Good evening to my young viewers. And whattup fam to my old viewers. Today we are going to discuss How To Maama Mmere in Kampala.
The term Maama Mmere Woteli refers to a small restaurant in which serves what is variously known as local food, rocko food, real food, and, most pertinent in this economy, cheap food.
It is at Maama Mmere that you find such cuisine as matooke, kalo, sweet potato, chicken the thigh, chicken the back, flesh fish, rice peas, Irish peas, goat, hoof, and ghee nut.
Be careful when ordering Ghee Nut Sauce. It is not what it sounds like at first.
Listen to me: Don’t order peanut sauce. Don’t even say the word peanut, because unlike Javas and Karveli staff, Maama Mmere waiters don’t care if you know that they don’t like you, so, unlike Javas and Karveli staff, they won’t pretend. They will correct you with contempt as convincingly disguised as Peter Sematimba’s “youthful” look.
“Peas we have. G-nuts we have,” is what the waiter will sneer underneath rolling eyes, and then he will wait for you to beela clear.
2. Don’t rush the waiter. Even if you went in knowing exactly what you want to eat, don’t just blurt out, your order, mbu “Rice, irish, goat meat and veg” then turn back to your phone. Like, hello, can you please, please, for Kiwanuka’s sake be a little bit patient for like, once in your life and let this waiter do his or her job? Millennials!
First finish the Luganda greetings: “Gyebare.” “Mmmm. Namwe mugyebare.” “Mmmm.” “Mulina emmere?”
Yes, when you go into this, a food-serving business, you have to ask if they have food to serve before you ask what food to be served.
I don’t believe it is possible that there are no entrepreneurs running Wotelis in Kampala who are from other tribes. There must be Ugandans from all over our nation involved in the industry but, somehow, every single Maama Mmere waiter I have ever had the honour of, when asked what food there is, will only list the items that are considered food in Ganda culture. That is the dry hard stuff. Even Okirol did it.
You have to lodge an follow up inquiry to find out what accompanying moisture (sauce or gravy) will make the food digestible, then you will wait out the recitation of the list: Beef, goat meat, chicken, fresh fish, dry fish et cetera.
Now you can say riceirishgoatmeatveg as much as you want.
If you ask for chicken, just eat the thing and don’t make a fuss. We all know actual chicken don’t have legs that long but complaining isn’t going to rearrange the DNA. Kaloli is going to stay Kaloli so just shut up and eat. You will shit it out afterwards.
If you speak Luganda the way Veronica Akao speaks English, speak English. Don’t assume that just because a person says Lumonde instead Rumontsay that they can’t speak English– Maama Mmere staff understand English, you racist. A person who says “lice river” is speaking proper English. They are just speaking it in one of various forms of propriety via which English is held around the world.
Maama Mmere knows English because they cater for a vastly international clientele. They are always serving bazungu.
If you don’t do your maths properly, you assume bazungu eat at Caffesserie and never at Maama Mmere, but let’s apply some fiscal policy here.
All races are the same, equal and alike. Regardless of our skin colour we all require nutrition and refreshment. This includes bazungu.
But they are very many bazungu in Kampala. They can’t all fit in Caffessarie, so where do the rest eat?
Woteli, of course.
Then factor in this observation: Bazungu in Kampala be when they are broke af banange. Like as if LC staff. That’s how broke. They are ever eyvah sharing bodas and repeating the same kitenge jumpsuit for a whole week.
You think those ones can Caffesserie like us?
No, they eat at eat at Maama Mmere. And until they learn Luganda, Maama Mmere’s staff has to accommodate various accents of English.
Probably why the waiter says Sveet potado and river. Because they learned English from Latvians, Americans and Chinese people.
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This one goes out to all my beautiful Ugandan peoples whose selfies don’t work. You know yourselves. You are beautiful when you take your selfies because all Ugandans are beautiful, but when the selfie is posted, it is not as beautiful, if at all. How come? You find some other chap out there nga eh! Or some other kyana out here nga ah!
You could spend Kampala Parent’s school fees on the latest smartphone with the most megapixel, highest resolution, most Batman-WayneTech camera but every selfie you take, you will still come out looking like an amphibian.
First Comment: What an interesting frog.
You will try to smize, but to the viewer of this selfie, you will not look sexy. You will look like a trauma victim in early stages of recovery.
They will see terror in your eyes; the left one blazing out more fear than the right one because it is bigger and more sinisterly skewed. It looks as if the burdens of your soul lean more heavily to the left, as if that is the eye that sees your nightmares first.
