Monday, July 31, 2006

Stuck in the closet: The Uganda chapter

Ronnie Sempangi is the enemy of the state. Our state. In fact, all radio stations that are thinking of doing what he is doing should abandon the idea forthwith or they will be sorry, gasia tu!

You guys should have heard what went down the other day on his show, The Late Date. This chick called in and asked him to call a friend of hers, mbu to trick her into revealing who her boyfie is. As you have guessed, chick numero uno was trying to catch chick numero deuce with her pants down (I know that sounds crass. No apologies, hombre).

The second girl had stolen her friend’s man. The dude told the first girl that he was doing the night shift at some factory. In fact, he was doing the night shift at the other girl’s place.

So the usual drama was played out; Ronnie called the cheating girl and asked her who her man was, she admitted that it was who we thought she would say it is, second girl got really pissed off, she got Ronnie to call the guy and he got busted, trying to lie to the world that he was at the factory. He was actually at the factory but that is not exactly what you tell the woman scorned.

I could not help remembering R.Kelly’s 5-part twisted story about people finding out later that what they have tried so hard to uncover about their partners would have been better left covered up. Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew and Sebaggala’s city can’t just be dirtied like that, mbu you are spitting, spitting.

Drama like this is played out every morning on Sanyu FM (This station rules the nation). Fatboy and Allan Kasujja and the ka girl get guys to admit to stuff they should not be admitting with the whole world listening in. And the rest of us have laughed and had a good time at the expense of the dudes with egg on their face. Bad thing, that.

Because, partner, it could be you any time. These soft looking people at our sides, the all feminine, wispy waifs are vicious inside and their minds work over time to get us to do things that will tie us down like forever. Admitting to the world that you love only her in the whole world is supposed to make you don metal underwear and stop chasing the cats.

P.S: The Late Date is a show on Capital FM that comes on laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate in the night. It is very popular with females. That’s why its called The Late Date. Did I say it comes on laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate? I did? Well, it comes on laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What do we learn from Straka’s show

Master Parrot’s Ekokompola is like the cry of a Ugandan man frustrated with what he sees everyday but he can’t do anything about it. It is universally accepted the world over that Ugandan chicks are the hottest in the world and they know it, thus their cruelty in the way they dress. And that is not a line stolen from Pride and Prejudice.

Ngoni is still rocking. Now they have a new video for Sunita coming out soon. Sunita is the next big thing. These guys have totally taken over from Steve, he’ll have to learn how to talk without stammering. It’s now the big league and little people just should go and eat rocks.

Straka’s show is where every Ugandan musician wants to be. If “Straka beibee” does not endorse you, you are just doing a lot of nothing. Hercules would laugh at you with his sky on the shoulders because he would realize that his load is light. Straka is the Oprah of Ugandan music. She says something and the industry figures experience a tremor. The stock market takes a dive. (The theoretical stock market, that is).

Willy Mukaabya will make you laugh, whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter what language you speak or understand. The guy knows the real meaning of self deprecating humour.

Sitting to watch the show is actually an interesting experience. You can sit watching it past midnight, past 1 am, without feeling guilty that you are wasting time you would have used to sleep since you have to get up early. It’s even better than eating a cold piece of mbooli in the morning. I guess it’s the pride of seeing all these artistes with stars in their eyes, ready to take on the world.

There are artistes not yet recognized on this show who deserve to be here. Have you heard Sylvester ne Abrams’ Lemerako? Have you heard Krayzie Native’s Wansi Waggulu? No? I rest my case. It’s because they have not been on The Late Show.

Bebe Cool is the biggest star in the world.

Ugandan artistes are producing better videos because everyday someone makes a new one. The competition makes them go out and try to outdo the competition. Oh, and by the way, Buchaman looks absolutely great in videos. In Ngoni’s Nakupenda, the crutch is mysteriously missing. In Peace with Angela Katatumba, it’s also missing.

Now we know who the engine of The Dynamic Duo was really. When Gen. Mega Dee split from Menton Kronno, everyone forgot who Kronno is. No one even remembers that there was a singer called Kr…what was that?

