Saturday, September 27, 2014
Is Uganda in the fast track or have we embraced the slow lane? As a teen in the early 80s, Dennis listed Kenya as his only place of travel outside Uganda. I had travelled and whenever I was in town from England and linked up with him, he would ask about life in the UK.
‘Speed’ was something I always emphasized. “Dennis, in Europe, nobody waits for you. You have to be in the fast lane with them. If not, you are going to get left behind.”
Dennis was not the fastest or most active person that I knew. When we were at The Grange School in Nairobi, he was a winger on the rugby team, but was so slow that Billy, who was a prop and had a fat sumo wrestler body, had no difficulty keeping up with him.
After his A-levels and with a scholarship to Iowa State University in the US, and seeing I was in London, his dad thought it a good idea for me to chaperon him in London before he went on to Iowa. “Show him the ropes. He will learn a thing or two from you” he told me.
Picking him up from Gatwick airport off the Uganda Airlines flight, we promptly missed the first two trains into central London. You see, Dennis had that slow Ugandan shuffle about him that by the time he got off his platform seat, the train’s doors were closing. So I made him stand right on the red ‘do not cross line’ in order to catch the next train. When we hit Victoria Station, it was rush hour madness and it made sense in sitting it out in the Victoria Arms pub and having a beer till the rush died down otherwise Dennis would have ended up on a “Lost” poster.
Having lunch in Wimpy, when Girl Attendant asked him what he would like to eat, there was no response. She asked again and still got no response so she rolled her eyes and went off to serve somebody else.
Over the next few days, he came very close to being knocked down on Tottenham Court Road. He almost got pushed down the escalators at King’s Cross Station because the rush hour crowd couldn’t understand why he walked at the pace of a shy never been laid Jihadist walking into a room to claim his 72 virgins. At the revolving doors entrance to Boots, he would always go round twice because he never got out of the revolve in time.
After his ten day London sojourn, I took him to Heathrow to catch his TWA flight to Iowa and as I watched him disappear past immigration all was not well. If he couldn’t adjust to London’s pace, how would he cope in Iowa which is much faster than London and with no chaperone on hand?
I didn’t hear from him for two years until I met him on Kampala Road near Amber House. His Iowa experience was unbearably fast for him. “It’s like they don’t have time for you. They ask you a question but don’t give you the time to think about an answer. They want the answer that instant - no wonder Wimpy Girl Attendant rolled her eyes at him in London. It’s a fast food eatery. If I was lost and asked for directions, nobody stopped. They would give me directions as they continued walking.”
To get back into his slow comfort zone, he discontinued himself from Iowa State and transferred to Kyambogo University. Should I have wringed his neck or simply told him: “Bibbawo and put him into a taxi going to the land of the slow. Like Kiboga perhaps?”
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
It’s been a tad since I last called on Friend in his Wandegeya office. But then again, why would I when there is no longer an incentive? That incentive if you may recall, lay in a column I wrote a while back about Neighbours Teen Daughters.
From Friends third floor office, we could peer into Neighbours compound and see all that goes on. Better still, Friend’s office has tinted windows so Neighbour and Teen Daughters were unaware that we would spy on them as they had their showers on the veranda before heading off to school.
One Monday morning, they were no longer there. They had moved. In fact they had moved with not so much as a goodbye – something that I thought was rather rude of them.
Last week Friend called up to announce the arrival of a new lady tenant. “And you don’t have to be here early. Get here for 2:50pm because it all happens at 3:00pm” he added. Sure enough at 3:00pm, out walked Lady Tenant for her shower. But she is smart. She figures the best place to have it, is as close to the perimeter wall that divides her property and Friends office so people from the office block can’t see her. It does work because we really have to crane our necks to get a good look, but so far all we have managed to see is the back of her head, neck and shoulders. However, what we don’t get is that she never faces the perimeter wall while she showers. She faces a small unlocked gate which is not a private gate but a communal gate. Perhaps she is an exhibitionist?
Apart from Lady Tenant, there is another new neighbour. He is an elderly gentleman who must be a civil servant because he wears the vests our grand dad’s used to wear – you know the ones with the small holes in them? Well Civil Servant has a House-ee who must be a Kiboga village import because when she has to go for a pee, it’s not to the toilet. She pee’s by the boundary wall. Like Lady Tennant, she tries to pee as close to the boundary wall as possible, so we don’t see her from our 3rd floor office. But we do see her. We have seen her.
That got me thinking. Men and women are very different when it comes to having a pee. When men are caught short and have to have an emergency pee out in the open, we simply don’t pull down our zips and start peeing anywhere. We pee with a plan. We have to find something to pee against – an Umeme power pole, a car tire, a wall, an anthill or a tree stump. Even man’s best friend - his male dogs that is, always find something to pee against – often a car tire, but in the absence of one, a wall, tree or an Umeme power pole will suffice.
Delving deeper into thought, when women have an emergency pee out in the open, it is done with no plan. They don’t face away from people in an attempt to preserve their modesty like we men do.
OPP can testify about Lady Mercedes Benz driver we gave a lift to Entebbe airport and who needed an emergency pee after drinking one beer too many before we set off. Just past Bwebajja, OPP stopped the Range Rover and out she bolted. What did she do? She hiked up her skirt and peed while facing the heavy Entebbe road traffic (eek!) - unlike OPP and I who foraged tooth-and-nail into the shrubbery to find an anthill to pee against and with our backs to the road.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Because of my association with The Vision Group, one question I am always asked is: “TB, who is that b***h on Urban TV with the foul mouth that needs stapling?”
