Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What's happenig at State House?

I live in country called Ug. When people come over from other countries, they smile alot and they write in the local newspapers how Ug is a wonderful country. they would like to come back some time. I think its true that Ugandans love alot.

It is also the country where enemies are never permanent. The president's childhood chum...(best friend?) has gone and made a turn around that the talking heads are going to be taking apart for years, probably. Unless they are not called on Andrew Mwenda Live.

The guy was one of the architects of the opposition's most feared party, FDC and he was there in the thick of things when they sweated and bled. Now he's gone and thrown a stone in the kavuyo, thereby just increasing the speed of events and the fodder for the talking heads.

culled from 2001/aidsday/

Hon. Eriya Kategaya has denounced the FDC and he now says he has never belonged there. Reminds me of a guy who when trapped in the headlights a life time ago went like, "I do not know that woman, Lewinsky." Kategaya in effect is saying he does not know that man, Besi.

So we are left to wonder, what was that all about anyway? Why did he cross over to the other side? Did he ever cross? Did the Red Pepper lie again? Maybe i should go over to (i had forgotten that there is (was?) such a website. Maybe they have the inside story.

In an unrelated story, the Mayor of Kampala has brought the long awaited buses which are meant to eventually replace the kamunyes. Some people will say, however that that was not his plan, that he is riding on someone else's back. Whatever. It is time for those of you who have been experiencing that sinking feeling after London decided to retire its red buses, to clap. All you have to do is convince the Mayor to paint the 350? buses red.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The measure of a man

To be a man. Its not rocket science but it seems the jury is still out on the issue. Because the people charged with adjudicating on whether we are doing the job right seem to trip over their judgments. What does one do before they can be judged to be a real man?

There is a lot you can do but if it doesn’t sound right in a female’s ears, you are wasting your time bro. Sometimes, sacrifice is not sacrifice in the eyes of other people. You can split open your rear end trying to impress the world but what matters is that you impress the right people.

Stephen Covey gives a vivid picture about paradigm change in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Here’s this father on a bus and his kids are raising up a racket and their dad seems oblivious to what they are getting up to. He’s staring out of the window while the rest of the passengers suffer at the hands of his brood. When one of them can’t stand it any more, he asks the father if he can’t do anything about his pesky kids. The guy is very sorry and almost profusely explains that his kids don’t behave this way normally but today, they are especially strange because they just lost their mom. Immediately, the reader sees the difference in the attitude of the other passengers. Suddenly, every one wants to let the kids tear off the roof of the bus if they want to Paradigm change.

Maybe the world will stop judging males by the standards set by old people. Maybe women will get with the program and accept that because of the rapid changes that are happening even now, they should stop expecting that everything will come to them as easily as it does in a Barbara Cartland book. Tall dark and handsome men are credible. They are myriad in the north of Uganda (anyone for tall dark and handsome? They are not made in the Maasai Maraa only). But the equation is spoilt when the tall dark and handsome man is expected to have blue eyes. That’s where the line should be drawn.

The female a man hooks up with could expose new warts everyday. She could be a new book every time he turns his head and it is very easy to take his eyes off the important thing and look at the tempestuous waters.

But it is the measure of a man the way he accepts this challenge and goes about living with it or changing it. It is more than just a case of she-squeezes-the-toothpaste-in-the-middle. It could be about bigger things like “who was that on the phone?” The man who chooses the lonely road must go into it with a fresh mind.

It is about realising that he is not He-Man and that no matter how strong he thinks he is, he still needs help. Because there are things he just can’t figure out on his own. It’s about accepting the faults of the other person and realizing that he is as human as the other person is and that he probably has worse warts. The other person is just doing a better job tolerating him. He must have a new paradigm or he will listen to the unsure jibes of all his peeps and his step will falter.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Say, what's going on?

okay, i admit iam all confused here. i dont know why the comments wont show on my blog. this is hard so ya'll please dont rub it in...what can i do to get them back? ive been to my dashboard like...many many times and i thought i had fixed the probelm but...lemme see if this post will show the comments...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Genius wears blue jeans

Ray Charles believed that genius loves company. That, though, was just one aspect. There are many facets to the whole equation and probably that’s why everyone should want to be a genius. Apart from having to carry the weight of the world, thinking for the rest of humanity, they get to start revolutions in fashion and no one can attack them because…we do not understand them anyway.

From the time of Albert Einstein, the people who have driven the world of science, the inventors that brought us the most important machines in our lives have led unusual existences.

