Behold Benny

The Benny Hinn show was in town the other week. The world famous evangelist was performing at our Nambole Stadium and all reliable reports assure us that he rocked the house. The Lord was heartily praised, miracles occurred, and the audience left satisfied.

But something has continued to perplex the natives of Kampalatown, even now, two weeks after the curtain dropped, and that is the matter of the falling.

It is a common event at Hinn shows, this falling. Pastor Benny waves his hand at people’s faces and something comes over them that makes them all of a sudden lose their feet. In industry jargon it is called being “slain” and you would be wise, if you are going to approach him, to have two men behind you who can support your weight.

Now, Kampala has its own star pastors. One of them is a Robert Kayanja.

 Dude

A very well-groomed man who speaks with an amusing faux-american accent and owns an enormous lakeside mansion that has been used in the past by reprobates smuggling posh wine from Kenya (He insists he knew nothing about the wine and was not even living in the building at the time of the heinous act. In Kayanja’s real estate portfolio are many mansions, you see).

Another star is Pastor Imelda Namutebi…

 cooler

 …though she would rather you call her Pastor Kula now, for that is the name of the husband who she is accused of stealing from another woman. All is fair in love and war, and if young Tom Kula chose to abrogate the vows he made to his former spouse and hitch his heart to the bright yellow Imelda, that is the sort of shit that happens in life. More sneer-worthy is this: Pastor Imelda owns a Hummer H2, as bright and yellow as the woman herself, that is a perpetual nuisance to other users of Kampala’s narrower roads. When the monstrosity is bearing down on them, halogen headlamps searing white into their optic centre as they clamour to swerve onto the pavement and out of the way, I am sure motorists all find themselves thinking, “Behold the blessings the Lord doth visit upon his faithful servants.”

Both pastors were present at the Hinn show and both, when he waved his hand as he does, fell limp into a trance…. That is the cue for the taxi’s backseat theologians: someone somewhere started the rumour that falling is a sign that the collapsing body is infected with malicious spirits. Could it be that Kayanja and Kula are not holy vessels of the Almighty’s Love?

Better men fared thus before me..

Sunday Vision says this.

Dukesey pake thus

Outside the stadium the bitter and cynical mood of people crammed into a creaking taxi after a long long day’s work prevailed as we nudged our way through the traffic jam Hinn had caused. On either side of the road there were streams of people walking back into town from the stadium because transport fares had been hiked out of their reach. There were hundreds of people of all ages, genders and sizes (though, you will note, of only one, ahem… walk of life. The wealthier brethren had land cruisers or, at the very least, Corollas to convey them back to their homes). Among the walkers you could not miss the sight of some on crutches.

It was only a matter of time before the taxi-chatter began to muse, in the colourful variations the Luganda tounge affords, on the theme, “What kind of loser leaves a crusade on crutches?”

(Guess who translated it into English?)

The stadium is situated two successive stones’ throws away Kireka. Kireka boasts a stretch of road so bad that even the potholes have potholes. As the taxi edged through, we were suddenly compelled to get off the road. No, it was not Imelda’s H2 rolling up, it was sirens heralding the approach of the First Lady’s motorcade. Our First Lady, Janet Museveni, aka Mama Janet, aka the Honourable Member from Ruhama, is a born again Christian. In fact it was St. Janet who invited Pastor Hinn to Namboole. It was while we sat stuffed and tired and angry in a taxi becalmed by the roadside, watching all seven, eight, nine of Ruhama’s vehicles zip past –or attempt to zip past. With that road no zipping was possible. The most that could be achieved was a determined hopscotching through.

As they passed, the taxi wags gave the poor unblessed a break and redirected their heckling to Ruhama. They were delighted, to see her suffer the bad roads with the rest of us. “Now don’t pretend you don’t know!” shouted one brave man right at the moment her own car hopped by our window.

Art for whose sake

xenson

The little houselet in this picture can be found attached, like a boil, to the wall of Tropical Africa Bank (or whatever mealymouthful Libyan Arab Uganda Bank is going by these days) Kampala.
This little house which, as you can see, has been defaced by a vandal, is on Kampala’s main street, that is to say. It is in a prominent, visible place.
Tropical Libyan Whatever Bank gave itself a pretty facelift, I remember, when it changed its name—they painted the walls and strung up banners and flags of funky green. Passers-by were impressed. They all whistled in awe as they passed. What a clean bank!

Until the vandal struck. Now we look at the thing and wonder what was going on in the mind of the policemen who are investigating the crime.

“I wonder how I will find the culprit. If only he had left a clue. Wait a minute. He did. He wrote his name on the crime!”

Oh boy. Even a photo

Dude, when they find you, say what’s up to Mukula.

Not-so-random Thuroggits

a>I’d like to dedicate Locked Up by Senegalese humprape artist and R&B squeaker Akon to my man Captain Mike “Cribs” Mukula.

Let us remember the principle of the presumption of innocence. Everyone deserves his day in court, and every citizen is innocent until proven guilty.

