A fading pearl

When I was in my A’ Level, my literature teacher once took us through a strange lesson where he asked us to describe the country that we all know is Uganda. The exercise involved us describing Uganda as a human being, animal, inanimate object, celestial being or whatever our imagination conjured. After aggregating all our descriptions, it became apparent that we had discovered what Uganda looked like.

Uganda was described as a gorgeous female goddess with curvy posterior, full breasts, short hair, long searching legs and large round shy eyes. She’d look at you and instantly look away; afraid to pierce into your soul with her gaze. She was kind but stern, warm, charming and very friendly. She wore the simplest outfits but always looked the finest in the lot. Her singing was described as angelic and she had a well constructed form of speech.

african_girl_by_otunga-d4lx3st

African girl by Otunga

Sadly, over time, this woman has lost many of these attributes. Her breasts seem to have ‘fallen’into a sag and for her age there seem to be a few more wrinkles than expected. Her legs are still as long but she is not so keen to show them anymore, they carry a little too many scars from the various times she’s tripped and fallen. Her posterior has since turned from her greatest asset to her worst liability because the doctors say she needs to have it reduced; it’s too big for her frail body. Her eyes are more sunken than ever and her originally full lips are shrinking. Her hairline is strangely receding and she’s increasingly becoming agitated, distressed and moody.

With all this outward transformation going on, Uganda still has an inner beauty and splendour because goddesses never lose that.

Bringing the point home

Over the past few years, Uganda has burned hot and cold in her attempt to impress not just her own kinfolk but the entire world. For every good deed she registers, she seems to silently suffer a dozen setbacks. Without necessarily breaking down the insufficiencies that we as a nation are grappling with, any sane human being will admit that we are nowhere near we ought to be a country.

Not in the education sector, not in the health sector and certainly not in the transport sector. The tourism area isn’t any place we can say we have scored many points and neither can we claim to have a sizeable trophy cabinet in the sports department. Our economy is barely anything to write home about and our security, well, that is simply not anything to boast about.

Basically we are doomed, right?

Not quite. Strangely, with all these troubles eating at us from every direction, we continue to soldier on, mostly because the only other alternative is disappearing into oblivion – something I am sure we are not too keen to embrace. While all these unfortunate things happening around us, there are instances that put a smile on anyone’s face; a selfless and charitable act by a couple of youths here, a whistle blower shaming corrupt people there, a seemingly pointless sports victory in Nigeria, a growing telecommunication industry the other side – basically, our story is not all doom.

Lake Bunyonyi

We still have our natural appeal (www.roughguides.com)

Sadly, every day that passes, noble and well intentioned Ugandans lose their lives in circumstances that leave one wondering whether we are truly looking after each other well. Contrary to the insecurity song everyone might be singing right now, I would like to think that the recent wave of events (crimes) that occurred are a reflection of the kind of society we have become.

Breaking it down

Phionah Atukiriza, a resident of Bunamwaya in Wakiso District was on Monday night attacked by armed men who opened fire after she had tried to hold onto the bag they wanted to snatch from her. Phionah currently lies in Lubaga Hospital, bed-ridden and unable to carry on with her usual life anymore.

On the same day, Joan Kagezi, the top Ugandan state prosecutor in the trial of suspects of the 2010 Kampala suicide bombing which killed 76 people, was shot and killed a few meters from my doorstep in Kiwatule, a Kampala Suburb. She was with her family in the car.

A few hours later, gunmen showed up outside the residence of a wealthy businessman Steven Yiga somewhere in Mbuubi Zone, Lungujja, Lubaga municipality in Kampala. After a bout of heavy gunfire, three bodies were found in a pool of blood.

Without even being alarmist, any sane person will right away ask the question, “What the hell is going on?” And while it may be unfair to expect answers right away, seeing as investigations are going on with the different incidences, no one can claim to be unbothered by what is happening.

I am no security expert and I cannot begin to advance any theory to explain these events but I know enough to conclude that the gorgeous belle Uganda is twisting and writhing in untold pain – the Pearl of Africa is fading. She is becoming frail by the hour and her ability to hit high notes is waning.

Something ought to be done.

The tough questions

It is high time we as Ugandans started asking the vital questions about not just the security of our country but our entire well being as a nation.

