To be or Not to be

Being an ardent fan of the hottest new wave of musicians under the brand name Bantu Vibes, I derive inspiration to write this article from one of their songs ; People by Denesi ft Lamu, Chenkobe. I picked up what they call a “hard line” from that song and it goes , “the teacher told the student, who are you and killed the dream”.

I am sure many of us have bumped into annoying questions from elders in regards to who we want to be in future, expecting answers that have a lot to do with proffesion. And so growing up, most of us wanted to be lawyers, doctors, pilots….when I learnt fancy English, I wanted to be a neuro surgeon-it sounded so cool! Years later, I am in business school!
Judging from the status quo, professions with heavy titles are the in thing. I for one have always thought it very prestigious to be a lawyer; my mom thinks I’ll get married to one.

Professions with heavy titles come along with various pluses, they earn you a seat at the corporate table, they earn you a fat bank account and a front seat in church especially when it’s fundraising service/mass. If you’re in luck, they earn you a lifetime partner; basically these kinds of professions should guarantee you success.

And so when your parents haul you off to school with the most cliché advice (study and get a good job), this is what they want you to be. For them, that’s how to be successful.

But what if the script changed? What if we didn’t have to be white collared professionals to exist among others?

Here’s a short story. Back in my village we get together for Christmas, my fellow Kampala cousins come along too. So the cousins who stay with Jaja are excited and always regard us with so much importance-this has never sat well with me. This particular boxing day evening, we happened to be at the farm digging into roasted pork and basically enjoying the wealth my tribe relates of my Mr. know it all uncles (we all have those irritating uncles that feel the need to show off their not so much knowledge) decided to ask each one of us what we wanted to be when we grew up. The famous answers echoed left right and center until one answer that sent the choir into laughter.

One of my cousins who stay with Jaja said he wanted to be a ‘tipa’ driver .A tipa is a form of truck that usually ferries sand, stones, bricks or helps people carry things when they are shifting to another house. We all laughed at him and most attributed the young lads answer to his prolonged stay in the village.

Left alone, I asked him about his answer. He said,”I want to be a ‘tipa’ driver just like my father. My father is a strong man and I want to be like him, he also helps people take their cows to the market for sale.(told you its cows in my village, they could pass for currency). I want to help many people who can’t walk and drive them in my ‘tipa’ when I grow up.” I didn’t need to ask this boy further.

Most of all, I prayed to God he wouldn’t end up in some westernized school that would teach him to have white heroes and role models .His dad was just what he needed to be who he wanted to be. For this young boy, it wasn’t unrealistic titles he wanted; it was virtuous that he wanted to become because he had seen it looked good on his father!

And so I ask you, who is reading my mambo jumbo, to be or not to be? What is fuelling the fire inside of you? Is it some random school motto or is it the insatiable need to fatten your bank account? Better yet is it the need to walk into a room and have heads even more wise than you bow before you? Or is it the famous choruses like ‘You Only Live Once’? Would you be what your parents have paid schools to make you? Or shall you design your own blueprint? Shall you attach titles to yourself?

If you ask me, I’ll dare you to wear virtues on the sleeves of your fancy coat. I hope we become the generation that retains the power to make decisions for ourselves. Fuck the dollar rate; go do a job you would still do if you weren’t paid to do it.

Don’t answer peoples questions regarding who you want to be 5 years from now if you don’t know the answer as of yet. You’re not pyschic! Tell them you live for today, tomorrow will take care of itself. Ask them if they like who you are today? Better yet, ask them if they like who they have become. Shake that table for them!

A budding writer recently wrote encouraging us to stop procrastinating, telling us to live for now. Our caterer back in high school wore a shirt with the words “the time is now”. Each day the sun graces the earth is another opportunity to be the best of you. I would say find someone and strive to be like them but even twins don’t have the same abilities. Whatever you do, don’t let them define you for I believe that definition is such a limitation!

To be or not to be cuts across many spheres of life. you could be fat, skinny,rude,polite,neat,reckless,loving,rich,poor,blessed,beautiful,talented,funny,proud,atheist,God-fearing,happy,grateful,sad…..
You could be all those things if you choose to, so make sure what you become is what you chose to be!

