Monday, June 12, 2017

I Properly Slept At State of Nation Address

A couple of weeks ago, an invitation to attend President Museveni’s Sate of The Nation address at Serena Conference Centre fell into my lap. Normally I tend to shy away from state functions because 1. Mr Museveni is likely to turn up three hours late, 2. His security detail will confiscate our cell phones, 3. Security will also sequester my lighter and match box and I will never see them again. Suffice to say that all the above did happen. M7 turned up two-and-a-half hours late, our phones were taken and I never saw my lighter again.

Head of State: President M7
According to the programme, we invited guests, were supposed to be in our seats by 12:30pm. I was in my seat by 12:35pm. The Governor of Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Mutebile was due in his seat by 1:00pm and followed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Ruganda ten minutes later. Except that Ruganda turned up just before midday. Either he is a time keeping stickler or he was so eager to listen to what his boss had to say.

The card also accorded me the privilege of sitting in the section reserved for heads of institutions. So behind me was Deputy Governor of Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende, UNRA roads boss, Allen Kagina and KCCA boss, Jennifer Musisi while Richard Byarugaba of NSSF sat in front of me. When Byarugaba queried why I was sitting in this section, Ofwono Opondo of The Media Centre was quick to point out that news of my ‘appointment’ had yet to reach his desk.

Moving on, you know when you attend a wedding and you ask Friend who is already there to save you a seat? Well, Kagina and Musisi did exactly that. Kagina walked in first and perched her bag on the seat next to her. Ten minutes later, in saunters Musisi and when Kagina called out to her and pointed at the seat next to her, Musisi gave her the thumbs up. Interestingly enough, Kagina and Musisi are like sixth formers. Along with Doris Akol of URA, they giggled, they laughed and told jokes. Good friends they are.

Sisters: Doris Akol, Jennifer Musisi, Allen Kagina 
One thing we all had in common was our fear of the press who were on the prowl to take pictures of anybody who dared to nod off. Byarugaba made a pact with Person sitting next to him to pinch him if he fell asleep. I had sat myself next to a sign post that provided some cover and was mortified when one of the ushers took it away. The problem with the media is that these days, is that they have sophisticated long lenses and they could be in the far corner of the room and still manage to get your picture without you noticing.

And somewhere into the speech I began to nod off. I fought hard enough but four or five times I did nod off and was only woken up by Speaker of Parliament shrieking to MPs to calm themselves down. And every time I woke up, the first thing I did was to check my mouth in case I had drooled strings of malusu while I was asleep.

Me: Trying to stave off sleep
Over the next three days I bought and scoured all the newspapers and phew (!), there were no pictures of me asleep. I had obviously slept in such a way that it was impossible to have gotten a clean and clear picture of me.

Then one of my tights, Paul Kaheru decides to go and ruin everything. I don’t know where he got the clip from, but it was Agnes Nandtutu ‘shelling’. And in the clip, I am clearing seen contorting my face and swirling water in my mouth. Not good.

Now, what did M7 say in his speech? He said... but alas am out of space. Sorry.      


Pictures and News Clip: New Vision, NTV


    

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