Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Babba Musoga

I am a Musoga and a proud one at that. Many from Mbarara and beyond have always thought that I am one of them but how can I be? Okay, so I may have the height but the nose, it is not pointed or, is it?
The Basoga have always had divisions just like any other tribe has or is still having and while I am from Bugweri district, I am not too sure which other Musoga I am supposed to have beef with. Am I supposed to have beef with the Nabeta’s, the Batwala’s or say the Zikusooka’s?
I have travelled to almost every corner of Uganda but one place I have not really toured is Busoga. Well I have – mainstream Busoga that is – Jinja, Iganga, Busesa and of course Ibulanku which, dad put on the map.
Any town outside the ones I have mentioned are not mainstream Busoga as I found out when I went to a place called Nawanyago. I went but only because Nawanyago in pronunciation did not sound as unpleasant as Namabuga or Nakibungulla are.
I also took up the invitation because I wanted to see how the other Busoga live. Do they live like us? Do they have tarmac? Do they have DStv and have they heard of TML?
So it was into the Prado that we clambered and apart from the usual necessities, we packed mosquito repellent, anti-malaria tabs, plasters, bandages – well basically everything the chemist had to sell.
Getting to Nawanyago is simple enough. Hop over the dam, use the by-pass and at the round-about, rather than turning right to go to Bugembe, Iganga and beyond, just drive straight across and that road so I am told, eventually ends up in Kadaga town - Kamuli.
The first town we hit on that road was Mafubira. Mafubira is perhaps as big as Kansanga and there was nothing brilliant or exciting to say about it until I bought airtime for 20k.
The man in the kiosk, when I asked him, he was very positive that he had 20k airtime. So positive he was that I asked to scratch the security foil off the card while I went next door to buy a Coke.
Two minutes later and back at the kiosk, there was something amiss. Kiosk Man gave me booklet of airtime. Oh yes, 20k worth of airtime but in denominations of sh500!
I unleashed tumbavu on him but he didn’t quite get it, so I muttered mbuzi under my breath and then, spent the next two days loading airtime.
When we hit Nawanyago early in the evening, it looked like a decent town. They did have DStv, they did have colder than cold TML’s stacked up in a chest freezer but they also did have something that I had never heard before.
Well I thought I had heard it when we were in Mafubira but had dismissed it. Everybody in Nawanyago is called babba. If not, every sentence starts off with babba. So the conversation went along these lines.
TB: “Any chance of a TML?”
Barman:Babba, you want TML?”
Later that night…
TB: “What do you have to eat?”
Food Lady:Babba, you want some food?”
The following morning….
Chap at the gas station: “Babba, are you not feeling cold?”
Right from Mafubira to Kamuli, the key word is babba. If you don’t say babba before you spew out whatever it is that you have to say, don’t expect things to go smoothly.
Thank god I am not a babba Musoga. If I were, you would have to endure me starting off every sentence with babba and on that note, babba, see you next Sunday.