Saturday, June 25, 2016

Who Stole Hookers Knickers?

I had never been to Arua (below). My interpretation of Arua was that its far. Very far that it would take two days to get there and when I did get there, there would be no hot water, bacon, pizza or television.

It was early 2000 when with MTN, we were there to switch Arua on to the mobile network grid. And I was right. Arua was far – probably because then, there was no ‘#steady progress’ and thus no tarmac between Karuma and Arua plus Joseph Kony was still rampaging in the area. It didn’t take two days to get there and there was hot water, very cold beers, television but no bacon and pizza. But that’s beside the point.

From the onset, when we got to MTN Towers to catch the MTN yellow bus (above), it was obvious that the trip and our ‘work’ sojourn in Arua was going to be a raucous one. Anjelica Arden (I wonder where she is now) had pulled off a first and piled the bus with lots of alcohol – and I mean lots of it. And the media crowd was something else – Andrew Wandera (RIP), Radio One presenters’ RS. Elvis and Philip Besiimire (bottom left), Kalungi Kabuye, Patrick ‘OPP’ Oyulu (bottom right), Daily Monitor’s John Nsimbe, WBS presenter, Tilly Muwonge – the list goes on and on.

One thing about Arua that got me and amazed was the rush hour traffic. You were far more likely to get knocked down by Boda Cyclist or Wheel Barrow Pusher than by My Car Driver. There were literally hundreds of Boda Cyclist peddling home after 5:00pm.

While there we took over Pacific Hotel on Congo Road. As for the hotel staff, they never quite knew what hit them and when we checked out a few days later, we left them with their heads scattered and in a trance.

Everybody in Arua wanted to be part of the MTN bandwagon. Some wanted a phone. Some wanted to snatch free drinks at Pacific hotel. Others merely wanted a T-shirt. When word spread into Congo that there was going to be a big party, Woman of The Night crossed the border to see what phallics were in the offering.

On our last night, MTN Chief Commercial Officer - Erik van Veen (below), opened up his wallet and literally bought out the entire bar, that the party began in earnest and went on till the wee hours of the morning when the goats and cows took a leisurely stroll from the kraal and down Congo Road to go and graze at the golf course.

Then it was morning proper.

After an early morning breakfast polishing off whatever beers were left over, we boarded the bus back to Kampala and minutes later, the real drama unfolded. There was Cop road block on the outskirts of town.

Amongst Cop was a young lady and from the way that she was tarted down and dishevelled, one need not have driven down Speke Road in Kampala to deduce that she was Woman of The Night.

And onto the bus they clambered. One of us had obviously done something to her that necessitated Cop intervention. And jeez, was Woman of The Night peeved off or what. Her rants would have made Stella Nyanzi’s sound palatable. She hissed fire! It transpired that her services had been used and Client hadn’t paid.

But pause a minute. That was not what was really peeving her off. What really was, is that Client also had to audacity to steal her knickers! Yes, steal as in theft. In Luganda she spattered: “I don’t mind him not paying me. That sometimes happens in the job. But to steal my knickers? How do I go home without them?”

With Cop walking behind her, she walked down the bus and stopped at the back where she pointed at him and said: “Oyo!” The dude, MTN Engineer, was literally trying to stuff himself under the seat. When Cop patted him down, tucked in his jeans, what does he find? In Cop talk, I think they call it ‘exhibit’ – a pair of tattered knickers.

And just like that, MTN Engineer was hauled off the bus. By the time we got back to Kampala, every possible story about him and knickers had been heard. That he would break into Akamwesi hostel and steal them off the line. Or if he went visiting, he would sneak into the bathroom and pluck a pair that had been left out to dry. If none had been left out to dry, he would rummage through the dirty laundry basket till he found a pair. The perv. 

By the way Sista, if you think you are missing some knickers, holler for I might just know who the culprit is.

Pictures: New Vision, Daily Monitor, MTN, Internet

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Are You Man Enough For Your Kid?

Its Father's Day today. For Daddy, it’s all about one thing - the bragging rights that the sperm works and it effectively navigated Wifey or Girlfie's dark channel and did the needful.

Kids – especially boys, have various interpretations of daddy and Father's Day. Daddy, is supposed to be cool and have a fly ride. He is also supposed to be a mix of Rambo (below), John Mclean (from the Die Hard movie trilogy), Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Samuel L. Jackson for extra measure. That’s the kind of dad boys want – the dad who can walk into Nakivubo Stadium, scatter all the goons in the Kirussia stand, walk out unscathed and still give Moses Golola a couple of slaps that send him scurrying home in tears.

