Saturday, November 26, 2016
For the past three weeks, Americans - and the world at that, have been troubled over having The Donald in the White House. While many are looking at the larger picture, I’d rather we simmer down, hold onto our underpants and knickers and look at something else. The children. It's not The Donald that we should really be scared of, but rather, the children that Barack Obama and his predecessors raised - and who will now be raised by him (The Donald). Let's look at them in comparison to Museveni's children - or those of his predecessors.
From a tender age, children struggle with gender identity like 8-year-old Ashley - now Ash, who recently made the news because he was born a boy but now lives as a girl. Children like Ash are in turmoil over their gender and a feeling that they don't fit in - with some sinking so low, they consider suicide. Describing how she often never feels ‘right’, Ash explained: “I feel like a regular girl, but I am not. There is something inside me that is saying to come out. Living as a boy felt like telling a lie.” Hmm.
From the onset, I knew I was a boy and would develop into a man. As a boy, I knew dolls and kwepena were not male games. Plus somehow, I don't think my dad or any of your dads would have stayed up all night making placards and taken to demonstrating outside the High Court or UBC if you or I had woken up on Tuesday and decided we were born Vinta, Dianah or Ronah and not TB, Nodin, Julio Kayos, Paulo or Willo. That most suicidal stunt, would have our dads calling for family and clan meeting and a stint with the Doctor in Butabika and being stripped of all family rights.
When Parent melts out discipline, it’s not that straight forward. Parent is always on bunkenke and needs to tread very carefully. If Kid gets grounded, told to go tidy their room, gets shouted at, slapped or abused, he knows what to do. And that’s picking up the phone and reporting the ‘assault’ to the police and child social authorities. And he won’t end it there. Kid goes that step further and hires Lawyer, goes to court and divorces Parent.
Mbu Parent being on bunkenke with Kid?! Lol, it’s always Kid being on bunkenke with Parent. Kid has no rights. Their views are meaningless. That Kid can wake up and out of the blue, go to police and report Parent for assault, abuse or whatever? Or better still, hire Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates with the intention of suing and divorcing them? Let me assure all those kids who want to be like American Kid to forget about it. This is Ug, and in Ug, Ug Parent does not tolerate that American nonsense and will so wallop the stupidity, kajanja and mputu out of you.
When School Teacher puts Kid in detention, suspends or expels him, that move natrually lights a busungu fuse because weeks later, Kid is going to walk into school armed with a Kalashnikov and walk the corridors spraying bullets at anybody he comes across. And for good measure, he will go home and nonchalantly slit Parents throat with a Rambo knife, then sit down to a tub of popcorn and watch the entire Die Hard movie collection like nothing has happened as Parents bleed away to a slow death on the kitchen floor.
Detention, suspension or being expelled? Even here in Uganda, the busungu fuse gets lit though, it’s not Kids fuse that’s being lit. It's Parent’s fuse. And Parents fuse lights up badly especially when it comes to education. being suspended or expelled is inviting a tsunami of a beating. It's a given along with being made to sleep outside on the veranda, slashing the grass and having a life worse than that of a slave.
When Kid sees a piglet, chickens or a lamb, for some strange reason, they don't see food. Like to two poor souls below, they see pets and sometimes, Hollywood will make a movie out of the 'pets' - like they did with the 1995 movie, Babe. And Kid goes a step futher feeds them botles of milk and will have them slepp in the main house. Dare take American Kid to Ugachick, Kampala Meat Packers or introuduce them Swaibu who in kyalo, always has a sharp knife and machete on hand and ready to do the needful and he will forever hate you and call you a sadist.
