Saturday, February 13, 2016

We All Thrive On Power

I’ve spent the day trolling online dictionaries looking for the apt definition of ‘power’. Cambridge Dictionaries provided the best - “The ability to control people and events.”

Power is a bitter sweet asset. Junior Army Officer, who weeks ago, marched David Tinyefuza into arrest for “behaving inconsistently”, probably spent the rest of the day in the barracks telling all how he had a ‘power explosion’ in bringing the general to his knees.

When I worked with WBS television, one night, Gordon Wava made an impromptu visit. As duty manager, I received him and as we trawled the corridors, WBS Lady who had never met him – let alone have any reason
to talk to him, popped her head out of an office as we walked.

Upon seeing Wava, what did she do? She froze but I could see her brain working away and trying to figure out the ‘what next.’ Her brain told her to scamper. And she did. Wava shouted after her - calling her back and asked the simplest of questions – “what’s your name” to  which she went into a convulsing freaky meltdown that short of peeing in her G-string, gibbering, she threw out dozens of names – none of which were hers.

After he’d gone, I asked her what was up.  She said: “Eh mama nyabo, it was Wava! If I couldn’t even remember my own name, what kb would I give him?”

Along with my media colleagues - Evelyn Kiapi, Bruno Birakwate, John Kazoora amongst others, we were returning from an Air Tanzania sponsored trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar on a direct flight from Dar to

When the drinks trolley clinked round, we were rather miffed that there were no alcoholic drinks. Enter Chief Purser who thought there might a ‘revolt and negative writing’ about the airline and informed Captain. Captain then radioed CEO’s office back in Dar. Our very own Alice Katiti, was the then CEO, went livid and ordered the flight
divert to Kilimanjaro to get stocked with enough beverages to ‘keep them happy’. In addition, we were upgraded from kayola class to First class.

We had spent the best part of the day making merry. It was a staff party after all. Chef who had never met Sudhir Ruparelia had had one too many just like the rest of us. As we larked about at the Lakeside Green, Sudhir suddenly appears out of nowhere. Alas for Chef, when he started ‘slapping’ who he thought was a colleague on the back but it was Sudhir, when the shilling of realization dropped, Chef broke into a sweat, freaked, turned on his heels and fled into the night.

It’s Sunday and we are in State House, Nakasero for a media meeting. James Buturo - then Information minister, sat up front with President Museveni. Tea and refreshments were served. The gap between the table where Buturo’s tea and cookies were placed was such that he had to get out of his seat and lean over to pick up the cup.

On his first attempt, he’s halfway there when Museveni swings a question that he stands to answer it. On the second attempt, hand makes contact with cup, but another question hits. Cup goes back. The third attempt was comical – like Museveni could read his mind. You could almost feel the hapless Buturo summoning his inner courage, his body tensing to lurch for the cup, at which Museveni would swing him a look that put him back in his seat. Suffice to say, Buturo merely licked malusu for the rest of evening.

Some peeps derive their power from the job they hold, but real power lies with M7, Wava and Sudhir who wield it through mere presence. 

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