Kla Lingo (Part 1)

Every community has got a code of conduct, set of unwritten rules and general way of life that guides and directs its dwellers. When visitors come to this community they are initially clueless about the way of life, until they receive orientation. Sometimes the orientation is brutal, other times it is very wonderfully presented.

One of the crucial parts of the orientation will include learning a few words and phrases that will help them survive being hacked to death for failing to figure out a thing or two in the local dialect. There are several words and phrases that one has got to learn when they visit Kampala. It is almost impossible to keep up but somehow one has got to think on their feet; you’ve got to touch down running.

For the next 3 weeks I shall be exploring a few of the words and phrases that one will most likely encounter when they are having conversation with an average middle class Kampala City dweller. Strap yourselves in and let us dive into the first of three parts of our exploration of the Kampala lingo.

Part 1 (A – H)

A – Another Rap

Uganda is one of the few countries to be blessed with a President who is not only a Vision bearer, cattle keeper, army man and problem solver; Citizen 001 is also a Rapper with profound skill and proficiency in the art of spitting rhymes. He may not have dropped an album or mixtape (yet) but rumour has it that he has made more sales from releasing one song than many people have made in 16 years of being upcoming artists. The demand for the Citizen 001 to release ‘another rap’ have prompted folks to coin this very brilliant two worded expression to infer that the big man is not yet done with his Rap Vision.

MUSEVENI

Mess Not with the Rap Qlik

Other A words / phrases – Aganaga, Amawulire ku TV, Amuru District, Ankole Cows, Akandwanaho Caleb, Amasiro

B – Bonna

Bonna is a Luganda word for ‘All of them’. This word, when added to several other words creates a situation of general happiness. Bonna Balye, Bonna Bagagawale, Bonna Bawangule, Bonna Banywe … these are all terms that are used to pull and pool people together for more comprehensive benefits. Naturally, the negative implications here would mean that phrases like Bonna Baffe, Bonna Baavuwale or Bonna Bagwe cannot be ignored. If Isaac Newton’s third law is anything to go by, for any action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Eatage

Bonna Balye

Other B Words / Phrases – Bebe Cool, Bagishu, Beera Feya, Binsangawano, Bungoma, Banyarwanda, Bulaaya

C – Colgate

There are several brands of toothpaste in the market today. However, for reasons yet to be discovered, a good chunk of Ugandans will refer to every brand of toothpaste as Colgate. Now, while this may create confusion for a visitor, the strange thing is that Ugandans understand what exactly they are referring to even without mentioning it specifically. For instance one will say ‘I’d like the Blue Colgate’. The attendant on the other end will not even think twice or blink; they will know which exact brand the person wants. Pure telepathy!

People at the gym

They are all the same!

Other C Words / Phrases – Cassava, Cranes yatusala, Chips, Chicken and Chaps, Chameleon, China phone.

D – Desirable

Now for those who are on social media, the word ‘Desire’ is not as desirable as it originally was (pun intended). Thanks to a certain singer / socialite / sexy goddess, the word now means something entirely different. With just one pose, the sexy goddess created a new word altogether. Today, when someone says a lady is desirable, it is likely he has already undressed her, made her flash the v sign between her legs with one hand, cover one of her boobs with the other arm and smile sheepishly at the camera. Most of this happens in the mind and is termed as ‘the Desire Pose’.

burning-desire

Other D Words – Dembe, Drake Sekkeba, Damaged goods, Dryness,

E – Emaali

Emaali is referenced from one of the local dialects in Uganda. It is a word in Ateso that refers to ‘money’ or ‘property’. A profound local band (Afrigo Band) once performed a song in which they sang about ‘Ayawun Emaali Ore’ which is translation for ‘bringing money home’. This song has gone on to become a traditional club banger as well as a nice way to start off a conversation with anyone from that side of the country. It is also probably one of the finest songs ever produced by a band in Uganda. It is also one of the only five or six words of Ateso that people who aren’t from Teso know.

