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

Getting Away With Murder

Being a responsible citizen often requires that you pay your taxes, stay away from engaging in strikes and do not under any circumstances commit murder. These are among the numerous laws that we as nationals attempt to live by so we can be seen to be law abiding citizens. With such laws governing our existence, it is hard to imagine how one can comfortably lead their lives knowing very well that there are some taxes that are just begging to be dodged, strikes that are just waiting for a trigger and people who seem to carry around a marking on their foreheads that screams “kill me now”. Somehow, we manage to refrain from doing all these things because we are well meaning citizens and also because we do not want to end up behind bars. However, there is only so much patience and resilience we can manage. Personally, I can only hold myself back from murdering a condescending egoistic snob only if I am several meters away from him. I know people who are put off by wrong Grammar so much that they often consider poisoning folks whose grammar is unpolished. I also know a lady who often has to take numerous deep breaths just so she does not end up killing a well endowed woman swinging her assets before her man. Let’s just say, everyone refrains from murder more often than we care to admit.

What if I told you that you can actually commit murder and get away with it? What if I told you that you can actually do away with these condescending people in some very simple steps? I know what you are thinking right now : ‘How the hell am I supposed to murder someone and not get found out? And this whole idea of Murder? Dude, you must be kidding me!’ Well, I shall have you know that as long as you have imagined someone being done away with somehow – you are a murderer, just like the rest of us. You have just not found a good place to hide the body or a suitable accomplice who will not talk otherwise you would have gotten through with it ages ago. So do not feel like this blog post is not for you. It is totally yours – you murderer.

I shall present you with a very well laid out plan of how you are going to murder this person you have been hoping to do away with for a while. Of course we shall start by making the assumption that you do not want to end up behind bars and that you would rather not be called a murderer by anyone, at least not in public. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – how to get away with murder.

The Deathly stare

I know a good number of my friends who if they looked at you for a little over 5 seconds you would want the ground to open up and swallow you right away. Their gaze is something between deathly and extremely gruesome. If you are one such person, your murder weapon shall be your eyes. Whenever this person you want to murder comes within staring distance, lock eyes with them and get into the nonstop staring mode. Make sure they get the point that you are staring them straight in the eye with no intention to flirt or exchange sweet glances but to send them to the grave, preferably a dark untended grave. Do this a couple of times and I can guarantee they will prefer to avoid your company. Do this consistently and if you listen closely to stories running around, you might start to hear something about you having a murderous stare – use this to your advantage. If anyone ruins your day or messes you up in anyway, employ your weapon and make merry. Why should you suffer in silence when you have a weapon of mass destruction right there with you? About time you fought back! In no time, you will realize that all the folks who give you a hard time will start to disappear from your presence. Congratulations my friend, you have just killed a couple of people without as much as raising dust.

Baby

The baby’s stare seems to say – Die human, Die!

The Repulsive Wayward Argument

There are quite a number of people (myself inclusive) who tend to hide behind words when we are getting beaten at anything. When we engage in an argument, we often throw about as many words as we can come up with. Often times, it is mostly just useless random jabber but because we shove it in your face, you are most likely to come under pressure and succumb. I have recently discovered (much to my excitement) that this is a very wonderful weapon with which one can do away with many people. If someone you totally do not like comes within hearing distance, you should take it upon yourself to let the taps of nonstop jabber lose. Obviously you are going to have to yap away with someone or else you might end up being remanded for losing a wire or two upstairs. If this particular person you loathe is looking to have a word with you, this is when your weapon is most likely to work. If they are asking you about a certain sport, act like you are entirely clueless about the sport and make it seem like that is the worst sport in the world. Tell them you do not like to talk about that sport because you have no time for useless childish sports. If they are asking you about women, you can do one of two things, either tell them you are gay and the subject of women does not interest you or tell them no one understands women more than you do. If they attempt to raise a point, motion for them to keep quiet and tell them they do not know a thing about women. Stretch it a little further and tell them they are armatures in handing women. This is most likely to degenerate into an argument in which case you can now employ the tactic of bringing up an entirely unrelated subject and yapping away for a good seven minutes. When they begin to look confused, get up and walk away in triumph. They will be very brave if they do not avoid you next time and in case they show up again, employ the same tactic. Over time, they will start to avoid you more and more, thus leaving you to your peace; another one bites the dust!

