Stop Stopping Police Brutality In Uganda

“Let’s stop jumping on every bandwagon of a trending global topic to seem relevant. Our @PoliceUg isn’t perfect without a doubt but the #StopPoliceBrutalityInUganda campaign is far fetched.”

This was tweeted by a leading local social analyst/philosopher recently.

And brutalised Ugandans were like

But seriously, really, when it comes down to it, as people, down to the basics, do you really think this man believes that?

The words are open fuses, and can be exploded into a number of implications but when it comes down to it, with us in our rooms alone with no phone, no blue bird, no one to preen for, no one to threaten us, nothing to attack, nothing to defend, just us and our honest simple inner truth, do we really believe that Patrick “Salvado” Idringi thinks that there is no police brutality in Uganda?

Or that what brutality there is is acceptable?

Or that… you know, every other interpretation I try to make of this statement just becomes wilder and more implausible. Unless the man is secretly a Sith Lord from the Dark Side (Darth Shrek, perhaps) I can’t see Idringi honestly believing that asking police brutality in Uganda to stop is far fetched.

I just cannot picture it, and I can picture Salvado doing many things. I can picture Salvado sucker-punching Kilmonger and taking the powers of the Black Panther from him and then driving around Wakanda in a royal convoy of pimped out Kira Smack EVs with vibranium rims, for example.

But I cannot imagine Idringi actually disagreeing with the rest of us and our laws that say even a single extrajudicial killing by police is already fetched way, way past too far.

I can see him typing it out — he evidently did. It’s right there on twitter in black and blue– but I can’t see him believing it.

In fact I strongly suspect that in Salvado’s opinion lawful arrest, due process and fair trial must be granted to all citizens before any punishment for any suspected crime begins. In life there is what is is obvious vs what is ludicrous. Usually we avoid the latter and cleave to the former. So I believe that Salvado is a normal person who doesn’t want cops to kill chaps fwaa.

But twitter is not real life. It takes a few nasty experiences and a few painful lessons to finally learn but usually we finally get it and understand that what is said on twitter may behave as if it is the same thing as what we have happening in real life but this is a nasty ruse. Don’t fall for it. Do not ever take twitter seriously.

Twitter is like enguli: enguli ingested through the thumbs. It is like mainlining enguli through our fingertips and straight through a special twitter artery which takes a shortcut that avoids the rational and reasoning portions of the brain and goes straight to the gut, where all the wild animal instincts and impulses and emotions slither and slink. Then, like enguli, it begins to excite the vanity and the narcissism within us. Once these are properly incited they rise and begin to trick the higher functions into rationalising them. Waragi makes you think, but it makes you think susuling off the balcony is a good idea. Twitter, in a similar fashion, makes you think pissing 280 characters into the whole internet is a great idea.

Especially political twitter, intellectual twitter and woke twitter. Those ones? Ayayaya! 

This is what I get when I try to find a copyright-free image of Salvado

It starts with this tendency we have to believe that, if everyone is of one view, and you alone are of a different view, this means you have a unique awareness, that you know something they don’t, and you are cleverer than them. 

Of course if everyone says the sky is the same colour as jeans and you see the sky as being the same colour as a giraffe, it doesn’t actually mean you are a genius, it means you are colourblind, so differing from conventional thought doesn’t necessarily indicate rare genius. Nevertheless, the temptation to deviate from common opinion still offers a quick and easy way to satisfy your inner desire to appear intelligent.

So when a person who already had this impulse to disagree with what is trending saw “#StoppolicebrutalityinUganda” and surrendered to that twitter heroin…

Humans suck. They don’t deserve rights

But I don’t know Salvado personally, so I can’t say for sure that he is just trying to feel clever. 

I don’t know if he falls in the category of those stuck in the twitter trap, but I do know that people who do fall into it will stand their ground on the most absurd position just because the opposite position is popular. So desirous are they of the feeling that they are the iconoclast, the renegade, the maverick, the different thinker, that they will defend the most self-evidently stupid idea. 