Einstein had that weird hair style which one would probably have been shot for before the German born physicist crossed over to the USA and whispered in the ear of the US president that he knew how to bring the war to an end. This guy’s hair had a mind of its own. It just wanted to stay standing and that was the end of the discussion. It stood on his head as though trying to look into the future and report back to his brain.

That he had a strange hair style did not matter because he was the biggest scientist in the world. He proved something that today’s bosses seem to forget the moment they leave secondary school and the life of hanging-at-the-hip pants; it doesn’t matter what the apparel looks like. It is of no consequence if one doesn’t have the style of Peter Sematimba as long as they deliver when they are told to deliver.

There is a growing number of young and up coming entrepreneurs who are the forerunners of a brave new world. In Uganda, they are the rebels from your old school that you secretly believed would never make it because they were always against the status quo. They were always going out to dance and they were always cutting class. What really used to get to you is that they always seemed to wake up at just the right moment to score maximum in their exams.

The rebels have a problem getting with the programs of other people and so they do not really keep their jobs for long. They might not cotton onto the idea early but what they really need is to start up their own business. They are the restless types who are always skipping from one high paying job to the next low paying one to the next high paying one. Just thinking of this picture makes me think of a guy called J.Magara.

Eventually, they lose the little patience they had in the first place and break loose. That’s when they come into their element. They buy a lap top and start dreaming up all sorts of things. They create the coolest websites you ever saw and they draw up building designs that would make the mayor slap his head and ask, “Doh, what was I thinking before?”.

This species is not rare. They are not prominent only because they don’t take themselves seriously. They are the lowlifes you look at when they walk into your office and dismiss because of their attire. Sometimes, they will saunter in with bits of food on their shirt. Other times they’ll come with the longest dreads you ever saw and you will be thinking, “If this dude hasn’t been smoking something illegal, he should have been.”

They are free agents. They wear what goes. They are too busy thinking for the world to care what you think is trendy. So they’ll wear the most comfortable sneaks and the snuggest jeans in the closet and throw on their base ball cap. The next time you come across a character in blue jeans and sneakers with a laptop carrier on their shoulder looking contemplatively at the ground like it holds the answer the HIV puzzle, don’t ask. Just know you’ve met one of Kampala’s geniuses.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


In a sonorous voice full of intelligence, the commentator on TV tells us that 6 billion years ago, humans evolved from apes. Mbu we have to believe all those stories about the big bang and primordial soup. We are told to go back to that Sinai and go round it again for the umpteenth time, trying to find the Missing Link.

So there is supposed to have been a giant leap from apehood to humanhood. The scientists insist that what Aunt Cynthia taught in Sunday School was all dogs’ bollocks. That there is no way the creation story could have happened because they don’t understand how that could have happened. Ha! So we all should throw out our math teachers because they are writing formulae we don’t click on the board!

The evolutionists seem to have got new money to go out there and do some more research. Suddenly it is open season on everything traditional. And what’s more, Dan Brown, Dr. Barbara Thiering (the computer dictionary called her Thieving) and all those very clever people are shouting again. I’ve read some of their works and I’ve been impressed, I must say.

There is something gripping about the voice of the guy who always voices over nature flicks, no? There can not be a chance that this guy is telling us lies. They always have the facts or rather, millions of gobbledygook trivia thrown together in a mosaic and eventually, we are eating out of their hand. The songs about the Discovery Channel are not many for nothing.

When the inquisitive mind, awakened by such fascinating info asks why humans were living at the same time as the dinosaurs (footprints of man together with those of some T-Rex, probably the relationship was hunter and hunted, T-Rex and dinner…), there are raised voices and accusations of being high on the Opium of the Masses.

Meanwhile, the brainies go into the Congo and poke around, fool around and mess with the Cradle of Life. They are trying to disprove things that have been said long before by a power that’s bigger than them. But maybe that’s what humans are supposed to do; hit their heads upon the wall until they are blue and black. Okay, for black people, blue and black sounds a little bit out there but…

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mama’s Song

Mothers are special. From the beginning of time, humans have sung of their virtues. If we were lucid all the time, probably we would let mothers rule because it seems only they know what the meaning of order is anyway.

Most times, especially when we leave the coop, we just forget what mothers are for. We go out there and mess ourselves up yet all we have to do is go back and draw on those reserves of strength that they have stored up. Mothers are for reminding us that we are not dumb or stupid. They are the people who will worship us even when the world is crying that we are the worst scum of all.

Mothers are for sacrifice. It is every young mother who abandons her dreams of making it big in some big city like Dick Whittington and returns home to take care of baby. She shuts her mind to the bells tolling that she will be mayor of London if she stays and slugs it out.

