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Ugandans and the need to belong

The haggling, the sweet endearments, the lugambo…

Belonging: In Uganda, introversion is a crime, you must belong to some social outfit, some church group, or Sacco. Anything less of this, and Ugandan society will not consider you a full Ugandan. Today, we look at the different outfits that provide that social cover

School leagues

We thank SMACK for pioneering this culture. We just did not expect that every school would be jumping onto this bus. Sooner than later, primary schools will be jumping on the trend. Imagine a Shimoni Demonstration School (SDS) League. Like how? Compete on what front? First, the school is now a shopping complex. But above all, the alumni are uncountable. Imagine having teams such as the Membe cohort? Or the Mr. Kigozi cohort, the ones who failed to pass Science even when the man gave it his all. Or perhaps the Mr. Kafeero Cohort? Or the Ssewungu team? Let us just pray primary schools do not jump on this craze.

Imagine participating in a league with that babe who thought owning crayons and an Oxford set was the equivalent of making it in life? See Veronica, now you are jumping on the Iphone Max trend, but trends do not last!

Back to school leagues, why is it always a hustle for cohorts to pay up? Why should we chase a cohort for overdues? We know school leagues are also a way for people to size up each other. For everyone to prove that they have now made it in life. Everyone shows up and claims to be a big wig in their organisation. They exchange contacts and promise to perform miracles. Only for you to call Ben in URA and he starts stammering; “Now you see Ian, I would have helped, but, but, but…” But what, Ben? You claimed to be the final decision maker in the exports department.

Fellowships

My Lord, I wonder! What is with fellowships and Greek names? Looks like the world does not take you seriously until you find a Greek name. Theos? Kyrios? That is the only way to invoke power (or the illusion of power). And you must find a day in the middle of the week. We will not take you seriously if your fellowship convenes on weekends. Do not interrupt the weekend. The fellows must be let free to party on the weekends.

Get a Wednesday evening, at a central place in town. And then remember to brand yourself. The title of ‘Pastor’ has gone out of fashion. Think something alongside the Apostle, Prophet, or Brother. You should not appear out of touch with ‘mehn of Gaad.’ And finally, the English, it must be flawless. Not the Nansikombi type. Leave that to the freshers of Masaka.

An average Ugandan belongs to at least three fellowships. He claims to be fueling up with the Holy Spirit at each of those fellowships. From one, he fuels up with grace, to another, he fuels up with prophecy. “I see something that is black and white. I see it move into grey. But the Lord says, when all this is done, you will know that he is God and you will be happy and blessed. Your time is coming.” And the audience shouts; “Prophesy mehn of God, I receive it.” As a congregant, you must have a sticker. You must pepper your status updates with the posters to the next fellowship and you must take a friend along. If you are dating a fellowship babe, you must pass the test. You ought to show up for one or two fellowships. In Uganda, we are all devout (but for different reasons).

SACCOs

Whoever introduced SACCOs and investment clubs to Uganda killed us. Wherever two or more Ugandans are gathered, the first idea that bounces off is; “let’s form a SACCO.” Then Ugandans will proceed to give examples of successful SACCOs. You know the decadenians? Those chaps have now bought acres in Bulindo and sub-divided them amongst themselves. Imagine those guys started two years back. They used to meet every Friday and now they have materialised their dreams. Guys we just must start.

If you are a Ugandan and you do not have two or more SACCOs or Investment Clubs to your name, then you do not meet the criteria of being Ugandan. As a Ugandan, you must have all your money spread out in different investment clubs. If you all find out that you dated the same girl, that is reason enough to start an investment club. “Alumni of Tina School of Character Development.” But what is with the Bridgets and Tinas of this world? What is with them making men pay school fees? As a man, if Bridget has never made you wear a uniform, then you have a long way to go!

Drink Buddies/Party Buddies

In Uganda, you never drink alone. At the bare minimum, one must have a drink buddy. So that as you climb that hill of happiness, you have someone to listen to your lies and your speech of grandiose. Imagine getting hyper and there is no one to make false promises to? Imagine not having someone by your side to convince about your business ideas.

In the true spirit of Oliwa, you must have at least three people in the drinking circle. That one babe who will be hyper after two drinks, the guy that has settled for energy drinks for the rest of his life, the legend that drinks to cure a hangover, and the hard guy who keeps fighting the battle all through the night. We drink as a team, so that we can win the night. It is not a great night in Uganda until you have hopped from one bar to another, looked for a food spot and then realised it is morning.

And there is only one rule; “whatever happens in a bar stays in a bar.” Also remember that your drink buddies are not there to bail you out of your financial problems. Just because I can buy you a crate does not imply that I can give you a loan of the same amount. Just because we drank together does not imply that you can now show up on Monday for support. The bar is the bar! It starts in the bar, ends in the bar! Ask the chaps who have tried to take their relationships past the bar! That is setting the bar too high!

Now, you, my Ugandan reading this, where do you belong? Where is your social circle? Surely it cannot be the Kampala Club? It is just impossible to live in Najjera, drive a Subaru and belong to Kampala Club!

Twitter: ortegatalks

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