Valentine’s Vexations

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

A young man, dressed in burgundy jeans, red t-shirt and crimson baseball cap disembarks a boda-boda outside a flower stall. He joins the back of the long, bustling queue. It is nothing short of a frenzy and it is clear that the flower seller is ill-equipped to handle such a large number of customers. After all, how often do Ugandans buy flowers riyaleh?? 30 minutes later, our young Maroon Man hops onto another boda with a bunch of flowers that had been ignored by all the people ahead of him in the queue. He dodges the stares in town as people stare, point at him and laugh. If it were not for his black skin, his face would be a very visible shade of red too.

Not this Maroon Man

He visits his friend Ssalongo who owns a special hire taxi. He asks Ssalongo to lend him his spesho for the evening. Ssalongo agrees but of course, at an extortionate fee.  Our ruby baby drives the spesho to Mary Stuart Hall in Makerere to pick up his date for the evening. Her name wasn’t Scarlet, but the dress she wore, was. He hands over the card that today cost 9,800/= when every other day, cards in that particular shop never exceed 4k. He receives a warm embrace and a peck. They drive into town to a nice restaurant for dinner. It’s fancier than he could normally afford, but he had managed to borrow enough money to make it possible. However, when they arrived, they were told they hadn’t made a reservation and so would have to wait at the bar until a table became available. By the time they managed to get seating over an hour later, the buffet was cold and all the good stuff was already consumed. The total bill was also somehow slightly more than our Cherry Chum expected. Something to do with adding VAT. He used the money he had put aside for emergency petrol.Heart of Gold?

In the evening, they get back to Lumumba Hall. Our young hero had to pay his Valentine-less roommate to make himself scarce for the night. Our Ketchup Couple proceed to get intimate on the bed. The day in general had not gone according to plan, but at least it was finally paying off now. As our young man’s hand reaches under the lady’s dress, she stops him. She tells him that it’s that time of the month so they shall spend the whole night cuddling instead. The boy saw red.

Who is St. Valentine? Why does he have a day dedicated to him on our calendars? Why do we all get ourselves caught up in the hype, drama and expectation of this day? Is it even relevant to us in Africa? Perhaps someone should table a motion in Parliament to have this day abolished? Actually, with all the financial activity that occurs on this one day, that is one thing I am sure will never happen.February I'm Hustling...

Hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s day :-)

Happy New Year

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Happy New Year Enygmaniacs!

But really what is so happy about the New Year? The optimistic amongst us (like Oprah) will say that it’s a fresh opportunity for us to try and get it right in the New Year. Hmmm. Why? Just because we have thrown out our old calendars with all the bad memories of the previous 12 months? How about for those who’ve had a perfect year? Isn’t the New Year a period of foreboding? An opportunity to undo all the good from the year before? How do we prevent this from happening? Resolutions? The only resolution that works for me is HD1080p (it’s as if Rooney is actually in my sitting room).

Rooney at Namboole.

I think that waiting for the calendar year to end/begin before sitting down to assess challenges that need to be met and how to address them is a procrastinator’s game. This is an exercise that should be done internally on an almost day to day basis. Still, that won’t stop us all from joining in the fun, hey? For the record, I’ve already broken mine and I suspect most of you have suffered the same fate!

Let me wind up by sharing with you some random New Year quotes…

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”
-Anonymous

“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”
-James Agate

“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.”
-Eric Zorn

“Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.”
-Anonymous

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!”
-Joey Adams

“Good resolutions are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
-Oscar Wilde

“Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average, which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution.”
-Jay Leno

Appreci-hating Ugandans

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Unless you’ve been domiciled under the proverbial rock in recent times, then you should by now be well aware that there was a big fight in town. I am not talking about Bad Black vs. David Greenhalgh (aka Dumb White) or Kabakumba Masiko vs. Pretty Much Everyone. I am of course talking about the World Kickboxing Federation Intercontinental bout between Golola Moses vs. Andras Nagy. But I’m not here to discuss who won or lost. I’m here to address a larger issue.

Upon hearing of Besigye abdicating his FDC throne, Golola began training to become his replacement.

