Friday, October 28, 2005

Changing Lanes

Going by the thousands of rules of social etiquette, I think it’s time for many men to just throw in the towel and retire altogether. In this fast age, the girls are either disregarding this rule or they are just not made like they used to make them anymore.

There was a time when everything was slow. The males of the species did not have to work themselves to death trying to live up to the expectations of society. They did not have to pretend that they were loaded and that they could take out Miss Muppet to the pictures anytime she felt like it. The males of the species just did what was possibly human; trotting around the place like Superman. Alas, being Superman turned out to be not enough.

The problem is that the females of the species started turning away from what was important. They looked away from the brilliance of their guys and they saw what they thought was utopia. Talk about the serpent targeting their great, granny; he knew where the weakest link lay. (yes, I just said that). So its sad that things are now the way they are but we seem to have gone so far, there’s no hope of return.

Now they want to propose! They want to go the whole twenty feet; the expensive wine, the expensive restaurant (damn those giddy romance novelists), and the crowning moment, the ring. They actually want to go through all this saying, times have changed and so we have to change with the times.

Did these poor people never learn that they cannot reinvent the wheel? I mean, seriously, who else but a man can be suave enough to effect that timeless gesture; sweeping the ring out of the coat pocket into the lucky woman’s hands? Which female can go from sitting position to kneeling position in one flawless motion? Some things are clear cut and no matter how we agitate for social change, they will never change.

And the funny thing is that the males are not going to put up a fight for their rights. They are not going to stage a highly controversial production up in the theatre about their body parts, no. They just don’t have the energy to waste. But some females just don’t see this. If they stopped for just a second, they would ask themselves why they are fighting for something that’s not worth fighting for. Because the status quo must never be changed. If it is changed, everything falls apart. Maybe that’s why the males are not fighting to defend the fort.

Point is, nature was cruel to them. They far out--number the males yet the males seem to see things in a different light. So they try to make them ‘see’ things in the correct light. They hope the guys will take a hint and realise that they want to get married and settle down and have children and…Phew! That’s a lot of stuff to be preparing for.


these pangs! they just wont go away. it's a sad affair to have food infront of you yet not be able to eat. uuurgh!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

darkman/grey man

What do you know? The president-in-waiting of this country is sitting up, sipping on coffee with Andrew Mwenda. A chick I was chatting with just a moment ago snidely commented that we were just looking on a grey man and getting excited. That there was really nothing too earthshaking about a grey man (and she gave reasons why this guy is grey. something to do with medicine and all that...).

Yes, they are having quite the time of their lives. Laughing away and making Ugandans wonder if he's Superman or the dumbest jerk that ever lived. I mean, how could he say the things he has said about the lubengo man and actually come back here? Couldn't he just stay out of our hair and...die in exile? Thats what all self respecting opposition politicos have done; Milton, Idi...and the other guy.

Whatever the case, there’s like a million and two Ugandans who actually think this dark man is going to be prez. In fact, there was an avalanche at the EC when the guy came home; suddenly, the voter turn up just went to 90%, it seems.

But who cares? At the end of the day, its going to be the story of another African leader trying to steal the cake out of the baby’s mouth.There'll probably be tales of shadowy rebels and rumours of some guy who will come back and mete out misery on the baganda. oohps! that guy is dead and buried.

Oh, and Mama Winnie is also sitting up there trying to pass off as a quiet and soft woman in the shadow of her man. I wonder if they left Anselm in the trunk of the car, watching over the hammers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Not gonna cry

How do you handle the death of a guy who was always around, a guy who had unknowingly become a rock in so many people’s lives? I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I said I would not answer when someone asked me where this hommie went. I thought that maybe, there was a crazy chance, like those crazy things we keep on hearing about, dead guys turning up at parties, that this hommie would just pick up the phone and holla as only he could holla.

This hommie decided to give up. Like another hommie I knew, he also just slid off the edge. Didn’t even give any sign. The glint in his eye was as bright as ever and the jokes were getting even rowdier. That was a sign that he was back. The chemo was just a momentary thing. Joy would come in the morning and so on and so forth.

But the joke was on me. The joke was on us and it was a cruel one, brotha. How could you go and do that?

There were cancerous rumours. We all nodded and said some unintelligible nothings under our breaths. Because deep down, we didn’t really believe. In fact, when that good lady doc said it was a form of cancer that would cure, we all said that maybe, this judgment was closer to the mark. But still, we believed that the diagnosis was flowed. There couldn’t be cancer in that young bod, surely?

Because this guy was still strong. This guy was still too young to even be thinking of the things people think about when they get the beginning warnings that there is such a thing as the Grim One. Well, as the chaplain stressed at the funeral, he didn’t leave a seed. And he said is so often, probably the Honorable would have struggled him gladly, only that he did not have the strength.

