Kla Lingo (Part 3)

For the past three weeks I have been attempting to break down and share some of the commonly used words and phrases that pop up in and around Kampala. While there are hundreds of words that I managed to pen down, I was only able to share a few owing to the limitation in terms of word count and blog length. In this final installment of the Kampala Lingo series, we revisit the lingo while carrying on from where we left off last week.

Part 3 (Q – Z)

Q – Qwela Band

Qwela is a Ugandan band with a very unique afro-fusion flavour of music. The word Qwela means ‘pure’ in Rukiga- one of Uganda’s ethnic languages. Anyone who has listened to and seen these guys perform will testify to the fact that they take this music making thing a bit more serious than most. They are in the habit of making music that is described as ‘unique’, ‘strange’ and often times described as ‘complicated’ and ‘elitist’. Their music has however struck a chord with a group of Ugandans who are keen to drink from the fountain of pure music; the ones who will part with an arm and a leg to listen to authentic music.

beautiful-music-quotes-5

The truth!

Other Q words / phrases – Quick fix, Quiet mode sex, Quality bums.

R – Rolex

There are very few things that are more popular, more beloved and more depictive of the lifestyle of people in Kampala than the Rolex. Relatively few people in Kampala own Rolex watches so you can take your mind away from the expensive and obscenely expensive watch. What we are referring to here is a delicious dish. A Rolex is a meal made up of an omelette rolled into a chapatti, usually accompanied with Cabbages, onions and tomatoes among other little ingredients. This meal, together with its close cousin the kikomando (chapatti and Beans), are the dominant meals enjoyed by low income earning banaKampala. Occasionally these meals make their way to the menus of top class restaurants because of their popularity and thus cease to be low-income-people dishes.

RolexAn award winning meal

Other R words / phrases – Ruhanga Wangye!, Rakai, Round game, Rrruuu, Royal beauty.

S – Ssebagala

There are very many people who go by this name but there is one who instantly comes to mind at the mention of this name in Kampala. Nasser Ntege Ssebagala is probably one of the most accomplished mobilisers this nation has ever seen. He single handedly rallied nearly the entire city to believe that he was the perfect person for mayor only to learn later that he could not communicate in perfect English. People who have listened to his press conferences and interviews in English have had to visit their doctors because of cracked ribs. His grasp of the English language is dangerously hilarious and just so damn amusing. His press conferences usually garner the largest crowds because of the humour and ability to make the most serious matters as light hearted as possible. Ssebagala is also the true definition of a hustler; very enterprising and strategic in his dealings.

sebaggala

The man himself

Other S words / phrases – Straka, Small Pin Charger, Ssenga Nantume, Sipi Falls, Ssabasajja Magulunyondo, Stress.

T – Tugabane

The word ‘Tugabane’ is a word in Luganda that means ‘let us share’. The fact that Ugandans are generous people is one that can be seen not only in their day-to-day lives but even in the workings of certain companies. A certain telecom company (Airtel Uganda) has curved out a campaign where users are able to share data amongst themselves. Anyone who is a data whore has now started to switch over to the said network not just to benefit from the ‘Airtel Tugabane’ concept but also to experience what is said to be one of the fastest internet connectivity networks in Uganda. The Airtel Tugabane campaign has made people start using the word ‘Tugabane’ to refer to any situation that involves sharing.

tugabane_home_banner

Not too sure if the guys would also kugabana the woman …

Other words – Tuliwano Tutuuse, Thirst trap, Tirinyi, Twakowa, Tonkuba nakuyo

U – Uglish

Uglish is a language spoken exclusively in Uganda, born of the confusion between understanding proper English and breaking it down so the average not-so-highly educated Ugandan can relate. Many of the words and phrases in the Uglish dictionary can easily be understood by anyone who has worked or lived in central Uganda for a while. The beauty about this language is that it is very descriptive, quite hilarious and above all – it is unofically official. Some of the words and phrases one will encounter in this beautiful dialect include dating a pensioner, woman with Warrez, launching rockets, eating money, well done, falling in cups, and so on and so forth. Actually many of the words used in the 3 blog series are adapted form the Uglish dictionary.

Uglish

Uglish : A Dictionary of Ugandan English by Bernard Sabiiti

Other U words / phrases – Universal Education, Uncle Money, U-Report, Urban Legend, Ugly by unanimous decision.

V – Votability

As 2016 comes close, there are several questions being asked of people and by people. For those who are new to the Ugandan scene, 2016 will be election year. Presidential and MP elections will take place and it is expected that there will untold euphoria. However, prior to that, the Electoral Commission has launched an exercise to enable people verify whether or not they are eligible for voting. Each person has been asked to go check their ‘votability’ to ensure that they can run for office and/or can be allowed to vote. When the deadline for this process ends, there will be no additions or subtractions to the voters register and one will not be able to cast a vote or be elected into any office.

Votability

Go check your Votability TODAY!

Other V words / phrases – Vision 2040, Vumiliiya, Virgin, Vuvuzela, Village excitement

W –What about!