Salvado may, in actual fact, be a fascist who believes that the police have the right to immediately execute civilians caught breaking curfew and that asking for arrest, charges and court cases before we let them kill us is far-fetched. Or maybe he is not aware of the fact that Ugandans are frequently beaten and brutalised if not murdered by the police and that this has been going on since before, during and after lockdown, which is when the hashtag begun. Whatever his reason…

…I replied to his tweet.

I usually don’t. I never engage on twitter unless it is fun and games. I only go to twitter to be amused, entertained, promote Chandler and Frasier books and then leave. I don’t see twitter as a place to have any useful discussion on any issue of any substance.

But I responded to Idringi. 

I fired off a thread of sarcastic replies to his tweet and now that I think of what I have done, a cold chill comes over me. Now I have to deal with the notifications and the responses. Oh no. What have I done. That is not a question. Now I have penetrated the wrong echo chambres. And some of them will reply! Oh no! My data!

I know why I did it. It is because the same instinct that would cause someone to ball up their fists and punch their keyboards all-capsing about how if they can’t shoot us whenever they fucking feel like it there is no point in having cops in first place, the same instinct that would make a guy see a trend against police brutality, swish their cape and twirl haughtily off in the opposite direction, that is a very common instinct. So common that I have it, too. 

The desire to be right.

The desire to be correct.

To be right.

Oooh! It’s sweet sweet sweet dopamine! Being right on Twitter feels so goooooood!

Who needs this shit when you can be right on twitter?

So good that when someone is wrong on social media I usually have to close the page, switch off the phone, leave the room and sometimes break my fingers to resist typing back.

You must never type back. It’s a trap. And it’s made even more seductive for how cunningly simple it is. When somebody says something whose fault is easily demonstrated all you have to do is type two sentences: “Actually, you will find the statistics show…” that’s all you need to do, and the wrongness will be gone. The rightness, your rightness, will take its place. 

But if you have been on social media any time since 2012, you know this is not what happens. The other guys also want to be right. And they will fight you about it. They will dig in. They will do battle. They will defend their shit aggressively. They will use all kinds of weapons. They will come at you with diversions and distractions and digressions, each one confusing and clouding the question further and further, until you, who is also fighting to be right, find yourself lost in a mist, wondering how you got from debating whether Taiwan isn’t China to arguing whether mixed race people are more likely to be gay. 

It’s best to stay away, but it is hard to.

When the dust dies down, after all the bullshit, I don’t believe Salvado tweeted that in a bid to promote police brutality in Uganda.

Shoot first, use these after

And I confess that I don’t believe that tweeting at him will have any influence at all. We just both gave in to a nasty instinct that makes messy things worse.

So since we are somewhere safe now, let’s talk like sane people.

Compatriots, there are good cops out there, man, and they are fighting the bad cops as well. And they need the support of good citizens in this fight. So let’s hashtag, but let us also believe in our brothers and sisters in the force who are there to protect and preserve the security of their countrymen. Yes, let’s report cases. Let’s make noise about brutality. But let’s not be entirely cynical. Let’s believe that we, us, and the police force together, can change things.

Also, if you are nabbed by a crooked cop and you are going to capture a video, make sure it is a live feed. They can’t delete those.

Kapintos. And some good advice for your life going forward

What is more embarrassing than walking around in public with your dress stuck in your knickers, asked a highly-valued and respected member of our Ugandan online community recently.

I say highly valued and respected because she is an inspiration; she is a source of national pride; she brings joy to all her fans, and on days like today, when some of us are stuck in a takeaway in the rain, and we had come to get takeaway because we don’t eat in people’s public restaurants because #StaySafe, duh, but now we cannot escape to do our social distancing bulungi because of all the rain; at times like this, when we have to run to the furthest, most inhospitable corner of the takeway– there is a corner there that looks neglected enough; I see cobwebs there and smell cockroach droppings and it looks like the part of the premises where nobody ever goes, not even to clean, so I deduce that if no one has been there, no one has put their covid there, so that is where I go to hide from possible infection– I have long sentences in my second paragraphs these days, don’t I?–  so I run to that corner with my phone with the intention of watching Ugandan tiktoks until either the rain or the pandemic stops, and for this I am thankful to Martha Kay, because even though she isn’t alone in its initiation, she was pivotal in the starting of this gangsta shit. She alone is a watershed moment in Uganda’s modern history and one of the most significant of our compatriots. 

