Back in the day, long long ago, prehistoric eons of time past, in days hidden in the mists of history, I was a showbiz reporter. You, know, kind of like that Ivan Musoke guy.
I used to go to highly-billed entertainment events, swan around the premises, watch people get drunk and hit on each others miniskirts, count the number of times My Love Is Your Love is played and then after that, write an article about it.
I was very good, by the way. Don’t be there thinking that just because I am a crotchety old fuddy-duddy in the present that I have never been a happening dude. I used to rock.
One night the assignment was to cover a Silk anniversary bash. They used to be a big deal.
We now take a break to address those in other countries and in regions outside Kampala. Guten Tag, Klaus. Silk is a popular Kampala city nightclub that used to make a huge deal out of its annual anniversaries. Ja. Ist sehr gut!
I didn’t drink on the job, you should know, because that was just a terrible idea. Once I got high at a party and found myself talking to Sagara about the two of us writing the story up together. Imagine. The things you do when you are blazed!
Well, a couple of Guinness, but that was it. Never more than two.
Now, as we all know, Silk and the offices of my employer, the New Vision, are on the same street in Industrial Area, Kampala. It may not make a lot of sense to Klaus, or to Nicolette and Rene for that matter, who have planned cities with zones designated for different activities, but in this random mess called Kampala, where whatever is scattered wherever, we have our nightclubs next door to our newspaper offices.
This meant that, after covering the Club Silk anniversary, I could easily walk right into the office and type out the story. Cool.
I was among the last to leave the party that night, though it wasn’t by plan. I was actually quite shocked to discover that it was 5:30 when I walked out. It made no sense to travel all the way to my home in Kyebando for a nap then return to office to type out my article.
This was long long ago before the days when people could send their stories in by email the way Ivan does when he doesn’t feel like riding all the way to Industrial Area on his jet-black Kawasaki Ninja. (He says email is cheaper than fuel).
Not that there was no email—email had been invented, it just hadn’t proliferated to the suburbs. If you wanted to get online in those dark ages, you had to take a lot of money to Commercial Plaza and book a seat at The Dome CyberSpace. Five K for half an hour what about.
So, I thought to myself, self, just trot the few feet to your office and write the story mulundi gummu.
(That means “once and for all”, Klaus)
Self: “Good idea, son. Let’s go.”
The New Vision askari didn’t think it was such a great plan, though. He insisted that the office is off limits until opening time, which is seven. I tried to bargain a bit, but he was adamant and it was six by the time I realised that he wasn’t going to budge. This option then presented itself: Just sit over there on the steps outside the office for an hour, then you can go in, type your story, and go home.
Self: “Good idea son. Let’s do it.”
When Joyce Namutebi woke me up the reception behind me was full of people. I asked what the time was and she said, smiling as brightly as the sun in my face, that it was almost nine.
No, I wasn’t embarrassed that half the staff of the corporation had walked past me sleeping in the doorway. I have no shame, what about. I went in, wrote the story and went home. It’s called being “dry”, Klaus.