Kla Lingo (Part 2)

I will begin this blog post by stating a rather useless fact; I hate TV series. Save for one or two old series, I generally do not like being left in suspense and I sure as hell do not like to leave things hanging on unfinished. That being said, this Blog post happens to be the 2nd in a three-part series of blog posts about the lingo in Kampala.

Why wasn’t I able to have everything summed up in one blog post? Well, for starters, I am a wordy person and I will most likely use 38,407 words to explain to a woman why I cannot date her instead of simply using 5 or 6 words. So, yeah; I need more time to say even the simplest and smallest of things. Also, I am practicing my TV show writing skills and the last lesson I learnt is – never give them everything in one show.

So, here goes with the follow up to last week’s Kla lingo.

Part 2 (I – P)

I – International

In Uganda the word international has very little (and in some cases nothing at all) to do with being global or worldwide. The word international is a word that has now been added to the Ugandan dictionary as a preffix ( and sometimes a suffix). It is often added with another word to give the allure that something is of better quality or appeal for instance an international school with only locals as students, an international upcoming artist whose music is only listened to by his closest friends, an international girlfriend who has never gone across the border, an international phone that was manufactured in Katwe and an international hospital that is run by Ugandans, treats Ugandans and has no connection to the world outside except for the fact that the medicines used are imported. If you are looking to make your business seem legit, simply add the word international and you will be good to go. This, for instance, is an international Blog post.

GlobalMany of our International things are not as global as one would expect

Other I words / phrases: Imbalu, Iteso people, Illuminati, Ikong Joseph, Imagine by Peter Miles, Infrastructural Development that never happens.

J – Jamrock

There is a tiny little bar in Kampala that hosts a very popular Reggae night once every week. This Reggae night has over the years become something of a routine for a good number of Kampala dwellers and revellers. Several artists, both upcoming and already up there have been known to show face at this night either to promote their purportedly reggae music or to simply mix and mingle with the rather segmented crowd. One or two revellers might know the right words to certain reggae songs but the whole bar often explodes into a chorus of off-key and off-tune wails when their favourite songs are played. There is also a very popular pulling factor that this bar has; an-out-of-this-world happy hour coupled with overly friendly waiters and waitresses. I am a bigger rockhead than a rasta man but I pass there ever once in a while for some bashment.

jamrock_by_sk8erchickroz-d33q7fe

And I sing who Jah bless, let no man curse …

Other J words / Phrases : Julianna, Just katono, Jennifer, Jennifer tuyambe, Jinja.

K – Kuliche / Kuriche

Depending on what part of the country you come from, you can pronounce this word in any way suitable. Basically the word being inferred here is the English word ‘Cliche’ which is a big time favourite of a one Tamale Mirundi. Anyone who has been in front of a TV or listened to a radio in the past several years has heard the voice of this man – Tamale Mirundi. This gentleman is the definition of a loud and inccesant chatter box with a whole lot of grossly misplaced intended to confuse and yet scare the listener / viewer. He is often alarmist, frequently subversive, occasionally diversionary and abnormally hilarious. His favourite word is ‘Kuriche’.

Tamale-Mirundi

The originator of the word Kuriche

Other K Words : Katooto, Kasana, Kyabise, Kikomando, Kumbaya, Katogo

L – Lira Lira

This is one of the most potent drinks in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. The drink is so potent in alcoholic content, so much that the geniuses who invented it figured that naming it twice would send the point home. Unfortunately, there has not yet been a proper process to package and export it, seeing as Uganda is well known for alcohol consumption. That being said, anyone who visits Northern Uganda or communities around the country that are inhabited by people from Northern Uganda will get the chance to taste this awesome drink. It has the ability to make one happy while giving them the most gruesome look all at once.

duff-beer-simpsons-crossover.0

Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson have themselves endorsed Lira Lira

Other L words : Lungujja, Langi, Luzinda, Love affair, Laba lumonde, Luweero.

M – Make It Nasty

Once upon a time, there was a bunch of students from a very popular University who engaged in what has now come to be termed as a ‘ground breaking activity’. The details of this activity are referred to as ‘making it nasty’ because these students coined the phrase to refer to their activity. Today, whenever anyone is taking part in an activity of this nature, they will be referred to as ‘making it nasty’. To be able to make it nasty, one requires a willing female, a willing male and a video recording device. No more information shall be shared in this section seeing as this blogger recently learnt that under 18 children also read the blog. A combination of some of these words would be something like ‘Let us make it nasty in the mweruka mode’ – this simply means ‘Let us do the dirty silently’.

keep-calm-and-make-it-nasty-8

Ahem! Ahem!