When Sweet Kid starts singing, you get the feeling that this here passionate musician is what real music was about back in the day. Yeah, back when we were young and kids respected their elders and politicians were straight and taxes were really low. Sirikuusa…

Hate this chick or love her, she is not going anywhere any time soon unless you can pull off the greatest heist in history – kidnapping her and dumping her on the north pole with only a slimming book. That is impossible, I should tell you coz it’s easier to get an elephant in the fridge. But she has been sacked and reinstated more times than I can remember. Every time she is ‘suspended’, the viewers demand that she be brought back and Gordon Wavamunno quakes so much that he has to do it. That’s the star power of Straka.

P.S: I know, i know...i tried to do this the right way; italicise where i'm supposed to and all but the system just wont be bothered. So...i wouldn't be bothered either.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fighting 2 Face

2 Face is still a big star in Uganda. Even when his song, African Queen is like a million years old, Ugandan chicks will drop everything to listen to it. Now when he steps in the room, the situation is worse. And to make it even worse, the bastard looks like some sort of Adonis. How does he do it?

The way to beat this competition from the Nigerian is to hide your woman. When you get the invite and get the information that he will be there, the best thing to do is not to mention it. Come up with some ruse; there were not enough and only the guys in Marketing got invites, your company was scrapped off the list because they are not interested in working with Bell anymore…anything.

2 Face might not know. He has been busy making movies, playing troubled youths in those kiNigeria things. But he still rules here. Oh, and I didn’t mean all that stuff I said about hiding your woman from him. I mean, who would not want to be near him? And if he took your woman, just smile and pat yourself on the back. It’s the closest you’ll get to royalty. Like those days in Buganda when you had to go out and tell your fellow stool pigeons how the Kabaka has taken over your wife and therefore, you are one in a million.

At least it was not like in the days of that Israeli guy, King David. When he took interest in someone’s wife, the husband was in clear and present danger and he would be advised to get a visa or go AWOL from the army.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sometimes we have to hang our heads

The subject of the war in the north will not leave us for a long time. Even if there comes some positive out of the attempt at peace in Juba, the effects are far too ingrained in the minds of the populace up there for it to just be wished away. That is why we must all do what we can, even if we feel it is too little to see the end of this madness.

A friend of mine once revealed a side of herself I had never seen and it only served to show how people from the northern districts have been messed up by this war. When some MPs were arrested and accused of murder, she was more interested in proving that the government was behind it; that they were being framed because they are far too young and too intelligent to be caught out like that. And also because they are opposition politicians from the north which to her meant they were being witch hunted the way her people have been witch hunted for two decades. I kept on asking her what she would do if it turned out that they had actually murdered the LC1 guy.

It turned out later that the two were innocent, well, innocent until they are proven guilty and this strange happening in the Ugandan arena was possible because of their high profile (many friends in the diplomatic corps…). They were released and then government just dropped it. Which means they were probably being framed, as J argued.

Twenty years from now, long after Kony and his guys have been forced to beat their swords into ploughshares; people who come out of that region will always carry the burden with them. It will be in their look, in their speech, in whatever creative work they do. Movies coming out of northern Uganda will be about war and suffering. Just like a movie out of Rwanda wont sell now if its not about the genocide (Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda). Long gone are the days when Okot p’Bitek wrote limericks about beautiful black girls with strange red colours on their mouths. There is too much pain up north for frivolities like that now. Have you watched Amani, the opera? Oh, by the way, if you haven’t watched the stated Rwanda flicks, do Sometimes in April. It is far better than the other one. And not only because it has Ugandan actors kicking ass.

I watched this doccy on TV from the Prime Minister’s office about the kids. I know the subject of the children has been beaten out of shape and the effect might be negative for them after all because probably, those who would help might become jaded. But I could not help feeling that impotent rage that these little people who have no idea what the grown ups are fighting for, who have no clue as to why their mummy was cut down the way she was, are in the middle of all this.

I don’t know how many old shirts and blankets have made their way to the north in the last fifteen years. I don’t know how much food has been given out to the families because they cannot till the land. I only feel ashamed that I am one of the many Ugandans who have only been content with writing articles about their plight. I have been faithful with my prayers for the situation. But I have not been keen on discussing the possibility of traveling there and being with them. There are little people there who can tell the difference between an Uzi, a sowed off Sub and a plain old Kalashnikov. I can’t.

Even when it was made clear to us that the trip to Gulu takes only three hours if you are using good means.

What are we going to do with this situation? How do you talk about the war without feeling like a jerk trying to turn the spotlight on yourself? Soon, our children are going to be the schoolmates of the children of people from there. How do we explain to our children the differences they will eventually notice in their school buds?

