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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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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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.

i_love_uganda_sweatshirt

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!

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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.

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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.

indigenious-food

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

hugh-masekela

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

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

The Story of Wandegs

Anyone who knows the city of Kampala well enough is sure to have been to, or at least heard of a place called Wandegeya. This place can best be described as one of the places in Kampala that will serve you with the right experience to make you love and hate the city of Kampala in equal measure. One second you will love the resourcefulness it offers and the next moment you will curse the confusion that usually defines a typical day in Wandegeya.

A little History of Wandegs

The history of Wandegeya (which for purposes of this blog we shall call Wandegs) has to do with the birth and growth of a little neighbourhood that was originally inhabited by weaver birds, known in the local dialect as ‘Endegeya’. As such Wa-Ndegeya simply refers to ‘a place that belongs to the Weaver Birds’. Before the 90s crept in and brought with them Shaba Ranks concerts, massive development, presidential elections and modernization, Wandegs was just another little town next to the hitherto great Makerere University. As the 90s came by, it slowly grew into one of the largest slums in Uganda. Its proximity to Makerere University meant that it turned out to be the go-to place for University students. They needed cheap eating places, bars selling cheap intoxicants, a collection point for prostitutes with downtown prices (pun intended), and a place where they could get cheap accommodation outside the University campus. Naturally, Wandegs was a good candidate and from them on, it became customary that if you needed anything and you could not find it within the University, you would probably get it in Wandegs – cheaply.

Little Town in a Big City

The very first time I visited Wandegs, I was way too young and too innocent to know what was going on around me. Most of what happened back then was narrated to me by my history loving parents who often volunteered stories from their glory days at the University.  By the time I visited Wandegs as a mature adult able to tell the difference between a prostitute and third year student at the University, it became apparent to me that this place called Wandegs was a little place that lived a life of its own – oblivious of what happened elsewhere. Even today as Wandegs morphs into a more modern place, there are many attributes of its past life that still linger around – attributes that define it.

Wandegeya-MktThe New Spectacular Wandegeya Market 

As long as University students are around, the place is simply a buzz of activity and it never ever goes to sleep. One has no need to go to the city center or anywhere else for that matter because everything one needs can be found right there – in Wandegs. Whether you need a copy of the latest Hollywood Blockbuster movie, a VISA to Russia, a land title, fresh oranges or a drink with an obscene alcoholic content, you will easily get what you want in Wandegs. Of course a few phone calls might have to be made here and there but overall, the resourcefulness of Wandegs is simply mind-blowing. It is safe to say that if one day the dwellers of Wandegs came up with an idea of secession, they would have every reason to raise hell. A bank here, a hospital there, a restaurant next to it, a brothel a few blocks away, a School behind the Mosque, a Church just after the Market, a hotel besides the salon … everything is in Wandegs.

YMCA

A basketball game at YMCA Basketball Court at Wandegeya

The Issue of Strikes … and the Police

For the duration of the time I was at Makerere University, the most uttered words on Campus were benching, retake, fresher, campus night, Bazaar and the king of them all – Wandegs. Wandegs always ranked high because whenever there was a strike at the University, Wandegs was where folks went to take solace. Strangely, at about the same time good mannered students would be rushing to Wandegs for solace, opportunistic students would also take advantage and head to Wandegs for entirely different reasons. You see, with the various shops selling gadgets, clothes, food, alcohol and all sorts of attractive things, Wandegs was a prime candidate for looting – an activity Makerere University students learnt, practiced and perfected for whenever there was a strike.

LootingCourse Unit 401 : Looting

Fortunately for the Wandegs business owners though, the Police usually responded after a few minutes since the police station is just across from Wandegs – almost a stone throw away. This however did not stop overzealous striking students from engaging the police in running battles – which usually meant free entertainment for the people in Wandegs. Depending on the response time of the cops, Students at the University had several things on their to-do list whenever a strike came along. Their agenda usually had among other things, making their demands known to the University administration, explaining their grievances to whoever cared to listen, complaining bitterly to the Government through the press and of course looting. Wandegs was the greatest victim of the looting. With time, places like Kikoni started suffering the same fate especially after the cops beefed up security in Wandegs.