Other E Words – Eshabwe, Etofali, Epolon, Electricity thieves, Empako yawe, Emergency Door

F – Ffene

Probably one of the tastiest fruits on the planet. Most people around the world call it Jackfruit but in Kampala you will most likely be understood faster if you called it Ffene. This fruit is sold in various forms. Some people sell it as a whole, the way it comes off the tree, others split it and sell it in smaller bits while others go further to remove the seeds and sell it ready to consume. It has several health benefits including bettering your sense of humour. This is why half the people in Kampala are hilarious.

Jackfruit

Other F Words / Phrases – Filimu ya Massai, Fina, Ffe mwe mwe ffe, Father Musaala, Family Planning.

G – Gavumenti Etuyambe

Ugandans have in the recent past attempted to attract the attention of the Government on a number of issues. These issues have stretched from big and serious like the economy and health to minor and small like bad breath and unfunny comedians. Basically whenever a Ugandan feels disgruntled in any way, there will be a silent (or very loud) cry of ‘Gavumenti Etuyambe’. Naturally the Gavumenti has been hesitant to involve itself in some of these cries because many of them are really trivial, nonsensical and plain ridiculous. However, the cry is simply a sign of bigger problems – the people think their Gavumenti should start actually kuyambaring (helping) it’s people.

Gavumenti

Other G Words / Phrases – Global Fund, Gulu, Gyobera gyembera, Gombe, Gunyuma kiro, Generals.

H – Halo

98% of telephone conversations in this beautiful city will start off with the word ‘Halo’. People in other parts of the world will probably say ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ or anything else. In Uganda, it seems like on purchasing a mobile phone, the first agreement one has got to make is that they will answer each and every phone call with the word ‘Halo’. The courtesy that Ugandans have is so profound that even if someone was calling to insult or abuse you, they will start off by saying ‘Halo’. Very well behaved people.

Other H Words / Phrases – Hajjat / Hajji, Honourable, House party, House warming, Hot Katogo.

Next week we shall have Part 2 (of 3) of the Kla lingo. Until then, keep it together and please do not be a victim of language barrier in Kampala.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ― George Orwell, 1984

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

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Heat thesis

Over the past couple of weeks, Kampala has witnessed unprecedented temperature levels that have had people curve out all sorts of theories to explain the burning phenomenon. While some have insisted that the Lord is punishing us for our wickedness, others have alleged that the Government has had a hand in the heat wave. Some others have gone as far as asserting that certain women hold the key to unlocking the rains.

It’s been so hot a number of people have become several shades darker while others cannot risk taking their children out into the sun lest they get roasted and fried by the unrelenting sunshine. Two or three ‘summers’ have suffered what I have come to learn is a ‘heat stroke’ – a condition I previously thought Africans were immune to. It is currently so dry that I believe the Rive Nile will probably start cutting down it’s flow to just once or twice a week.

DogIt is just so hot right now!

Everything in this world happens because of one reason or another.

I therefore present my reasoning behind this ridiculously hot weather that has had one of my neighbours continously go to bed naked and leave her windows wide open, the weather that will soon have cows giving powdered milk.

I offer my theories for the current heat wave.

The Govcontrol Theory

I have always maintained the notion that nothing in this country happens unless it has been given a go-ahead by the Government. The Government decides when it will be morning and when it will be noon-time. If the Government wanted, it could easily flip the calendar to have 65 days and not the traditional 30 or 31 days. The Government can even alter the course of event so much that day-time does not precede night-time but rather some other condition altogether.

The Government is therefore solely responsible for this horrible weather.

While people are getting darker and darker by the minute, the Government secretly looking on with a big fat smile. There are reports that at some point, when everyone has turned as black as coal, then the Government will offer us all some kind subsidized redemption. It is likely that companies that deal in cold drinks, bleaching creams, light clothing, fans, air conditioners and water melon are currently reaping big and paying a good chunk to the Government. So until the Government has eaten enough from these companies, we may as well brace ourselves for an extended dry and extremely hot spell.

