For fifteen years I wrote a weekly column for Uganda's leading newspaper. Before, and even during that, I wrote others, for the same company. Then I retired, under the impression that I would stop writing columns. But I now write two. This blog is where I write things that don't have to be vetted by editors. If you like anything, please, share somewhere. Don't make me jealous of Bikozulu. I want to continue loving him.
I had this Chandler And Frasier story lying around for years. It is not new.
I had tried to self publish a few several years ago, but they came out of the printers looking like — well, I would rather give my work away than try to sell something that looked as crappy as that cheap print-job did.
There is a longer story to this: which involves why there are still four volumes left, but I shall keep that for when we both have the whiskey, the data, the wherewithal and the peace of mind for a long ramble.
But for now, without further ado, Wiggly Nankani Productions Presents, Straight From The Kitchen of Wampisi and Associates Publications, Chandler and Frasier Vol 3: From China With Love In which two Kampala teenagers find love, find heartbreak, and find the true meaning of R&B songs
This is another love story. It includes the following characters: Lydia, Spanks, Ja Rule, E. Bazanye and Genevive. Don’t worry about Ja Rule for now. He comes in later.
But why did Ja Rule look like a potato made of potatoes? I mean, his head? An Irish. His body? A pile of Irish. His little muscle bulges made him look like someone had tattooed a kaveera of their vegetable shopping.
But we will come to him later. For now we need to maintain a coherent narrative stream without random digressions. So Ja aside, let’s look at Lydia.
Lydia was the head waiter/cashier of a DVD library in the days before everybody got Netflix and she was very good at her job. She knew all the inventory and where it was located. Just say the film you want and she would find and hand it to you in the briefest of moments.
She was so good she could even completely conceal her contempt when you ordered a really really shitty movie.
Like this bullshit. This movie was not just shitty. It was a visual assault of shittiness. It was aggressively shitty. It was not fecal matter, it was fecal energy. It was as if the photons emanating from the screen had arranged themselves in the specific military formation that soldiers in the 1986 Bush War used for toilet breaks and then marched onto our retinas and shat on them in with the resolve, courage, violent and valiant sense of purpose of the NRA attacking aduyi, only instead of liberating Uganda from tyranny, they were liberating our brains from our love for Tobey’s Spiderman.
If a customer would slap-paw his hyena legs into the lib and mouth-fart mbu he wanted Spider-Man 3, or the toilet Scarlett Johannsen made of Ghost In The Shell, or the war crime M. Night made of The Last Airbender or anything starring Nicolas Cage, nothing in Lydia’s face would show the surging compulsion to immediately kill him for having such awful taste. She was stoic and composed and did not look homicidal at all.
Sometimes she would secretly signal me for my gun (I used to pack a Glock 45 back then because, at the time, I was about that street life) but I would always refuse. I didn’t want her to get caught up in the game, you knowmsayin, cos once you start down that path, yo, ain’t no comin back. That’s real, knowmsayin’. Gangsta for life.
I was one of her customers but most of the time I just came in for the air conditioning and the company; just to hang out, cos she was cool. Another regular customer was a young man we called Spanks.
He told us his name was Spanks. NIRA was to later reveal, many years later, that it was actually Severino Paulo Nkalu-Kiwalidde, and you will see his posters on Umeme poles. He is standing for youth MP. When you meet him, please advise him to step down because he is now 48 years old.
But back then he was young and idle and always at the lib with Lydia and I consuming AC and enabling the bad staff habit of drinking on the job by supplying Lydia with sips of the Bond 7 he always seemed to have on him.
It was one sunny afternoon when a new customer walked in. A very very attractive 2010s woman. She was kacute and even though she picked her nostril when she thought we were not looking– people forget that some shops have CCTV cameras so we saw her bad manners– she didn’t damage it and it remained a very nice nostril.
She didn’t pull her kapintos, though. I noticed, because I ogled her bum, that she should have.
She got to the counter and smiled and asked for the following films.
Age Of Ultron
At the time Lydia had gone to the bathroom. I am not going to besmirch her reputation by making any claims concerning what she had gone to do there. Probably marijuana, but how would I know? Spanks was around so my Eustachian tube was unable to detect and discern any scent but Bondo fumes and Nivea For Men.
The pretty lady assumed, when she saw only Spanks and I in the library, that we were the staff, and asked us for the movies.
I was about to say, “Sorry. We don’t work here. I’m just here for the AC and this guy is here because his developing alcohol habit has already rendered him unemployable. As a result, all he does is wander into other people’s places of work with his Bond 7s trying to spread the habit,” but he had a deft Ip Man move he could execute where he kicked your ankle surreptitiously and made you shut up before you had even started your sentence.
He put himself directly in front of the counter and beamed. “Hi. My name is Brad. How can I help you?”
I then got a headache because I have one of those brains that does not naturally focus effectively. Some of you are like trains on a track: Once you get started with a thought or mental task, you stay with it till the logical end. Me? I am like a dozen fleets of boda bodas. It is very easy to just introduce an unexpected item and create an accident.
And now the thought “Ouch! That hurt” collided with “Brad of where now?” Full Full Condition.
I decided the safe thing to do would be to go and look for Lydia.
She wasn’t burning spliffs in the back of the store, so Mr/Ms Government Agent monitoring sites to see if anyone is outchea promoting illegal behaviour, get off my case.
Since she wasn’t smoking in the back of the store, she was not able to help my headache, but when I informed her that Spanks was dealing with a customer she quickly paused the video on her phone, put away the other gadget and dashed to the counter.
“Hi Jane!” Lydia hastily greeted.
“It’s Genevive, not Jane,” the customer, who was apparently Genevive as per recent revelations, replied.
“Sorry. I always think of you as Jenny, and then my head confuses Jenny with Jane,” Lydia smiled then did that thing Kampala women do where she tosses her eyes to the roof as if that is where all petty confusion comes from and waggled her left hand manicure.
If you were able to picture the gesture accurately from that sentence, then please, someone send me a writer’s fellowship for African Writers Trust because it means I am the best ever. I just described the inscrutable.
You know I always suspected that I was, if not the one, at least one of them. The problem is that none of you take me seriously. You think I am here for jokes, yet I tend to be quite insightful and deliver significant intellectual tonnage in my work. Take for example, the last Chandler and Frasier Book.
It is a trenchant examimation of what it means to be African in a modern global world, and how Western culture has been repurposed by the cultures orphaned by colonialism.
Chandler and Frasier Vol 3 coming August 9th, by the way. Completely bereft of all intelligent content.
Genevive gracefully reassured Lydia that she had been taken care of adequately. She had all the movies she needed. She also had a few series. I did my part by asking her which ones, just to see if she would say “serie” or “series” and she passed the test. And then she left.
The next time we met at Lydia’s Lib, Spanks was wearing a more grown up deodorant. I am not saying you guys who wear Nivea are immature, I am jussaying that you, well, you wear Nivia. I understand; life is not a New York Fashion Show Catwalk and you don’t have to be glamorous all the time. Most of the time all you need to do is just not stink, and Nivea is fine for that. It makes you smell like a vacist but there are worse things to smell like.
Eg, an S4.
Me, as me, I don’t judge people who wear Nivea for men.
But there are some people who do. Jussayin.
Next time we saw and smelled Spanks he was fragrant as a garden of Gillette in hot weather. He had had a hair cut, tucked in his shirt and timed his arrival with precision. The movies Genevive had taken should be done by now, and the FOMO for the next seasons of the series she had taken should be bringing her back today, he calculated, so there he was, ready to receive her.
It was so obvious, Lydia didn’t even ask. She just let him stand at the counter and do his thing when Genevieve showed up with her latest orders.
I sat aside on the bean bags with Lydia and asked her, “Are we really supposed to do this?”
This is why I loved Lydia: she just grinned a small, wry grin and said, “This is the age of chaos. This is the epoch of anarchy. Meaning is incidental. Purpose a shredded spiderweb.”
Get you a girl who quotes movies no one has ever heard of.
Meanwhile Spanks happily joked and bantered and quipped with Genevive about her choice of films, about the plot twists in the things she had watched, about football and UFC (whatever that is. Probably Kyalya’s political party) as he collected the DVDs from her list and finally, when she left, he sighed the way John Cusack always did in rom coms.
I began to say, “I just have a few suggestions. Next time, not Gillette. Secondly, don’t just laugh at her jokes, make her laugh at yours also. Thirdly, if you are thinking long term, you are going to have to go to a gym and work on your core and lumbar muscles because it’s not easy doing it with short women.”
But apparently Lydia also knew that Ip Man ankle kick from the paragraph up those ends so I just ended up saying, “Headache!”
