Monday, December 21, 2009

Painful lessons

In Budalang'i, telling the weather isn't Binomial expansion or Logarithms or some equally complicated exercise. All you have to do is listen to the weather forecast on the radio and then stay put for the exact opposite.

So when the weatherman, courtesy of my grandfather's SQNY[It's a world receiver!] promised intermittent showers throughout the day with the possibility of a heavy downpour in the afternoon, I immediately dispatched onr of my nieces to the lake with my dirty laundry since I fully expected them to be dry by evening.

With the rest of the morning to kill, I thought about going to the lake myself for a dip and breakfast at one of the many kiosks that dot the fish-landing site where a jugful of sweet, fermented porridge goes for only ten bob, but looking around the compound, I had an idea.

Of course like virtually all stupid ideas, this one struck me like one straight from the brains of Solomon.

My grandfather keeps a bunch of huge, ungainly creatures in the homestead he insists belong to the cow species, although I doubt they are even herbivores, given their ugliness even by cow standards and the relish with which they went through the packet of Dettol I came with from Kampala. But my skeptisism about their dietary inclination notwithstanding, I nevertheless could tell they were mammals capable of giving milk fit for human consumption, and by looking at their undersides, I could even tell which was a bull and which could fit the purpose of my great idea.

The gist of my idea? Operation No More Strungi.

However, the only person I knew there with anything approaching competence in milk extraction procedures was my grandfather, and quite unfortunately, he had joined his friend John Osodo at Taddei's, joint for a 'Power Breakfast' and discussions on a wide range of sensitive topics, mostly about PNU and ODM and other equally political abbreviations.

But not to worry. After all, milking wasn't exactly Algebra now, was it? I reasoned. All I had to do was remove that silly calf that was milking its mother dry, then get down to milking its mother dry. Simple as ABC without mathematical signs.

So with that, I approached the lactating calf and after a brief struggle, managed to secure it to a nearby tree stump. Then jug in hand, I positioned myself beside the mother's left rump and bent down to do my thing.

I was about to learn that cows too are capable of cold calculation.

Upto that point, the silly animal had shown absolutely no indication it dissapproved of what I was doing. It had looked lazily at me as I dragged its calf off, it had accepted the few tufts of grass I had offered it as incentive to shower my jug with milk. For God's sake, it had even swished its tail in apparent pleasure as I approached its hindquarters and started to bend! Upto that point, no dissent. upto that point...when my crotch was in direct line with it's left hoof.

I have been hurt before. But even on the day I got caught up in a UoN riot in Town and got struck on the head by a GSU man's baton, the pain wasn't nearly as bad as the terrific surge of searing hot sensation that exploded on my balls when the hoof connected hard and squarely with my crotch and burnt through to the pit of my belly. It was so painful, I actually screamed out for my mother.

It's embarrassing enough telling you this, so I won't tell you how the children around howled like hyenas with derision at my plight, or repeat ad verbatim how my grandfather, when he came back, loudly wondered what idiocy could make a full gown man milk a cow without tying up its hind legs first.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It is not everyday that Moses turns down gorgeous female company, so when he curtly told some lady he was unavailable and hung up on her the other night at Elvis' place as we swilled beers to celebrate the end of our week-long alcohol-free sentence, we were quite understandably concerned.

"What's the matter? Have you lost your Mojo?" I asked.

"Are you sick? Have you lost your mind?" Allan added.

"Relax, fellaz. My Mojo and my health are perfectly in order, thank you very much." Moses protested. "And my brain is too, which is more than I can say of some people in present company." He added and shot Allan a withering look.

"Then why did you behave so contrary to character just now? Allan asked. "I mean, I haven't encountered such strange behaviour since when I saw a Moslem at a confessional."

"When was that?" Elvis' wife asked, shooting her husband a warning glance as his hand moved towards yet another bottle of Pilsner.

"Er...Never." Allan replied, and the ensuing laughter provided enough distraction for Elvis to grab the bottle and pop its cap in one fluid motion.

"Hey, tone down guys. You'll wake the kids." Elvis' wife cautioned. "But seriously, Moses, I'm also curious. Why did you blow that girl off like that? If someone did that to me he'd better be able to run faster than I can drive."

A most apt comparison. The mere thought of Mrs. Elvis behind the wheel of a vehicle was enough to send a chill down our respective spines.

"Let's just say Sasha must be the reason the concept of 'extreme' even entered the realm of human perception." Moses said, and Allan pointedly told him that this was modern day Kenya, not Shakespearen England. "In modern day Kenya," he finished, "people try as much as possible to get straight to the point."

"Sasha is this Russian girl I dated a couple of months ago. Her dad is some attaché or the other at the Russian Embassy in Nairobi." Moses started to narrate. "I had to leave her because I found her preferred ideas on sex and relationships a tad bit too hedonistic even for me."

"Whips, cuffs and garter belts?" I asked.

"For starters." Moses replied. "This girl is into some really deep stuff. Swinger, sadomasochism, ritualistic, the works. At first I thought it was a good way for me to push my horizons in the carnal dimension, but when it got to the drugs, I decided that maybe some horizons should just remain horizons."

"Drugs?" We all asked incredulously and in unision.

