Saturday, May 30, 2015

Drama At The Airport

I love air travel and the buzz of airports. I like my cold TML in Java’s at Kenya’s JKIA; a Club at Entebbe’s Karibuni Lounge, the smell of stale cigarette smoke in the smokers lounge at Jo’burg’s O. R Tambo and a John Smith’s pint along with shepherds pie in Heathrow’s Five Turns Pub. But I loathe other passengers.
   
Airports are like a Hollywood film set, except, none of the cast (passengers) has a script. There is also no director and filming goes on all year. If there is a theme to the ‘movie’, then it’s people and their baggage.

My golden rule about flying is to get to the airport as early as possible, wiz through check-in and head to the nearest pub for a beer before they call the flight. That gives me enough time to check out pretty Stewardess and watch the drama and mayhem that Oga Woman flying to Lagos, Arab Man and Harem, Ugandan Woman and the rest bring.  
        
At Heathrow or Dubai, Ugandan Woman stands out because she is always overweight – not with her butt in this case, but with her luggage. She never has enough money left over to pay for the excess kg’s and wonders how she going to get the equivalent of a 20ft container of bras, clothes and wedding planning equipment she bought during her spree, shrink into the 23kg baggage allowance that British Airways allows. I have seen them go into shock and disbelief while pleading with BA Woman that: “I only have ten pieces of luggage – surely I can’t be overweight?”

Other passengers fall into the following categories.

Everyeventualityists think they are ready for anything. They have plastic bags with somosas, Splash juice, bogoya (in case of flight delays), the bible, and two Danielle Steel novels bought from Aristoc the day before to read on the flight but, won’t once the in-flight entertainment is switched on. Though prepared, they always forget their vaccination documents.

Chancers bring large laptop bags, suit carriers and cabin luggage - bumping our heads as they struggle to their seats. They board early and fill the overhead compartments so there’s no room for anybody else’s bags.

Exceptionalists are tourists who have been to National Theatre’s arts and craft village and bought the biggest giraffes, gorillas or buffalo crafts on display – if not, the set of local drums they saw while at Ndere Centre and are baffled as to why the airline won’t make an exception and let them take their precious items on board.

Makedoists are stingy. They would rather have their bursting-at-the-seams suitcases, burst open than spend money having Chap - who wraps luggage in cling foil do the needful. And there is the danger that the cheap Chinese Samsonite replica suitcase bought across the road from Radio One, is going to split open, so they travel with rolls of string and masking tape for emergency DIY repairs.

Inadvertentists think they are the only people with wheeled suitcases. They camp at the carousel picking up every wheeled suitcase – even yours, which is wrapped in cling foil while, ignoring theirs which have split open and littering the carousel with their underwear.

Indignants believe security rules inconvenience them. With enough bling on their fingers and neck, they also have coins scattered in all 20 plus pockets of their cargo pants, which set off the metal detector each time they walk through then, roll their eyes when Security Man barks yet again – “Empty all contents of your pockets!”

Flusterers, are the ‘ba tumbavu’ so I say because they always pack boarding passes and passports at the bottom of their bags or in one of the ga-zillion pockets on their cargo pants then hold up the queue at the boarding gate as they try to figure where they put them.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Mo Money, Mo Problems Syndrome

In 1997, Biggie Smalls, Puff Daddy and Mase released the rap song - Mo Money, More Problems. Somewhere in the lyrics is the line: “I don’t know what they want from me, it’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see...”

Emmanuel Adebayor, is a talented footballer whose skills were snapped up by English Premiership football club, Tottenham Hotspur and who are happy to pay him £100,000 per week (Sh430m) as a goal scorer.

At the end of the week when the money has been paid into his account, he gets stressed. While he wants to think about ‘financial security, more bling round his neck, a new crib or a pimped Range Rover Sport’, all that rings in his ears is, Mo Money, Mo Problems.

Reason? His relatives back in Togo are draining him that on his Facebook account, he recently wrote that: “During a family meeting, I was told to build each family member a house and give them a wage.” Ouch, a wage? What for?!

Then there is Josie Harris. Josie has two kids with boxing champion, Floyd Mayweather which is cool with me. However, no sooner had Mayweather stepped out of the boxing ring a few weeks ago with his $100m (Sh23bn) cheque for defeating Manny Pacquiao, instead of hearing the song – Celebration by Kool and The Gang ring through his ears, he instead heard the same tune that rings in Adebayor’s ears – Mo Money, Mo Problems.

You see, Josie wants $20m from Mayeather for an incident that happened in 2010 for, ‘defamation, intentional infliction of emotional stress and negligent emotional distress’ according to a lawsuit she filed with Los Angeles County Court and barely two days after Mayweather had picked up his winner’s cheque.