Mr. Bukumunhe, my dad that is, is not muscle. He is lean. I have never seen him in an aggressive situation with a melee about to kick. I have though, had visions of him in one and how he might handle himself. Would he do the needful and kick ass or would he get goofed. Who would he be in the melee with? Gordon Wava (below) perhaps? Justice George Kanyeihamba? Maybe Dr Martin Aliker – simply because I think they are all in the same age bracket. But then again, part of me thinks there might be need for me to step in and say: “Dad, step. I got this covered.”

Indian Mullah (below) owns a resort on the shores of Lake Victoria. I wouldn’t say he is muscle – but portly. One afternoon he got into a tangle with South African over racial comments that he (South African), had made to Waiter. South African was huge – 100% pure Gauteng muscled beef and who was flexing his boob muscles like Golola does. 

There was the square off with South African towering down into Indian Mullah’s face like Muhammad Ali did to George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 and you didn’t have to be a melee critique to figure out how it was going to end. Indian Mullah was going to get a hiding of a lifetime.

When the war of words erupted, the unthinkable happened and barely 40 seconds into the minute. Mullah ripped South African apart – literally dicing him that his 100% pure muscled Gauteng beef wilted and was akin to a cow being gutted in Kampala Meat Packers – the way the byenda pour out.

Worse, South African had Son with him – a young boy who was probably no more than ten-years-old and who am sure always saw Dad not only as 100% pure South Africa Gauteng muscled beef, but as Rambo, John Mclean, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Superman and probably Hulk Hogan too.

The look Son had when Dad was getting shot down was tight. He had tears in his eyes and when he looked up and saw Dad crying and reduced to a pathetic heap of flesh, he too cried. Once the verbal onslaught ended and as they walked away, I really felt for Son.

I mean what sort of dad does that to his son? What gutless, cheap, worthless dad can’t man-up to do the needful so that Son can go to school the next day with bragging rights and gloat to his friends how Dad pulled killer moves that sorted out the other dude and even swung in Bruce Willis’s Die Hard chant of - “Yippee Ki Yay!” or better, evoked Samuel L. Jackson’s (below) eerie bible quote from the movie Pulp Fiction - “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee” as he drove in that final punch to send the other chap to Mulago Hospital's intensive care unit.  

Today and as we celebrate Father’s Day, there are many young boys and girls out there who look to their fathers the same way that my sisters – Julie, Susan, Linda, Hellen and Brenda, looked up to Mr. Bukumunhe and still do. Kids want to know that dad is always hoovering around doing the needful and was always there doing things that dads are supposed to do with their kids.

I am however, very relieved that I didn’t get to find out if Mr. Bukumunhe with his lean body was Rambo, John Mclean, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Samuel L. Jackson or not. I also doubt he’s like me – a real Kisekka Market brawler when the need arises.

But if anybody doubts my market brawler skills because of the demure look in this picture (above) and you want to bring it on, oh please man-up and meet me behind Nakivubo stadium this evening at 7:00pm or forever hold your mouth.

Otherwise, have yourselves a happy Father’s Day         

Pictures: New Vision, Internet, Daily Monitor, NTV

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Written, Produced & Directed In Uganda

Kalundi Robert Serumaga, was once director of The National Theatre – back in the late 90s if memory serves me correct. Then, he talked about the arts and how The National Theatre was underfunded, how the chairman of the board would commandeer the theatre van to use as his personal car and how government really doesn’t see arts and culture as something worth talking about – let alone given funding.

We too share the governments opinion. We would rather go to Blankets and Wine, Nile Gold Jazz at Serena or to polo at the Madhvani estate in Kakira than going to watch an Alex Mukulu play or going to an art exhibition by one of our talented artists. There is also a very good chance that when the documentary – Plan I is eventually premiered in Uganda it will hardly garner a crowd because we won’t see it as an apt society event.

Plan I is a documentary that I chanced upon which, took three years to make and was written, produced and directed by one of our own – AK Simba (below). To be honest, I had never heard of him and reading through his biography, for him to come from where he did and produce such a documentary, I have to applaud him.

Ak Simba it can be said, has literally come from a life in hell. In Uganda, he’s done everything dropping out of school to fend for his siblings when his parents passed on, taking on jobs in the construction industry to waiting in restaurants and vending CD’s and DVD’s on the streets. When he went to live in Belgium, life was even harsher that to make ends meet, he worked as a garbage collection man – a job that would have the whole of Kampala laughing and saying: “Eh, Ak Simba went abroad to collect muzungu rubbish. What a loser!” But it’s something Ak Simba is not embarrassed about because he mentions it in his short bio and even goes on to admit that he did like the job. 

