Truly Ugandan: There are many things that make us so Ugandan but there are those that are truly unique to us. Mention laissez-faire attitude, Sevo and of course our never-ending partying lifstyle and you are talking Ugandan.
While Eddy Kenzo was being appointed chairperson of ‘Uganda Love Niggas Association-ULNA’, the Uganda Boyfriends Association (UBA) was tasking me to champion a new cause. UBA was in urgent need of finding the one or two things that would set Uganda apart. You can take this piece as a pre-read of our research.
Parte after parte
It has been decided that Rwanda will be known for its cleanliness, Kenya for its pickpockets, Tanzania for its music, but Uganda will seal it as the party country of Africa. You can imagine that from the time the year started, we have not had a breather, it’s been parte after parte. When Sheilah met God’s Plan, we partied, when Bobi Wine failed to stage his concert, we partied. I can assure you even when Kenzo vows never to perform in Uganda, we shall party. Is it such a hard call if we had ‘Parte after Parte’ below our Coat of Arms?
It is a pity that most countries wake up uncertain of their presidents. For the past 30 years in Uganda, we have not had such a problem. We woke up in 1986 knowing it is Museveni, we went to sleep in 2019 knowing it is still Museveni
For this reason, Uneb was forced to stop asking this question in its examinations because everyone would pass. As such, I suggest that as part of our branding, we need to patent ‘Museveni’ as the title given to all Ugandan presidents. Instead of using H.E, we can comfortably have Museveni Kyagulanyi or Museveni Besigye. Uganda has been here for 57 years and Museveni has been responsible for a half of those. Is it not bad manners to abandon such a brand?
The ‘M’ and the ‘K’ factor
If you were a doctor diagnosing Uganda, it would not take you more than an hour to realise that almost all of Uganda’s problems, quarrels, happy moments, sad moments, have been caused by the letters M and K. If Tamale Mirundi and Andrew Mwenda went quiet for a week, we would cut our noise pollution by half. If Museveni and Kiiza Besigye retired, our political chatter would go to nil. If Kyagulanyi abandoned politics, we would regain the freedom to wear our red berets. This is something we can sell about Uganda. That in order to be anything worth the talk in this country, you must get a K or M name.
Ugandan men will cheat on their wives, barbers, name it all. But rarely will they cheat on their rolex guys. It is the one thing Ugandan men cannot betray. So why not construct a rolex monument in the middle of Jinja, and another at the Constitutional Square. It should compete with the Eiffel Tower when it comes to height. To further spice it up, we shall make it in such a way that one can see the nyanya mbisi, with a white paper bag beside it. Not forgetting, the famous dirty cloth and plastic cup. We shall stand aside and watch the whole world coming to Uganda to witness the only place where rolex is eaten.
One of these days, we may have to legalise corruption. We have spent a lifetime trying to fight this disease. We cannot keep up with the negative energy. We cannot keep offering the same solution to the same problem. Perhaps, we just need to do something different, legalise corruption.
Because the person reading this bribed their way out of a traffic ticket, they bribed their way into a great school, they bribed their way into a job, and will comfortably do it again. We could even dedicate a special ministry to corruption. It will be the only ministry that is not required to account for how it spent its money. Better still, it can even be a self-funded ministry. We just have to give them a fishing spot.
We do not have the urge to fight. We are willing to partake in the divide of the hunt but we hate the process of hunting. We move on as fast as possible. In the same week when Bobi Wine jumps on a boda boda, we shall move on and handle the Rema-Kenzo topic. We have trending phrases at all moments. We are an active lot online, we bark online, but we are docile in real life.
We would rather exchange punches with words than with our own bodies. The Online Readers Association is overwhelmed by the number of topics it has to handle in an average month. But that is what makes Uganda lovely — we forgive, we forget, we soldier on. We shall make a joke out of everything. We fight only to make up. They kill our prophets, we ask a few questions, and then wait until the murder of the next.
Do you know who I am?
Everyone in Uganda seems to know someone powerful. Everyone in Uganda claims to be powerful. It takes just a quick verbal exchange before a Ugandan assures you of their connections. Only for them to try calling those connections and the phones become unavailable. Even a slay queen will assure you that the worst is yet to come for you the moment she calls up her ‘sugar dzaddy’. And to show we are something, we rent apartments in Kiwatule, order for Subarus, and look for complementary tickets to the next high rollers event in Kampala. Then we walk around at the event as though we paid our own entrance fee, litter our WhatsApp statuses with ‘parte after parte’. On the side, we shall be sliding in some inbox to ask for a ka quick 50K. It is only in Uganda where everyone is rich on a Friday night and broke as hell on Monday morning.
That said, what makes Uganda, Uganda for you?