Gone are the days when assailants carried sticks, toy guns or pangas. Nowadays they move around with guns. – Where are people getting all these guns?

People no longer steal and make away with only property, they want to take people’s lives as well.- Is this a reflection of what our society has become? Heartless, unbothered by murder and generally ready to end a life without much thought?

So many robberies (both armed and otherwise) are taking place in several neighbourhoods. – Have resources become so scarce, so much that we have taken it upon ourselves to enforce the ‘survival for the fittest’ theory?

Whenever a high profile murder occurs, we beef up security.- Do we always have to get hit first before we can be security conscious in our homes, workplaces and everywhere else?

ak-47.si

Where are all the guns coming from?

There are several questions that we ought to ask ourselves but the most important question of all is – are we going to simply look on as Uganda loses her ability to turn heads with her poise, glamour and beauty?

I’ll tell you what I’d like.

I’d like for this former beauty queen to regain her form, retake her position at the helm, reignite her passion for glamour and re-emerge as the Pearl of Africa that she truly is.

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. – Frederick Douglass

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
Follow @beewol on Twitter

Reverse Universe

In this universe of ours, there are things that we consider the norm and the accepted way of life. A child is born, they look ugly, they cry, they grow up, become better looking along the way, then they become a nuisance to the society. They then grow too big headed to live with their parents so they move out, meet another grown up parent-deserter (usually of the opposite sex) and start a family. Then they too bear children who also go through the same process and end up populating the world without changing too many rules. Occasionally there are rules that are bent to the point of breaking but overall, this is the way the human race has been able to survive from time immemorial.

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Children turn into rebellious young humans before also ageing 

The other day while I was seating at Javas waiting for a friend to pass by and clear my bill because I was broke, a thought crossed my mind. You see, my mind usually strays far off the ordinary path and conjures up the most unfortunate and twisted scenarios. I got to wondering what would be a likely scenario in case we were living in a reverse universe. For instance what if we started out old, aged backwards and ended up entering our mothers’ wombs to eventually disappear back into our fathers’ loins. I know what you must be saying – this is redundant thinking. Maybe it is, but then again, before you shove this away as utter rubbish (which it quite possibly could be) please hear me out.

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Don’t tell me to shut up!

If we were living in a reverse or parallel world, I am confident we’d be a much more organized group of people and we would probably treat the world and ourselves with softer hands. It would be an interesting world, to say the least.

Wars, What for?

Assuming we were living in this reverse world where we started out old then ended up as babies, there is a chance we’d have very few wars or none at all. No one would want to kill random people because hey, the person you want to do away with today might turn out to be a close relative in the future; worse still – your parent! No one would want to end up a baby with no mother so it is quite possible people would not be too keen to engage in wars. Everyone would want to have a worthwhile childhood with both parents around to look after them, hug them, cherish them and basically provide for them. For this reason alone, no one would want to kill another person for fear of actually eliminating someone who might eventually play a role in your birth (would it still be birth? We’d probably have a different word like Return).

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Imagine crawling back into your mother … 

The school situation

As expected, the older people would have more knowledge and information and therefore would need to go to school so they can unlearn this information. Those blessed (or for this matter cursed) with a lot of knowledge would have to go through various institutions of learning so they can unlearn this information. Interesting, right? And the uneducated ones would simply laze around and enjoy their lives as they count down to the return. Many people would therefore prefer to start out poor and uneducated because that way, they would not need to go through all the various stages of education to unlearn all the information they had in their big brains and to return the massive wealth they are cursed with.

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Uneducated Relaxation

 Entertainment things

Imagine a scenario where someone has to sit in front of a TV so the TV can watch him. And the TV would cough out instructions every after a few minutes for how someone must position themselves. If you are the kind of person who spends many hours in front of the TV or computer right now, you will be in big trouble in the reverse universe because there, you will be required to spend just as many hours in front of the TV but this time not to your benefit but to that of the TV Set or the computer. As for people who are always scrolling down their phones, there would be a real challenge there. The phone would demand that you slide here, press that, click the other, download this; all this because of your love for the mobile phone. Now wouldn’t that be something!

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Who is the slave now!