I have not gone overboard with the praise. Game has just recognised game.

What I admire the most about Martha Kagimba is that she actually made money by being talented on social media. Do you know how hard that is? Have you seen how many talented Ugandans we have on social media and have you calculated the ratio of those vis the ones who have actually earned a single peanut from it? Kagimba is a unicorn, man. 

What is more embarrassing than kapintos, she asks.

The circumstance described is known as kapintos (Citation needed) and occurs when the back of a person’s garment gets caught in their buttcrack. It is usually the result of not wearing underwear and then sitting kisajja on a bodaboda that then rides over humps such as those found in Najjera, Bugolobi, Bukasa, Mutungo, Nsambya and Kampala in general. Kampala roads are a series of potholes followed by a series of speedbumps. Kampala roads have speedbumps like popup ads on a copyright infringing website so kapintos has a high incidence among its boda passengers.

Speedbumps everywhere these days. Honestly I prefered the potholes of old. 

Take the case of Naguru potholes, for example, which my car and I used to fall into daily as I attempted to drive to work. Say what you will about how vicioiusly you want them to go fuck themselves, but at least they offered variety and adventure and some amusement. Because they moved. 

When I realised I would rather be a snake than a Kampala driver

Yes, Naguru potholes used to move. One would be seen on the right side of the road in the morning as you drive to work, so you think you will dodge it on the way back, therefore, because you will be on the opposite side of the road. But no. It crosses the road during the day and is waiting for you in the evening. 

They also multiplied, like amoeba and paramecium, and one pothole would quickly spawn all over the road with the result that, within a week, you have fourteen. 

So kapintos.

Then you who are you not to get it?

While generally caused through the process described above, it can also arise under other means. Some have achieved kapintos with trousers. Even jeans. Some have managed kapintos in their underwear alone, particularly boxers, while the outer garments are unaffected. Some, I have heard, even sustain kapintos in the front and there are rumours of a fellow from lower Makindye sides who has kapintos on the side. 



You ask, how, Sway? But you don’t want to know the answer. The person who told me the story began to explain how the guy had two sets of testicles, one on each hip, and how these would catch the folds of… I stopped him before the trauma embedded itself too deep because wisdom is not the same as knowledge. Sometimes it is more wise to know less.

What, children, is more embarrassing than having Kapintos?

Let me tell you a story. There I was, a nice, chivalrous, kind-hearted civic-minded gentleman walking up Luwum Street one day, not even minding my own business because I was a journalist and it was my business to mind everyone else’s business. I wasn’t ogling people’s bums, I was being observant of society around me and the community at large.

That it just so happened that somewhere in the scope of my observation lay a couple of corporate chicks looking fwiiine was not reason to cast aspersions on my professional integrity. I was not ogling. I don’t ogle.

At least not on the job. I would ogle in clubs at night on my free time.

So when I noticed the woman walk by with the fold cleaving her two bums, it was not just because they were very nice bums. It was because they were amidst the societal environment I was there to observe. 

But observing is not the only role of a reporter. Sometimes, when you see a problem, you have to speak out, so I felt it was my duty, and you understand, especially you, Dr Nyanzi, I felt that I could not just stand there and say nothing. It was my duty to speak out.

I made the completely innocent, benign and yea, even patriotic decision to say to this lady, “Madam, good evening. I am a local journalist. In the course of my duties on this street it has come to my attention that your otherwise impeccably balanced and resplendently-clad bums are being invaded by that scourge of fashion known colloquially as kapintos. If you are not from around here, even though, if I had to call upon my experience to make an informed guess from the shape of the bums we are currently discussing, I would say you are from Masaka District, the northern part, above Lake Nabugabo, but if I am wrong and you do not know the local term kapintos, then, what I am trying to bring to your attention is that your dress is creased up into your buttcrack. You might want to adjust it. Or not. That is up to you.”

So I began walking up to the lady. She saw me and began walking faster. I walked faster too, trying to catch up. She noticed that I seemed to be running after her and sped up. 