Plan-I, is by no means a scripted reality, but narrates Ak Simba’s story.  The idea of Plan I came partially out of his self-pity, his levels of frustration and his near depression and which he has transformed into an eye-opening experience and into something positive - the need to share the story.

As such, this documentary approaches integration from various angles. Migrants from all corners of the world who now reside in Belgium get their say, whether they have just arrived or have already been living there for a longer while. But we also get to hear the experienced opinion of an integration counselor. Plan-I also brings us to Uganda where Ak Simba demonstrates the expectations of many of us who only dream of living a life in the glittery West. 

Ak Simba bursts the bubble filled with (des-) illusions about integration from the perspective of the migrants, as well as the natives. Coupled with his personal experiences as a migrant, Plan I discards all half-baked stories about migration and offers us a look into the often harsh reality of the integration process as it is.

Since Plan-I was finished, it has been submitted to various film festivals around the world and currently, it has been nominated for awards in at film festivals in Belgium and Germany. While Plan I is not yet available for public screening, between 3:00pm Saturday 11th June to midnight Sunday 12th June and exclusive to Sunday Vision readers, you have the chance to watch it by clicking onto this link - and the password is swampkamp. Plan I will feature at several film festivals in Europe, United States, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Japan

Pictures: New Vision, AK Simba

Friday, June 10, 2016

Oh, Peter Sematimba!

Without putting thought to it, when you talk of smartness in men, Dr Martin Aliker (below right), Elly Karuhanga, Richard Byarugaba and even Ivan Koreta, who I consider the smartest man in the UPDF uniform spring to mind. They know how to dress or rather vaz, as one of my niece’s is fond of saying. The clothes they wear fit them well and they strike a pose wherever they go. 

I can’t mention my school housemasters name and though he died shortly after the millennium, the chances of my being sued are high if, his family happens to chance on today’s cowardly tales. Anyway House Master, when he was not busy sliding his hands down our pajamas just before we went to bed, was a disciplinarian. So strict he was that if I hadn’t known about his previous life in the seminary, I would have thought he’d done a stint in the army. 

He used to measure the length of our ties and if they were not up to standard, you had to hop onto his lap while he beat our naked butts. But he wasn’t really beating us. Rather, he used to gleefully rub them and at the time he was doing it, we didn’t know he was getting his sexual kicks and abusing us until years later when he was forced to resign after one of the kids in junior school told his dad about a sexual act House Master had made him perform. By the way, House Master was Irish. Nodin, who is Irish and lives in Uganda didn’t go to the seminary and neither is he a housemaster so he should be okay. 

Have I lost track of the story for as I type, I am sitting in Bamboo Nest trying to get to grips with a bottle of Tusker – a Malt at that, two pork ribs, a Sportsman cigarette because the chaps at BAT don’t feel me anymore with Dunhill, a huge blue fly that won’t leave my ribs alone, and an impending call from Sidney, my editor, screaming about deadlines.

So I was off to Rwakitura – to M7’s and JM7’s abode for the wedding of one of M7’s younger brothers. After the function we drove to Mbarara for the night. Usually when I go up country, I don’t book a room because there are always rooms in all the hotels. But this time Mbarara was full. I should also point out at this stage, Peter Sematimba - a former mayoral candidate in the recent elections also hadn’t booked a room. 

By the way, Sematimba is also a sharp dresser so why I haven’t I put him at the top of the story with Aliker, Byarugaba, Koreta and Karuhanga? But it’s too late to make that amendment because I can see Blue Fly with its ugly sister in tow hovering over my pork ribs that between putting Sematimba at the top of the article and, saving my pork ribs from the filth that Blue Fly and his ugly sister picked up from the various pit latrines they’ve visited, I have decided to save the pork ribs.

We manage to find a room at Oxford Inn but we had to share it and it did have separate beds lest people like Smooth, Castro and Spidey who, have warped minds start thinking otherwise.

After clubbing at Vision Empire we hit bed. Blazed, I took off my shirt and hurled it across the room. The socks – I don’t know where they landed while, my skid mark devoid underpants ended up on the TV antenna.

When Sematimba changed, he took off his shirt and folded it that it looked like a new shirt in shop. His socks were not flung into oblivion but were folded into a neat ball and tucked into his shoes. His trousers went on the hanger and his underpants didn’t join mine on the TV antenna but were folded and put at the foot of his bed though, it was hard to tell if they had skid marks or not.