Now, compatriots, you know generalisations and stereotypes are weak and lazy shortcuts that we only indulge in when we don’t want to do the actual work of thinking. It’s a dangerous habit because it can lead you to troublesome and wrong conclusions. Take, for example, the assumption that men are players. Spanks assumed that this was true and that it applied to him.
But in reality, he was no player. He had no game. He was no where near the pitch. He didn’t even know a stage where you can get the taxi that goes to Namboole let alone the direction of Nakivubo.
For three whole weeks this guy was at the library with his expensive deodorant trying to be romantic but never actually shooting a single shot.
Meanwhile, in her own life, Lydia was being developmental. The owner of the shop could not give her a raise so she negotiated for permission to use the premises for her own side businesses. She sold novels and did IT tech support consultancy on the side. One day she came in with a poster advertising jewelery, tiaras, rings, long lace gloves, bouquets of flowers and high heel shoes, all white.
It happened to be Genevie day and Spanks was there, three weeks sober, wearing Old Spice.
Genevive skipped in the way she always did, in her perfectly white little Nikes. Spanks was ready. His teeth were all out in the open, ready to beam for the coming minutes, the Genevive Minutes, the minutes he lived for, the reason his heart beat.
Lydia and I knew our place: out of the way, on the beanbags.
But just as Genevive was about to start asking about Mission Impossible, she noticed the poster. “Lydia! Is that what I think it…I have been looking all over!” and she glided straight to the poster.
Lydia ascertained that it was, indeed, the advert of a hustle of hers which was wedding planning. There was an email, whatsapp number, social media and so forth where you could get all your wedding planning needs taken care of. She even put the requisite cliche: “One stop biki spot” on the poster.
Genevive was elated. She cooed and oohed and aahed about the poster while Lydia did her best to market her business. “So you can get me measured for a wedding dress? But you know me I don’t believe in those things of spending a lot of money for a dress I’m only going to wear once, so I would really rather rent one, but Jeffery? Jeffery acts like I have suggested we serve grilled donkey head meat instead of cake. So someone told me that you can buy a dress from someone, have it altered to your size and specifications, and then, after your wedding, you sell it to the next bride, pay it forward sort of thing…”
Jeffery was her fiance. A man with small tight muscles and a bald head who looked exactly like Ja Rule.
He was outside in the car. We only saw him when he came in and hoarsely asked, “Are you ready?” In an accent that made it sound more like potatoes than he looked, with his bald head and muscles on muscles.
Spanks’ broken heart proceeded to instigate a temporary Bond 7 stock shortage in the mall, but at least, after that, the lib smelled better.
Moral of the story: don’t waste time when it comes to shooting your shot. Use Tinder instead.
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Also, Chandler and Frasier Vol 3 coming up August 9th.
This week’s story is from a restaurant, a cafe, such as Cafe Javas. The posh ones we used to go to before lockdown and, also, before lockdown decimated our disposable incomes.
It was a popular site for dates.
In case months under isolation have made you forget, dates are meetings over a meal in a nice restaurant where two people hold conversations with a view to increasing their mutual affection to the point where they like each other enough to have sex.
They are very useful if the guy is nervous and anxious, in which case he needs time to become comfortable with the lady opposite. He needs to get familiar enough with her, otherwise the sex will be frantic, awkward, clumsy and, if unprotected, result in an asshole child.
That is my theory about kids who are assholes– that they were conceived through unsatisfying sex. The resentment, bitterness and shame hormones that flooded their mother’s bloodstream while they were forming as zygotes are what got them started so, naturally, they would turn out to be wicked little jerks.
I liked dates. We would start out as strangers and next thing you know, a beautiful woman and I have turned a coffee table into our own personal world where we are the only two people who exist, basking in each other’s glow, smiling smiles that smile beyond the smile itself. You know, when it’s not just your face, it’s your soul that is smiling. I liked dates. After such dates, you would go on to make love.
But that was not the only type of date. Our culture became more cynical, perhaps, or we just became too busy to have time. Mu embeera y’okupakasa, no one has time for lovemaking. It’s chaws, hookups and smashing.
So dates are now also places where you each hold, on your part, a sort of interrogation to determine whether there is any reason not to have sex with whichever individual has positioned themselves as available that week.
You have to sweep for red flags first. For example, you might find that he is an unemployed in the worse way. As in, not the kind who would work if he had a chance, but the type who is talented and driven but he is not accepting any job because he is trying to “find himself”.
Of all the wankeristicity, of of all the solipsistic conceits, of all the kyegyo! If you want to find yourself ask google. Google will tell you where you are.
By the way, I shouldn’t be doing this. I am trying to build a base; a recurring readership who come back weekly. I should not be alienating readers in this social media age. I want readers to stay. I want to be able to love Bikozulu the way I used to love Bikozulu before the envy came in and soured my relationship with him.
And I am cynical enough to know that the best way to retain a reader is to find out what beliefs they cherish, what positions they identify with on the more intensely emotional topics, and then, if I can can articulate their preconceptions about these topics well enough, they may consider me intelligent and retweet me.
Of course I am not talking about you, you reading now. You are wise and open-minded. You and I love and respect each other. I mean those other ones there reading there. Not you. You you are my legit peeps.
But pandering to the crowd, following the trends, is the way to grow a blogging base. It’s the way to recover my love for Biko.
But fuck finding yourself. Bomboclart.
If you want to find yourself, reach out, swing your arms behind, grab that big, blubbery flesh you encounter. That’s your ass. You have found it.
Find yourself? Shiiyyeet. When we are nothing but fleas, fleas flocking the hide of a planet, itself just a fleck of dust among millions of other planets? We are infinitesimally insignificant iotas of the galaxy’s biomass. You don’t even have to be here. You can leave and the world will keep spinning. Find yourself? Why? When it makes no difference if you get lost?
Find yourself? Find deez nuts.
For the most part when a person wants to find himself, he already has and he didn’t like what he discovered. He found a spoilt, needy, unfulfilling waste and did not like it, so he denied it, like a deadbeat dad denying his baby because the child will take his beer and muchomo money for Pampers; That is not mine! That is not me!
Find yourself? That guy is not looking for himself. He is looking for an identity that is cool and glamorous and heroic and sexy enough to satisfy his ego, he is looking for an identity that he can put on and wear and claim, like Tony Stark when he wore the Mark 3 and said “I am Iron Man.”
Mbu find yourself? Humans, I know we want to think we count for something, we don’t want to be meaningless or purposeless or valueless, but we are. The only meaning, purpose or value a human being has is that which he or she creates. So go out and be useful. Or be kind. Or just be humble. When you have real value, you don’t have time to find yourself because people keep looking for you. “Eh mama, as you’re lost!” all the friends whose lives love you will say because they have not seen you for three months and you mean so much to them that… anyway, I think I have made my point.
So, dates became these situations where you check to see whether there is any reason not to consummate your desire to have carnal knowledge with this individual: A few hours to check his finger for ring-marks, to suss out her position on Stella Nyanzi’s candidature, to assess the general scene for warning signs and to give running commentary to your real life Kouncil (This is when you keep going to the loo to give updates to your whatsapp group to see what their input is. I.e. “He says he got a Kanagimelon fellowship. TF is that even?” “Carnegie Mellon, you dwanzie. It means he is very smart. Go for it.” “Sounds like a nerd.” “Did you remember to check his shoe size?” etc).
But this one time, this thing I saw was different.
He was middle aged. The type who looks it. There are some men who look so middle aged because they have been middle aged all their life. The kind who listened to Don Williams during their twenties. The kind who have been waking up at six and tuning in to BBC Africa since they were at Makerere doing something inane like SWASA and getting good grades at it.
The thing with that kind of guy is that he tends to be very hardworking, very focussed, very disciplined, and when you are those things for long enough, you just might get lucky and end up very wealthy.
You will still be a dweeb, but wealthy middle aged dweebs know this– of those three adjectives, two don’t matter.
Now he can finally slow down and pick up on all the stuff he missed out on while he was hustling his way to the top. Like being fashionable (explains the perfectly-cut suit), being trendy, (explains the iPhone and Benz keys), and, of course, when he was younger he never had a chance to have sex with the hot babes of his age. But now, he does. Cos he has a moneeyzzz.
He was sitting at one end of the table eating his carbonara with the fork and knife the way they taught him when he was doing kyeyo in Manchester. He occasionally looked at her, then back at his food. Then looked around. He looked at me. I looked away quickly in case he can read my eyes.
She, on the other hand, was not even trying. She was on her phone tapping-tapping with two thumbs, meaning she was texting– she was spending the whole date ignoring her actual date while having multiple social interactions with other people miles away.
And to make it worse, she had one earbud in. That just makes it worse. As if the un-budded ear is a token gesture, a condescending pat on the head.