(Sarcasm ends here)

Sh1.6 billion? Send them to Karamoja. They have ways of dealing with guys there…

Dude is a captain of what anyway? Now that he is enjoying the hospitality of the state, is there a soccer team running around without a head?

I am told that his captainship is of the aviary variety.

Correction. Aeronautical variety. Aviary only because he is a jailbird.

That is the worst pun in the history of blogging.

Also in the news,

Pepsi dare for more

I look at this and wonder what God is trying to tell me.

How to slowdance with the opposite sex

@To show that I am serious about making The Uptowner happen this year.

1. Identify a member of the opposite sex who you can pin down as a dance partner. If you are having trouble, here is a handy tip. Look for a pair of breasts. Does your potential victim have any?

2. Feel free to ask if in doubt.

3. After you have confirmed the presence, or lack thereof, of tittie on your victim, your job is half done. Now, look to yourself. Do you have breasts? What follows is a comparative balance assessment. If you have a pair, you are looking for lack. If you lack you are looking for presence. That is why it is called the opposite sex if it has, you don’t; if it doesn’t, you do. Got that? Good. Now, onwards.

4. You have to find suitable music. It is technically possible to slowdance to the Notorious B.I.G.’s song Gimme The Loot, an ode to the joys of aggravated armed robbery that includes a particularly detailed verse about holding pregnant women at gunpoint, but wherever possible, avoid BIG. Think more along the lines of Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, that guy with the hair… thingy Bolton.

5. Secure consent. This point is brought to you by Kobe Bryant.

6. Double check consent. Ask yourself, does this person really know what he or she is getting him or herself into? We hope not.

7. Lead your prey to the floor. Be calm and composed. I know you want to grin like I.R. Baboon, but control yourself.

8. Once you are on the floor, get a FIRM GRIP so that it does not escape. You may want to practice at home, with a pillow, perhaps, or a pet. You need to learn how to maintain hold on your victim with one hand. You will need to keep the other hand free to…

9. …Grab on that ass and squeeze! With emphasis and with gusto. Do not be half-hearted about this. You have to establish that you mean business. Grab and squeeze.

10. At this point one of two responses is possible: a) The eyes of the opposite sex will expand with shock and horror and, if you grabbed that ass right, pain. b) The opposite sex will grab you back in appreciation.

11. Hope that you get the latter response, but no matter if you get the former. In both cases you are now slowdancing with the opposite sex.

12. Congratulations. Now, reach in and French ‘em.

Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me

Here is a totally unexpected turn of events, a surprise move, a blindsiding, mind-boggling, totally discombobulating revelation: Warren is not a meathead ogre blinded by the very bloodlust that drives him! Gasp!

Apparently, evidence has been unearthed suggesting that dude is, a man of principle and honour with the elements so mix’d in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world ‘This was a man!’

Warren Besigye is Brutus!

I have been convinced of this. I am in negotiations and have conceded this far. The way things are going, I will probably believe by the end that he can make an adequate president, because every question I raise is swatted out of the sky by these people.

One thing remains though: He still comes across as a bellowing Minotaur that will not be assuaged until you give it another baby to eat. Besigye needs an image consultant.

As you expected, I have some suggestions.

Go to Church!

Specifically a kilokole church. Not the ones of Jesus, one of the glossier, glammer ones; the Church of Sean John.

We want him to occasionally leap onto the stage from the audience (Sean John churches don’t have congregations) and take over from the choir master. We want him to go all Kirk Franklin on ‘em, hissing “Yes!” and “Yes, Lord!” interjections throughout the song. If he is wearing an evidently expensive suit in TD Jakes colours (bright blue, red or yellow) and pronounces it as “Laaaawrd!” he earns extra points.

Play that funky Music!

We should get him VIP tickets list for Africana album launches. Seat him in the front row where he can get caught by Barbara Yata’s cameras. Getting a little ka-lapdance from Nvannungi? Good. Buying the CD for multiple millions at the launch? Good. Going the extra mile and getting onto the stage to perform that version of the funky chicken that Ugandans here call “calypso”. Brilliant.

Warren Kizza Besigye should appear in a couple of videos too. Not dancing, just chilling on the sofa being doted on by video hoochiemamas. This could develop into him getting name-checked in Ragga songs the way those lingala guys kept shouting Sematimba’s name.

Outside the booth, why should he not mediate between the warring factions next time Chameleone and Fire Fire Base have a falling out?

Other publicity

I say book him on Straka, FatBoy and get dude an African Woman photoshoot. And there, bang! Besigye becomes a viable president.

That’s Not Funny

I am reminded of an old joke that you may not laugh at. Because, frankly it isn’t that funny. A man is asked why he doesn’t go to church. He replies that he would like to go but, unfortunately, “it’s always full of Christians.”

It was a late evening at the office when Colleague I, in the way of kaboozi, asked if any of us had caught the Tyra Show last night. The guest on Tyra’s couch was a young man who had been beaten up by thugs because he was gay.