Even before the fight started, I found several people talking about how they wish Golola gets his ass kicked. First dwell on that sentiment for a second. A Hungarian champion flies to Uganda to challenge Golola and our won people wish abject failure upon our own representative! This is not mass murderer Joseph Kony. This is not a shady politician who has stolen money meant to prevent Ugandans dying from malaria and AIDS. This is a simple humble man who has trained long and hard in an attempt to try and be the best ambassador to Uganda that he can be in his chosen discipline.

Don't look for trouble before trouble looks for you...

Why are there so many haters? “He talks a lot!” Pardon my French, but so fucking what? So did Muhammed Ali. So does Jay-Z. And if anything, the boasts from these men and countless others merely served to increase their mass appeal. People need to understand this is a combat sport and the combat begins before reaching the ring. The most important element of a fight apart from physical fitness is the psychological fitness. When Golola makes grandiose statements that he trains by kicking down trees, he is not doing so because he is arrogant. It is to build a fear factor around himself so that he can intimidate opponents. Also to create humour for our amusement and to increase the profile of his sport which was pretty much dead until he came along.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Golola

But Ugandans are hating. With this type of attitude, is it a wonder that the Uganda Cranes recently fell apart against Kenya? As Ugandans, we must learn to love and support ourselves. Only then will we be able to conquer the world in every category we set out to dominate, whether in academics, sports, business or the arts.

Nagy is in trouble...

Alone In The Dark

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Umeme. The name alone generates a strong feeling of revulsion upon its hearing. By now many of you will have sampled the track* that I dedicated to the Harbingers of Darkness. We all feel the pain and the strain of being abruptly plunged into the Stone Age again and again (hmmm, these days I even rhyme by accident). This time however, I’d like to focus on something a little more positive. FUN ways to spend our time while waiting for the return of curra!

1. It seems that most people’s default setting after load shedding, is to go straight to sleep. Why not spice up this activity by making sure you’re not alone? After all, this is one time where we usually switch off the lights voluntarily anyway. NB: I do not encourage either premarital sex or deviant behavior, so please make sure that you only do this with your spouse, capiche?

2. Deplete the remaining battery on your phone by calling the Umeme hotline and letting them know how much you’re enjoying their new improved Unlimited Darkness Package.

3. Since PlayStation is out of the question, you can relive your childhood by playing classics like Tag, Hide-and-Seek, Cops and Robbers, Mummy & Daddy, Matatu Candlelight Edition, Kwepena and others. NB: Apologies to anyone born in the 1990s. I know you had no real childhood and that the concept of non digitised games baffles you. Please bear with us.

Batman playing Matatu in the dark. He has to pick 5.

4. Become a superhero and fight crime. I think this is how The Dark Knight came about.

5. One disadvantage with electricity is that we spend all our time sitting in front of a TV, computer, microwave, PlayStation, etc.. Therefore, the darkness is the perfect opportunity to finally get some exercise into our daily routines. Although with the current situation of no current, you risk turning into the second coming of Billy Blanks (again, I apologise to any confused 90’s babies).

Billy Blanks is rumoured to be Golola's brother.

6. Practise telekinesis.

Alright, I’m out. Please give me more ideas in the comments section below. I’m currently watching a candle melt…

*PS: Here’s a link to my F.U.M.E.M.E joint, enjoy: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_11053386

Don’t Mention Donation

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

**I originally posted this on the delightful Matooke Nation blog…

Halfway through typing out this blog post (trying frantically to meet the oppressive and completely unrealistic two week deadline imposed on me by the tyrants who run Matooke Nation), I heard a loud hooting sound which alerted me to grab the steering wheel and swerve out of the way of an incoming four-wheel drive vehicle. I had to place the laptop on the passenger seat so that I could properly gesticulate obscenities with my hands at the reckless driver who almost knocked into me.

It is at this moment that I noticed something peculiar written on the side of his car. Mbu “This vehicle was donated by ***** [name of NGO].” Now I found this to be both amusing and bemusing at the same time. Why on earth is this NGO tie-tying on the car for? What I understand by the word ‘donate’, is to give freely. Now if the vehicle has been given freely, why should the NGO encumber the recipients with an unwanted tattoo? It’s as if they’ve been branded like an Ankole cow! You’re still my property whether you like it or not!

