Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Not Womanly To Tamper With The Surname

Is it just me or are there men out there who feel that our masculinity, our maleness has been invaded by women and we are doing nothing about it because in today’s world order, if we did make noise, it would be deemed a politically incorrect thing to do?

Don’t get me wrong, for there are women in roles that were deemed the preserve for us men but, they (women) have done the job better - KCCA executive director, Jennifer Musisi, is one who has done more for Kampala than her male predecessors did as mayors.

However, why can’t there be jobs that are women only jobs and men only jobs – jobs where neither sex encroaches on the other’s turf, so we men don’t have to tiptoe about with trying to be politically correct?
Women have fine feminine slender bodies but are not content. They want to be butch – like we men, that they pump iron to have a body like that of Ivan ‘Mr. Kampala’ Byekwaso – if not, like Rambo’s, Moses Golola’s or that of Vin Diesel.

Some figure that if men can have beards and moustaches, so too can women and went the extra mile by growing chest hair and armpit growth. Others want to belch, pass wind loudly and pee whilst standing up and in the bush like we men do after a pork and beer session in Ntinda. if not, they want to use their fragile teeth which really were designed to opening chocolate wrappers and nibbling into roadside made mandazi’s and not for opening beer bottles.

They play rugby not because they like the game, but so they can grunt and groan in the maul and scrum like we men do. They want to wear a codpiece - not that they have any reason to, so they play cricket. They wanted to play football and worst of all, they want to hurl the shot put! We let them do all that - things that the manufacturer in heaven had designed for we men and gave them a ‘Made for Man’ label but which when pointed out to women, it had them screaming “ sexist bigots” so we relented.

Men don’t throw tantrums about not doing women things. We don’t make fuss because we don't have 'that time of the month', or because we don't play netball, kwepena, or rage if the toilet seat is left ‘up’ - the way it is supposed to be and not ‘down’. And we were okay with not contesting in Miss Uganda. And we don’t complain when Silk, Ange or Rouge, give women free entry while we have to pay. 

We men have to unite and claw back the ground lost to women because they (women) are taking liberties. Take Catherine Zeta-Jones for example. She is a successful actress who is married the actor Michael Douglas. However and what irks us men, is that she has gone and tampered into the heart of our soul and done the unthinkable - something that goes against everything that is man. She insisted that her daughter - Carys, will be known as Carys Zeta-Douglas, and not Carys Douglas as it should be.

From the onset and perhaps well before Adam started sniffing round Eve, it was written that offspring will use their dad’s surname with no additions. Hence I am Timothy Bukumunhe and not, Timothy Sendi-Bukumunhe (Sendi being mums maiden name).

Some married women - like Zeta-Jones, see themselves as Ms, not Mrs, don’t use their husbands surname while others opt to double barrel as in, using their maiden surname along with that of their husband. While it’s not the way it should be, we men have let it slide.

Call me sexist or a bigot, but men have to make a stand and let it be known to women that there are sections of the world order that are not to be tampered with. Insisting that offspring use their mother’s surname in addition to their dads, like Catherine Zeta-Jones has done to her daughter Carys, is simply not on - period! Chaps, you with me?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Teenage Tantrum Meltdown

“If you don’t stop it this instance, I’m going to smack you!” Of all the sentences Mum used during the ten minute spat with Son in the supermarket, this was the only one that did not contain swear words.

Son was probably no more than 6-years-old and had thrown a tantrum because Mum, had not bought him a box of miniature cereal packets. He was so vexed that he threw a tsunami of tantrums - wiping everything on the display shelves to the floor and following it up with a screaming fit and throwing himself to the floor at the check-out counter.

Of course everybody had an opinion to offer. “Bad parenting” said one. “I blame the schools. The system has broken down” one chirped. Another said: “A good stroke of the cane would sort him out.” But I was in awe because in my days, at the first hint of a tantrum, Zeye’s left hand would have been quick to swing into action to neutralise the situation.”

We have all thrown tantrums. We threw them when we were kids and through school and at university. In our jobs today, we are still throwing them. Some of them are controlled while others, border on the tsunami like that of Son.

