Competition: Corporate men like to swell in their cars as they drive around Kampala, but what they do not know is that the boda boda guys they keeping yelling at are their biggest competition…or so as Ian found out during his last salon visit.
As a young man, I was deluded into thinking that salons were all about plaiting and trimming hair. Growing up in the 90s, in the times of scissors and ‘kinyozis’, a good number of us dreaded the experience. What is there to excite a young boy about the methylated spirit applied to the bald cut, aka kawalata with some spicing of slaps?
Time forward, I have discovered that Uganda’s actual Parliament, Executive and Judiciary sits in these salons. It is here that cases are decided. It is here that national laws are signed, it is here that verdicts are given.
Case in point is my last salon experience. This last session was very crucial. The case before court was corporate men Vs boda boda riders and taxi drivers. The ladies wondered: “Who was more romantic?” All the ladies voted overwhelmingly in favour of the boda boda riders and taxi drivers.
It was argued that corporate men are largely absent in their families. In a bid to climb the corporate ladder, corporate men rise very early in the morning and only return late in the evening. On Fridays, they always have a corporate event to attend. On weekends, they make claims about a company retreat and some urgent report that needs to be submitted.
That corporate men will not even notice when she has changed a hairstyle or donned a perfect dress. “But these boda boda men, the moment you flag him down, he will notice something and compliment you,” the ladies argued.
“Imagine leaving home without a compliment from your husband, only to have a boda boda guy reduce your fare because you are looking fly,” the ladies continued.
The ladies also argued that corporate men are very predictable, or to state it clearly, they are bores. “Can you imagine they win mugs from work and present the same mug to you as a gift?” “What about those who come back home with company T.Shirts! These men are a despicable lot. Tebalina romance.”
The ladies argued that a boda boda man will keep you in total suspense. He will drop a client near home then decide to surprise you with a power bank. On the next route, he will pass by with a new lotion. Boda boda men take you down the Disneyland of love.
“Me I would rather sit on a boda boda than be driven in my man’s vitz,” another lady complained. “As for me, if he is not driving a Subaru, then count me on a boda boda on any average day,” said another who was plaiting pencil.
Just as we thought it could not get any worse for the corporate men, evidence was brought to the effect that some corporate men never appear home.
“Can you imagine my man travelled abroad for a company trip and still claims he is under quarantine?” That a boda boda man will be available 24-7, he is always a call away.
The ladies argued that corporate men are allergic to giving transport money. The dude will invite you to Bulindo, you grace the dust and still expect to send you off without transport money? Mbu you cannot call a corporate man with an emergency and expect him to sort you out.
“Banange bu-corporate men have excuses, mbu waiting for some ka-money, mbu simanya my bank did what…” The least a boda boda man will give you when you call is a ka-20K and it will be instant. Corporate men can promise to give you money after Covid-19 is eliminated from Uganda.
As a man, I was humbled through this case. I could not think of a come-back. I was stammering at every point. Every submission stung so deep like a dagger in the ribs.
But then again, coming to think about it, nga corporate men can be broke. Corporate men cannot even pay OTT. They stay longer at work to make use of the free company Internet. Perhaps that is why most find it hard going on leave.
The ladies even argued that corporate men have lugezigezi while in jam. “Like seriously, if you are driving a Passo or Runx, why would you hoot in jam or even overtake?” the ladies wondered. Mbu corporate men will not allow you to change lanes even when you plead. “Nothing is annoying as corporate men in their bu-glasses. Oba what’s wrong with corporate men with spects. You may think they are the directors,” one lady blurted out.
As my haircut came to an end, I was given the option of a facial scrub. And I gladly took it up. One of the men not to be outdone commented; “If only these ladies could give us the same care they give in salons. Naye you go back home, she gives you an Ota-fire look and you feel like running out of the house.”
A lady overheard this statement and retorted: “Imagine he can pay for a facial scrub yet fail to leave money for the ka-table at home. Naye corporate men mukooya.”
On behalf of the Uganda Boyfriends Association, I am here to announce to all my fellow corporate men that we have a new enemy. It is not the work husband.
It is not the gym boys. Our new competition is the boda boda riders and taxi drivers. In these times, let’s boycott these people. Let’s stay home and fight corona together. We cannot keep giving more money to our competition.
Acting President Uganda Boyfriends Association