You need to understand, first of all, that she doesn’t love you. I know she keeps saying all these sweet things to you, but they are all lies. The seductions of your hooker must not be mistaken for earnest protestations of a true love.

The radio jingles, the yellow flags, the free t-shirts and all the sugary slogans about a warm yellow family living in a beautiful yellow world, gleefully  touching each other and so on, that is just MTN “throwing lyrics”. MTN doesn’t love you. She is just saying those things to get you into bed.

Because that is the nature of the relationship between a large corporation and the individual customers out of its market of millions. She just wantst to get as much money out of  you as she possibly can, and, short of outright lies, will say whatever it is that you want to hear.

Now, don’t get all indignant here. You don’t love your phone company either. You are only with her because of what you can get out of her: You just want to make as many calls as you can with the least inconvenience possible.

So you really should not get mad when she treats you with less than absolute adoration and respect. If she isn’t completely  affectionate sometimes, you should not take it personally. 

Now that the annual chorus of we-hate-MTN whines — the one which crests every December, the month when MTN’s service always develops serious problems, it is time for me to swoop in like Nathan Petrelli and save your blood pressure.

I could do this by helping you rant. I am good at rants. I don’t actually, literally fly like Nathan Petrelli, but if I have any Heroes-like power, it is this: I am the Incredible Hulk of rants. I can rant as powerfully, as profoundly and as prolifically as Kevin O’Connor can fart.

(Now, let’s see how long it will take for a google search to lead Kevin O’Connor here).

But that won’t help. It will be like moaning to your hooker about how you feel like you are unnapreciated and taken for granted. MTN knows you are unhappy. MTN hears you rant. MTN knows the names you are calling her. She knows you are hurt, she cannot help but know. But your problems are not her problems unless they affect the money you pay her. And she’s going to come back for that wallet next year and in spite of all your raving and hollering and wailing, there is nothing you can do about it.

Or is there?

Most of you victims believe that you cannot huff, snort, say, “I have had just about enough of this!” fling your simcards into the trash heap and stomp off to another network because your MTN number is your widely-circulated business contact. People who owe you money call you on that number. You can’t ditch it.

Can’t you? Really? Well, here is where my mutant superpowers come to your aid. 

Using my uncanny gift of insight, which I use by lowering my glasses and glaring, (I learnt the technique from Superman) I have discerned that MTN isn’t really in the business of selling simcards. They don’t make their bread from you having that number.

They are in the business of selling airtime. And that is their weakness.

If you want to strike free, you don’t need to chuck your simcard. Just stop buying airtime.

“But Ernie, if you are so intelligent that you even think it is a Heroes superpower to have a brain so smart, answer me this: how will I make calls without airtime? Eh? How? How, dumbass?”

No! NO! You are the dumbass! Skyupedi!

And now that I have dealt with that impudent objection, let us continue. 

What you do is you get another simcard, from another more reliable network. And then buy THAT network’s airtime and use THAT network to make calls. This has worked so well for me that I don’t just have two cards, I actually have two phones now. My MTN line, which all my creditors and debtors use to get in touch with me, never gets more than 1,000 bob loaded onto it, and that is just because at times I feel like surfing. All my calls are made from my Uganda Telecom line.

“But Ernie, you ki-plonker! It’s not spelt like that! It’s spelt in lowercase. Moron!”

Shut up before I shove this shoe back up there. I know you don’t want that to happen again.

I was saying, I am about to get me a katorchi for my MTN purposes and then get another simcard and do my surfing exclusively on Celtel…

“But Ernie, it is no longer called Celte— OUCH! AARGH! Okay, I’m sorry! I’ll keep quiet!”

… my surfing exclusively on Celtel and my calls on Uganda Telecom. And then my MTN number will just lie there for those who cannot reach me otherwise. See? Just like that, I have saved the world. You are welcome. It’s the least I could do. No, don’t mention it. All in a day’s work.




update. In case anyone was wondering what’s going on with Never Man….