Did I mention that she had been talking on her mobile phone and that this was a time when Luwum Street was notorious arena for phone-snatchers? Niggas were like Steph Curry on Luwum Street. They would snatch your phone while you were in the middle of a conversation and disappear like vampires before you had even finished lolling at what Bridget just said. 

So that is what is more embarrassing than kapintos. Trying to tell someone that they have kapintos and getting mistaken for a phone thief.

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Let Us Stop Social Media Bullying, but, please, allow us to keep calling each other idiots

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.

These things didn’t even have NTV

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. 

These are the things I 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.

Lengera embaata

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?”

Laba embuzi

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.

Laba embwa eeno

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.

lookwat this empuuta

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.

CoronaVirus: Misinformation spreads faster than the germ itself

Someone coughed in the supermarket last night, so I walked out. 

My exit was calm and orderly, but rapid and deliberate. I steered my cartful of whiskey, toothpaste, Oatbix, and antiseptic dish-washing fluid to a corner of the nearest aisle, clicked my heels, adopted a straight posture and strode out, fast. 

I walked out the way you leave a supermarket when you see your ex in an adjacent aisle and she is holding hands and giggling into the muscly arm of someone taller, more rugby and more beardy than you.

The way you leave a supermarket when you see someone you owe over 50k and you have a bottle of black barrel Jamie in your cart.

The way you exit a supermarket when you see someone who just tweeted something despicable and you don’t want that energy in your lifespace at that time. Like, you don’t have the gas for confrontation, but you don’t want to pretend that you don’t know that they are the scum of the trash. You know the feeling. We all do.

That is how I exited. Quick steps, rapid and firm, back as straight as it would be if there was a literal stick shoved up my ass right next to the perpetual figurative one.

Someone coughed and I left.

I didn’t raise the alarm. I could have yelled, “That nigga’s got the Rona! Everybody, run!” Or at least been civic-minded enough to discreetly DM alert the @MinistryofHealthUg, but nah. I just got out of there as fast as I could. I was only trying to save myself. 

Some of us are only out to save ourselves and will let the rest of you fester in Covid contagion. It’s not like there is only one source of Black Barrel.

The Coronavirus outbreak has revealed a lot of things about Ugandans, like, mob panic is different from individual panic. Consider for example this question: How do you get a global outbreak, a global emergency pandemic that spreads far and fast enough to set the whole planet in panic, out of a disease that can be prevented by merely washing hands with soap?

All Covid-19 needed to get from one province in China to every continent on earth was a reliable string of unwashed hands. This is a plague if not caused, then perpetuated by dirty people.

Uganda should have learned by now, being the host of regular cholera scares, that dudes, you need to wash your hands a lot. 

But then again, we don’t really take cholera seriously, do we? Every time it rears its ugly head, we just shrug the shoulders that carry our filthy hands and proceed as if we didn’t see said familiar face of pestilence. 

I always picture the ugly face of cholera as grey and long, with cockroach tentacles instead of eyebrows, with sunken eyes and a hollow, echoing laugh emanating from a toothless mouth. I imagine its ugly head looking unsettling enough to cause cholera symptoms like vomiting, sleeplessness and racing heartbeat, something that will cause the viewer to shit themselves rapidly and forcefully– instant diarrhea.

And those are the more tolerable symptoms of cholera.

Others are, if not death itself, then rectal pain. That symptom alone should be enough to scare anyone into washing their hands.

And yet Kampala has never treated cholera with as much respect as it is treating Covid-19.

Cholera breaks out and the most you blog-reading elites expect is a few weeks of headlines about other people in slums somewhere in a faraway shadow otherworld beyond the reach of cafe wifi. We don’t ever think it’s going to get us.

Spreading faster than the virus itself is the gallows humour and the gossip, the memes and misinformation. There is a lot of talk about Coronavirus, to the point that, and though I am no mathematician I have a lot of confidence in this calculation– if everyone washed their hands every time they said the word “Coronavirus”, the pandemic would end in x²(b⅔√π)=43.25 minutes.

Many of us, eager to contribute to the conversation, are reading and repeating what we saw in whatsapp forwards, even though we should all know by now that if anything comes to you via a whatsapp forward, it is a lie. 

Even when BelovedOne sends nudes, do not believe them. She is probably wearing a transparent skin-tight gomesi if she sent them on Whatsapp.

