Reality check: It’s that time of the year when we all realise that once again, for another year in a row, Christmas fell on December 25. From bambaring, chilling with the big boys, and having omuffu takeover, it is that post-Christmas clarity. The kind that hits you after a night out when you realise the landlord is not yet cleared. Here are the different types of people in this post Christmas frenzy.
1. The housemaids that won’t return
For most people, their house helps won’t be returning to Kampala. The reason they packed all their bags should have been a clear signal that there is no coming back. You will keep sending them transport money, but they have learned better. It is far better off for them to continue with the village life than to slave in some random house in Bulindo where sausages and milk are a reserve for the children.
2. The stranded ba-Summer
Those from the UAE must be regretting why they travelled back home. Flights are cancelled and now Uganda is staring them right in the eyes. Uganda should only be loved from afar. That is why the saying; ‘Uganda olemwa’ was crafted. When too much of Uganda rubs off on you, you ought to seek the services of a therapist. Soon we shall have the Association of Bakadaama making that Gulu pilgrimage for a bail out. Sooner than later!
3. The New Year-New Me folks
The New Year exists to give hope. During this time, motivation peaks. People make endless promises to themselves. They sign up for gym memberships. At least this time round, they will make it, so they believe. People promise to cut off all their fake friends, until they realise they are the fake friend. And then comes the list of New Year resolutions, from committing to waking up early every day to working hard at their jobs and refining their relationships. However, we all know how this cycle plays out. By the third week of January, the lies stop, and people once again accept that the New Year won’t be their year.
4. The magical pastors and their New Year themes
Right now, your pastor is refining his theme for the New Year. There is a lot that can be scripted out of 2022. For the single chaps, the pastor will be telling you that you won’t be alone anymore. God has chosen to bring you a partner. The magical number is 2. For the broke ones, the pastor will be telling you about the year of ‘Double Double’. Whatever you sow, God will be doubling your harvest. For those with haters (every Ugandan believes they have haters), this is the year when God will double the punishment for your haters. But let’s not preempt the great sermons that your pastors have prepared.
5. The landlord warming up for rent increment
For those in Kisaasi, Najjera, Kyanja (literally no one owns a house in this area, everyone rents), we are here to announce that your landlords and landladies have a big surprise. It is that time of the year when the letters will circulate notifying you of new rental rules, and the new increment. Your landlord will claim that he has been impacted by the skyrocketing prices of fuel. It is that time of the year when you remember to see cement in all the money you blew during the festive season.
6. The Museveni mystery
There is one man who has managed to keep us in suspense for over a month. Just as we think we have figured him out, the old man with a hat comes up with a new trick. A month ago he promised to open the country in January, come what may. Since then, the man has been silent and has decided to trap everyone for December 31. Hate him, love him, but we all know that the power of having Nyege Nyege is now in his words. His words will determine whether we proceed with the fireworks or not. For all those hoping for the best, you are not alone in these post-Christmas blues.
7. The school owners ready to pounce
Over the years, school circulars have become longer, the requirements have increased, while the amenities have reduced. Soon, students will be required to deliver brand new cars to school. From delivering reams of paper, brooms, scrubbers, contributing towards the school construction projects, keeping a child in school has become the hardest challenge.
But the outputs have not gotten any better. The Kitovu folks have continued with their slang around Kaduce for TV time, Fathers have become fazos, Mothers have become mithes, and there is no clear sign of redemption. January is that stark reminder that if you can’t pay bills, then it must always be on!
8. The chaps asking for proposals
If a Ugandan asks you for a proposal, take it as a humble rejection. No one reads proposals in Uganda. It is a sweet delaying tactic. The only way to appear like you are doing something without doing anything is to ask for a proposal. You will hear statements such as; “It’s actually best to send in your proposal now before we lock the 2022 budgets”. Please keep your expectations low. Don’t panic sending that email with your proposal, don’t outwork yourself fine-tuning that presentation.
A month down the road, the recipient won’t be picking your calls. Until you catch up weeks later in the bar and they mumble with stories of; “some new Nigerian boss is the one holding everything. But I will be meeting him next week. Just check on me around Friday”. Once again, don’t believe these bar stories, accept that Uganda is about promises. When they ask you for a proposal, keep promising to send one, but never deliver on that promise. In Uganda, we promise but never deliver.
9. Men realising they don’t know their buddy’s names
This is also the time when men realise they don’t know each other’s names. It is that time once again when men commit to giving each other different titles. You will find a group of six men sharing a beer but none will know each other’s name. They refer to themselves as; “Chairman, Boss, Papa, Bro, Mugaga, Owakabi, Senior, Omugezi, Chali, Muvandimwe.” But every title has a hidden connotation. In the men’s world, every title is like a military rank. Boss is obviously higher in rank than Bro.