RTs And The Olympic Spirit



I made a mistake on Twitter yesterday. I retweeted and quoted and put my comment at the end … wait. I should explain these terms.

A retweet is what happens when you “share” another person’s tweet, and a quote is when you add a comment to the retweet to improve it with your wisdom, extend it with your agreement, or, in some situations, ruin it by removing the spelling and punctuation.

Retweeting is also an opportunity to be snarky.

Someone called Ugandadisses tweeted nti mbu


@ugandandisses: UGANDANS CAN ONLY WIN IN THE FOLLOWING SPORTS 1: kwepena 2:Dulu 5:Tampo”


I felt that this witticism was missing a little something, so I decided to contribute in my humble way by adding some constructive criticism.

Ernest Bazanye ?@bazanye

“@ugandandisses: UGANDANS CAN ONLY WIN IN THE FOLLOWING SPORTS 1: kwepena 2:Dulu 5:Tampo” << Well we won’t win at fingers off the Capslock


I feel it is my duty on the internet to sneer at people who write in all uppercase.

I am sure you are not one of them, but some people don’t know that “shouting” as it’s called reads as if it is written with mouth wide open and lungs at full blast.


Like this:


John walked into the room to find Mary lying on their bed. She was wearing the frilly negligee that he liked so much. The room was glowing with candelight and the smell of incense filled the air. She smiled coquettishly, batted her eyelids and beckoned him with her finger.  “Come over here, big boy,” she said.

John grinned, heeling off his shoes, said, “THIS IS A NICE SURPRISE!”

“I am horny, John,” she said, “not deaf.”


“I said I can hear you just fine. No need to shout,” she said, beginning to frown.



So this was my tweet. I know it sounds smug, but when you are right, that’s how you sound.

Unfortunately, I got a couple of retweets of that. And a mention on facebook as well. Only it was not for my wicked little addition to Ugandadisses’ quote, it was as if I myself, me, the individual had said those words. As if it was my opinion, given in all caps no less, that Uganda was not capable of winning in any of the official Olympic games and would only stand a chance of success if Dulu, kwepena and something called “Tampo” were on the schedule.

This cannot do. So, here, for the record, let me denounce this silly claim with full force using three powerful blows.

  1. Uganda can win Olympic medals. Uganda has won medals before.
  2. Why shouldn’t we win anything? Because we are a third world country? Kenya and Jamaica are third world countries and they win medals all the time.  You didn’t know Jamaica was a dirt poor third world country? Some bway no notice. Them only come around like tourist… and dem nah know the real hardcore.
  3. The claim that Uganda would only win if Dulu was an Olympic sport presumes that Ugandans are the best dulu players in the world. But then, considering that every country in the world that has track athletics, tennis and football also has games of marbles played by its children, shouldn’t the odds of winning an Olympic medal in dulu be the same as those of winning in track?

The presumptions behind this “joke” trouble me deeply and I am only a patriot in the most casual of ways. I abide by the law and pay my taxes and do what I can to contribute to the success of this enterprise known as Uganda not because I love it, but because I have to live here and I would rather live somewhere nice. But even I am bothered by people saying that Uganda just can’t win.

Okay, we don’t have the facilities to train gymnasts and archers and skiiers, but we can run track and cross-country and Obua, Inzikuru and Kiplagat could become the best in the entire world by running on the meager facilities we do have.

I barely pay any attention to the Olympics, unless it is to watch something cool being done, like synchronized diving or gymnastics, but I can tell this much: being an Olympian isn’t about facilities, it’s about heart. It is about the drive and discipline and the spirit within you that compels you to make yourself  the best at something and, even if you don’t win, the fact that you made it there means you are very good very good at it and that is what matters.

Saying Ugandans can’t win is like saying there is no Ugandan with heart. Which offends me because I am a Ugandan, too.