Intellectual Prowess

The purpose for which our parents take us to good schools and worthwhile Universities where they pay abnormally figures as tuition is so that we can emerge from the education system as refined individuals. If you went to a good school, studied in a top notch University and you do not call yourself an intellectual, start doing it now. An intellectual is someone who uses their intelligence in their profession, career or just about anywhere to get things done. If you are working as a call center agent or if a receptionist at a big reputable firm, there might not be too much intelligence required of you but who cares, we shall baptize you an intellectual anyway. Your intellectualism is now your weapon. For some people, the weapons might be a little rusty and old fashioned so take some time and polish them up. In Uganda, intellectuals are known by their language and not by their deeds so you are in luck. Enroll for an English course real quick. Have an App for the Dictionary on your phone’s home screen. Look up some big words and practice them over and over. Make sure each day you learn an abnormally big word because these are your bullets. If you know someone who you would prefer dead than alive, it is about time you pulled out your intellectual weapons. Get in their face and use words you are sure they do not understand. It does not matter in what order you use these words; just make sure you use no less than three huge words in each sentence. This will need a little practice but once you nail it, you will be thankful because it works every time. No need to be careful about the correctness of the words. You are an intellectual; your language cannot and should not be questioned. Use these words whenever this person approaches you. Very soon, they will start avoiding you for one of two reasons. Either they will avoid you because the words you use are too huge for them to understand or they will avoid you because you look and sound ridiculous using words that probably mean nothing to both of you anyway. Either way, you will have succeeded at eliminating them from your vicinity.

The Dirt Digging Method

Red Pepper is very famous for digging up dirt on people and using this dirt to make money. You too can do this, dig up dirt and use it as a weapon. You have to be careful though the way you dig up this dirt. Red Pepper’s motives are economic – they want to make money; your motives are not – you want to murder someone. Be sure that you keep your strategy under wraps because in this murder conspiracy, it is just you and the dirt you are digging up. If there is someone you are particularly not thrilled by, take some time and dig up as much dirt about them as you can. If this person does not have much dirt from their past, surely, you can come up with something – make it up if you have to. In this business of killing off people, creativity is very important because you are working hard to kill them off without the trace leading back to you. Make sure this dirt is tied to something that they know is factual. For instance if they studied in a certain single sex school, start up some rumor of how there are stories that they used to masturbate every after night preps. Make sure this made up story is told to one or two trusted friends of the person you loathe. The story should be told in such a way that it appears as if you were also just told. Whenever they see you, they will surely want to avoid you. This is death my friends; death by the rumour! If the story is true, you have hit a home-run  If the story is made up, you are getting there … just a few more people to say they have also heard the story and BOOM – you too have hit a home run. Bribe one or two people if you must. The business of murder is often not cheap, it requires investment.

Death on the Social Network

For many people who have been on the social network for a while, you will know by now that there are fewer places where people are killed more than on social networking sites. If someone seems to be getting on your nerves and you would like to send them to the gallows, start a trend on Twitter. With the FOMO that Ugandans have, you will find a person or two with a similar grudge. Eventually you will have many people making up all sorts of allegations most of which are extremely wrong and abnormally offensive. Who cares? We want the person dead and that is all that matters, after all, it is fun. Trends are usually fun (of course until it is about you in which case you either shut down your account like Bijou did or you just lean back and enjoy the battering like Sheila Gashumba and Denzel Mwiyeretsi did. Very brave Tweeps those ones) If somehow you cannot come up with a Trend because you aren’t as hilarious and you have only 5 followers, 4 being offline most of the time, worry not – head to your Blog. Since blogging is mostly free, you can go ahead and rant about this person, free of charge.

