Friday, May 27, 2016

A Switched On Karatsi, A Scattered Baron

When I was in my early twenties, I was scattered. Not confused I add, but scattered and doing things that scattered boys did then and I guess still do today – ‘catching’ like a problem, joyriding in dad’s stolen Toyota, cigarettes, scaling the boundary wall in the dead of the night to go clubbing and chasing after pretty girls.

For a girl who I think is a couple of years out of her teens, Ronah Karatsi (below), does not appear to be scattered or confused, but switched on. Reading part of her Twitter profile, which indicates she is a part time model and drama student, she also claims she can sing, as does Nanfukka, the waitress in my local kafunda. Ronah, whose late mum Justine, first recorded her song on cassette when she was a mere 2-year old, has done a cover of Stay by Miley Cyrus and I really have to admit that she can sing and would give Juliana and the rest a run for their money. While I am no Steve Jean or Simon Cowell for sure, I surely have spotted talent here and think she does have the voice to pursue a music career. Check out the song on this link:

While I was scattered and Ronah is switched on, there is one person who is very confused. Opi Baron (below) should be doing things that 20-year-old girls do – like following the latest fashion trends, teasing the boys or like Ronah, singing. But hmm, she’s not doing any of that. Instead she sits at home beefing about her sexuality.

Now this is the time where you ask Wifey if Daughter has been acting all funny. As a teen, Opi had issues when her bust took on a 30D size. It affected her so much that she is ashamed and disgusted whenever she looks down and sees it. She is so disgusted, that she wears a breast-binder each day in a desperate bid to stop them being noticed and wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, is also looking for £5,000 (sh24m) to have a bilateral mastectomy.

But wait, there is more to her confusion. It’s not the 30D size that’s really killing her, but her sexuality too. Opi claims she is ‘non-binary’, which means she doesn’t identify as being man or woman. In her defence she says: You are brought up and taught from a young age that there is only boy and girl and two boxes that you fit into, but that's not the case. While I have feminine traits, instead of it being black or white, male or female - there are a whole range of shades in the middle which is where I am.

According to the men in white coats with stethoscopes draped round their necks, and who would jump at the chance of giving her a lobotomy, Opi is ‘gender dysphoria’ - a condition where a person experiences distress because there's a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

If all that has not floored you, then this should. Opi has Boyfie - Phill Abbott who is heterosexual and supportive in Opi's choices and about the pending breast removal surgery. In other words, he is also confused. 

Not even television talk show host, Jerry Springer, could have scripted this any better. I know we all have issues and however hard I try to comprehend what Opi is going through, I am none the wiser. What is wrong with her doing normal teen rebellious things like hacking off that beautiful hair when in revolt. Or putting in that extra earing because mother has annoyed?

Contrary to popular folklore that man’s best friend is his dog, it’s not – it never has been. Boobs are man’s best friend and the moment boyfie  Phil Abbott undresses Opi for a sawa ya malavu session and there are no 30Ds to grope, his once scattered and confused brain will switch on and just watch how fast he flees.

All this is getting me down so you know what, rather than persist with this column that’s so vexing me and I suspect you as well by dwelling on the confused and scattered Opi, let’s instead go for it and end the read on a high. 

Let's yank up the decibels and make out that we are at a beach party, kick off our shoes, do enough noise pollution to annoy the neighbours that they call KCCA and listen to our  Ronah Karatsi? That cool with you? Good then. By the way, Nanfukka from the kafunda can’t sing to save her deary life, but no one has the courage or guts to tell her that.       

Ronah Karatsi's music is produced by Baru Beats and she sings with Tulia band, which was founded by her sister Ruth Karatsi

Pictures: Benny Popi (Karatsi), Daily Mirror (Opi Baron)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Robert Mugabe Also Get's Battered

I worked with Sam. Sam was huge and if he had played rugby, he would have been a tight end prop. Basically he was 100% muscle and it was safe to assume that in his house, it was he who wore the pants – especially since Wifey was very petite - enough to always make me wonder how they got on during a sawa ya malaavu session.

In the 80s and 90s, my interpretation of domestic violence was to the point - battered women. That was the way I understood it. It therefore came as more than a shock when I found out that Sam, and as huge as he was, was being battered by Wifey. He had been burnt with steam iron on his back. He had also been thrown out of the house in the middle of the night during winter. He had been kicked in the nuts and been given black eyes. Police and the social services were aware of his circumstances, but no action was ever taken – unless, giving Wifey countless of cautions was considered action taken.