"One evening she invited me to a party thrown in honor of some visiting Kremlin official." Moses went on without missing a beat. "Obviously, we retired to her place after the party, and there we were joined by a friend of hers, a norwegian whose name I didn't catch because it was entirely made up of consonants."

We all laughed and again, the uproar covered the hissing sound of Elvis popping yet another Pilsner.

"Anyway, Sasha made us all drinks. I'd asked for Vodka but she gave me Whisky, and we made light conversation. However, we had already drunk enough at the party and both girls' English was just a little better than atrocious, so we soon moved on to what had really brought us here. And it was spectacular!"

"So where did the drug come into all this?" Elvis asked.

"They came in the drinks. Literally." Moses answered. "You see, the experience was altogether really intense and we were at it for quite some time. When we were done, I heard Sasha tell the Norwegian girl she hadn't believed there was Ecstasy in Kenya, but now she was sure there was.Initially, I thought she meant ecstasy, as in the emotion. But towards morning, the Norwegian girl suddenly started convulsing and passed out. We immediately called an ambulance, and at the hospital, toxicology tests revealed very high levels of Ecstasy, the drug, in her bloodstream."

"You mean she overdosed on the drug?" Someone asked.

"Yes, that's exactly what I mean." Moses said irritably. "And I also mean that she overdosed on a drug that had been meant for me."

"What!" We all asked again incredulously and in unison.

"Remember I asked for Vodka and Sasha gave me Whisky? Well, the Whisky had been for the Norwegian girl, and Sasha, who had all along meant to spike my drink, mixed up the glasses and gave her my Ecstasy-laced Vodka instead."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Of crochets and needles

I never told you how the Mr. Big saga ended. So, here goes...

Few people like sharp pointed objects, and fewer still appreciate having such objects introduced onto their anatomies. The three of us definitely belong to the larger percentage of the human population that views sharp, pointed objects uncharitably, but since our misadventure at the pub necessitated a small medical procedure called a tetanus shot, we had to set aside our personal prejudices and, with a glaring lack of enthusiasm, allow Mr. Big's doctor brother to jab our behinds with sharp, pointed objects.

Our tribulations however didn't end there. Not content with making us confront our rabid fear of needles, the doctor had one more nightmare for us. No alcohol for the next few days, or the shots would be useless, meaning needles all over again. We all took this pretty hard. I felt like someone had switched off the sunshine in my life and posted a note saying "Back in a few days," while Allan looked like someone whose personal demons had all gathered together and decided to pay him a sudden, unannounced visit. Moses I was almost certain we would have to hire someone to follow him around, unless we were comfortable with the possibility of dealing with his sudden suicide within the next very few hours.

The only person who didn't have a problem with all this, and found it all very hilarious actually, was Elvis. This was only normal, considering he had been at home asleep when battle royale and the subsequent visit to the clinic went down and thus hadn’t suffered our misfortunes. Such circumstances bring out the sadist in Elvis.

"Holla man. How are you doing? I heard you people had a blast last night, with particular emphasis on the word 'blast'." He called the next day to ask, at an hour when only chicken thieves and employees of Nakumatt's 24 hour outlets could conceivably be awake.

"I'm trying to get some sleep, you moron." I curtly told him. "If you are so concerned about my health, let me remind you the risks of sleep deprivation...And how did you find out so fast anyway?" I wondered.

"Moses just returned my car, and I could tell he'd had himself a swell time. So swell in fact, that his head is still swollen." Elvis replied.

I said something nasty.

Elvis ignored it. "So why don't you all come over to my place this evening and fill me in on what happened? Six O'clock. And don't worry' drinks are on me. I'll have the missus make a lot of Ketepa. Bye." He hung up without waiting for a response. In any case, I was too tired to argue, and after making a mental note to call in sick at the office immediately I woke up, I went back to sleep.

It was not until much later when I showed up at his place that I remembered accepting Elvis' invitation meant I would have to face needles again, albeit of a different kind.

Allan was already at Elvis' place when I arrived, and he was trying hard to force down a cup of tea as well as a conversation with Elvis' wife, who was busy knitting what I guessed was a sweater for one of their children."That's a nice sweater you are knitting." I said to her as I hugged her in greeting. "For the boy or the girl?"

"Thanks. It is for my sister's child, actually. You know how expensive ready-made ones are nowadays..." and as she launched into a critique of the impact of the global economic downturn on the price of textile products, I relaxed.

Allan winked at me as if to say "you lucky bastard." And I smirked back. He hadn't been so lucky.

Presently, Moses arrived, and despite the fact that he had carried a kilo of meat for her, she didn't hug him in greeting, and when he complimented her knitting, she curtly told him that she was crocheting, not knitting, and returned to our conversation which had inevitably moved on to the global economic downturn's impact on food prices. Like Allan, Moses was unlucky.

Elvis arrived soon afterwards, and he burst out laughing as soon as he walked through the door. "You people look like hell!" He said between fits. "Hi baby. How's the crocheting?"

"That's what they get from engaging in primitive drunken violence." His wife replied. "And I'm knitting, not crocheting."

Elvis ignored her. "Come on, guys. Fill me in on the details. I've already heard Moses' and Allan's tales, so Edgar, tell me how you fared with that Orang Utan."