‘What about’ is a statement. True, the English language will have several problems with this ‘statement’ but Ugandans are perfectly okay with it. It is a statement that was famously coined by a one Oulanyah Columbus who somewhat curved out a career out of sheer stupidity, accentuation and silly mannerisms. Over time, this statement has come to be used as a form of exclamation or shock. For instance if Lionel Messi or Stephen Curry pulled a never-seen-before move with the ball, someone can easily scream “What About!” and achieve nearly the same effect as someone who says “Wow”, or “Woah”, or even ‘Fuck! That’s insane!”

muscle_42

Goodness! What about!
Other W words / phrases – Wale Wale, Wilson Bugembe, William Street, Water logged woman,

X – Xenophobia

No, there is no xenophobia in Kampala or Uganda for that matter. Xenophobia is however a word that has since gained popularity because of the unfortunate events in South Africa. While the situation in South Africa can best be described as unfortunate and totally inhumane, the reference in Kampala is slightly humorous. If you walk into a bar and you do not buy someone a drink, they can easily say you are xenophobic. If you undermine someone’s girlfriend in any way, you can be said to be xenophobic. If someone follows you on Twitter and you refuse to follow back, a xenophobic title may be thrown your way. Basically if you prefer one black person over another, you will easily find yourself being referred to as a xenophobic person. The humour in this reference does however have its limits as some people will look at you with utter disdain the moment you are referred to as xenophobic while others will laugh out loud; literally.

Women

Women and their xenophobic ways …

Other x words / phrases – Xenson, Xabu Girls.

Y – Youngin

Depending on the circumstances, the word youngin is used to mean different things. In some instances, it refers to anyone who is younger than you or just your offspring. In other instances, it refers to someone who has little or no experience in certain areas for instance love, sex, sports, politics or any other field that requires expertise. The use of the word youngin is occasionally derogatory and can be meant to give the impression that one still has a long way to go before they can master a specific skill set. It however can be used in general terms to refer to anyone younger than you.

Beckham

David and Victoria Beckham with their youngins

Other Y words / phrases – Yoweri, Yapping, YOLO, Yellow Bus, Yoono, Yiya.

Z – Zari

Apart from Desire Luzinda, Bad Black and Judith Heard, Zari is one of most talked about socialites in Ugandan circles. She is one of the socialites dedicated to living the good life and making sure everyone around her does not miss a single bit of it. She recently coupled with Tanzanian music star Diamond for what is taunted to be the biggest socialite couple in East Africa. She is probably most famous for her All-White Parties at a popular nightspot in Kampala. Occasionally she will be seen sending inspirational Tweets or posting tongue dropping pics of her gorgeous and light skinned self on instagram. There was explosive talk about a ‘dry’ video of her cat (sic) that made rounds on social media but that is not something that I am very keen to get into; the video I mean.

zari24

Lawd Gawd!

Other Z words / phrases – Zungululu, Zunga.

And thus, our 3 part series comes to an end.

“Meow” means “woof” in cat.” ― George Carlin

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

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Hooping It Up

Whenever there is an upcoming event in Kampala, there is usually a level of near euphoria in the run up to the D-Day. Outfits are prepared in advance, partners are booked, relationships are started (and some ended), budgets are laid out and people generally mark out strategies for how they will take part in the event – no one wants to be left out or behind. The modern day person calls it FOMO and it can consume you like a bush fire spreading through a dry forest located in an oil well.

Fomo

It is a known medical condition

On a number of occasions, this FOMO is quite worthless, utterly nonsensical and generally a waste of time because the event may turn out to be a total bore. I have been victim to one or two of these and sometimes I end up regretting whey I even borrowed money to be a part of the event. There are times however when at the end of the event one looks back and nods in approval because the event was worth the FOMO.

Under the umbrella of 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation, a couple of pro-active youth have somewhat mastered the art of pulling off some of the most epic events. These guys usually organize fun events with an aim of gathering funds for Charity. As someone who has a deep liking for fun events and an even deeper liking for charity, these events are usually something I look forward to with great anticipation and excitement.

The guys at 4040 have organized an event dubbed #Hoops4Grace slated for 4th October with the aim of raising funds for Akiba Children’s Home – a home for children suffering from Cancer. On any given weekend, people in Kampala are never short of events and while there will be several other events happening on the same day, a wise person would mark their calendar with #Hoops4Grace as opposed to other events.

I shall present my case for this brilliant suggestion.

The fun Crowd, bootiful ladies and interesting young men

Ugandans are generally the kind of people who will create a fun crowd whether it is at a wedding, concert, accident scene or funeral. We may not have turned up in the thousands at Chris Martin’s concert or at General Mega Dee’s album launch but it is safe to say that we are generally a fun crowd. The fun crowd at #Hoops4Grace will most likely have several well endowed ladies looking to let some fresh air into their interestingly curvaceous bodies. It is also likely that there will be some fine young well groomed gentlemen looking to take some much needed time away from their mortgaged bungalows and office desks.