He was the sort of guy who would push his way into your heart. There are two kinds of people; those who have the personality of a steel beam and those who you just cannot ignore. This guy was the latter kind. He was everywhere at once and in your thoughts. His loud voice and the warmth in his laugh were things we would not admit to missing when he took a sojourn somewhere. And he was off often; globe trotting and doing things for the site…

Since back in the day, everyone knew him. From the days when he was in Kitante to the first days of secondary school, to the days after uni, when people had grown and forgotten what it was to be alive. He never forgot how to savor every moment. He was the guy to see if you needed inspiration.

While his pals from primary school were causing havoc in Mwiri, he was into more mature stuff. He was looking ahead, already having seen his dream. He wanted to be in music and even at that age, he was to be heard beat boxing and singing away. I shall never forget those days when one would not be sure if it was Paul singing or Keith Sweat. One could never be too careful guessing.

Then there were all the crazy jokes from Hannington House and you have to give it to him, he was the soul of the party. Because you could throw any kind of jibe at him and you never saw a guy who could take a joke better. Even when the tide seemed to be against him, this guy would simply go over to his locker, grab a mug and prepare a heavy one of Kyugi. Then he would be back, throwing jokes and tearing the roof off.

His A Levels were the most memorable. It was whispered that he could or could have not been part of the clique that finally brought BF to his knees. Of course, those who knew him will laugh off such allegations. This was Mr. Smooth and his talents took his attention away from petty issues like that.

And his talents were born of his dreams. When he started to talk about his dreams, there was always a glow about him that was as infectious as it was subtle. The way he joked about, one could easily dismiss what he said as the prattle of an overly excited kid. But he was mature beyond his years. Even as we called him all those names in reference to his idols, he was always P-Tech. The music community came to know him as such.

But maybe they never really got to realise how strongly he had impacted the industry. Up to now, condolence messages are pouring in from all over the world. Even when he is misrepresented in the media, Paul will always remain a shining example to many other entrepreneurs out there. And for the record, Paul didn’t suffer with cancer for 5 years. He suffered for 5 months. It was a rare form of cancer that was supposed to be non fatal. But then we cannot have everything we wish for, can we?

When the time comes for us to meet up in that place that the bards have sang about for eons, maybe we shall sit down and reminisce about so many things. We shall then ask him how he could have foreseen that he had a short time on earth. Because many of us are still waiting for the right time do the things we dream of. Many of us think we still have the time to plan and to make our mistakes and to rise up and dust ourselves up…

Paul probably didn’t think about death when he was setting up He was not thinking of dying at 25 when he was setting up his disco for hire. We can however stick our tongues in the face of death and say we beat him square on that one. In 25 short years, Paul had achieved what many Ugandans out there are only dreaming of.

“…pour out a little liquor…” Tupac

Paradigm shifts

Okay, finally, Apollo Milton Obote is off the front pages. The M7 could not stand there and pretend anymore. Probably, as the rest of the country went about it’s celebrations and wailings, the M7 was thinking of a way to push his old nemesis off the front.

And he came up with the perfect one; shuffle the army! Ah ha. So he went and shook up the army. Problem is that he did not really do anything out of the ordinary. So all these generals got new letters to proceed their names, so what?

Nyakairima is the greatest. He stayed up there even after all those bad things that The Red Pepper wrote about him. Proves to the world once again that what the celebrities say is true after all; don’t read the tabloids.

And back to the AM, by the way; do you realize that Obote was from the center of Uganda? Contrary to what we were told as kids, he was not a Northerner. Heck, he is not a Northerner because…how do you refer to the AM in the past tense? He’s more than that garbage about Father of the Nation; he is an institution. Obote will bring the Congress of the People closer in death than he did in the quarter century he was in Lusaka.

Akokoro is situated on Lake Kyoga. It is smack in the middle of the country. Check it out in your atlas. Go on.

Rainy mood

It’s raining and I have to get inside some nook, anywhere. Industrial area does not offer many of those so I am drenched by the time I discover this tiny place. I enter and there’s no announcement of my arrival. Don’t care. All I want is a warm meal and a place to sit.

But the action is unfolding in a queer way. The chicks that are supposed to serve me are looking at me like I am the human equal of chicken pox. I feel like it would be better for me to go back into the rain; maybe I will feel even warmer.

This place must be a private thing; in-crowd and all these beefy guys strutting around in oily overalls. The place has fish smells mixed with car smells and that must be the reason the mechanics like it so much. Or it could be because it is right in their back yard.

The huge blue flies are part of the establishment (which establishment?) and they too seem to be regarding me with suspicion. Who is this new guy who thinks he can just walk into this place and take up space? The level of interaction must be higher than this, surely, on days when I am not here.