And when he got into bed, he didn’t rape or pillage back the duvet like I did but he stealth fully pulled it back, slithered into the sheets that am sure the sheets didn’t even know they had been slithered into. At this point I was in recoil. If House Master could see my clothes flung all over the room, I am sure I would be on his lap while he gleefully rubbed my butt in punishment. Embarrassment, I set my alarm for 3:00am to wake and tidy up before Sematimba woke. Of course I didn’t wake at 3:00am. Who does especially after a blazo night in Vision Empire?!

Rather, I woke at 11:30am to a slimy drool of malusu on the pillow and a pungent smell. I must have been gassing in my sleep. Looking over, Sematimba was nowhere to be seen and his bed was neatly made like it was when we checked in. My underpants that had spent the night on the TV antenna were not there anymore but were folded at the foot of my bed as was my shirt and socks. Sematimba probably slept with one eye open and as soon as the alarm went off, it was he who woke to clean my mess.

But there was an issue as I checked out. House cleaning would no doubt have been informed that two men shared the room and when they go to clean it, they would see my bed with the sheets on the floor and the neatly laid bed of Sematimba. What would they think? What would you think? I dashed back to rough it up and give it the appearance of having been slept in lest they thought we shared the bed. 

By the way I don’t feel like writing next week. I said it just to piss Sidney, the editor off but seeing he called hissing into the phone with, I think I’d better write.

This article was first published in 2008 

Pictures: New Vision

Friday, June 3, 2016

Simon Kaheru, Me and The Honda

My first car was a Honda Vigor. I bought it from Kevin whose surname I can’t remember, but he used to sing in a band in which Jonathan Nsubuga the architect, was drummer. Cauvan I think was his surname and the band was called Necessary Noise. Like is said, I think. The only other person who I knew and who owned a Honda that was exactly like mine was Robert Kabushenga – except, his was a Honda Inspire.

I deliberately chose to buy Honda Vigor on a Friday, because it had to make its grand appearance at TFI night at Club Silk that night and also get parked in the parking bays reserved for the club’s directors - Elvis Wava, Aga Sekalala, Isaac Mulindwa and Steven Kavuma.

After paying for it at Kings Auto Bond which then used to be opposite Shell Kabalagala, off I drove to have the sound system pimped. But I didn’t get far. I made it round the corner into Kabalagala proper – almost opposite Capital Pub, and that’s when Honda Vigor spluttered to a halt. Attempts to re-start it were futile and that of course, led to a bout of busungu.

Of all people, Kevin selling me a dud ride? But how? He’s a muzungu and bazungu don’t sell their friends dud cars. Thoughts raced back to how I should have listened to what people had told me. ‘Go with Mechanic to check it over. Are spare parts in plenty?’ I didn’t take that into consideration when I bought the car. I simply bought it because of its colour, the way the air con blew out a cold air and the rims.

With busungu still raging, I trudged back to see Kevin. “But TB, do you really think I would sell you a dud car?” Anyway back at the ride, Kevin tried to start it over and in ten seconds had diagnosed the problem. “TB, it would have helped if you had put in fuel.” Ouch.

I felt sheepish because I had cleaned out my account to pay for the ride and with barely 5k on me, Kevin had to loan me 100k of the money I had just given him to buy a jerry can and fuel. I was even more sheepish because I hadn’t factored in insurance and road tax which was still in operation back then, so Honda Vigor was grounded for almost a month till payday.

One night in Kansanga, Boda rode very close to me and ripped off the wing mirror. Peeved, I sought advice from Simon Kaheru (below), my Sunday Vision mentor at the time. For all who know Kaheru, you know he doesn’t dillydally about. He was very explicit and to the point when he told me what to do when I got to Kisseka Market. “Go to shop 20, speak to so and so and make sure you bargain.”

I should have done as told, but didn’t even though I had never been to Kisseka. No sooner had I parked and mechanics were all over the ride. But I held my ground, locked the ride and strolled up and down the street a couple of times until I saw him. Joseph he was called and who looked all innocent that his face read: “Look at me TB. Don’t I look like a mulokole? I promise I won’t rip you off.” I did bargain and brought the price down from 180k to 150k that I felt all smug with myself.

Two weeks later and again the mirror gets ripped off – this time by Woman walking without plot or is it walking fwa? Together with Kaheru, we made the trip to Kisseka. No sooner had he parked, and he was out barking orders and assuring all. He commanded such a presence that the way Hajji scurried off to bring him a Coke and airtime was comical.

