Saturday, April 29, 2017

Meet Bebe Cool Zuena

If Parent of Impressionable Teen has cause to vent fury, it’s not with Lady Gaga, them Kardashian girls or with ‘Lil’ Wayne. It’s home grown and with Bebe Cool. Can we bookmark Bebe till later? We can? Cool.

No Tattoo Room Left:  Lil Wayne

In my teens, there was no internet, Twitter or Facebook and thus no Hollywood idols to follow and who could scatter us. When it came to impressing Girlfie, it was about wearing tight butt and crotch hugging strides, afros, platform shoes and not buttoning up our shirts all to the top.

But Parent didn’t get nutty because he too, was busy dressing up like the local talent - Jimmy Katumba, Elly Wamala and The Afrigo Band in tight strides to impress Wifey.

Hollywood has a way of showing affection. Angelina Jolie had a tattoo - ‘Billy Bob’ of husband – Billy Bob Thornton on her arm as did Big Bang Theory Star, Kaley Cuoco, of husband - Ryan Sweeting. Eva Longoria had three tattoos in honour of hubby, Tony Parker. She had the word ‘nine’ on the back of her neck since that was Parker's number, the date of their marriage on her wrist and his initials apparently hidden somewhere else on her body. Model and TV personality, Heidi Klum had a tattoo reading ‘Seal’ on her right arm while musician, Marc Anthony got one that read - ‘Jennifer’ when he was dating J-Lo while actress Denise Richards got herself a ‘Charlie’ when she was married to Charlie Sheen.

But in Hollywood as we all know, few relationships go the distance that Jolie, Cuoco, Longoria, Klum eventually split or got divorced and thus the tattoos had to go.

Here, when it comes to affection, we take Girlfie to a kafunda that has a garden and sit at the very back by the boundary wall and pull the sunshade umbrella very low so we can’t be seen. Or we take her to some beach and if the ATM allows, to some fancy expensive place.

But now there are issues. Today, Girlfie wants more than just being taken for an outing to Bobbi Wine’s Busabala beach. She wants more than just holding hands or being seen in public together or being bought a ride with her name on the number plates. She wants Hollywood. She wants a man with razzmatazz. She wants her man to do something extraordinary for her so all other women – and men know that she has Boyfie.

And this is where we remove the bookmark and bring Bebe back into the fray. Bebe has heeded those demands, upped his ante, gone Hollywood and done something that surely must be a first in this dusty country of ours. He had a tattoo done. So what I hear you cry.
 
Under The Ink: Bebe Cool

Did you not read the part in the previous paragraph where I said he has upped his ante and gone Hollywood?” Not only has he had a tattoo done, he has had it done on his neck for the world to see. And his chosen tattoo? Zuena!

Parent of impressionable Teen Daughter or Son must be aghast with Bebe’s stunt, just in case they come home one evening flashing similar tattoos of Boyfie or Girlfie’s name etched into their necks or across their knuckles.
 
Marked For Life: Bebe Cool Zuena 

I am not sure if Zuena pushed him into having it done, or it was a moment of temporary insanity on his part, but what is certain, is that he didn’t read about the anguish and torment that Jolie, Cuoco, Klum and Richards had to endure in covering up their tattoos when their relationships soured.

What’s his Plan B if the tattoo has to be removed? What the heck - I joined a 100k-to-join sweepstake and stand to reap at least 2m if he and Zuena....


Pictures: Bebe Cool, Internet

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How To Accept A Bribe And Not Get Caught

SEEKING ADVICE from Ms Bayego whose Luganda is allegedly on par, this is what she says. Enjawulo = kickback. Enguzi = bribe.
Let’s be honest. Many of us have at some point accepted a kick back or a bribe. Just to point out, a bribe need not be cash. It could be an all expenses paid weekend to Mweya or Mombasa for example.

I was not at Serena Hotel when State Minister, Herbert Kabafunzaki, was snared for allegedly accepting a sh30m bribe - nor am I going to offer an opinion. However, I am going to do something unethical – educate you on what to do with your enguzi and some smart steps to make sure you don’t get caught like Kabafunzaki, Damian Kazinda of NFA and the rest.