 The Question of Dating

The current scenario when it comes to dating is that you start out by dating someone you may not really like that much and then end up with the person you have to spend the rest of your life with. Imagine a situation where you start out with the person you love the most and then slowly go down towards the people you may not really like that much. As for the break ups, imagine a situation where a relationship begins with a heart break and then ends when you are falling for someone. Woah!! This is twisted. You start out with someone you have children with and then end up with someone you can’t stand but must tolerate simply because you have become young and naïve.

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The struggle would be real

The Issue of Memory

Old people have many memories, both happy and sad. Imagine a situation where you start out with these memories and then slowly, they get erased from your mind as you grow younger. Your memory slowly has bits and pieces snuffed out as you grow younger and some of these probably having been dear to you.  Older people would envy young people because young people do not have too many worries to deal with. These is kind of already the situation but in the reverse world, older people would work towards growing young so they would probably ask for advice from the young people on how to do things and how to experience life. And in a strange twist, young people would probably be heroes and inspirations looked up to by the older people. The younger one is, the more inspiring they are. Interesting!

child-teaching

Young children would be professors 

What about death?

As for the issue of death, I assume there would be a standard age from where we all begin. For instance if everyone started out as a weak and frail 100-year-old person, they would then grow younger as the days go by. Along the way there would be risk of death before one reaches their standard age of return. This is a scary prospect because while some people will start out at 100 and die at just the very old age of 99, others would live to see out all their 100 years. Eh! Strange just.

While I was thinking of these bizarre and strange things, someone walked up to me with a bill. And then I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be awesome if I started out full and then left Javas hungry? And hey, I would not need to spend anything, these guys would be paying me to come here and become hungry. Ah!

“Everything you can imagine is real.”  ― Pablo Picasso

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
Follow @beewol on Twitter

Bottled Theories

According to a number of reports, both genuine and fake, Ugandans rank very high on the list of nationals who consume great quantities of alcohol. We are internationally known as the drinking champions of this generation. If you are Ugandan, it is safe to assume that you have a drinking problem. If not that, then you know someone who has a drinking problem. If not that, then you are the reason someone is drinking – you are the drinking problem. And if it is none of those then one or both your parents are not Ugandan. There might be one or two individuals who will be up in arms against this allegation saying they have never tasted alcohol. To those, I have but one message – you are letting down our country. So much for the spirit of patriotism!

Moving on …

A number of theories and beliefs have been forwarded to explain why Ugandans love the bottle. Some scholars have forwarded the argument that Ugandans are the most intellectually mature natives of this earth therefore they drink a lot of alcohol to help them cope with the slow nature of other people. Some other scholars from the far East are of the opinion that Ugandans consume a lot of alcohol simply because we can. This school of thought has loopholes though seeing as people of other nations also CAN DRINK but somehow haven’t chosen to drink as much. Overall, very many arguments have been offered.

With a glass of low-alcoholic-content wine on my desk and my Laptop plugged into a power source, I shall share my bottled theories.

The Theory of Death

This theory states that Ugandans take alcohol because it helps to blur your sight about the inevitability of death. You see, Ugandans love life so much that we hate to be reminded about the little demon of death. The natural thing to do if one wants to forget something is take a few shots of a hardcore drink. This way, one will not just forget about death but they will take on a new persona altogether; one of a superhero. There is no man on this earth as invincible and dangerous as a man under the influence of alcohol. He will fling himself at anything and anyone with the assumption that nothing will harm him. Very carefully instructs your mind to create a fierce and dangerous person out of you, a person who will receive mail from the Angel of Death and re-address it with a neat addition ‘RETURN TO SENDER!!!’

No_death

Alcohol makes you put up a No-Death sign right away

The Marketing Theory

This theory suggests that alcohol marketing is the reason for our love of the bottle. In many countries around the world, the most aggressively advertised products are gadgets, health products, foodstuffs, financial products and Telecom services among other things. In Uganda, not too many products are marketed even half as fiercely as alcohol. If there was a Uganda life lost every time an alcohol advert hit the airwaves, this country would have few people left, all of them visitors from neighboring countries. We advertise alcohol way more than we advertise mosquito nets, vaccination, farming equipment, educational products and clothing all combined. The population loves their drink and the companies know it. Why deny them what they want?