He clearly misunderstood when they told him that the Ankole cow is horny.

I was always taught that you’re supposed to give with one heart and without using the act of donation to show off or undermine the recipient. Now how is the driver supposed to pose on campus chicks and take them out for coke, chips, chaps, chicken ne’nkoko when he has some random donation logo inscribed on the side of the vehicle?

The opposite of swag...

Now consider this. If a campaigning politician were to give out a few metallic cases to a handful of boarding school students, imagine how people would feel if on each suitcase, were emblazoned the words “Donated by Seya Ssebaggala. Please Voting Me!” People would doubt the politicians true intentions for his act of goodwill.

So if you belong to an organization that ‘donates’ vehicles, how about you just try handing over the car and leaving it at that. No stickers, no logos, no visual reminders of your benevolence. Or is it too hard to do charity without trying to get some free advertising out of it too?

*This article was donated to Matooke Nation by www.Twitter.com/IamEnygma

Annoying Time Murderers

Posted: November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time, visiting banking halls was a perilous endeavour. The branches were few and far between, overly crowded and impossibly bogged down by procedural bureaucracy that it was often wise to clear out a couple of days in your calendar for the simple matter of visiting your money. And that’s not even during school fees season. Who am I kidding? It’s still like that today!

Anyway, some bright chap somewhere stumbled upon the solution of creating a faceless machine slotted into a hole in the wall. This would allow normally functioning human beings to insert a card, type their pin, withdraw their cash and leave with a receipt all within the space of 60 seconds. In fact, I believe the original script of the Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie blockbuster, Gone in 60 Seconds, was based on this magnificent concept. However the idea was derided as being far too fictitious for an average cinema-goer to believe since the majority of us have never actually witnessed a normally functioning human being using an ATM!

A watched pot never boils...

I mean seriously! What the hell are you doing at the damn machine?! Is there a new video game installed in the ATMs that I don’t know about, as part of the banks’ public relations programme? Perhaps, I’m behind the times and there’s a hack to access Facebook from the ATM? That would sure explain why some of you can arrive after a visit from the salon and leave just in time for your next hair appointment! And don’t get me started on those guys who put in the card, transact, take it out, then put it back in, transact, take it out, put it back, transact, take it out, etc ad nauseam!

Good grief! I think there should be a time limit on the ATM cards so that if you spend longer than 60 seconds (okay 75 for some of you slower ones), then your card is swallowed and you are forced into the banking hall. I mean, I started typing this blog after the guy in front of me punched in his pin code and he’s still not finished!!

PS: Please stop calling them ATM machines. ATM is an acronym for Automated Teller Machine. Which means you’re actually calling it an Automated Teller Machine Machine.

Love Thy Neighbour

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome, welcome, please take off your shoes and tip-toe gently through the foyer of my mind. No, you cannot go back and put on your shoes, don’t be so rude! Regardless of how much difficulty you may have in navigating the shards of glass, heavy duty nails and river of lava that flows through my sub-consciousness. In Africa we respect our host when we pay them a visit at their home.

This rather neatly brings into sharper focus matters that transpired over the Independence weekend. Our dear neighbours Kenya, took time out from their heavy schedule of pick-pocketing and armed robbery, to play against us in a friendly game of football. According to the script, they were to arrive at Namboole, remove their shoes and promptly lay down and swallow an 8-2 massacre. I am led to understand that these dwellers of Nairobbery are mostly Arsenal fans so this experience would not be foreign to them.

Rather rudely however, the Kenyans brought with them bad manners from across the border and refused to accept what was written in destiny! They actually defended their goal against our attacks, made tackles to win possession in midfield and even took one or two shots at our goal! The nerve of these Neanderthals! The result was that the match ended goalless and the Kenyans stole our best opportunity to qualify for African Cup of Nations in over 3 decades!

Okay, I must admit that I kind of admire the Kenyans for finally taking the initiative to export one of their main skills, namely, thievery. Similarly, we also attempted to export corruption to the United States through our former Mayor Seya, several years ago. However, we at least had the good grace to take our bad manners to another continent entirely! When interacting with your closest neighbours, such behaviour is truly despicable and uncalled for. Kenya, we hope you are ashamed of yourself.