Patent Products

One of the reasons why Wandegs as a little community is important to the history of Uganda is because of something known as the Rolex. Once again, if you know Kampala well, you will know that the Rolex being referred to here is not the sleek expensive watch endorsed by the Tiger after he emerged from the Woods of infidelity. The Rolex being referred to here is the legendary staple food of most Campus students – both rich and poor. It basically contains a Chapati, eggs, cabbages, tomatoes, onions and whatever else one would like to add from sausages to chaps and kebabs. Basically, it is the ultimate meal of any campuser. Naturally, many single folks find this meal somewhat appealing not just because it is quick to prepare (or wait for at the rolex stand) but also because it is rather cheap. My facts on the history of the Rolex are inconclusive but tentative results point to the possibility that the rolex was invented in Wandegs.

Another item that Wandegs probably boasts of having in extreme quantity is the TV Chicken. True, you will find TV chicken sold almost everywhere today but the habit of dealing in this chicken was probably hatched somewhere in Wandegs.

Graduands

Graduating from MUK is good but sad because you leave Wandegs behind

Anyone who has ever been to Wandegs in search of car spare parts, slimming pills, employment opportunities or anything else will admit that this is one of the few places outside the city center that might have solutions after all. True, there is a drive to modersise the place and turn it into a modern community but the spirit shall never die. The spirit of Wandegs shall live on not just in the people who dwell there but in every person who has ever been to this wonderful place.

“Towns are after all excrescences, grey fluxions, where men, hurrying to find one another, have lost themselves.” ― E.M. Forster, The Longest Journey

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

Employment Crack Code

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

The dress that almost stole away my attention

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

JobSearchNewspaperTough luck!

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

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

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

1. Stop waiting and make the call

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

Rolex

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

2. Embrace your passion and package yourself already! 

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

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

Why so serious?

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

So then, for your weekly dose of inspiration –

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

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker

Follow @beewol on Twitter

Understanding Our Budget

If you are one of those Ugandans very keen on export figures, growth percentages, G.D.P and performance of the economy, you might have spent a couple of sleepless nights lately. You see, there was a rather public conversation that was held very recently between Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka and her friend Madam Speaker Rebecca Kadaga; that conversation has since been named the “Budget Speech Reading”. Many Ugandans braved the entirety of this conversation (even though some dozed through it) and even if Madam Speaker did not respond too much, it can be agreed that the conversation caused quite a stir. For those who love figures and numbers, there was probably a lot to talk about and a lot to lose sleep over.

If on the other hand you are one of those Ugandans who looked on in confusion as figures were being flung left, right and center by a smart and composed madam Kiwanuka, worry not my friend, there are many of us out there. After madam Kiwanuka was through flinging her figures, his Excellency joined the Kadaga-Kiwanuka conversation and flung the figures further left and further right as the rest of the nation eavesdropped on this now 3-person-conversation. All this talk about budget cuts, budget allocations and budget madness should not worry you because as usual, for an entire week I engaged in research; so that I could break it down for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I shall help you to understand the Uganda National Budget 2013/2014.

Uganda to Finance 80% of the budget

As she glided through the reading of the budget with her eloquent speech, fine voice and smooth accent, the minister of Finance made mention that we are actually going to finance a great chunk of the damned budget. From what I gathered during my research, madam Kiwanuka is trying to tell us to stop being babies and start fending for ourselves. If we have to kill half our population while trying to do this, so be it! If the tax burden ends up sending the poor folks in the village to their graves, so be it. If the budget makes Ugandans go to Kenya in search of cheaper liquor and paraffin, so be it! If we have just 1.5% of the Ugandan population left alive at the end of this entire debacle, who cares? If the 1.5% who are alive are the ones who own property and the rights to life, to hell with all the other 98% of the population! The message here is simple; either you find your way into the 1.5% of the population that can survive this thing or you join the other 98.5% of the population who cannot save for the future because they are very busy just trying to survive the present. Your choice!

Maria-Kiwanuka1Madam Maria Kiwanuka arrives for what seems like a funeral – Black is for funerals, right?  

Imposing taxes on Mobile Money Transactions

The smartly clad Madam Kiwanuka also said, “Madam Speaker, I propose to impose an excise tax of 10% on fees charged on transfer of money by mobile network operators and other money transfer operators and widen the tax base.” The moment I heard this, my mind quickly went to the campus girls and boys who have survived on mobile money for a while now. If you have been asking for mobile money from your sugar daddy or sugar mommy, you are now more likely to ask for a cheque or something like that because it will suddenly become more expensive to use these mobile money transactions. I mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts that cheating is expensive; well, Madam Kiwanuka has just proven me right. Now, if you want to send some money to your other girlfriend or extra boyfriend, you have to part with a lot more. If people are cheating, we may as well make a little money off of them. So kudos madam Kiwanuka for figuring out folks who use mobile money to send money to their extra lovers. Let them Pay!

