Kla Lingo (Part 1)

Every community has got a code of conduct, set of unwritten rules and general way of life that guides and directs its dwellers. When visitors come to this community they are initially clueless about the way of life, until they receive orientation. Sometimes the orientation is brutal, other times it is very wonderfully presented.

One of the crucial parts of the orientation will include learning a few words and phrases that will help them survive being hacked to death for failing to figure out a thing or two in the local dialect. There are several words and phrases that one has got to learn when they visit Kampala. It is almost impossible to keep up but somehow one has got to think on their feet; you’ve got to touch down running.

For the next 3 weeks I shall be exploring a few of the words and phrases that one will most likely encounter when they are having conversation with an average middle class Kampala City dweller. Strap yourselves in and let us dive into the first of three parts of our exploration of the Kampala lingo.

Part 1 (A – H)

A – Another Rap

Uganda is one of the few countries to be blessed with a President who is not only a Vision bearer, cattle keeper, army man and problem solver; Citizen 001 is also a Rapper with profound skill and proficiency in the art of spitting rhymes. He may not have dropped an album or mixtape (yet) but rumour has it that he has made more sales from releasing one song than many people have made in 16 years of being upcoming artists. The demand for the Citizen 001 to release ‘another rap’ have prompted folks to coin this very brilliant two worded expression to infer that the big man is not yet done with his Rap Vision.

MUSEVENI

Mess Not with the Rap Qlik

Other A words / phrases – Aganaga, Amawulire ku TV, Amuru District, Ankole Cows, Akandwanaho Caleb, Amasiro

B – Bonna

Bonna is a Luganda word for ‘All of them’. This word, when added to several other words creates a situation of general happiness. Bonna Balye, Bonna Bagagawale, Bonna Bawangule, Bonna Banywe … these are all terms that are used to pull and pool people together for more comprehensive benefits. Naturally, the negative implications here would mean that phrases like Bonna Baffe, Bonna Baavuwale or Bonna Bagwe cannot be ignored. If Isaac Newton’s third law is anything to go by, for any action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Eatage

Bonna Balye

Other B Words / Phrases – Bebe Cool, Bagishu, Beera Feya, Binsangawano, Bungoma, Banyarwanda, Bulaaya

C – Colgate

There are several brands of toothpaste in the market today. However, for reasons yet to be discovered, a good chunk of Ugandans will refer to every brand of toothpaste as Colgate. Now, while this may create confusion for a visitor, the strange thing is that Ugandans understand what exactly they are referring to even without mentioning it specifically. For instance one will say ‘I’d like the Blue Colgate’. The attendant on the other end will not even think twice or blink; they will know which exact brand the person wants. Pure telepathy!

People at the gym

They are all the same!

Other C Words / Phrases – Cassava, Cranes yatusala, Chips, Chicken and Chaps, Chameleon, China phone.

D – Desirable

Now for those who are on social media, the word ‘Desire’ is not as desirable as it originally was (pun intended). Thanks to a certain singer / socialite / sexy goddess, the word now means something entirely different. With just one pose, the sexy goddess created a new word altogether. Today, when someone says a lady is desirable, it is likely he has already undressed her, made her flash the v sign between her legs with one hand, cover one of her boobs with the other arm and smile sheepishly at the camera. Most of this happens in the mind and is termed as ‘the Desire Pose’.

burning-desire

Other D Words – Dembe, Drake Sekkeba, Damaged goods, Dryness,

E – Emaali

Emaali is referenced from one of the local dialects in Uganda. It is a word in Ateso that refers to ‘money’ or ‘property’. A profound local band (Afrigo Band) once performed a song in which they sang about ‘Ayawun Emaali Ore’ which is translation for ‘bringing money home’. This song has gone on to become a traditional club banger as well as a nice way to start off a conversation with anyone from that side of the country. It is also probably one of the finest songs ever produced by a band in Uganda. It is also one of the only five or six words of Ateso that people who aren’t from Teso know.

Other E Words – Eshabwe, Etofali, Epolon, Electricity thieves, Empako yawe, Emergency Door

F – Ffene

Probably one of the tastiest fruits on the planet. Most people around the world call it Jackfruit but in Kampala you will most likely be understood faster if you called it Ffene. This fruit is sold in various forms. Some people sell it as a whole, the way it comes off the tree, others split it and sell it in smaller bits while others go further to remove the seeds and sell it ready to consume. It has several health benefits including bettering your sense of humour. This is why half the people in Kampala are hilarious.

Jackfruit

Other F Words / Phrases – Filimu ya Massai, Fina, Ffe mwe mwe ffe, Father Musaala, Family Planning.

G – Gavumenti Etuyambe

Ugandans have in the recent past attempted to attract the attention of the Government on a number of issues. These issues have stretched from big and serious like the economy and health to minor and small like bad breath and unfunny comedians. Basically whenever a Ugandan feels disgruntled in any way, there will be a silent (or very loud) cry of ‘Gavumenti Etuyambe’. Naturally the Gavumenti has been hesitant to involve itself in some of these cries because many of them are really trivial, nonsensical and plain ridiculous. However, the cry is simply a sign of bigger problems – the people think their Gavumenti should start actually kuyambaring (helping) it’s people.

Gavumenti

Other G Words / Phrases – Global Fund, Gulu, Gyobera gyembera, Gombe, Gunyuma kiro, Generals.

