Don’t Kno De Hengrish. And Proud Of It!

First let us get the important details out of the way. Somebody please tell Bridget I am not buying her bullshit. I wasn’t born yesterday. See this grey on my chin? You don’t get that until you are substantially past a day old.




Now, let us get down to the matters of the day.

You know how we rant and rave about American ignorance of African lives, their thinking that Africa is a single country ruled by Idi Amin and his cabinet of wild animals who govern from the highest tree in the capital jungle and preside over a population that does nothing all day but starve to death and wear loincloths?



That is freaking annoying, eh?


I used to be furious at Americans who just naturally assumed I didn’t speak English, or who seemed surprised, or even worse, impressed that I could string subjects and predicates in the English order without hindrance.

Like, what the fuck.

That is not a proper English sentence. I know that.

But nowadays I am actually kind of embarrassed at my English. I sometimes pretend I don’t speak it when I meet a particularly forward kind of American or European. I deliberately do the “Hengrish”.

Because, think about it, why should I know English?


Dwayde is perfectly within his logical correctness to assume that I don’t speak English. I should, by rights, speak Ugandanese.

After all, when he goes to Bonn, they speak German. When he goes to Lyon, they speak French. When he goes to Minsk, they speak Russian.

When he goes to England they speak English, and when he goes back to America, they speak American. So why should he not expect that we, the citizens and people of the republic of Uganda, should speak Ugandian?

To get offended would mean, in effect: “Excuse you, white man, excuse you and your prejudicial assumptions that I am any different from you and your white American ways. I will have you know, MISTER Fitzenberg, that I and my fellow Ugandans are just like you! So much so that you should assume I certainly speak your language! Because our indegenous cultures have been dominated by your western culture so completely that we have come to the point where they are all but consumed in the shadow of Uncle Sam and his predecessor The Queen. My national identity is such a ripoff, such a pale photocopy, such an old-toner facsimile of yours that I dress, talk, worship, marry, divorce, get entertained just like an American person would and you should have known this before you even began to speak to me! I am a weak, dilute, poor, faded, incomplete, bootleg version of an American and I will appreciate it, sarcastically, that is, if you acknowledge this fact, instead of assuming that I have some sort of cultural character of my own! You know wharramsayin?”


I find myself rather embarrassed at the fact that I speak such good English. I prefer to go: “Otew? She is wanda otew? Impeliyo otew? Salatong otew? Silina Otew? Inni Kampala otew isi velleh! You go in speshotax anda she can tek you inda otew.”

I am so sorry visitors to Uganda, I am really sorry, but I have to do this. Just once in a while.

Besides, if you want to know where the hotels are, use Google Maps. Kampala is covered.



While we are on the topic, there are those among us, Ugandans like us, who live with us, and don’t speak good English.

There are many reasons for this– poor education, living a life that rarely requires lufotifoti proficiency, basically being Ugandan and not English.


We laugh at them.

We shouldn’t. See your life. Laugh at yourself if your boda doesn’t speak like Benedict Cumberbatch. He should laugh at your for not speaking enough vernacular to not have to burden him with your luthungu the way your are burdening his bike with your fat flatulent ass and its pomposity.

This is not the same thing as a person who has taken a professional position to communicate and has failed to do so in clear and well-ordered words. Seriously, if you are paid to talk to us and you take the money and you can’t bother to use your tools professionally, fuck you.


I will not spellcheck the word professionally even though I know I always get it wrong. Because that sentence was addressing people who don’t bother to check their language when talking to us.

Radio presenter, stop doing for us bu accent. Silly. Talk in grammar wakili ko.