Crowd

Of course there will be delicious food 

Family Day Out

When the words ‘family day out’ are mentioned, what usually comes to mind are the over aged kids at the bouncy castles, little children wailing while pointing at ice cream stalls, pretty little face painted girls and confused parents running around after their mischievous little ones. Well, all this and more will be present at the #Hoops4Grace event this Weekend. Oh, and while still on the subject of families, it is greatly advisable that parents who want their children to turn out fine and healthy are better off coming down to Bush Court for the event. Yes – the event shall be at Bush Court Kololo near Kampala Parents School; and NO – Bushcourt is not some kind of Bush. Yes, there is a basketball Court and a field of sorts but the bush has since been cleared. So parents need not worry about their children disappearing into bushes.

Hoops

Teach the little ones to be Charitable

But of course there will be Basketball

Actually, basketball is the whole point of the event. #Hoops4Grace is basically a fun basketball event where teams will compete against each other to see who emerges victorious. Along the way, there is bound to be a couple of females looking so gorgeous the opponents totally lose focus. There might also be guys so unfit they will be allowed several breaks just so they catch their breath. Yes – females will be playing too. Basically each team will have a mix of both male and female players and while several gentlemen are already grinning at the prospect of touching bodies with females, one must remember that the whole world will be watching so no funny games will be tolerated.

Basketball

It’s going down!! 

Then there is the music

While I am an expert at having fun and making merry with or without music, I have to admit that events with no (or boring) music usually make me want to rip my nonexistent hair out. With the right kind of music, I can be lured into anything from giving out my bank details to falling in love. There is going to be a lineup of DJs who will be playing music this weekend and as a person who absolutely loves good music, I will probably be getting one or two autographs from the Disc Masters. I mean, who does not want to rub shoulders with these disc spinners who seem to attract females faster than a shrewd business man can attract profits.

stick

We will definitely Turn Down For What! 

The Trophy plan

I am a little fuzzy on the details of how huge or spectacular the trophy for the winning team shall be but from what I gather, the losing teams will have real reason to be jealous. While the event is dubbed a fun event aimed at raising funds for Charity, there is a fair chance that one or two teams will have their eyes solely focused on the trophy. I have personally spent a few hours on the basketball court trying to polish up on my rather shaky and questionable basketball skills. The point is to make sure that come Saturday, I will not be stretchered off by the medics for running out of breath and fainting on court. What if my future wife is in attendance and writes me off as a man who cannot last the distance? Not a chance!

crying-man2-290x290

And in case your team loses, do not cry. It is all for charity.

Being part of a Noble Cause

It is very easy to focus on the fun part of events like #Hoops4Grace while forgetting the actual purpose of the whole event. The proceeds from the event shall be dedicated to putting up a playground, repairing and repainting Akiba Foundation; a home for children who are receiving cancer treatment. It is sad to see an old person suffer from cancer. It is even more heartbreaking to see a child struggle and fail to smile because of the pain and suffering brought on by cancer. Anything one can do to create a smile on such a child’s face is something that will probably get a round of applause from any sane person.

Hoops for grace

 

The task is pretty simple then, get your mates together, form a team, come down to Bushcourt this Saturday and get your behind whooped as you give to charity.

you

I will see YOU this Saturday!

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” ― Jack London

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

 

An August Proposal

A lot has been said about the August house; the Parliament of Uganda, over the past few days. In fact, even before this, many schools of thought advanced the allegation that the quality of the people and debate in the Ugandan Parliament has deteriorated over the years. For purposes of clarity and insight, last week, I took some time off to attend and keenly follow some of the sessions in the August House. While I must admit the sessions in the 9th Parliament are lacking in more ways than one, I must also add that there is plenty of potential in that place. You see, unlike other doomsday prophets and pessimists out there, I chose to focus on the positives in the Parliament. Seeing as there were few of those, I decided to think up ways in which we could make our Parliament better.

I therefore come before you my dear friends with a proposal for recommendations that we could adopt to make the August house more robust, more accountable and certainly more interesting.

Music Breaks

Research has shown that music has the capacity to improve brain activity, better understanding and generally lift moods. While it is admirable that MPs are keen to deliver legislation with utmost meticulousness, one must appreciate that without inspiration these attempts will always be futile. When you hear some MPs speak, you can literally feel the lack of inspiration and desire. I propose that the Speaker of Parliament orders a 10 Minute music break every after an hour. During this music break, MPs can either do Karaoke to refresh their brains or a DJ Mix can be thrown in to get the blood of the MPs flowing. With these music breaks, it is highly likely that fewer MPs will be missing out on sessions. And who knows, we might discover one or two musicians whose talents were hiding behind the title of MP.

1

Parliament could give us a real superstar

Theme Days

Any and every workplace will thrive when the workers are happy. When you see some MPs take to the floor of parliament, you can read it in their faces that the suits they are wearing are nothing but a pain. Why should we force these Honourable MPs to feel uncomfortable while legislating? Let’s allow for theme days when they can alter their dress code. For instance we can have Short Skirt Tuesday, Old School Wednesday, No Panty Thursday and the good old Casual Friday. With these theme days you can be sure that Parliament will not only be more colourful but also more interesting. Some MPs have never worn suits their whole lives and the only time they wore suits was during the swearing in. Why should you force such MPs to suddenly wear suits every day? Allow them to stay in their comfort zones by permitting theme days.

