whatever happened to bouncing castles, clowns, pop corn, face painting and fizzy drinks at home and during the daytime with kids his age? I thought it best to go and have a word with Oga but then stopped dead in my tracks.

A few years ago and shortly after 4:00am, we stopped off at a bar for a night cap – or one for the road as is the norm. In a corner and by a huge speaker belting out a ragamuffin song at decibels loud enough to shatter a glass, there was Baby Mama holding a baby who had barely hit six months.

I advised Manager about it – telling him babies in bars is not right. He simply gave me a ‘and you point is’ look. So I dove in and gave Baby Mama a piece of my mind.

Baby Mama was unruffled. She told her man who wasted no time jumping into my face and ripping it to shreds with all sorts of assurances from: ‘Is the baby yours’, to ‘are you the one who made her pregnant’ to ‘go home and mind your own business’.

With Oga, I did mind my own business for he had more muscles than I but still, it was improper of him to have his kid in a bar watching near naked boob flashing women.  


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