Which reminds me … On April 26th, a strange article was published in the New Vision online by otherwise good writers Nigel Nassar and George Wabweyo. I know Nigel is a good writer. I am not sure about George though because I don’t know him that much; I think he is also a writer, somehow. These two came up with a piece in the Lifestyle section Twitter wars: where is Uganda@? I read through the piece and shook my head in utter disappointment. The message in their article was something between rubbish, garbage and just plain nonsense. How and why the editor even allowed it to run, I have no idea but my guess is these guys probably arm twisted their editor because I highly doubt he or she would sanction such a waste of internet space. Of course since I have plenty of respect for Nigel and George; I respect all people who have the guts to call themselves journalists and for that reason I shall desist from launching an all out attack. In their article, these ‘Twitter experts’ kept saying Twitter has a 160 character limit which I found very disturbing because all you have to do is get on Twitter to realize that it is actually a 140 character limit site. The very least you can do is Google “twitter Character limit” and you will realize that it is 140 and not 160 characters. Also, there are plenty of suggestions in this article that the writers are “still locked up in the medieval times” as they have no clue about what Twitter really is. I took some time to look up their accounts on Twitter; ladies and gentlemen, Nigel and George are really new to Twitter.

Goerge   Nigel

Between the 2 of them, these guys have 7 Tweets, 64 followers & an egg – Interesting

I could have started a trend on these two but because I love me a good old fashioned sane argument, I decided to leave a message for them just beneath their article; I await a response. So before I engage in killing Nigel and George, I shall give them an opportunity to apologize to UOT (Ugandans On Twitter) for embarrassing us in such a way that everyone now thinks all Ugandans on Twitter are really medieval. My friends in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and even Rwanda are having a really hearty laugh – to the expense of UOT. This is not cool at all. Some of us are not even as medieval as the article suggests so we sort of want to kill Nigel and George; don’t blame us – we tend to take things personal; we love our country.

Story

A couple of other Ugandans were not too impressed and will probably be looking for ways to kill Nigel and George

…And to Wrap it up

Ok to be really honest, my entire intention of writing this Blog was to somehow send the message to those two well paid writers that no mistakes go unpunished. Their editor might have been too busy to notice that fat gaping glitch in their shoddy article but the rest of us have enough time on our hands to see those mistakes. We love our Country so much that when anyone says something negative, we are ready to go up in arms – always! And if the article is making UOT look pathetic, I am going to go all up in arms; no question about that. I had quite a lot of explaining to do with certain KOT folks as they kept asking me whether the New Vision is really one of Uganda’s leading dailies and what business it has putting up such worthless material. I was also tasked to answer what hope UOT has if the ‘experts’ actually have no clue about Twitter. Obviously like the country loving Ugandan I am, I had to put up a fight for my country but there is only so much I could do. Kenyans are brutal when it comes to the internet and like Nigel and George rightly mentioned in their article, Kenyans usually triumph in their online wars. Lucky for me, I rarely lose a fight – unless it involves actual muscles (I am rather skinny). If the battle has to do with words, I am usually either on the winning side or on the side that does not lose. Of course many times I am in the absolute wrong but I shall fight till the very end.

So having said this, I shall leave you all to go head and think of all those people you have always wanted to do away with. Find a way to eliminate them from your vicinity without raising an alarm and without spending some time behind the bars. Also, I will be waiting for some kind of response from the two distinguished writers.

I leave you all with a quote to guide you through this week

“If it weren’t for greed, intolerance, hate, passion and murder, you would have no works of art, no great buildings, no medical science, no Mozart, no Van Gough, no Muppets and no Louis Armstrong.”

― Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

Yours Truly

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker