Friday, March 17, 2017

Real Men Don't Shape Eyebrows - Period!

I'm a realist. I believe, that we men need to have ourselves groomed from time to time so we come across as being respectable and presentable. However, I believe some assurances should be melted out to Barber the moment we step into the salon.

Back in the day when I worked with WBS and when it was still located in Spear House on Jinja Road, there was a salon on the top floor of the building. Seeing it was owned by Wava Daughter, there was an agreement between the salon and WBS in that, WBS on-air presenters could have their haircuts done there on account. Obviously, I was taking liberties by going there seeing I was not an on-air presenter.

When I breezed into it on my first visit, I expected nothing but a quick cut and shave with enough time left over to pop into The Pub on DeWinton Road for TMLs and wile away the evening with Peter Ntimba from the news department. Except, it didn’t happen that way.

Barber didn’t get straight to work as I expected. Rather, he started off with giving my scalp a massage. While it felt good, I found it embarrassing because real men like me and UPDF’s finest don’t have head massages. I let it slide. Twenty minutes later, the cutting started and jeez, being cut by Barber was done with the almost the same clinical precision a doctor about to perform a lobotomy. With each snip, he would stop and bring out three different sized hair brushes and do some brushing. If not, it would be a tiny comb which baffled me because the teeth of the comb couldn’t grasp my hair. Satisfied that he had gotten the first snip right, he walked over to the television and gazed at it for a while and then surfed channels, increased the volume followed by having a snoop at what sort of haircut Colleague Barber was giving the customer he was working on.

And then he ambled back to me. Another small snip and out came the brush again, followed by a stroll to the window to keep abreast of what was happening down at the taxi rank and to see if Mandazi Woman had passed or just gawp out of the window for no reason - except, err, gawp.

His curiosity satisfied, he returned, adjusted the shaver and started hacking off wads of unwanted hair while contorting my neck backwards, then left, then right and finally forward like he was trying to get me into a wrestling headlock. After almost an hour of being swirled about in the chair, just as I thought he was calling time, there was hooting on the street below which, necessitated him making another trip to the window to be nosey.

Satisfied the person hooting could get on without his help, he swaged himself back to my scalp via a television pit stop to change the channel to Channel O. After a wash, I was all good to head to The Pub – except, he wasn’t done. “Mzee, I am almost” he said and with that, I braced myself for another hour in the seat.

What happened next defied all acceptable rules of male grooming etiquette. It was rape and with hindsight, I should have swung him two hot slaps and thrown him out of the window along with his assortment of hair brushes. Do you know what he did!? Dude reached for the trolley, picked up a toothbrush and began brushing my eyebrows and eyelashes! Do you see why I would have been justified in ejecting him through the 5th floor window?

The final straw by way of a volley of foul language came when he picked the trimmer and tried to trim my brows into shape. Jeez!                



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why Do We Body Mutilate Ourselves?

Note: This week’s column contains an image that may not agree with all of you.

I don’t believe in body mutilation. FGM is a barbaric female practice, just as much as I think male circumcision is a draconian horror.

Diehard fans of Quinten Tarantino’s 1994 movie, Pulp Fiction, will be all too aware of the quote by Jody (Rosanna Arquette) which, went along these lines. “All of my piercings – 16 places on my body, all of them were done with a needle. Five in each ear, one through the nipple on my left breast, one through my right nostril, one through my left eyebrow, one in my lip, one in my clit and I wear a stud in my tongue.”

‘Body mutilation’ is big business and people mutilate themselves for various reasons. For example, some women pierce their nipples because of an ‘enhanced sexual arousal created by the nipple and areola stimulation’. Others, like Younger Generation, they do it because of the pressures heaped on them by society to ‘fit in’. If not, they want to be like the stars they idolise - Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Black Chyna. Closer to home and perhaps fuelled by the desire to grace the pages of Kampala Sun, Daughter cottoned on that you only get into those pages for being outrageous and shocking - like leaking nude selfies or exposing piercings in places that would make Porn Cop - Father Lokodo, squirm, start ranting and calling for legislation on where earrings can and can’t be worn. 

Tattoos are not a new fad, while nipple piercing – at least in the Western world, dates back to the 14th Century. In my growing up era, girls only had two piercings on their bodies – one on each of their ear lobes to be precise, while we boys, we had nothing – not even a tattoo because it would not meet parental approval.