I think I was 7 when I last threw an extreme childhood tantrum brought on by a falling out with Mum. As she left my room, I sat on the bed seething and frothing at the mouth. And then just like that, it happened. I snapped and went into a rage in which, I tore up everything I came across including a new shirt I had been given. I was like Hurricane Katrina’s long ignored step-sister for it was brutal and nasty that when I was done, the damage freaked me out.      

On this occasion, Mum perhaps felt she had be hard on me and had returned to is say all is forgiven until she saw the destruction. She stood there, in shock and probably thinking this is not one for Zeye’s left hand alone to handle. This requires convening an elders or clan meeting and input from the best doctor at Butabika – just to be on the safe side.

I expected a walloping of a lifetime but this time, I didn’t get one. I was merely handed a needle and thread and told to start sewing back together the new shirt which, had been relieved of pockets, sleeves, buttons and collar.

I tried and though the end result was pathetic, Mum didn’t complain. She simply smiled and took the shirt away with her.

Months later when all was forgotten, as we got dressed to go on an outing, my sisters were given new dresses. I too got a new shirt – well kind of a new shirt. It was the shirt I had ripped to shreds during my extreme tantrum fit and told to sew back together.

Mum made me wear the shirt and I cried. I cried louder as I was dragged to the car and we set off to go and visit family friends. One sleeve fell off no sooner had I sat in the ride, while the rest of the shirt fell apart sometime into the journey.

Rounding the corner to our destination, panic set in and I cried even more. My sisters were also in a panic, but there was nothing they could do.

At the house, the gate was closed and as we waited for it to open, Mum swung me nonchalant looks. And just as they opened, she reached under her seat and pulled out a new shirt.

Though I still throw tantrums, that day marked the last time that I threw one – extreme or otherwise at my parents.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Ride, My Rules - Period!

We called him Reverend - though I never saw him in a dog collar or heard him talk about a sermon he had given. There was though, a tattered bible that was always on his desk, so that might explain the name.

Seeing I was in my ride and headed into town, Reverend asked for a lift which was okay with me, provided he observed the rules of the ride. With that, I lit up a sportie and puffed away. Reverend complained and I was about to remind him of the rules, but compassion set in. Realising I had gone more than a tad too far, I bit my tongue – even though it was my ride and could do what I wanted, there was no harm in holding back on the smoking until Reverend had been dropped off. I felt so bad that 

I actually apologised to him as I tossed the cigarette out of the window.

In traffic outside Electoral Commission on Jinja Road, Cypress Hill, were in full cry on the pimped up car stereo  - something about: “...hanging out my window and my magnum taking out some puto’s...” when all went dead. Looking round, Reverend is fiddling with the stereo.

Let me rephrase so you get the gist of the gravity of the situation. Cypress Hill had been muted and Reverend was fiddling with MY pimped up stereo and in MY ride because it was too loud. 

Tossing out my cigarette for him was tight. Not observing the rules of the ride? So not on! We all know that when you are in Chaps ride, especially one who has a pimped up stereo, you don’t tamper with it. It’s a killable offence, just like Al Shabab Man would want to return to earth to slit the throat of Imam who had told him that in heaven, 72 virgins await him when he blows himself up but gets there to find two skinny women nibbling on bacon rashes and who happen to be prostitutes.

A tumbavu was unleashed and reiterating the ‘my ride, my rules’, I reached across him, opened the door and literally pushed him out followed by another tumbavu and said in a belittling tone.  

With a bewildered Reverend ejected into the middle lane on Jinja Road to get knocked by the boda’s and taxi’s, the pimped up speakers kicked in and once again, the lyrics - “...hanging out my window and my magnum taking out some puto’s...” reverberated down Jinja Road.

Enough of me, let’s talk Barack Obama. The other week, he was heckled as he gave a speech in his house. He tried to reason with Heckler for almost five minutes - telling her that she was “in HIS house eating HIS hors d’oeuvers and drinking HIS beer”, but Heckler went on and on, that he simply stood there and got insulted.

