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Becoming a gamba n’ogu 101

A gamba n’ogu, can’t fuel anything below three litres…

If you can’t beat ém: If there’s one position to aspire for in Ugandan society, it’s to aspire for the rank of a gamba n’ogu, aka the guy who’s called upon when chaps are stuck at some checkpoint. The guy who will issue one instruction and all doors will be opened. For the first time, we are releasing the secret files of how an ordinary chap from Bulindo, dust beaten, can climb up those ladders. This is the foolproof guide to becoming a gamba n’ogu.

  1. You must make money

Gamba n’ogu is a preserve for the rich. You must have something about you that inspires respect. And for our peasant society, money must be your starting point. You may be the ugliest, dumbest, and in all aspects the worst, but if you have money, you can always buy a seat at the table. Because what is life if you cannot tip the police officer next door? If you forget every other step, do not forget this step. If your plan is to continue driving a Passo, you can drop off right here. As a gamba n’ogu, you should not be fueling anything below three litres. You must not participate in conversations about skyrocketing fuel prices.

Leave those things to the Glorias, Nalules and Shamirahs of this world. Instead, you must be on the same page as the Tinahs and Tashas. Gamba n’ogus never complain about the price of anything. That is the reason they make money, to save themselves from unnecessary mental stress. If money can solve the problem, then it is not a problem.

  1. Pick a gamba n’ogu name

It was not for nothing that Shakespeare wrote these words; “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/by any other name would smell as sweet.” Everything rotates around the name. You must pick the right name. You need a strong sounding name like Ortega, Muhikambazi, Bazeketta, Sankara. Your name must send shockwaves when it is mentioned. If possible, find a name that can be abbreviated, something like KK, OJ, there is magic in abbreviations. Because KK can mean anything. A KK can be some colonel in the army, or some Special Forces attache. Once you have the name right, it is time to build branding around that name.

Begin to spread rumours around your name. Talk about how KK is buying every land in Najjera, or how KK is the guy the army consults before they go on any mission. Secretly blow your trumpet while building mystery around your name. Remember, this is a branding game.

  1. Hang in the gamba n’ogu circles

If a duck hangs around chicken, eventually people may begin to think it is a rare kind of chicken. That is your next step. Adopting the habits and mannerisms of the trending gamba n’ogus. If the gamba n’ogus are tucking their T-Shirts into their khaki trousers, quickly adopt the same routine. If the gamba n’ogus are tweeting about the Chwezi Empire, time to refine your tweets and adopt a Chwezi link. You shouldn’t be left behind.

Find the bar that hosts gamba n’ogus and frequent it. Show up and appear cautious. Pretend to be on the lookout, taking extra precaution. Choose a specific position in the bar that faces outwards and explain that it is a security requirement. Fake some phone calls and talk about your days in the Kabamba cohort. Pretend to be giving out some serious orders over the phone. Remember this is about looking the part.

When it comes to food, go for the gamba n’ogu menu. Ask for that cow hooves, some luwombo, some kalo – by the way, it should be karo. You must eat, act, walk, talk like a gamba n’ogu. Don’t forget that infamous gamba n’ogu phone. That ka-small Nokia phone with no internet access, just purely for serious calls.

  1. The photos, The photos

Perception is everything. You must go on a photography mission. You must find the powerful and always take photos around them. You ought to master your poses. This is about your life, this is about your journey to graduation as a gamba n’ogu. You shouldn’t pose the way every other chap poses when they meet a powerful person. Instead, you should position yourself in such a way that it looks as though you are some close friends. Just as the photographer is about to snap that photo, tap that powerful guy on the back and let it appear as though you were cracking a joke. At least let it appear as though he is consulting you on something. Build a portfolio of these photos with different people, from ministers to army Generals. Then begin posting them in doses.

On Museveni’s birthday, post your photo with him and caption it; “Happy Birthday my great mentor, always love learning from you. Looking forward to our monthly sessions.” To get power, you must project it, you must appear close to it. Only then can power start to love you back.

  1. Get your praise singers

You must spare some money for the chaps that will be spreading news of your power around the country. Pick some errand boys. Send them on some imaginary errands. While with your praise singers, cut off the meeting abruptly and rush off to some emergency meeting in Entebbe. When you meet the next day, interest them with stories such as; “man Mzee needed us urgently, he wanted to make a quick decision on this Omicron variant. I am honestly tired of these late meetings.” Remember your errand boys will be spreading the stories, they will help form the narrative. Tip them in dollars. Write them some cheques. Take them along as you meet some powerful people.

Welcome to the gamba n’ogu class

Now that you have religiously followed the rule book, it is time to break the rules. Because that is the whole point around becoming a gamba n’ogu. It is now time to put double indicators in your car and appear to be rushing to some place. It is now time to rescue the guys you left in Nansana, and Zzana. You are now a gamba n’ogu. You can park anywhere, reverse from anywhere. You have joined the class that decides the rules. As a gamba n’ogu, you should also date only the best. Remember the rule about perceptions. If people believe the lie, then the lie must be truth, and nothing but the truth!

Twitter: ortegatalks

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