Govert comic

The Dryfem Theory

If you have been in Kampala for the past two or three months, ‘dryness’ is something you will think about on two levels. First, there is the dryness all around us; the one where you step out of your house and suddenly feel like the blood in your veins is boiling; the one where you sleep naked fully aware that the mosquitoes will not bother you because they can not take the heat; the one where you get home, open your fridge and have a near orgasm because the cold air that gushes out feels like heaven. Then there is the other dryness – the one that Zari became a household name for; the one Father Lokodo should campaign against instead of wasting time and resources on 50 Shades of Grey, the one that prompts females to visit bushes, plantations and caves in seach of remedies.

Both are upon us as we speak.

The gods are not happy that many of our females are as dry as a dead dingo’s donger.

Father Lokodo has it within his power to bring an end to both dryness levels because I believe one begets the other but the gods will not tell us just yet. While we are busy cursing the gods of weather and calling them names for sending us this heat wave, we are forgetting that they are only following suit. It is dry outside because it is dry inside. Deal with one and the other shall automatically fall in line.

water artWhat a glorious umbrella to be under … 

The Economic Theory

Another (very legitimate) school of thought has it that this dry weather is the making of the economic decision makers of this Godforsaken country. These people have opted to spend countless hours doing nothing for their country and earning chunks of money for it. They have driven the economy too deep into the ground even the ground is now complaining; we’ve gone in too deep. They have done this so much that the weather and the dollar rate have decided to rebel.

I know what you are about to ask and the answer is Yes – the dry weather is a sibling to the dollar rate.

You see, a long time ago, the weather and the dollar rate were close siblings. This was until their father, the economy, decided to give birth to a stubborn brother; corruption. When corruption entered the equation, the family became unstable. Dollar rate developed a wobbly movement pattern and the weather was simply bigheaded. Each of them wanted to be the bigger brother. Until recently, they have each taken turns to run affairs in the family. As we speak today, they are jointly screwing us over while their father, the economy just looks on with a huge smile because his sons are running affairs. It is likely we shall be spitting cotton and many swimming pools will close off one or two lanes for a while – the dry spell will stop when the economy sorts issues out.

TruthThe heatwave has gotten a bit too serious

The Beewol Theory

There is no theory here. I just felt like having my name added to the list of theories would be a fair attempt at getting back at my High School teachers. You see, these guys shoved countless theories named after so many people in our faces we ended up losing track. Today, I too shall curve out a theory named after myself.

The Beewol theory states …

“The cause of the heat in Kampala is the high temperatures … the reverse is also true”

Suck on that you High School teachers with fancy incoherent theories.

US heatwave, MarylandWhat we wouldn’t give for this! 

Totally unrelated … okay slightly related

News reached my desk that the recent dryness in Kampala was sponsored by National Water and Sewerage Corporation. I am still investigating these claims but it is likely that this rumour was started by a competitor of NWSC. None comes to mind at the moment but like I said, I am still investigating all these claims. Some other people have suggested that the heat wave is sponsored by Government opposition but I am treating this too as just hearsay. After all, I don’t think the opposition has it in them to control the weather. Hope they are learning lessons from the NRM Government.

I shall now take my leave before this (now warm) beer starts boiling.

“Even when natural weather is good, human weather is bad.” ― Yasunari Kawabata

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

Secret Guardians

Every human being on this planet has got a bunch of secrets that they would rather go to the grave with. Some have secrets that would rock the world to its very core while others have less interesting secrets that would probably get nothing more than a sigh. At the end of the day, everyone has got little skeletons hidden in a closet, hoping they will not peek or ask for liberation and freedom.

We-All-Have-Secrets

It’s no secret, we all have secrets

While on the subject of secrets, it is generally the rule that while everyone has secrets, there are a few who are maestros at the secrets game. They have curved out personalitites and even careers as experts at the secrets trade. Some have all sorts of secrets thrusted at them with or without their consent. Others position themselves to be able to listen to all kinds of secrets while some others simple enjoy the business of secrets. I know a few of these individuals and I shall attempt to identify a few of the experts at the secrets game.