The waitress takes her sweet time. But that’s what waitresses do in Uganda. Must be one of the things they learn in Waitressing 101. She drags her feet and sets me thinking of bad things; where has she been just before she walked in? In fact, I saw her coming out of the dark place just over there. And just behind her, a huge guy came out looking sated.

Anyway, when she comes over, she raises her brow and tries to be Dwayne Johnson. Bad stunt. It instead comes off like she is in pain and the source of her ailment in right in the middle of her head. She cannot reach it to rub the pain away and the best she can do is grimace.

“What do you have, Madam waitress?” I ask.
“Emmere eweddewo,” she replies
“Okay what can I have as I wait for the heavens to give up this ridiculous game?”
“Tulina chips n’obunyama.” Now that is scary. Have I come to one of those whispered about places that slaughter all sorts of meat (probably even human) and sell it to their customers then they run and hide behind the blinds and giggle as the customers wolf down the food?

“Okay, since you don’t have proper food, give me that chips and obunyama”
Grate, grate, grate, her slippers go, as she moves back to wherever she came from. I wait and look all around me at the wooden thing under which I am sitting. The wind seems to be on the verge of crushing this thing any time now. Should I wait for the food, really?

Some guy comes in and he asks for food. Sorry mate, you are l.a.t.e. But what do you know? The guy gets a full plate of steaming stuff! Can u believe? I get the bunyama and this bloke gets royal treatment? I’m walking out. I’m protesting…but it’s raining and I stop at the door. Can’t move in this rain. As I turn back to my low bench, my gaze collides with the cruel stare of the waitress. There’s something in her eyes like “Sit your skinny behind down, you punk. You aint going nowhere.”

Stupid in superhero capes

When super hero movies are mentioned these days, there may be a weary look on the faces of many, especially parents, who are expected to take the kids to watch them. Many of the films that have come out of late, maybe apart from The Incredibles, have been different from what we have grown up expecting from the genre. So probably, Sky High should help resurrect the trust the people had in these movies.

Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), is the son of the greatest super heroes in the world, The Commander and Jetsteam (Kurt Russel and Kelly Preston) and there are a lot of expectations; from his parents and from the world around. He must surely be the ultimate hero, given his father’s super strength and his mother’s flying ability.

But high school comes and Will has not discovered what his real powers are. By the age of fourteen, every kid from a super hero home knows what they can do. What makes it worse is that while many other kids have only one parent as the strong one, Will has two of the best in the world.

Sky High is the new school where the fresher, Will must learn to relate with a whole new set of friends (and foes). Will is first bundled with the nerds or sidekicks, the guys who have lousy powers or (in Will’s case), don’t know their powers. A cafeteria brawl with his bitterest enemy, Warren Peace (Steven Strait) unleashes his real strength. Suddenly, he is not a side kick any more. He is at once one of the most popular kids.

Meanwhile, as this self discovery is happening, there are forces watching Will and his parents, bad guys who have an axe to grind and they want to take a decisive revenge. Also, meanwhile, Will is falling for the wrong girl and ignoring the right girl, who has been right in front of him the whole time.

From the beginning, one gets the sense that they have not come to watch a film in the line of Sideways or The Girl with the Pearl Earring. The cartoonish beginning and the way The Commander and Jetstream dispense of the huge robot that has been terrorising the city will put you in your place. Even Russel seems to be finding it hard to keep the smirk off his face as he goes through the motions.

The costumes in the film (along with the music) are pure 1980s. The only thing they left was probably the hair styles. The super hero capes are ugly, that’s true. Probably, Batman and Spiderman would have a field day laughing at Kurt Russel in that bulky thing he has on. And the colours…okay, this is a film for children.

The allusions to other films are numerous but maybe we, as Ugandans, will mostly see Power Rangers on the silver screen. They even have the annoying sidekick to the main villain, snort and high pitched laughter to boot.

Sky High pushes you back into the Elegant Eighties, yet the story is as fresh as can be. The big theme True, from Spandau Ballet and Everybody Wants to Rule the World got sections of the audience humming, probably thinking of those days long gone.

The young cast is good. They handle their roles well and probably understand what is at stake. Angarano and Strait seem to have a future in the movies. They will be household names before long. It is Kelly Preston who does not really do justice to her role. As a mother, she does not seem really concerned about her son’s insecurities but maybe, that’s what superhero mums are about. This film could start you off on a great week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Gimme ya number

Progress in life may sometimes make us as primitive as Zinjathropus and the sad thing is that we do not realize it. We applaud every stupid thing that those of us who are looked up to as the geniuses of our race come up with. So when a country makes weapons that are used to obliterate their cousins, we cheer them. We are fighting to get on the cheerleaders’ team.