Question

Beer companies will give you the answer – never the question

The Troubled Theory

Here, there is the belief that Ugandans are a troubled lot of people. With a life that is packed with complaining about UMEME, dodging tear gas canisters, hiding from iron bar thieves, arguing with conductors, sweating in traffic jam, begging for a salary raise, watching the national team get walloped left right and center, listen to stories of child sacrifice and generally worry about anything and everything, there is no way someone will stay away from alcohol. Under these circumstances, the realistic thing to do is be resilient and work to better the situation around you. However, who wants to waste their time fixing things when you can forget everything happened by just taking a few shots of a killer cocktail at your local bar? Forget the troubles, forget the worries, forget the realities and swing by the local joint for a few drinks. That ought to help you put the past behind you – albeit momentarily.

 

worried_about_a_bill

 

 Troubles left, right and center

The Partying Theory

This school of thought maintains that Ugandans are the most exciting and excited people to be around. Many of the people I have met who are from other countries but have spent some time in Uganda confess that there are few countries in the world that can offer the level of partying that Ugandans offer. Here, people party throughout the entire week and they do it while drinking truckloads of alcohol. A typical schedule of a working class Ugandan would have all evenings set aside for a few drinks. Monday, one will meet with the boys. Tuesday, there is the office drink up. Wednesday is the mid-week madness. Thursday is all about happy hour. Friday is when the real mayhem begins, Saturday is for getting wasted and Sunday is when people take a little alcohol to help them forget the previous night’s escapades. It is a non-stop chain of partying and drinking left right and center.

The Drama Theory

Imagine a scenario where you wake up in the morning to hear your neighbours quarrelling and fighting. You take a quick shower and head out to catch the morning taxi. In the taxi you are seated between two large women who are consuming 80% of the oxygen while adding 150% carbon dioxide back into the same air you are struggling to breathe in. When you get to work, your boss walks in a few seconds after you,  looking like he is in the mood to fire someone. As you rush to log in and complete yesterday’s assignment, an unemployed buddy sends you a whatsapp message with a fresh video titled – Sex Tape Recorded in Convent. As much as you want to concentrate on the Excel Sheet in front of you, the video begs for and eventually wins your attention. Halfway through the video, you are grinning then one of your colleagues notices and immediately tells everyone that you are watching pornography. Before you know it, the female colleagues start avoiding you except for the 42-year-old cleaning lady who is suddenly more interested in you. She makes a pass and you innocently smile but say nothing. As you play hide and seek with the cleaning lady, your boss passes by your desk and notices you are absent. Then you are summoned to the office, only to be told that the cleaning lady has just filed a sexual harassment case against you – apparently you have been stalking her! As the evening draws closer, your friends call you up to join them for a few drinks, how are you going to say no to that? This is the sort of drama that we go through on a daily basis.

Truth

 Nothing but the truth

There are a total of 924 theories that have been advanced to explain the drunkenness that Ugandans very proudly possess. However, due to the fact that apparently people get tired of reading, I must stop right here. Real bummer!

“Maybe some folks are alcoholics and others are just voluntary drunks. Maybe some folks drink due to body chemistry and others due to their lazy characters. Maybe some have drinking problems, while others have problems enough to drink.” ― George Jones, I Lived to Tell It All

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
Follow @beewol on Twitter

A Peek into the Afterlife

For many people, the question of the afterlife is still something for debate, argument, occasional name calling and even vehement denial. Many are not too sure whether there is really a heaven or a hell and they are unsure about a deity waiting to pass down judgment based on the life one has lived on earth. For the Muslims, Christians and several other faiths, there is no question about the afterlife. As a matter of fact, some faiths have dedicated themselves to suffering in this earthly life in preparation for the afterlife. My views on the issue of the afterlife are not views I will explicitly share here because, well, I am not a preacher. However, for purposes of clearing the air, I shall state that I am Christian. This therefore means that by default, I believe in heaven and hell.