Upon hearing this, Elvis' wife suddenly cast me a very pained look, and my heart sank.

You see, Elvis wife, although warm, homely and usually very affable, has a very interesting eccentricity. She is always knitting, and whether or not someone's presence is welcome can be discerned from her response to any comment that person makes about her knitting. If she agrees with your comment, all is well. But if she contradicts you, then too bad.

Thus she had all along been cross with Allan and Moses but not with me because having come out of the previous night's bar brawl with a relatively unscathed head, I was the only one of us three who didn't sport a bandage on my cranium.

And until Elvis' question gave me away, she had assumed that I hadn't been involved in the previous night's 'primitive drunken violence.'

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

iran vs Uncle Sam

When not busy beating the living hell out of dissenting citizens, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, splits his time equally between scaring the living hell out of Israel and pissing the living hell off Uncle Sam.

Ahmadinejad: (Beating the holy crap out of a dissenter) So you wanted Mousavi, heh? I am your president, mpende msipende. You think Mousavi is your mother? Just wait till I'm done with you...

Uncle Sam: Now now, Mahmood, that isn't the way democratic leaders deal with dissent, especially when there is such ample justification for dissent...

Ahmedinejad: You stay out of this, you infidel! You want Mousavi to win so that you will connive with him to steal our oil, like you did in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Uncle Sam: You are mistaken, Mahmood. I'm only interested in promoting democratic practises and human rights, both of which you are seriously violating right now.

Ahmedinejad: But I won fair and square, only for this son of Iblis and his ilk to come in and cause trouble! ( Continues beating the dissenter) Ati Ahmedinejad must go, heh? Niende wapi! Just wait and see. I am going to kick you so hard between the legs that your nuts will pop out through your eye sockets...

Uncle Sam: Mahmood!

Ahmedinejad:...I'll make your face look like Israel after I've dropped a nuclear bomb there...

Uncle Sam: As a matter of fact, that is why I'm here to see you. Thing is, the rest of the world is very concerned about the high number of nuclear weapons in the world, and I feel it is my duty to ask you to abandon your nuclear programme.

Ahmednijad: (incredulously) Now why would I do such a dumb thing? You have nuclear weapons. Russia has nuclear weapons. Pakistan has nuclear bomb, as does India. For Allah's sake, even that crazy dwarf from North Korea has a couple of warheads. Why are you so hard on me?

Uncle Sam:
Because everybody else is open about their nuclear programs except you. We are afraid that you just might decide to fire a missile off in the general direction of Israel.

Ahmadinejad: I wouldn't do such a thing! My nuclear programme is purely for energy purposes. (aside) Enough energy, of course, to wipe every Jew and his fourth cousin twice removed from the face of the universe.
Uncle Sam: That may be true, Mahmood, but the I and the rest of the International Community would feel just a little more comfortable if you abandoned the programme alltogether.

Ahmedinajad: Well, you and the rest of the International Community can apply your favourite lip balm and kiss my Arab behind, because that is not going to happen.

Uncle Sam: Stop being so difficult, Mahmood. You know I can put more sanctions on you and cripple your economy.

Ahmadenijad: (Laughs) Surely, Sammy Boy, that is so old! You have got to be more creative at threatening me than that.

Uncle Sam:
(Now at the very end of his tether) Mahmood, this is no laughing matter. Either you report to the negotiating table or I will allow Israel to go ahead and obliterate anything that even looks like a nuclear facility.

Ahmadinejad: OK OK! Don't get yourself all knotted up. I'll be at your disposal as soon as I receive the specifics from Arak, Ardakan, Bushehr, Isfahan, Qom...

Uncle Sam: Now just a minute. You mean you have another facility, another nuclear facility, at Qom?!

Ahmadinejad: Oops...

Thursday, November 5, 2009


First of all, Happy Birthday, Val. I meant this post to be entirely about you, but was overtaken by events, namely a coursework I have to finish. The next post is for you. i promise.

Anyway, I happen to be a sociology minor at Makerere University, and recently, Dr. Atyekereza, our Soc 3100 [Classical Sociological theory] lecturer, gave us a coursework assignment.

Dr. Atyekereza

Actually, he gave the assignment a month ago. I just finally got round to starting because the deadline for submission is monday.

Anyway, we are expected to analyse Roy Bhaskar's critical realism ramblings, specifically his assertion that "society is not the unconditioned creation of the human agency, but neither does it exist independently of it."

Lost? welcome to my world, dawg!

Obviously, such a question cannot be answered by the kind of guesswork you would apply for example in tackling Dr.Okiror's "Examine the relevance of consistency in a MIS for a decisionmaker" in PAM 3103 [Management Information systems]

Dr. Okiror

or Dr. Simba's "Analyse the role of NEPAD and AGOA for the economic development of Africa" in IRS 3101 [Global Political Economy]

Dr. Simba

Such a question requires what every average student dreads: Research. As in SERIOUS research. And last time I checked, I was still an average student. So obviously, I was dreading this.