Other M Words / phrases : Muyaye, Mwooyo, Mungato, Muvubuka, Mbale, Mweruka mode, model empya.

N – No Change

There are a number of Ugandans who subscribe to the school of thought that asserts that ‘unless it is broken and shattered to pieces, do not attempt to fix it’. These Ugandans have dedicated their lives to fronting the ‘No Change’ campaign in the hope that the status quo shall remain unchanged. From the political point of view, the ‘No Change’ slogan is often used whenever an incumbent is standing for an electoral position that he is still occupying. It is very common among the peasants, uneducated and sycophants. It is also a statement used by traders when telling their customers that they have no smaller denominations of money.

motivational-interviewing-change-or-no-change

We each sit where we feel comfortable

Other N words / phrases : Nagisi, Nye, Neera, Nebbi, Nubian, Ndombolo, Nantaba

O – Ondaba

Ondaba is a self empowering movement with experiences made in Uganda. It is a campaign set up to recognise the uniqueness that is Uganda. In essence, the word is a Luganda word that relates to being seen or noticed. The aim of this campaign is to have people and groups of people identify themselves as proud Ugandans through what they eat, how they dress, where they go, the things they own, the lives they lead and generally who they are. One is likely to bump into the hashtag #Ondaba on various social media platforms. It is simply an attempt by Ugandans to stand out and express pride in their country no matter how pathetic or hopeless the situation may seem.

Ondaba

Akapande mukalaba?

Other O Words / Phrases – Oyagala Cash, Oyorific, Open and close, Omara the Afande, Onfudde Muddu wo,

P – Potential

A few years ago, the duo of Radio and Weasel of Goodlyfe got together with Zambian singer General ozzy to make some music. The trio put their brains together and emerged with a song (Potential) that created some kind of cult following for Goodlyfe. The song ‘potential’ is about a woman having the potential to sweep a man off his feet. The word ‘potential’ went on to become a word that described anything that is worthy. You will now hear people say things like ‘that woman has potential’, ‘this phone has potential’, ‘that man’s car has potential’, or ‘the current Gov’t has lost its potential’.

Ruth

Look at all this Komuntale Potential. Pity it went to waste.

Other P Words / Phrases – Porn, Pomili, President waffe, Pader, P

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

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein

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

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

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

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

 I am disappointed in my Country

If you have been to any court of law in Uganda you know by now that even before you open your mouth to defend or attack someone you need to have some kind of substantial backing. The backing is often in the form of well put-together evidence, an array of witnesses and legitimate citing of support by the constitution – among other things. Ideally when all these elements are brought together and they fit perfectly, one can confidently claim to have a legitimate case.

I am fully aware that the justice system in Uganda has its shortcomings and therefore cannot be looked at as the Oracle. However, I have learnt over time that institutions only work if we believe in them – and if we let them carry out their processes with legitimacy, decency and fairness. Recently, I learnt that as much as the justice system is designed or intended to offer justice, a good number of people have actually suffered because of this same justice system and those who work with and in it.

The issue of minorities is an issue that will forever create debate because as long as the human race exists, there will always be minorities in terms of race, age, sex, faith, orientation, physical build and ideology. The manner in which the justice system handles these “minorities” is one that I have come to learn is unfair, extremely prejudiced and abnormally inhumane.

On Friday 27th February, I attended a get-together organised by Chapter Four Uganda under the theme “Justice4All”. The focus of this get-together was to launch a report titled “The Abuse of the Rights of Sexual Minorities in Uganda’s Criminal Justice System”. Now while it may seem like justice is an ideal that many if not most people deserve and rightly should have access to, there are actually a good number of people who have had no sniff of the scent of justice.

