$%^£!!****

Emitting a smug, self-congratulatory chuckle right now, as I read this story.

Gaetano came up against the REAL Big Brother this week. Heh heh.

The pun is a bit obscure for the typical Capital FM fan, who, as we gather from the insipid intelligence exhibited during their call-in quiz shows, may have a fully-installed kitchen set, but is, alas, short on beef and is only baking celery.(I am going for as obscure as possible.)

But look on the bright side. This means that we, the public listeners’ audience, need not suffer in silence (damn these puns!) any more. We are empowered with an effective weapon to use against radio presenters who annoy us.

Next time the radio deejay pisses you off, just call in, say some dirty words, and watch as the Broadcasting council swoops in to suspend his/her hapless ass for two weeks!

What is the number for Hot 100?

Har. Har. Har. Very. Funny.

Ginko Baloba is a herb extract that is reputed to improve mental concentration.

Apparently by aiding the flow of oxygen to the brain.

If its reputation is justified then a couple of pills of this stuff will transform me, already a bad-ass subediting machine, into an unstoppable superbad-ass subediting machine.

I am pretty good at my job, but I tend to have several things demanding my attention at any one time, so sometimes I find it hard to concentrate. Halfway through each sentence someone is going to holler wanting something else from me; it’s like a conspiracy. Answer the phone! Gimme feedback on this now! Scan this picture! Place this advert! Answer the phone again! Tell me how this word is spelt! Answer the phone! Find a photographer! Let’s bang kaboozi! Answer the phone!

So I decided to try the Ginkgo Biloba. It was just one day, but it seemed to work. The all-too-familiar sensation of my head being shredded by time wasn’t as pronounced, the world moved around me in less of a mad swirl and, although I had to leave the room to do it, I even managed to write a movie review in ten minutes.

And I never take less than an hour to write anything. Not even to blog.

I was quite pleased with the results of Ginkgo Biloba and at nine thirty in the night, when the paper was finally done, I announced my pleasure to my colleagues. I said, “You guys don’t know but I have been using performance-enhancing substances.”

My brothers in arms rallied together as soon as they heard this.

“Which one? Viagra?”

“You mean all along you had a problem?”

 “Gwe, those bedroom things they don’t discuss in office.”

Everyone’s a comedian.

Dear Eric. Whatabout.

To: ericvv2001@yahoo.com

From: bazanye@gmail.com

Subject: How r u doin, bruh?

Dear Eric Van Veen Chief Commercial Officer of MTN Uganda, the largest mobile phone operations company in my native land,

How are you? Baz here.

You don’t know me, but I have been an MTN subscriber since way back when you guys had just started. Never changed my number. I have been faithfully connected since jump. Eric, I have been putting money in your pocket through my airtime and service fee payments for almost a decade. I consider us so close now that I expect you to join the entourage at my kwanjula.

I assume you know what a kwanjula is. You have been in Uganda long enough, haven’t you? Okay, just in case (you never know. You could be like Ian “Ice Ice Baby” Clarke, who, after all these years, still can’t spell Ssebaggala right. Hah hah. Though to be fair, who can?)

When a local swain wishes to wife unto himself a native maiden he must seek her father to plead for her hand (I am trying to make it sound romantic). He does this in a lavish and elaborate ceremony with a troupe of very well-dressed friends of his. They go to lady’s home, bearing gifts, and pretend to have just dropped by to ask for a drink. A lot of yadda yadda blah blah follows, culminating in the girl showing up to say, “Daddy, this is not some chap (or as you say in your native South Africa, some “bloke”) looking for water. This is my sweet baby lover and I want to marry him. Whattabout.”

Whattabout is a local semi-vernacular expression that really doesn’t mean anything. Don’t worry about it.

Anyway, how are you, man? How are you doing?

I hear you are dishing out free airtime to guys these days. Nice. I heard it from that himbo on the radio. I usually give them names. For some reason this one made me think of one of those legionaries in the Asterix comics, so I called him Imbecillus. I know he was working for you and you may feel obliged to protect him, but Eric, let’s face it. They guy is an idiot.

I mean, have you heard him?

That I hear (TIH) “This advert should have ended by now but I have 50% extra airtime so I can just keep on talking. MTN. Everywhere you go. Hmm. That means everywhere I go I can keep talking. MTN. Everywhere you go. Everywhere you go. Everywhere you go…”

What a fuckwad, right? I suggest you revoke his 50% extra because the way he is using it is detrimental to the image of our company.

Mbu Our company. You see how close we are? Bruh?

Let me see if I have got it right, though: I buy airtime for a certain amount of money and I get extra airtime of the value of 50% of the airtime I bought. Again, nice. I am sure other subscribers think it is very Christmas of you.