They give up the good life to see that this new life growing in them will grow good. They could have a glowing modeling career; appearing on glossy mags and getting all sorts of deals. They have to ignore their girlfriends who tell them the pregnancy will distort their features for ever and that they’ll never work in this town again. They weigh the options and choose to have the baby. And they fight to get back in the spotlight and when you see them on the cover of the most popular women’s mag, the smile dancing in their eyes is not the smile of some floozy out to be seen. It’s the smile of triumph and wisdom.

It is the brave ones who belong to an upright Christian ministry and they have been in leadership so the decision to terminate is the easiest. Instead, they give up the glory and the fake spirituality and go through the nine months of crucifixion. They are tormented by their family (dad taunting her about being a two timing liar) and friends (Stella got pregnant. Hmmm! Kyoka that ka girl! Nga she’s on the leadership team?). They go through all this and have their beautiful, beautiful girl.

The desperate mother who is down on everything but will not accept to see her baby die of hunger. The woman who sweats it out in Owino aka St. Balikuddembe and even when her luck runs out because she just doesn’t have the skill, she seeks other ways to feed her tot. They are the reason we must not be quick to judge the women who are paraded on WBS TV news, nabbed on Speak Road at 2pm on a cold night trying to negotiate with drunken passersby.

Mothers’ Day is here for all such as these and more. For all the women out there who let their maternal instinct take over and let life thrive. It is the day that y’all who have mothers should take them out and show them that you understand and you appreciate. Before it is too late for you tell them how you feel.

Happy Mothers’ Day

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Three Musketeers

Three guys. Not exactly in the mould of D’Artagnan and his chums. You won’t catch us dead lugging big ol’ muskets around or anything. You won’t catch us in funny tights, talking with nasal twangs in French accents (maybe except for some guy who has been told that he has “an accent”)

We met in school. Like one of those friendships, no one can explain what brings us together, what brought us together. At first it was just two guys. The third guy was somewhere being a smart ass in Weevil Land. He must have displayed the qualities that a person in our triumvirate must posses, even when he was in that…place.

Anyway, away from mind bending schools. We eventually hooked up and we quickly “found” each other. My peeps would come over to my house, as our dormitories were called over at my school, and they would sit with me and we would talk for hours on end. One of them always came in with, “Gwe, ‘cook’ us some tea.” And I think he really meant it. Y’know, Cook. Tea.

We were together through it all; the boring afternoon lessons with Kaziba and the funny ones with Kube, trying to sell us some bull theory in Econ, the trips to Sunsas and ‘Nga and Taibah, looking around for girls who were game for a dance with our candidate’s class, the strike (chasing BF out of that place…) We was always together.

I admit I didn’t have that much faith in the longevity of this thing. I guess I grew jaded after seeing too many friendships exposed for what they truly are, you know the drill; people leave school and promise to write, to keep in touch. They actually hang together for those first months of ‘vac’ and even go to campus still tight. Then they change and they just don’t bother with each other anymore.

One of us was going farther than that. He was going Stateside. Naturally I thought our band of brothers was done, the words of Timon and Pumbaa. Even when this dude continued writing months after he had flown. Even when I knew he was not a great one with writing. I kept on telling myself that when the loneliness wore off, he’d like forget he was even a Ugandan from Paris-Dakar (Pallisa Budaka).

Dude just blew my beliefs to high heaven. 6 years on, he still calls. Those middle of the night calls that many Ugandans have complained about that seem to come from desperate inconsiderate Ugandans abroad are anything but with Busta. Dude can call at any day and I am cool with it. Dude is a true friend after all these years. Somehow, when he asks about what’s going on in our lives, I know he is not faking it. And this year, he’s making the journey to Ug, the first since he left, just to be with his friends again.

And the other guy? He is not disinclined to sending me a txt just saying “hi, I’m thinking about you.” I was in a boy’s school for 6 years and in that school, such displays of affection were unheard of. You said stuff like that only if you didn’t mind being called a fag or being the source of all sorts of dirty jokes. It was taboo. Like holding hands. Yuck! How could you even think of that? But this my pal, if he does it now, I can never jump on him. I know he means it in a good Christian way.

So I can confidently say that years from now, we shall probably sit on someone’s porch and sip on healthy tea and play chess and just bask in the sun of friendship. Three old gits throwing glances at the cats running by and exchanging knowing looks. Three friends just lucky to have chanced on each other. Three Musketeers.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lessons from Ugandan pop

No matter what the powers up there say, history is and will always be important. It is because of history that great people are remembered. In many cases, they are great because they studied history and learnt from the exploits of icons long gone. History is what will get us as much love and money as great icons like Chameleon and Titi.