Kid is focused. Piglets, chickens or lamb are NOT pets and going to watch them being slaughtered at Ugachick or Kampala Meat Packers or seeing Swaibu do the needfull is much better than an outing to Disneyland. A pig is a mere invitation for Butcher to whip out his knife or machete and slicing off the heads then, turning the carcasses into Saturday pork to be served with accompaniments, or deep fried into KFC or grilled into lamb chops.Now do you see where am coming from? I feel safe and so should you that here in Uganda, Kid will leave home as TB, or Nodin or John and return as TB, Nodin or John and not as Vinta, Nancy, Emily or Susan. That when he goes to kyalo to see Jajja, he won't come back with a piglet as the family pet, but as a reason to call his tights a Sunday barbecue muchomost fest and that if he gets expelled from school, he will come home and accept his kiboko's and not go on a rampaging shooting spree or slit my throat as I sleep.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
In the controversial 1993 Robert Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harrleson movie – Indecent Proposal, there is a scene where John (Harrleson), an architectural lecturer, is giving a class, holds up a brick and says: “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be... See you on Friday.”
We all want to be something. We want to be better than who we are. We want to have a self-worth and more importantly, we all want to be taken as somebody important.
In Ogun State - Nigeria, there is Prince Ade Adesanya. Aside being a prince, his calling card reads: Friend of The Governor.
Err, what did Harrleson tell his class? - “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is - wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
Les is a soft spoken Englishman. When he landed on our dusty streets in the late 90s, he opened a small bar in Muyenga called Jacaranda at Tank Hill Parade shopping complex where he built a small loyal clientele – Dr Gladys Kalema – Zikusooka, Dr Paul Kiwanuka, David Mwakitele, Evelyn Kiapi and myself amongst others, where many raucous nights went down.
One thing about Jacaranda that made it appealing - especially to the women, were the toilets. There was Full-time Attendant who, checked on them round-the-clock with a zeal. One night as I sat with Les, Full-time Attendant gingerly hobbled over and perched himself a fair distance way while letting out polite attention coughs. When Les beckoned him over, Full-time Attendant handed him a note – a note that bore the supplies he would need to execute his duties the following week. It was well presented and it included a rough estimate of the prices for each of the requirements.
At the end of the shopping list, not only had he signed and dated it, but bless him, he had also given himself a job title – that of: Head Toilet Cleaner.
Like Harrleson said to his students in the movie: “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
Back to Nigeria and there is a certain Dr (Mrs) Merit Gordon Obua who bagged herself a title courtesy of her husband’s job. Her 'job' title read: Wife of the Chief Security Officer to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces – Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Again, the Harrleson quote comes into play: “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
In one of M7s early ministerial appointments after the bush war, he appointed a doctor as his State Minster for Health which, made sense. While it was the duty of Official at the ministry to furnish Minister with business cards, his wife was not to be left out and she too joined the party. She had her own business cards printed off - not for whatever business she was running, but and wait for it, wait for wait it – but as: Mrs Deputy Minister of Health. She went a step further that whenever she went to kyalo, at her insistence, she was not to be referred to as Mrs X, but as, Mrs Deputy Minister of Health.
Like Harrleson said: “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
For obvious lawsuit reasons, Simeon is not his real name. I had been in school with him and when I returned to Uganda in the very late 90s, over lunch when he we gave me his business card, I was impressed and happy for him because, his job title read: President and CEO.’ I couldn’t wait to see the million-shilling outfit he was running. The ‘million-shilling’ outfit he was President and CEO of, was on the third floor of a building behind Uganda House – down a narrow dimly lit dusty corridor and past Watch Repair Man and Juice Woman. In a small and cramped office, which he shared with a million-other people, he was President and CEO of his small desk which he rented and from where he plied his trade as a printer.
Need I remind you of what Harrleson said to his class?: “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
And finally, there is David Ibukun Maiye (Below). His card simply reads: Chief Barber to The President.
What did Harrleson say? “Even a common ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. And that is what we must be.”
Seeing everybody wants a business card, I'm off to Nasser Road to pick up my cards and I haven't strung out all my names nor given myself a fancy title above my station. It simply reads: TB - Chief Tumbavu Crier.
In this case, what did Harrleson NOT say? "Even a common ordinary brick wants to be the brick that Boda Man pees against. It wants to be something fwaa. If that is what my brick wants to be, then let it be."
Saturday, November 12, 2016
If Hilary Rodham Clinton (Below), had been elected the 45th President of the 'free world' - The United States of America and the first POTUS at that, one of her pending issues would have been - 'Just what on earth do I do with The Donald' – as in Donald Trump, her bitter Republican rival for the presidency.
