Just how local is too local?

To decide that certain aspects of another person’s personality makes them less deserving of your affection automatically makes you a vile snob, even when you’re just being an honest observer. Because most people aren’t comfortable with being vile and snobbish, countless euphemisms have been invented for the word local for example: street, native, homegrown. REAL is a firm favorite.

Women are really flexible when it comes to the men that they date/ fall obsessively in lust with. We don’t expect you to have that big a wallet. You can be ugly as sin and we’ll look for that one thing, like, ‘Ooh, he’s got such nice skin between his pimples’. We don’t expect our mates to walk right off fashion TV. There’s however this ONE limit. The local limit.

Localness is an attitude. It’s a disease. It’s a thing that men who don’t like being fancied pretend to be in order to sabotage your feelings for them.

Meet Rodney, the hottest guy you will ever read about. I could write five pages in description of the right side of his face and another 10 inspired by the cleft on his head. He has pretty ears, an upper lip that veers off ugliness by the smallest degree. Basically, this guy has patented hotness.

Rodney was made for the big screen, for paintings. He was born to be the male face of Uganda. If Rodney went for BBA, big brother would reveal himself, fling his arms around his perfectly formed ankles and sob for him not to leave. Rodney is so fine; he makes the word hot feel inadequate.

But he’s also extremely local. Obviously, you only find this out after you’ve pledged allegiance to his face.

So, what horribly local things does he do?

Rod, Uganda’s Adonis, keeps his money in his puffy looking off-grey socks. We’re not talking a tenner, two fifty bobs, no. We’re talking a whole salary. When you catch him stuffing all those notes down his legs, your first instinct is to laugh. And then you feel very sad, because how will you ever convince yourself to like him again? You ask all your trusted male friends, the most liberal ones if, haha, keeping money in socks is normal behavior that every grown man indulges in from time to time. They ask you when you started dating security guards.

When you’ve finally drowned out the protests of your mind, when you’ve said ‘Rodney is the man for me, he’s real, he knows what’s what’, his neighbor catches him greedily eying the thighs of some badly photographed woman in Red Pepper. ‘Catches’ because he’s trying to be clandestine, pretending to facebook with his hand on his mouse and everything and yet his eyes are fixed on the newspaper in his lap. Hello? I’m right behind you, Rod. If filthy fantasies are going to slide slimily against each other in your head, fantasies so filthy that the air around your head starts to smell, let them be about me, please, and not some anonymous pockmarked tabloid thigh.

And just after you’ve declared that boys will be boys and have made yourself protagonist in a story where you’re a tourist in Buganda-land who falls in love with one of the sexy native boys and lives happily ever after, enjoying a love that stretches beyond the limits of language, he starts to kwemolar. You remember that thing that happened to all the girls around you when you turned 14? How the sound tss mysteriously attached itself to all their words? The way they’d weave their necks like cobras as they spoke? That’s the stuff Rodney starts to do.

First, you’re perplexed, mildly disturbed, then it dawns that ooooh. He’s noticed that you like him and this is maybe his way of acknowledging and encouraging your bad intentions. You have to be careful here because the despair you feel at this point might be strong enough to drive you to permanent celibacy and then what will happen to your dream of making babies with him, babies so hot, they’ll be able to change the world with their exquisite looks?

The mbogos. English has really messed us up. We don’t mean to think lowly of guys who can’t speak it but we’re stuck in this…neo-colonialist warp. Uganda doesn’t even have an accepted variety of Pidgin English. This has led to the birth of a thing called the mbogo. A cutter. An mbogo/cutter is a very big, bad, amusing mistake in grammar/ wording. If somebody says ‘seeing at them’ to mean ‘looking at them’ or ‘take a pose’ to mean ‘take a picture’, they are the official king of mbogos.

And then, to crown things, Rodney reveals himself to be an incorrigible flirt.What’s this? Hello, my name is Rodiney, I’m frating with Maliya, Sala, Myuldred, Edisa…you! Bad man! Do you not know how much I’ve sacrificed to like you? My swag is cut to ribbons, you guy. Give a chick a break.