On a lighter note though…

Think I’m getting hooked on series and that is def not a good thing. The last time this happened to me, I was so hooked on Riviera and when it was suddenly stopped, it felt like someone took forceps and stuck them in my eye. Back then, I would wait for the thing at a teacher’s place and go back to the dorm past midnight. Now I’m getting sucked in again and I just can’t help myself.

Its Prison Break. That Wentworth Miller guy is trying so hard to be like some character out of a Stephen King story. He is all quiet and intelligent and a weakling on the surface. And then as the story progresses, its like pealing back layer after layer of interesting stuff after some other interesting stuff.

Its Shawshank Redemption all over again but without the voice over of Morgan Freeman telling us stuff. Tim Robbins must be proud of himself watching this attempt to copy him. WYSIWYG. But I hated the ending and that is probably why I won’t be sucked in when season two is released. And I know it will be out soon.

After this, Mr Miller is going to be stuck in roles that call for the quiet intellectual. Don’t know if that’s a good thing. Like Denzel being limited to doing goody roles because he is a positive man. Like Will Smith swearing he’ll never do another flick in the line of Six Degrees of Separation because he doesn’t want to be called a (politically correct statement) person who swings to the other side of the sea.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Trust is…

Voting for Ssebaggala even when, given his manifesto, Peter Ssematimba is the best candidate of them all.

Believing that when the president says he’s sacked Jim Muhwezi, it is for real this time. It is forgetting that Mr. Katugugu is the Real Comeback Kid.

Being Jude Law in Enemy at the Gates and telling Joseph Fiennes to cover you while you go in and shoot the living hell out of the krauts even when he just found out that you stole his girl. Or being Tom hanks in Finding Private Ryan and telling that sniper guy to cover your ass.

Looking at the Durex on the table once, twice then thrice and leaving it unopened before you get jiggy. This in an age where your country is known for, among other things, war, death, AIDS, death, Idi Amin and more death. According to CNN.

Throwing caution to the wind and saying you will live with someone for the rest of her life (or yours) without thinking of the stupidity of making such expansive statements which could be used against you in a court of law someday.

Reading the witty stuff on the blogosphere and thinking that the people who write it are all good inside and that they are all advocating for a better Makerere Kivulu and World Peace.

Listening to Joseph Kony.

Being Gabriel Byrne in Stigmata and you have to exercise your faith in a God who’s stronger than the devil when Lucifer himself turns up for a duel because you have been cramping his style.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Goings on around the place

Sometimes I do this…I go to a couple of blogs and I take down a number of posts to read later at home. I usually do this when I know I have some time on my hands. When I’m on the net, I usually get distracted to read everything and even when I have three hours (by which time I would be on the verge of collapsing), I can’t read everything. But I just finished reading Minega’s stuff and boy, can this dude write!

Props to Minega. I recommend that every time you get on the net, you check out his blog first. I was impressed mainly by the simple way his ramblings turn out to be full of insight. He reminds me of those days back in school when I would grab the Sunday paper and go straight for Bad Idea and my peeps would shake their heads and be like, “You need a head check, pal.”

But you see the opinion of the world does not really matter when you know you are onto something good. I didn’t gush when I met the writer of Bad Idea and I probably wouldn’t if I met Minega. I guess I was healed of that when I met another writer called Brian Magoba. I realized that good writing is in the head, and not in appearances.

Girls are being sold in the market in Katakwi, according to The New Vision. This is not a joke or some error done in the newsroom warranting that the heads of a couple of subs should roll. No, this is what’s happening in this our Uganda in the year of our Lord two thousand and six. When the government separate the warriors of Karamoja from their guns, the warriors did a runner and in so doing, they left their women with nothing to live on. The problem was solved by putting little girls on sale in the market place. Tut, tut.

“Joseph Orisa reports that Moroto district officials said Karimojong girls aged between 12 and 18 are sold in an open market in Katakwi as housegirls but are later turned into sex slaves.

Moroto resident district commissioner Capt. Robert Nambafu said the booming trade takes place every Friday at Ocorimongin cattle market in Katakwi.

In an interview with The New Vision yesterday, Nambafu said some unscrupulous women collect girls in Matany sub-county in Moroto district and transport them to Katakwi by bus.

“These girls are lined up in the market and their buyers, mainly men, come and pick up the most beautiful girls and the rest are left out. Each girl goes for between sh100,000 and sh300,000.