Of course she could have ignored him, but The Donald (Below), was likely to keep on sniping away at her heels throughout her four-year-tenure. Perhaps she could have taken drastic action and handed him over to the feared Los Zetas, a cartel who control Mexico’s notorious suburb - Juarez Valley, where many of the would-be-immigrants into America and who would have been clambering over his immigration wall reside and let them tear him apart.
But pause a minute. There are many women out there who are still seething and foaming at the mouth over the comments he made about them during the election campaign and who would love to sink their teeth into him. For that, she perhaps need look no further than Mpigi, here in Uganda, where Mpigi Woman has been on the rampage.
I do stand to be corrected, but if I recall from my so not-paying-attention geography classes, Mpigi, is a town in Mawokota County, Mpigi District. It’s also an important transit town on the highway to Masaka and has a staunch Buganda populous where one of Buganda’s most renowned traditional gods – Kibuuka Ommbaale resides as well as it being the ancestral home of the ndiga (sheep) clan.
Nothing tangible thats worth gloating about really comes out of Mpigi - save for ndiga, nsenene and oba what else, but recently, someting did - enough to get the town a mention in the newspapers – not because the ndiga had ran amok, but because of spousal battery. And this is where we jump in. It’s not that Mpigi Man is battering Mpigi Woman, but Mpigi Woman is battering Mpigi Man. Hmm. So ‘concerned’ are the police that Victor Kule, (Below) the regional police commander for Katonga region, has been tasked with making sure that Battered Man gets police help.
Just like men who batter women, women who batter men don’t have signs hanging off their necks that read: ‘I batter my man.’ And they are not necessarily the muscly butch type women with grey strands of hair between their bosom and who hang out in sweaty UNHCR tarpaulin covered makeshift Kawempe gyms behind Roko and doing squat thrusts with Moses Golola.
The first battered man I came across in Uganda was at Ggaba Police station a few years ago. He was built – not 100% pure muscled beef, but had enough beef on him to handle himself in a melee. It was the third time he was reporting to police that he had been battered by Wifey.
However, to Fat Female Cop, Battered Man was merely wasting time police time for she said something along the lines of: “But look at you, you are a man and you really can’t take care of yourself!?” She went further and this time joined by Male Cop, they belittled him in front of everybody who was there to report a case, those under arrest and those merely passing by. OC on the other hand, just didn’t want to know.
And when Wifey walked in, she was the most petite women I’d seen in a while but had the most vicious temper and an abuse vocabulary that was so acidic, it literally made the small hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Moving on, I have never met the television personality MC Kats (Below) nor have I met his finance or is it now his ex-fiancé, Fille Mutoni (Far Bottom). Apart from her thigh power, Fille looks like the girl next door. I don’t know where she comes from, but if its Mpigi, then her battering Kats recently was a battering waiting to happen.
So, what exactly happened? Err, Fille thumped the living daylights out of Kats in public and no one was sympathetic to him but, we did take delight in mocking and ridiculing him. He was the butt of jokes from Koboko to Kisoro and we men (and women too) smirked and sneered: “What sort of man is Kats to allow a kawala to goof him?”
If he (Kats) on the other hand had battered Fille, he would have been plucked from the streets and whisked on the back of a police pickup to CPS faster than it takes Uganda’s foot dragging and slowest waitress to pop open a bottle of Tusker Malt. That aside, an army of women - led by the vocal, unpredictable and erstwhile Dr Stella Nyanzi, would have camped outside the station demanding he, along with The Donald, who Hiliary Clinton banished to Mpigi, get hung from the nearest Marabou Stork infested mango tree outside the High Court till their necks snap for heinous crimes against women.
Pictures: Weekly Observer, AFP, Red Pepper
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Back in the 80s when Milton Obote still ruled the coup, Mum had a maroon 1977 model Fiat 127 like the one below and it was the car I learnt to drive in. Except, I wasn’t allowed to drive in Kampala, but in kyalo – Ibulanku to be precise. But I didn’t want to drive down Ibulanku’s dusty roads. I mean what was the point? A 16-year-old teen can’t show off driving down kyalo roads. Would School Friends see me? No. At school there was no way I could brag that I could drive because as a teen, everything required proof. They actually had to see you roll up to a party at Friends house driving. If you had a girlfriend, holding hands or sitting next to her was not proof enough. They had to see you with your tongue rammed down her throat, if not, your crotch pressing hard against her.