BULE Island. Go now.

Bule island.

Islands are wonderful, yes? They bring to mind coconuts, holidays, TV, sexy boys and outside countries, which are all desirable things to have hanging around one’s mind.

They make you feel irie just by existing, man. The only thing that detracts from their swag is that after this article, everybody, including the people that you think you’re better than, the ones you hate, and the ones who don’t deserve friends and God’s love will know how to reach at least one amazing island.

There will even arise a possibility that on the day that both you and your enemy decide to visit this sincerely bombastic island, a bitter rain will fall causing lightening to chong every boat and boat maker on the island. The two of you will then have to join forces to hunt goats and chickens. This is a horrible thing to have to do with one’s enemy.

Bule is a really green, beautiful, cool island.  Its one and only short coming is that it doesn’t have butchers, so if you intend to get there, buy meat and roast it by the lake, stop intending. You’ll starve yourself into a bad temper in the midst of such raw, such green, such mind soothing beauty.

To get there, you have to go to the park. Assuming that the drivers haven’t decided to strike and therefore deprive you of an incredible trip, jump into a gaba taxi and continue to the water’s edge where you’ll find a taxiboat stage.

After swarming you, the eager boat touts will give you two alternatives: a special hire boat for 15k or the regular taxi boat for 1500. Island loving peoples, I advise you not to be cheap. Pay the hell out of that special rate. ‘Going native’ is for tourists.

The 1500 boat takes a while to fill up, so of course you’ll have to sit in the hot sun and bake until your melanin is so thickly charred that no amount of fair and lovely will make it even out.

When more and more and more people clamber aboard, you will be reminded that human beings are animals who can sometimes neglect to wear deodorant and stink very heavily as a result. This lamentable stench will stay pressed against your nose until a passing breeze feels sorry for you and blows your way. On an overcrowded boat, you discover some shocking things; for example, did you know that it is possible for the woman next to your right to sweat on you? Copiously?

Anyway, everything becomes irie when the boat begins to move. It’s so full that it’s not so much sailing as dragging itself through the water like a sulky child but there’s just so much pleasure to be got from taking a boat ride that you have to be really really unhappy about the sweating woman next to you to remain grouchy.

Lake Victoria looks like the Sea of Galilee in those Jesus movies, doesn’t it?

There are eight beaches on this Island. Mutola, the one that nobody ever goes to is the coolest, because an empty beach is the same thing as a nude beach. If, like me, you’ve always harbored a desire to unleash your nudeness on nature here’s your chance.

The Four wonders of BULE are:

The Green: which hits you in the face like a hot chick you didn’t know was in a shower stall when you stepped in. The air makes you despair about the filthy variety that we have to make do with in Kampala.

The hunchback : The fact that he’s an insect doesn’t make him less ‘wonderful’. He’s very fat with a crazylarge hump. He’s also dead, which makes his ability to elicit terrified yells even more impressive.  When she saw him, Kampire yelped ‘yamawe’, dropped her pineapple and ran into the water so fast that had the water not said ‘Twaleri you’re not Simon Peter’, she’d have bolted across the water right up to Kampala.

Oil and socks: Of the slime caking the shore, Jason said: that water isn’t dirty. That’s oil.  And of the birds whose legs had been turned black by this slime, he said: Oh look. The birds are wearing leggings

You can surf: There’s a surfing board at Mutola beach.Never mind that the lake is so calm, so waveless that ducks just be chilling on it.

don’t joke with the buleharzicsurfer

Visit Uganda’s Islands where the girls are beautiful and the pineapples are sweet.

People, go to our islands. Enjoy Uganda.

The MARA way.

If you try to make people donate money, even for the most heart breaking cause by telling them that they’re fatuous, over paid buy-sexuals who splash money on irrelevant things to convince themselves that they’ve achieved something in life, they’ll get pissed off and tell you to choke on your poverty and ideals, which is why you have to be smart about things, like Mara foundation.