Meanwhile, the left eye looks dead, as if it is going to fall off.
And then your forehead: What the igneous sedimentary rock formation is this? Why do pimples erupt every time you open instagram? When did your skin become allergic to social media?
Why is it that every time you try to slay, you end up looking like a zombie? Walking Dead Ting Dis? As if you are the one who was slain?
It is because with photography, as with cooking, sports and oral sex, it’s not the specs of the equipment. It is the skill of the person wielding the tools.
It’s the artist, not the paint.
That is why there are niggas with macbook pros who still can’t touch my steez and yet I write with a pencil in a picfare notebook. It is the artist, my friends, not the tools.
I don’t come here to just rant. This is a solution-oriented blog so I am going to give you answers.
Be like Lydia Jazmine and Irene Ntale. If you follow them on instagram, which I do, you will learn the secret to success.
I follow Ntale because I am huge fan. I love her music, I love her singing, and it warms my heart to see her smiling and being happy– it gives me hope that talented Ugandans need not be tortured, unfulfilled geniuses. Even though the rest are trapped in Kyanja typing blogs instead of lounging in Johannesburg typing novels, others get to go to Dubai and ride camels happily, joyfully, and photogenically. Thank you, Ntale. You represent us all.
Lydia Jazmine I follow because she helps me focus my depression on reminding me how sexy the women I will never date again are, which is healthier than letting me agonise about the rate at which Uganda is deteriorating. And how the economy is going to collapse as soon as the rule of law implodes. And how we are all going to end up starving in refugee camps. And how People Power refugees form a mafia and end up running the camp I’m which they will make bitches out of us NRM sympathisers. Honestly, it’s safer to be miserable about not dating Lydia Jazime than all that other stuff.
Jazmine and Ntale never take selfies anyhowly. They have talented youth employed to shoot them.
So this is how we shall fight youth unemployment and vagrancy. Go and start an Instagram photography service. There, I have fought unemployment. What’s next?
The scene. Gyaldem. She is in the cafe with her book, That Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, signifying that this is a highly intelligent, sophisticated and erudite person who not only bes “erudite” but also probably uses the word in conversation. And properly, not mbu, “Yo, that jazz was mob erudite, gwe you be there.” (That is how I use it. I am intelligent, but definitely not sophisticated.)
Mandem approaches Gyaldem with intent to vibe.
Mandem: Hey, hi. I couldn’t help but notice you from across…
Gyaldem: Hold on… hold on… (licks finger, turns page, continues reading.)
Mandem: My name is …
Gyaldem (Sighs, takes off glasses, closes book with finger marking page and begins): I don’t think you should be giving me your name, or it is going to end up in my whatsapp group. In a heavily-memed chat beginning with “Would you believe this nigga?” Anything you say can and will be used against you, dude. Nothing personal– I am sure you have noble and decent intentions, but it’s your timing. Look. I am reading. And I am reading Chimamanda. When you couldn’t help but notice as aforementioned, did you notice that?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion of African Books. She is the new Achebe, the current Soyinka and the ongoing Ngugi.
This woman has the best words and the sentences in Africa, the US and UK, dude. The only reason her supremacy doesn’t cover the whole world is because when you translate her works to Chinese, they lose some of the potency, which gives native Mandarin writers an advantage. But if it wasn’t for that, if she was Xi Mamanda, she would be the best in China as well.
This is where you find me. Sitting here sipping this delicious mocha latte with my mouth and sipping Chimamanda with my eyes. What is going here is the sustained imbibing of very high quality intellectual and culinary stimuli. Everything that is happening to me is leaving me very impressed.
If you are going to interrupt this, if you are going to require that I stop consuming the Chimamanda-quality words and take in yours instead, they should be equally articulate, erudite and insightful, if not more so. In fact, perhaps you might want to actually say the word “erudite” in your vibing lines.
And properly, not mbu, “Yo, that jazz was mob erudite, gwe you be there.”
Ima let you respond but let me first finish what I was saying.
If you do not have any paragraph, sentence or phrase that is higher in quality, composition or volume of trenchant, canny, well-observed social insight than Chimmy line, then you might as well be asking me to put down my mocha latte and share a mug of chai mukalu with you.
Nothing wrong with chai mukalu. Chai mukalu is fine. It is bracing when it must be, soothing when you need soothing. It is the perfect accompaniment to cassava kibuga, fresh dry chapus or Richy maziwa.