Caught in a sting: State Minister Herbert Kabafunzaki

Don’t go to Serena: Wherever you go to pick up your enguzi, take a walk in the car park and look for cars that might belong to the security operatives and treat everybody as undercover agents out to nab you. When the money is comes out, in a clear voice say: “What is this? Why are you giving me this” until you are satisfied you are not being watched or recorded. 


Serena Hotel, Kampala 

Don’t Bank The Enguzi: Don’t accept enguzi by wire transfer or cheque. If Investor hands you a kaveera of cash, do not go to your local bank branch of Enjawulo & Enguzi and fill out a deposit slip. The banks are being watched - all of them. Uganda is a very small country and money trails are easy to follow.

Enguzi often comes under the table

DIVERSIFY: Diversify your cash portfolio. Spread it out by buying some South African Rand, Euros, US dollars, Sterling and Kenya shillings.

Diversify your money into different currencies

SPEND: Live for the moment. Spend and pay cash. The best way to launder enguzi, is by using it to cover as much of your living expenses as you can, because it never raises awkward questions and it goes out into the hands of local merchants – unless you are overcome with a bout of utter stupidity that sees you walk into Spear Motors and drive out in a sh600m Mercedes G-wagon yet, your monthly take home civil service pay is only sh4.2m. Your legitimate income - salary and so on can go into your bank account and remain untouched. Ka-ching!

SHUT UP: Don’t tell friends – not even Wifey or Mistress. Remember Akankwasa and the sh900m under the bed? Well, he told Wifey and he got rumbled. As Martin Lomasney, an American politician once said: “Never write if you can speak, never speak if you can nod, and never nod if you can wink.” If you get busted, shut up. So long as you’ve managed your money so it won’t testify against you, you’ll be just fine. Admit nothing!

Damien Akankwasa

Don’t Leave Things to Chance: Once you get whiff that the authorities have you under their radar, bust. Don’t leave things to chance like former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh almost did and flee by a whisker. Obviously you would have set up your Plan in SA or wherever, that once you re-locate, there is a crib, car and operational bank accounts waiting for you eke out a life of stolen luxury.

The End Is Nigh: Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

BE READY: Don’t keep all your enguzi in things like land or in places like banks that are closed at night. Truth be told, if you are living on enguzi, Cop may call at any time and no legal strategy is as solid as simply being somewhere else. You may have to up and take temporary refuge in the cesspit or the amayuuni plantation at a moment’s notice, but where is the money? Is it somewhere easily accessible? Think like Jason Bourne. This is the deal. You got to have ‘on the run survival dime’ and your passport stuffed in a holdall that you can quickly throw over your shoulder as you fast track to Busia or Katuna border posts or to Ggaba for a boat to Kisumu.

Make sure your passport is up to date 

Lay Low: Being on the run is about lying low and not getting caught. Ditch your SIM card and phone lest Geek at Uganda Communications Commission has a phone tracking gadget. And for heaven’s sake, don’t go onto social media and start posting pictures of yourself chilling out in a gated apartment in upmarket Sandon, Jo’burg or in Lavington, Kenya. Once you start posting, you’ll become careless and leave a trail all the way to your doorstep. 

Have No Shame: Heck, there is no nobility in poverty. If you didn’t accept the bribe Investor was dishing out, Colleague would have accepted it – if not Junior Colleague. You did the right thing.


Pictures: Getty Images, New Vision, Internet


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Living Large, Living Royalty

We all have a housie. I think. Some have a gardener, security guard plus a driver while the superrich might also have a chef, waiters and waitresses.

I have met with royalty - King Oyo, Kabaka Mutebi and Kyabazinga - not because they invited me to lunch or afternoon tea at their palaces, but because they happened to be in the same room as I at a function. Let me rephrase that latter part of last sentence just in case I am accused of belittling royalty and say, I was in the same room as King Oyo, Kabaka Mutebi and Kyabazinga. I have also stood next to Prince Charles and William - only on a visit to London’s Madame Tussauds wax works.