They organized a very unusual dinner at Open house to which corporate types with TV accents and bulging wallets were invited, unusual because six of the most eligible singles in the city were lined up for auctioning to the highest bidder. This was to raise money for Apollo Kaggwa- Mukono, a school for visually impaired kids.

It’s fantastic what a couple of bows, squiggly ribbons and nice smelling women can do to a place. I had never seen Open house look so glamorous.

The people on sale were: Darlene, Michelle, T-ROD, Joan, Carlo an∂ Danny.

The emcee was a fat guy in a Hawaiian shirt called Dennis Mawanda. He wasn’t the worst emcee in the world but his limp jokes, talent for mispronouncing names and very bad kiwani accent made him hard to like.

For entertainment, we were given Afro-fusion songstress Tshilla  and her brilliant dress. People like her perform at dinners to provide a pleasant background for the bubbling chatter and tinkling laughter that indicates that a gathering is going well. It’s only when you’re having a horrid time that you actually pay attention to the singer, right?

She rocked, so hard that after her first performance, Mawanda called her Wycliffe Jean.

Seriously? A pretty girl in a frilly kitenge dress and the best he could come up with was Wycliffe?

Allow me a tiny digression, on the subject of photographers. Those photographers who tell you to pose and grin against branded backdrops are EVIL. If, like me, you can’t smile on demand, a cacophony of spasms will jump off your face when he yells ‘smile!’ and he’ll take the picture when your face is at its most hideous and then you’ll then get tagged on facebook looking like a rabid doll.

Mara foundation did a good job charming their guests. They left nothing to chance, making sure, like the perfect boyfriend, that every part of the night would charm us into putting out at the end of the night. The food, drinks and a movie created by 256media, were convincing enough to loosen purse strings even more. Isaac, proprietor of 256media became infinitely more attractive when the video was attributed to him.

Bachelorette 1 was Darlyne, who the emcee called Dalen. When auctioning began, all eyes swung mercilessly to Baz’s seat (because we all know he has a vested interest in this Dalen). He kicked things off with 100 bob. The guys at the smart TV table were a lot keener, because they bided highest and won her.

Next was Michelle. She was a hit. A pretty girl like that with a great body like that and a dress so determined to show it off like that? Of course she was a bestseller.

Her auction went on forever and after a lot of squealing, sashaying by Michelle and fanfare, Abu won.

T-ROD was the first bachelor. He looked like a cross between the cutest guy in your church and one of those PR executives who walk into office on a dull Tuesday afternoon and freeze time with their looks. He even had the name of a porn star. T-ROD. It didn’t help that he started things off by offering to lose his coat for 30 bob.


The crowd wanted action, so they offered more money for him to lose both his coat and tie which he peeled off with such obvious pleasure that Connie from smart TV and Ishta immediately got more aggressive. Things became heated and both of them won a date with him in the end without any weave pulling, face scratching or purring. Sadly.

Danny was bachelor number two. His bio said ‘Danny can dance the pants off anybody’. Not only did the crowd believe him, they were determined to get proof. Somebody offered him a tenner to dance, which he scoffed at but when Flora waved a 30 bob at him, his will crumbled. To Ashawo, he shimmied over to her seat and shook his butt very hard. Things were wild.

Pom pom, porokoto...

Who remembers Mr. Nice’s ekidalipo dance? If you do, imagine it in slow motion. That’s the move he rocked when the emcee made him groove to a to a kadongo kamu song.

My curfew descended before Joan and Carlo hit the stage, but if the other auctions were to go by, they must have pooled a tidy sum for those Mukono kids.The crowd was nice, the bachelors and bachelorettes, charming and the food bombastic. I still dream about that crispy eggplant.

A Day In The Life Of A ‘Newly initiated’ ‘corporate chick’.