She had ordered something opulent that she poked at with her fork intermittently, when she was not tapping into her chat app.
There was a moment when she put the phone down and turned to the table. A brief moment. She was a wolf because the food was decimated in just that brief moment.
Then back the the phone.
He seemed to ask if she was enjoying the food. She looked up, and did a face like, “Wha’?”
He repeated the question.
She gave a cursory, perfunctory, “Oh yeah, sure.” and then was lost in the phone again until the waiter arrived to suggest dessert.
I guessed black forest and was right.
He had a tiramisu and, when it came, he looked at it the way middle aged men look at more and more things as they grow older. There is a look you develop for moments when you realise you made the wrong decision and now it’s too late to do anything but live with the consequences.
Now, I don’t want to sound judgy, but I already did, so I might as well continue to.
I do judge the guy. I judge him for putting up with this in public. This looks like a man who has moved mighty obstacles in his life; he has slain dragons, this guy, he has trophies as well as scars. This is a guy who has won fierce battles and yet he is here being kukula’d by a kid half his age and allowing pieces of shit like me to look at him and judge him.
I think he should demand a bit more from her. She’s going to fake an orgasm for him later, the least she could do is fake interest in his kb now. She could at least pretend to pay attention to him.
And I judge her, too. I am not going to judge her for anything else she is doing. It’s her life, her choice. And Feminism hasn’t settled the question of whether she is being forced to commodify her body by the patriarchy or whether she is emancipated enough to use her sexuality on her own terms as she feels fit, so that is not it.
It’s not the decline of the date either, because just because this is going on, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t love anymore. There are still couples lost in each others’ eyes over a rolex stand #IreneNtale saying, “I have to go. Curfew.” And then staying there for another twenty minutes. Then saying it again. Then staying again.
And of course there is the frantic, “No, don’t start. If you start, curfew will reach nga we haven’t finished. In fact, hint hint,” because much as the D is good, she doesn’t want him to spend the night.
This is what is bothering me about the whole thing: and I will acknowledge the pettiness here, but people: I can understand putting up with unsatisfactory sex for material security or gain. People do that all the time. That is called marriage. But…
How do you allow?
How do you sit there and allow a man to bore you for two hours so you can get free Black Forest? How?
I judge her for poor time management and lack of planning skills. If you don’t like the guy’s company, skip the date and just meet in the hotel or lodge. They can deliver the Jerk Chicken and Black Forest to your crib another time and you watch while watching series.
Me, you see me here, you see a man with a swagger, a man who walks with confidence, a man who walks as if he not only owns the room, but the building and the street. A man who moves as if Rajiv Ruparelia just borrowed this shit for a second.
Rajiv: Good morning sir. I am Rajiv Rupar…
Me: Here, hold kko these titles for me, will you? I need to type.
What you imagine happened
It may look like a sense of superiority, but really it is the opposite. It is because I lack self esteem– I have none at all. My self esteem is so low that I not only don’t expect people to care about me, but I don’t care if they don’t.
The result is that I will (and have done and will do so again) go to the bank in socks and sandals and smile very nicely to the staff as I fill the slip to withdraw my million shillings, some of which is going to buy crocs and more socks.
So now that I have introduced myself. Let me proceed, or at least begin this story.
I was in my former office lobby, having just said goodbye to a visitor, who had just walked out of the main gate and into the street, when I noticed that she had given me the wrong business card.
This was in the days when I still accepted business cards– pre-Covid. Nowadays, gimme a whatsapp number or a gmail address or do not expect us to ever communicate again; you are dead to me.
Of what use is a business card in Covid times? I haven’t even been to Aristoc in months, so I don’t need bookmarks and I can’t even pick my teeth with it cos it might have the corona virus on one corner. Kyanja, where I live, is full of casually disregarded “No Dumping” signs and the only reason your business card isn’t bio-degrading under one is that you are not going to waste either of our times giving it to me.
But back in the days people in office had such naive habits as accepting business cards.
But this card had the wrong name on it.
To protect the identities of the parties involved I shall not use the real names. I shall use names of people who were not involved in the story at all, like, say, random pick, Stella Nantumbwe.
So, instead of giving me a card that said, “Stella Nantumbwe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0777Donotstalk, Twitter @Ellanantumbwe FB.com/Ellanantumbwe,” it said something very opposite. Like “Fatboy Jr, Fatboyskid@gmails.com , 07724ImusingmydadsabandonedMTNline, twitter @Dontmutemeyet FB.com/Tiredofbeingreported.”
Wait. This might get confusing. Ssi ku the way I write. Let me clarify that the person in whose names the card was not was in any way related to Fatboy. I only mentioned Fatboy because I wanted to use the Cartman pic. I just imagine that if Cartman would make Fatboy admit that he has lost an argument. And if Cartman was Fatboy’s kid, it would happen all week long.
The guy whose name was on the card was some asshole names withheld.
I had to move quickly before she got into her uber/taxify and get the right card.
For the record, it wasn’t Ellah. I just used her name because that was the week I first met her and I was crushing on her to such an extent that “crushing” would still be an understatement if I was four elephants sitting on top of her Vitz.
You guys, if you think Ellah is hot, wait till you see her speak. I did not say hear her speak. I said see her speak. Combine the sight of her with that voice and, fam! I crushed like the security apparatus of African states on the hopes of their people who yearn for free speech and human rights.
By the way, if you are one of those people who snitch and show these blog posts to the people I mention, tell her it’s safe now. I am over her. I still think she looks like a gorgeous praying mantis with those large eyes of hers, but I have too much anti-anxiety medication in my heart ventricles to be in love.
So, the guest was outside, about to enter their cab. I was inside, holding the wrong card. Action needed to be taken rapidly. I ran out of the gate shouting for them to wait and give me the right card before departing.
Are we going to keep interrupting the flow of the narrative with these distractions? Now you want to know if she gave me the wrong card as the equivalent of giving a nagging trash suitor at a club a fake name and number. Once again, it was not the actual Ellah.
Ella Nantumbwe would not give me the wrong number because I would not ask. I would give her my number and let her decide. I told you already. Confidence.
What would I do with Ellah’s number anyway? There’s levels to this shit, dude, and she’s like a foot taller than me.
Okay, let’s forget about hiding identities. It was Jane, okay? You don’t know her. Now will you let me get back to my story?
So I ran out of the gate to give Jane back the wrong card and get the right one.
What follows is one of my long speeches. I tend to talk like this in these stories. Follow me now:
“Jane, you have given me the wrong business card. This is K.J.’s card. I am shocked, appalled actually. If I didn’t admire you as much as I do, I would have taken this as a blight on your character– not that you gave me his card but that you actually have this person’s card. This person? This person isn’t just gasiya. This person is what makes me strongly suspect that a secret deal was struck between Uganda and China to dump nuclear waste in our landfills and then the maggots, roaches and bacteria that fester therein spontaneously evolved into a single sentient zombie monster of filth which then located the corpse of a sex pervert who had just died after his attempt to grow a second penis via witchcraft rituals went fatally wrong. The radioactive garbage monster found a way of donning the skin of the dead witchcraft pervert and, in this disguise, infiltrated Kampala society and, in the course of its other toxic, obscene and unholy activities, found time to print business cards. This card is proof that such a creature exists. I can only assume that you got it by accident– someone gave you the wrong card, the way you gave me the wrong card.”
Jane looked at the card and her face went through three expressions.
1: Whose card is this? (Curiosity.)
2: What? His card? How did I end up with his card? (Incredulity)
3: What the fuck! Get that thing away from me! (Abject terror at being in the same acre as that guy’s name alone, not to mention number, email, and social media handles.)
There was only one thing to do, of course, and you know it as well as I do. So I asked the patient Uber driver if his car had a lighter that we could use to burn the card to ash and end the cycle there and then. By the way, my younger readers, that thing which you use to plug in the phone charger in the car? You can stop wondering why it has that weird symbol on it. It was originally designed as a cigarette lighter, and can actually cause fire. I hope none of you know this because I hope none of you smoke cigarettes. They are bad for you. Smoke fish. That is good for you.
The Uber driver turned round and looked at me.
“Aren’t you Ernest Bazanye?” he asked.
At the time I was very famous so I said simply “Yeah. And?” (As opposed to now, when I am less famous, so I will probably answer, “Yeah, why?”)
I reached out my hand for the lighter.
The Uber driver said, “I hated your last article. It was shallow and silly and annoying. And what made it even more annoying is that I read it because they had wrapped my hard corns in the newspaper page, so I had constipation as a result. Meaning I couldn’t even take a dump and wipe my ass with it.”
