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.


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’.


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.


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’.


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.


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.


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’.


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

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


A New Uganda

When you study the history of Uganda as a country, you will come across a number of interesting changes and transformations that have occurred over the decades. At one point, Uganda as a country did not even exist. The land was occupied by disinterested natives who cared so little about foreigners and their motives no matter how ulterior. Migrations happened here and there, a couple of intermarriages occurred and the entire population became one big happy bowl of confusion. Over the years we have thrived in this confusion and we have embraced our identity as Ugandans. Certain values, norms and practices have become so deeply rooted that it would be unfair and unbecoming of us to attempt to change them.


Just so we are clear, this is the sweatshirt I am wearing right now 

Recently I heard about a proposal to have the National Anthem changed or at least re-worked so that it can be groovier and less sombre. When I first heard of this idea, I almost chocked on the air I was breathing. It sounded extremely ridiculous, utterly nonsensical and basically a waste of time and money – to say the least. However, like the curious person I am, I attempted to understand why and how this national anthem revamp may be necessary and then it hit me – we could actually do with some changes. My mind went into overdrive and I instantly became burdened by so many different aspects of change that we as Ugandans should consider embracing.

I therefore come before you my dear friends, to share my plan for the new Uganda.

1. The National Anthem

Naturally, the person who thought of redoing the National Anthem was thinking further ahead than the rest of us. With the rate at which music is evolving today, it won’t be long before our Anthem is relegated to the likeness of church hymns – only known and sang by old people when the occasion absolutely demands it. I suggest that we get the young people in on the action. How about requesting one of (or all of) Mafikizolo, Nicki Minaj, Debanj, Keko, Wiz Khalifa, Avicii, May D, Benezeri, Lana Del Rey and Naava to come together for a monstrous remix. We can have a couple of raps in there, some smooth silky voiced bits, a few deadly instruments and a climax of a lethal beat to go with it. That way, we can start having our anthem at house parties and discos. We may even win a nomiation at the MTV Awards. Change the bloody thing already!


Imagine Avicii playing our Anthem to a sold out crowd

2. National Language

Everyone knows Ugandans speak the best English. Some Ugandans speak English so well they could pass off as born and bred Englishmen. This however does not mean we cannot change our national language. As a matter of fact, let’s have the language changed from English to a more unique and strange language like the Ongota language. This language is so rare it is only spoken by 6 natives all of whom are in the evening of their lives. We can implore these people to teach us their rare language before they can pass on and then we can adopt this language right away. It would then be criminal for anyone to speak English, French, Swahili or anything that is not the Ongota language. Seeing as there is actually a professor at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia who knows this language we can instantly get him citizenship, name him a hero, get him a couple of medals, build him a pad in Kololo and let him start work right away.

Schermata 2011-07-17 a 13.55.05

Not any more!

3. National Food  

Being the heterogeneous society that we are, it does not make sense for us to adopt one particular tribe’s delicacy as the national dish. We can however whip up some delicious combination that has a bit of every tribe’s tastes in there. I have a friend named Sera Akely who is an accomplished Chef somewhere in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We can hire her to travel our beautiful country picking ingredients from each and every tribe and then we can ask her to whip up the mother of all dishes. While she does this, we should start thinking about elevating things like the Rolex, Katogo and road side maize to national staple foods as well. This way, we shall have people from other countries picking up interest and probably visiting Uganda to be a part of the experience.


A bit of this and a bit of that


4. National Rest Days

In most places around the world, Saturday and Sunday are considered weekends. By Monday morning, most people have to start picking up pieces, dusting themselves off and trying to make themselves useful once again. This sucks! We ought to stretch the weekend from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon so that we have enough time to recuperate from the damage of the weekend. When we lounge from Friday afternoon all the way until Monday afternoon, we shall have enough time to relax and enjoy this changing culture that we are actually discussing. Any office or organisation that decides to make its employees work anytime between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon shall then be fined heavily – to send a message to everyone.


Pretty much the real deal

5. National Museum

We have an awesome national museum but we ought to do something about stocking it a little more. I see many people walk around with behaviour, clothing and attitudes that belong in the museum. Let’s throw some of these people into the museum. They can then be looked after in enclosed spaces as they attempt to tell their story to the world, the way Johnny Depp did in the movie Lone Ranger. We can have them looked after by stewards and Museum employees who will have the responsibility of making sure they are in top shape at all times. Also, we can have certain politicians and public figures join this lot as they seem to have been around since the days of the signing of the Buganda Agreement. These ones can tell stories from the past – first hand; without us having to Google anything or read books with distorted information.

05 arbore_g02

Imagine this belle narrating a story to you

6. National Fashion

A country is nothing without a constitution but it also nothing without fashion. We ought to have a specific fashion trend that everyone adopts right from birth. There should be less clothing for females and absolutely no pants or long skirts for females with nice legs. We can also have some tit-bits like more cleavage showing tops for women, all official clothing being made out of sisal, children wearing plastic shoes, banning of weaves entirely and ugly men covering all their body parts up except their nose and eyes. This would go a long way in creating a more defined identity for Uganda as a country that appreciates and honours fashion, style and design. It goes without saying therefore that we would need a Minister of Fashion Style and Design and they would need to go around sensitising people on how to get their children into the system.


Imagine our female MPs walking into Parliament dressed like this. Awesome!

A few other recommended changes include having a National Car – the Vitz because it occupies very little space and can be abandoned anywhere in case of a traffic  jam, changing the rules for joining the national football team so that every player who joins the national team MUST score a goal within 6 months of joining the team or be jailed for life as well as creating a national wifi policy so that any restaurant, office, shopping mall, hotel or public place has free wifi or risks being shut down. These are just some of the changes that the folks in Parliament should consider discussing in addition to the changing of the National Anthem.


Now Playing – Hugh Masekela’s Everything Must Change

I beg to move.

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

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