H – Halo

98% of telephone conversations in this beautiful city will start off with the word ‘Halo’. People in other parts of the world will probably say ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ or anything else. In Uganda, it seems like on purchasing a mobile phone, the first agreement one has got to make is that they will answer each and every phone call with the word ‘Halo’. The courtesy that Ugandans have is so profound that even if someone was calling to insult or abuse you, they will start off by saying ‘Halo’. Very well behaved people.

Other H Words / Phrases – Hajjat / Hajji, Honourable, House party, House warming, Hot Katogo.

Next week we shall have Part 2 (of 3) of the Kla lingo. Until then, keep it together and please do not be a victim of language barrier in Kampala.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ― George Orwell, 1984

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

Delayed Rapture

For quite a long while now, Christians of the world have patiently awaited the second coming of Jesus Christ. Very many people have advanced theories about when the son of man may return but over time no one has been able to draw a circle around a date and actually get it right.

Somewhere in the Bible, there is a concept known as the rapture. Many Christian faiths are of the view that there is a time coming that shall be known as the ‘end-times’. During this time, all true and righteous believers who will still be alive at the end of the world will be taken straight from earth to heaven by God. This will happen when Jesus makes his second coming.

For reasons that have never really been figured out, Jesus’ second coming seems to be taking longer than expected. The son of man had categorically made it clear that he would return soon. So far, ‘soon’ has turned out to be longer than expected. Naturally, a few theories have been advanced to explain the delayed rapture and as always, I have my own twisted and probably wrong theory which I will share nonetheless.

I shall therefore henceforth offer my submission about why I think the rapture has been delayed and why Jesus has procrastinated about coming back to take us to see his old man upstairs.

Racism and bigotry

I was not around when the good Lord was creating the world but I am certain he did not mean for there to be racism at any one point. How and why we as human beings came up with this bogus concept that one race is more superior than the other, I will never know. What I do know though is that the Lord is not happy with this state of affairs. Once again, he is giving us the opportunity to see our mistake, repent of our ways and stop seeing people as belonging to specific colour, creed or country. One would have hoped that in 2014 since the world is more interconnected than ever before there should be less racism. But behold! It still lingers in our midst. While some people think that strides have been made in the right direction with intermarriages and all, you will be shocked to learn that there are many people who still walk around vending racist ideas and being proud about it. Unless such morons change their thinking, I am afraid, the Son of Mary and Joseph might continue procrastinating on this whole second coming thing.

Racism-is-wrong

Truth!

Bogus Liars, unsent messengers and false prophets

Almost everywhere you turn, there is a new church, synagogue, mosque, temple and worship place being set up. How is Jesus supposed to come back with all this confusion going on? No; seriously, how? It appears there is a religion or sect for every person who has some free time, a little inspiration and whole load of lies packaged together not to mention the desire to make money. Without necessarily pointing fingers, I wonder why and how people have the nerve to refer to themselves as ‘prophets’, ‘men and women of God’ and ‘messengers of God’ when their true lives are filled with deceit, sexual perversion, financial manipulation and abnormally loud smugness. You cannot ask your flock to lead humble lives when you are the same person living an extremely lavish lifestyle funded by the same flock you are fleecing. That right there is why Jesus has put his return on hold. As a shepherd, lose a few properties, drive a cheaper car, wear less expensive suits, have a simpler phone and maybe, just maybe the son of man might consider returning.

False

Leading the folk to hell!

Fake People, Pretenders and Wannabes

I cannot even begin to talk about how much these people are dragging us behind schedule in terms of the return of Jesus Christ. You see, when the Lord was among us, he lived a life of truth and openness. He never pretended to be something he was not. He could have easily been anything he wanted to be but he stuck to the things he knew best; performing miracles, confusing his disciples with brilliantly well woven parables and fighting for women’s rights (refer to John 8.) Today however, you often come across people who clearly are nothing of what they say they are. If you are not a musician, I see no reason why you should go into the studio and record a song just because you can afford it. Stay away from the studio! If you are not a good TV presenter, I see no reason why you should be the one taking us through the News Telecast just because your skin complexion is good for TV. These are the people who are making Jesus Christ stay away. And NO –I am not referring to anyone in particular … or am I?

Pretenders

If you ain’t it, don’t try to be it

Bathroom Selfies, nudes and sex tapes

On any given day, once you get online, there are certain things that you are bound to encounter; a host of bathroom selfies, poorly directed sex tapes and dangerously vulgar nude pictures of otherwise unpretty humans. For starters, I have no idea who invented the idea of taking pics in the bathroom but this person’s name is most probably on Jesus’ blacklist. Since the Son of man is keen on forgiveness and second chances, I believe he is giving this  individual a chance to repent of his sins and ask for forgiveness from the Lord. Nudes and sex tapes are leaking today more than ever before. It appears for anyone to have even half a career in the entertainment industry they must have some kind of audition through nudes or sex tapes. How pathetic! And what is worse is that people seem to imagine that these bathroom selfies, nudes and sex tapes are a great way to attract Likes on Facebook, Instagram and wherever else they can be shared. There is no way Jesus can return amidst this madness. We need to get our sh*t together.

JesusFor the record, I think Jesus was Black

There are so many other people who I believe have delayed the coming of Jesus Christ for instance overly loud Arsenal fans, Ugandan MPs who have no clue what they are doing, Terrorists who continue to imagine that there are virgins waiting for them in heaven as well as people who forward chain messages on whatsapp. As soon as all these people get their act together, I am confident Jesus the son of man will show up.

“The planet is fine. The people are f*cked.” ― George Carlin

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