Friends, at the time I was a newspaper columnist, one with a lot of experience. I had been writing a column for many years. One of the things you learn as a journalist is to focus on getting relevant answers to relevant questions. So I said, “Your opinion is not a lighter. I asked for a lighter.”
“You are such an awful writer I bet if you DM’d Ellah, she would not just block you,” he grumbled, handing over the lighter. “She would block herself as well because now her profile has been contaminated.”
Jane held the lighter to the corner of the card and we set it on fire. It burned briefly but viciously, as if it knew how evil it was.
“Man, your column sucks. No wonder the hard corns that were wrapped in it tasted like toenails. It was like eating the toenails of someone who wears crocs and walks through Kikoni on the way to work,” he said as we returned the lighter and I helped Jane out of the car, the back seat of which was now on fire because, well, you should not burn paper inside Vitzes with plastic upholstery.
Then we went and got another uber. Jane asked, “Aren’t you going to do something?”
“About what?” I asked. “It’s his Vitz and his lighter. Therefore it is his fire. Let him deal with it.”
“About what he said about your article,” she prompted.
This is when I realised the depths of my self esteem. That article was actually brilliant but be that as it may, we know not everyone appreciates the steez. I looked in my heart, in my soul and even in my pockets for the fuck Jane expected me to give and couldn’t find it. “Well, let him read Big Eye instead,” I decided. “Probably more his level.” And we proceeded to call a Taxify.
You know this story didn’t really have a point to it. They rarely do. I usually just come here, try to make you laugh and leave without making any trouble. Let’s do that today as well.
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Picking a password is easy. Really easy. All you have to do is turn your arms upside down, shut your eyes, raise your chin up to the ceiling and slap at the keyboard with your knuckles three times.
Whatever appears on the screen can be both your new password and, if you are expecting, your child’s name as well. Like Jsdowjfei4obyh8.w
It’s okay. A Ugandan child’s name isn’t that important these days. It is hardly ever used. The first couple of years the kid will be referred to by a cute endearment like “kabiskwiti”. Then for the school years the child will have a school nickname, like “Ragzo”. Then soon after graduation, in the twenties (aka fake adulthood) the child will be known by their social media handle, blog name or stage name, like “Spiker”. By the time they are above twenty five and are finally real human beings, they should have earned enough respect to be referred to by surname and honorific. Eg. Mister Bazanye.
No one has used my name Ernest since 2011.
We were talking about passwords:
But first a word from our sponsors:
Download this one. It’s volume two. Download it so I can go on and start on volume three. Here, click the picture, of the coloured words, or the button, or call me and I bring the PDF to your quarantine cave, either way, download the thing.
The problem is not generating the password, it is remembering the gibberish. See, the days of picking a password you can easily remember are gone– we got rid of them when hackers, phishers, and other deviants started attacking random Ugandans and stealing our email and social media accounts. You have heard the stories, unless it has happened to you. You suddenly get messages from someone claiming to be Lynda Kyomuhendo, saying she is stuck in Lagos and needs you to Western Union several hundred thousand shillings to her so she can get a plane back.
Except you know it is not Lynda Kyomuhendo because Lynda Kyomuhendo is not trapped in Lagos. She is in the bathroom. She just left the bed a minute ago and you are so addicted to your phone that the moment she was out of sight, you grabbed your phone to check notifications. You are such an addict that you check your mail in between bouts of fornication even though that is so weird and just nasty and a really bad habit. Please stop doing that. There are times for phones and times to leave the phone alone. If you need a list here is one.
Do not touch your phone:
When you are naked because you are in the toilet doing the one which takes long. Don’t even look at my whatsapp DP in that state, much less communicate with me. My DP will smell the circumstances and I will mute you.
When you are naked because you are in between bouts of lovemaking, or (since this is Kampala and many of you are, frankly, unloveable trash) ordinary fucking. Don’t weird things between us by chatting with me while you have been doing those nasty freak things you do. Come on. Have some class.
When you are driving. Because obvious reasons. Don’t text and drive.
Now, let me tell you a story.
There was this guy we used to work with. He was a despicable human being: utterly, irredeemably horrible. The scum of the earth would go “yuck!” while scraping him off their shoes with thick wads of toilet paper. He was the kind of person so rotten that his corpse would not decompose because even the bacteria would vomit him back out if they tried to eat him.
He was spiteful and snobbish and meanspirited and selfish. He was filth. He was such a bad person that if Black Lives Matter was taking place at the time we would have added a caveat: #NotAllBlacks
Okay, to be fair, he wasn’t a bad person. He was just an irritating person. But this was an office environment and in offices, the difference is very slight.
One of the least repulsive of his many aggravating habits was playing Hillsong music on his computer during work.
What? You didn’t know wicked people play Hillsong? It’s good music. Even bad people like good music.
Now, if you know the power and beauty of Hillsong music you know better than to play it on the cheap, tinny, coughing-cockroach-sounding speakers built into an early 2000s CPU unit. If you are going to play Hillsong, play Hillsong on decent speakers. Make the noise joyful. Do not take beautiful things and put them in ugly places.
Those inbuilt speakers are made for chiming the arrival of emails, or for alerting you to the crashing of Windows. If you want to play music, there was a provision for you to attach headphones. It is sacrilege to play good music on bad speakers.
The only music you are allowed to play directly from your computer is very bad music. Like Sean Fucking Kingston. If the speakers are bad enough he almost sounds as if he is on key.
So this workmate, let’s call him Sean F. Kingston because names have been changed to protect the guilty, Sean Kingston would often have to go to the lavatory during work.
This may have been a result of all the laxative herbs I would slip into his tea, soda, coffee, groundnuts or whatever he was eating or drinking after he had done something annoying. May or may not, we can’t really tell because what a man does in the lavatory is his business and his business alone.
For all we know Sean may not have been going there to release shit. He may have been going there to replenish his soul with more shit to spew at his colleagues because, as I may have mentioned, he was a really shitty person.
He was odious, malignant and vile. He was the kind of person who never gets malaria because he is so toxic, if a mosquito bites him, the mosquito dies.
When he was in the toilet, he would leave his Hillsong sounding awful at his cubicle. Those of us, like myself and my other colleague, who is badass like me, then decided that enough was enough. We were not going to endure this debasement of Hillsong when the perpetrator himself is not even present. So we swiveled our office chairs over to his cubicle.
My badass colleague, who I shall call Natasha Romanov, if you know you know, didn’t just swivel. She had to do that thing where you kind of row the office chair down the aisle with your bulegs while propelling yourself– I can’t describe it, but you know it. It’s hilarious to watch. Aaaah. Offices were fun sometimes.
When we got to Sean Kingston’s computer, we could not just switch off his music, because the computer had gone to screen lock. We needed his password to remove the badly-cropped photo he used as a screensaver. It was just his chest from the chin to the belly that blocked access to his screen.
Natasha, my partner in crime, asked me, “Hawkeye, we need to bypass the security protocols to gain access to the main control centre.” If she is going to get a superhero alias, so am I. “Roger that, ten four,” I replied in my Bruce Willis voice.
Did we have to guess his password? Was it hard? No. This is why identity theft became a thing. Due to thinking like this: “If you need a password that you can easily remember. get an easy password. Which means a password that is easy to guess.”
First we tried his name. Then we tried the name of the intern he was always sexually harassing while pretending he was being flirtatious. Then we tried “Password123” and the screen lock fell away like petals in the wake of a nuclear blast, revealing the full computer to us, open and undefended. We were free to work whatever mischief we wished to.
And so we did.
People are not born evil. People are not cats. They become evil. And not all of a sudden, it is a slippery path down to wickedness, but so seductive. We started by muting the music player, then we figured, why stop there? It was not a question. We then deleted the Hillsong files uploaded files of Limp Bizkit mp3s and renamed each of them a hillsong title and put them in the Hillsong folder.
But that was not enough.
We got into his MS Word Shortcuts and tweaked his autocorrect so every time he spelled his name it would replace the first name with “no phallus” and the second name with “frail testes”.
We got into his email and subscribed to about fourteen racist dating sites.
The road to wickedness is a seductive one. It calls you. It is nectar, it is sweet, its sukaligulu is irresistible. Those things in the previous paragraph, we did them over the course of a whole week. Over and over again. Next thing you know you are doing what we did every time Sean Kingston would go to the lavatory. We just kept making his computer worse and worse.
It was only when I suggested typing “goatse” into his search engine and leaving it there for him to press enter that Natasha made me pause to think:
What have we become?
Warning: Those of you who found the internet here when you were born will want to type that goatse word just to see what happens. Let me save you the trouble and tell you what will happen. What will happen is that you will learn that you don’t have to know every single thing means. Don’t look up that term. Do not.