2

Just a thought

Arena Days

Every now and again you will hear certain MPs exchanging fierce words not just on the floor of parliament but even within the corridors and in the press. Why don’t we introduce Arena days where the floor is cleared of furniture and aggrieved MPs are given rudimentary weapons so they can have a go at each other in physical battles? We cannot escape from the fact that human beings are naturally inclined to not like those who disagree with them. Instead of going around spreading false and often malicious rumours about their colleagues, why don’t aggrieved MPs take it up with each other during the Arena Days? This would reduce politicking and it would help MPs stay in shape as each one will be hitting the gym in preparation for when another MP decides it is time to take things down with them in the Arena.

3

The birth of the MPs fight club

Pop Quiz

Without necessarily naming names, it has become apparent that some MPs are as clueless about their duties as men are about the pain of childbirth. How about the Speaker of Parliament launching a periodical Pop Quiz where she asks random MPs questions about their own country. For instance, what colours are on the national flag or how many districts are in this sovereign country? You see, many MPs are busy clamouring for things left right and centre but forget simple facts about their country. Would it not help if they knew that anytime there could be a pop quiz? I am sure they would always be on their toes trying to read and stock up on much needed knowledge. The results of the periodical pop quiz can then be compiled to determine whether or not one gets allowances for the month.

3

Anha!!

Punishments

In life, most of the mistakes we make are punishable by some kind of regret. While this is supposed to be the general rule, MPs seem to fall outside of this bracket. These guys make quite a number of mistakes but never really pay for them – instead it is the bulk of the population that pays for these mistakes. Well, I suggest that MPs begin to take blame and start getting punished for the mistakes they make. Using wrong English on the floor of parliament, lying to the electorate, making up excuses for shoddy work, failure to show up for sessions, noise making, going off-topic during discussions and having too many bank loans to one’s name are among the mistakes that would elicit punishments. The punishments can vary from withholding or docking one’s salary to a few days behind closed walls or in a prison cell.

4

Occasionally we can have some whips here and there

Down Sizing

Finally and probably most importantly, we ought to reduce the size of the goddam Parliament! How the heck do we have 375 MPs all  seated under one roof, presumably discussing issues of national importance and we still expect results? The first Parliament (Legislative Council) of 1962 had just 92 members. How and why this number rocketed to 375 is something that baffles everyone – incuding the MPs themselves. It is a crowd in there! I pity speaker Rebecca Kadaga who somehow has to keep track of all these names. It is a miracle that she has not lost her mind yet. It is true that politics is a game of numbers and this is why each party wants to have as many MPs in parliament as possible. However, too much money is going into catering for these MPs. Also, discussions usually get swallowed up by irrelevant and often diversionary submissions simply because there is plenty of quantity and very little in terms of quality. Let’s have fewer MPs and then  money that is saved in the process can then be channelled to more constructive things like putting up a cinema hall in Parliament or setting up a swimming pool so that the few MPs who remain feel the respect, pomp and prestige that an MP ought to feel.

4

We shall soon need the police for Crowd control in Parliament.

I beg to move.

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” —Will Rogers

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

Hey Kataha

Greetings Fair Maiden,

N’ogambaki iwe Kataha? Konka how have you been lately? It has been a while since I (we) heard from you. I am confident though that it is probably because of the work load that you have. Being the Minister for Karamoja Affairs and being the MP for Ruhaama County are no easy tasks. It goes without saying that adding the title of First Lady, Husband, Mother and Fashion Icon to your long list of duties makes it even tougher for you. Well done! I was in Ntungamo recently but didn’t quite see you – I think you had flown to Karamoja or Rwakitura or was it Israel? I can’t remember. But I missed you. By now, you must be wondering what the purpose of this letter to you is. For starters, worry not – everything is okay at my end. This is not an automated letter sent after my death. Most is well at my end; my employer pays on time, I am in good books with my landlord and God is blessing me with more oxygen than I can finish. Still no girlfriend but I’ve sent a few application letters out – I await response. Therefore I am fairly okay. I’m writing this letter just to check on you – you know, like a good old friend. Like I said earlier, you have been somewhat quiet lately and it got me wondering if all was well at your end. So I suggest that you relax, probably grab a soft drink and smile as you read along.

Relax_at_the_beach

Get onto one of these and enjoy reading your letter

This morning I read an interesting letter from you in the New Vision, something about you not looking for a job but only being interested in serving Ugandans. Before I can even go into the details of the nobility in your intentions, I must admit that I am very impressed by your command of the English Language. Are you sure you have no relatives from England? Eh. The Queen herself would probably smile if she read your piece. Your lungereza is impressive. In your piece in the New Vision, you were telling Ugandans that you are more interested in serving them as opposed to looking for a job. Wow! How do you do that? The vast majority of Ugandans are interested in looking for a job and putting food on the table but there you are, interested in just serving – teach me how you do that! Oh and the bit about you possibly turning down an offer from Amama Mbabazi for a ministerial position? That is some nobility right there. Personally I would probably fall for the bait and sell my friends and family while at it; but not you. Once again, well done. Tell me something madam Kainembabazi how is your fashion style these days? Munaye you used to be an inspiration to females in this country in terms of fashion. You were a stylish dresser, your hair was angelic, your colours matched, you smelled like heaven and your poise was simply unmatched. Not that much has changed but hey, do you think you can make a come-back of sorts? If you have to attack the beach with a Bikini every once in a while, so be it. And this business of wearing long skirts that nearly sweep the floor, what’s that all about? I am sure if you looked at your calendar you would realize that it is 2014 and not 1973. Forget about the mini skirt law – we forgot that one almost as soon as we started talking about it. Get in on the action ma’am. Have you seen how flashy Michelle Obama looks in those bu short skirts? Goodness! I know you are 15 years her senior but hey, you know what they say about age – it is just a number; one you can tweak with as and when they please depending on the needs and demands. kataha