Everybody my age had driving proof – except me. Richard and Bernard Kajura had proof. So did Ian and Jonathan Musoke. And they were not driving down the streets of their kyalo’s, but in Kampala. I had to be like them. But there was a problem.
Mr. and Mrs. Bukumunhe – my parents that is, didn’t see it that way. That they give me TB – a ka teen their car, fill it with fuel that was scarce in those days so I could go gallivant around Kampala impressing School Friend? The thought of asking them for a car gave me shudders. It was enough to make me slap myself. It was illegal. It was criminal. It was an obscene thought.
On a summer holiday from boarding school and with Parent at work, I explored the house and swinging open the garage doors, what do I find but, a Range Rover like the one below except, that it was white. And more importantly, the keys were in the ignition. That find to a 16-year-old, is akin to Bank of Uganda asking Civil Servant to store $10m of donor money under his bed than in the bank vault.
Of course I was going to steal the Range Rover. No, let me rephrase. Of course I stole the Range Rover! However, there was a ‘but’. It’s one thing driving a Fiat 127 and another thing driving a Range Rover. I didn’t drive the Range Rover – rather, it drove me. It was so powerful that the snarling revs of its engine literally snapped Teen Girl’s bra straps as she walked past the ride in Kansanga. I know because I heard the ‘ping’ as the straps snapped.
I made it from Muyenga to Ian and Jonathan’s house in Makyinde where jaws dropped as I drove through the gate. Visiting Teen Girls suddenly wanted to know me. I was IT. Back school - The Grange School in Kenya, I would take centre stage. I would be the talk – “TB can drive and his parents allow him to drive a Range Rover!”
Satisfied with the plaudits, I had to get the Range home before Parent got back from work and that’s when everything went south. I fired up Range then gave her some revs to snap Visiting Teen Girl’s bra strap but when I engaged gear, Range didn’t sedately drive away. Range had become nasty. It wanted to show off what its engine could do like a Formula One car lurching off the grid at the start of a race. In the space of five seconds, it had lurched, smashed into the boundary wall and reduced it to rubble. Then it careered off a flowerbed and straight through another wall where it came to a standstill along with a cracked windscreen.
One thing about being Teen, is that when disaster strikes especially when you have stolen Parents ride, is tantamount to having no friends. You are on your own – a loner at that. Visiting Teen Girl’s who moments ago were so into me, ran for the gates and scurried themselves home. Jonathan and Ian wanted to bolt but couldn’t, because the accident occurred at their house.
I don’t know how Parent found me, but when they got out of the car along with Mr. Musoke and come over to me, the atmosphere was frightfully chilling - like waiting to watch how I was going to die in season one of the television series - 1,000 Ways To Die. Mum was dressed in mourning black from head-to-toe for she knew I was dead, while Dad, it was for being on bunkenke and trying to guess from which direction the first of many hot slaps and kicks would come from.
Was it worth stealing the Range? Jeez, YES! The slaps, kibooko and abuse aside, when I got back to school, rather than having a tattered reputation, I was a star, I was a hero for word had spread.
And suffice to say, I am in trouble for when Parent buys the paper and reads this, I doubt both of them will be amused for my making money through glorifying my childhood wayward ways.
Pictures: Fiat, Land Rover, Internet
Pictures: Fiat, Land Rover, Internet
Who stole part of our culture? Technology did. I was barely seven-years-old when I owned my first car and nine-years-old when I got my se...
There is something about a certain Robert Kisubi, who used to work for Umeme until he quit to set up a PR consultancy firm. In the time tha...
Being sacked, is one thing we dread. Robert Maxwell used to own The Mirror , a UK tabloid and the fable goes, when he sacked senior employee...
This is my last ramble of 2017, and to be honest, I am a tad worried – not what 2018 might hold, but about the poverty that January brings....