In the meantime, his ‘chap’ had appeared and been dispatched to bring a mirror. Then there was the negotiating. The first figure Chap threw out was met with a brusque slap on his back. The second figure – 20k was met with smiles.

On the way back to the office Kaheru asked how much I paid the previous time. After the brusque slap he gave Chap, there was no way I was going to tell him I paid 150k. I looked out of the window and lied point blank that I paid 25k. I had to. 

And when he reads this article, I can already see him getting out of his sofa to come looking to slap me – except, ha, ha, ha, I am not home Simon Kaheru, I am holding out in Arua until you simmer yourself down...

Pictures: New Vision, Internet

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Porn Is The Key To Being Religious

I no longer feel guilty. All along, I’ve been walking this dusty city feeling low, embarrassed, downcast and especially pervy. I felt like wherever I went – Kansanga, Ntinda, Wandegeya or Ndeeba, the whole town was pointing fingers and laughing because of the sign hanging round my neck that reads – ‘TB watched porn last night’.

According to society and Uganda’s top Porn/Perv Cop – Father Lokodo (below) that is, porn is something that need to be stamped out. And to do it, he needs to spend sh2.6bn on a porn detecting machine so that he can drive to my house (and yours) in the dead of the night and park outside my window and detect if I am watching: ‘36DD Sexy Suzie Gets a Lashing in Jamaica or ‘When Busty Lucy met King Dong’ and promptly have me arrested.    

Father Lokodo aside, I have often wondered what drives men, women, children and entire communities to become - ‘saved, born again, God fearing or mulokole.’ Is it because they want to get a head start on the rest of us in the traffic jam to heaven? Is it something to do with Pastor and his ability to confuse? Is it wanting to be ‘holier than thou?’ Or perhaps, it’s something to do with retiring in the luxury gardens of Eden?

But wait a minute. Being saved, God fearing, born again and mulokole has nothing to do with wanting to chill in the Garden of Eden, being able to quote bible verses, God, heaven, prayers or going to church for overnight mass. Rather, it’s all about and wait for it, wait for it, wait for it – porn! Just in case you thought it’s a typo, let me re-type the word and swing it in upper casing - PORN.  

You see, in a paper published in the Journal of Sex Research three weeks ago by Dr. Samuel Perry, it found that people who indulge in pornographic viewing – here defined as once a week or more, increased in spirituality and had fewer religious doubts those who viewed is less.

Dr. Perry, studied data from 1,300 people over six years and found those who used porn went to church more often. He said: “Those who used pornography at the highest frequencies seemed to be more religious in terms of prayer frequency and worship attendance than those who used pornography at more moderate levels. Those who viewed pornography weekly or more in 2006 reported praying more often and attending worship services more often by 2012 compared to those who viewed pornography monthly or less earlier on.”

While porn magazines like Playboy, Loaded and Nuts have closed down because of social pressures, porn is still out there especially on the internet and social media sites like Twitter and Snapchat. And in the times that I have been dragged squealing to watch porn by Doc and Mzee, according to society and Perv Cop, it would make us social deviants, pervs, paedophiles dirty old men and hence the reason I would walk with my head downcast and felling all guilty. But nedda, nedda, not anymore!

I know I am not religious enough and I now know the reason. I am just not watching enough porn according to Dr. Perry tells me. If I am going to be a righteous man, I need to up my porn game from watching ‘36DD Sexy Suzie Gets a Lashing in Jamaica’ not just once a month, but like every day, if I am to be able to hold my head up high and walk through town calling myself ‘Saved, God Fearing, Born Again, Mulokole as well as being able to walk into the nearest church full of swag and say ‘praise the lord’ with confidence while swapping my ‘36DD Sexy Suzie Gets a Lashing in Jamaica’ DVD for ‘Booty Call’, which Neighbour assures me is a good watch.

I want to be saved. I don’t want to go to hell - I want to go to heaven and take Doc, Kayos, Paulo, Julio, Mzee and Willo with me. But how will we get there when Perv/Porn Cop is out there with a sh2.6bn machine wanting to shut and trample on our religious aspirations and beliefs?   

Sunday Vision censor board found this too risque to be published in my column last week and especially on a Sunday

Pictures: New Vision, Internet, Playboy

Expelled From School And Sent to Prison

I was fortunate enough, that during my academic career, I was never suspended or expelled from school – not because I was a good boy who to...