A couple of years ago, I was at Ggaba police station and on the dusty concrete floor, a grown man lay withering and crying out in agony. My first inkling was that police had duly roughed him up before bringing him to the station. But listening in, it was far from that. He was reporting a case of domestic violence for Wifey had beaten him up over something to do with fish sales.

Fat Woman Cop behind the desk was: “But Affande, Fisherman is a nuisance. Every week he complains about being beaten. What man allows himself to be beaten by a woman?” Turning her attention back to Fisherman she says: “Kati gwe, this time, what do you want us to do for you?” Eventually he picked himself up and slithered away while Fat Woman Cop was still besides herself that he gets battered.

Like Battered Woman, Battered Man does not walk about with a neon sign on his forehead that reads, ‘battered man’. But they are battered in the villages and in upscale Kampala Suburbs like Kololo, Mutungo, Bugolobi and Namasuba near Doc's crib. Some men stride about with a sense of bravado as they walk into the pub and ‘man spread’ as they try to sell the fallacy that they are men who are in control. But often, he is Battered Man who doesn’t want to go home, and will swing round after round of drinks so you keep him company as he waits to hear from House-ee that Wifey has gone to bed.

And it’s the men who we least suspect that are being battered like Former Ambassador, whose official residence is in the Nakasero neighbourhood near State House. He used to walk all tall and majestic at the cocktail parties he threw. But once it was done and Guest went home, Wifey who was rather petite, would lunge at him and give him a beating for a minor misdemeanour - such as not having a diplomatic posture when he read out his speech.

There is also Robert, who just happens to be the 'iron fist' President of Zimbabwe. According to an article published in The Southern Daily newspaper two weeks ago, Robert Mugabe, who is Commander-in-Chief and who has been at the helm of ZANU/PF for 36-odd years, is a battered president whose wifey – Grace that is, takes delight in goofing and lashing his face with hot slaps whenever she does not get her way. And she does not limit her slaps and punches to our 'Uncle Bob', but to his bodyguards too.

Then there is ‘near battered man’ who gets shoes, kettles, cups, plates and saucepans hurled at him during a row. I too, could say that while at campus, Girlfie ‘near battered’ me when she chucked with force a beer mug at me and tipped soup into my laps.

But as you make merry in the pub tonight, listen out for Dude with the hollow laughter – for he will be he who will get battered once he goes home.   

Pictures: Bukedde, The Southern Daily, Internet

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Allah, Are The 72 Virgins Really Waiting For Us?

Allah, we have a problem. We all at some point in our lives have protested. We protested as kids when Parent melted down punishments that we thought were taken straight from a Nazi handbook at Auschwitz. Some protest over working conditions while House-ee protests by serving rice that is lumped better than posho or matooke can ever be lumped. The two doctors – Kizza Besigye and Stella Nyanzi have also protested - KB over elections results and Nyanzi over her office.

The last time I was in a protest, it was in Masindi years ago and to quell my protestations, Security Guard gave me a thorough lashing with a wire cane. Quelling the House-ee protest, we simply sack her, while Besigye is slapped with imprisonment and house arrest.

In some protests, Protest Organiser gives us an incentive to protest by becoming a martyr with a palatable and very appealing bonus - especially if you are a man. In Islamic circles, especially those that ISIS, Al Shabab and Al Queada drift in, it is said that at the end of the protest, you will go to heaven as a martyr where Allah shall reward you with 72 beautiful virgins - but only if you strapped enough TNT to your chest and blown yourself up at a train station in Europe or better still in the US.

However, what Protest Organiser does not tell us is: 1. When do we get the virgins. 2. Are they delivered in a batch or once a month? 3. Where do they come from – Uganda, Brazil, Japan? 4. Are they really beautiful with a Beyonce body - or are they fat mamas?

As a man, the thought of 72 virgins is right up my avenue and was tempted to find a martyrdom cause but, and it’s an upper cased BUT. I was deeply perturbed when Failed Afghan Protester who chickened out of the mission at the 11th hour, was found wearing underwear made out of metal casing. When asked why during the interrogation, he said something along the lines of: ‘Wanting to protect his manhood from being blown up so he could ‘perform’ for his virgins. A valid point that got me thinking twice.

Then came utterances by the Canadian author - Irshad Manji, who was actually born here in Kampala – Old Kampala to be precise. Currently, she is an advocate of a ‘reformist’ interpretation of Islam and was once described by The New York Times as "Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare".

Manji argues that Muslim Scholar has the wrong interpretation of the Koran and that Protest Organiser has been feeding young men fibs about the virgins. According to her, in heaven, Allah merely rewards with 72 raisins and not 72 virgins. He gives you raisins so that when you return to the Middle East dessert, you can plant them and they will grow to fruition despite the harsh climate.  

The confusion she says came about when Scholar, who was hard of hearing, heard the word ‘virgin’ and not ‘raisin’ and next, it became common folklore.

I am not overtly impressed with Manji. She killed my virgin dream. I had it mapped out – frolicking on a circular bed with silk sheets while Virgin1 feeds me the finest grapes from the hills of Lebanon as Virgin66 massaged my chest with olive oil. Virgin42 would be psyching me up for the task at hand and as the day wore into the night, I would consummate my martyrdom by sleeping with Virgin14, 16 and 72.

But I really do feel very sorry for Young Men who bought into the virgin dream and who are now spitting fire in a hospital casualty ward in heaven – their genitalia blown off and awaiting to be handed a kaveera of raisins before being repatriated back to the harsh sun baked Middle East dessert – probably somewhere near war ravaged Aleppo in Syria. You now see the problem Allah?    

Pictures & Caricature: Internet 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mother's Day? Ah, For Beer, Dish and Laundry

A few years ago when Mother’s Day swung, I knew there something that I had to do, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what. It was on a Friday and despite the huge Mother’s Day signage in the now closed Uchumi and the adverts in New Vision, I still didn’t cotton on. Two days later on Sunday, when I saw Mothers all glammed up, again it didn’t click. I just presumed they were glammed up to go see Pastor at church.

Today is Mum’s Day, and without Google guidance, my interpretation of it is: To give back to Mother for carrying us for nine months and bringing us into this world, feeding us, nursing us better when we tumbled, clothing us and seeing us off to school on our first day and so forth.

Mum has also stood by us even when we have gone astray. They have defended us and will swear to Cop when there has been need to bail us out of trouble that: “No my son/daughter can’t have done that!” So yes, there is a need for them to be recognised and to be treated to lunch or dinner at some fancy restaurant. It’s something that I have been doing since I left home except for last year – and for two reasons - I forgot plus there was a spot of ‘paying’ heavily.

This year, had it not been for Penny, the chief sub at Sunday Vision, who was adamant about having my column themed to Mum’s Day, it would have passed in the blur of nursing the Saturday night hangover.

However, it’s going to be a different type of Mum’s Day. Save for the obligatory card that was purchased during the course of the week, Mum need not dress up today. There will be no taking her to a fancy restaurant for lunch or dinner, nor will I be thanking her for all that she has done for me.

Rather, I have packed three bags - one has dirty laundry, the other has shirts with buttons missing and the last, shirts that need ironing which, I shall cart over to her house for Mum knows best. Mum knows how to pamper us better than we know how to pamper them, so I am not bound to try to re-invent the wheel simply because of Mum’s Day.

While there and as she slaves away over a hot stove the kitchen making me Sunday lunch – roast lamb, mashed potatoes and some garden peas along with apple pie and custard for desert, I will be sprawled out in the living room watching the Grand Pix and politely shouting out to her to swing me a chilled TML or to come and pass me the remote control.

And once lunch is over, I want her to leave me be or to suggest I go up to my old room and have an undisturbed nap while she gets on with washing my clothes, sewing on my buttons and ironing my shirts. I also want her to leave the bedroom door slightly ajar so that she can monitor my breathing and to also come check up on me and cover me up if the duvet has fallen off.

At four o’clock, I want her to wake me and by the time I get downstairs, there is a nice cup of tea waiting along with a cake as she used to do back when I was still a kid and then leave me be to watch cartoons or something but popping in and out to see if I want another slice of cake. No, hang on a minute - not to ask me if I want another slice to cake, but to simply bring another slice because that’s Mum is supposed to do.

As the day draws to a close, despite it still being early, perhaps she could suggest that I spend the night because as Mum, she doesn’t want me driving at night.

Mothers would feel happy that they spent Mum’s Day reliving the times when they pampered their children. They will not be offended at not being taken to Serena for lunch. As long as they were able to spend Mother’s Day pampering their children, that works for them.

Happy Mother’s Day to y’all mothers!  

Pictures:  Alamy Stock, Shutter  



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