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi
Royals also have housies except, they have more - gardener, armed protection units, butlers, footmen and secretaries. Inside their palaces, they live a life of riley that is so detached from that of the rest of the world and one which we humble plebes, can only marvel at.

While we can’t be certain what excess Mutebi, Oyo and Kyabazinga indulge in, what we do know and on good authority, is that back in the day, Oyo, who is a dog lover, had their food sourced from Sheraton hotel.

King Oyo
In 1908, Henry Pu Yi, the last Chinese Emperor succeeded to the throne as a two-year-old. As Emperor, he was pampered to the hilt in the Forbidden Palace with servants at his beck-and-call that, when he was thrown into goal by the Communist’s as an adult in the 1950s, he still had a lackey to hold his wee wee for him as he took a pee. For real! 

Pu Yi
Like Yi, in the UK, Prince Charles had a beck-and-call servant upbringing in Buckingham Palace. As the future King of England, there was nothing that he had to do for himself because, Servant was there to grovel up to him whenever summoned. A recent expose in The Daily Mail newspaper, listed some of the privileges that he has enjoyed and still enjoys as heir apparent.

Come the morning, while most of us squeeze Colgate out onto our toothbrushes, no so Prince Charles. Charles has Servant who does that rather mundane task for him. Servant does the squeezing, hands the brush to him, then steps back until he (Charles) is done. Servant then rinses the brush and puts it away – or tosses it?

Servant will then run the tub. While Charles has his bath – not quite like Eddy Murphy had in the movie, Coming To America (we hope), Servant lays out a selection of shirts, suits, ties, socks, shoes and boxer shorts.

For breakfast, he has freshly squeezed orange juice, specially made muesli, granary toast and six types of honey - all presented on a silver tray. When he travels, he only eats food prepared by his personal chef, and the food is transported in cool boxes – even when he goes abroad. He does like sandwiches – but, they must be exactly 8cm in diameter, sliced in half and the crust must be cut off.

Prince Charles
The most Housie does for me, is of course, to wash and iron my clothes, wash the ride, polish shoes, with the one extravagance – if it is indeed an extravagance, to lay my bed.

But I wasn’t done with Charles just yet. What Housie does for me, was just to break the conversation -to give you time to digest what you just read and go, “TB, are you for real?”  And get this. Wherever Charles goes, apart from packing his own food, Chef also packs – wait for it, wait for it, his own salt which, as you may guess, Waiter will present on a silver tray.

But the winning move - and you had better be sitting down with a muzinga of Ug Wa in hand and the cat out of range of getting a kicking. Housie doesn’t just polish shoes. Housie also IRONS the shoelaces, laces up the shoes then takes them to Charles. WTF! Over to you Kyabazinga, Mutebi and Oyo! 


Pictures: Bukedde, New Vision, Internet   



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Career Change To Toilet Cleaner

YEARS AGO, I wrote a missive on toilet etiquette when NV Colleague shimmers up to me and whispers: “I always see that thing (toilet brush) but, I thought it was for Cleaner to use.” I promptly put him on the persona non-grata list to my home. And the irony was, he was not malo - as in just off the bus from deep in the districts, but a long-term Kampala resident. 





Unless you go to the bigger establishments that have respectable toilets, your average kafunda, is not going to have a toilet that you can take mother to.

I frequent Chogm Pork Joint in Bunga for obvious reasons. Though I have not asked the owners, I presume they gave it said name because of err, - something to do with the Chogm conference a few years ago?

Chogm Pork Joint, is made up of five bufundas - each competing for Customer and each challenging to see who can play their TV or music system the loudest. Apart from that, the other thing they have in common, is when you ask Waitress where the toilets are, the answer is generic – “You go behind.”

Going behind, there is a dilapidated building that was once a house – better still a muzigo, mounds of rain and pee beaten sand and further down, the toilets that reek of pre-Chogm era urine. The smell of ammonia in the toilets is so strong that, Customer, doesn’t make it into them. Men ‘draw patterns’ the mound of sand with their pee, while women make do with peeing at one of the entrances to the dilapidated muzigo. Of course, there is no water for washing hands or, a mirror to look at to make sure that one’s face is still all dolled up before returning to the kavuyo of the competing TVs and music systems.