I hung my head in shame. We had turned into monsters. We had become as beasts, engorged on the flesh of our victimes.
So we stopped.
No, we didn’t undo the damage. We just stopped doing more. Cos fukkim.
Now, let us make this post informative and constructive and educational with some password safety tips. Don’t use simple passwords. Get a random phrase that no cunning workmate, let alone Ukranian phisher or hacker, will be able to guess. For example, take the seventh tweet on your TL at this moment, flip the words as if you are shuffling cards for matatu, insert digits from the last fake phone number you gave or received, and then use that password to subscribe to WordPress and get notifications every time any of your favourite bloggers posts something new.
You guys, I am not going to be chasing trends so you won’t always see me being announced on Twitter, but I will be here every Friday trying to entertain you and I will appreciate it if you would join me.
And now, a word from our sponsors.
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So I inevitably found out who Sheila Gashumba was. I did not want to, I was not trying to. I should not have. There is no reason for a Ugandan in my demographic to know who she is, and normally, if my agemates hear me pronouncing the name correctly they would chase me away from the malwa pot to go and drink coco in Kenjis, but this lockdown has changed what is normal and now abnormal things happen to all of us. I, venerable gent, distinguished, seasoned and advanced in maturity, now know which one is Sheila Gashumba.
At the rate things are going by August I will probably be able to distinguish Brian Whytte from Johnathan Blacque and whoever else occupies the spectrum in between.
I have been careful at least twice to clarify that I do not know anything about her because I need it to be clear that nothing I say should be construed as a reference to her, a response to her, or a reply to her. This is because social media has this sophomoric habit of attributing everything it doesn’t understand to envy or malice and civilised discourse, including, respectfully disagreeing, are among the things social media does not understand.
So they tend to treat different points of view as personal attacks and I do not want to personally attack Ms Gashumba. That is why I tried my best to make it clear that I do not know who this person is and one can not make personal attacks on a person one does not know.
But then it just so happened that in the recent past the big trending topics on social media somehow involved her and so her name kept coming up.
This is the third one. #StopsocialmediabullyinginUganda has been trending for days, and I just found out today that the trend was ignited by Ms Gashumba herself.
So before we jump into this let us have the disclaimer:
Before we go any further
I would like to categorically state
And make clear
And remove any doubt
No sarcasm involved, I mean this, furreal, that even though I now know who Sheila Gashumba is, I am scared shitless of this woman and I am not ever ever ever going to even try to think of considering the vague possibility of perhaps maybe slightly probably making any statement against her.
I do not want any beef with her. Anything I say from this point on is entirely non-Gashumba. None of it is about her, or her friend with the name which, with all due respect to him, I shall not repeat because I am a Christian who understands the Lord’s actual plan does not include fornication. (I fear Gashumba but my fear of The Lord is greater.)
Now let’s proceed:
Social Media Bullying. Or Cyberbullying. What it is and what it is not.
When the trend began we were quick to notice that a number of social media users did not fully understand the meaning of the term and seemed to think it referred to talking shit. As in Chucks. Shells. Insults. That is, in internet terms called Flaming, kids. And is different from cyberbullying. So let me help by explaining which is the bean and which is the weevil.
If someone calls you an idiot on twitter, that does not mean social media bullying has occurred. What it does mean is either of the following options.
They are right. you are an idiot.
This is not unlikely, because you are on social media. And that is where the idiots be most of the time. Social media was originally made for practicing social interactions through electronic media but that was then. It has since been redesigned and its purpose now is to harvest immense amounts of massively invasive personal information from gullible users through the instigation and perpetuation of addictive behaviours and mental health weak spots and the results of this is that idiots thrive there. If you are on social media and someone calls you an idiot, ask yourself, before you squeal back insults, “Am I?”
They are misinformed. You are not an idiot
You are not an idiot, you are just one of those people who hang around in shosho for the memes and the news headlines, since who gets their news from the actual media any more? Lol. If someone saw you on the streets and called you their school teacher from boarding school in the nineties, you would hastily correct them and explain, “No, no no, you have me mistaken. I am not a psychopath undercover child abuser who deals with entrenched feelings of inadequacy by whipping weak and defenseless children.” If someone calls you a thing you are not, your impulse would be to correct them.
If it is someone calling you an idiot on twitter, do not do this. Never attempt to correct misinformation on twitter. Doing so is like trying to clean an overflowing sewer by plopping a drop of hand sanitizer onto it.
That is not even sanitizer waste, that is sanitizer abuse.
They are the idiot.
A popular pass time of idiots is to call other people idiots. The nature of the stupid person, you see, his psychology, is such that he is unaware of his own stupidity. He is in fact convinced that he is of above average intelligence. This is because of a quirk in the way the stupid mind works: when a stupid person sees something he doesn’t understand, he assumes that the reason he doesn’t understand it is because it is the one that is stupid. Idiots believe that if they don’t know the answer, it is because the question is foolish. This actually makes sense to them.
It has something to do with a gland called the amygdala and a lesser developed prefrontal cortex, but in short the result is that if a person is an idiot they will probably call a lot of other people idiots.
You are not an idiot, but you are acting like one
You may not be an idiot in general, but you are acting like an idiot at that time. Everyone acts like an idiot sometimes. We all do stupid things, and not just rarely, but consistently and frequently.
You see, intelligence is like speed. Some people can run very fast, some can only run slowly, but most of the time we just walk. That is how the brain is.
Most of the time even Usain Bolt is just walking at the same rate as me, and I am a very slow runner. I’m a slow runner because I’m lazy. I’d rather let the cops catch me and snitch on the other People Power rioters than go through the trouble of running away. But there will be moments when a bird flying overhead elects to shit, regardless of who is walking beneath. Its load will as likely land upon Bolt’s handsome head as it would mine, despite the fact that he is much more likely to escape if he had thought of running away from the place. Unless you deploy your speed, you are going to be just like the slow people, i.e. me. At least I have hats.
You are not an idiot but You are an idiot to them.
If you speak to a person who is a lot more intelligent than you are, then comparatively speaking, you are an idiot to them. For example, I am around five seven. But most people are my height, so they have no right to sneer. But there are a lot of people taller than me and they can and often do call me short.
One just went on about how droplets from a cough travel downwards and therefore I can take off my mask around him because he isn’t afraid of getting Covid from me.
These are some of the few reasons you will be called an idiot at some point this week. I have left out the obvious ones like being a member of parliament or being a driver in Kampala traffic. But apart from idiot, you will always have people call you things. There is no society where people only ever say other people are sweet sunny pink fanta.
People will throw chucks. They will shell. They will diss. It’s life. Sometimes it is done for fun, sometimes boredom, sometimes anger, sometimes meanness and sometimes just because I have an insult and I need somewhere to put it. Eg. Neymar’s eyes have the expression of a head louse living in a boda boda helmet when it meets a baby cockroach in there and realises it is not alone.
Being dissed is part of life. But is it cyberbullying?
There are already too many tweet testimonies about being the victims of cyberbullying which are really just tales ngu, “someone called me names.”
That is not called cyberbullying. It’s not even flaming. It is just some low-calibre cartoon sidekick trying to get some cheap likes on the TL by typing “U say datz a foreheda??? mor lyk u min u hv an eighthed!!! Lololol!!! Luk guyz I said that teh foreheda is an eightheda becoz of witty wordlpay insinuatign taht it iz twice az big lololol clap for me and admire me am so original and funny #Davechapelle #Salvado”
Idiots just. Idiot in evidence because so many of the most beautiful women in Uganda have large foreheads. I am almost sure that the forehead has something to do with them being that hot. I think foreheads generate prettiness and the larger your forehead the more hotness you have in the rest of you. Scientists are still studying Rihanna to find conclusive evidence, but the thing is, you post the hot pic and someone will say eight head. Landing strip. Solar panel. Headmistress. All the jokes that were funny the first time in like 1832 BC.
Anyway, saying your forehead is so big you can face the consequences twice is not cyberbullying. It’s just some idiot being an idiot.
This is cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying is sustained series of intense, invasive, aggressively malicious personal attacks primarily intended to cause significant pain to their victim. Cyberbullies don’t just call you short a couple of times, lol and leave. They attack you consistenly for months. They go beyond the timeline and into inboxes; they will even make phonecalls.
Cyberbullies are ruthless and will drive for the weakest spots with no hesitation; they will bring in family members, personal tragedies from the past and spread false and damaging rumours.
Cyberbullies will threaten you, and often leave you fearful that they have the means to follow through on those threats. I am reading of reported cases in America where victims have been afraid of leaving their own homes because they fear that the psycho who has been attacking them on twitter is outside their door.
So what do we do about Social Media Bullying in Uganda?