How about less robes and more short skirts?

So my friend Janet, how are the kids? Boy do they grow up so fast! Just yesterday Muhoozi was a little boy suckling his thumb and running around the compound soiling his pants but look now – the guy is a big man in the army. M7 with Muhoozi as baby Moshi Tanzania 1976

Look at your two boys back in Moshi. Seems like just yesterday!

And then Patience, Diana and Natasha? Are they still as beautiful as they were several years ago when they were all over the papers with their weddings and babies and the like? You and I both know you are the reason for their beauty – well done.

-First_Lady_Janet_Museveni_with_her_daughters_and_Don_Moen_at_Kampala_Serena_Hotel_on_Sunday_356202407

Is that Don Moen squeezing in for a pic with you and your girls?

Are you watching the World Cup Janet? The 2014 edition is pretty interesting you know. We’ve been served up with some real mouthwatering clashes so far. What team are you supporting? Nze mpagira Argentina. Last night we even won our opening game – great start, right? Oh and the NBA Finals ended this morning – as I had anticipated, the San Antonio Spurs won the Title. Awesomeness just! Wait, am I bothering you about sports you have no interest in? Apologies.

Let’s talk about the budget then. Did you hear the budget that your colleague Madam Kiwanuka read? Good Lawd! I always knew that she had a pair of golden ones down under but this time round she out-did herself. She is the definition of bravery and hard headedness. Even with the tough times squeezing us she never runs out of ways to squeeze us further. I am not sure how you plan to save money but back here at my household, we are timetabling the use of sugar and paraffin. We shall also be walking for long distances to save up on transport because I heard that fuel prices are going to go up. That said, I must say I was shocked that there was no mention of alcohol or cigarettes. Quick question – do you smoke? Probably not. How could you – with such a fine set of teeth. I don’t smoke either but many of my friends are chimneys. Forget them though, let’s talk about 2016.

I heard that your sweetheart is planning to stand for re-election in 2016, how true is that? Please thank him for sponsoring the World Cup on UBC TV. The Kenyan president might have flown the Harambe Stars to Brazil to watch the World Cup but what use is that if we can have everything right here on our TVs? Kudos to your husband. m7-and-wife

What an awesome couple you two make!

Speaking of your husband, I know you two don’t keep secrets from each other but did he tell you that he joined Twitter? Oh yeah! His account even got verified and is now getting in Followers like a problem – the guy really has a vision. Give him a high five when you have the chance. And while you are at it, borrow his phone, take a selfie, open a Twitter account, follow me and we can continue this conversation via DM.

In the meantime, please enjoy these few dedications I picked out for you.

Dedications

Namagembe – Maddox
Can’t Remember To Forget you – Shakira and Rihanna
You’re still the one – Shania Twain
Loyal (explicit Version) – Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Tiga
Sitya Loss – Eddy Kenzo
Moves like Jagger – Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
Gyal Sidung – Konshens and Darrio

Yours Sincerely

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

The Music

Usually when I am going through a rough spell in my life, I turn to music for a bit of solace. It helps me calm down, clear my head and stay away from making irrational decisions. Interestingly, when I am extremely happy and excited about something, music is still my go-to-place for celebration and triumph. It is therefore safe to say that Music can be and will be there for me whenever I need company. It may not give the physical relief or conversational company that one may need at such a time but it sure does offer perfect remedy.

MusicTrue story

Over the years I have been in an affair with music (that’s right – I am dating music alongside Jessica Alba), there are interesting things I have learnt about this beautiful drug. Often times it takes a hold on us a lot more than we care to admit and it makes us do things we would otherwise not do in our ordinary minds. I have been able to experience a life full of ups and downs and as I go ahead to share my experience about music, I can safely say that every person has got to have dated music, if not for long then at least for a little while.

Owning a Song!

After a long day of running errands, a few friends and I walk into the bar to share a laugh, lose some stress and basically see off the day. I am tired, worn out and the only energy I have left can lift a bottle to my mouth. Then all of a sudden the bar DJ decides to play a particular song – Titanium by David Guetta and Sia. Within a split second, I have regained whatever energy I claim to have lost during the day and I am literally jumping up and down in the bar. And why is this is the case? Well, my song is playing the chances that I will remain seated or continue to think straight are close to none. I just lose the plot! And that is not all; when my favourite song plays and I realize someone else loves it just as much, one of two things will happen. Either I will get mad and want to slap them into another realm for liking my song or I will smile and politely introduce myself to what could be my next best friend for life! All this depends on how correctly they nail the lyrics.

this-is-my-jam-ferrellWhen the beat drops!