We all had reactions to that, but before anyone else could say anything, Christian Colleague II chirped up, with evident glee, “Yes. Serves him right. That’s how they should treat them.”

He insisted that he wasn’t joking.

Why are you Christians so mean?

Caveat: I claim poetic license and rhetorical latitude. I know there are millions of non-mean Christians. I am acquainted with several of them myself.
Okay, let me rephrase: How can a person touched by Christ be so meanspirited?

The Church Round The Corner

This is the church down the road from my crib. Because they used kaveera instead of kawempe for the walls, I call it the Church of The Holy Polythene. Or Holy Poly.

There are only like seven people in there every Sunday. Wonder why people keep walking past it, preferring to go to KPC East. Could the fact that it is situated right next to a rubbish dump have anything to do with that?

Update: One of my favourite websites, pointlesswasteoftime.com, has Last King of Scotland on.. I won’t even go on describing. You just first look at this…

A post about my true feelings, and my life, and stuff. For once.

It was about five years ago that a friend of mine, very perceptive and astute fellow, made this observation about the relationship between his buddy’s hair, and his buddy’s state of mind. In a nutshell, the exterior of my head reflected the conditions of its interior. If my mind was not at peace, my hair was unruly and mashed down under a baseball cap.

It was true then and is so now. When life has purpose and direction and focus, its day to day processes do include a visit to the barbershop, but when something is perplexing me, or even during those periods of general listlessness and disaffection that afflict us all, I tend to wake up one Sunday morning and notice, when I gaze blearily into the mirror, that I haven’t had a haircut in weeks.

Over the past few weeks, I have had some shit on my mind, and true to that ancient insight, I got up on Saturday and saw, atop the cranium, a mass of rowdy, unkempt hair; a follicular fiasco, a tantrum of split ends and kaweke.

That was no trouble that could not be concealed under a black baseball cap. Even though I no longer bear the habit of perpetually donning a cap, I still had a few of them lying around (at the height of the trend, I owned no less than 20 different baseball caps. Now I have less than five. One of the ways in which I lost them, I am proud to say, is women. They come into your house and take your headgear away. I have five left. If you are attractive, come on over.)

Moving on: I am shortsighted and my current correctional equipment of choice is contact lenses. They are more convenient and more comfortable than glasses, I find, as long as I  keep away from the more dusty parts of this flyswept town of ours.
Occasionally, a trip down to the park etc cannot be avoided, so I carry my spectacles with me in my briefcase/computer bag/jacket pocket.

With other stuff, like coins and keys.

The inevitable occurred. When you jostle spectacles in a pocket with hard metal objects, the glasses can suffer fractures. And this is what happened. I took my glasses out of the bag this morning and lo, a straight crack rent the right lens from top to bottom.

Still moving on: I was on my way to the hospital. My bimonthly attack of malaria had arrived (it is like clockwork) and I was not in the mood to make myself look glamorous. I had already jammed a yankee cap over uncombed hair, and pushed cracked specs onto my face (really couldn’t be arsed to do the contacts) but since I had malaria, which means one minute you are hot, the next you are wrapped in a sudden chill, I needed to carry a coat.

I could not find any but the jacket I bought at the last minute to wear at my cousin’s wedding. All my other jackets were scattered around kampala–  I think I left one at mom’s place. The other one is still at J’s. The cool one I carried to work the day the malaria hit me? I think I left it there. I had no option but a suit jacket that was built for broader shoulders and lengthier hands, and fit me very poorly.

And now the point where this monomania becomes educational to you. The moral of the story.  I have made some consessions, some compromises, over the past five years, but I still believe in my heart that fashion ought to go fuck itself. When I have my tie and my low-cut fade and my polished leather shoes, I am just pretending to be one of you conformists because there is something I want from you, but at heart, this is me: uncombed hair,  gazing through  whatever glasses will make things visible, and slouching in whatever jacket will keep out the cold, regardless of how GQ it is. And did I mention that the jeans I was wearing were my most faded, most worn, and subsequently most loved pair, and that the sneakers had no socks interrupting them?

This was my Saturday morning. I looked like shit. But if felt pretty good.

The moral. Slob out every now and then. It is good for you. Also, Fashion can go fuck itself.

Random Thuroggits

Uno: It is World Press Freedom Day. Fuck press freedom! Ban the Red Pepper, and throw all its staff down a well of roaches with teeth!

Dos: The Editor in Chief of Kenya and I are compiling a dictionary of new cusswords.
“Prezzo” is one of them.
It means repugnant beyond belief, repulsive beyond redemption.

Three: That I hear:
“I measure whether the lake is worthy of wading or not on the dead fish scale. Apparently this is wrong but I’ve done it since the ripe old age of seven circa 1994 when I was allowed to wade into the lake on my own and found a fish, head all mashed floating right by my waist. Needless to say, it ruined that outing. How can you pretend to be the Little Mermaid when Flounder’s head is missing?”

And finally, I would like to share this very pretty picture which The New Vision gave me permission to blog.