This past week, I had an insightful and intriguing discussion with someone who offered me a very interesting view about the subject of life after death. In his opinion, when someone dies, their soul hovers around the earth trying to enjoy some of the things it did not enjoy while still in the now rotting body. This argument got me thinking seriously about the afterlife and what awesomeness awaits me there. I thus found myself staring into open space and making plans for my afterlife. Before I can check into rehab (as many of you might generously recommend), I shall dare to offer you my very interesting peek into the afterlife.

No More Taxes and Bills To pay

The first thing that got me really interested in this afterlife business was the fact that I would not have to pay taxes. You see, when my friend was telling me about the afterlife, he explained to me that when you are there, Uganda Revenue Authority has no jurisdiction whatsoever. Also, in the event that you have a job in the afterlife, there is no chance that you will be required to pay NSSF or PAYE. This lit up my face quite a lot because as it is, a great chunk of my already meager salary goes to paying these taxes. Apart from this, water bills, electricity bills, transport bills and all other bills are on the house! I never have to fork out a Shilling, Dollar, Yen, Euro or Pound (depending on which country my soul picks as a hovering area). Everything I receive shall be entirely free and the only thing I will do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

no-taxes-480No more bloody taxes!

Goodbye to friendzones and backstabs  

You see, the moment you touch down in the afterlife, the first thing that happens is that you are introduced to everyone. All males meet all females and all females meet all males. How this exactly happens, I have no idea. My friend however told me that one is not able to couple up with people of the opposite sex because the urges of the body have been left behind with the rotting body. This, I found every interesting. With no prospects of coupling up, there would be no need to try and impress female souls thus no risk of rejection or the worst of them all; the friendzone. Also, there would be no need to lie to a friend that his girl looks good yet indeed she seems like a long lost identical twin of Favour Flave. Just thinking about the possibility of no backstabbing made me smile as I continued to make plans for my afterlife.

flavour flavLadies and gentlemen, I give you Flavour Flav!

Finally meeting Jessica Alba

As I had already mentioned earlier, when one enters the afterlife, one gets introduced to all the people in the afterlife. My dream in this otherwise awesome life on earth is to meet Jessica Alba. If I cannot do it in this life, surely I can settle for the afterlife. Of course the downside to this being-introduced-to-everyone thing is that I will not survive being introduced to the souls of Bad Black, George Bush, Joseph Kony and Justin Bieber. One would wonder why I mention these people in the same sentence but hey, we all have different fears – those are mine; I don’t know about yours. Until I am dead and buried, I shall continue to hope that I will someday meet and talk to Jessica Alba. However, in the event that this does not come to pass, I will have my family inscribe on my tombstone: “Gone to Meet Alba” for that is where I shall be headed.

ALbaWhether in this life or the next life, I shall see you baby

Adieu to Politics  

There are so many things in this world that are sickening but the one thing that beats them all is Government. And by Government, I am not referring to the Ugandan Government. This is a wonderful government; it is responsible for so many good things like uuhhmm you know… the eclipse, among other things. So this Government is okay. However, Governments elsewhere are really terrible. Forcing people to say they are from Country A or Country B instead of just being citizens of the world. Also, why the heck does someone have to be paid a salary to make decisions on my behalf? I can make all the wrong decisions I want in life without help of a damn Goverment! Besides, most of the decisions these fellas in Government make benefit them and not me who is actually paying their salary. In the afterlife, there is no such madness. It is each soul for himself and no one owes allegiance to the other.

No conclusions yet

Well, before you make any conclusions about this new found love for the afterlife that I have, consider this; I still have a lot of work on earth to complete before I can sign out. For instance, if you have not yet heard, the Social Media Awards are on and for some strange reason, I was nominated among the Bloggers of the Year. Why people find this Monday madness even remotely interesting is beyond me. But hey, the people have decided. I may as well fulfill their wish and win the award for them. So before I can go to the afterlife, I need to win us this award. If you are reading this, you have already qualified as a voter because, well, you have internet access. Now all you have to do is log onto www.socialmediaawards.ug and cast your vote for Beewol in the Bloggers category. If you vote anyone else, consider our friendship terminated and prepare to be haunted by my soul when I die.

SOcial Media AwardsThe first of their kind …the Social Media Awards

And for your customary quote of the week …

“The dead are merely the countrymen of my future.” ― Dean Koontz, Fear Nothing

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker

Follow @beewol on Twitter.