Extreme Confidence

And of course when my favourite song plays, who cares how terrible my voice sounds? And if they care, what business do they have being near me? Go away! I shall sing myself hoarse if I have to – that is what music does to me. The strange thing about music is it gives you an elevated level of self confidence. Very recently I shocked myself by singing along to a fairly old song by Bryan Adams. I knew all the words from start to finish. And then an idea popped up in my mind – what if I am supposed to be a musician? Now that is where the problem is. You see, many people get these terrible ideas that they can be musicians just because they have correctly nailed the lyrics to a certain Bruno Mars song or Rihanna song. And then what do we have? Hilarious YouTube videos entitled ‘Music Talent Search Fails’. The truth is – music gives you extreme confidence.

PerformMind blowing performers!

Balanced Musical Diet

Personally I have a great love for a number of music genres. I am predominantly a Rock Music lover but you will often find me listening to Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Hip Hop, Soul, House, Electro and whatever else appeals to my ears. The point is; I want to get the best of everything. Each of these genres stands for something different. I consider country music to be sad, suicidal and too melancholic for my liking so I stay away from that. I listen to most of the rest though. Reggae is very deep, poetic, conscious and somewhat exclusive. Jazz and Blues are refined, authentic and mature while Hip Hop is boisterous and lyrical. House and Electo music are ebullient, jaunty and euphoric. Each genre has got a different item it brings to the table. At the end of the day one has got to have a balanced diet of this music and this is why I think everyone should take it upon themselves to learn to appreciate as many genres as possible. You don’t want to grow up lacking certain musical nutrients, do you?

music-genres2

Try out as many genres as you can

Bleeding Ears

There are instances when you walk into a place, hear a song play and then suddenly feel like you want to rip your hair out. And for someone who is as bald as myself, wanting to rip your hair out is a very extreme feeling. Usually when I hear a song that everyone else seems to be very much in love with but somewhat I don’t understand what the fuss is all about, I quietly see myself out, find a quiet place and pray to the gods of music to intervene. Most times they do because the song eventually ends. Bleeding ears are not a very good thing especially when you have the choice to walk away. Unless you are stuck in a taxi that is blaring some bogus song and you really can’t do much, I see no reason why anyone should subject themselves to bleeding ears.

GrumpyWhen a song you hate is playing …

I may not be able to sing for I have a lousy voice; I may not be able to write music for I lack the talent, but I am certainly going to devour as much music as I can. I am told there is music in heaven but until I get there, I shall enjoy the music on this earth. And because I love music so much, I shall do something I have never done on this Blog; I shall share 3 different quotes at one go!

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ― Bob Marley

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” ― Victor Hugo

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Or, How to Philosophize With the Hammer

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker

Follow @beewol on Twitter

Recreating the Xmas Scene

It’s been nearly a year since we last had Christmas so it goes without saying that the wait has been quite long. The euphoria that often surrounds the run up to Christmas is one that can best be described with the word ‘madness’. However as time passe, there is not much in the way of the Christmas spirit. The festive season nowadays is just but a ghost of the festive season from back in the days. When I mention ‘back in the days’ I am not referring to the days before colored TV was invented, or the days when kings and chiefs ruled the land as opposed to Mayors and EDs. I am only but referring to the 90s; a time when Christmas was a long awaited explosion! Everyone was involved and it was a very big deal. Parents made sure their children were properly fed with stories about Christmas to create the extra excitement for the season. They surrounded them with gifts, Christmas story telling, plenty of Christmas carols and the house was decorated from top to bottom with all sorts of Christmassy things. 

Today, it is safe to say that this spirit is only but a lingering memory. People are no longer interested in propagating an illusion of a Santa Claus who does not really exist or event talking about Jesus Christ who, incidentally, is the reason why this day exists anyway. There is very little interest in the things that made Christmas the favorite time of the year. In an attempt to recreate the Christmas euphoria from the 90s, I have decided to embark on a few things that ought to refresh my memory and probably reignite the childhood excitement I had for the festive season. This year, I shall attempt to recreate the Xmas scene from the 90s.

The Kaunda Suit

Back in the day, my father was a fashion forward guy who wasted no time in dragging his two sons into the thick of things. My little brother Ivan and I had matching clothes more times than I can remember, we often went around shopping for shoes to match our clothes and during the holidays the old man often took us to the salon for the then stylish French cut. In all this, the one remarkable thing about the 90s fashion was the Kaunda suit. A few weeks to Christmas we would find our way to the tailor who would take our measurements and plan for matching Kaunda suits for my brother and I. On a few occasions, it was a trio of matching Kaunda suits with our dad being the lead vocalist of the Kaunda Suit band. While at church, he made it a point to have us moving together and even from a distance, one could see the joy and pride that reflected off of his face. It therefore became automatic that the Kaunda suit was associated with Christmas. Today, the Kaunda suit is probably out of fashion and will get someone into the books of the fashion police but in an attempt to relive the 90s, I shall attempt to don one such suit. Obviously this will require a special tailoring order being made but that has already been sorted out as I have a tailor working on something for me. If the 90s won’t come back to me, I shall go to them!