First of all, let us start by not forcing an equivalence between chucked for and social media bullying. Most of the stuff you guys are complaining about can be dealt with using a simple dose of fukkem. A person expressing a low opinion on you is only hurtful if you respect that person’s opinion. Unlike real life bullying where the cop will take your shoes off and slap your beautiful large forehead, with social media chucks it is really up to you to decide whether you feel hurt or victimised.
Take Bebe Cool. Bebe Cool has been insulted prolifically on social media, but have you ever seen him walk into a room? Is that the walk of a man whose feelings have been hurt? Does he look like he cares? Bebe Cool’s self esteem is through the roof and no tweet can bring it down. I would think it is because for every tweet insulting Bebe, there are 12 more praising him, but then I realised that it is simpler than that. Bebe Cool just doesn’t care if you don’t think he’s cool. He thinks he is cool. If you don’t agree, bomboclart. I actually suspect that that is why he makes Kiwatule Good Friday so loud. Just to show us how many fucks he gives about our complaints.
Okay. The serious part when we close. If anyone makes any threats to your safety or that of your loved ones, report to the authorities. Otherwise, you don’t need to put up with toxic people on twitter. Mute and block and leave those swamps. Believe me, you don’t have to respond to a personal attack. The fact that you ignored it will hurt the idiot more. Leave those ones alone and come to our side of twitter. Come chill on our side where it is just memes and links to the latest Tucker HD and Blizzack. We even have Babaluku and MC Spider.
Let me tell you a story about the time my sugar mummy made me cook porridge for her.
First of “cooking porridge” means cooking porridge. It is not a roundabout way of alluding to some kinky type of sugar mummy perversion from the nineteen nineties.
I know the younger readers of this blog like to judge us; you look at us through the sunglasses you bought in Kisementi and the shades can barely hide the scorn.
Every time you see a middle aged couple who have been together and in love since the nineties, you look at them and think, “You nyaaasty animals! I know what you have been up to for all these years. You are the reason we have Lokodo. Before your deviant behaviour, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity used to fight corruption, embezzlement and abuse of office. But because you guys kept doing it iguana style off the balconies of kalinyas during full moon nights, they had to put corruption aside and train Lokodo. Just to deal you. Nyaaaaaasty. You nyaaaasty animals. We have listened to Radio One and we know the music you all listened to. what kind of depraved sexual culture had presenters like: ‘That was Adina Howard with Freak Like Me, and just before that you heard Silk With Freak Me Baby. Coming up next we have Colour Me Badd with I Wanna Sex You Up and right after that we will be hearing from R. Kelly with Sex Me. Don’t touch that dial. Because your hands are not supposed to be on the radio, they are supposed to be on your sexual partner who you are holding upside down on the kalinya balcony as you do it Iguana Style.'”
Mbu what is iguana Style? Some of you sweet, innocent, Generation Z with, your acne and your uncontrollable sponties, want to know what iguana Style is?
Do you know that place called Arena? The one that is on the other side of the place called Kenjis? You know Kenjis, the place where you rubadub your narrow asses against each other while pretending to be real adults, yet you have no ass so you are rubbing your coccyx on the guy and, as for the guy itself, as of the year of rubadub, he has only managed to drop half a teste so far?
Well, Arena used to be a place called Iguana. Iguana was, according to an unsubstantiated rumour that I chose to make up, closed down for posing consistent health threats. It was not just because of all the STIs that lived in the joint but because at any moment past eleven thirty AM you could not climb up or down the stairs to the lavatory without risking a fall that could result in multiple back and neck fractures.
Those stairs were just always too slippery to climb. They were always dripping with fluids. No, not spilled beer. Spilled beer is sticky. You don’t slip on spilled beer. I mean fluids that are oily and slippery and are genetically designed to lubrica… but I don’t want to make this the kind of blog where we go into details about that sort of thing.
Just stop judging us for being sex-fiends in the nineties. As if most of you are not the results of iguana style. No wonder you Generation Z dudes grow thick beards before your second ball has even dropped. You are genetically flawed. The iguana position over-twisted the proper flow of genetic material and the assembly process was compromised. You are a generation born of unholy acts. No wonder you have the likes of S(Removed by editor) as your generation spokesperson.
Aaaanyway, back in those days, I was young and broke but devastatingly attractive, in a nineties way. You see, beauty standards then were different. Skinny, scruffy, desperate chaps were highly coveted at the time. Not by our agemates, though. My campus classmates actually devised new zones specifically for me. Take Sophia. Sophia and her friends would invite me to party in their hostel room because it was in a part of Kikoni that was growing insecure and they needed the right kind of guy around for protection. I was that guy because, if anyone ever tried to break in or attack, I could scream louder than everyone else in the room put together.
And it was not just any scream. I squealed like hyenas that were having an orgy, then a bunch of snakes showed up, and the snakes decided, “Let’s pretend to be dicks and crawl up the hyenas’ orifices and eat them from inside,” and proceeded to do so. I screamed like all the hyenas at the point when they realised what was going on. What do you call that zone, my friend?
Speaking of zones, gentlemen come over here and let’s talk for a minute.
Gents, a good friend is a hundred times more valuable than a good chaw and you will always love your friends more than you love your crushes. I know how it hurts when you are infatuated with someone and they don’t feel the same way, but quit talking about the friend zone as if it is some kind of personal insult. Any jerk can be good enough to chaw. Not many people can be good enough to befriend. Unless you also don’t like her in which case what are you whining about?
Then came Patience. Patience. Along came Patience. A hero among heroes. An Avenger. She swooped in like Nat Romanov (who we all know is the greatest of all the Avengers, no argument, no dispute. If you want to fight me, come to Kyanja. I am always there after curfew. If you can get past my LDUs, come and beat me.) Patience, Patience, Peeshensi!
Patience took me from a boy…
… and made a man out of me.
Patience was a contradiction in terms. She wasn’t patient. She did not have time for wasteman, f-boi, punk, or fala. She had already sent two prospective fiancés back home in their Benzes and Prados because of attempting to tek her fi eedyat, a crime you don’t get to attempt twice with Patience.
I was in her office building waiting to see some underqualified, overexposed dwanzie for a news story I was writing. I will not give you his or her name because Kampala is not zimbes. It’s not buildings, it is bridges, and the fewer of them you burn, the wiser. I was a rookie reporter but I had already began to understand how these things work. You waste an hour caressing some small man’s ego, thinly concealing the sarcasm every time you called him “sir”, or “big man” when you really meant, “twig” or “if only your mother had adequate access to effective birth control.”
I was not looking forward to meeting the half-wit so I didn’t mind that I was stuck in the waiting room for half an hour. I was busy on my phone trying to flirt with Lydia. Lydia, Lydia, Lydia. Kale I even almost used your real name. But even though I have not, you know this is about you. I could have married you. I could have built a life with you. We should have been in lockdown together, girl. My feelings for you were deep and true and pure… until that moment in that office.
When I looked up from my phone as I waited for Lydia to text back, cue violins, soft focus and slow motion.
Patience walked by to fetch something from a desk.
And my eyes met her ass.
It was like, it was so …again, this is not going to become that type of blog so don’t expect that kind of detail when I offer a description but you will understand when I say. It was like that moment when the cars jumped out of the plane in that Fast and Furious film, but if they had jumped through rainbows. It made my heart start beating to a dancehall riddim I know hadn’t been composed yet. Seeing that ass was like watching the sun set from a hilltop in Lyantonde at the end of a hot day while drinking double shots of whiskey on ice as Manu Dibango plays on your portable bluetooth speaker. It was so perfect, I think if my shrink could have packed it in a pill, he would put prozac out of business.
Gentlemen we don’t encourage ogling in office but let me tell you the story. We do not encourage this ogling behaviour, but she did. She encouraged it to the point where I was soon visiting her apartment every other weekend.
Now let’s go for a break first, and have a word from our sponsors.
There was absolutely no risk of any emotional attachment, of me “catching feelings”, because she treated me like crap. The only emotions I ever saw from her were contempt, disdain, scorn or grudging approval when I had done a good job with the house chores. The only time she was clearly pleased with me was when I successfully completed the other work she required, my main job in the whole enterprise.
Patience liked the fact that I was a smart kid, eager to learn, and quick to pick up on lessons. Unlike those tajiris with their Benz keys, I did not mind being told what to do. I would lick what I was told to lick, and how: left to right, up and down, or in circles depending on instructions. I would slow down or speed up as requested. And her primary rule, “Ladies first” was never ever ever violated.
I didn’t mind being a toy boy to a sugar mummy. She was generous if not extravagant. She didn’t buy me a Starlet (Starlet was a nineties Vitz) or get me M-Net (M-Net was nineties Netflix) or get me a Startac ( a nineties iPhone) but when I would wash her car or pick up her laundry or run errands in a timely fashion, she would give me an enviable tip.