Monday Saloon got me like…

Monday isn’t a Saloon day, but my nails had to get done. The country must be run. Anyway, my mom likes to say that I like expensive things😂, but tell me, if you found a Prado at 1million, wouldn’t you think twice about it?
There is a way yoghurt gets to your tummy and makes love to it….today I ate vanilla yoghurt
! So, I checked into the saloon….waited 15minutes and then the nail guy was ready for me. The Covid death rate has reached to 12. “Hello, what nails are you doing today”?
“I’ll do Gel, just the finger nails”
As usual, my amazing earpieces are never far, I had sensed it was going to be a boring session.
Now this saloon has it’s ‘bu things’ they first give you cold water for free…then they wash your hands in warm water😌
My nail guy today was called Ken, very stubborn lad.
And so they first put colourless vanish on your nails, then you put them in an UV LED machine as if to bake them fast fast.
Client on the left hand side with her nail guy number says “naye muwagile ku Mzee”
Her nail guy “nyabo tukole colour ki?”
Ken, my nail guy “Kati nyabo okakasa nti Museveni alumilizibwa Uganda?”
Client on the left hand “naye nawe”
Her nail guy … “Nze Uganda enyumira mwana”
At this point, I am thinking my Ken nail guy is hilarious 😂. So it’s my turn to pick a colour, the TV channel is National Geographic, five lions are chasing a giraffe.
I am torn between white and light blue. Ken suggests a light shade of purple.
Nail guy number two finally speaks…kale nze Nze wemba Kenzo, walai Bobi muvako.”
How topics changed so fast , I don’t know.
This is where I ask Ken who his ideal next president would be…I chose a light shade of purple…..
Ken “anyone else but Museveni would work for me”.
This is when client number 2 says the most outrageous thing ” iieee but the man is still strong, olaba he made 40 pressups”
Ken” naye nawe, Kati kyogamba nti amanyi gegavuganya egwanga?”

Client number 2 smiles, her nail guy smiles awa too.. And so Ken tells me how this saloon attracts big people who come with body guards that first install security cameras before the boss can access it” I just laugh it off and throw a ka “nga you’re a big saloon also”. He continues to tell me how working here has helped them meet these big people who advise him to invest in his home town because the future is uncertain politically. Interesting right?. Ken asks me, what if your were nabbed by traffic, what do you do? I reply like any other Ugandan, “I fix the situation chap with a few shillings and get released!” Don’t condemn me btw! Ken laughs at me🙄….And so I ask him the same question. He says” One time I was caught beyond curfew time on a jaj, I remembered I had this big man’s number..I called it, first time, second time…he picked up and asked for my number plate. The officers let me go saying va wano totuletela bizibu.” I rode from biharwe to Mbarara without any other traffic guys interrupting my journey!” I smiled in awe!
Nail guy number 2 asks Ken what his evening plan is. Ken tells him they should go grab some “pink things” later on in the evening.
Some pink things? My mind obviously curious, I ask him. He smiles and whispers, “pink pussy”!!! Pink what? I burst out and laugh and so I ask how much is it, he says it’s like 5k. How cheap, whole time my mind is running wild. And so I ask again, how do these pink things look like. Ken says, I have one on my wallpaper, let me show you! And yes, I wanted to see…..booom I see a fancy glass of pink alcohol. My days, what was I even thinking….
Soon, my nails were fully polished and Ken did some amazing work. I decided to tip him an extra 5k for that pink thingy he seemed to like. He said it doesn’t hit as much as Ug!

As he makes a receipt for me, he tells me that Besigye supplies fuel to the army troops who go to Somali to fight. Too much information for sho….. The Lions managed to over power the giraffe and I ended up taking Ken’s number. He told me he as planning to move out and start his own thing, I guess I just got me a nail guy…

The Other 20million thingy..

Uganda has by far proven to be a giant sleeping lion that only wakes in the midst of tragedy and we all know, lions strike hard!

Needless to say, I only know a little more than Mzee at the dairy. Probably, I know that Mr Museveni always wears a white shirt each time he addresses his ‘bazukulu’ which Mzee who listens over the radio doesn’t see! Both Mzee and I have grown to appreciate the government in this pandemic issue. Though I don’t know about the price of salt anymore.

Nevertheless our beloved government is there for us, for we voted the right one-we are not like Scobie, we have hope. Believe you me, this radio has been working since last year, occasionally changing batteries and adjusting wires, and so recently as Uncle Joel was giving his sequenced addresses to show us that he cares, he mentioned donation of food to the likes of Mzee’s family…..because the government cares and can’t afford to see its loyal voters die, at least not before the next election, excuse my mind for the way it perceives certain ideas.

