Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Previously on The Coward...

Previously on The Coward: Some people have tried to punch, pinch and slap me to get my attention. Then there was a waitress who assured me at a function and more recently, I gave the Independence Day celebrations a miss because I had better things to do.

Did that intro not sound like a recap from a television series where they start off by going over what happened in the previous episode?

Today in The Coward: I am sitting in Fuego’s in Muyenga and wondering if anybody remembers somebody called Edmund Kizito? Edmund was the brains behind Chic and Spice magazines. Chic and Spice were not pornographic magazines but they did contain ‘saucy’ stories. As part of their selling strategy, the cover always had a picture of a vivacious looking girl. One day, Vivacious Looking Girl appeared on the cover with part of her underwear showing and that was it. The church went up in arms, politicians made noise (not Nsamba Buturo because he was not in government then) which, prompted John Nagenda’s nemesis Anna Borzello who was then the BBC’s correspondent in Uganda to do a piece on it for Focus on Africa.

Today a picture of a girl showing her underwear hardly causes a stir because a number of tabloids fill their pages with explicit pictures and driving round the city at night, one is bound to find a club or pub which caters for people who want to see erotic dancing – and I mean real erotic dancing that leaves nothing to the imagination.

Anybody who has been through Bwaise will tell you there is nothing much to write home about it – save for its legendary traffic jams whenever the heavens open up. However, just off one of the major intersections - on the left hand side – assuming you are coming from the Wandegeya end, there is a nondescript pub that bustles into the wee hours of the morning.

When I was still with the paper, I got more than a tip or two about the on-goings of the pub that I had to go there to check it out. My tipster had also advised that I dress down. Dress down? “It would be advisable if you wore a stay-at-home tee shirt, faded jeans, so that that you blend in with the crowd” he told me. At a loss for words of what he meant by a ‘stay-at-home tee shirt’, he meant something like ‘Omo washes brighter’ written across it, for example. I didn’t have an Omo tee shirt so I borrowed one that had Ryco Muchuzi Mix written over the back from House-ee.

From the moment I walked in, it was so obvious I was not supposed to be there. Not only was it dark, their clientele was predominantly blue collar worker – the ilk of taxi touts, girls who spend their day peeling matooke and serving the vast army of touts, boda boda riders, petrol pump attendants and traffic policemen lunch.
And so the show started. Upfront on a rickety dust strewn stage, the belles for the night took to the stage.

Let’s pause here for a while I get one thing straight. The ‘belles’ who were on stage could hardly be described as being bells for they were not of the same breath as say Halle Berry, Tara Banks or Kelly Rowland. Rather – or more appropriately, they were butch, stout with a Mike Tyson frame, a Moses Golola type haircut and bosoms that were so wasted in their bras because gravity had already taken a toll on them and thus wearing a bra served no purpose. But like they say, every woman out there has a man who will find her attractive and certainly, Traffic Policeman, Boda Boda Rider, Taxi Tout and Petrol Pump Attendant did find the belles on stage attractive enough – even though they were just standing on stage and doing nothing.

The show got underway to music sung by our local artistes. It was a drag to watch them, because they did nothing really save for stomping on the stage like a squad of Nazi storm troopers. Just as I was about to lick my wounds and write off the sh2,500 I spent at the entrance and a further 12k on Tusker Malt, MC came on stage to announce that the time has come. ‘The time has come’ for what so I wondered. I didn’t have to wait for long for an answer for he appeared to have read my mind.
In Luganda, he said, “It is time for action!” He went on. “Gentlemen, don’t be shy let’s see which of you is man enough!”

Of out the crowd, a hand shot up and a burly figure of a man, made his way to the stage. He had more than a belly about him, wore his trousers up by his chest with a set of keys dangling off his belt. He also wore pointed shoes that curled up at the front which suggested he was of the type that used pit latrines. Think about it, all men whose shoes curl up at the front use pit latrines because they have to squat on their toes which, disfigures the front of their shoes into pointing upwards. Anyway Burly Figure thought he was it, Action Man.

Others were coerced by their friends and soon enough the stage was full of eleven men for eleven butch, stout women with a Mike Tyson frame, a Moses Golola type haircut and bosoms that were wasted in their bras because gravity had already taken a toll on them.

And with a Joe Tabula song playing in the background they got down to ‘it’.
I am not too sure if Esther, my editor that is, and the Sunday Vision rules will allow me to mention what exactly it was that that were doing, but let me put it this way. They were engaging in a bout of ‘saawa ya maalavu! Yes, ‘saawa ya maalavu right there on a rickety and dusty stage with a crowd roaring them on.

Can I take a breather here for a while and allow not only my intestines to settle back into their wrinkled fold but to also rush to the washrooms to let go of a torrent of vomit that is threatening to erupt? Thanks.

“Waiter, where are the washrooms - I feel like vomiting?” I hurled twice and luckily enough for me, there was a pharmacy nearby so I sent for some mouthwash and knocked back two Tusker Malts to get my breath back to normal.

I am back now. Where was I? Ah, saawa ya maalavu on stage. So it happened and the more it went on, the more the crowd pushed forward and rather interestingly enough, it was the women who wanted to be at the front, at the touchline so to speak and to have the action right up in their faces.

If engaging in saawa ya maalavu on stage and in public was not bad enough, as the action went ‘limp’ (sigh), MC would pull the couples upright and congratulate them. But how do you congratulate a couple whose hair and clothing is now dust ridden? Gross.

I was still saying ‘gross’ over and over to myself when the chap tapped my elbow. He looked like Taxi Tout and in Luganda and sounding rather happy with himself he told me what he would have done had he been up there. “Too much info for me” so I told him though he did remind me of Policeman who I met while in Jinja at Cool Breeze hotel for PAM Awards. Sizing up the dancers on stage, Policeman said: “Me, I can handle those girls. I first make my thing sharp then attack.” It took me a while to make sense of what it was that he would make sharp and if you doubt he made those utterances, just ask the lady who edits Vision Health. She will confirm the story.
As the crowd dispersed, MC had some information to pass on. In Luganda, he said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, that was kimansulo but every Friday in Ndeeba, we have super kimansulo.” Yikes, I wonder what does super kimansulo entails?

That said, spare a thought for Mr. Buturo. Seeing that it was he who wanted to have all this stuff banned, I presume he must have gone on fact finding missions to get first-hand accounts of what really happens. Looking at it that way, I can now see how he must have emerged from the shows a disturbing figure. I know I was disturbed.
As I end, I sense you all want to ask a question. The answer is NO! I did not go to watch super kimansulo!