Off to England and enter Dale Vince. In the early 90s, Vince was ‘a penniless bum, a no-hoper and a waste of space‘, that Kathleen Wyatt, his wife at the time, had enough and took him to court and divorced him.

Years after the divorce, he got his act together and set up a company – Ecotricity that deals in green energy. So successful is the company that Vince, the once penniless bum, no-hoper and a waste of space, now has a fortune worth £23m.

Vince should be soaking up the sun on a beach in Barbados while quaffing champagne, eating caviar and listening to the ABBA song – Money, Money, Money. But Money, Money, Money is not the song that plays in his ears and is there any need to tell you that it’s – wait for it, wait for it – Mo Money, Mo Problems?

Despite having been divorced from Kathleen and not having any contact with her for more than 23 years, as soon as she (Kathleen) recently found out that Vince had made it and is worth £104m, she slithered out of the slimy sewers and took him to court to demand for £2m of his fortune!

Transgressing slightly, I should have finished this column weeks ago, but each time I come to it, I’m in such a rage over the Mo Money, Mo Problems syndrome, that I walk away from my laptop in disgust.

Lastly, I have to feel for M7. The NRM war ended 28 years ago, but still, there is always Villager popping out of Luweero and demanding compensation for a cow that he (M7), Tinyefuza, Saleh, Muhwezi, Kashillingi, Tumwine and the rest of the 27 rebels stole from Villager, roasted and ate whilst in the bush. For M7, it’s a case of, Mo Power, Mo Problems.

Smalls, Puffy and Mase, you were spot on in 1997 - as you are in 2015, for Mo Money, Mo Problems is still an issue.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Multi-Tasking Killed Billy The Goat

How did the interview go? - I ask. A pause then: “It went well and one thing that Employer wanted to know, was if I had the ability to ‘think outside the box’.”

Years back, it wasn’t about thinking outside the box because Employer didn’t need that kind of employee. Rather, he wanted people with multi-tasking skills.

Just to make sure we are on the same page, Google defines multi-tasking as: “The ability to perform multiple tasks during the same period of time, which are executed concurrently in overlapping time periods with new tasks starting before others have ended instead of sequentially one completing before the next starts.”

Many people proclaim that they can’t multi-task, but can. They do it every Saturday at wedding receptions – almost without thought because they have ‘the ability to eat cheese cake dessert in the middle of the lamb curry main course or being able to combine the soup starter with the other dessert option – chocolate ice cream.’ That is multi-tasking – not waiting for one course to end before starting the next.

The worrying aspect about multi-tasking is that we become smug and aloof that often, we fall victim to our effective ability at doing it. I know that did not make sense, but you will see why Employee gave up on people with multi-tasking skills and opted for those who think outside the box.

A couple of years back, Young Man was arrested in Romania for using an electric saw to slice his mother to pieces. All would have gone well for him had he not chosen to multi-task. He decided to watch television as he diced Mother into cubes that he didn’t notice the cord tangling up his arms. Apart from dicing Mother, he also ended up sawing off his foot.

In Paris, USA - yes there is a Paris in the US, Chap clobbered Wifey and Toy-ee to death then doused them with petrol to burn. His intention was to burn them then flee while smoking a celebratory joint. Then he thought about multi-tasking. As he gathered their remains, he lit up the joint, tossed the match to the floor and unaware that he too was also doused in fuel, he flared up like House-ee’s sigiri and suffered third degree burns.

Closer to home, there is Pompi. Rather than send a txt to one recipient at a time, he multi-tasked - while deeply engaged in a raucous conversation and sending txt messages to three different people. Is there any need to tell you what happened next? 

After dropping OPP to his Buziga home at 2:00am, I too multi-tasked – opening a bottle of TML with my teeth, changing CDs, trying to pick up the phone up from the floor and all while driving. Naturally, I lost control and drove into a swamp where the ride began to sink.

And at Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah’s wedding reception in Speke Resort Munyonyo last year, If only Policeman had not multi-tasked – he ate the dry cheese cracker biscuits while eating the main course – Irish potatoes, beef stew, nakati, grilled fish plus more. Then he choked and scurried off to spew his vomit into Lake Victoria.

But the winner in all this has to be Billy The Goat. You see, Billy The Goat got the horn just as the herd was about to cross the highway near Wobulenzi. Rather than stifle the urge till he got across and then mount She Goat, guess what he did? He multi-tasked and tried to mount her as they crossed the busy highway! So smug and aloof he had become that he didn’t notice the speeding fuel trailer which mowed him down and turned him into highway muchomo - much I guess, to Vendors delight.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Let's Give Mum's A Real Mother's Day

It’s Mother’s Day.

