Friday, February 9, 2018

If You Don't Have A 'Godfather', You Need One!

We all have godfathers and my understanding of them, is that of a man who presents a child at baptism and promises to take responsibility for their religious tutoring. In many cases, that never happens and ironically enough, many people if asked, have no inkling of who their godfather is.

Religious Godfather aside, there are two other godfathers. One is linked to crime - like the head of a Sicilian crime family - in other words, the Mafia. Being Godfather is a great honour in Sicilian culture and the role was superbly portrayed by actor Al Pacino in The Godfather movie trilogy.
Al Pacino as The Godfather
In Uganda, when we talk about Godfather, it’s not in terms of religion or a criminal aspect, but that of the man whose cell number is 24/7 on speed dial. He is that man who also commands the presence, influence and respect to open doors for us to get jobs or has the clout to bail us out when we are in trouble.

Years back, James and fresh out of campus wanted a job with URA. Six months of wearing down his shoes soles on Kampala’s dusty streets and being tossed from one office to another took its toll. He simply wasn’t getting anywhere. In a tête-à-tête with Mum one evening, she assured him that all would be fine. She said something along the lines of: “James don’t worry, Godfather is a URA Commissioner.”

All it took was a call from Mum to Godfather and the following day at 9:00am, James was sitting before Head of Human Resource – not for a job interview as he thought, but to be ‘gifted’ a job in a department of his choice and a senior level job at that. Godfather’s magic wand came through for James.

As far as I and all who know Rachael, the two things we all agree upon is that that she’s daft in the actual sense of the word and indolent. When Supervisor at utl where she worked rightfully terminated her contract for non-performance, without mincing words, she bluntly told him he didn’t have the authority to fire her. Unruffled, he stood his ground and barked at her to pack and ship out. Instead so I heard, she swivelled round in her seat, delved into her bag and extracted a sleek Apple cell phone that was so not affordable to her on her paygrade and made a call.

By the close of the week, head office was rife with whispers that Supervisor had been given a choice of resigning or accepting a transfer to Gulu. Godfather had rescued Rachael.
When I worked for WBS, Chic was referred to me. Her words were on point - “I’ve come for the job.” My retort was equally on point – “What can you do?” Is there any need to guess her answer? It was, “anything.” So, I gave her the job of mopping the corridor three times a day. Chic sneered and almost spat her phlegm in my face. Suffice to say, I got a call summoning me to Nakawa to see Chairman who put me in my place. Unknown to me, Chairman who owned WBS, was Godfather to her. Ouch!
WBS Logo
But not all Godfather tales end on a good note. Back in the day when Tight Friend of Kabaka got stopped by a police breathalyser unit, he wasn’t at all perturbed. Rather, he took it all in his stride, pulled out his cell and phoned Godfather. Godfather so the story goes, was non-other than and wait for it, wait for it, WAIT but err, Kabaka Roland Mutebi!
Kabaka Ronald Mutebi

Whether Kabaka spoke to Police and wasn’t able to bail out Tight Friend or he just didn’t pick his call, that we don’t know. What we know is Tight Friend of Kabaka was carted off to the coolers for the night.  

Meanwhile, in the corridors of powers, all is not good for embattled Finance Minister, Matia Kasajja over something to do with a $200m loan from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank. When Parliament started demanding he be sacked, Kasajja pulled a move that all cabinet members pull when they are in trouble - to run to Godfather. In his case, his godfather is The Man With The Hat - President M7 that is. However, more than two weeks after he pleaded for help, The Man With The Hat has not come to his rescue and appears to have fed him to the wolves.  

Has Godfather Fed Finance Minister Kasajja To The Wolves?

Pictures: Agencies, Paramount Pictures, New Vision, WBS

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