On the whole of the big fat internet, there’s no positive definition of the word groupie. The world has no kind words for us. On Urban dictionary, we’re are defined as individuals involved in obsessive adoration of entertainers such as musicians, actors, athletes, and even political figures. Behaviors are juvenile and influenced by crush-like emotions or lustful sentiments, and often infringe the rights of the figure experiencing the attentions of a frenzied fanatic.
First of all, I am offended that the above definition makes no mention of writers. Authors. Because when a person puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or minty fresh breath to recorder and creates a story, they earn the right to be exalted and abused and licked by adoring fans. (When I stop faffing around and start writing hopefully fantastic, once-upon-a-time type stories, I want random, crazy-eyed people to try and throw their arms around me.)
This year has been a great one for groupies in Uganda. February gave us Nneka, a soulful, verse spitting Thumbelina from Nigeria. Her music is fantastic. If her lyrics aren’t pummeling your conscience, her voice is making you feel all these (slightly) inappropriate things. That show left people looking like they’d just been let in on something delightful.
In March, Eric Wainaina sneaked into the country and into Bugoloobi where he chamcated the full house at Jazzville with his quirky dancing and groovy music. That man sure knows how to make an audience love him. He choreographed a few dances, told stories, made girls squeal and even sang Dunia ina Mambo for some sweaty, overly excited girl who said she’d die if he didn’t. I was that girl.
Last weekend, Jane Bussmann was in town. If you don’t know who this woman is, take a moment to feel some deep deep shame. She’s a journalist, a comedian and the author of Worst Date Ever (Or How It Took a Comedy Writer to reveal Africa’s secret war), a funny and informative book. This book is informative both as an introduction to the issues in northern Uganda- especially for non-Ugandans, and as a how to guide for people who have to interview boring celebs for a living.
Bussmann, an irreverent, Caucasian comedian was able to write funnily about this sensitive and grim subject, without being offensive. This was and is the root of my groupiesm. She held a show at Mish Mash on the 20th, a show at which she was honest, charming and all those other things that I had better be like when I grow up.
In the spirit of growing up to be honest, I should mention that this article is being written on Friday Morning. I have no idea whether or not she’s going to be fabulous at the show but if my chat with her at XFM’s office is anything to go by, that show is not only going to rock; it’s going to boulder.
It’s a wonderful thing when you meet somebody whose work you admire, especially when your passion lies in the field in which they’ve excelled, so the world shouldn’t judge us harshly when we squeal and fling our bras and ask for autographs on our foreheads. Also, celebrities should quit covering their heads and dashing to their cars like we’re dangerous because it’s we groupies that swell their twitter and facebook numbers and that makes them feel important.