Chai mukalu is fine. But it is not as multilayered and full-bodied and rich as this caramel mocha latte which teases me with hints of secret spices and new flavours with every whiff and sip. This spiced latte is a whole adventure.
I’m just saying, it’s levels to this shit (RIP Meek Mill when you die.)
So, before you speak any further, self-analyse, carry out a quick inner quality test and make sure you are not asking me to stop the mocha and hit the mukalu. Be certain that you are offering me conversation that is worth having me put down this book.
If not, you munakyalo, you are so lucky. Please don’t let development bring these things to your village.
Things that SUCK about elevators:
1: There are no bouncers, no gate-askaris, no barriers to entry. Whoever wants can enter, no matter what they smell like. Full access to the lift is granted to all, regardless.
The way that last dude smelled I am not even sure those were gasses. Body odour smells bad. This guy smelt evil. I suspect it was curses and evil spirits we detected floating around him.
2: They are built to carry a maximum of eight people on average, but not built to accommodate these eight people’s personal space. The result is that you can and often will find yourself having to take the ride up from floor to floor with a stranger’s crotch in your bum, another stranger’s hair-bun in your nose, yet another strangers elbow in your armpit and you cannot even exercise your basic human right to say “Sh**”, because your mouth is muffled with your face in someone’s bosom.
3. a) Finally, lifts tend to have mirrors and lights in them. Long mirrors and bright white lights which will illuminate and show you yourself in highest clarity. For those of us who don’t actually reach full consciousness until three hours and four coffees after we get out of bed, the lift is the moment when we notice things like, shirt is inside out, socks don’t match, the bujonjo are filling your face as if you were vajazzling your eyes, and it seems you combed someone else’s hair that morning because nobody combed yours.
3.b): Also Because the lift is so quiet, and so echoey, with the white light and the cold, sterile, steel walls and that ghostly hum from nowhere that just makes it all more morgue-like, your mind cannot help but race to the most morbid station– you look at yourself in the mirror and see, beyond your face, your fast-shriveling soul, your rabidly-desiccating dreams, the ashes and dust that are all that is left of your hopes and ambitions, you see them fading, fading fading away.
What happened to that joyful little girl who wanted to be a singer? What happened to that playful little boy who used to dance in the morning? You look into the elevator mirror and it mocks you by just reflecting your question back at you.
You would not know it from the fact that my last posts were about chicken, fish, dogs and more chicken, but I am actually quite a versatile writer. I do a wide range of topics and issues. In this post I shall offer you, the idle passerby with time to kill because you are stuck in a traffic jam and are fortunately in the middle seat so no one will steal your phone, a few links to other things I have been up to.
Let’s escalate this to another level of intellectualism, wherein I raise the cerebral status to current affairs commentary such as that practiced by the likes of Trevor Noah and Charles Onyango Obbo. Political Satire! Ministry of Education wants to introduce a new curriculum and parliament is all butt-hurt because they didn’t get permission first.
Are you clicking those links? Are you thinking to yourself: “What an either inconsistent or multifaceted writer this one is! He does different writing forms!” Well, you ain’t even seen nothin with them goggles yet, fam. Cos I even did academic research essay on African History.
And honestly, I would like to be modest, but I can’t even kid about this: this is probably the best work I have done all year so far.
It’s a three-part article about General Seh Dong Hong Beh, the leader of an all-female army in 19th Century Dahomey: her story, her career, and what its implications are to those of us who are Africans in 2020. It is three 1,000 word articles so it will take a while to read. Feel free to bookmark and come back to it, but I hope you do take the time to finish it. I rarely write about things I truly care about but this one, is from the heart.
Here’s the link. to part 1. The links to each successive piece are at the end of each other one.
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Dogs are okay, I guess. I would prefer it if they had the modesty to wear pants but that is not enough to start any major grudge.
If anything would stir a real quarrel it would be in the area of their manners. I wish they had the manners to shut up at night while we are trying to sleep.
Take this transcript of a recent conversation among a few Kyanja dogs.
One of Them: Maguja! Gwe mwana plotti ki? What’s up fam! What’s going down there in mukigagga?
Another One: Snoop! Out here we are balling! It’s lit af! Mwana, bakyali tuli eno tumeketa magumba just. Patte afta patte. Fall in, gwe.
Original Dog: Dude, for real?
Other Dog: Forreal, son!
Original Dog: Like. Furreal, dawg?
Other Dog: Furreyoreeyo!
I can hear all this from my apartment that is, according to the sonar app on my phone, half a kilometer from both parties.
Intermittently, as Snoop makes his way to the venue of the feast he will yell out updates of his progress.