But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, especially since this is the kind of paper that makes the prospect of coming back for a re-take more definite than probable. Serious research entailed first of all finding out who the hell Roy Bhaskar is, and since navigating your way through the bureaucracy of Makerere University's main library is the stuff of gladiators, I resorted to the net.

Horror of horrors. [Cue a horror-themed soundtrack. If you can't think of one, any song by Jeniffer Lopez or Ja Rule will do.]

Roy Bhaskar is the kind of guy who writes sentences such as "philosophical approach that defends the critical and emancipatory potential of rational (scientific and philosophical) enquiry against both positivist, broadly epistemological and ontological questions."

Consider this, in his dialectical works, the man actually wrote this:

"Indeed dialectical critical realism may be seen under the aspect of Foucaultian strategic reversal - of the unholy trinity of Parmenidean/Platonic/Aristotelean provenance; of the Cartesian-Lockean-Humean-Kantian paradigm, of foundationalisms (in practice, fideistic foundationalisms) and irrationalisms (in practice, capricious exercises of the will-to-power or some other ideologically and/or psycho-somatically buried source) new and old alike; of the primordial failing of western philosophy, ontological monovalence, and its close ally, the epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual; of the analytic problematic laid down by Plato, which Hegel served only to replicate in his actualist monovalent analytic reinstatement in transfigurative reconciling dialectical connection, while in his hubristic claims for absolute idealism he inaugurated the Comtean, Kierkegaardian and Nietzschean eclipses of reason, replicating the fundament of positivism through its transmutation route to the super-idealism of a Baudrillard."

That's what I'm going through right now. Please pray for me. I beg you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A gay man's lament

Karma, it seems, isn't done with me yet.

A few hours after posting my last blog article, I happened upon a copy of Nation's Sunday 17th October newspaper with this story.

Then this morning in a matatu on my way to campus, the debate on the radio programme our driver had us tuned into was on this.

So lemme post the article before Karma decides to get physical.

I pay my taxes. I see to it that Kampala City is kept clean by never littering. Like most Ugandans, I think Kony should have stopped at only hiding behind the bushes and never gone ahead to start smoking the leaves from those bushes as well. I have my own stereotypical perspectives on the different ethnic communities that make up my country, and I shed a tear when I got the news of the Budo fire tragedy.

I have my beef with several ministries in the Uganda government, especially the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness. [What the hell does that title even mean, let alone whether or not it actually has any relevance whatsoever?] The level of corruption sickens me and I am generally appalled by the state of public service delivery. But nonetheless, I still hold His Excellency the President in the highest esteem., and the Kisanja absurdity notwithstanding, I would still vote Movement any given Sunday, since I believe His Excellency’s assertion that he is the only one with a vision for Uganda, something those yak-yakking opposition politicians totally lack.

What I am trying to put across in so many words is simply that I am your average Ugandan, maybe not manifestly patriotic, but one who possesses a deep and enduring love for his country and wouldn’t shudder at shedding hemoglobin-rich blood for it.

That said, I believe the relationship between the individual and the State should be reciprocal, which is to say it should be two-way. This reciprocity doesn’t have to be balanced, but it should be clear and present on both sides. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was right to implore us to seek to do more for our country than we expect our country to do for us, but that doesn’t mean that a State shouldn’t seek to do more for its citizens than its citizens do for it.

So I seek as much as possible to benefit my country in whatever way I can and I follow the law to the best of my ability, but I also expect the State and the law to guarantee me a conducive environment as I go about my lifetime purpose of seeking fulfillment . so long as my pursuit of fulfillment does not infringe upon the basic rights of another individual or occasion potential for harm, I should be left alone to do what I damn well please with my life, taking responsibility for any reward or jeopardy my activities might lead me to.

It is upon this premise that I level my charge against the State of Uganda.

You see, I am a little, shall we say…different from conventional preference when it comes to my choice of sexual partnership. People like me are the kind Leviticus 18:22 has a problem with, as does a very huge fraction of Ugandan society.

My life, as you would expect under the circumstances, has never been easy. People conversant with my orientation never tire of treating me like an outcast, a pariah, an abomination. I have been called more names than a Mexican child at baptism, only unlike the Mexican child, none of the names I’m called are flattering or meant to flatter. I have been attacked more times on the street than American interests in Afghanistan, and my existence is a constant struggle.

But that, believe it or not, is the least of my worries. Most of the people that do all they can to make life hell for me are no match for me physically or intellectually, and those I can’t beat the living crap out of I silence with a withering stare. What they think or how they go about expressing what they think has no bearing whatsoever on my life, and I find it absurd that I should even consider according them anything but the overwhelming contempt they deserve.

The State, however, is a different proposition altogether, whether I like it or not the State will have a bearing on how I live my life or how I accomplish my pursuit for fulfillment, and it saddens me to observe that people of my kind, upon no rational bearing whatsoever, have been failed by the State.

Right from the grassroots, our right to be human in the only way we know how has been curtailed. Despite our orientation being natural, it is illegal in the eye of the law to be homosexual, and the government, especially through the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity, [another useless Ministry, I say with no apology,] is actively involved in persecuting us on the slightest whim. A popular radio presenter recently found himself in a lot of trouble for hosting some of our advocates in his show, and interestingly, the flak he got didn’t come from his employers, but from the government. Goes a long way to show just how dire the straits we are in are.

