THE BASUMMER: To be like them, you must pretend like you don’t remember anything about Uganda, you must adopt an American accent even if you are from Japan and spend like it is illegal to save, writes Ian Ford Nkera
Right from the time muzungu gets served his customary meal of French fries at McDonald’s to the time he dashes to the loos to relieve himself, you can almost be sure that a Ugandan will always be on standby. They will always be a Ugandan on standby to serve him that saucy hotdog just the way he likes it or pass him the tissue as he fends for himself in the loos. All for what? The much sought after dollar.
They have to go through dire living conditions, juggle between jobs to make an extra buck and after a year of toil back in the diaspora, they normally come back to Uganda to celebrate with us and boy do they celebrate! They normally come through at the tail end of December to disturb the peace of Kampala with their reckless spending habits, expensive cars, outlandish dressing, feigned accents and a trail of other unusual foreign tendancies.They are back and living life like Hollywood stars for a couple of weeks before they return to the Diaspora to wipe some elderly butt for a living. Here is how you can be like them.
For some strange reason, there will always be a correlation between boarding a plane and memory loss. Even after being away for just a year, you should suddenly “struggle” to recognise your relatives at the airport. When you are wandering the city and someone randomly calls you on phone asking where you are, “struggle” to recall that you are at City Square. Tell everyone you meet how they look familiar yet you were just with them in school only last year, they will believe you.
Make a statement
Your arrival should be anything but ordinary. Your family’s expectations are too high, so they can’t afford to see you make entry into the country like any other mortal. Entebbe Airport should have that red carpet feel or everything should be played out like an American hip hop video. The musummer uniform is usually an oversized basketball jersey complete with quarterpants, shades and hideous bling bling so be sure to have that look rehearsed before you fly back to Uganda. Your whole clan should be there to witness the arrival of their hometown hero who until some time ago was an insignificant cab driver in Dubai.
It doesn’t matter whether you were changing bed sheets in a Qatar lodge, a heavy American accent should be in order to destabilise the delegates from Bukedea District who made their way to Entebbe to hand you a hero’s welcome.
If you intend to be like these nkuba kyeyos, you must be ready to use your camera quite alot. You must be ready to wow at everything from the birds to the weather. You should have a camera on standby to catch great moments of the street preacher because “Back in the UK” you don’t see such. If you think you have never seen anything cuter than the street kids on Jinja Road, you could take snaps and hope one Karimojong rascal doesn’t snap the camera out of your fingers. Tell the world how Village Mall reminds you of New York and take selfies with everyone from the boda chap to the airtime lady because people need to know that you are finally back home.
Complain about everything
Complain about the traffic jam, poor Internet services and the food because “Back in London blah blah……” If you want to be a summer, you should plan to complain about food poisoning time and again. Protest about how you can never find your favourite Budweiser drink around or how you can’t understand why credit cards are not used much here. Oh and how you can never get used to the dust here. Everything around should be an inconvenience to you.
Spend, spend, and spend
To be like these Basummer, you must be ready to spend that dime. Those dollars should have no focus in where they make their next stop. Dimes should be splashed anywhere and anyhow. Clubs should feel the burden of inflation, beaches should run out of fish to offer clients and gift shops should ultimately run out of business when these guys come around. These guys are very extravagant and will even ship in their monster rides to shake up the city.
“Camera, laptop … everything sells on OLX”
As everything good comes to an end, your boss will be eagerly waiting to hand you your favourite apron as you embark on another year of modern day slavery in some sorry restaurant in Stockholm. Of course your flamboyant Vegas lifestyle will be on its deathbed come mid January and your desperacy for a return ticket to Europe will only be rivaled by a diabetic’s call for insulin. Family will never castigate you for being stupid enough to blow your life savings on one holiday but will be there to help you back on your feet. Be sure to have a family meeting convened to have your return ticket money raised. Your prized assets of a laptop, camera and tabs should have new owners before you board that plane back. Desperacy will leave you with just your memory card, a charger and USB cable before you return but take heart. So there you have it. Go ahead and be like the Basummer.
This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not neccesarily be an objective assessment of the individual.