Once upon a time, there lived an ungrateful heifer of a girl. She had all these things that people would call blessings, well not ALL these things, just a job, you know? One of those poor paying ones that involved writing a lot of articles about relationships. She wouldn’t have hated it so much if she knew a lot of things about relationships, but she’d never been in one and didn’t know squat.
By way of religion, she worshiped a trinity unlike any other in the history of trinities.  Shoes, books and hair accessories. Buying them was praise and worship, mehn.
One day, she realized that her collection had stopped growing. It wasn’t for lack of devotion to her religion-she bought them whenever she could. They just seemed…fewer, as if some of the bigger books were consuming the smaller or some of the shoes were sneaking off into a Narnia for shoes at the back of her closet and not returning.
Then her heart was filled with ambition and greed. She said, ‘man. Print media pays peanuts. Why don’t I join advertising? Why don’t I become a hot corporate chick? This stuff fi piss me off. Bomboclat me sey. Jamaican patois because she had dreadlocks. Every story needs its cliche.
So she walked into an agency, hopelessly oversold herself and the agency over bought and swish! She was in.

This is a day in her life.
4.00am : I toss. I turn. I dribble onto my pillow. I shudder violently, roll off the bed and receive my head bump of the day from mother earth whose love for me is so apparently great that she feels the need to head butt me every morning.
4.05am : I start awake from whatever genre of nightmare has been kicking over the furniture in my subconscious. My dreams nowadays are not cryptic, not hard to crack at all. I’m anxious as hell, so I dream I’m falling off a cliff, of being late for PLE. That I’m bolting through hallways to an interview that I was supposed to be at five hours before. That I’m in the middle of a fancy hotel butt naked. Etcetera.
6.00am : I fight my hair into what the corporate world expects it to look like. It fights back. I tie it up. It springs back up. Which is where the hair accessories come in, to charm my locs into letting me keep my job.
7.30am : Jam mulago
7.59am : Mulago jam. I stare blankly at the copy of ON Beauty on my lap, fail to concentrate and stare hatefully at every traffic officer whose eye I can catch.
9:00am : I bolt in, hoping that speed will disguise my arrival and head straight for the kitchen, where I finish the hell out of the milk in the nido tin. I hang around until the chick who works there starts to dart worried looks in my direction and then slip into the bathroom.
10.00am : Because I can’t sit in the loo all day, I plod to my desk where my supervisor is waiting for me with fights on ice. With only the thinnest layer of civility, we war. It’s a bombastic battle of wills, the gist of which is: ME: ‘expletive expletive. I’m a kickass writer.

HIM: No you ain’t.

ME: Expletive involving his mother. I know writing. This script is funny.

HIM: No. It’s cute but impractical.
11.00am : If you’re feminine and you’ve got wiles, now is the time to use them. We smell the sumbusa man from as high as the third floor- such is the wonderful dedication with which he marinates the meat in his samosas. He floats in and regards the hungrily expectant faces in the office and then snaps open his basket and really, all work jars to a stop.
11.30am: Work. Bitter regret. Work. Poignant reflection on the times when a hard day’s work meant rigorous facebooking and two corny relationship articles. More work.
4.00pm: Review meeting where so help me God I giggle and giggle and giggle because that is precisely what I’m not supposed to do. I hic with laughter when radio ads are presented. I guffaw madly when people who give me a hard time are liquefied by the no nonsense MD. I also draw caricatures of the bemused people in the room.
5.00pm: I browse office archives and squirm with envy at the brilliance of the silent brooding Buddha who sits at the back of the office and writes such beautiful ads. This guy thinks in ads. He probably can’t have a conversation that lasts longer than 50 seconds. For a mad moment, I consider coming up behind him when he’s hard at work, snipping off a bit of the wild kaweke that’s spouting like crab grass out of his head, eating it and merging our DNA.
6.00pm: I make an exhaustive list of all the pretty things that I’ve seen during the past month. I make a note of all the bookshops that I’m going to raid. I remind myself that the IT guy at my former workplace has nothing on the hot one here. I then get back to the grind.