Of course they are great icons. They are known all over the world and yet you…who knows you? These are international stars. Mark the word international. They get invited to perform at concerts in the UK and Rwanda. That is big. When they tell you they are driving Shs. 400m cars, can you dispute that?

That is why we have to listen with rapt attention when our stars get on stage or on our TV and start giving us our lesson on the Late Show. What with all the wisdom freely dispensed in the lyrics we hear! One day, you are being told to get off your lazy behind and build your own house by the distinguished academic, Ragga Dee and the next, you are being told to go one further in your chemistry by one lady screaming to prove to the world that a human being can actually fit in a bottle. I think it is physics, though.

Money is and will always be a darling. One singer is not about to break the Omerta by telling us where he gets his money but he will gladly laugh at our attempts to guess. He will castigate his detractors as bataasoma and tell it on the mountain. But at least there is a lesson after all. After he has spent his frustrations on the haters, he will croon again about the merits of hard work. Of course he sings it in Luganda but to paraphrase, “I am making a lot of money. If you want to talk about it, come out here in the open where I can see you. I’ma break your head and after that, I’ma put it in the fridge and it’ll get so frozen, the dog wont want to eat it.” Paraphrasing.

Then of course there are always those teachers whose purpose will forever be lost on you. You remember them, the guys who would come at the weirdest times in the day and give a test. They never really try to explain themselves and they don’t care if you take their advice or not. These are the guys who come to class and say unintelligible things like bam badam badam beee…burn dem down. You just bit your tongue? I feel your pain. Trust me, there are educators who say stuff like that.

I guess they also don’t know what they mean but since they are the teachers, they have the right to take us to Rome and back. They usually crown their performances at the front of the class with fisticuffs and wild swear words all perfectly choreographed to look like a fight. They might even come away screaming that they’ve been stabbed but on closer inspection, you might find that it is a faint scratch that even the camera cannot see.

Usually, after a hectic day of physics or chemistry in the hot sun, we are given a break of sorts. The teachers who come in at this time are happy go lucky and we love them for their antics. They usually tell us to recite nursery rhymes like sipolingi and ekimbeewo. They are serious professionals, by the way so don’t let the clown outfits and little girl hair dos fool you.

When I grow up, I am going to be Eddie Mpagi. I want to ride on a bike with a fly chick. That way, I can get all the guys whose music I produce and tell them to shake their bodies like they are dancing. Plus of course, I want to sing about bikes without the public coming up with its own double entendres. If that fails, I want to be Kid Fox; singing about love is a good feeling.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Guns all around

Last week, the Ugandan Inspector General of Police, a soldier called Kale Kayihura complained that there were way too many guns in private hands. The number of people moving around totting guns is rising and there is no telling when the shit will hit the fan, to use a soga phrase.

The newspapers have been commenting on the number of private security firms blossoming in Kampala. Apparenly, from the 13,000 strong police force that we have, the demand for more security is encouraging more business oriented people to go into the whole bodyguard thing. It pays to have a security firm in Uganda today.

And the citizens will pay for the services. No one wants to be in the situation that Mrs. Kiingi found herself. Y'all remember the prominent lawyer who was shot and killed just outside her home.

The problem is that there are journeymen who will do just anything to get the chizzy. This happens everywhere in the world so i wont say it is a Ugandan problem. The problem presented itself and the enterprising peeps stepped in. Now we have 18,000 private security people on the loose in Kampala, working for about 75 firms, according to Daily Monitor.

There are as many people who will hold a big ol' rifle and stand guard outside a bank as there are people registering to go and work in Iraq. When the rich opinion leaders shout themselves hoarse that "our sons are going to be butchered in Iraq," the applicants fire back that these crybabies are not going to feed their families so they should just like shut the hell up.

So we have desperate people ready to do anything. And when the security firms put out ads for vacancies, there are thousands who want in. We end up with dangerous recruits who sleep on the muzzles of their guns at midday and cry like little girls when creative robbers hit the place.

Are Ugandans dying at the hands of senseless gunslingers? Is it the Wild West all over again? No. We have very bright security chiefs (Noble, Kale and Tinyefunza). But the fact that the guns are put in the hands of the wrong personell is our own undoing. But i know that if it gets to a point where some strategic aspect of the regime's program is in jeopardy, we'll have another Wembley up in here and Kampala will be peaceful once again.

Oh, by the way, we are gearing up for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next year.