And we pick up every habit that is written about as the best. This phone number swapping thing, for example. What makes people think that just because Nokia says we should store each and every phone number that we come across, it is true and correct? But then, it doesn’t seem to register that we are going too far with this copying thing. That is why whenever we meet strangers; we think it is the civil thing for us to get their number even when we are never going to call them.

That cool ad on CNN shows this pretty lady leaving on the train and the dude who wanted to talk to her a bit too late. But not to worry, he pulls out his super slim gadget and by remote; he gets her number simply by pointing his in her direction. Cool, huh? I wish the world were that beautiful.

But then ads do not show you the after. We do not get to know if the guy called her up and she turned out to be one of those local babes who go like, “whaaati?” loudly in your ear. Maybe they met the next day and she turned out to be a former Jehovah’s Witness who suddenly decided that she wanted to try out Haitian voodoo. The possibilities are infinite. And we never get to know about all that. Just goes to show you the west has colonized the minds of every able minded person you know who claims to be an enlightened Ugandan.

One thing that is made fun of but which is actually true is that when the cell phone has too many numbers stored, it becomes heavy. I swear! Mine gets heavier every time I add a number. And the weight depends on the gender of the person whose number I am entering. I thought it was all in my head, just as most of you will think, but after carrying out a small research, I realized that it is a hundred percent true; when I enter numbers of men, my phone gets twice as heavy as when I enter female names. Call it kajanja or whatever. I call it new age technology.

Everyone should get such sets. There is a limit to the number of male names that should be in your phonebook. It is not good for your health when there are more than five. There should be space for your dad, your two brothers and your two cousins. Having more than two brothers is a sacrilege. You deserve to be banished to a far away land for trying to tip the scale of nature. Everyone knows that there are supposed to be more females than males in the world. There is a girl everywhere, even on the moon. Ask Lou Bega.

From now on, you must desist from picking up whatever lousy number you come across. Some of them are for lousy networks. There are networks that are an embarrassment to the cell phone owner. These will be the first to be chopped off. Any number that starts with 07… and whatever crazy number that follows will never enter your phone again. This is for your protection. It has been reported that these weak numbers have viruses that could affect your phone and even go further and get to you. Now you don’t want to have some parts of your body transferring to your face. Some things are better left unseen.

But all this could be avoided if you just stopped telling people on the roadside to give you their phone numbers. You would have cut off the menace of beepers and lost--sheep callers who call at midnight to ask for Muzamiru. The only thing that evil needs to thrive is for good men to do nothing.

Monday, October 17, 2005


thought there was something to be awestruck about in this place. found out that there's none. now i wish i had stayed with that guy's proposal. anyway, now i have to bring myself down to the level of many of the guys here. man, the editor of this section really has maturity problems. now i think i know why The One did not take the bait when it was dangled in his face.

but if there's a chance to make a difference in the world, world peace and blah, blah, blah, fast forward to two years from now; i want to be in my own outfit. its a stunt these days to die young. the craze might just catch up with me before i get things out of the way...


suddenly, there's the real sound of music in the air. the birds actually make music! i thought it was just some old wives' tale but they do.
soon i shall be writing again. this stuff thats eating away at my time is soon going to be history. then i can hang with the boys again. Sup, Frank?

Friday, October 14, 2005

off to see Ray whatshisname

there's a buzz all around. the chicks i sit with (urgh!) are all giddy with excitement. they are gearing up for the namboole thingy. there's this american guy, paul crouch or something like that, coming round with his TBN crew.

they are talking of nothing else. when i ask them why they must not miss the thing, they look at me like i'm the guy who threw the first stone during the melee that brought down pastor kayanja's glass palace.

but the fact is that they want to be there because of the TV. TBN is coming to town and they are not going to miss this "historic opportunity." to do what? they are ready to be gropped in the scuffle to enter and to lose their precious purses just to be part of the blur when the show is on.

even when they appear on screen in a close up, no one will remember them except the three friends who'll be passing on their way from the kitchen to get a cup of cocoa. they'll get a call the next day and then after that, no one will remember the event.

is it TBN or pastor Bentley? fact is, i've never understood the fervour with which my peeps lap up media attention.

count me out.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Campus religion

I came to the conclusion that faith on campus is very different from faith in the big bad world. There is something glossy, almost Hollywood about the way things go when guys are at the Tower. And that changes a few months to the end of their course.

When the kid leaves home after the long vac, they just want to be good. Of course there those who just wanna party; the namagunga types, who’ve been under lock since forever and they feel this is their time. This group just goes and lets their hair down and onto a million guys’ pillows before anyone can say “are you a virgin!” (not a question)

But the other group, especially the guys who come from a school that is very liberal and they have been living on the very quick paced gig are full of remorse and they want a place to belong. They have been so near the brink of juvenile delinquency and now they want out. Now they see an opportunity to make things straight. They are very surprised that the zeis actually are going through with paying for their tuition and they think they at least owe some being out there.