It would really help if the state changed this attitude. In the olden days, and even in some contemporary societies, persecution of lepers, albinos, hermaphrodites and even twins in some was actually institutionalized in the belief that these people’s peculiar traits made them bad omens and therefore outcasts. It was on due to a paradigm shift borne of better understanding of such people that led to such archaic beliefs to be discarded.

This is exactly what the State needs in order to deal with our situation—a paradigm shift on how we view those among us that are different. This is entirely possible, given the government’s track records in effecting paradigm shifts on societal issues such as affirmative action borne, of the understanding that women are not all that different from men and curtailing them was not in anyone’s best interests.

As for society, I understand why the larger section of it is uncomfortable with us, and I respect their right not to be exposed to what they don’t like. But until they come up with better argumentation as to why they are opposed to people like me, then it is only right that I treat their concerns with the negligible amount of respect due to it. True, it is unchristian. But since when have we been so zealotic in promoting Christian values? Do not kill, the Bible says. Then what are all those guns Uganda spends billions of taxpayer money on for? Private collections and target practice? Do Not Commit Adultery. How much sex that goes on in this country is actually between people whose names appear on the same marriage certificate? Do Not Steal. Hands up anyone who believes government corruption is a myth.

True, our sexual orientation could indeed be called un African. But what too is so African about this language I am addressing you in, our ‘National’ language? What is so African about the clothes we wear, the God we worship, or the kind of entertainment we prefer? Basically my point is, if we are going to be hypocrites, then at least we should be consistent in our hypocrisy!

Most of us did not choose to be how we are. Believe me, if I could, I would change my sexual orientation faster than Emma Kato’s new car at the Pearl Rally. But that is just how we are, and living with the knowledge that we are different is hard enough as it is. I really wish society and the State would understand us and accept us for who I we are, but if that is too much to ask for, then all we ask is to be left alone.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

First of all, I’d like to make one thing absolutely clear. I’m straighter than the shortest distance between any two given points, and I’m not talking geometry. So should you ask me if I’m gay after reading this, you’d better either be talking about my emotional disposition, or be sure that you have sufficient hospital insurance.

That said, let’s begin.

Sometimes, you happen upon signs and indications that seem to demand you get off your behind and do something you wouldn’t otherwise consider as warranting expeditious execution. Should you choose to ignore them, these signs then suddenly start getting more and more frequent and insistent until you eventually comply. Earl Whatshisname, that un-funny lead character in Val’s favorite comedy series, ‘My Name Is Earl,’

attributed such peculiarities to Karma. [As does the entire Hindu-speaking population within and without the Indian subcontinent, but I digress.]

Anyway, this Karma recently needed me to do something that under normal circumstances, I would consider not doing, think about it three times and then NOT do it. In a nutshell, Karma wanted me to speak out on homosexuality.

Obviously, I wasn’t favorably predisposed towards the idea. However, I wasn’t really worried because writing is not my main hobby. My main hobby is spending copious amount of time doing absolutely nothing, and this lazybones dispensation, I figured, would make it pretty hard for even Karma to find a way of getting across to me and compel me to do its dirty work.

But trust the resourcefulness of this force of nature to find its way around such little hurdles.

Remember a few weeks ago I blogged about upgrading from a Nokia 3100 to a Samsung E250? Well, that was because I recently became convinced of the immeasurable worth to be found in propagating the myth that I am a really happening dude, especially while dealing with impressionable damsels for whom I must confess an incurable weakness. The possession of sophisticated mobile gadgetry, I was told, is the main indicator for happening dudes worldwide nowadays, and since Nokia 3100 apparently doesn’t ooze sophistication, an upgrade was in order.

thus upgrade I did, and after I had acquired the Samsung,, I decided to pimp up its screen with an off-the-hook wallpaper, because I was also informed on impeccable authority that cool wallpapers on sophisticated phones are also a mainstay with happening dudes in all continents of the world including Africa. I am a big fan of Rock music, [which I am also reliably informed happens to be the music the entire global population of happening dudes listens to,] so naturally, I wanted a Rock-themed wallpaper for my phone.

And Karma, it seems, somehow was aware of my juvenile pursuit of social popularity; which was exactly where it first came for me.

For my wallpaper, I had a choice between my favorite Rock artistes, Serj Tankian of the group System of a Down and Billie Joe Armstrong of the group Green day. But Serj is, for lack of a better description, an aesthetically-challenged guy, not exactly the face you want on your phone if your intention is to hoodwink the public into believing that you were somewhere near the front row when dudes were being taught to happen. Therefore, the more worldly-looking Billie Joe [who by the way has the most hypnotic eyes you will ever see on the human male species,] got the nod.

When I raided the internet for free wallpaper, however, I mistakenly googled up the wrong alley, and instead of going to the freebies page, I landed on Billie Joe’s Wikipedia bio. Obviously, my curiosity was sufficiently aroused for me not to go away without first browsing through it, and as I did exactly that, I happened across a curious bit of information I’d hitherto been unaware of.

Apparently, my second-favorite rocker is bisexual.