Former-President-Kenneth-Kaunda

My hero, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, the originator of the Kaunda Suit;

Christmas Lights & Decorations

At around this time of the year, people who deal in Christmas lights and decorations are supposed to be making a killing. While some traditionalists will go out and purchase these items, a good number of people will resign themselves to seeing the lights and decorations on the streets, in other people’s home or in the movies on TV as opposed to having them in their own homes. One can understand that this might have a thing or two to do with the fact the UMEME is as merciless as can be and there is more load shedding today than there ever was in Uganda. However, for purposes of having the full Christmas euphoria, I shall take a bullet and endure the abnormal UMEME bill just so I can have some Christmas lights up. At my place of work, the management has done a very wonderful thing by having Christmas lights up and this has somewhat made me think that I too can do it. Of course their ability to pay electricity bills is better than mine but hey, I need me that 90s Christmas feel.

IMG_20131217_145823The Christmas Tree where I work

Xmas Carols

I do not like Christmas carols that much; I tolerate them. However, I can sing along to quite a number; not because I am a budding singer but because my mum did her fair share of shoving the carols down our throats. In the 90s, the weeks leading up to Christmas usually involved a bunch of Boney M songs, a couple of Jim Reeves tunes, some Choir music Carols and a whole lot of Philly Bongoley Lutaaya Music. All this was a buildup to what would eventually turn out to be an entirely musical Christmas day with plenty of Christmassy tunes blaring out of the transistor radio. Since mum was a better singer than almost everyone, she often sang along and occasionally my sisters joined in. When you are around people who are singing along to almost every song, you somewhat get sucked in whether or not you like it. This year, I shall play some Christmas carols to somewhat reawaken the 90s Christmas feeling and even if they remind me how much I actually dislike carols, at least they will remind me how much my mum loves them and what a good singer she is. 

Carol_lyrics_476x290Gona get me a list of them carols to sing a long to

The Christmas Tree

In the 90s, the duty of getting a suitable Christmas tree was one that was left to the boys and since I was the older one, that right there was my area of expertise. A good number of homesteads had these Christmas tree fences and there would ideally be no problem finding one. However, not too many homesteads were keen on giving away a Christmas tree just like that; people didn’t want to create ‘holes’ in their otherwise attractive fences. So we often gathered our troops a week to Christmas and raided some homesteads to carry out rebel activity of snooping around and eventually stealing a Christmas tree or two. The excitement was not so much in having the tree in the house but rather decorating it and then eventually burning it on News Years day – a tradition that has since suffered a natural death. People today still get Christmas trees but sadly it is the plastic ones that can’t be burnt on News Years day. Also, people actually buy these trees as opposed to randomly spotting a neighborhood with a healthy Christmas tree fence and plotting to rob one at a very ungodly hour. I know stealing a tree might prove a bit of a task at the moment, what with my age and all, but I will certainly be looking for a real Christmas tree to put up. 

I am intent on having these four things (and many others) sorted out before Christmas so that for once in a very long time I can take a trip down memory lane and try to relive the 90s. So if you meet me on Christmas day and I seem like I just fell down from the 90s sky, bear with me, the nostalgia shall have taken over.

Have a wonderful Christmas celebration and don’t forget the reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ – the child born in a manger to redeem the world.

As you celebrate the festivities, chew on this …

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker

Follow @beewol on Twitter

One Week in the 90s

Sometime back, a friend and I engaged in an experiment that involved comparing the past and the present. To be able to come to a suitable conclusion about which of the two ruled, we were each supposed to pick a side. We flipped a coin and as fate would have it, I took the old side. This meant that I was supposed to try to live an entire week like I was in the 90s as my friend attempted to do the same but like he was in the modern era (which wasn’t much of a problem since we are in the modern era after all). I was supposed to consume items that were from the 90s, speak like I was in the 90s, dress like I was in the 90s and literally be in the 90s.

I was extremely excited by the prospect; obviously by then I had not factored in things like how much embarrassment was awaiting me in this rather bogus experiment. Nostalgia engulfed me as I thought about all the awesome things I was going to re-live. But Alas! This turned out to be one of the roughest and most pathetic weeks of my entire life!

I shall attempt to break down what happened during this one week when I took a time machine trip into the 90s. I will deliberately leave out some details because, well, there is only so much embarrassment a brother can take.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my week in the 90s.

Baptism – the name change

The first thing my friend and I argued about was the issue of names. After minutes of argument and near blows, I was baptized Habakkuk and he became McGigabyte. Habakkuk was as 90s a name as I was going to get and McGigabyte was more like a 2013 name. During the week, everyone else still called me by my real name but McGigabyte never called me that. He continually referred to me as Habakkuk and mentioned it louder than he should have, just so everyone could get the point. Now, don’t get me wrong people, Habakkuk is a fine name. I am a Christian and I know for a fact that it is a Bible name. However, based on the experiences I went through in this week of experiment, it is safe to say that today’s parent might want to stay as far away from such a name as possible. During the week, we happened to be looking for a new TV for McGigabyte at Game stores when a couple of nice looking girls walked in our direction, they were smiling. McGigabyte quickly distanced himself from me and shouted out loud; “Habakkuk, the black and white TV you want is not here.” The girls instantly had a change of mind and moved to the section with stereos. I could not retort because the rules demanded that if one party delivered a spot on blow, the other party simply turned the other cheek. Clearly, McGigabyte had hit me with an upper cut. That was one nil. I swallowed.

fat_women_bathingsuits

I was resigned to hitting it off with such ladies. All the rest avoided me.