Presenting, secret guardians;

Mothers

It has always been said that no one knows more secrets of children than mothers do. Mothers know tiny little dark secrets of their children so much that they can black mail anyone at anytime if they wanted to. Mothers know all about the time you pooped in your pants at the family gathering. They know about that time you got beaten up at school by a little disabled girl who everyone used to ridicule and bully. They know about the time you accidentally took a sip of your father’s alcohol and ended up speaking gibberish. They know how as a young boy Pink was your favourite colour and you loved playing with little dolls and eating ice cream. Mothers know so many things it is dangerous to want to be on their bad side. They know whether or not your current dad is even your real dad. These blessed people know just too much.

400-07726164er

Oh the serets mothers know!

Catholic Priests

For obvious reasons, catholic priests are included on this list. These guys know quite a lot of nasty things about their flock. From what I gather, every catholic is supposed to share their deepest dark secrets with a catholic father prior to receiving forgiveness from God. The whole truth-telling takes place in a tiny little place where the sinner is not exactly in position to see the face of the priest (probably so that he does not see the priest’s facial expression as he supresses shock and disappointment at the son or daughter of the Lord). It has been said over and over again that while Catholic Priests listen in to some of the sickest and nastiest confessions, they are also the most trustworthy people because apparently they would rather be stoned to death than reveal the confessions of a hitherto sinful catholic. This only goes to show that they actually do know quite a bunch of terrible secrets.

PRITXT

Telling it all

Google 

From the time the Internet went live, a lot of information has been shared around the world.  A good chunk of this information has been searched for on various platforms but Google is the number one search engine by far. Pay a random visit to any Computer that is connected to the internet and pull up the Google search History; trouble!. Some of the things human beings search for are really embarassing. We have outdone ourselves in this department so much that I am sure if Google were a person, he/she would literally be crawling on their knees begging for mercy from anyone typing into Google. We are just too brutal! We Google anything and everything from “How to Kill Chuck Norris In Real Life” to things like “What is a Boyfriend and where can I download one”. We are simply dangerous when it comes to searching for things on Google. Gone are the days when all we did was search for “Jennifer Lopez Naked”, “Translate to Nigerian English” or “Kim K sex tape”. Nowadays we search for things like “I hate when Jesus Rides Dinosaurs in My House”, “Am I the Only one who eats my poop because it tastes like lemon”, “How to have sex while dozing” and my personal favourite, “How do I use Google” We elevate the searching game every other day.

ZachZach speaks the truth 

God

It goes without saying that God knows quite a lot about us. Many a time, when we are in trouble we pray to him and explain that we did not intend to throw the body into the river but we were just scared after the hit and run. We also tell God to help us execute that robbery so that we do not get interrupeted. God is the one person who listens to our secrets and somehow seems not to judge. If the concept of the Holy Trinity is true, we can all agree that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit must be cracking up whenever we offer up our prayers. Many of our prayers are really hilarious and often border on ridiculous but the Holy Trinity never answers back with laughter. God listens to all our secrets and even before we can begin to reveal anything, the big guy seems to know already. Is he not the all-knowing one? Well, he knows everything we do and from what I gather, he knows it even before we do it. Yikes!

Jesus

God is on a major LOL right about now

The Government 

Few people will believe this but the Government knows quite a lot of things about us. The Government knows almost everything about us. It knows when you are born and when you die. It tracks you all through your education until the time you decide to self jail yourself with marriage. It knows everything! There is an international wave to kind of reduce the involvement of the Governent in personal lives but I am sure that will come to nothing because the Government is the eyes and ears of the Universe. The Government is the Universe’s way of listening to our coversations and following up on us every inch of the way. Right from the time you are born, you begin to give the Government your time, resources, body, soul and spirit. The day you die, the Government returns these things to the universe – intact with all your secrets. The Government usually lies to us by telling us we have freedoms and liberties but really the truth is these liberties and freedoms are simply what the Government says they are.

ScreqThe Government knows EVERYTHING!

“A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind 

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

Census Notes

While people in other parts of the world were going on with their boring and event-less lives, Ugandans for the past several days have been witnessing an interesting event known as the National Census. Now if you skipped Civics and Social Studies lessons back in Primary, you might not know what exactly this census was/is. If you are familiar with the Bible, you probably will remember the census from the book of Numbers and also around the time of Jesus’ birth. However, to make things less obscure for you, I shall help you understand the census.

The National Census was an event that involved counting all people within Uganda’s borders and it was conducted by strangely dressed Government representatives who moved from one place to another skipping over puddles, going through alleys and navigating their way from one village to another. I was not counted for reasons I am yet to find out but it is safe to say that most of the people I know were counted.

museveni1

No, Mr President; I haven’t been counted. 

I happen to personally know 3 people who played the role of enumerator and prior to the enumeration; I had asked them to take notes as they went about their census dealings. The plan was to share these findings with the awesome readers of this Blog. Last night they shared their notes with me and I am more than glad to share them with you. I must warn you though that there are some really bizarre findings.

Pauline in Rukungiri

Pauline did her enumeration somewhere in Western Uganda – Rukungiri District to be exact. Some of the homes she approached were not too enthusiastic about the census in the first place. One man feared that the counting was because the Government was planning to engage in a war and therefore needed to know how many casualties it would have to deal with. Another was worried that the NRM Gov’t was leaving power soon and needed to know for sure the economic situation of the people it was leaving behind. One of the families welcomed Pauline rather well, then each of the members laid hands on her – for exorcism. Apparently an evil demon had possessed the Gov’t and was consequently spreading around through the enumerators. One of the homes had a single father who kept grinning at Pauline the whole time she was asking questions. The guy later confessed that he was thankful to God for finally answering his prayer for a new mother to his two sons, and the Lord had done it through the Gov’t; Pauline was about to become a new mother and wife.

VisionHeading out to enumerate crazy Ugandans 

Julius in Banda

Julius did his enumeration in Kampala where it would be expected that the majority of the people were educated, informed and less prone to having strange assumptions. But Alas! People in Kampala were no strangers to weird assumptions and as Julius revealed, some of them were really ridiculous. Somewhere in Banda, a family locked all their doors and windows when Julius was spotted approaching. The old man of the home was not interested in revealing his family’s possessions to a Gov’t that was ‘in the hands of thieves’. Apparently there is so much corruption going on that the Gov’t has run out of money to steal and is therefore now embarking on stealing people’s property. Before this can be done though, the Gov’t but must first find out which citizens are worth robbing. Another person (still in Banda) was short of hurling stones at Julius. This person (who was later restrained by neighbours) was positive that his ex-wife had orchestrated the whole thing. Apparently after their divorce, the ex-wife did not get as much property as she had wanted and therefore sent this random enumerator to help her fight the battle. Just when I thought this was probably bizarre, Julius shared a story of a household somewhere in Kyambogo where the father insisted that his daughters would not be counted. In his opinion, if the girls are to fetch proper bride price in the future, they ought to be hidden away from the public so they can blossom. Julius was part of the public and had to be warded off at all costs.

dog

And then some families deployed angry dogs

Monica in Nebbi

Monica’s enumeration was somewhere in West Nile Region in Nebbi District. Monica encountered a number of problems including one of the homes not wanting her to leave because they felt that finally the Gov’t had remembered them and they were not going to let Monica leave until their problems of water, the fallen electricity pole and too many witch doctors were answered. Monica was therefore held captive for a little while until a few phonecalls and 1 or 2 cops later she was allowed to go. In one of the villages, Monica was received with what seemed like a real party. Everyone was dressed in what might have easily been their best clothes and the mother was particularly full of smiles. After a heavy and sumptuous meal, Monica got down to asking the questions – at which point everyone appeared shocked. They did not expect this pretty woman named Monica to start asking questions when she had been sent by the Lord to offer them salvation. Yes;  they thought Monica had been sent by the Lord himself. Turns out the father had had a dream about God sending an Angel; Monica and she was supposed to deliver the family from the apathy they had been languishing in for a while.

Yusuf in Nakasongola

Yusuf did his enumeration somewhere near the shores of Lake Kyoga, in a district called Nakasongola.  In a village called Galiraya, which is greatly a fishing community, most of the people’s assumptions were based around their favourite activity – fishing. In one of the homes, Yusufnwas asked about the contents of the bag he was carrying. Apparently the village had been told that Gov’t officials were coming to deliver wonderful fishing nets and it seemed like Yusuf had been sent to do just that. They even went ahead to state the problems they were facing with the fishing, right from the fewer varieties of fish to the overfishing by certain people in the village. In one of the villages, it became apparent that Yusuf had been sent by the Gov’t to settle a feud that had existed for several months. Both families felt they had rights to fish in a certain area of the lake. Yusuf did settle the feud but with more than just a chuckle being held back. One of the funniest stories in Yusuf’s notes was of a woman and her two sons who had religious reasoning behind refusal to be counted. Apparently they belonged to a sect that was totally against this census. Their gospel preached that the census would be conducted by the devil himself and therefore Yusuf was seen as Lucifer in the form of a strong, sturdy and well built man.

run away

And then they ran away from Lucifer

Reading through the notes from my enumerator friends, I can safely say that certain Ugandans are not just hilarious people but people with minds that are strangely creative. And while this blog post might seem to state that Ugandans are crazy people (which we are), one must not forget that these were but a few cases of people with bizarre assumptions about the census. The vast majority who were far from crazy, simply welcomed the enumerators, answered their questions, and went on with their lives – and so must you, after reading this Blog Post.

Winnie

My friend Winnie in Kiwatule even treated her enumerator guest to juice

“The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

 

A Bill Catalogue

In most parts of the world, the task of law making is almost exclusively left to Members of Parliament (MPs). They are the ones who decide whether something is legal or illegal and they determine whether a crime is punishable by jail time or firing squad; they basically call the shots. For the case of Uganda, the enthusiasm that MPs usually portray is nothing short of legendary. From what I hear, there are truckloads of bills waiting to be discussed in the August house. Some of these bills are bound to propel Uganda to levels of development never seen before while others will probably set us several decades back.

1

The Parliament – Factory of Bills

I have been puzzled by some of the bills that have crossed the floor of parliament of late. Some are strange, others ridiculous and some are just simply comical – which is okay because apparently work without play will make anyone dull (assuming they are not already certified as dull before the said work/play). Without necessary placing a finger on specific bills as being useless, I shall mention that some bills make me cringe in pain and shake my head with utmost disappointment. I do this not because I think these bills are worthless but because I feel like there are several more important things to be discussed in parliament as opposed to wasting hours discussing issues that are otherwise no-brainers. For instance, why should we bother discussing whether or not we should get involved in South Sudan yet it is clear that if we are to become a super power, we have to start by stepping on people’s toes? America did not become super power by minding their own business, did they?

Every day that passes I see people do and say things that are foul, inhumane and just plain ridiculous and MPs are just looking on, earning fat salaries and enjoying Honorable status. I therefore present a case for some crucial bills that should have seen the light of day in the Parliament. I present ‘The Bill Catalogue’.

The Hair Bill

Any man who has walked on the streets of Kampala will be in agreement with the assertion that women are slaves to their hair. Half the time a woman is looking at herself in the mirror, she is looking at the dead woman’s hair on her head – to check if it is still intact. Either that, or she is looking to see if the original owner of the hair has come from the dead to claim it. How about we regulate this hair business once and for all? I propose that it be made illegal for a woman to wear hair that does not belong to her whether in form of a weave, wig or extension. I don’t know too much about hair (mostly because I am bald) and I might not be the right person to make any such bold utterances about hair pieces. However, I know enough to conclude that those wigs, weaves and foreign hair pieces itch, they are ugly and they absolutely smell like death. True, they may look good and appear fancy, but so do peacock feathers.  I don’t see women clamoring to wear peacock feathers because they are so nice looking. My suggestion is simple: stop importing hair pieces and any woman who is found purchasing, dealing in or talking about hair pieces should be jailed for aggravating slavery to hair.