But I have to tell you, me? Not so much. You see, every time I have tried to make a call at ten, I find the network is busy. I think all your other subscribers are a bunch of cheapskates who just sit by the clock waiting for it to strike ten so they can make calls for as if free, then they all leap onto the network at the same time. I mean. Ugandans. You haha them.

Haha is another local expression. It is from Lusoga, I think.

The result is that by Friday, I had like 20,000k bonus airtime that I couldn’t use. I was trying to call Alex on Danceforce but couldn’t get through. Network busy.

But if I ever manage to get through to the radio should I send you greetings? I can dedicate a song. Do you like Ja Rule?

Dude, I’ve got to go. Work to do, you see. I just thought I’d drop you a line, say whaddup. We’ll chat again, aight.

Keep it gully, son. I’m outtie.

Baz

Bafudde

Yesterday he was on TV again. On the news.

No not Nsaba The Taliban, the other one.

He had been part of a lynch mob. Apparently he didn’t have licence to advertise around Lugogo, so the agency responsible sent a guy down to take his posters off walls there. When the singer heard about it, he zoomed down in a fury.
He was sputtering at the news cameras in petulant rage, referring to himself, like the god he thinks he is, in third person. “If they have a problem, they should call Bebe! If they want to fine Bebe, they can fine Bebe!”

That is how a celebrity is supposed to live, people.

Bebe Cool

Whine! Whine! Why only girls! Even me I want! Whine!

You saw me in the papers on Sunday, eh? Me I get coverage, mwana.

You heard me as if I was whining that they don’t want to publish me they only want to publish for the girls waaaah waah even me why don’t you publish me is it cos I is male? Whaaah.

Imagine.

It started at Uganda Scarlett Lion the week you guys were layething the smacketh down on SAGE and others at Beefville.
She wrote an article that said Monica Arac De Nyeko’s Caine Prize means men in Uganda are not writers.

Yes. I was upset. This is why:

There was a group of young writers in Kampala a few years ago of which I was a part. We met through a British Council programme, but not all of us were on it. We didn’t discriminate: men and women, young and old, bodaboda and non-bodaboda, we didn’t even discriminate on the basis of talent—even people who really couldn’t write were welcomed into the fold. We would meet and talk about writing, reading, and publishing. When members of the group decided to look to the web for publishing opportunities, they forwarded urls to the entire group—again without discrimination: men and women, students and working people, traditionalists and modernists, we were all in this together. We encouraged one another, we supported one another, we kissed each others asses and patted each others backs. We were in this together.

So one of us made it. She won the Caine. And there I was celebrating, cheering, whooping, “One of us made it! One of us made it!”

Then this chick shows up to say, “Um, what do you mean one of ‘Us’? You are not included. This is women only.”

First of all, where did you come from? What do you mean? What gives you the right? Were you even there?

That upset me.

But I didn’t speak about my own feelings. I spoke about the story.

The story was wrong.

It was wrong in saying that before Femrite, publishing was dominated by men.

It was wrong to say that men are not writing.

It was wrong to say that women are winning awards while men sit twiddling their thumbs. The numbers are so small, it is laughable to even think that. That’s why “one-two-trend” is a joke and not a fundamental media theory.

Gordon closed the discussion before I could make my point (so far all I had done was respond to hers) citing personal attacks.

Maybe if the discussion had gone on I would have got personal, but for then, I was still talking about the story.

I was preparing to move on to the greater issue: The state of Ugandan literature. I would like to make a statement about that. And that is why I am blogging about the issue here:

What we need isn’t a men’s equivalent of Femrite. We need to just not listen to these Gordons and go back to what we were doing before: making art and getting it out there, regardless of the sex, religion, age, height or hairstyle of the artist.

Because even in spite of Femrite, women writers have just as hard a time getting published in Uganda as men do.

When I get time and money, perhaps we can think of following Kenya’s Kwani.org model. I don’t know.

Anyway, I have said my piece.

Two words: Man-shawl

Wait. Think about this first. Let’s think about this.

What are our alternatives? Jackets, sweaters and coats. They cover the chest and arms but they leave the head and hands wide open to the cold. That may be fine for duh stoopid guys, but those of us who do the work of educated men, we need our heads to think and we need our hands to type—we need them to not be frozen numb.

I’m telling you.

Why should women be the only ones who can adequately protect themselves from the cold? Let’s do this, you guys. Don’t see it as a problem, see it as a solution.

The only way it can be an issue is if only one guy does it. But if we all get together as one and we all do it, it will be like just another fashion trend, and no one guy will be singled out for persecution.

Come on. Who’s with me?

lolbes shawl modellolbes shawl model