Introduce the International Calls Levy

We have recently had too many Ugandans going outside countries and calling us up at weird hours to ask if Kampala is still the capital city and if Museveni is still the president. Like many of us Ugandans, Madam Kiwanuka is angered so she has proposed the international calls levy. This ought to reduce the number of international calls going in and out of Uganda! Very recently a buddy travelled outside countries for the very first time. For someone who was travelling just nearby to Nakuru, I really don’t see why this sucker had to call me up at 4am asking what time it was over here in Kampala. For crying out loud, the time difference is almost negligible. Besides, even if you travelled to Birmingham, Melbourne, Cape Town, Stockholm or Juba, you cannot lose track of the time zones – there’s Google! This business of calling people up at strange hours and asking “Mpozi wot time aiz it owva there in YewGanda?” that should end! The international calls levy will reduce this nonsense by all means.

call-of-duty-4the only call you should be making is …. CALL OF DUTY 4 – Modern Warfare!

Elimination of VAT exemption on Supply of water

Not long ago, Uganda was ranked as one of the most effective alcohol consuming countries in the world. Madam Kiwanuka, having taken notice of this was starting to get frustrated that Ugandans were slowly backing out of this record breaking venture. There seemed to be more adverts for bottled mineral water, soft drinks and other useless drinks that do not help to push us higher in the alcohol rankings. For this reason, this elimination of the VAT exemption on the supply of water ought to have people consume more alcohol than water. So for those who are up in arms against this proposal, please calm down, take a seat and if you are thirsty, look for a beer. If you love your country you will not shout at madam Kiwanuka; you will applaud her efforts!

Save waterNuff Said! 

Increasing Excise duty on Wheat and Flour

The mere mention of wheat and flour arouses many taste buds (it usually works better though when you add eggs, cabbage and probably some green pepper). For the rolex loving individual, you heard this wheat/flour announcement and broke into tears; I know I did. As I was doing research about why exactly madam Kiwanuka was intent on cutting down our consumption of this beloved meal, it dawned on me that after all, this woman is brilliant. You see, people who cannot cook have relied on the rolex for decades. All one has to do is set aside a few coins and they have something for supper. Madam Kiwanuka now wants you all to learn how to cook. And gentlemen, just in case you have a wife who also loves the rolex as much as you do, now would be the time for you both to repent of your sins and renew your vows; be sure to add a clause about eating real food. This tax is therefore intended to better our cooking skills.

Increasing excise duty on petrol and diesel

If you have been on Kampala roads recently, you will have noticed that this otherwise beautiful city tends to get chocked with traffic every damn day! The reason for this is simple – everyone can afford a car. Well, not really everyone coz I still ride the taxi to work every day. Yes, the car you saw me driving a few days ago was borrowed from a friend who borrowed it from his dad. I’m not sure where his dad borrowed it from but I’m sure it doesn’t belong to him either. So not everyone really everyone owns a car. Anyway, since the majority own cars, my friend, his dad and myself are insignificant. It is both a good thing and a bad thing that many people own cars. It is a good thing because a girl can now boast that all her 3 boyfriends are driving even if they are all unemployed. The downside is of course that if you are a man, you cannot take a woman out on a date unless you are going to pick her up and drop her off in a car that you are driving (borrowed, stolen or hired). According to the brilliant Maria, this excise duty on petrol and diesel will ensure that more people park their cars so that women can stop expecting to be picked and dropped always. It will therefore reduce traffic jam thus making Kampala a neater, cleaner and quieter city. About time!

Now what?

According to Madam Kiwanuka, the theme for the 2013/2014 financial year’s budget is “The Journey Continues: Towards Socio-Economic Transformation for Uganda”. I have spent a good number of days trying to understand the meaning of this but so far I’m having real trouble. My research will obviously continue because I hate to leave you wonderful folks confused. So I shall go down to the village folks who will have to spend more to purchase Kerosene and water. Maybe they understand it better than I do.

rock_quarrymaybe these ladies who earn peanuts from Rock Quarrying will understand what  Socio-Economic Transformation actually means coz I don’t

For now though, I shall leave you to chew on this little piece. Stop hurling insults at Madam Kiwanuka for what the budget presented. She is only being helpful. At the end of her speech, she said something like “I beg to move” but we all know she wasn’t begging. She was already moving! So I also beg to stop right here.

Anyhow, here is your weekly quote;

A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.

William Feather

Yours Truly

Bernard

a.k.a Beewol

The Talkative Rocker