Christmas is here. And as they say, it is all about the birth of a saviour. Christmas in Uganda means even much more, it is the final word on parte after parte. For those who know not, there is a way to have this festive season the Ugandan way, so read on for the basics.
You must have a village
It is hard having a Ugandan Christmas if you have a village. It does not make it any better if your village is close to Kampala. It is recommended that you have a village that is as far out of Kampala as possible. It is at this point that Mbarara and Arua people are jubilating. Now that you have a village, the next step is to figure out how to get there. If you can’t find a village, you would have to adopt one. Husbands can adopt their wives’ villages, and vice versa.
Travel to the village
The next step to this Christmas is the travel part. If you cannot move on four tyres, the bus park is your friend. You must prepare yourself for the price hikes. To avoid all this, you ought to set off for your Christmas a week earlier. If this means faking sickness at work, so be it. If it means taking your annual leave, this is the time.
For those using personal means, this is the time to rejuvenate that fuel guzzler. For the UBF and UBG crew, this is the time to take your car for ancestor blessings. For how else will they know you have made it in Kampala unless you arrive in your second-hand car. Make sure you pack as much as possible. You should pack the things you need and not need. It is advisable to pack mattresses and basins. In fact, you should pack your own beds, bedrooms and bathrooms. If the car is not loaded to capacity, know that you have missed something. It should be loaded to such a point that you begin hard-pressing in stuff. With this part done, it is time to set off.
The road matters
If you are not well-versed with the times, you must know that some roads are made more equal than others. Do not expect to drive at break-neck speed while heading off to where the sun sets. For in the case of Uganda, it is where it rises these days. So plan for more fuel than necessary. You are going to be competing with the latest in vehicle technology. When headed to this direction, please spare the world your Vitz, Raum, and all sachet consuming cars. It is prohibited to slow down serious drivers on these roads. But in case you are headed to the opposite directions, we give you an allowance to use your bicycle and boda boda when it gets worse. After all, what big science is involved in crossing River Nile?
The documentary starts
Now that you are in the village, it is time to start documenting your life through an explorer’s lenses. This is the time to take photos of yourself pretending to be doing serious things in life. This is the time to take a photo of yourself milking a cow, enjoying local brew or even peeling matooke.
On Christmas day, the first post we expect of you is the church service. You must record the sessions after church for us to devour. When church is done, it is time for food porn. Shower our timelines with the different cuisines at play in your village. Lecture us on how to tell good eshabwe from bad one. Complain about the harsh life of eating junk food in the city and how we have lost the culture. Then go silent and let us not hear from you again.
Slide into Kampala silently, undetected
After Christmas, reality will hit you that your village has nothing to offer beyond the heaps of food. It will also dawn on you that you can only enter 2020 while in the city. Now is the time to plan for your exit from the village. By now, a number of relatives have approached you with different problems. This is not the time to claim that you cannot solve their problems. You must pick a leaf from the man with a hat. Promise to solve all their problems as soon as you get to Kampala. This is the time to give them one of those numbers that you never pick. If that does not help, you could give them your ex’s number, especially the one who dreads hearing your name. Have some loose cash on you to quench their thirst and buy off time to evacuate the village.
But before you leave, make sure you get back your money’s worth. This is the time to load the boot with all agricultural produce from the village. January is hard, so you must load up as much as you can.
New Year, New Me
There is a certain demon that attacks men and women at the start of the new year. They feel capable of doing the impossible. After shouting your lungs out on New Year’s. Remember to deceive yourself with a bucket full of resolutions. You know the drill, the gym commitments, cutting off useless friends. But be certain that come December same time, it will be a new year, but same you.
That said, the best of Christmas to you…