As you would expect, that shocked the living daylights out of me. But, I reasoned, I did not start liking Billie Joe because I was under the misconception that he is a poster boy for conservative sexual values. Rather, I like Billie Joe because he makes the kind of music that makes me want to have him as my wallpaper image. Which was why with a shrug and a “well, you learn something new everyday!” I accessed the right page, got his wallpaper and forgot all about it.

But Karma didn’t.

A few days later, I was checking through the music files on a friend’s computer when I came across an all-time favorite song of mine that I haven’t heard in quite a long while, “Everyday I love you.” By the Irish boy band Boyzone. Immediately, I recorded it on my phone’s voice recorder and temporarily replaced Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ with it as my morning wake-up alarm.

That little incident would have been nothing but a very innocuous event of my day, but three days later, I was woken up by that very alarm, and as I started my daily morning ritual by catching the early morning news on TV, I got stunned by reports that one of Boyzone’s members, Stephen Gately, had mysteriously died the previous night while holidaying in Spain.

Stephen Gately, for the ignorant, forgetful or otherwise uninformed among you, was the Boyzone band member who during the height of their popularity in 1999, famously came out of the closet to publicly admit he was of homosexual orientation.

So this was the second time in two days that I was being confronted by a reminder of homosexuality, and I found that a tad bit intriguing. But once again, I made nothing of it and only wished Allah’s compassion and grace upon the soul of Stephen Gately before relegating all thoughts on the subject to whatever section of the brain it is that things to be forgotten are kept.

But Karma, of course, was having none of that.

The next day at campus, a colleague requested for a couple of documents I had in my possession tucked away with some old files at home. I have certain designs on this colleague, so I promised I’d give it a check when I got home that evening. [And since that is about as much information as I am willing to volunteer on the matter, please spare yourself the trouble of asking what those designs are.]

That evening as I went through my old files to find the requested documents, I noticed two sheets of typed paper I vaguely remembered putting there some time back. On closer inspection, they turned out to be the draft copies of an article I had written after a clandestine interview two years ago with a guy I met under circumstances I am not at liberty to divulge. I remembered I’d later chickened out of submitting the article to my editor because I was afraid of the reactions it would likely have elicited had it been published.

The subject of the article? An anguished, candid lament of a man leveled against a society and a government that shuns him…because he is gay.

Well, if I had earlier been skeptical about Karma being onto something here, finding that article emphatically and totally wiped out every little shred of it. So I’m posting that article here next week, [after al, I still have to show Karma I can be lazy when I want to,] andI stress once again, is not a representation of my orientation. Rather, it is my declaration of sympathy for gay rights and my own opinion on the subject of homosexuality.

In ‘My Name Is Earl,’ Karma expects that un-funny lead character to perform his tasks, and when he deviates, the reminders he gets keep getting progressively more painful until he gets down to it. If that is what Karma wants, then I figure I’ve done my part. So please, Karma, I suppose that means I won’t be getting hit by a car moments after buying a winning lottery ticket, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pub Brawl

As would be expected of a pub brawl, this one started unexpectedly. And like any decent pub brawl, it was nasty, brutish and lasted only a few seconds before security intervened and violently threw us out.

Elvis wasn't with us when the brawl went down. Being a family man, he doesn't have as many free evenings as the rest of us do. And considering that Allan and I aren't particularly violent people, you should by now have guessed the brawl was all Moses' fault.

"So tell me," Allan asked him as he rubbed at a rapidly developing bruise on his forehead, "why the hell am I standing here nursing a head injury that I'm certain I didn't have a few minutes ago, instead of being seated inside there," he pointed at the pub from where we had just been ejected, "nursing a bottle of beer I'm sure I did have a few minutes ago and I'm certain I paid for?"

"You people didn't have to come to my aid. I had everything under control." Moses said and I couldn't help the smirk that crossed my swollen lips. If having things under control meant soaking up massive blows to the head from the massive Mr. Big Allan and I had saved him from, [and led to us being kicked out ourselves,] I shuddered to think of would have happened if he DIDN'T have things under control.

"Where I come from, it is considered good manners to thank people who have just saved your life from an angry Mr. Big, especially when those people were forced to leave behind perfectly good alcohol in the process." Allan snapped at him. "Anyway, are you injured? I think we should all get ourselves checked by a doctor. My head feels like it wants to explode!"

I agreed that the cut on my lower lip and a few loose teeth courtesy of a bouncer's fist did warrant professional medical opinion, and Moses admitted that indeed, several of Mr. Big's harder jabs had landed on his cranium.

"Well, there is a private clinic a few blocks from here." Allan said. "As we walk there to have our injuries checked, why don't you explain to us why the hell we got injured in the first place?"

We set off as Moses started narrating. "There was this girl..." he said, and Allan and I sighed in unison. of course it had to be a girl. Moses seldom picked fights over anything else.

Moses shot both of us cross glares. "As I was saying, there was this girl I found seated next to an empty seat, and when I made to sit on it, she said she had reserved the seat for her husband." He said.

"And being the gentleman you are, you bade her good evening and went to find a seat elsewhere." I said.