A harrowing tale of certain sexual minorities being ‘physically probed’ and constantly dehumanized because the law does not recognise them as ‘legitimate human beings’ almost made me lose my mind. It is one thing to attempt to understand why someone is different from you. It is an entirely different thing when you try so hard to make someone who does not subscribe to your school of thought look like the enemy. On Friday I listened to stories of Ugandans living in fear simply because of the worry that any moment, they might be victims of a justice process that has adjudged them to be guilty in a war started by, and fought solely by nature.

I was shocked that some Ugandans are treated like they do not belong to this country; they are looked at as evil, nefarious, monstrous and extremely repulsive creatures with little or no semblance to proper human beings.

This infuriates me.

I do not condone acts that are against the constitution and I am in no way a campaigner for immorality or wickedness for that matter. However, I am also not a campaigner of inhumanity, barbaric and fiendish behaviour towards certain people simply because they are not like us.

HoraceHorace speaks the the truth!

Ugandans are known to be loving and hospitable individuals. We are known world over as people who love without limits, people who are free-spirited and are always willing to make the strangest of visitors feel at home. Why then do we rise up against our own brothers and sisters? Why do we deny justice to the people who share our cradle land, the people who share our last names, people who we have eaten and drank with since childhood? Why do we suddenly distance ourselves from people simply because they do not look like, think like or act like us? Why do we relegate them to the gates of hell simply because they prefer one thing and not the other? If we are not going to look after our own brothers and sisters, who will? A great many quotes have been directed to teaching people to embrace others no matter the difference that may be present. Why do we suddenly abandon these teachings when our brothers and sisters need us the most? As a policeman / woman, lawmaker, medical practitioner, religious leader, trend setter, celebrity, influential person or just plain human being, is it not my responsibility to treat my fellow man like he deserves the same justice that I think I deserve? Why should I turn round and be callous to someone simply because he does not think like or look like me?

Pope PaulI don’t think I would have put it any better

When 66-year-old Bernard Randall was deported for his involvement in Gay activities, one would have imagined that as a foreigner, Randall probably had it coming. One might also argue that as a foreigner, deportation was as decent an action as could be accorded to him for what the constitution deemed illegal or criminal for that matter. And Randall had / has the backing of his Government, several Civil Rights activists, the International community as well as a bunch of countless Western organisations and individuals.

What about our brothers and sisters who may not have the luxury of an army of supporters or sympathisers? What about our friends who have silently suffered life-long confusion about who they truly are? What about those who have grown up in a society that says any attitudes that are different from the norm are acts of the devil? And what about our sons and daughters, who secretly engage in the most devilish acts but will pretend their whole lives simply because they are afraid of ridiculing, mockery, scorn and a whole lot of derision? What about those people who wake up every morning disoriented and unsure of themselves and go to bed at night even more bewildered and lost? Why are we denying them the chance to be human, the chance to attain their full potential and the chance to be who they truly are meant to me as dictated by nature?

I write this piece after having a sad conversation with someone who has for twenty-six years been unsure of what his identity is. And this is because his family, friends and relations are all vehemently against any notions of straying from the norm. While he is otherwise an imperturbable soul that simply needs talking to, understanding and above all, guidance, he has opted to secretly engage in what I am sure his relatives will excommunicate him for – if they find out anyway. Now, while I have been sworn to secrecy, I will confidently say that on his behalf and on behalf of the several minorities that have been condemned to the gallows of public hell because of their differences; I am disappointed on so many levels. I am disappointed in myself and anyone who has under looked, disregarded, neglected and condemned another person just because they belong to the minority.

I am disappointed in my country.

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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

Swimming with Blue Whales

One of these days, I am going to start taking swimming lessons.

First of all, I am not a fan of water; in fact, I hate it. I shower once or twice everyday but I stay away from bathtubs, swimming pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, waterlogged potholes, seas, oceans and all other water places that may come to mind. Psychologists and medical experts with fancy titles often refer to people of my kind as suffering from Aquaphobia – a persistent and abnormal fear of water. It is therefore likely that I will not be auditioning for the role of Aquaman for DC Comics.

Whey then do I need swimming lessons?

Keep up – this is what I am explaining.

Arrival of an email                

Early last week, I received an email informing me of my nomination for the Social Media Awards. The email explained that I had been nominated in the category of ‘Most Influential Personality’ on social media in Uganda. I was euphoric and nearly screamed out loud but because I was in a taxi with a whole lot of clearly disinterested people, I figured I’d keep it in till I got to the office. When I got to the office, I re-read the email and then the euphoria turned to something akin to panic.

baby-met-laptop

I had to re-read the email several times to be sure

You see, I had been nominated alongside names that would ordinarily make anyone shriek and squeal uncontrollably because of extreme fear and twitchiness.