What perturbs though, are the larger establishments. I was at Serena Hotel (Below) for a function and getting to the toilets, all the urinals are occupied. Not wanting to wait plus an urgent need to attend to a running nose, I opted to use a cubicle. The only cubicle available was not in the best shape and was tempted to believe that NV Colleague had been the last person to use it and had neglected to use the toilet brush. Furthermore, the floor was littered with toilet tissue.



Anyway, I had my pee, blew my nose and flushed which, didn’t do much except the water, toilet tissue and whatever else rose to the brim of the toilet. Coming out, Elderly Gentleman was waiting patiently to use it. As he walked in, I distinctively heard him exclaim – “Naye gundi…” I didn’t hang about to hear the rest because I fled.

Back at the function and as Navio superbly did his thing on stage, I overheard a conversation going on, on the table behind me. It went along these lines.

Chap: “Some people need to be taught how to use the toilet. The man before me, left the place in a terrible mess that I wonder what kind of home he comes from. But don’t look now, there he is on the table in front of us.”

Woman: “Are you sure – That’s TB, the man who writes.”

I glanced round at them and he quickly shied away. I wanted to tell them it was not me. That I found the toilet in that condition, but they got up and went to mingle and to presumably tell the people they were mingling with, that it was I who had messed up the toilet.

Since then, whenever I am resigned to using a cubicle, I have become a ‘toilet cleaner’ and clean up whatever mess the person before me left, so I can avoid a repeat of the ridicule I got at Serena. 


Pictures: Internet, New Vision                 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Judas And Brutus

JUST HOW sharp is your machete and how far, are you prepared to go to be a Judas or Brutus? People who fall from grace, or run into problems, the question is, not how far are they going to fall, but who will be Judas and Brutus stabbing them as they hurtle down.

Real friends who know Oscar Mulira, will tell you that Oscar is Oscar – a very decent chap from very good pedigree and who is always on hand to bail out his friends. So, imagine his shock when he landed into a spot of bother and rightfully assumed that his colleagues would rally round him. Some did. I know I did. But others like one of his tights, and who lives in the same area code as him and who he drinks with, without an ounce of spine in his back and no sense of honour, decency or loyalty, quietly slithered snake style off the table to go around to the back of the building to make phone calls in delight that trouble had finally beset him (Oscar). That was an utterly disgusting move to make, especially as Oscar had always been there 100 per cent for this tight – not only at work, but also with his personal – often financial – problems.

Like Oscar, media pundit Andrew Mwenda, (Below) is simply Andrew Mwenda. Okay, so he has a motor mouth on him. While he and I don’t share many things in common or call each other up, he is, nevertheless, a friend and we hold each other in high esteem. Recently, social media was awash with stories of his sexual orientation with many, including those that I have seen him hanging out with and who I deemed were part of his inner circle, fanning the flames that he is bisexual.


I am very vehemently going to support Mwenda, I don’t have the faintest idea about his sexual orientation as indeed, just as I don’t know the sexual orientation of Waiter who just served me my drink I type out this article. Whenever I am asked, my response is always generic – “that you best ask Andrew himself because I have never been inside his bedroom.” The only person who knows Mwenda’s sexual orientation is – err, Mwenda himself and whomever he ends up bed with. The rest of us know diddly squat but because we ‘we want to see him tumble’, what the heck, let’s stab him.

Social media then reached a frenzy when the financial woes of Gordon Wava, Patrick Bitature (Below) and Sudhir Ruparelia came to light. The negativity melted out from those who claimed to be friends of the trio but were not and in fact had never met them and from those who have access to their inner circles was astonishingly sad.


More knives, were hurled at Sudhir (Below), than at Wava or Patrick. Is it because Sudhir is of Indian origin and therefore deserved it? Is it because Crane Bank attached a house over loan issues? Or is it because it’s Sudhir? Or is it the people who hate Sudhir for no apparent reason except to hate him because he 'has' and they don’t.