“The men who pick these children are mostly bachelors and widowers. The girls are at the risk of being abused sexually. When they come back, they will spread the (HIV) virus to our youth,” Nambafu warned.”

Of course there must be reasons in the heads of these people that make this trade in humans justifiable, even with the arguments that we throw at them but…sh100,000!

Have you heard what’s happening in China? Not the economic boom. The boom has made China untouchable because now that they have the biggest market in the world, US interests will want a piece of that pie at any cost. Jack Welch has told you to go East. Get into China if you have any serious plans to progress in business.

So when the rights of people are stifled, the international policeman will look away like a traffic cop at Wandegeya who’s been given a mutwalo by the driver of a dangerously over loaded cattle track. Now china wants to clamp down on its bloggers and from the look of things, when the clampdown happens, the rest of the world might not be able to stand up to the challenge.
Here goes: "As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through the blog and search engine, we will take effective measures to put the BBS, blog and search engine under control," said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of China's Cabinet, quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.

I don’t know what they’ll do because according to this news piece, China has 37 millions blogs at the moment. It might be safe to say that many of these are critical of the establishment and therefore have drawn the ire of government. At the end of 2006, China shall have 60 million blogs. And all the Ugandans who are still playing pinkie-pinkie ponkie about starting a blog said…

Savage wants to get with The Girl On The Modern Tea Advert. Reminds me of that old Boyz II Men song, Girl in the Life Magazine…Well here’s to serenading the happy couple, in the words of Gladys, the cleaning lady in Mind Your Language; Savage and Karitas, sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G…

Chivalry just won’t stay dead. We know it’s supposed to have died some centuries ago but it seems due to the continued harping on the subject by some sections of the human race, the dreary subject is back. Do we all have the same genes? Are we all supposed to make an effort to make romance a strong suit in our lives? Bill Hybels, author of Fit To Be Tied starts out like he thinks it’s alright to be yourself but then later sells out by going over to the dark side like Darth Vader. If we are to let this stuff get to the heads of these people, we shall have a reversal of the situation that appeared recently on, only this time, the feminists won’t be up in arms. They’ll be saying all’s fair.

Lilliane Barenzi is always lamenting how chivalry is dead and how women have to live with the situation because the glory days are long gone. We know that’s not really the truth but as I said earlier, we don’t want to get into a Barbara Cartland situation all over again.

Petrol stations in Uganda never stop minting money. Economics tells us that after sometime, when the market opens up and competitors come into the fray, the old principle of demand and supply will even out the profits until the only people able to stay are those that are inventive enough to find an edge over the competition. With all the stations coming up along Bombo Road and other areas of the city, it seems that point of satiety is still a long way away. Even that old threat that too many stations in the city would soon mean a great many fires did not stand for long. Someone just wrote a clever opinion piece in the papers asking how often Ugandans have seen such a thing happening in Ugandan history. No answer.

The implication was that the fuel we have here is not that dangerous. Even if you spoke on your phone, smoked at the station, nothing would happen. So as we speak, the City Council has to live with the decisions they have made in the past. His Lordship, the new mayor of Kampala has done a good job looking all committed and hardworking but I want to see if he won’t turn out to be just as lousy as his predecessors; giving land to other fuel entrepreneurs.

We hit gold! Black gold. After Hardman Resources made the front pages with their oil find they became the most popular group of people here. It has been reported that we have more oil than was expected before. We can produce 10,000 barrels a day and that is from first prospects. It means we could actually have more than that.

But with oil, one just wishes that Uganda will be different from all the other oil related stories (Nigeria, Russia…) where the people who feel they need to be paid more for being the guardians of the treasure are instead victimize. Former MP, Frank Nabwiso says we should celebrate but with caution because when the powers that be decide that they want the proceeds for themselves, they will do anything to get them. We don’t want a repeat to the Ken Saro Wiwa story.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Things to ponder

There are things in the great scheme of things that when one tries to make sense of later on after they have happened, they risk blowing their transformer. They happen allover the world but when they are close to home, on Ug soil, they take on a special flavour. You can go out there and brag that albeit, these are strange happenings but they are Ugandan happenings all the same.

