Wear Sunscreen

Ladies and gentlemen of the graduating class of ‘08

Congratulations. You made it. Welcome to the real world. No more will you be considered a drain on our nation’s resources; you can now stand proud and call yourself a contributing member of society. You are not a student anymore, you are a full bona fide human being. And yes, you got the insinuation right: Students are, in fact, subhuman.

Welcome to the real world.

I guess it is better that you learn this sooner rather than later. I should tell you, rather warn you, that it isn’t easy out here.

Some of you will spend ages, in some cases years, looking for a job. Years of having doors slammed in your face, phones hung up in your ear, receptionists smirking superciliously behind your back as you slink back to your mommy’s house to continue to leech off your parents.

Some of you will give up even trying to find a job and will opt for self-employment or business, and will end up being all blue-collar and lowly, never again to even refer to the Arts degree you currently hold in such high esteem.

The unlucky ones, however will get jobs soon.

Oh, yes. Unlucky ones. Because the corporate world sucks. It kills your soul, destroys your spirit and reduces you to nothing but limp, weak, pulp.

Jobs suck. Those are the truest words I will ever tell you.

No one else will tell you this. They will congratulate you on getting the job, they will kiss you on the cheek and hug you across the bossom and begin to line up their daughters for you to marry.

They will also give you advice. They will say stuff like: Nyanyanya don’t fritter away your money on superficial things. Make sure you start saving immediately. You must invest in the future. Save your money. Don’t blow it on things like TVs…

Hi-Fi music systems

Portable MP3 Players

Laptop computers

Fancy phones.

But fuck that. Let me tell you. And trust me cos I am the only one who isn’t lying to you– Fuck saving. Buy. That. Shit. NOW!

But it NOW.

Because ten years down the road, when you are making two to three times as much as you got when you first started earning, you will wonder why the fuck you can’t afford any of it. I swear, I don’t know how it happens but the more you make, the broker you get. I can’t believe I never saw it coming. I used to look at senior ranking members of my office staff and wonder why they wear such tatty clothes, why they eat such lamer food in the cafeteria, why they live in such unglamorous ways. Now I know.

Moloch will suck the value out of your paycheck the same way he is sucking the life-force out of you.

So, that is my advice to chaps graduating. Waste money now. Because you won’t get the chance to waste it later.

The return of Scruffy Slick.

You may have been tricked by my deceptive outward appearance into thinking that I am one of those well-adjusted types– the type that would like to be acceptable in society. This false impression could have been caused by the fact that I have lately taken to tucking in my shirts and wearing decent trousers.

I am so sorry about the misunderstanding, but I only wear pants and a tie is so that they don’t kick me out of public places that I need to enter for purposes of doing my job. Essentially, deep within, I am still a slob. Here, inside, my soul doesn’t give a shit.

The other weekend I was invited to Silk Oxygen by a generous PR firm to attend the a media launch of the publicity campaign to inform you, the huddled masses, of the imminent arrival of British Reggae band UB40.

But before that…

I live in a semi-rural third world village on the border of Kireka and Bweyogerere. To get to civilisation, where I work, I have to tread the beaten path to the taxi stage.

That path is very very dangerous—it is either a tumultuous river of flowing dust and I kid you not this dust is so heavy and vigorous that it moves to attack you —or it is a treacherous waves of mud that gravitate to shoes and trouser hems.

In a bid to reduce on the horror my workmates will undoubtedly suffer if they see me arrive at the office after walking through the slough of despair, I do two things. I have a deal with Kaziro shoeshine outside the office. When I get to work, I pass him my shoes and he cleans the Kireka off them.
The second thing I do is I roll up my trousers. I roll them up out of reach of the mud, then roll them down when I get to the taxi.

On this Casual Friday, I got to work and suffered through the allotted toil and strife, until sevenish, time for my glamorous event at Silk Oxygen. While there, I was selected by your favourite radio presenter, The Fat Boy, to battle it out with Beena Baby and Brenda Nanyonjo in a quiz for the grand prize of 30k airtime.