I will tell you a bit about these people later on.

Twist of Events

Having previously been a winner in the Bloggers’ category of the Social Media Awards, I figured that if any nomination was to come my way, it would be in the same category. Therefore seeing my name in a different category somewhat shook me to the core. However, knowing that there are many awesome bloggers out there, I imagined this time I did not cut it and I swallowed that with a gulp. I know most (if not all) the nominated bloggers and I can attest to the fact that they are all deserving nominees. And this is partly how I was able to wrap my mind around the fact that I had failed to make it to the list.

Now about the Whales

When I eventually settled in the office to look at the list of who else had been nominated in the various categories, I found myself drifting back to the ‘Most influential Personality’ category. This was not just because it was the category in which I am nominated but because of the names therein. The whole time I was looking at the nominees, I had to pinch myself over and over – to remind myself that my nomination was/is real.

The ocean is filled with various types of water creatures but none is as big as the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera physalus). The list of nominees was a pod of huge, superfast, legendary and out-of-this world Blue whales along with a little happy dolphin – myself.

Blue Whale

The blue whale is the largest mammal

How so?

Well, I shall shed a little light on the other nominees.

Amama Mbabazi is the proverbial Blue Whale that is the head of the pod. As a former Prime Minister, Minister for Security, Secretary General of the NRM and current MP for Kinkiizi West constituency in Kanungu District, it is likely that more Ugandans know him than all my friends and relatives combined. Experts from NASA have often wondered why aliens know him even though they have never made official contact with human beings.

The second Blue Whale, Qataha Raymond, is actually a close friend. Raymond, is one of the finest journalists I have come across in East Africa. He has worked with several media houses and prides himself in having contacts that go from here to mars. Anyone who is anyone knows this guy. Raymond and I have played foosball together, watched games where Arsenal loses to Man United, been to house parties together and done a lot of charity together and I can safely say he is a big wig. He knows the phone numbers of wealthy people, army men, beautiful girls and powerful lawyers off the top of his head.

The third Blue Whale is Esther Kalenzi, the brain, heart and soul of 40 Days Over 40 Smiles. Also a personal friend, a big dreamer and achiever, she is one of the most passionate people I have ever met. Humble, down to earth and abnormally compassionate, this girl is the definition of a winning woman. She loves and cares with no limits. I know a bunch of people who have confessed to joining charity because of her – I am one of those people.

The fourth Blue Whale is Andrew Mwenda – the old man of the Clan. This guy has epitomized the struggle for freedom of speech in Uganda and is part of the reason why many people can comfortably hurl insults at the regime. Mwenda is one of the most accomplished Ugandan journalists, he is a founder and owner of The Independent and a celebrated Community activist against Aid to Africa.

The fifth Blue Whale is Simon Kaheru. Now if you are on social media and you don’t know Simon – you need to repent because you are a sinner. He is a professional communicator with the ability to communicate anything to anyone with extreme ease, finesse and profound results. Tales are told of how he once gave a speech in bold italics with a strangely large font size. He doesn’t just think outside the box; he often throws the box out of the window just so he can think better.

Challenge Accepted

As a dolphin being ushered into the swimming game, I have decided to do the honourable thing and accept the challenge to swim with the Whales. I may not be the biggest fan of water but at this moment in time, I will be the dolphin that simply enjoys the ride alongside the Blue Whales.

humpbackwhaleanddolphin

Whales and Dolphins can be good friends too

Ladies, and Gentlemen, let the swimming games begin.

Click the link below to vote for the sea creatures that you think deserve the nod.

www.socialmediaawards.ug

 The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man, it is to know that and to wonder at it – Jacques Yves Cousteau

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

To My Unborn Boy

Listen little fella, this is your father writing to you. You are not yet born and we are not yet sure who your mother will be but I am writing to you anyway. Don’t ask why I am not sure who your mother will be; I am still single and the last time I checked it takes two to make a baby. Also, your mother has not yet unveiled herself; if she has, I am too busy being awesome to notice. But hey, let us not lose focus here. You are the subject of this letter; not me.