So when they get to campus, they become the goody two shoeses that everyone else sees through. They all go thru the routine; “Praise God sister” (hugs, with lower part of the body really separated. We don’t want to be stumbling anyone now, do we?). And they find themselves starting to believe with all their might the things the pastor says.

Then the second year comes around and the males are rudely woken up. They discover that the sisters are backsliding in droves. “Sister Martha went and got herself knocked up. Can you believe that?” man, the faith starts sliding ever so quickly. The people all around start showing that they are not really what they have always been made out to be.

Then they get out and all the flies from a Kisenyi skip (the whole place is a rubbish skip, anyway) break out. They realize that they cannot go on living like this is some Rudyard Kipling story. There are no friendly bears here. The lawyers quickly cotton on to the idea that they have to, must be crooked if they are to survive. And if they are to really make all that money they have been dreaming about since forever. So, slowly, the posts shift. The first thing to go is the prayers.

Then the existentialist books (Jesus the Man, Da Vinci Code) come in. Then they start believing what Eminem says. Soon, the brotha is swigging Guinesses like the CMI guys will make him, with their crocs and all, if he does not drink up. Of course they will still go to church, most of them. But this time, it is really to check out the booty all around.

And later, when they run into guys from their close knit campus family of Jesus freaks, they just don’t want to talk about that time. Because they are saying, in their mind; “Man, I lost so much time!”

The Song

It’s pressing down on me like a ton of bricks. The feeling just won’t go away. In my desperation, I try to find any form of salvation. Wherever I turn, I am met with blank stares. It seems like even those around me are in the same quagmire.

The depression comes to me in the morning. It waits patiently for me to wake up; it does not come banging on doors or pouring ice-cold water all over me. It knows that I will eventually wake up and take it up. Whenever I wake up, I know in my heart of hearts that it is there, grinning devilishly. My suffering turns it on.

Whatever is left of my sanity is on the run. It seems that it took one look at this menace and ran. My sanity has deserted me and I have been left floating; a boat without ballast. I feel like Comrade Rubashov, just before the goon behind him pulls the trigger.

All the hopelessness in the world cannot compare to this hell. When I look in that corner, I see the green monster licking its lips. I know that it is probably humming some devil song to itself. Some eerie tune composed in the pits of hell.

Two months I’ve struggled with the secret. Two gruelling months I have exhausted the prayer bank. I have turned to every known deity have followed every scrap of advice from well meaning friends. I have no more breath to waste on arguments about potency.

Now I know what I have to do. The great bard said ‘to live is to suffer’. No one wants to suffer. I for one do not want to suffer. This guitar in my hands is the epitome of beauty. It has the perfect craftsmanship of Apollo. Apollo because its form is music. Just running my hand over it strums the cords of my heart and I cannot help but sing. I sing for the moment. I sing for the times I have yearned for warm arms around me yet I knew I couldn’t achieve that.

Tomorrow, I will be in Utopia. I will be free from all the pains of this world. Today I strum my guitar a lot better than Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana…

Enemy unseen

Wise men, that I have made up, say that you have to keep your friends very close and your enemies in the cross hairs at all time. That way, there will not be problems with friendly fire and all. When you let loose on your magnum, the body count will only have enemy bodies.

Very apt, don’t you think? You would think so too if you were to suddenly realise that there are people out there who know every detail about your life and you have nothing on them. You can’t even run to the coppers to complain that so and so is tailing you. They’d just bundle you into the cell for wasting their time, the cops.

But it’s true, there are guys out there who know you and you don’t know them. It gets scary when you find out about these people very late, at the point when the goon is just about to douse you with gasoline and then in a moment of brilliance, he reveals his motives for burning you; just before he drops the match. You have been running around with a girl who, apparently, has also been promising this gorilla things. And now there is a conflict of interests on her part but jilted lover boy is not listening to this plea.

You get to know about stuff like that in the worst moments of all. You are buttering the bread and warming the milk and she’s on the phone. You try not to listen to what she’s saying but her voice is that kind that cannot be shut out. “I’ve told you, time and time again, that I’ve got a man,” she hisses. The person on the other side has never heard of the word no. “What? Who told you where he works?” She’s clearly alarmed.

Brother, it’s you that should be alarmed. She’s just going to shrug her shoulders and cry a river. He’ll do everything to get a smile out of her. But for you, it’s a whole new ball game. He’s going to do everything to get a yelp out of you. Maybe a wail. From the people who’ll be at your wake in the final analysis.

