Saturday, June 14, 2014

Skin Colour Is Still An Issue

There are, some things that fascinate me, but skin colour is not one of them despite my having a soft spot for the ‘hot chocolate brown’ South American skin. And, I won’t fuss about it.
It was a quiet Monday at Jeremy’s carwash by the rail lines on the way to Nsambya and I am alone in the restaurant as the ride is being washed and engrossed in newspapers and magazines when he walks in.
Chinese Man was not of the affluent Chinese expatriate set like Madame Fang of Fang Fang restaurant fame. Going by his tattered dress code, he was scraping at the anus of the economic ladder.
In the restaurant that could probably sit 40 plus diners, and which was empty, save for three waitresses  - two who were asleep near last night’s left over chips and boiled eggs display, and one who was hoping I would leave so she could join them, Chinese Man chose to sit next to me. Hmm!
I expected him to ask questions and put down the paper but all he uttered was gibberish which, was the least of my freaking out. What freaked was when he picked up my arm and gingerly started stroking, rubbing and pinching it. Is there any need to tell you that my brain went into freak overdrive with thoughts of - he’s gay and he’s flown all the way from Guangdong or Sichuan Province to be with me? Another ‘hmm’ is called for don’t you think?
However, Chinese Man and with a big phew, was not rubbing, stroking or pinching my arm in a depraved, morbid lust filled drool coupled with a perverted gay twist, but rather in a strange curiosity of feeling black skin. Another hmm!
Satisfied there was no sexual intent on his part, what to do next? Do I still slap his hand away or do I let him live out his thrill of having touched black skin so he can tell the folks back in Guangdong or Sichuan Province? I let him be and once he’d had his fill and his curiosity quenched, he got up and left as nonchalantly as he had walked in.
Chinese Man, he, I could deal with, but Danish Man who I met in Sombrero’s Nightclub in Jinja two weeks ago was something else.
He accosted me in the VIP wing and like Chinese Man, he too had a fascination about black skin and as soon as I gave him audience, this is how the conversation unravelled.
Danish Man: “Gwe, ogamba ki? You know I am not really white but black?”
TB: “Oh really?!!”
Danish Man: “I have been living in Jinja for six years and I am even going to marry my Musoga girlfriend. Gwe, obade ki, leta Nile Special!”
TB: “But you are white with a European accent?”
Danish Man: “Am black, forget the white skin.”
Danish Man was in his element. Every ounce of Luganda or Lusoga that he had mastered in six years, he threw at anybody who cared to listen. He was as proud as that female peacock at Entebbe zoo on heat displaying its feathers and ecstatic at being ‘black’ and that he had a black woman.
And that got me thinking. If I asked him to give up his Danish citizenship and become a Ugandan, would he? And black people with white girlfriends who live in Europe, do they see themselves as being white?
I couldn’t be bothered with identity crisis Danish Man who thinks sleeping with a black woman makes him black. I would rather deal with unpretentious at the anus end of the economic ladder Chinese Man who felt black skin and still felt Chinese and not black.