However, not all mothers are going to spend the day with Off Spring or boast to Neighbour what Off Spring did for them.

Some Off Spring, don’t get on with Mum and refer to them as: “Adolf Hitler’s sister, Masaka Evil Witch to Kiboko Mum from Namasuba” - something to do with the way Mum raised them?

Other mothers won’t get anything because Off Spring has left the family nest and no longer has time for them. Instead, they will be at the beach in Entebbe with Girlfie or Boyfie eating whole mputu fish while Mother, sits at home all alone and hoping that the next time the gate is opened, it’s one – if not, all of her children.

Then there is Mother who, has been incarcerated in Luzira or one of the other prisons and who won’t be with Off Spring because – prisons don’t grant visiting days for Mother’s Day, let alone Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter – and even Valentine’s Day.

But some mothers don’t deserve Mother’s Day like, Mother who some many years ago, turned up at the old Bamboo Nest in Bugologbi during a heated football match between Manchester United and West Ham. She brought her less than one-year-old toy-ee along, who she dumped in a shawl in the middle of a table filled with beer bottles, overflowing ashtrays and plates of pork. And in a very blazed state, she had the nerve to stand up when a loud cheer erupted to castigate fans for having woken up Toy-ee. Hmm!

We all have different bonds with our mothers and we all come from very different economic groups. Mother’s Day, is not about trying to impress Mum because we have the money to spend a few hours with her at a Serena luncheon. Mother’s Day, is about renewing that bond we have with her when we were younger.

Mother carried us all – even the bad boys like Hitler, Kony, Bin Laden, ISIS, SA Xenophobia and Boko Haram for nine months. Some mothers who were not wealthy still had to dig and provide for the family all though their pregnancies. And when out we popped, Mum never complained. She held us. She loved us. She guided us through life and even when we left home, she didn’t stop trying to mother us.

Many of us don’t talk about our mothers and I have never met many of my friends’ mothers or know their names or where they live. I just know they have Mum and that’s it.

One person who I wish I could emulate in showing love for his mother is Charles Mbire. While Mbire has the money and can afford to do many things for Mum, if you step back and look at them together, it’s not about money.

Mbire has an unbreakable appreciation for his mother and it’s mixed with a genuine love, a genuine respect, a genuine belief that his mother played a central role in his life. Throwing her huge parties represents less than ten per cent of what his mother is to him.

While a dime is tight, I will still go to Mum’s - albeit empty handed and spend the day - and the night. It will compensate for no gifts and bring a smile to her face. And I am not doing it because it’s Mother’s Day. I am doing it because she is Mum and every day, I am going to show her it’s another Mother’s Day to me.

So what you say - we give the mputa fish at the beach a miss, skip the kafunda beer, pass on that Premiership game and the trip to the salon. Let’s go see Mother!

Happy Mother’s Day to y’all.    

            

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Screwdrivers and Pliers Are Not Sex Toys

Along came New Zealander, Philip Lyle Hansen.

Matters of the bedroom were once considered a taboo subject that the mere mention of word the word sex, would have Vicar hauling you in for a session of ‘cleansing prayers’. You see, society then, never said: “Last night I had sex”. Rather, they said: “Last night, I lay with a woman.”

Today society and sex have changed. We are liberal and so is sex. Sex is in our faces – on billboards, magazines, television, radio and newspapers. It’s also in the bufunda’s as we talk about it over a TML and it’s also on WhatsApp – just ask Desire Luzinda.

Sex is also big business on the stock market. Ann Summers, the British high street shop that specializes in sex toys and lingerie, last year, posted sales in excess of £100 million.

Here, Senga has be forced to up her lectures that when she goes to kasiki’s, she now goes with a case filled with toys and gadgets - all designed to please in the bedroom.

The parameters of sex as our parents and grandparents knew it are a thing of the past. These days when we go to the bedroom for sawa ya malavu, apart from taking Wifey or Girlfie, we also take Luther Vandross, Barry White, handcuffs, lacy lingerie and chocolates – which I am cool with – each man and woman to their own so I believe.

Now this where the upper-cased BUT comes in and I guess you saw it coming. In our zeal for a more liberating sex life, we have walked to the end of the world and fallen into the abyss like the New Zealander, Philip Lyle Hansen has.

Hansen likes women – which, is a good thing.

However, he likes ‘gummy’ women and by that, I mean – wait for it, wait for it, he likes women without teeth! Lol, that’s a tight one, but like I said, each man and woman to their own.

When Hansen takes women to bed, his bedroom is not romantic. There are no scented candles, no chocolates on the bedside and no Luther or Barry serenading in the background.