And in HIS home!

But how does that happen? Somebody getting into YOUR ride and disrespecting YOU by tampering with YOUR stereo, Chap can easily pull out a knife and stab you. Inviting a person to YOUR house to eat YOUR food and drink YOUR booze and that person insults you? Chap can easily kill!

That said, Obama, style up, man up and start bouncing the filth out of your house - just like I did with Reverend - you with me?

But that Reverend, he was something else. Can you imagine the next day at work, he had the audacity to report me to the bosses – Barbra K and Cathy M, and anybody who cared to listen, about how I had thrown him into traffic without a penny in his pocket. “Well, he shouldn’t have tampered with the pimped up stereo. Even God - his boss, knows that” was my line of defence.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Biatch, Wata Ya A Gwaan?

“Biatch! Eeeh, whappn no baby. You look good ina ya car eh. Long time mi watch ya, mi wha chat to ya. And ya a gwaan like ya nuh wha chat to me. So whappn Dre, tell em whe di f*** a gwaaan nuh”. The opening lyrics to Dr. Dre’s 1992 hit – Let me ride.

John Nagenda, who has near perfect English and can also interpret Latin, would be hard pressed to master Dre, as would Parent or English Don at Makerere University. I just about got the drift – but through Teen Nephew being on hand.

In English, this is what I think was said: “What’s happening baby? You look good in your car. It’s been a long time and I’ve been watching you. I want to talk to you, but you don’t want to talk to me. So what’s happening Dre…” The last part of the last sentence is rather heavy, so I’ll leave it at that.   

Today, Teen speaks a language that’s similar to English but, is not. Half the time when I hear Teen jazz (talk), I shut up. When I throw in ‘pardon, what did you just say?’ the response is, “jeez, get with it.”

On Twitter, WhatsApp, txt and Facebook, half the messages I get, don’t make immediate sense like the first time Teen sent me a txt that simply read: “Plot?” Plot…what? Teen so I assumed, hadn’t completed the message, but nothing else filtered through which, got me thinking. A plot of land perhaps? A conspiracy?

‘Plot’ so it turns out, means ‘what’s happening?’ Was it so hard for Teen to have said that? Parent, you see how Teen jazz can annoy?

Weeks ago, Niece on a Malta holiday, was having a conversation on the family WhatsApp forum with her cousins, aunts and uncles. I was part of the conversation but along the way, I lost track when Niece Savy said: “Skeen sun tan inna di summa sun...” I wanted to ask what she was on about, but got frightened of being ridiculed on the forum.

When I use social media, I’m from the past or to use today’s teen jazz – old skool. To Teen, it’s imperative that it’s written as skool and not school. Anyway, I type out the full length of each word. I don’t abbreviate and watch my punctuation which has Teen complaining – that he has no time to read my lengthy book messages. Hmm!

In my teens, we too had our jazz though not comparable to that of today. My first attempt at teen jazz with my parents didn’t go down well. At all.

Whenever we sat down to dinner, our family prayer was: “For what we about to receive, may the good lord make us to be truly thankful” - until I landed from boarding school full of a ‘sense of change’ and more gusto than a prized bull being led into a kraal with two heifers, I let rip with the school grace – “Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, ye God.”

An icy silence seeped through the dining room. Suddenly I was freezing yet, I dripping with sweat. My temperature shot up and the beginnings of a running stomach took hold.

The stare I got from Mr. Bukumunhe, my dad that is, didn’t need interpretation. It read: “If you don’t remove yourself from this table this instance for taking the lords name in vain, you will get the walloping of a lifetime!” I fled.                  

However, today Teen would have stood his ground and shot back: “Wata ya a gwaan creeper, like ya nuh kno mi fuss!?”

But Parents, fret not, for if you don’t click (understand) what your Teen be jazzing (is saying), go online and consult The Urban Dictionary. It will sort you out.

Did Your Plan A and B Workout?

By God’s grace, he got away with both Plans - A and B. Paul was in Mbarara with one of the brewery companies to cover an event. It was a w...