But in today’s world order, Parent has resigned themselves to seeing Daughter (and Son) ears full of bling. Worse, Daughter and Son are also piercing eyebrows, tongues and lower lips. And if that’s not enough, Daughter has a ‘bull ring’ in her nose and she so proudly struts around town showing it off like she is the prized cow at the Jinja Agricultural Show. Seriously, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how a bull ring enhances sexual desire – unless it’s some macabre sex thing?

Eyebrows and tongues aside, wait for this shocker. Daughter – and Son are also into mutilating things ‘down there’. Looking at some of the images of Daughter and Son who have mutilated ‘down there’, all I can say is, ouch, it looks nasty, it’s a turnoff and it must have really hurt.

Not all women are mutilators and perhaps we ought to spare a thought for that geek, so not streetwise, naïve and closeted Daughter who went to Gayaza High School. In all her outings to Senga, and the awkward lectures she got on what to expect on her wedding night, I don’t think that she (Senga) would have told her that Hubby-to-be might have had himself mutilated – and we are not talking just about circumcision, but that his thingy might be covered in more bling than the actor Mr T has round his neck. If not, he might have had it tattooed with the words: ‘TNT Dynamite’ running all the way down. Or up? 

But hey, if that’s how Sista and Bruv get their kicks, it’s cool with me but will say, stretched ear lobes, bull rings, rings in noses, eyebrows, tongues, mouths and down there, is not sexy. Its morbid. And Sista and Bruv, if you don’t mind my asking this: “Don’t the rings and studs on ‘things down there’ rip the condom to shreds? What about the ammonia in the susu, won’t it bring about some about corrosion that will lead to an infection?” 

Pictures: Internet   


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Gratitude, A Rare Ug Commodity

I think, I am a very helpful person. If I can help, I go out of my way to do so.

Let’s call him Charlie. Charlie was frus that Daughter was sitting at home doing nothing – if not, going to town to do something called ‘passing time’. Rather than her idle away, he asked if I could help her connect with Silk Events – seeing I knew the MD.

I had met Daughter – briefly, and she’d come across as the ‘impressionable type’ - very scattered and trailing the rest of the world. Before I met her, I advised that he makes sure she’s organised in her dress, CV and does some reading on what Silk Events does.

On the anointed day when I met her, of the five young women sprawled out in reception, it was difficult to know who had turned up for the interview. All of them were dressed like they were going to a school leavers bash in Entebbe. If not, a Butcherman kiggunda at Gaba beach. Ripped jeans, more bling than Mr T, and tops that had their bosoms spiralling out of control.

When she saw me, she laboriously trudged over – almost like Charlie had forced her into attending the interview against her will. As to the other girls, she said: “My BFs. They gave me a push.” WTF, which mulalu asks her BFs to give them a push to an interview? 

Let’s pause a paragraph or two while I bring in Patrick Otembo – one time head of Sales and Marketing at Capital FM back in the day. I was in his office when Interviewee turned up wearing jeans and a polo t-shirt. When he presented his CV, it was plainly obvious that it was a photocopy of a photocopy, of a photocopy, of a photocopy – so faded, you could hardly read what was on it. Worse, it looked like it had been photocopied using a cheap copier in Wandegeya market in that, when the CV was placed on the plate, it was not placed straight but, at an angle which meant, some of the words on the CV had been sliced off. While Interviewee didn’t see anything erroneous with the way he dressed or his pitiful attempt at photocopying his CV, Patrick furiously did.

Patrick let rip and went to town on him. He flogged him. Then chopped and diced him into mincemeat. Not done, he unleashed a barrage of vulgarities, belittled him, before haranguing the stunned and petrified fellow out of his office and all while ripping up his CV and throwing it at him.

Getting back, I too could have pulled ‘a Patrick’, but like I said at the start, I am a helpful person. Rather, I hauled her into a side room to tell her of her errors. It was a mistake.

Daughter swung me the most vicious and vindictive look when I dared suggest that The Malaya Convention was not taking place here. Her boobs were so in my face, I could literally make out the veins in them plus, her filthy and no longer white bra straps, really needed a good week-long soaking in a basin of concentrated Jik.

As for her CV, from the start, it was riddled with a diarrhoea of errors. It was titled: ‘Curriculum Vitae Resume’. Hmm. Under nationality she had stated ‘Alur’ instead of ‘Ugandan’. As I pointed out each blunder, Daughter fumed and frothed more at the mouth – interpreting my trying to help her as an unpardonable aggravation. Oh, I almost forgot. Guess what she listed as her only hobby? Mbu ‘going to town’. Hmm.