And it is not as if the actual facts are that hard to find.

Every day another reliable news outlet, medical site, health organisation re-releases the same list of facts and an updated list of accompanying myths to be debunked.

And every day we spawn a new myth.

I was one of those that scoffed, but if you had seen how I whooped when someone tweeted that Sevo had banned night prayers… I wanted to believe that the Pharisees would let us sleep in silence for just a month, I didn’t even wait to see if dude had actually banned them.

I am looking at a mythbusting graphic now and feeling like quite the hysterical idiot for the way I hotfooted it out of the supermarket last night.

It doesn’t say that I would have had to french kiss Coughy Olumidde at the supermarket for two hours in order for the infection to take root, but it does suggest that I was a bit hasty in the way I ditched my whiskey so fast. 

What I have done now, and I suggest you also do, for the sake of our health, our next few months, and our black barrels, is subscribe to the WHO Covid-19 page. Keep checking for updates, crosscheck any story you hear.

Wash your hands a lot. Avoid crowded places. If you feel the symptoms, get tested right quick. And Check For Accurate Information Regularly.

Here is me and Suki Social Distancing/ Remote Working.

The Youth Are The Leaders of Tomorrow? Since When?

If everyone is a killer where is all the chumps? If everyone is a gorilla where is all the chimps?

That is a line from one of the more delinquent gangsta rap songs I waste my time with now that I am a curmudgeonly old man with no more conscience, compunction or reservations about dancing to songs that glamorize wanton violence and murder.

There are way too many random rap phrases in my mind. And they keep popping up at the least conscionably appropriate times.

Like today. I saw a young woman (lower twenties I will presume, and if books can still be judged by their covers, she is a church-affiliated, NGO volunteer. That sort of look.) She was wearing a t-shirt that said “Leader of today”, by means of having the word “tomorrow” crossed out and replaced.

Leader of tomorrow. Today.

I looked behind her and there was no one following her. I was amused by this. As I have said, I’m old. Old guys amuse ourselves very easily.

I also chuckled to see the adjustment that had been made to a slogan that is older than even me and my crotchety, weather-worn decrepit ass. “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow is a slogan that has been around since I was a youth myself.

And that is what makes me qualified to tell you it isn’t true.

I was told that I was going to rule the world when I was a youth. Because I was a youth, they said, tomorrow, I will be king. But look at me now.

The phrase needed updating, obviously; and the honest thing would not have been to change the word “tomorrow” to the word “today” because the youth are not the leaders of today either.

The youth today are flotsam and jetsam, blown this way and that, powerless against the true leader of any day. The youth are not the leaders of today, they are the chumps, being manipulated by agitprop like that T-shirt to fall in line to be financially, ideologically, and socially exploited by the very opposite of youth — the ancient age-old forces that actually lead the world. Call it fate, call it capitalism, call it tradition: whatever it is, it is not young.

It is been like that since the world itself was young. When Adam and Eve were the only young people in the world, they were manipulated, through flattery and false promises by agents older than them, the serpent which was working for the fallen angel, who was older than the earth.

The youth are not leaders of today, girl’s T-shirt. No they are not.

Okay, okay, let me stop being a smart-ass. I do understand that the phrase doesn’t literally mean that the demographic between the ages of sprouting pubes and sprouting grey are the tyrants who will jackboot and fist-slam their will over us ancient frail and helpless relics.

It is a slogan meant to inspire and motivate young people to believe that if they take the initiative they can change their world for the better. If they don’t resign themselves to be passive victims of circumstance, but rather, actively pursue decisions to alter things, they can improve the world. That is, that if they believe they can lead, they will be able to lead the world. Tomorrow, though. Not today.

And this is true. But, true like the words of the serpent in Eden were “true”. Deceptively true.

Where are all the chimps if everyone is a gorilla?

If everybody is a leader, where are all the followers?

Youth and others in Gorilla form

Even as a youth, when they first told me I was the heir to the throne of the future, I was quite sure I would want to abdicate. I didn’t want to lead anything. I was, and still am, undisciplined, spoiled, lazy, quite greedy and as you can see, prone to cynicism… qualities that do not make a good leader.

