HOLIDAY TIME: December on Uganda’s social calendar always means a ba-Summer invasion. You have probably already seen them around.
December and January always spell tough times ahead. Some species from another planet (read another country or continent), invade this country and never leave it the same. These are none other than the famous Ba-Summers and Sangomas. They cause inflation in town, they break hearts, and they leave many in regret. This is a guide for one to survive this invasion that will last for not more than a month before things can return to normal.
1. If you are selling to a mu-summer, they Pay by Cash
Ba-summers are known for bloating their worth. They speak big, walk big, shout big and even want to buy big. But deep down, are wallets poked with endless holes of poverty. If you have a boutique and a mu-summer wants to buy something, insist that they pay by cash. Do not believe their famous lies of ‘debit, credit cards or even cheques. Sometimes they will hint at having some dollars to exchange. Do not part with anything until your hands have held the money. Do not rent out your apartment to a mu-summer unless you have the cash. Do not order for drinks expecting that a mu-summer will clear the bills.
2. Prepare to be reminded about the gifts
If a mu-summer has ever given you anything, then take no risk of falling out with him. They will use this chance to remind you of every small thing they did for you. A mu-summer will even remind you of the pair of jeans they bought for you, even the nsenene. Especially the ba-summers of UK, these ones are the kings and queens of ‘okulangira.’ Whereas the Summers of the South Africa pride in ‘okujooga’, their UK counterparts have not the slightest of shame in these matters. When it comes to a mu-summer and his gifts, have this in mind; “enjoy them at your own risk.” When you part ways, you will be reminded of everything.
3. Download an Accent Translator App
It is time for the accents. It is time to deal with these struggles. If possible, take some time to look for an accent translator App because in these times, the tongues get heavier and heavier. If you are used to chips, the ba-Summer will insist on fries. If you are used to Blue Band, the ba-summer will insist on margarine. They will struggle through the Luganda words. They will not remember places such as ‘Kukasasiro’ in Kamwokya, they would rather refer to this as; ‘Ku-rubbish.’ Please do not blame them, the turbulence in the planes affects their accents. Do not forget to use the statements; “you know” and “you know waah am saying’’, these will bring you to speed during you conversations with ba-summer.
4. Book your table in club a week in advance
This is a friendly reminder; you will not get a table unless you book one in this period. These basummers are already booking and reserving every table. If you plan to go to a night club next Friday, you must book your table now. The other option is to become an Urban Bryan, your role here is to be the interface between the ba-summer and the waitresses, to load airtime on their phones and run errands for them. If not, forget about life in a night club.
5. The parties
Since every party will be themed in this season, you ought to begin shopping. But there is an even smarter way to go around it. It is either an All-White party, All-Black party or Black and White Party. Some of those with kajanja theme it around ‘Gold Party’. You must have a white, and a black costume in your wardrobe. You can keep playing with these costumes for all the different parties. To stand out at the party, get that iPhone, and keep swinging it around for all those who care to see. The bouncers will treat you with a modicum of respect each time they notice that apple logo.
6. Do not overdress
Avoid overdressing lest you be mistaken for a mu-summer and get over-charged by boda bodas and other service providers. Avoid anything flashy such as track-suits, trainer shoes and over-sized jeans. Ba-summer are fond of such attires. If you show up in such, even kifeesi may mistake you for one of them. Keep it casual, keep it as simple as possible.
7. Prepare for rants, complaints, and the whines
For goodness sake, do not board a taxi with a mu-summer, they will complain about everything, right from the heavy traffic, the Kampala heat, and everything there is to complain about. They will even ask for AC in a taxi not forgetting their dingy apartments abroad. Only move with a mu-summer during such moments when traffic is low and everything is smooth. The most annoying part about Ba-Summers is their constant comparison to life back home. ‘Look Ian, these shops are already closed, I just do not gerrit, in Sweden, everything is 24-7’. So why the Heavens did you come back? Nkt!
8. Do not let a mu-Summer drive
If you have a car, do not risk it with a mu-summer, they are not used to the complex art and science of driving on Kampala roads. You have seen the various half-overturns cars are doing on the roads, rumour has it that there is always a mu-summer behind the wheels. Ba-summer have no idea how we negotiate with traffic officers when caught in a crime. Do not lend your car to a mu-summer, not even for a second. You may have to pick it from the rooftop.