I don’t know for sure that Mr Bes’ gavo would have done a better job had it been running the country by the time this ‘Whitish’ virus hit and sadly we will never know. For all we know, the virus’ presence might cease as soon as ‘okulonda’ is done….

I certainly would wish to be in Mr.Kato Lubwama’s shoes at this point in time. Formerly his dream was to hit the jackpot and grab a mere 1,000,000 shs. But now he is silent about the 20M cashing in to every MP’s account, probably he has had one too many shillings. Maybe it’s stopping to make sense or the damn shillings feel too good, he just can’t get enough!

I am just a common man; a very regular citizen who thinks about some undotted I’s and uncrossed T’s.

See what if we returned Kato Lubwama to his former breadwinning job, I hear he was a comedian and see now fatefully all comedy has been restricted to only that that your eyes can find on the television or you tube, but I bet this pair of amazing legs that Kato never had a YouTube channel. Picture him and his family seated staring at the Television waiting for when Uncle Joel will say… “ due to the pandemic, we are giving out free food to the needy, and maybe we shall see that loans are restructured” and yet the chairman of his area knows only too well that Mr.Kato’s family is not a needy one, I mean celebrity tabeela needy mwana!

What would Mr.Kato think about the arrest of MP Zaake for donating food? Would he still think it illegal and deserving of punishment, yet his own household is at the brink of starvation!

As a not so-important human in this country, I have learnt that humility and humanity obviously rhyme but dignity and wealth will never rhyme just like humility and wealth too….though they will try to associate poverty with crime, yet they also don’t rhyme. This is not just a language issue, it a tale of virtues buried prematurely, and buried real deep.

One of the MPs on a talk show insinuated that government is simply giving them a tax free sum to donate while the speaker said this ‘tweny M’ is to spread the word. But Mzee in kyempene village already has a radio- shall the MP buy him a new one? For what? Or perhaps a Television set? His eyes are so sick!

My almost tattered dictionary defines donations as that which you give from what you already have not expecting a thing in return…so my very lousy thinking would hint on questions like haven’t MPs made enough ‘twenies’ to be able to just spare some to donate?

Oh but this is my favorite, imagination… I imagine having a job where your paid hefty sums and also added ‘twenies’ to donate-damn, I wouldn’t even call this column the Common man’s column, heck I’d call it the ….wait, would I even be writing? What would I even rant about? I know, being me. I’d rant about men that like to scratch their groin area in public, petty? Yeah, I know!

Another scholar said, on the same talk show, “I wouldn’t want to be an MP, there is so much pressure on them from the people!”
Again, aren’t they the government? Don’t they care for their people? Why then must they not deliver as expected?

I am sure this is the point when the previously ordinary Kato would ridicule H.E Bobi Kyagulani for returning that ‘pleny tweny M’. Like, how dare he even?

Nevertheless on the same talk show, an uncommon man associated this 20M handout to a situation where a thief amasses so much and shares it with you, would you then go ahead to report this thief…I mean you’d get caught too, right? Apparently Uncle Joel has amassed so much and therefore continues to assure the masses on rallies about the nRm government’s wealth, ‘Gavumenti ya NRM teyine akasente, konka eyine sente nyingi’.

And excuse my commonness but Runyankore has become too common these days. Just like sharp noses and ‘Janet cuts’ if you know what I mean. I wonder why Ferraris aren’t so common in my village though!

So why wouldn’t Uncle Jo use his money the way he wants huh? He has mastered the politics and learned to integrate the economics too not knowing that literature prostituted this kind of politics along time ago, just that writers are being arrested now and their mouths nailed together.

But if you ask me, I’d say Uncle Joel has knows how to ripen young fruit and later squeeze fine juice from them. ‘Every man has his price ‘and so he is just doing what’s best for business.

But we must applaud Uncle Jo, our third worldness has shamed the first world nations, handling a deadly pandemic like as it were a mere cold where only you need to take some fruit to heal. Hopefully after these 100 and something days, Uncle Jo will rebuild the nation!

So, I sip my juice wondering where father Lokodo and his big rosaries are in this crisis. Has the absence of homosexuality issues rendered him jobless? I wonder where Mr. Edward Ssekandi is, hhmmmm…..these dormant volcanoes! Anyway, as a common man, I’d like to sit and enjoy my “Munanansi” without any more hiccups…you see, these days news bulletins have scary headlines….
Your C.M