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How to be … a Kampala corporate

Look the part:  There  is no mistaking a corporate fellow when you see one. Ian Ford Nkera guides you on how to look like you work for one of the big companies

If you thought being corporate was only about driving a company pick-up and working for the banks and telecom companies around town, well it is more than that. Being corporate is about attitude and conduct. Actually, being corporate is more of an image. It’s what you expect people to think of you rather than who you really are.
At no point must you show the world that you are in a dire state and in need of help. Corporates like to stand out from the crowd anywhere they go. On Fridays, they like to don those company branded T-shirts and seek haven at exclusive bars as they sip on a cold frothy drink. The guys are more than willing to make you notice the car keys that are seated on the tables as they talk big about land acquisitions and future plans. All this is said with a naïve Kampala girl listening thinking she met her Mr Right.
The corporate ladies are more polished with eyes hidden behind spects looking like they head departments kumbe they are the ones who run the photocopier at the office. Corporate social behavior is quite interesting, so if you would like to be regarded as a ‘corporate guy or lady’, this is your guide:

Dress Code
How you dress is key. The corporate world will require to look official at all times meaning that you have to step out for work like you actually mean something. Strangle yourself with that slim tie and package yourself in those slim fit trousers preferably a khaki. This look is meant to show the parents who took you through school that you are actually making something of your life. When you run into your dad on the Kampala streets, your classy suit shouldn’t hint at the dismal results you posted at the performance appraisal last month. If you pull off a sleek look in your suit, your friends will know that their OB is doing well. Always look dazzling to be remotely described as corporate.

My car my weapon
You will be surprised at how nothing  means so much to these so called ‘corporates’ like a car. A corporate who doesn’t drive has no command. But how doesn’t a corporate drive? Salary loans are choking these guys but they would rather die than be seen on the road without a car. A corporate guy will always talk about how he won’t make it for an appointment because he has to be at the garage. Dude will swing his car keys to stress a point. And if you just got hired by one of these corporate companies like Uganda Breweries Ltd, make sure you demand for that pick-up. When you get it, make sure you park at every spot to get noticed. This way, your peers will know that you are finally off the job-hunt hustle.

Talk Big
Corporates like to talk big. They like to sound like they have the world at their feet yet all that might be a lie. When corporates meet, big plans are laid on the table. It’s about which land could be purchased, who is in line to get married and who is building in Najjera. Obviously you can’t rule out the ones who are talking about who they are going to smuggle into their beds that night. To be like these ‘corporates’, make sure you always talk very big. Make these people believe that you are building apartments yet your landlord has designed your home entrance with brick-sized padlocks. Talk big with your colleagues from other companies but when your HR manager comes to your table to say hi, change topic in a flash.

Be at every event
These corporates like to be at every event. These corporate won’t miss a party for anything from staff parties to product launches and anything that will require one to blow the bottle top off a beer bottle. They will never pay for entrance to get into any place. They have all these phone numbers of people that matter who can ably grant them entrance into any of these events. They will appear, dance to the tunes and smile for any photographer that will land them in the social pages of a newspaper. If you intend to be a corporate, the dancefloor and nightspots should be your other office.
There you have it, go ahead and be like these corporates.


This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not neccesarily be an objective assessment of the individual.

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