The problem is that you never know when you are trespassing. Forget that stuff they ask in church if there’s anyone out there who has “anything against these two people getting hitched.” No one ever says anything so you are left in your ignorance, believing that you are the cock of the walk. Meanwhile, lover boy is seething, plotting the Final Solution for you.

So who is to blame? You cannot say that you’ll hold it against the guy. First of all, you got hooked to this bird because you could not resist the way those eyelashes moved. So she got you wrapped around her nasswi and you are so gone. Probably, this is the same thing that she did to jilted lover boy over there and now, he feels that he must get his pound of flesh. Only unfair thing is that instead of making her pay, he’s going to get that meat out of you.


My friends did not understand when I staggered to the table to steady my self. They looked at me for a second and went back to debating the new billionaire owner of Chelsea. It was just as well; they did not come all over me to inquire what was the matter with me. They are at times too caring, it sucks.

Their voices became one with the hum of the florescent tube. The noises from out side the window also faded until it was just my albatross and I. All alone in the world, I felt colder than I have ever felt. I knew I was all alone because what I had just read could not just be swept under the carpet like some small issue that can be handled by Dr. Feelgood. The information in my hand was character destroying and I did not know how far I could trust my friends.

Feeling weighed down by these thoughts, I sought a chair. I had to sit down. Why did this have to happen to me now? There was too much on my horizon for this to be true. How was I going to break the news to my wife and kids? Would a four year old understand the meaning of the word AIDS? I was having problems understanding it myself.

The piece of paper fluttered to the ground. The movement brought me back momentarily from my reverie. This paper held my death sentence. I leaned and picked it up to stare at it. I kept on thinking that I would wake up soon and I would turn over and hug my wife, pregnant with our third child. This had to be a nightmare. I had just got my lucky break. All my dreams were on the verge of coming true. The doctor must have made a mistake.

But then I remembered that unforgettable night and I felt all the shame. Corporate dinner, young and upcoming professionals all around me, every one having a good time. Deals were being cut and the expensive wine was flowing. This was the life. This is where I belonged. I had worked so hard to attain this and I was going to enjoy every last bit of it.

That is when I saw her. She was something from a dream. She looked so unreal, I blinked twice. On asking around, I discovered that she was a new kid on the block. An emerging advertising force. She looked like a panther. Her movements were lithe. It was like wine moving around in a silky bag. The kind of softness that slides around in your hands yet does not drench you. She was the personification of beauty.

My interest was purely academic. I did not really think of it beyond the normal appreciation of beauty. I am a man. A man who has got to do what a man has got to do. Every man I know of likes to look on a beautiful flower. So when she glided towards me, glass balanced expertly in the most beautiful hands I have ever seen, my interest was pricked.

By the end of the evening, we were like Siamese twins. All thought of my friends and family had evaporated. I was in trance. The woman had beauty and brains. That is something that you do not find every day. Our conversation swung from the stock to the implications of Gaetano’s stay in the Big Brother house on our economy to family values. I had not had such an enlighting conversation in a very long time. My impression of her was changing constantly. She was a woman with heart but she was also as strong as nails.

How was I supposed to know that she was also a good actress, that she hated men with a passion? When she suggested that we get out and find a more private place, away from all the inquiring glances, I thought it was the best suggestion I had heard from anyone in a long time. I wanted to talk some more. I swear it was just that; wanted to pick her brain some more and drink in her beauty some more. Then I would go home.

But I did not realise that I had bitten the bait. She was a smooth operator. From the moment we walked out of the room, she turned into something else. She was cold so she asked for my coat. To get even warmer, she had to hold onto my arm a tad possessively, I thought at the time, but that did not mean anything. I wrote it off as just an eccentricity.

She knew her game. Before long, she had told me about her life and that contrary to the façade that was her confidence; she was an emotional wreck who just needed love and understanding. I fell for it.

Now I have to grapple with this enormous fact; that I have put my wife in danger and that no amount of sorry-saying will bring back the good times. Who will look at me and say sorry, who will listen to me and absolve me, who will cry with me?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

cat got ya tongue?

Degstar, what's with the unintelligible stuff you sometimes let out? i mean, u want to say something about a chick leaving, u come out and say it. d'u know how many people drop off and die because they've got all this angst locked up, trying to break free? the symbols remind me alot of Tintin's bud, Captain Haddock(?), going around calling people blue blistering barnacles and all. But Tintin is so retro.

'ts up, dude? howz the air up there?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Driving like under the influence

The long awaited sequel to The Transporter (2002) finally came to cinema in Kampala. The smooth and deadly driver got around, it seems and survived in his thankless job. Because now he has resurfaced in The Transporter 2.

