You only need to live in Uganda to realise that we are a double-faced nation; we support one thing and oppose another of the same kind in equal measure. We are a country of contradictions. If women don’t know what they want, then Ugandans don’t have even a slightest idea of that which they want. Let’s explore the ironies…
We preach patriotism yet punish school children for speaking vernacular
Parents are proud to have their children speaking English better than the Queen. English has become the gold standard of those who are educated and intelligent. The more complicated the English, the better. You only have to read the academic thesis and journals of our intelligentsia to realise that in Uganda, the more complicated you sound in writing and speech, the more IQ you are perceived to have. The ones who speak Luganda are considered local. A lady will quickly reject a man who tries to vibe her in Luganda and quickly accept one who does the vibing in English. Our children serve punishments for speaking the local languages; the schools praise them for speaking English. We are very patriotic, aren’t we? If a politican has trouble pronouncing words like he is awaiting an appointment as Minister without Portfolio, and his attempt ends up with him saying minister without Fort Portal, he becomes a national joke and the recording is even used as a call-back-ringtone by many, just for a good laugh.
We are united by terrorists, divided by politicians
Very surprising yet true, the only times we get united as a country is in bad times. After the July 2010 Kampala bombs, we all thought, walked, and stood as one. In that one moment, it wasn’t a sharp nose or a flat one, it was about Uganda. A country that gets united by terrorists and divided by politicians, we must really love ourselves.
We admire the corrupt and complain about poor services
It’s very amazing that we have a country where a citizen has taxes chopped off his salary before he gets it, and he still has the guts to just shrug his shoulders when this money is misappropriated. However, more shocking is that we admire the corrupt and secretly wish for an opportunity to get a government job just for the “enjawulo.” Then we make noise about our pothole riddled roads on Twitter.
You have to look both ways to cross a one-way road
Life in Uganda is not easy, especially for the pedestrians. A one way road is not a guarantee that motorists are only coming from one direction of the road. You have to look left and right, then look left again before you can comfortably cross the road. However, watch out, a boda boda can come from any direction of the 360 degree scale, watch out for that too.
It’s very okay to piss in public, very dangerous to kiss in public
Which of the two is the lesser evil? The one of two people in love snuggling or the one of this one man who decides to ease himself on the walls or grassy areas? No wonder there are so many “Tofuka Wano” signs because easing oneself by the roadside is the norm here.
We condemn sex tapes and ask for whoever has got the leaked tape to forward it on Whatsapp!
We condemn sex tapes and people who take nudes yet will quickly hit the share button of a link about a sex tape. Since when did condemnation involve sharing what you condemn so that others can have a look? Some pastors go ahead to condemn a musician whose nude photo leaked, yet they are talking about intricate details of the picture, meaning they took their valuable time to scrutinise it.
The shoes we wear are sold in air-conditioned rooms, the foods we eat are sold on the footpaths
As Hassan Ndugga sang, “ebintu bizibu”, you would expect that we would care more for our food than for the shoes we wear. Well, you thought so, that’s not Uganda. Our foods are sold in the dusty open. From those women frying chips by the roadside, to the rolex stalls. We care less about the conditions of the things we eat but are very concerned about the condition of the things we wear. Our external matters more than the internal.
We contribute in death, we can’t contribute to foot medical bills
We are quick to give all these large sums of money to offset the bills at someone’s funeral yet we can’t even care to pay them a visit during their times in hospital. We contribute like we are crazy during wedding meetings; we can’t contribute towards someone starting a new business. A dead person has more friends, more compliments and praises than when he’s alive. We are that friendly, we send you off to your creator triumphantly.
The street vendors who sell books on how to make millions
We offer the medicine that we need the most to others! Take a walk from Uganda House to Pioneer Mall and you will find book vendors for all sorts of books on how to become rich in the next 30 seconds, Napoleone Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and you will get shocked at why the same people are not using that advice that they are trying to sell.
The ones who didn’t go to school own the businesses
The ones who dropped out of school create the businesses and employ the ones who topped the classes. The average students, without wasting time choose to become politicians, and make the laws upon which this country is run. I don’t know where I read this one, but it said; “You know how people buy drinks for girls in bars? Why can’t people do that in book stores? Like if I am looking at a novel in some store, and some person walks up to me, strikes up a conversation and offers to buy me that book.” See, a rich man would rather he takes you out, gives you all ‘tribes’ of drinks until you get wasted than give you hard cash for you to buy yourself a house.
And if you think you have heard of all the ironies, the writer doesn’t even believe in what he’s just preached. His only friends are the people who know how to pronounce the world plumber with the silent ‘b’ and the word often with the silent ‘t’. Yes, he would rather date a girl with an American accent than one with a very heavy Kikiga accent, mwahurira?