1

There’s no need to have an entire game reserve on your head

The Artist Bill

This one will be named after the famous title ‘upcoming artist’. You see, for a very long time, we have been tossed back and forth with the term ‘upcoming artist’ so much that it is now hard to tell whether one ever ceases to be an upcoming artist. It appears the entire music industry in Uganda is filled with upcoming artists; so much that it is hard to know who has finally come to the top. I know a number of artists who have enjoyed the title of ‘upcoming artist’ almost as long as Janet has been married to Museveni. This is somewhat unfair to the young singers who are also fighting to breathe in the same space. If you are going to be an upcoming artist, the law should dictate how long you get to enjoy this title after which you either upgrade or abandon the industry. The moment you abandon the industry, you shall be required to serve a few months in jail for attempting to obtain fame and fortune under false pretense. I know for a fact that I cannot sing. In fact, I am so terrible that when I attempt to sing in the shower I never get clean because I want to run out quickly – from myself; I am that bad. However, I have very high standards when it comes to listening to music. If someone’s music never improves with time, I will probably call them all sorts of names including fraudster, poser, wannabe and the worst of them all; a criminal!

The Male Dresscode Bill

This one is straight forward – it will define what things men should or should not wear. As much as there are many fireballs being hurled at the women for their dresscode, there is also need to clamp down on men who dress like they are in need of a sex change or mental analysis. This business of men being too fashion forward is not something that sits too well with me. As a matter of fact, if it were up to me, I would decree that men never wear any more than 3 colours at once and Orance, Pink, Green and Purple should never be one of these colours. Unless you are Denzel Mweyiritse or Urban Tv’s fashion guru Mosha, you have no right to wear any more than 3 colours at the same time. Also, certain fabrics like polyester and nylon should be made exclusively for women. In addition, this business of jeggings should be restricted to movies, magazines and shopping malls at Garden City. If you wear them anywhere else, you face jailtime. End of story!

Conan

 

Conan O’Brien looks constipated here thanks to the Jeggings. We don’t want that in Uganda.

I have about 84 other bills I would propose but seeing as I am not earning sitting allowance or getting fuel for a monster of a car, I shall stop sharing my ideas right here. That said, in case the MPs would love to consult about these and other important bills, I have no problem offering my consultancy services at a fee.

For now though, I leave you with the quote of the week …

We all know what Parliament is, and we are all ashamed of it. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker

Follow @beewol on Twitter

Employment Crack Code

Nearly every adult Ugandan has voiced their concern about the unemployment levels in this otherwise blessed country. Political parties have been set up, associations formed and tantrums thrown all in the name of the high levels of unemployment. I was recently chatting with a Human Resource Manger of a major telecom company (NO, I do not have her phone number so please do not ask me for details). Our discussion centered on the employment market and how crowded and pathetic it is. True, we did veer off topic once or twice; it was hard to concentrate with her Dollydagger Dita black red polka dress screaming for attention right there, in front of me. Also, she had a dragon tattoo that kept peeping from the back of her neck – as if asking me to say something. That said, most of our discussion was about the employment market and it’s perks. Red

The dress that almost stole away my attention

You see, gone are the days when one would hold a graduation party while they have 2 or 3 job offer letters lying around somewhere in their house. Today, several years after you have graduated, you may still be seen languishing in cafes, coffee shops and parks looking to bump into old friends who can offer you jobs. The hunt for jobs has dangerously been elevated. You may come across a bunch of employment opportunities advertised in the local press but it will be quite a while before any of them actually works out for you.

JobSearchNewspaperTough luck!