Wardrobe woes   

Now my friend McGigabyte made emphasis on the fact that I had to dress like a real 90s chap or else I was losing the bet. As hard as it was, I managed to come up with some 90s combinations that did not exactly seem antiquated but were a little bearable to the 2013 eye. McGigabyte was obviously rooting for more eccentric 90s fashions like the suspenders, demin overalls, parachute pants and wallet chains but I was having none of that! I settled for the ordinary slightly bell bottomed pants and bright coloured polyester shirts. Most of the ladies I talked to during the week didn’t seem too impressed by my strange fashion but I was focused on seeing out this bet so I didn’t back down. I had to borrow a plastic pair of shoes, buy a couple of pairs of long cotton socks and a pair of UMOJA gumboots. On one of the days, McGigabyte invited me for a small get-together at his place. (I only discovered later that it was intended to humiliate me in front of all his friends). When I arrived, everyone was comfortably flashing their smart phones and iPads and looking like they just stepped out of a new TV Show. Enter Habakkuk; looking like I just fell out of a black and white TV from Sembule Electronics. I could tell that most of the ladies were keen to stay as far away from Habakkuk as possible. A few were intrigued enough to try and find out what was going on but the rules of our bet demanded that I disclose nothing so I innocently told them I just liked the new style. At the end of the night, two of the ladies seemed interested in my style. As it turned out later, one was a whole 18 years older than me and the other had been divorced twice with 4 kids. It seems my style only attracted the elderly, the young fresh juicy girls stayed away. That was Two nil. Again, I swallowed.

 Fashion

I must have looked like this the entire week. Pathetic!

Music & Hanging out

This was really going to be easy for me because I am a traditionalist when it comes to music. I will have Led Zeppelin, Kool and the Gang, Def Leppard, Manowar, The Beatles, U2, AC DC, London Beat & The commodores in the place of Drake, The Wanted, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga & 2 Chains. I was in musical heaven for the entire week. The only time I had a problem was on Friday night when McGigabyte asked that we hang out. Naturally, I was keen to find a place with old school music. After about an hour of moving from bar to bar, we finally settled on a joint somewhere in Ntinda. They played old school music but occasionally interrupted it with some bogus music from YMCMB. McGigabyte and I agreed that in terms of music I was only ever going to get my 90s dose if I listened to my own collection back at home. So we left the bar, passed by a Supermarket, picked a few beers and headed to my place in Kiwatule.

Since we had female company, there was no forgetting the fact that the ladies had to be entertained despite what we knew would be a boring playlist for them. I had to convince the lady I was with that I was in the mood for some 90s music. Luckily for me, she was a little too tipsy to even bother asking since she had unknowingly been taking Uganda Waragi – this used to be the spirit of Uganda in the 90s. The rules of my bet with McGigabyte also demanded that before I took a lady home, I had to first check with her parents; that was the 90s way after all. I was not about to risk my dear life calling up a random girl’s father to ask if she could sleep over so I just decided to let that one slide. This meant that I had to let the lady go back to her place; no matter how late it was. McGigabyte on the other hand was at liberty to take his woman to whichever place he wanted because after all, this is the modern era where girls don’t really need permission to lower their standards. Also, I had to drop off the lady I was with before midnight because once again, this is how we rolled in the 90s. By 11:43pm I was returning from the gentlemanly drop off and heading back home alone. As for McGigabyte, he had one heck of a wild night and only called me up in the morning to have me say hello to his woman who from the sounds in the background seemed to be preparing breakfast for them. Three nil!

There were so many things I had to subscribe to or sacrifice for the entire duration of a week and even though McGigabyte never found out that I visited the ATM, or that I logged onto modern sites like Twitter & Facebook, I can comfortably say that it was tough for me – very tough!

 Chains

For an entire week I felt like was in chains!!

The Verdict

When the week ended I had had it up to my neck in 90s embarrassment because I was really making an effort to look like, speak like and act like I was in the 90s but no one was amused or even impressed. I increasingly found myself having to turn down a number of invites to events that would otherwise defile my 90s self. My friend McGigabyte on the other hand was having the time of his life and shoving it in my face along the way. When we sat down to compare notes, it dawned on me that attempting to go back to the past was pointless. The least we can do is simply look back at the past, smile and then swipe left at the iPad or touch screen phone to let a fresh image show up on the screen – an image of the present! The past may have been wonderful while we were in it but attempting to relive it is just but impossible.

This question below sort of sums it all up…

“How many people long for that “past, simpler, and better world,” I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”

― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver

Yours Truly

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker