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

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