In light of this, one would wonder how the heck we are going to survive. Why do Universities still churn out graduates anyway? It is not like new jobs for fresh graduates will suddenly be manufactured from a factory somewhere in Kyankwanzi. In addition, it has become apparent that older folks have more active taste buds and more insatiable appetites than the younger folks. How else would one explain a grey haired dude occupying four or five  jobs which could easily be filled by five different young and energetic people? Overall, it is safe to say that the situation may not improve any time soon.

Many vital questions can be asked in 2014. Is Pharrel Williams a vampire who never ages? What really happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Does Beyonce’s fart smell nasty? Is Tamale Mirundi a descendant of the Mayans? Will Nigeria colonize Uganda one day? Who is more beautiful between Lupita Nyong’o and Jenniffer Hudson? Very many unanswered questions still haunt us. However, the biggest question right now would be: How shall we deal with unemployment in Uganda?

My humble suggestion lies in two very simple solutions. If I may;

1. Stop waiting and make the call

Many unemployed Ugandans are guilty of sitting back and waiting for nature to call them to the dinner table. Unfortunately for them, nature has way too many problems to deal with that she will need a lot more time to attend to each and every one of them. Instead of waiting for lady luck to smile your way, how about getting off your lazy bottom and going out there to do hunt down this fat lipped lady luck? Instead of sitting back and reading the dailies in search of job opportunities, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to think of doing something on your own. Something that will not require you to send in an application letter or appear before the firing squad at an interview committee that will leave you all drenched in sweat. Go out there and do something that you are passionate about, something that may not bring in as much money at the start but is bound to do so with time and dedication. Many unemployed people today blame the Government for the apathy that they suffer. Blaming the Government is something we must all do – it is our civic duty to blame the Government for bad roads, ugly girls, poor service delivery, lousy weather, slow internet, anything and everything… not to mention unemployment. However, after the blame game has been played, one needs to wake up to the realization that while you are busy blaming the Government, your neighbor (who strangely is also under the same government) wakes up at 6:00 am every morning to set up his Rolex stall where he will then proceed to make some really good money without waiting for the Government to come and light his sigiri or buy him baking flour. About time you got off that lazy ass and stopped waiting for the Government to find you a job – the Government is busy dealing with more important issues like the 36 Billion shilling MPs parking lot that flooded and drafting a bill to curb the smoking of shisha.

Rolex

The Government did not set his alarm for him to rise early

2. Embrace your passion and package yourself already! 

Very many unemployed people are quite talented at certain things and they are not even aware of it. Just because you graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Chemistry does not mean you cannot become a fine writer, movie star or Human Resource Manager. In Uganda, many of the courses we do at the University have to do with how we performed at ‘A’ Level. Sadly, this may not exactly be one’s passion in life. I know someone who passed ‘A’ level literature with flying colours but can barely write a 50 word story without making thirteen grammatical errors. Their passion is in another field – beer. Not drinking it, but marketing it. So he now works for a top Beer company where his skills are better suited. The onus is upon everyone to know what they are good at and go out there to embrace exactly that. The days when elders were worried about you wasting your Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies by becoming a Nursery School Teacher are long gone. If your passion is in teaching little kids, direct your dreams, aspirations and focus towards exactly that. Not only will it help you garner the mojo to go out and hunt for an opportunity that best suits you, it will also help you grow your strengths and thus increase your chances of performing well when the time for the job arrives.

chicken

You’ll be shocked how much money you can get from Poultry!

Why so serious?

A traditional reader of this blog will probably be wondering why I decided to tackle a ‘big-people’ subject like unemployment when there are several lighter and more humorous subjects. The thing is, after talking to the dragon tattoo lady, I realized that the power to change the state of affairs lies in people who have a mouthpiece or platform. If I can say a word or two about something, I may as well do my part and help one or two people. Also, it will give me a chance to appear wise and insightful no matter how contrary the evidence may suggest.

So then, for your weekly dose of inspiration –

“All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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.