Frank Martin (Jason Statham), the driver who is ruled by a code (never open the trunk, never ask questions) is doing a friend a favour in Miami, driving the little son of the director of America’s Drug Enforcement Agency (Mathew Modine) and liking the gig a little too much because he is getting too attached to the little boy. It is a lot like Denzel’s character in Man on Fire and one can’t help but smirk when the comparison creeps in.

The drug mafia is not happy with the policies of the politician and they weave a plot too scary, if it ever goes through, the world will never be the same again. They kidnap the little boy from right under the nose of Martin, who is useless in the situation because he is looking at the barrels of two big guns, wielded by the violent vixen, Lola (Katie Nauta), who thinks when she wears her make up and underwear, she can go to the ball. She works for a drug runner (Alessandro Gassman) who is on contract to kill the politician.

Of course, the hero swears to get the boy back and he has to break hundreds of bones, be involved in as many car chases and survive. He also has to get the mind-boggling powers of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix; doge bullets. But all this is a piece of cake for the deadly assassin. He is ex- Special Forces, remember and he has seen action in the worst trouble spots in the world where America has meddled before. He goes through the motions of dispatching bad guys without breaking a sweat.

The movie is straight out of a comic book. The martial arts sequences are alright because we have seen Jackie Chan pull off some really crazy stunts and we are told they are real. But when it comes to the other stunts, the true lies become too much.

Even James Bond would frown at some of the things that happen here; the speed boat chasing a bus and then jumping onto the free way, then Martn jumps into the bus, the plane crushing into the sea and the two guys coming out unscathed, except for the bruises inflicted by their own fists. The biggest lie is the car bomb scene. Martin sees a bomb stuck to the under side of his shiny Audi, he drives it off a ramp and as it spins in the air, a hook dislodges the bomb as it explodes. Even the guys in the cinema last Saturday jeered. We know this is a movie but some things are best left for Superman.

Gassman is a one-dimensional character. At best, he is a bad cliché. He is the baddie but there is really no explanation for his savagery. It is as though he came out of his mother’s womb and asked for a hypodermic syringe to stick in someone. Nauta’s Lola is superb only as far as looks go. The guy who holds this film in place is Statham, who, like Jet Li, speaks only if he cannot help it. From Italian Job to The Transporter, he is still the same cool as ice dude.


Huh! You don’t know what a catfight is? Preposterous. Do not get caught saying that out in the open. It is the greatest invention since strip tease, otherwise known as kim…. Anyway, whenever there is a catfight somewhere, normally in the locker room where there is little chance of being rescued, everyone gets excited. You just cannot beat that feeling; watching these girls going at each other and trying their darndest to scratch each other’s eyes out.

There are many reasons why the strong bond of sista-hood could be broken. You all know that in normal circumstances, there is nothing as strong as a group of women together and intent on getting something. They take the saying that two heads are better than one to a whole new level. Since one female head is said to be equal to three male heads (not size wise, you punk), when for example, three ladies get together to give one of their friends advise on what to do with that idiot who is mistreating her, they are actually nine brains at work. Nine!

So, when two feisty sirens everyone thought had it all start screeching and baring their fangs and claws at each other, there is definitely trouble in paradise. And it’s all the more interesting when you closely look at the sequence of events as the fight hots up.

First, they are both chummy and they sing “I got all my sisters with me” with gusto. They want the guys with the cameras to catch them like this- at their happiest. They want the whole world to know that they are inseparable, these two sisters. Yes, they are that close. They are sisters because they have adopted each other’s families. They have done the whole nine yards including sleepovers and crying over first crushes.

Then the two move on to the next level. The world has accepted that they are the perfect sisters. Everyone who has problems relating with her sister is referred to these two. They sing the most beautiful songs and the world stares agape. Not long after, when the ever-present menace of the weaker sex, the man, makes an entrance in this pretty little picture, the cracks start to appear.

One goes and commits the unforgivable sin; she splits and goes off- with a man. A man! How dare she drug the friendship through the mud like this? If she had decided to go away to study, maybe, it would have been bearable. If she had decided to go to the jungles of the Congo to be a missionary, probably, the other would have even escorted her to the edge of the forest and waved till her friend’s receding figure was no longer visible. But to fall for the wiles of a man?

So, we return to the arena. We are all perched on the tops of the lockers and we are baying for blood. We do not have to disguise ourselves as girls because the two gladiators do not care anymore. They have thrown off all pretensions and they are concentrating on only one thing, to show who has the…brains. Who will kick the other’s bottom? Who is going to walk away as the victor?

Like lightening, they are at each other’s throats. They hiss and mewl. They scratch and kick. They are at once dangerous and beautiful, locked in this act of war. None is ready to let go, not this time. Letting go, even with all these scratches would mean capitulation. We are getting tired. “Do something new,” we scream. “Is this a fight or a dance?”