Plus, in case I didn’t mention, she was sexy af; her ass was the kind of ass that Oxford African English Dictionary defines as: “Yoooooooooguuy!!!Aayayayayayayayayayayayaya! Yoooooooguy!!!”
Now, I myself am now old enough to be a sugar daddy, though I am not one because that would betray my pro-feminist objections towards transactional sex and the commodification involved, not to mention the power imbalance implicit in such a relationship.
And I don’t have money.
But this is what happens with sugarbabes and toyboys– it can’t last forever. As they grow older, you have to let them go. They one day become self-aware as human adults and you have to dump them before they begin expecting full boyfriend rights.
One morning, when she woke up and murmured that she wanted bushera for breakfast. Typically, that is how it would go: she would wake up, order breakfast, and I would go take care of that like a good boy. But this time I explained that I could make bushera, but I only knew how to make it the school way, “banging bush”, not the stir-it-in-a-pot way.
She looked at me in a way no woman has ever looked at me since. It was a mix of Ebonies, WTF memes and the way Thanos grimaced when he said, “Fine, I’ll do it myself,” because that was when she finally realised that this is what a whole her had been with all this time.
I can’t say she was cruel the way she dumped me. She was concise and clear and cut to the chase. She gave comprehensive reasons (It was really only one: that she could do better.), offered to provide references should I need to continue being a sugar boy, then said I could use her phone to call her spesho hire guy (we never traveled in her own car, of course) to take me back to wherever the likes of me come from.
Now here is the thing. The difference between a boy and a man is not sexual. It is in your soul. It is in how you see yourself. It is in where you put your value in this world.
So me I said, “So should I make that bush before I go or I just go?”
Kko her she had gone back to sleep. But enough about me, how have you been?
Let me tell you the story of how I got into a car accident with a celeb.
Now, as you may well know, if you paid attention in History class, I used to be a journalist. Back in the days of ancient, outdated forms of communication, like paper.
I did not cover parliament and court cases for long, though. Once I realised that it was easier and more lucrative to write about show-business, I quickly abandoned the august house, or the honourables, or whatever MPs like deceiving themselves that we think they are.
I should pause at this point to state my disappointment with you readers of Uganda.
You walk around with your OTTT receipts and your Roke Telekom and your iPhones and your fancy spectacles, some of you in jeans and high heels, which is a lethal combination on a Ugandan woman–
I should pause in this pause to expound on the issue of Ugandan woman in jeans and high heels. A Ugandan woman wearing jeans and high heels is one of the infinity stones. Qwinn, you think you know your melanin power, but you don’t even know the half. When I see a Ugandan woman in jeans and high heels I find my hands automatically checking my pockets for my land titles, car keys and treasury bonds because if this chick is going to steal my heart, she might as well have everything else.
But even other readers, the ones in crocs, lugabire, and/or beards, you are also part of the disappointment we must address. You, too, walk around as if you are nice people who care about us writers who break our backs sideways to, if not entertain you, at least impress you. But then you lied to me. You made me think that if I dropped that dope ish, you would come and read it.
Then you let me down.
Last year I spent six months writing top-flight political satire for Nilepost because I thought that this was the natural next step in my career– from writing about celebrities like Klear Kut to becoming a high-flying celebrity humourist myself, to becoming an influential social commentator/intellectual/thinker– in short, I expected to start finding myself tagged on twitter with @Kalinaki and @Cobbo3.
But to this day, I am still being asked about Suki.
Suki is in Mauritius. Suki fled Covid and flew to Mauritius. She’s not coming back until lockdowns are over.
And particularly my own personal lockdown because, currently, friends, I look like garbage. I have not combed my hair, worn socks, used deo, or touched a single molecule of lotion since May. I look like used packaging. I look like remains. I look like aftermath. I look like leftovers. I am not something Suki wants to have a photo with.
I am still cute, don’t get me wrong, but I am just really shabby right now.
And to make things worse, I have grown comfortable. I kind of like this. In fact, to whoever it may concern, let me announce that I am not returning to society at large until at least August. I am staying in isolation, and not just from dirty people who have managed to place the whole world under a pandemic from a virus that can be contained by simply, simply, simply doing something as easy as washing your freaking hands! See your lives!
But also from those people who require of me that I wear proper trousers. I discovered that if you put a slit in your kanzu, it is perfect home attire and you never have to wear anything else.
Anyway, so I was a showbusiness reporter. I would talk to entertainers about what they were doing, how they were making it cool, and where they expected it to take us. It was an honest living. We were good at it.
By the way, I was NOT a critic. Okay, I was for a short while, but I learned my lesson and quit. I promise never to do it again.
Critic? Ptu! What is a critic! That is not a question. A person sees five hundred people dance to a song. But his waist is stiff. Instead of calling his doctor about the onset of pelvic rictus, he not only concludes that the song isn’t dance-able, but he thinks he is doing a good job by telling the dancers that they can’t enjoy it because it is a bad song. Mbaff just.
I may have made a few– okay, many many jokes about the Backstreet boys sucking but that is not being a critic, that is being a hater. There is a big difference.
As a journalist I was very professional and made sure that I always conducted myself in a manner befitting of a professional. So, even though I admired a performer, I would always separate the fan from the reporter.
When I would meet the likes of Chameleone, Bobi, Juliana, Iryn, and as aforementioned, Blu3, I always carried myself unimpeachably. You would see me and Navio talking and think these are two relatives discussing the cows in the kyalo, even though I was talking to one of the most amazing writers in Uganda’s history.
You guys, I have not been humble in this blog post, but game recognise game. Navio rhymes are so fire, I easily consider him one of the top writers in Ug.
But when I was asking him, “So, what is the latest you and your cohorts Klear Kut have unleashed on your unrelenting murder spree, killing MCs with the lyrics and slaughtering haters with the rhymes?” I would ask it as if I was saying, “So which cows is cousin Kyimpi taking for his kwanjula? Blackhorn and Thatcher I think.”
By the way, on a related note, why don’t we wash cows? Cows don’t need to smell that bad. When they are food they smell great, so why do we let them stink like that prior?
But there is one celebrity who broke my veneer of professionalism. And it is not just because of her music. I do love her music, to this day, but I love many people’s music and still don’t lose my shit when I see them. For example, I love Irene Ntale music. But the day I meet Ntale it is as follows.
I be like, “Ehyo. Sup.”
And she be like, “Sup.”
And I be like, “You good?”
And she be like, “I’m good.”
And I be like “Aight den. Keep doing what you do, kyanas. Laters.” And I go. As if I have just bumped into the owner of my washing bay as opposed to being in the presence of one of my favourite all- time singers. Guys, I have a list, and Irene Ntale is above Whitney on that list, and I will not argue about this, lest some very mean, petty and cruel things that cannot be unsaid end up in the universe.
But this story is about a time before Ntale arrived. Let’s get back to that.
With the musician who knocked me down with her car, I did not just stan because of her music, it was also because … well, hmmm… how can one put this to get you to fully understand?
If I say she was hot you won’t get it. I meet hot people all the time. I live in Kampala, Uganda. The temperature of our babes is high and unless they are in jeans and high heels I keep my composure quite cool.
But this one singer was not just hot: This singer’s hotness was hot. This singer was hot enough to set fire ablaze. She was so hot that I am sure when it rained the only thing you would see around her is steam.
This singer was Grace Nakimera.
And then one day Grace Nakimera was so fine that she knocked me with her Toyota Harrier– the one which is also a Lexus RX.
And she wasn’t even the one driving.
And the car was not even moving.
Her manager had just dropped by to distribute some CDs and he called me to the vehicle to get one. I sauntered over. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t expect her to be in the car. I was not ready. I just got to the car and out of the corner of my eye, saw her in the passenger seat. I wasn’t ready. She said, “Hi Bazanye,” and I collapsed.
My body asked my legs why we were suddenly horizontal and in rolling underneath the vehicle chassis and the legs responded, “We forgot how to stand.”
“Brain, why didn’t you remind them?” I demanded.
Brain said, “Boss, I am in a state of severe confusion, having been confronted with something that is too much to handle. You could put cocaine onto my optic nerves and and it still won’t be as devastating to my neurons and synapses as the blast from Grace Nakimera’s face at such close range.”
I still meet celebs. Old school, middle school and new, because even when I was doing politics I was always hanging around XFM cos that’s where the cool people were…
And sometimes I meet new school celebs too, I think. I can’t be too sure because I don’t know most of them and when I worked at NBS, it was impossible to identify musicians. At Douglas Lwanga time everyone in the elevators was wearing shades, bling and dreadlocks. It got to a point where even I would do it, just to maintain mental health balance.