But digest on the ending to the tale. Days later when I met Charlie, he too was bitching and irate like Daughter. “TB, the whole idea of Daughter coming to see you, was to get her a job – not to give her a lecture.”

Gratitude is such a rare commodity in Ug. 

Pictures: Internet             

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gordon Wava - Still Chairman?

While this is not an obituary, it’s hard to believe that Naguru hill perched WBS Television, like Crane Bank, are no longer household names. There is also a good probability that at quiz night in three years’ time, when Quiz Master asks what WBS stood for, nobody would have a clue that Kid would have to make a frantic call to Parent for the answer.

I worked for WBS when it was just starting out - raw, taking baby steps into the unknown and full of a vibrant energy that most UTV staff imports who were stuck in the pre-independence slow lane were unable to handle. While I had no television experience, Elvis Sekyanzi, the then Executive Director, felt I could make a success of Showtime Magazine. Luckily enough for me, I did along with presenter Tilly Muwonge (Below) and cameraman, Chris Eritu.

One thing about most people who worked at WBS, was the relationship they had with its owner – Gordon Wavamunno. I had never met Chairman – as people referred to him, until I got to WBS. I quickly worked it out that in order to understand him, one had to delve deep into his head to click his psyche and see the station and his grand plans for it from his view point. If that was achieved, then you had a good working and indeed social relationship with him.

Those that didn’t, would always rue the day he made his unannounced visits like Librarian. Librarian was shuffling down the corridor when Chairman was walked in.  They were going to pass each other and all that was required of her was: “Good afternoon Chairman” and be on her way. Instead, she panicked and thought of going in the opposite direction except, she bumped into the wall that by the time she harnessed her composure, he was on her feet and it was all too evident that not only was she overwhelmed, she had also never met him. She broke out into a sweat, lost her train of thought and if the 'ordeal' had lasted any longer than it did, there is a good chance she would have peed in her knickers.   

Chairman: “Who are you and in what department do you work?”
Librarian: “They call me oba. I don’t know. I was only just going downstairs to see Elvis.”


With that, trembling Librarian literally scattered herself down the corridor and out of his sight. When I asked her later why she had pulled that stunt she said: “It was Chairman – I mean Mr Wava himself! I’m just a mere librarian.”

We were celebrating I think the 5th anniversary of the station with a bash at Grand Imperial Hotel poolside. Amama Mbabazi – long before he became PM or got his troubles, was the guest of honour. Everything went well until Presenter who was on the Capital FMs breakfast show with Alex Ndawula and Christine Mawadri sauntered in wearing a white suit and so blazed, he could barely stand up. Rather than finding a discreet corner and ‘blacking out’, he made a beeline for the high table where Chairman, Mrs Wava (Below, center) and Mbabazi were sitting.

Before anybody could react, he was on top of them and crashing all over the table that a now and very embarrassed and seething Chairman swung him a ‘dead man walking’ look. The look did connect for Presenter managed to sober up for a few minutes – enough to stagger himself away from Chairman but into Bouncers arms and an ejection into the streets near Bank of Uganda.

One thing about Chairman that I found scary, was his understanding of figures and his ability to remember things - even if they were years old.

In one meeting, when challenged, he said something along the lines of: “Let’s not waste time debating who said what. Bring the minutes.” And when the minutes were dug up and presented, he was on the money – all most word-for-word yet, the incident happened more than two years ago. When it comes to money, oh, trust me, he remembers everything down to the last shilling. There is no fleecing him as Daisy Kayongo – Kook n’ Dine presenter found out many years later when reminded that she did not bring back his change.

While WBS may no longer be part of his empire and a station of the past, what is still certain, is that he is still Chairman Wava. 

Pictures: New Vision, Kampala Sun     



Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Housee's Kajanja!

Everybody has a Housee kajanja or horror story to tell.

When Colleagues housee was headed to kyalo, she popped by New Vision to pick her wages but, Colleague was in a meeting which, poised a dilemma. Either she waits or she goes minus her salary. She opted to wait. And she waited in style.

After lounging about for an hour or so, she got tired and started to nod off. Nothing wrong with that – except, she went that step further. She took off her shoes, got really comfy, laid herself out on the four seats in reception and went to sleep!