And here is the dangerous thing with leadership: it can be good, yes, but it can also be bad and still be leadership.

It also takes special qualities, a special set of personality traits and a developed arsenal of skills to be a good leader: you need empathy, vision, patience, conviction, faith, selflessness, wisdom and humility to be a good leader.

And that is not all. On top of this, you need to be able to learn how to use these attributes, how to mold them into something that can be applied practically to the purpose of taking your society somewhere: skills and training.

To be a bad leader, however, also takes a particular set of traits. Narcissism, entitlement, cruelty, greed, narrow-mindedness, intolerance, and the will and readiness to destroy.

Now, give this person the same skills and opportunity that you give Barack Obama and what do you have? Trump.

The Youth Are Leaders Of Tomorrow is the motto of a movement to equip young people with, not just confidence, but leadership skills: not just motivation, but the ability to move.

However, someone equipped the leaders of today with the same skills and this is how we ended up in this mess.

I look at the leading capitalists, politicians, religious shepherds, media gatekeepers, industrialists and lobbyists today and have to shake and scratch my aching head while at the same time trying to shove an another anti-anxiety pill into it. And while asking myself, where did they get the audacity, where did they get the balls, where did they get the gall to do this to the world?

Yeah. Someone gave them the skills. Someone who shouldn’t have.

I am not saying Leaders of Tomorrow Organisations are to blame for today’s tyranny of incompetents.

I don’t believe finger-pointing is the right response when your lack of foresight leads to unfortunate results. Everyone’s lack of foresight does that. And everyone lacks foresight. Even people who blame others for lacking foresight show a lack of foresight in doing so.

Maybe we would have been better off if we had not given assholes the skills to become leading assholes, but that is too facile, too easy, too simple. Complex questions don’t have simple answers — it can’t be that obvious.

Perhaps if we compensate for the lack of foresight with the application of hindsight, a quality us old people have in abundance, we can find a clue here.

This is what I suspect: The problem isn’t just that we can’t sift the good from the bad when we are making leaders — truth be told, the really great leaders, whether they are going to be great in being good ones or great in being evil ones, are quite capable of making themselves. There is such a thing as a natural leader — The problem is us, we have not become better followers.

The youth of today, along with the overwhelming majority of the oldies of today, are the followers of today.

And we are shite followers.

Because we follow bad leadership, that makes us bad followers. Because we let them get away with it. We let them take us to the worst places. We allow them to lead us to the wrong destinations through the wrong paths. We are shite followers.

We never learned, no one ever taught us, not since I was a youth, and not now, how to be a follower. So instead me, my age-mates, the youngins that came after, we are just so much so much debris in the winds blown about by other more powerful forces, so much unresisting, uncomprehending, uncomprehending victims.

I could give examples here. Theft of public funds. Incompetence in public office. Lake Victoria is shrinking. Why do we still have a gender pay gap? The Najjera road. Cops. Political oppression. We are not citizens of Uganda, we are helpless victims of Uganda. We are the grass that is trampled underneath the feet of warring elephants of the proverb. We are the detritus, the collateral, and the fault is not in the stars, but in us that we are underlings.

The youth are mostly, most of them, are going to be the followers of tomorrow, even as much as they are the followers along with us, of today.

The difference is that we can make them better followers. We can teach them to be citizens, to know their rights, to know their duties.

We can teach them expect and demand more from those who come to lead them. To not fall for that transparent ruse of the emperor who claims to be clothed in superiority but to say it loudly, that he is just naked, vulnerable flesh like the rest of us.

To respect themselves and demand that their leaders respect them, too.

To respect their respect and never waste it, understanding that it has to be earned and deserved before it is given.

Most of us, and most of the youth, are not going to rule, govern, guide or lead. We are going to wake up, have breakfast, spend a bit of time with our loved ones, go earn a living, spend some time with our friends, go home, spend more time with loved ones, go to sleep and do it again and again and again until youth is gone and old age has come.

Most of the youth are going to be ordinary people living ordinary lives tomorrow. But to secure that, they need to be able to defend themselves from that tricky, duplicitious and trecherous thing called leadership.

Kids, follow better tomorrow. Don’t be like us.