If it was a girl star, I could guess, though, but I was only going by the size of the fake eyelashes.
Sometimes a lady would show up with eyelashes so large that any fiscal expert would guess that the reason they cost a lot of money is that URA filed them as wigs when they got off the plane at Entebbe. I would conclude that these ladies must be celebrity singers because experienced TV presenters know that the lashes are not worth the headache and they keep them in their bikapu until they get on air. It’s hard walking through corridors with those things on. You can’t even see. With those lashes on everything is dark and obscured by blurry lines and it reminds you of that scene in the original Lion King when Scar took over. And if you have already come to the conclusion I don’t have to explain that yes, I did in fact try on a pair when I was at NBS and learned that gambling and betting in office is bad.
I don’t recognise the new celebrities. Not even the ones I really enjoy, like Kappa Kat and Fik. Maybe it is an age thing. A new kid may come out with something really good, I might hear it and love it and even set it up on the Apple Music app (because BUBU), but that makes it harder to stay caught up with new music, because I start Quinamino (a song) by Azawi (a singer), then one note she sings reminds me of these two keys in a Ntale bridge so off I go to Ntale’s page. Then after going through all 57 Ntale songs on my playlist I reach Lwaki Otubatisa and for the next eight hours I will be on Sheebah. This leads eventually back to Juliana and Iryn Namubiru and by then I will have forgotten I was supposed to be listening to who was it again?
But this is not right. This is not respectful. I am not going out like this. I am going to make sure that every day I dedicate at least half an hour to a new singer. Just for the sake of Uganda and for the sake of not missing out and also because Karma. I also release singles and I want people to play them. Which brings us to a word from our sponsors, now I have finished telling you the story.
Click the picture to get the second volume of the Adventures of Chandler and Frasier. Or click this word: Affilliattion. Or click the button.
Let me tell you a story. When I was a young wart hoooooooog. (When he was a young wart hoooooog) I used to hit the club every weekend.
I may need to explain this unfamiliar term to the ducklings who just joined us this decade, by the way. Dear Future Leaders, in the 00s there was a thing called a “night club”. It was like Kenjis, Monot, Alchemist et cetera, except that the whole thing was indoors and you had to pay to get in. Yes. Pay to get in.
In spite of this, people still went there.
Hold onto your recently-achieved adult britches, Zoomers, panic is premature at this point because, you see, it gets worse.
You could pay to enter the club, but the interior was demarcated into levels, each with a more flamboyant amount of decor than the previous, and to gain access to the fancier parts you would have to get a ticket that came at a higher price.
In other words, you paid to enter and paid more to enter more. And then more to enter even more. Now you may say “WTF” and gasp in shock.
We had Club silk at first: a dark room whose air would be flooded with the music of Timbaland and the Neptunes. If memory serves me correctly and it probably doesn’t, there was Silk Royale next, raised above that floor and through which the music of Britney Spears and Nsync would swirl.
Then came Silk Oxycotin, or Silk Opulence or Silk Furthermore– I can’t recall the name now. Probably couldn’t recall it then either, due to these factors: I didn’t like it. Actually, that’s the only factor.
It was the sounds of 90s house music like Tenchotronic, Snap, or worse, Abba and the Bee Gees that submerged you there.
Clever kids have done the maths and calculated the fiscal policy as such: what you paid depended on what type of music you wanted to dance to.
But, Generation Z, with your ripped jeans whose jagged edges injure one another as you raunchily rubadub your peers at Kenjies, you are wrong.
The choice of Club Silk, Silk Royale or Silk Ostentation was not made basing on anything as merely rational as that.
The choice was actually made according to how wealthy you wanted to seem. You always picked the most expensive entry fee you could afford.
Silk Overpriced had a tiny dance area allowed but most of the space was taken by sofas. Partially, of course, because of how boring Abba, Dr Alban and that house music version of Another Day In Paradise were, not to mention the stultifying dullness of the so-called “Kool” and his gang. But also because it was not made for partying– it was probably the area where the blessers would sit and wait for their toyboys and sugar babies to work up enough endorphins for the cross-generational sex that would conclude the deal this whole night was a part of.
Silk Royale was where I would go. If the other one was for the blessers, this was for the ballers, the ones who waste money showing off by paying to climb stairs. This, wasting money, remains, to this day, the defining difference between having money and having kko some kamoney.
I had kko some kamoney because I was another thing you won’t believe existed in the 00s– a well-paid media worker.
I was a “society reporter” or “entertainment journalist”. We were the precursors to the dipshit slimeball muckracking scumbags that man those bu-tabloid websites, clawing at their spittle-encrusted keyboards in fits of frenzied, over-marijuanated envy, misspelling fabrications as shallow and unimaginative as they are mean-spirited and cheap.
I know that seems personal and harsh. And yes, I do have a tiny little bone to pick. Last year I had a spat with a rude askari at a mall, stormed out in a hiff, tweeted about it, one of their idiots saw it, scratched at its keyboard in a fashion so vulgar it would have done better work on a ballsack and now an article on their website says mbu I had horn-rimmed glasses.
We were actually journalists, though, and would be paid to go to Silk Royale to write about Obsessions doing a floor show, or Ragga Dee dropping his latest song, or Michael Ross being the super-talented phenomenon Michael Ross was then, and in my eyes, still is. Even Ginuwine will allow.
The DJ was, unfortunately, racist, and assumed all ballers had bad taste in music, which is why he only played boy bands, Mambo Number 5, Eyimacarena, and whatever it was that Peter Andre whined about. They say find a job doing something you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life?
If you love pop music and find a job going to dance halls you will work dreadry and drudgery-wraught nights.
So my three peers and I would stick through the crap music until the event we came to write about was done, then, finally, the four Guinnesses pulsing through my arteries would wake the true Ugandan in me. My kagoma gene would stir to wakefulness. The call of the drum would prick my African soul and my knees would say, “Young man, you need to make the most of us while you still can. Let us go downstairs to Club Silk, now! The DJ is playing My Love Is Your Love by Whitney Houston and Wyclef Jean!”
Aate was I going to argue against such?
So I ditched the ballers and ran downstairs to where the poor kids dance and sure enough, the DJ was playing My Love is Your Love.
Youth. Kids. Generation Z. Baana mwe. If you have not heard My Love Is Your Love By Whitney Houston and Wyclef, please, tell Siri to play it now. I assume you have good bluetooth earbuds– don’t play it on the phone speaker.
Clap your hands y’all, alright,” said Whitney.
I clapped both.
“Clap your hands y’all, alright,” she reiterated.
I repeated compliantly. And that groove hit the spot and soon me and this girl in a purple dress were getting down.
Youth. Kids. Generation Z. Baana mwe. Never dance with another person under any of the following circumstances:
Four Guinnesses on an empty stomach in an era before the popularisation of the rolex
One of you is wearing purple, and
Whitney ‘langside Clef are booming My Love Is Your Love.
You will fall in the most stupid love that has ever been plummeted headlong into. Even the Chitauri who fell when Iron Man closed the portal will look at you with pity as you plunge to such a doom.
After Whitney has said “It will take an eternity to break us and the chains of Amistad couldn’t hold us,” as her closing statement, you will ask Purple Dress Girl for her name and number and she will lie to you.
She said her name was Patience Kyomugisha and when I called after the traditionally mandated day and a half, the phone was answered by one Hajji Mulumba who runs a hardware business in Jinja and has never worn a purple dress, much less worn it at Club Silk.
I don’t go clubbing these days. No one does, apparently. You go “out” I’m told. I don’t go “out” but there was a time I drove past Nexus and I think I heard Ed Shearan claim that the club is the best place to find a lover. We need to find a way to stem the spread of harmful misinformation in this day and age.
Now, you guys met me when I was more mature and better presented. I had developed the sense to keep a regular haircut and I chose deodorant on the basis of quality, not the basis of just fwaa. I had become charming, good looking and was kind of famous to boot. When you began reading Bad Idea I was a snack.
But back then, I was a mess. The lousist aspects of being a lousy 23-year-old scrub were evident all up and down my scrawny, unkempt frame. So I don’t nenya Purple Dress Chick for taking advantage of my groovy dance moves for My Love Is Your Love and then running away from me, leaving me nothing but a litter of lies.
Hey, Purple Dress Girl, if you are out there reading this, I hope you are happy and have a great life. I hope you found a great partner and that your love is their love and their love is your love and it would take an eternity to break you. I hope you have a rewarding career and nice kids. I hope you still look astounding in purple.
No, don’t holla after reading this. I’m not interested anymore. I’m just saying if you are reading this, call Hajji Mulumba and explain, please.