One Morning In Makerere: Where Are Nyanzi’s Clothes?

The headmaster (or whatever they are called) strolls into the staff room (or whatever it’s called) at Makerere and smiles broadly to his staff.


HM: It’s Monday!! Yeah! I know some of you hate Monday, but you should not. You should think of it, not as the end of the weekend, but as the beginning of a new week, a new week of opportunity to make the world a better place here, at the most noble, honoured, prestiguous and highly-regarded university in East Africa. So everybody, let’s go out there and make a difference! Yeah!

Staff: Yeah, whatever.

HM then walks into his office, places his jacket on the back of the seat and grins at his secretary (I don’t think they have PAs or EAs at Makerere. Not if they still call it a staff room)

HM: So, what’s on the platter for today, eh? Hit me. Let’s make a difference!

Seccy: Well, there are a lot of lecturers who have not seen their allowances for three months. Mob arrears. They threatened to strike but we managed to forestall that. They will need an update.

HM: No problem. Set up a meeting and we will talk about it like the civilised intellectuals we are.

Seccy: Yes sir. Next item is, well, students of the Ethics and Human Rights course are staging a barefoot protest because their course was scrapped.

HM: No problem. Set up a meeting and we will talk about it like the civilised intellectuals we are. What else?

Seccy: There is a situation at MISR. A staff member has been locked out of her office and asked to move to another. She is quite upset about it. She really liked the office.

HM: Set up a meeting and we talk…

Seccy: I don’t think she will be able to come here for a meeting. She is chained to the locked door.


HM: Does she want the door open or not? Why has she locked herself to the lock?  

Seccy: It’s Dr Nyanzi.

HM: That explains everything. Really, that would explain a pile of hippo entrails sagging off the roof of parliament. Well, I hope she has a jacket.

Seccy: I don’t think so…

HM: She is not suitably dressed for the weather? It is quite chilly. It’s raining.

Seccy: She is not dressed for anything. She is not dressed at all.

HM: What?

Seccy: As far as I can gather through these binoculars, she is naked as a TV chicken. Stripped all her clothes off.

HM: Who would do a thing like that?

Seccy: Dr Nyanzi.


HM: Oh yeah. That explains everything. It would explain an elephant trunk growing out of the back of Kadaga’s head.

Seccy: She is taking selfies and posting them on the socials.

HM: Is she trying to become a socialite like these undergrads who take photos which leak? My goodness. The woman has lost the last drops of it. Kiwedde. Pass me that resignation letter from the file.

Seccy: You want to ask her to resign?

HM: Hell no. I am not going anywhere near her. I just need to clean my shoes. It’s been raining and this is Kampala.

Seccy: Eh but why did I even get these binoculars. I know we are not allowed to drink alcohol in office or during work hours, but this being Makerere, a place that has been called inefficient and lax in terms of operations, I feel I would be excused if I put a whole kaquarter of Ug into myself at this moment. Because these binoculars have ruined me. Sir, some shit can not be unseen.

HM: Here. Careful not to spill any. Isn’t that Mahmood’s department? Why did he lock her out?

Seccy: I need a couple of seconds, sir, to let the liqour get pumped all the way up… Aah. Okay. Now I am drunk enough to resist the urge to start stabbing my eyes and keep doing so forever. Oh dear. She is holding a press conference…

HM: While naked and chained to the door?

Seccy: No. She is unchained now.


HM: As well as unhinged. What is she saying?

Seccy: It is not easy to tell. She seems to be using the word “pussy” an awful lot, though.

HM: Or maybe she is just sneezing. She was naked in the rain. She might have caught a cold.

Seccy: She says if Mahmood doesn’t let her back in her office, she will spill all the dirt about how he runs the department.

HM: I swear Nyanzi is sucking at this for real. First you plan a nude protest on the coldest morning of the week, then this is how you blackmail your boss? You are supposed to send the threat discreetly to him, not announce it in public. Now he can’t surrender without everyone thinking he has dirty secrets. Amateur work Nyanzi!

Seccy: The crowd is getting a bit rowdy…

HM: Which crowd?

Seccy: Sir, there is a naked Ph.D in the middle of campus. The crowd you would expect such an event to amass is the one I am referring to.

HM: Pass me that waragi.

Seccy: She says she will fight to the death against oppression and the rot at MISR.

HM: Fuck that shit. Just tell Mahmood to open the gu-office. Stella isn’t fighting to death against oppression. She is fighting for a few hours against the door.  Open it and see if she doesn’t go right back to the  hashtag rot in MISR and keep getting enough money to take her kids to million-shilling schools and skating lessons.

Mbu fighting against oppression. I have students who have refused to pay their fees on time, I have lecturers who I can’t pay on time, I have students who don’t attend lectures, then I have another bunch on strike because their lectures have been cut. I don’t have time for this shit.

Seccy: But what about the alleged abuses of power and office which Dr Nyanzi said exist and which she threatened to make publicly known if she remains locked out of her office? Don’t you think we should find out what they are?

HM: Well, the freedom fighter said that if she gets the office she wants she will remain silent about these abuses instead of reporting them. I assume that if they were serious she would not let access to an office win her silence, but would do the right thing and report them regardless. However, since she has gone back I assume they are petty matters that don’t need my attention. Now have we figured out a solution to the marabou stork issue?