Baby-Shoes

So then, shall we focus on my intention of writing this letter to you?

Good.

You see, little man, when you enter this world, you are flung into a ruthless and merciless world that will not give you a chance to steal even half a breath without making you pay dearly. Every step you make and every move you make will lead you to a certain point in your life which many people like to call destiny. Walk the right path my boy and make sure you have fewer regrets than satisfaction.

Am I sounding overly sanctimonious? Relax. I will make things easier for you.

Let me give you some insight into a few things I want you to learn from no one but your dad.

The other sex and their things

Women are a very vital part of your life. Your mother, sisters, daughters and aunties will all be female so you should make an attempt to reason with them. They will intentionally hurt you to get your attention; never lose your mind over them – it is how they are wired. Make them happy and you will be the happiest man alive. Rub them the wrong way and you may as well kiss happiness goodbye. Never attempt to get into an argument with women. You’d be more likely (and safer) to bump into a live fire breathing dragon on Kampala Road than to try winning an argument against a female. When she asks you one thing, be sure she means something else. A good chunk of their questions are actually rhetorical so try as much as possible to avoid being a smartass with them. “Do I look good in this?”, “Am I fat?”, “Do you love me?”, “Will you take me shopping?”, “Do you like my new hair?”, “Is the devil female?”; all these are questions with answers already written in stone. Never attempt to be creative and come up with your own answers otherwise that will be your demise right there.

understanding-women

End of the world things

Young man, in my time, we were threatened with the end of the world more times than I can remember. One thing is for certain, as long as you live a life worth remembering, you should never have to worry about the end of the world. Never fall for this end-of-the-world business my boy. If there is anything we as human beings have learned, it is that when someone dies, that is the end of their world. The rest of humanity carries on, often with an indifference that will make you wonder why we even worry about other people’s lives. Just make sure that the people around you are happy with the life you are living and the rest shall be okay. Oh and one other thing – if there is any religion or cult that sets a specific date as the possible end of the world, walk up to their leader and kick him in the nuts – I give you permission. It is mostly men who want to brainwash human beings with ludicrous and bogus ideas of the world’s end so beware who you listen to. Read the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Ghita and whatever other Holy Book you can come across because I have learnt that the best way to indulge in any argument or discussion is to be immensely informed and well read.

young-entrepreneurs-changing-the-worldWhen you die, your world stop spinning. Period!

Money and career things

You will have probably heard this a billion times already but I will say it anyway, ‘Money is the root of all evil’ okay not all evil but most evil. As long as you let your life be ruled by money, you are bound to sell your soul to worthless and often inhumane causes. Make sure that you pursue a career that makes you happy while enabling you put food on the table. You don’t want your pretty wife and awesome kids starving now do you? Never ever get into any career solely because of the money. You will get consumed by it and you will end up forgetting who you really are. Stay true to yourself and pursue your personal dreams before thinking of money. I can guarantee that if you pursue your dreams with seriousness and focus, you will get shitloads of money you will not even know what to do with it. And if that ever happens, start a charity in my name. That’s right – not your name but mine. I am your father and I have dictated it. Fathers are always right! Yes – tell that to your son too.

capitalismThe love of money is the root of all evil

Heritage and Cultural Things

Every decade that passes, culture and heritage receive a blow below the belt from that thing called change. Try as much as possible to stay in touch with your cultural values and never forget your identity. Part of the reason why Africa as a continent is culturally wealthy is because of people like your grandfather, my dad, who swore never to abandon their culture no matter how useless or meaningless it appeared. Your granddad often dragged me to cultural events just so I could appreciate the African culture and heritage a little more. I might have been stubborn once or twice but overall, I now see why he felt like I needed the orientation. Way before I met your mother, when I was much younger, we often went to the countryside to see the old folks. We were involved in pompous and extravagant ceremonies complete with brew, food, song and dance all locally engineered. Make sure you get a wife who understands the value of culture and heritage so that she does not name my grandchildren something silly like Phone, Modem or Bandwidth. Young man, I want traditional names.

AwesomeDon’t these little ones look cute?

God knows I could go on and on but I’ll stop here because I know people of your time will not be too keen to read. So there; go on and live.

“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.” ― John Guare, Landscape of the Body

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