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To buy a car or build a house?

When did your land title ever save you from the rain?

Priorities: The rainy season is upon us and so is the age-old dilemma. Should one buy a car first or build a house? What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Hold your breath because the arguments from both sides are convincing.

In Uganda, a car signifies success

Before you do anything in this country, do yourself a favour and buy a car. Without a car, you are nothing in this country.  Your in-laws, your family, and your friends, all these people do not care until you show up in a car. In the clan meeting, the size of the car will determine the importance of your words. If you show up on a bodaboda, you are better off fetching firewood at the funeral.

And your children will suffer the consequences. Children of car owners are exempted from chores. Unless of course it is a Vitz. For goodness sake, why should children of a Passo owner be exempted from chores? They must outwork their parents.

But if you are cruising one of those fuel guzzlers, behold the privileges. You know those moments when bars show ‘parking full’ sign posts, you will always have parking. Availability of parking depends on the sleekness of the car. Next time you are denied parking space at a venue, be sure it is not because of your car. Your car will also determine whether Ugandan traffic police flags you down or not. If you are looking forward to an easy life in this country, run to the bond nearest to you.

You cannot even make a good motivational speaker in this country if you show up on foot. That’s why most Ugandan conmen start by investing in a pompous car. Once you have a flashy car, everything else falls in place. Now, you cannot go showing up with your land at a bar or concert. Only a car can grant you the instant respect. For this reason, buy a car!

The rain

Okay, this is self-explanatory. When was the last time you carried your land title to save you from the rain? Rain is a constant reminder that a car will beat a house on any day in this country. And by the way, most people in Uganda will build anything and call it a ‘house’. If the place you are calling a house is already caving in, is it worth calling it a house?

The girls

Okay, this is from Uganda Boyfriend Association. We don’t know what God put in the smell of fuel, but there is something magnetic about cars. Ugandan girlfriends just can’t resist a car. “Can I pick you up?” is the sweetest vibe in a girl’s ear. The fact that she doesn’t have to struggle with a boda boda or an Uber is the greatest care you can offer. Better still, promise to drop her home. The size and warmth of the hug will always be bigger than when you own a boda boda or house. Your house is secondary to these things. Once again, the house loses this battle.

 The rent

Okay, this is one big reason it is worth buying a car first. Nothing is as annoying as that monthly reminder to remit that rent. Why for goodness sake do we even pay rent? We spent most of our time away from our rental homes. Most of the time, we are away toiling. Then we return to sleep, only to wake up to an alarm as a reminder to toil. And then, rent takes the biggest share of those salaries. We are being scammed! Rent should be charged Yaka style. Pay as you sleep. People in Najjera should not pay rent. They are rarely in their houses. On the few days they are home, they are nursing hangovers and dealing with Subaru sounds.

You can’t even host people in peace at the apartment. It is 24-7 Big Brother, everyone is watching, everyone is judging. Do yourself a favour and escape from the landlord. You do not deserve to speak about Ugandan issues unless you own a house in this country. Otherwise, what’s the basis of your opinion if you do not even own land in the place you call a country? At least go buy land, put up a one-roomed house then you can be allowed to comment on Ugandan issues.

The car won’t appreciate

It is understandable for Subaru owners. They are allergic to children. Instead of giving birth, they choose to buy cars. Why? Because cars are their babies. But on a serious note, if you’re currently surviving, mbu the car will lead you faster to bankruptcy. With these Ugandan roads, one suspects mechanics have made a deal with the Kampala Capital City Authority. There must be a commission for every car that breaks down. The moment a car leaves the bond, its value immediately drops by 50 per cent. That cannot be said for a house. It keeps appreciating every day, until the day you are desperate for a buyer. Anhaa!

Anyway, it is all about your pockets, your village and your clan mates. If the car is the biggest thing in your family, go ahead and buy one. Uganda will respect you better!

Twitter: OrtegaTalks

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