Urban TV and if I am not mistaken, targets the 13-year-olds to 26-year olds, an age bracket which firmly rules my almost white goatee and I out of the picture.
Let’s bookmark Urban TV for a while. In the US and UK, two television personalities who put the fear of god into everybody they talk about are the soon-to-be deceased Joan Rivers and Ruby Wax.
Both have been branded super bitches because of their ability to rip apart, chew and vomit out the remains of a celeb without clenching their butt cheeks. They are so ferocious that whenever film stars see them at the entrance to the Oscars or a movie premier, they turn and walk the other way in haste.
Back in the day, the closest Uganda had to a Rivers or Wax was Lillian Barenzi although she didn’t go round ripping into celebs. Her column,‘Never Trust’ put the fear of god into people especially men who freaked whenever they read it, then cried foul and went on to brand her ‘a male hater’. But Barenzi was no male hater. Barenzi was just being Barenzi who came up with a brilliant and assertively written concept for a coloum which men misunderstood and had them bitch like a hooker who was not paid for her services.
That got me thinking. We are a freckle society. We don’t like the assertive types who can express their thoughts on radio, television or in print. Anybody in the self assertive category, is branded ‘proud and full of themselves’. What’s wrong with being proud or so full of ourselves?
Radio presenter, James ‘Fat Boy’ Onen is intelligent, witty and aggressive. Yes he provokes. He incites. He gets his listeners whipped into a rage of fury which does no harm to his ratings. And because he does not conform to the demands of our narrow minded society, he’s branded ‘cold, a thug, self opinionated and who does he think he is’.
And this is the funny part. People who can’t stand him don’t tune to a different station just like the men who didn’t like Barenzi’s Never Trust, didn’t skip her coloum and go on to read the classified ads instead. They carry on listening and reading so they can bitch about somebody out there who is better than them and can do what they can’t do.
Getting back, ‘the bitch on Urban TV’, is a young lady called Mary Luswata who hosts a show calledScoop on Scoop.
Scoop on Scoop, is an explosive show that fires on all 8 cylinders and grips from start to end. Assertive and with ample presentation skills, Luswata expertly disseminates the subject at hand more clinically (and viciously) than vulture picking at a carcass of a dog that was run over by a speeding Gagga bus.
So what byenda do people have with her that necessitates the b***h tag? The way I figure it, Luswata does what we all do on a daily basis and that is to gossip - something that we feel is our god given right to do so.
Or maybe the byenda stems from the fact that Luswata’s gossip is to the core and she has a countrywide audience unlike the pitiful two or three people who listen to ours in a backwater kafunda? And she even gets paid for it.
But I say chill Luswata. If you don’t like her vybe, hit the remote to Bukedde TV and quit bitching because she is doing something that you can’t do.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
“Disability is not inability.” It’s a statement that I believe in and still do despite the words that Disabled Teen Boy lashed at me when I held open the swing doors for him in Silk Royale. His lashing? “Just because I am on crutches, it does not mean I can’t open the door!”
That was so cool with me and I let go of the doors which swung back, smacked him in the face and that was it. Sprawling to the floor he went with one of his crutches flying across the dance floor. That will teach him – that some people are only trying to be helpful I said to my satisfied self as other clubbers looked at me in horror and disbelief.
Obviously people who are disabled have some limitations over able bodied people. But despite their limitations, many are very capable. Sudhir Ruparelia employs a deaf and dumb carpenter at Speke Resort Munyonyo, who is very diligent if not, better than his able bodied colleagues.
Enter Ivan who is able bodied and who I have known for a number of years and consider a tight. With the ladies, Ivan is a smoothie. Honestly, I don’t know what bull he tells them, but his bull works for they always lap it up. Whilst in Mbarara, the inevitable happened. He met a young lady on a night out. Joining her at her table, he got on well with her that he soon had her in laughter and by the time the night came to a stall, he had more than caressed her arms, shoulders, back and leg.
But there was something amiss. Whenever he caressed her arms, back and shoulders, he got some reaction from her. However, feeling up her leg elicited no reaction whatsoever. Not even a comment of, “I don’t think you should be doing that.”
Getting her back to his hotel, Ivan wasted no time in hitting the shower and once done, he presumed she would follow suit. But she was reluctant.
Obviously his heart sank. He had invested in her and now at the eleventh hour she was crying shy?! She didn’t want to shower? Perhaps she wanted to see the protection and duly whipped them out. That didn’t bring her round. There was something else.
Reluctantly she came clean and explained ‘the problem’ and it was not about the four strands of long hair between her bust. The real issue was all too evident when she floored her jeans. She was disabled and one of her legs had been amputated at the knee after a road accident.
Caught off guard, Ivan’s thoughts went along these lines. “Yikes, she’s an amputee! Is it legal to cavort with an amputee? What will people say when they find out or the ministry of ethics? Perhaps I should ask her to leave?”
But she talked about it. She took off her prosthetic limb and showed it to him including the dynamics of how it works and further explaining how painful it can be on the knee.
By the time she was done with the brief, Ivan figured she was only human but apprehensive or rather fighting with his ethics about taking it any further. But they did and rather awkwardly especially in the morning when he saw the limb hanging off a hook on the wall.
What he intended as a one-night-stand ended up as an explosive three month affair and to answer the two questions that we – his dogs wanted know is yes, disabled people do have a very healthy sex life and the reason he got no reaction while feeling up her leg – well hmm, let’s leave it at that shall we?
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