Camilla, the receptionist, has just about seen everything in the years of manning the front desk but, this stunt took the biscuit and the kitchen sink. She quickly scattered herself upstairs to editorial and told Colleague what was happening downstairs in reception. Mortified, Colleague wasted no time in abandoning the meeting and rushing to assure Housee that the reception at her place of work, is not her small room of a muzigo back at home.

Another colleague who was fed up with her housee, sent her packing. But before she flung her out of the gate, her suitcase had to undergo the obligatory checking – just to make sure she wasn’t pilfering stuff that wasn’t hers.

Going through her belongings, all was in order – until a shiny photo album at the bottom of the case caught her attention. Flicking through it, they were the usual housee style pictures – you know, posing in front of a mango tree, by the gate and squatting besides a hedge (hmm). As the peruse continued, there were other pictures of her in the house – in the living room and the kitchen. Until she flipped the page.

This time Housee was in her (Colleagues) boudoir and lounging on her bed. If that didn’t make her want to regurgitate the kindazi she had had earlier in the day for sawa nya, then the pictures on the next page got the process going. Housee was now devoid of dress and was romping on the bed in different poses and wearing nothing but a pair of skimpy knickers and a bra. But the tale doesn’t end there. The skimpy knickers and bra she was frolicking in, didn’t belong to her. They belonged to Colleague. Ouch! 

Colleague vomited. 

And then she vomited some more as she heaped all her little black and red numbers onto a bonfire then followed up with a trip to Doctor - lest she caught some disease 'down there' from sharing her skimpy knickers with the so fired and loathed housee.    

When Parents got a new housee, the moment I laid eyes on her, I smelt trouble which, surfaced well before she had completed her probationary period. She had harnessed the house which, she flogged and ran like a Soviet Union era Siberian gulag. It was no longer Parents crib. It was now her crib, her rules and she was going to run it according to her whim.

When Parent sauntered down for breakfast one morning, he found a bare dining table which, necessitated telling Housee to do the needful. But what did she do? She duly assured him how the breakfast period had elapsed and that he would have to wait for lunch. When Parent spewed the tale, I thought he had made it up and was heading for 'lala land' until one night, when I returned late – at about 10:00pm. Asking for supper, Housee smirked, put me in my place and barked that supper time was over and that the dishes had been washed and put away. I went to bed hungry.

One Sunday when James told Housee to take the ride down to the washing bay and have it hoovered, Housee went a step further and any guesses as to how this story ends? After the car was hoovered, rather than drive straight back home as instructed, he went on a fwaa joy ride – picking up friends and galivanting off to Gaba. Probably for mputa fish

But get this. Despite repeated calls from James, Housee kept cutting him off then waltzed in at 10pm reeking of booze and acting like he’d done nothing wrong. And then he had the audacity to wonder why he was got two searing hot slaps and the sack the following day. 

Pictures: Internet  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Don't Ask. Just Take

Bluntly speaking, they don’t ask. They take and with no shame.

Avid fountain pen connoisseurs like, NSSF MD, Richard Byarugaba (Below) and ODD Concepts MD, Oscar Mulira, will tell you that a fountain pen is not to be shared. The nib of the pen is fragile and it moulds itself into the users writing style. If somebody else uses it, it ruins the style in that when you get it back, it won’t feel or write in the same way.

A Mont Blanc, is top-of-the range when it comes to fountain pens, and it was nestled in my shirt pocket with a House of Plastic biro in my trousers. When it was time to sign, They Don’t Ask felt about himself for a pen and realising he didn’t have one, he looked up at me and straight away his squinty eyes zeroed in on the Mont Blanc. I tried to reach for the House of Plastic biro, but by the time I whipped it out, They Don’t Ask had already delved into my pocket, harnessed the Mont Blanc and set about to scribble on the dotted line.

They Don’t Ask had a nasty and savage street prostitute writing style - almost like he worked for UNRA and was using a pneumatic drill to drill some culverts on the Entebbe Express highway. He pressed so hard into the paper that the nib split.

When he was done, he looked at the pen, put the cover back on and wait for it, wait for it – he didn’t give it back. Rather, he played about with it, finished off his beer then stood up. “TB, I best be heading off” he said. With that, he put to sleep the Mont Blanc in his shirt pocket and walked off.

He didn’t ask. He just took.