Moses ignored my sarcasm. "I told her this is a free country and I could sit where I damn well pleased. She said something rude and I expressed my sympathies for the man stupid enough to have gotten trapped in holy matrimony with her, the man she was apparently saving the seat for. She then shouted at someone and next thing I know, I am being assaulted by the evil Nubian offspring from the unholy copulation of Shrek and Godzilla."

By then, we had reached the clinic and we went in, where we found only two nurses and a security guard. "Please do come in ans sit down. The doctor will be back shortly." The female nurse told us. "His sister-in-law just called him about his brother being attacked and he rushed fact here he is now." She finished as a car roared to a stop outside.

A few moments later, a diminutive lady walked in, speaking animatedly to two people behind her, and on seeing her, Moses, who was in the middle of saying something, froze in mid-sentence.

Allan and I were puzzled, but not for long. The lady was followed by two men, and although we didn't recognize the short, stout, bespectacled man in a lab coat that entered first, it was obvious he was the doctor. His brother we however did recognize.

Huge, menacing and every bit as ugly as before, Mr. Big was a pretty hard person to forget.

For the love of drink...

"This is unbelievable." Moses was saying. "Inexcusable. I've heard of countries where people get executed for much less than that."

"Such as?" Allan asked. The very question I would have asked myself had I been so inclined.

"Easy." Moses replied. "Just take a map of Asia and North Africa, knock off China and India, and Voila! You can take your pick."

Elvis and I didn't say a word. When Moses is in such a mood, it is criminally impractical to try and sway his perspective on whatever issue it is that had brought it about. Allan was the only one foolhardy enough to argue with him, but then again, Allan is our resident philosopher. And that is what philosophers do; Argue.

The argument today had to do with what transpired that afternoon at Moses' workplace.
Dude had been pulling all the stops for the past month to land a new secretary who had just been hired by his organisation, and the girl, while remaining suitably demure as any self-respecting damsel would, had nevertheless given our poor friend enough reason to believe that she was available.

Thus encouraged, Moses had gone on to buy a weekend getaway package for two at the Coast in the hope that it would impress the living daylights out of her, but when he sprung the surprise on her that afternoon after a lunch date, she had apologetically informed him she was sorry, but she had family commitments that weekend.

No problemo, Moses had replied. The package, although non-refundable, was open-ended and could be deferred to a different date. I'm really sorry, the girl had replied, but you don't understand. The family commitment I mentioned I have to attend to is actually my husband's family.

"I was incredibly humiliated." Moses explained to us when we'd met earlier that evening, and then gone on to elaborate. "It was as if someone had hauled me to the very top of the Tower of Humiliation, erected a mast, hauled me to the top of the mast and then mercilessly shoved me down to the forbidding ground far, far below."

When he is emotional, Moses sometimes tends to get wonderfully descriptive.

And now, he was considering suing the girl. He hadn't quite decided what for yet, but he figured he had a decent shot at compensation if he proved the girl had deceived him and caused him both emotional and financial distress.

When he said this, Elvis and I had each taken a single look at his face, ascertained that he indeed was serious, and then proceeded to fixedly concentrate on our drinks in a determined effort not to burst out laughing. Allan, however, held no such reservations. He spluttered on his drink and shot Moses a look that cast the concept of incredulous to a whole new level.

"Assuming she is even guilty in the first place, which she isn't by anyone's stretch of the imagination except, of course, yours," he wondered, "what makes you think there is a clerk in any Kenyan court that would file such an incredibly stupid lawsuit, let alone a judge or magistrate that would hear it?"

A perfectly obvious consideration for any sane person privy to the details of this whole absurd saga. But you see, Moses and the obvious don't exactly live up the same street.
"Just because there isn't any law against it doesn't mean it is right." He insisted. "No woman should treat a man like that and expect to get away scot free. I will make her pay, you just wait and see."

Even philosophers have their limits, and Allan signified he'd reached his by making a grunting noise of resignation that sounded remarkably like a Somali about to spit out a gob of Khat. A waiter had just reached our table, and our bottles were almost empty.

"More rounds on my bill, please." Moses told him. "Get all of us two bottles of what we are having...except this guy." He pointed at Allan, and that explains why Elvis and I hadn't raised our voices against Moses' incredulities that entire evening.

You see, when you go drinking, it is never a good idea to get on the wrong side of the guy buying the drinks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And we're off!


I didn't link you to that song because I have a deal with the copyright owners of Femi Kuti's music to promote his songs. Neither did I link you to there because I want to blog about the human pre-occupation with the act of copulation, which is what the song is all about.

Actually, the only reason I linked you to that song is so that in future, I can be able to say that my blog literally started with a bang.

Anyway, hello everyone. Thank you for coming. And without any further ado, let's begin.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you...

Some of you didn't know that those are lyrics from part of the song 'Fix You' by Coldplay. Well, now you know.

And all of you didn't know that those are the words I wake up to every morning because Fix You is actually the designated wake-up alarm tune on my Samsung E250.

Well, now you know!

So, I hear someone ask, what minuscule interest to them or singular relevance to society is information about what I like listening to when I wake up supposed to have?

Well, that's just it. I DON'T like Coldplay. I don't think Coldplay are a very talented singing group. In fact, it is my very honest opinion that Coldplay should be requested, nay, COMPELLED to desist from exploring their talent (or lack thereof) in music any further, and all the howls they have recorded so far confined to a single faulty CD and given to someone I don't particularly like who lives very, very far away from me.

