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Having a famous person’s name doesn’t make them a member of your family


A few years back, while I was taking a stroll through a certain neighborhood, I heard a little voice calling out to another, “….Celine Dion, please hurry up; can’t you see that we are late already…?”

I quickly turned around to see Celine Dion; in amusement for I had not read it anywhere then, that she was coming into town. However to my surprise, I saw two little girls pacing and out of curiosity, I asked, who was Celine Dion? And one of them responded with an excited look, “I am Celine Dion Nantongo” Of course I wanted to burst into laughter but not in her face, so I dashed off to another place to laugh it off!

Eeeh! But Ugandans and this circus of “living the moment”? If it is not “Rolex” for that popular chapatti, it is “Titanic” to basically imply another type of the “Rolex” (chapatti). Then we have “Obama Restaurant”, “Gaetano Hardware”, celebrities’ names from Michael Jackson, Barrack Obama, Whitney Houston, George Bush, Nelson Mandela and many others are scattered all over the as if these people requested for representatives. Oba where is our level of creativity?

Now the latest “Clintons” frenzy is undoubtedly getting to my head. When I read about Bill Clinton Jnr meeting Bill Clinton Snr recently, I was quite touched and thought to myself, indeed God plans for our life before we are even born. You just can never know when the stars will shine brightest, you know?

Little did I know that there was more katemba on the menu; read Hillary Clinton Jnr. whose intriguing story I listened to, without blinking over the NTV news on Saturday. Aha! Together with all family members, they narrated mbu Hillary Clinton on her tour way back then, found the mum, who was seven months pregnant and immediately requested for the kid to be named Hillary/Bill depending on the sex. She also promised that she would complete their house and support the grocery business. Ahem! Unfortunately 15 year old Hillary has had to deal with sarcastic comments from schoolmates over her name (a name that belongs to her powerful “aunt”) because she is a perpetual school fees defaulter. In a nutshell, she is dying to meet her “aunt” and give her a hug, while her mum is oba also eager to meet the “sister” and maybe the initial promises will be fulfilled, given that the house is incomplete, husband died, etc.

Okay, at some point, I was a bit disappointed in the person who made a promise to this poor humble lady but did not take the time to fulfill it. Even after fate brought little Bill together with big Bill, it was not enough to trigger the memory of another supposed little Hillary somewhere. Sad!

But again, I do not understand why we also can mean to get so excited and expect that one visit, a handshake and a photograph obviously translates into miracles. Then that whole “aunt” line sounded too corny if you asked me. So when the American First Lady (then) met this woman, did she also declare immediately that they were sisters? And then again, much as I may appreciate that she at least played her part of the story and named the kid as promised, was it so hard to also stick to the original culture and at least add a local surname given the prevailing circumstances? Plus, I am a bit tired of how we can quickly state our financial zibs as if it is a necessary evil. For example, was it so hard to stick to the girl’s lines of “seeing her for a hug” without having to add the extra detail of completing the house, supporting the grocery as if the indirect core reason is to have this miracle worker do the magic and nothing else? Banaye, people can over want sympathy!

To be honest, I think that sometimes, we owe it to ourselves to maintain a certain level of pride. Those things of tying tying on people, who evidently may seem like they have forgotten about us, may not be so worth it after all? The person, left and after so many years, they do not remember a thing but again one insists that it is their “white aunt”? OMG!

At this rate, “Obama” should freak out because upon his one visit to this country, I can already envision a good number of kids, businesses etc bearing that last name, swamping him amidst giggles while stating this and the other. But so should Celine Dion and all the other victims!

In the meantime, we shall keep the prayers and hope that the stars will shine one day and 15-year-old Hillary Clinton will meet her “aunt” and her mum, will meet the “sister” to exchange hugs in respect to the long awaited re-union. Aha! But this might not happen as aunt Hillary has already left the country.

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