Another They Don’t Ask came to visit one Sunday. In the living room, he marvelled at my CD collection that he wasted no time in pulling up a chair and started going through them. He’d pick up a CD, read through the booklet and put it back. But some, he didn’t put back. He put them on the coffee table. I wasn’t perturbed, because I assumed he was making a selection to listen to. Except as you may have already guessed, he didn’t listen to them.

When it was time to leave, I popped into the kitchen while he went to his ride. By the time I got to him, he was about to pull away. I just about made it to his side of the ride to bid him farewell and enough time to catch a glimpse of a stack of CDs on the passenger seat. I didn’t think much about it until I went back to the living room and realised the assembled stack of CDs on the coffee table was gone.

He didn’t ask. He just took.

Doing some shopping in Gaba market, I chanced upon Chap selling baseball caps. I am a cap person so obviously, it necessitated a stop to browse through his stock. Hidden at the very back was a cap in near mint condition that bore the Apple Computer logo. 5k and two minutes later, it was in a kaveera heading home with me.

The Apple cap made its debut at the Kampala Marathon and while I was quaffing TML in MTN hospitality tent, I took it off and laid it on the table. When They Don’t Ask sat down next to me, he wasted no time in spitting out - “Wabula TB, you got some good caps.” With his ‘theft’ statement out of the way, he picked it up and plonked it on his head.

When it was time to go, I pointed at the cap and his response? “But TB…” and then he sprinted off into the crowd.

He didn’t ask. He just took. 

Pictures: NSSF, Internet



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Questions You Really Can't Answer

Patricia Kahill, (Below) is an online content creator and marketer. In one of her tweets, she poised a question that many of us can’t answer. She said: “I have never mastered a response to this question – ‘Where do you see yourself in five years’”.

“Where do you see yourself in five years” is an interview question – if not, one that Uncle, who is a career academic, will ask whenever he comes to visit. I don’t know what answer Ms Kahill gave and if she was at an interview or being grilled by Uncle.

I too, was asked that question by Grace Muguluma, who in the twilight of the 90s, was head of sales and marketing at Kampala Sheraton Hotel. I had applied for a job as the hotels PRO, and as the interview drew on, I kept on waiting for that one ‘curve ball’ question – you know, the one that derails you, scatters you, throws you into panic and sees your hopes of getting the job agonisingly slithering away.

Ms Muguluma was ‘nasty’ in throwing the curve ball question in the last minute of time added on. I mean, it was the end of the interview. It was a done deal and the job was mine. She had already gathered up her notes. All that was left was for her to say: “TB, thanks for coming in. You are going to an asset to Sheraton Hotel.”

Instead, she asked: “Where do you see yourself in five years”, that the balls of sweat were out of my sweat pores well before she’d finished asking the question. I tried to compose myself but couldn’t. Sweat trickled down from my armpits and the back of my neck. My mouth dried up like it had spent ten minutes in the microwave while the thinking side of my brain shut down with the lights off.

I glared at her in disbelief. What kind of person asks such a question and just seconds to the end of a successful interview? She looked back at me and smack in my eyes and with no inclination of bailing me out. Like Ms Kahall asked, what do you give as an answer?

I thought I gave a good response as it dribbled out of my mouth – “to be sitting in your chair.” And I thought I gave a suicidal response when she responded - “err, really? Hmm!”

I didn’t hear back from her. I didn’t get the job.

One thing Receptionist has on her desk, is a Visitors Book that has two columns designed to derail you. One is headed ‘From Where’ and the other, ‘Reason’. The first time I filled in a Visitors Book, was when I called in on Maria Kiwanuka, (Below) at Radio One.

Receptionist flipped the book open and hovered her ample bust over me – almost as if she was making sure I answer correctly. At the ‘From Where’ column, I didn’t know what to write, so I sought guidance. She said: “Jot down where you came from.” Well the taxi had just dropped me off at the Post Office and before that, I was at home. I opted for ‘home’. The Post Office option smacked of ridicule.

And the reason for visiting? Mrs Kiwanuka, had been explicit with the invitation. “TB, pop in for a coffee and a chat.” I wrote just that which, irked Receptionist who was ready to lash me had the phone not rang when it did. 

These days, in the ‘reason’ column, I write: “To pass time”. And Ms Kahill, five years after the ‘where do I see myself in five years’ question, I was with New Vision – though at the time the question was asked, it would have made Ms Muguluma think I was ridiculing her if I had said just that.