So, I hear that voice ask again, why would I make a song by a group I don't like the first thing I listen to when I wake up every morning?

Well, first of all because unlike me, there are people out there whose taste in music leaves as much to be desired as an Amish grandmother's Sunday outfit. Some of these people, however, unfortunately happen to be people I care deeply about, and I would very much like them to know that despite such undesirable preferences, or even when they posses much more irritating ones in addition such as being fans of Liverpool F.C, I still hold them in the highest esteem.

Secondly, it has a little to do with a lesson my mother once taught me.

One day once upon a time, Mrs. Cornelia Akumu Omwango opened the door to her kitchen and by doing so, broke her beloved carved wood Sugar-dish. This wasn't because her beloved but very mischievous son had balanced it on top of the door hoping it would land on his irritating elder sister's head and instead got his mother.Rather, it was because by opening the door, she surprised the aforementioned elder son who at that very moment had his hand inside the aforementioned carved wood sugar dish.

Sons have this habit of going into uncontrollable panic when surprised by their mothers, and panic never augurs well for fragile objects in the hands of such panic-stricken sons, so in a nutshell, that was the last time Mrs. Omwango's beloved carved wood sugar dish ever held any sugar.

Naturally, the son wasn't going to get away scot-free. Mrs. Omwango's reputation as a tough disciplinarian was because one, she came down on indiscipline hard and two, she came down on indiscipline fast. Thus the echo from the shattering sugar dish had barely cleared from the son's ears before they were dealing with a totally new sound, a zinging sound normally felt by people who have just been slapped. "And you are taking Ndufya* for one full week!" She snarled.

(*If you don't know what Ndufya is, it means you probably didn't grow up in Nairobi.
If this is the case, kindly get in touch with someone who did and be educated.)

Taking Ndufya for one week is the stuff foul moods are made of, and from then onwards, any thought of illicit maneuvers towards the new sugar dish would immediately trigger that absolutely excruciating memory, and I would immediately kill it.

Now, let's fit Coldplay into this scheme of things.

You see, what I learnt from my misadventure is that nothing inspires discipline better than a disagreeable sensation or the threat of a disagreeable sensation. And the way I needed the disagreeable sensation that was the memory of taking Ndufya for a week in order to be disciplined around Mom's sugar is the same way I need a disagreeable sensation in order to be disciplined about something else.

Waking Up.

Thing is, when you love to sleep the way I do, you can get into lots of trouble if you are not disciplined about waking up. And that is where alarms come in. But not just any alarm. You can't put alarms of sounds you like listening to, such as Serj Tankian, Green Day or Elephant Man. (All of which, I'll have you know, I have in my Samsung E250) Those are in no way disagreeable sensations, and designating them as my wake up alarm would actually be giving myself a lullaby, instead of a wake-up alarm.

The reason it is called an alarm is because it is meant to ALARM you into waking up, and in my opinion, they don't come more disagreeably alarming than Coldplay.


The Rock.

On Saturday evening, about an hour after Arsenal had made the easy job of putting four past Wigan look like uberadvanced Quantum Physics, Mufti Sheikh Ramadhan Mubajje, who has jurisdiction over the Jummat I currently belong to, announced that the moon had been sighted and the month-long Ramadhan fast was at end.

Saum is by far the most physically and psychologically taxing of the Five Pillars of Islam, and observing it to the end with the dedication it demands is the mark of a true believer. So to all my Moslem brethren, mko juu tu sana. May Allah's blessings find you and uplift you. La ilaha ilallah.

Staying with football, we now know who is the real boss of Manchester!!!!

The Blues.

When I met Sammy during the Bell Lager-sponsored UTAKE nite at Steak-Out two Saturdays ago, he was screaming, "Huyo Dj aishi milele!" with a bottle of Bell Lager in his hand and looking like someone who could easily force a breatherlyser into early retirement.

The reason for my friend's exuberance was because he had benefited from a number of free Bell Lagers that a guest Radio Dj at the party had earlier thrown his way, and it was this Dj that Sammy was now wishing a very long life.

Sadly, this wish was never to be as four days later, Ronald Ssempagi,a.k.a Dj Roni of Capital fm Uganda, succumbed to multiple organ failure at Kadic clinic in Bukoto, Kampala.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

The Kapuka

As President of the Federal Republic of the United States of America, my clansman has to choose even the words he uses in his dreams because every syllable that comes through his lips automatically becomes a lightning rod for often emotional, always polarized American opinion.

But even he couldn't hold back his stupefication at Kanye West's absolute lack of class during the VMAs last Sunday, and he very un-presidentially called the Grammy award-winning rapper 'a Jackass' following Kanye's obviously inebriate shenanigans at the awards.

I know quite a number of people who agreed with Kanye's view that Beyonce was more deserving of the best Female Award that Taylor Swift got, and one of Kanye's most endearing attributes is his forthrightness which often borders on, and sometimes goes beyond, arrogance.

But even they wouldn't fault my cousin the president's contention that this time, Kanye did indeed behave like a class A jackass.