But like all stars, like all women worth being called women, they do not lose face. When they realise that they are not progressing anywhere, their quick minds think up something. They exchange looks and more is said in that second than could have been uttered.

Wait! Something is happening. Something is not right. They are disentangling. And look, they are smiling! Let me laugh a while. I do not know why I should think this is strange. This is very typical…Okay, now I have laughed. What was that, you ask? That was just a taste of what it means to be female. When you cannot beat the foe, join them. A catfight is not a catfight unless it has such intrigue.

Break-ups and make-ups

When two people decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives together, usually there is no way the rest of you who claim to be their friends are going to change that. Maybe they are just going to live together without getting married, maybe they are not right for one another, maybe the sky is falling. The point is, by the time they come to tell you, it is meant to be a way of notifying you, not asking for your opinion.

There is a myriad of reasons why any two people would fall for each other. There are countless reasons why they break up too. Their friends always seem to feel that they owe them an explanation when things go wrong. The friends seem to forget that these two consenting adults made a decision and that whatever they let the world see was just that, for the look. Everyone knows that it is a tough call being in a relationship. It takes guts to get stuck to one person who is so unique in a uniqueness that only God can understand.

So what if one partner went and pulled the carpet from under the other’s feet? That is what we see. These two are the best of friends and the rest of us are just observers brought in when the two think they want to get a second opinion, an opinion that they seldom take anyway. We do not know the inner dynamics of this show and to them; the world of their friends is a stage on which puppets do their thing.

When friends break up, there is the urge to blame. It is so strong because we think we know them so well and we should have been consulted before they made their decision. We however don’t want to remind ourselves that we were not there when they met. In fact, in some cases, when they met, we were aghast. How could you fall for him, what do you see in him? The experts in us were very up in arms.

Someone has to take the blame. A head must roll. So we get out our knives and start looking for the nearest back. All the nice things that we said about them to their face are gone forever. I-told-you-so becomes so easy to say to say. Both of them are your friends but at that moment, all the friends are divided into warring camps that are rearing to go. They must taste blood.

Where do friends get off crucifying one person when they have not been in the relationship? That someone waited until one month to the kuhingira before she said she did not think it was a good idea is our business only as far as they let it be. As friends, I understand the whole routine about accountability and why your real friends should read you the riot act when they think you messed up bad. But isn’t breaking up with the love of your life enough grief? What pushes a person to abandon a match made in heaven? I don’t know. And I cannot accuse anyone until I know exactly what that person was going through.

People make mistakes. Sometimes you believe in something so much, you are ready to take it even with all its faults. When you love, you accept the other person’s faults. The mistake some of us make is to think that we are going to change that person. The marriages are countless where the core of the problems, under all the drinking, the philandering and the fights is that they thought they would change each other.

But it should be a victory when one opts out before things get too far. What is the point of sticking with a person among whose many attributes there are things you will never change. That is the way his God made him and if he does not show signs of change during courtship, probably he’s not your man. His real woman is somewhere else waiting patiently. Wise thing for you is to get out. Wise thing for us the friends is to shut up and support you both.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Jackee left and there was tears...

Okay, i didnt know how deeply this would affect us all. Jackee, sweetest thing that happened to my little world jumped on the plane and flew.

I am happy for her, though coz she's been here mopping for far too long, God knows, she needs a change of scenery. It's gotta be good for her that she's now going to be busy doing something important and that when its all done, she can stand and be counted as having contributed to something good for her country. Oh, Jeez, what's this?

Didnt realise how some peeps were gonna get really cut up over this departure. Dega actually turned it into something to mourn about. cavalier attitude and all were outta the window and it was dregs...

I wonder though, where does that leave all that talk about a sexual revolution and the regrets for having thrown away four years. Some habits really do die hard, eh?

See No Evil, Hear None, Just be a dork

Truth is, i'm really tired. if someone is not going to take their mistakes as adults, then the world is going down the drain. big time. i'm wasting away and the world just bares it's teeth. can i scream now? is it okay?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

see? that was easy. every time i've tried to get this straight, soemthing distrcted me and i just went off on a tangent. now i think i got the hang of it. Emmanuel, where are you now?
oh, by the way, your girl went off to cold Canada and by the look of things, she's thinking of not coming back. so get your life back on the road and forget about that stupid sexual revolution. it's not even funny. already.
see? that was easy. every time i've tried to get this straight, soemthing distrcted me and i just went off on a tangent. now i think i got the hang of it. Emmanuel, where are you now?
oh, by the way, your girl went off to cold Canada and by the look of things, she's thinking of not coming back. so get your life back on the road and forget about that stupid sexual revolution. it's not even funny. already.

a dork? now what's that?

this is where i can be really silly since u cant see me. forget that garbage about oerge Orwell's dreams. the guy was a certified loon.