The same Ugandans complaining are the actual problem of Uganda
So Ugandan: We have written about the things that define us as Ugandans but it never gets old. We have our bu things that we do that leave us also in awe.
- We attend burials just so we can rate people
You see in Uganda, burials are not just burials. When you see people, all interested to come attend the burial of your relative, a mother or father, it’s not that they are very concerned. Most of those attending want to gauge how your Kampala social life measures up with your village life.
They will start commenting straight from the condition of the road to your ancestral grounds, all the way to the standard of the house at the home. They will keep humming; “interesting how people are splashing money in Kampala, yet they can’t even set up a pit-latrine at their home.”
- 2. Drive slowly, then speed when someone tries to overtake
For the first time, we must excuse the Subaru guys. Most Ugandan drivers are simply absent-minded, they never use their indicators, and they know nothing about road rules. Above all, they can’t maintain a fair speed. For those slobs on the road, once they notice someone trying to overtake them, they remember to speed up. Why? Because they think it’s a competition between cars. You will see a guy in his dirt-beaten UAR series doing all they can to win this road ego challenge.
- Assume having a car is a sign of financial stability
In Uganda, a car is still a prestige symbol. Ugandans assume that using public means is a sign you’ve not yet made it. The moment you buy a car, you will solve half of your financial public relations. Problem is, you will also invite many of your friends and relatives to run to you for financial bailouts. Ugandans don’t realise that a car is simply about convenience. That many have acquired those cars on loans. Ugandans also assume that since you now have a car, you are in position to drive them anywhere in the country. The aunties will always call; “my son, remember the cousin of your late grandfather’s friend? Well she passed away and we need to drive to her last funeral rights.”
They also believe a car gives you a right to speak at a funeral. Everyone assumes that a car owner is intelligent and is about to give some heavy condolence package. And for those who attend upcountry burials, people who must drive back to Kampala get priority at the food queue.
- Upgrade for the sake of upgrading
There is nothing wrong with going for further studies. But in Uganda, it is about getting that extra paper to your name. Suddenly everyone wants a post-graduate degree in Monitoring and Evaluation, some want something in Project Management. You simply must tell Ugandans about the trending course, and they will run for it. They ran for Oil and Gas certificates. We may soon have more lawyers than clients. If only Ugandans spent more time getting some practical experience instead of hiding in lecture halls accumulating paper after paper. For every pothole in Kampala, there’s about 100 Masters’ degree holders.
“If only Ugandans spent more time getting some practical experience instead of hiding in lecture halls accumulating paper after paper. For every pothole in Kampala, there’s about 100 Masters’ degree holders.”
- We just never tip
Ugandans are allergic to tipping. It is serious to the point of waitresses getting scared when you tip them. Ugandans are also good at accepting bad service. If you serve Ugandans a cold meal, they will accept it. Assertiveness is misconstrued to mean arrogance in Uganda. In Uganda, you don’t blow your trumpet, you don’t demand for your rights. You accept the bad service. And when it’s good service, you completely avoid the idea of tipping.
- Build a house, and then win all arguments
In Uganda, one of the highest peaks of achievement is buying land and constructing a house. Once you construct a house in Uganda, you can afford to speak at large and offer advice to all your friends.
Ugandans love giving unsolicited advice. Suddenly they all become experts at construction, at the tiling phase, at the foundation phase. Name it all, once a Ugandan does something, they will speak with all authority akin to the Kabale drunkard style.
- Remember people at wedding meetings
You know those friends who last spoke to you in secondary school or university days? Worry not, they will soon show up looking for you. They will invite you for their wedding meeting launches. They will hand you a pledge card. They will be on your case for your contribution. And once you make your contribution, that’s the last you will ever hear from them.
- Complain about the problems of Uganda
Ugandans love to complain about the problems of their country. Often, the same Ugandans complaining are the actual problem of Uganda. The same Ugandans will bribe, the same Ugandans will cheat on their spouses, the same Ugandans will be the ones littering, they will be the poor drivers on the road, they will do every crime they later complain about. And that’s what makes Uganda unique, the idea that the complainant is perfect and all else is the problem.