You can see me totally kicking their asses in the picture below.

My moment of glory was tarnished however, when I saw the full set of photos the next day.

The entire day no one thought they should tell me that I had forgotten to roll my jeans back down?

Commercial Break.

Um… you may have to click on the thumbnail for the full size picture.

Image Hosting at Photo-Host.org

Dont’ be like that Loser Rihanna. Rush to Aristoc Booklex and purchase a copy of Uganda’s leading self-help book, written by our nation’s foremost financial expert!

And pick up a copy of Worst Idea while you are there.

Verbatim Vs Verbatim VI

In which our hero turns into a Kireka back alley to investigate a strange burning smell.

• It’s you! I really really should be surprised. It rips large gaping holes in my sense of morality to realise that I am, in fact, not surprised at all. It makes me feel like a worthless lout of a cynic to admit that I can stand here, gaze at this sight and be forced to admit to myself that I saw it coming.
• Wathup, Bath.
• Evans, what are you doing here in this dark, damp, dinghy alley?
• Nothin….I’m jutht chillin.
• Chillin?
• Thmokin’ a bud.
• I have two things to say at this juncture. Cough and hem. Those are not the two things. That was me coughing and hemming. The two things are as follows. One: You have just parodied an American Budweiser beer ad from way back in the nineties. But you weren’t even born then. In fact, you weren’t even conceived yet. I am sure your dad hadn’t even managed to overcome the cock-blocking activities of the playa-hatas when that phrase was popular, so to hear you crack it boggles the mind. The second thing is that, dude, you are smoking a bud!!
• Man, firtht chill talking about my dad. You don’t know him.
• From what I hear, neither does your mom. But young man, is it the lack of a father figure that leads you to behave like this? Smoking marijuana at such a tender age? Tut tut tut.
• It ith not tho much the lack of thufficient parental guidanthe as the fact that thith right here ith thome very good weed, but I will admit that I am a bit under the weather right now, and need to thmoke thome to kill the thtreth.
• Well, at this second juncture I would typically say “Good luck with that” and scuttle off like the unfeeling, unsympathetic ogre I am. However, you are right. That does look like some very good weed. So, pass the dutchie and let’s conversate. What’s stressing you?
• Hatath, man. Thethe hatath.
• Nsssssuuuuuu.
• This muthic buthineth, man. You can’t thrutht anyone in the induthtry.
• Nssssu-sssuu. Cough!
• I mean you think thomeone ith your friend, but then they turn around and thtab you in the back!
• No, they don’t.
• What do you mean? Were you…
• No, it is you who turns around. Otherwise how can they stab you in the back when they are facing the other direction?
• I thwear the way thome people thmoke a bit of weed and then thtart analything every thing!
• Enough about me. You were in the middle of an enthralling story about the haters in the industry and how the music business is full, chock full to the very brim, of treachery, perfidy and betrayal.
• Oh, thuddenly you are interethted?
• Of course I am. You think I am just pretending to be interested so you can keep on talking, knowing that the busier your mouth is the more time I get with the toot?
• Nthuuuuuu…. Here.
• Man. A small kid like you with vacuum lungs. Anyway, (nsuu-suuu), I recommend that you—it may be a bit premature to say this– but you should man up. Don’t just sit there and let her diss you. Fight back!
• Fight back? How?
• Like your hero Bebe Cool and all those other ones.
• You want me to record a thong ditthing Litthie?
• I, personally, would pay top dollar to hear that. I am sure it will go very close to platinum. Have you ever heard of a guy named Snoop Doggy Dogg?
• You mean Thnoop Dogg?
• Well, when he started he was called Snoop Doggy Dogg. This was years ago. Way before you were born. You were not even a concept. Your dad’s nuts had just dropped and he was still at the stage of being turned on by the mere sight of his schoolteacher’s ankles. Back then this fellow Snoop Doggy Dogg performed a song called Dre Day, which was about him dissing another guy. Some other rapper none of us had ever even heard of. The song was such a hit, next thing you know, Snoop has one of the longest careers in urban music.
• Really?
• Oh, yeah. Long career. I mean Snoop is a turd that even harder to flush than R Kelly!
• Intrethting hithtory letthon. Exthept that Dre Day, in which Thnoop wath dithing Tim Dog, while Dre dithed Eathy E, wathn’t on Thnoop’s debut album Doggy Thtyle, it wath on the Chronic, but I get your point. I am going to become a rapper.
• Nssuuuuu!
• That’th right. Em-Thee Evanth in the houthe!
• Word, dawg! Gwe, this blunt is over.
• Don’t worry. I got five on it.

