Generations: Times have changed and with the new changes comes a change in lifestyles. Millennials must be the most popular generation — what with all the the technology and FOMO that has engulfed them!
The Ugandan millennial is not your average person; he is full of dreams, hope and ambition. She was raised on a special diet of compliments, cheers, and praises, for even, the most insignificant of achievements. Now she is older, she has graduated into the world of work. She looks forward to changing the world, one step at a time in her humble abode of Najjera.
It is in Najjera that you find the Ugandan millennial. If you cannot catch him in Najjera, look more closely in Kisaasi and Kyanja, at worst, you should not miss them in the areas of Kyaliwajjala. To them, everything qualifies to be called an apartment. Their one-roomed house has now transformed into a studio apartment.
The urban millennial is at the epi-centre of all trends. They are allergic to normal bodabodas, everything is about the app. There is an app for their boda boda, an app for their rolex, an app for their body cycles. Without apps, they are nothing. The Ugandan millennial believes there is an app for every problem they face.
It is for this reason that social media has transformed each of these millennials into mini celebrities. On these platforms, they gain an exaggerated sense of importance. They believe, every problem, can be wished away with nothing but a hashtag. After all, as long as it is trending, as long as people are talking about it, there is this illusionary sense of satisfaction that they are changing the world.
The millennials are rich on Facebook, have years of experience on Linkedin, have travelled the world on Instagram, they are intellectuals on Twitter, cool on Snapchat while still putting up with nyanya mbisi in the dusty town of Bulindo. But then again, what kind of millennial lives in Bulindo and Buwate?
Off to work, the millennial wants the quick ascent. They want the special recognition from human resource. They want the recognition in the pocket, on the platforms, all backed up by a peanut size of hard work. If they put in an hour past the agreed time, they want to be rewarded with a bucket load of overtime pay. The millennial has been programmed to believe they are smarter than their boss. So, she thinks, that she should be paid, as twice more than her boss. The millennial sits and wonders: “I can do what she does.” But one need only ask them: “you can’t even send a simple email, what makes you think you are ready?’
The millennial thinks there ought to be a special HR policy for millennials, one that allows them to open all their social media tabs in the morning, allows them to take naps, work from the beach and have after-work cocktails with the MD. Such is the mind of the millennial. In a few years, thanks to the system, all these ideas will be tampered with by the realities of work.
At some point, the millennial will get tired of the boda boda life. How on earth does he even eat a party while still jumping onto a ride-hailing service? It is now time to buy their first car. Banange millennials with Ractics, Passo, and Runx. Can’t you see that traffic jam is killing us already? Can’t you hold on until it is time for a Subaru? You do not want to be driven by a millennial; every moment, you are holding onto dear life. They follow the driving school lessons to the dot. They will indicate at every turn even when it does not count. Then comes the phone addiction. As though someone told the millennials that the stop traffic light is the time to reply WhatsApp messages.
Millennials’ version of going out is chilling at one of the lounges with friends, each head locked onto a phone screen, laughing out loud, then showing the friend their screen, just to say: “here’s what made me laugh.” Then as the millennial friend, you must fake the laugh just so you do not kill the vibe.
It is not a parte until you take out a moment to do a snap or update the WhatsApp status with a short video. The caption should be: “It’s lit here. YOLO. January has nothing on us.” Next morning, the millennial wakes up to a hangover, all surrounded by an empty fridge and a bucket load of laundry.
Do millennials even eat real food? They are stuck on noodles and eggs. In their loaded days, they will swipe and order food from their favourite restaurant. They will call up the laundry lady via one of the apps. It is the life of a millennial, take off their Internet, take off their life.
But what about the filters? Suddenly, every millennial is a graphic designer, slowly covering up their outer ‘beauty’ with layers of make-up and filters. On social media, every female millennial deserves to be crowned the next top model. Millennials over-promise and under-deliver.
It is then time to find out about their music tastes. In Africa, they can only stand Joeboy, Fireboy, Rema (wait a minute, not Hamza’s Rema), before they delve into the states for their other preferences, on Apple Music and Spotify. Everything is competing for the attention of this millennial.
One day, this Ugandan millennial will wake up and realise the man with a hat finally retired. They will wake up with grey hair, reminiscing the days of their youth, spent at a festival, shouting parte after parte while looking for the ka-next influencer gig. Did I forget, every millennial is now an influencer simanya influenza….
To be continued…
N:B: The writer humbly apologises to all the hurt feelings of the millennials, the ones who may rant about being cropped out of this story..