The phone booth operators
In keeping with the advice of the president, that all Ugandans have to find a way of making their lives more confertable a.k.a. okulembeka, there are some enterprising people who have found a way to beat the system at its game. Have you tried to use the coin section of the phone booth lately? There is always a lady (or a guy) sitting close and they have on some yellow garment for effect. There is no way you can say that you did not see them. When you try to slot in your coin, it will disappear and the thing won’t work. Of course all along, the phone person has been telling you that the coin won’t help you, in other words, you must use my card. I think its all a plot because when you use their card, you pay at least Ug.Sh100 more. Now if they can make free moey this way, why would they let you use you coin which will cost you half of what they would charge you? Try using the phone at night and you will be surprised at how the coin is perfect.

President Charles Logan
The biggest let down in Season 5 is this guy shames all the great villains of the silver screen. All my peeps watching this thing in Uganda should be feeling the same, I tell you. If he was meant to be a crafty prez who was so daring as to let CTU come that close to him, he did not convince me. The guy does not know whether to grin, smile or wince. His face is a constant contradiction of emotions and the shadowy guys that recruited him must have been out of their minds to trust that he could carry out that deal. What deal, did you say? Watch the damn thing. My job description is not SPOILER.

Kim Bauer’s new catch
Like, WTF is Kim doing with that jajja?

Rasta Rob
Once upon a time, there was a guy who was the biggest star on the Ugandan scene. He was so big; he could lead a walk out from Sanyu FM and get employment at any other station of his choice. We have to be sorry for him today because his dad just died. Apparently he lives in the UK and he Mcees at Pier One. My puzzlement is on his friendship with President Jose Kabila from the other side. Man, this guy is in charge of a lot of golo and the Rasta guy is still those ways taking shit from all sorts of people? Why does he not tell his friend to like get him like only 5 Kgs of the stuff like it happens in Africa all the time? Only 5…

Yona Kanyomozi
The smartest guy in the Uganda People’s Congress undoubtedly. He’s been in the news lately because he has left his party. The first reports indicated that he had crossed to the NRM-O. Then there were reports that he said he is “for FDC.” I have always respected this guy, probably even more than Ndugu Ruhakana Rugunda but now I’m on shaky ground. I know this might be some sort of media plot to discredit him. It could have its origins in the offices of the very intelligent Noble Mayombo but I still am on shaky ground.

Masaka Hospital and current
There is a presidential lodge in Masaka and when the big man is in the area, he chills those ways. In the same district, there is a big referral (?) hospital and people come from the deepest villages of Buganda for treatment. The strange thing is that unlike Mulago hospital, which never gets load shed, Masaka Hospital is not spared. People still die because current went off while they were still under. And the presidential lodge? The guys who stay there don’t know what darkness means.

The Northern by-pass
This is one of the biggest achievements of the reigning regime. It is going to make the land through which it goes go up in price. As it is known, people from Buganda are the real capitalists. When they want money, they are not hindered by tradition or Eb’ennono about sale of land. So landlords around the northern by-pass are rubbing their hands in glee. One just wishes that by the time this government leaves power like 50 years from now, there will be more to talk about than this road. President Milton Obote was here for a far shorter time but his achievements are not contested.

Perpetual indebtedness
Uganda has once again been let off the hook. Momentarily. A big chunk of our debt - 3.8bn shillings – has been forgiven us. Theoretically, that would mean that we have learnt from our mistakes and we shall never find ourselves in that kind of trouble again. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. This time next year, we shall probably be in worse shit with the World Bank as regards debt. Same ol’ same ol’.

The war in the Middle East
The good Book said it many years ago that there would never be peace in Palestine until the Prince of Peace shows up. The world can try to do things in its own power all it wants but facts are facts. Those guys are not going to stop slaughtering innocent babies and alleged terrorists. I blame both sides in this thing.
Bebe Cool
Peeps be still confused about the fact that Bebe Cool is the King. He so kicks the asses of all those other singers but then, as they say, when you are good, your bitterest critics will be in your home country. Ask Kabelo who he thinks rules in Ug.

Stubborn Kibaki
The Kenyan Prez is pretending mbu he doesn’t hear the cries. There are like a million voices out there telling him that he is such a loser and that he should step away since he’s failed. Instead, his government has started targeting these voices of reason. Have you been to M’s blog lately?

TLC still rules
As in the greatest selling female group EVER. Even with the likes of DC and all those other wannabes, this girl group which sold almost 30million. After Lisa Lopes passed away in Honduras in 2002, the group would never be the same again. 3D, which included posthumous raps, was really a goodbye. But these girls rule. Just can't forget Waterfalls.

Craig David
And where is this dude?