The ‘friends’ who stabbed Sudhir and who are still throwing stones at him on social media, are the same friends who when times were good, would unashamedly demanded complimentary gym membership at Kabira Club, boat rides to Bulago Island to impress friends, free use of Victoria Ballroom at Speke Resort Munyonyo because Daughter or Son was getting married, or a job for them. He never to said ‘no’ but something along the lines of: “Yes, go talk to Tina or Akhilesh.”

Them spineless people – yes, they know themselves, also woke up extra early to stand outside Crane Chambers taking pictures of the DFCU signage going up, to post on Twitter and Facebook with a baseless caption that read: “Finally, the eviction.”

Lets let them be, for karma will one day return to maul them. This is Uganda where Judas and Brutus roam the streets at will looking for somebody – anybody, to stab that for the past seven years since I had my issues, I’ve literally worn a ‘barbed wire’ jacket to keep them at bay. I have prevailed – just like Oscar, Mwenda, Wava, Bitature and Sudhir will.

But Hater, watch your back, for today it’s you who is hating and knifing. Tomorrow, it will be one of your friends hating and knifing you.

Pictures: Internet

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cat Survives 9 Lives, Flees

AM NOT a sadist. The boy that I was when I was when growing up and the man that I am now, are two different people. As youngsters, we are shaped by what we see happening around us. When boys are growing up, they are ‘danger driven’ – throwing stones to enrage Farmers bull, climbing the fene tree, experimenting with match boxes and fuel and climbing out of the window of Parents crib, onto the roof and jumping off. As a boy, my life was constantly one stunt after the other – enough for perturbed Parent to call an ‘elders meeting’ to find out who, in the family, has the ‘mad streak’ in them and had passed it down the line to me.


Dad – Mr Bukumunhe that is, will tell you that at school when it came to physics or anything to do with sciences, it was not my cup of tea. I found the lessons rather tedious and as boring and dull as Teacher who taught the subject. Until he livened things up. To illustrate a point, he told class that a cat has nine lives. He didn’t stop there. He also told us, that if you flung it upside down off a roof, it would invert itself and always land on its feet.




The ramifications of that revelation especially on nine-year-old highly strung boys, was akin to being given ten crates of Coke and the entire week’s stock of Queens cakes that the local dukka has and told to go and have a blast. Until term ended, I had the same recurring dream – ‘nine lives and it always lands on its feet.’ I just could not wait for the summer holiday to roll on and tell my boys in Tank Hill where we lived.

Back then we had cats – two of them and I guess at this point, I should issue a distress advisory note to cat lovers before they read on.

With the unsuspecting cat in tow, we scaled onto the roof of Parents house to do the deed. Like I said at the start, we were not sadists. It’s just that we didn’t feel that what we were about to do was wrong. We were simply being boys, and we were experimenting.

And just like that, we flung the cat off the roof and like Teacher had taught months earlier, it did invert itself and land on its feet. We marvelled so much that we did it again and again and again until the cat perhaps feeling that his nine lives were almost up, fled and sought refuge in Neighbour’s house for the rest of my holiday.

I was in kyalo when Cousin asked if I wanted to see something ‘interesting’. Cousin should I say, was not like me – a boy doing boy things. He, was doing things that made me question his sanity.

In one of the storerooms, they had discovered a litter of rats that had just been born – no more than a few hours old. They huddled, their fragile pink bodies together for warmth while hissing and squeaking. While I knew that rats are vermin and are to be killed on sight, what I didn’t know, is how they got rid of the new born. But Cousin did.


Cousin scoped all 14 of them onto a grubby shovel and called in Dr Death - the sinister looking black kyalo cat that always gave me the creeps, to come and do the needful. It did. It didn’t first play with them as I thought it might, but with evil, relish and greed, it picked them up as they squealed and savagely started chomping into them. All 14 of them till they were gone then, then sat in the corner by the TV stand with a smug look while licking away at its paws. 

That night, when Dr Death came to slumber at the foot of my crib as it always did, I was not having any of it and by then, had I not outgrown the ‘tossing off the roof' fad, you surly know what I would have done to Dr Death - don't you?


Pictures: Internet

          


        

    

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!