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Surviving the 42-day lockdown

Think of something you’ve always wanted to do.

Beat that: Not many people have been taught survival, or at least learned how to survive. Back in the days, schools had Scouts and Girl Guide clubs. Parents are now focused on grades. You have a generation with zero survival instincts. Take away their smartphones and most will slide into a depression. Here is how to make the best of the 42 days.

  1. Choose violence on social media

Find a social media platform and become the leading antagonist. Troll, shout, brand yourself a contrarian. Wait for the majority to pick a side, then deliberately pick the opposite side. Make it a point never to agree with anyone. Become an Alex Mukulu, become a Judge Ian, morph into the ultimate critic of everything. Simply oppose everything. If everyone is hyping a new phone, wait for all their comments. Then show up with a random comment; “guys, I disagree. I bought this phone and it has turned out to be a grudging journey. I recently gave it to my 10-year-old niece, and she has no kind words about this phone.” If you pick a battle every day, it won’t be long before the President opens the country.

  1. Create a company and claim it’s essential

Don’t wait for a seat at the table. Create your own table. Think of something you’ve always wanted to do. Painting, dancing, shouting? Go to your MS Paint and create a logo, give it a slogan, then print it out as a car sticker. Now, get on the road and assure the people who man the roadblocks that you are an essential worker. “Afande, I am a painter. I work with the Office of the President.” In Uganda, you drop a few big names of people or organisations. No one has time to verify or validate. Depending on the time of the day, everyone can be a big name in this country. Better still, buy some boxes of Covidex, and claim to be a logistics guy for the Covidex Company. You must be flexible with the times. If it is the week of vaccination, pick your vaccination card and claim to be due for the second shot of the vaccine. You can even take it a step further and print a dummy air ticket, just in case you would like to make a trip to Entebbe.

  1. Join the walking enthusiasts

Morning walks are boring. They are full of serious runners and walkers. Avoid these! Leave those morning runs to the Hermans of this world. Instead, sign up for the evening walks, the ones where people come together to slay, and to showcase their herding, aka walking sticks. What’s with people and herding sticks? Is it to remind us of their clans? Anyway, pick up a stick and join the walking crews. You can take it a notch higher and brand yourself as an explorer. Avoid the areas of Najjera. That’s not part of Uganda. Otherwise, why would a normal person spend a whole day walking around in a biker? Or even crocs? If she lives in Najjera, just know it will end in tears!

  1. End a relationship and start a new one

You do not need a serious reason to end a relationship. Simply tell your partner that you need some time alone, you need some soul searching, you need to find yourself. Of course, do not try this on a girl from Nansana or Namasuba. Those words do not believe in breakups. You are hooked for life. But just wake up one day and assure him that the relationship has outlived its usefulness. That you deserve better. Lockdown your heart!

Then go out there and start a new relationship. For ladies, remember those dudes on the waiting list, pick a random guy. Let him win this lockdown lottery. The good thing with lockdown love, you can always claim to be stuck in another district. You do not have to live up to any expectations. You can keep sending him photos that have gone through the filter printer. Excite him. Let him think you cannot breathe without him. Men love to have their egos stroked. Keep calling him at awkward hours and feigning tears.

“Hun, I wish this lockdown could end right now. I really want to see you. You don’t know the things you do to my heart, Steve.” When a man’s ego is on the line, his wallet will always suffer. He will be narrating stories to his friends, of how he is so good at his game, of how he has the best girl in the world. Once the lockdown ends, ghost him. No explanation, no reason, just go missing from his life, like the Ugandan government!

  1. Learn a new skill

Now on a serious note, 42 days cannot be wasted doing nothing. Look for a garage in the neighbourhood, knock on their door and offer to work for free. Go on a building site and learn some construction. Just offer to work for free in exchange for learning. It is as simple as that. Don’t spend these 42 days whining. Learn some skills online. Go on DIY websites and take on a challenge. Make the most of these days, there will come a time when you long for these long breaks and they will be no more!

Twitter: ortegatalks

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