And this delinquent behaviour continues.

Ref: Tumwijuke, my tribesmate

 Tumwi was saying,  (Refer to “I Am Not My Tribe”, by Tumwijuke)

It’s natural, in people, the result of a natural instinct acting out. To protect yourself you look for friends—you need an ‘us’ around you, a group to belong to, a group that will belong to you.

I guess in primitive times you banded with the people who lived nearest and spoke the same language, whose lives, perspectives, character and values were shaped by the same circumstances that shaped your own. You were all in this together.

It made sense then, I think. All Omnians from the deserts of Klatch spoke the same way, looked similar, were industrious, frugal, intense and serious people. Meanwhile, the peoples from the lush forests of the Ramtops are fat, jolly and perhaps a bit lazy. They live in the midst of plenty, so why shouldn’t they enjoy their lives?

Tribe made sense then.

It doesn’t now. Not in the city. Not uptown.

Because if your tribe is the people who live nearest, speak the same language, whose lives, perspectives, character and values are shaped by the same circumstances that shaped your own, then none of you dotcom yuppie kids are Bakiga, Banyankore, Acholi or Baganda.

You are dotcom yuppie kids. You are of the Badotcomyuppi tribe.

After all, you all share a language, customs, values, culture— your clothes, your music, your morals all the same. Same tribe. The only difference in the group is the language your respective grandparents speak.

But how do you define one person by describing another?

I could try to be a “real” Muganda, I guess. I could master the language, drop the English name, learn the rituals, but all this would be superficial. I could walk the walk but at heart I would still be that kid who grew up in Kenya and was raised on American TV. Nothing can change that.

It won’t be identity, it would be a disguise.

It will be like those Americans who give themselves Swaheely names, grow dreadlocks and dress their kids up in Kente.

In every fundamental sense I would have more in common with Tumwijuke than with the scores of peasants who live on my Granddad’s land in Kyadondo, even though I try to act as if my life and theirs have anything in common.

Aspects of tribe can be quaint and charming and entertaining, but generally, fuck tribe.

As I was saying over at my kinswoman’s blog, they tell us we should identify ourselves, not by our reality, but according to the customs and traditions of forefathers.

We should return to our traditional ways, and shun the ways of the colonialists who wish to usurp our true culture.

But then for real, this tribe hasn’t always always existed. If you go back enough centuries you will find an ancestor who speaks a completely different language. He lives in a simple, primitive agricultural community around there, speaking his other language peacefully, until, one day, this band of marauding warriors comes storming over the hill, screaming in a language he doesn’t understand. What can your ancestor do? He surrenders, like everyone else in the area. What could they do? The didn’t even have an army, they barely had a political leadership. They had farms and chicken, that’s all.

The chief warrior gets all the little villages he has conquered together and calls them his kingdom. Soon all the people in the kingdom are speaking his language and paying allegiance to him; the kids are developing a taste for the music he came with, they are wearing their clothes in the fashion of that other village over there which they got to know about after they found themselves in the same colony with it.

The ancestor is old now. He remembers what life was like before the Huns and he looks at the kids speaking Luganda he says, “Kale they have forgotten their culture. All brainwashed by the colonialist!”