Rather, he has a mechanics tool box – much like the one that Car Mechanic who works near campus has – you know, the one that contains dirty and oily rags, plus pliers and screwdrivers. Somewhere in the middle of sex and as his sexual pleasure takes his mojo to a new height, he whips out the screwdriver and pliers and starts doing some dentistry – as in yanking out the teeth of the women he is having sex with - without their consent. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

New Zealand Crown Prosecutor, Sally Carter, told court in Wellington last week, that he (Hansen) pulled out six of her client’s teeth during sex and then used an oily rag to stem the bleeding. Client who can’t be named for legal reasons told court that she was afraid of saying “no” when the yanking started. Jeez.

Pause.

That was so disturbing and if you don’t mind, could I have a ten minute recess while I go get a breath of fresh air before I continue?

Cool?

Thanks.

I am back. Until Hansen came onto the scene, I had no idea that some men lust after women with no teeth. I tried to picture myself torn between the sheets and romancing such a woman but the picture was too fuzzy and failed to materialize – thank God! As for Client, allowing six of her teeth to be pulled out…? I really don’t know what to say.

Do you?

With that, I can see our parents and grandparents stepping in and putting me in a corner to be berated along these lines: “Listen up TB, in our day when we took Woman home to bed, we would roll up her nightie and lay with her for five minutes with the lights turned off. Once done, we rolled off and slept.
That was enough for us. Now tell us why you and the rest of your generation want to take Woman to bed along with Barry White, Teddy Pendegrass, pliers, screwdrivers, WhatsApp or toys from Senga and Ann Summers?”

Hmm, they might just have a point. 



This article was deemed too risqué to appear my Sunday Vision column this Sunday by the censor board 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sista, Ugandan Men Are Brilliant!

Ugandan men, we are brilliant. Seriously, we are. We are a  president, kings, mayors, captains of industry, nightclub owners, distance runners, while our brothers in the western world invented just about everything from philosophy, medicine, architecture, telephone, trains, and the internet.

And we’ve also shown our global insanity with Boko Haram, Joseph Kony, Bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, ISIS and SA Xenophobia.

The Uganda we live in today would be nothing without John Akii-Bua, Milton Obote, James Mulwana and William Kalema or Bendicto Kiwanuka, YK Museveni, William Nadiope and others who have all contributed immeasurably to our modern lives.

So why, is it that today, we men are being put down by Sister? Dissing men and everything we stand for is a not only a Ugandan woman thing, but fashionable to millions of women round the world. +

If we do something well, we are told it’s because as men, everything was handed to us on a plate — at the expense of the females in the family who, were forced to drop out of school so their fees could be used to send the boys on to have a good education — and not because we’re skilled and work hard.

If a young Kivumbi is seduced by his female teacher, it’s brushed away. But if a young Jacinta has an affair with her male teacher, off to Luzira he goes and faster than Miria Matembe, can whip her feminists into frenzy by shouting: “Let’s go riot and burn our bras”.

Women’s issues are at the forefront with government funding. They have, voices who will stand in their defence while we, have nobody. We are of no interest to MPs, charities, UN or AU panels. If we want somebody to fight our corner, we have to have to do it ourselves.

Mothers like to nurture the baby they’ve been carrying for nine months, while we work – which is ok. Women carry life so we provide for that life. That’s our identity as fathers and what we bring to the table. It’s been like that way before John Speke ‘discovered’ the source of the Nile. When we get home and spend time with our children, we give it our all, but still get put down.

Today, women are in high paying URA, Price Waterhouse and KCCA jobs. So why are we men still expected to pay for nights out to Silk Lounge, Ange or Ntinda for pork – or for those things that don’t concern us like tampons or visits to the salon? Men have lost count of the number of times they have sat in KFC, Panamera or Sheraton observing fellow man financing dinner while, Sista looks away and points her nose in the air when the bill is presented — even though, she is on talk time and not pay-as-you-go, has a company ride and earns in excess of sh8m take home.

That’s why we don’t show our chivalrous side. We want to hold doors open for our women, but if we do, it goes to her head in an absurd way and she gets mputu, so we’ve chilled that line though, it would have been a respectful gesture to do.

Men – from Mawokota to Paidha, Kaabong to Kabwohe and beyond, are not bemoaning the successes of the Jennifer Musisi’s or Allen Kagina’s, but asking that a dude be given some respect, because at the moment, we’re being ‘de-toothed’ on a grand scale — like when we invite Sista out (alone) but she turns up with three bitchy friends who we are supposed to cater for, then drop home in the depths of Naalya yet we live on the other side of town – with not even a thank you in the offering from them.

Dudes, are you with me on this?

Why Can't Ugandans Simply Resign Or Just Go Quietly?

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