Snoop: Maguja! Eh, mukyali yo eyo? I’m round the muyembe, with squad. They want in.
Maguja: Pull up, pull up! Dude, we are out here partying like human bazungu! Puuuullluuuup!
That is when another dog joins the conversation.
New Dog: Snoop, oliwa? Ogenda ku patte ya Magujja? You fox! You can’t even holla?
Snoop: What do you mean? What do you call all this noise we are making if not hollering?
Maguja: Aate ani ono? Gwe, aani akuyise?
New Dog: Temummanyiira, mbwa mwe. You know it’s me, Doglas.
This is when aggression enters the conversation and it turns into an argument. Within a rapid minute, there are insults and threats flying over the suburb.
Maguja has squadded up and all his dogs ride or die with him. Meanwhile, the other faction also rolls deep, so there are twelve voices barking back.
Snoop, in the midst of all this, is plaintively, but loudly, howling for peace and understanding.
They will do this all night long.
That is not enough to make me hate dogs, though. In spite of this, dogs are loyal, friendly and intelligent enough to be trained when domesticated. I suspect that even non-domesticated members of the species can be trained, and If KCCA or our local government authorities actually cared about us, they would go around training stray dogs in night silence, teaching them to shut up while we are trying to sleep. The fact that they have not isn’t evidence that dogs can’t learn to shut up, it is evidence that our government doesn’t care.
Dogs aren’t like cats, which are very stupid.
Don’t be fooled– what looks like the aloof snobbery of an elevated mind that is above the petty needs humans is not intelligence. That is just what being too stupid to understand who’s boss looks like when it is packaged in fur that walks nicely. Cats are idiots and would be extinct by now except for the fact, fortunate for them, that they are inedible.
Cat lovers, I don’t judge you, Cats can be valuable as fluffy moving cushions that decorate the living room and eradicate rat issues, but dogs are much more functional in the general sense, and preferable in the moral sense.
Whereas your cat will watch you die with barest milligram of interest, your dog will fight for you and save your life.
I recommend that those of us who live in Kulambiro, Kira and other areas with muggers and robbers get dogs that we can train to meet us at the taxi stage and then escort us home through the dark pathways the bandits infest.
With a dog by your side, you will not only get home with your phone and laptop safe, but if you trained it well enough, you might also have a canine mouthful of mugger’s flesh you picked up on the way.
Ideally the dog would bite the ass. If you are accosted by Ssuna, Gabon, Mobutu, or any of the K-Side Crips, it could go for the balls, but in the dark you might not recognize the assailant. If it is Cinderella, Bettina or Nana Badness and the dog lunges for balls, that will just give them an chance to escape. So train it to go for the ass. Always the ass.
You can also train it to go out and tell its peers to shut up at night when we are trying to sleep.
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How did it know? We already perplex our pretty little heads with this question every time we find an advert on our timeline, feed or other form of social media buffet presentation, but it is going to get worse — we are going to have to add intensity to the way we ask the question, increase the pitch and go, “But I mean how. Did it KNOW!?”
First we got used to the usual: when you type, “Oh, man, I am hungry. I wish someone could just bring me a load of fried chicken! I would love that! LOL! Chicken emoji. Eating emoji.” Then refresh the facebook page and there you go: an advert for Jumia Food, Safeboda food, and Mama Nabikoko and Sons Chicken Services Ltd, where they actually let you slaughter your own lunch.
We got used to that. That was a bit intrusive, but well, it made sense.
Then came the creepier bit: When you swivel round in your office chair and toss the crumpled ball of paper expertly into the dustbin with one perfect shot.
If no one else is going to say it, you say it yourself. “Oh yeah! I’m amazing! Kapwaya!”
After acknowledging your skill you turn back to your TL and what the… why are you getting ads for Maize Flour?
And Mase’s latest album?
And an android game about Mazes?
And an invitation to apply for the Quapire Online Academy?
It just got worse. I don’t even do facebook that much any more. I don’t have time to do menus mbu to pay OTT. Sirina Budde. I don’t have the boods.
But I was there recently because I have no attention span, no impulse control and when you lack those two at a time when you don’t have enough data for youtube, where else do you go?
I hit facebook and this ad…
What the ancient geriatric fossilised what is this?
How did it know! How, I mean HOW! Did it EVEN! KNOWWWW??
Because I didn’t even know. I had just touched my nostril that morning while brushing my teeth and noticed that it was a bit crowded in there. My morning grogginess was not yet ready to permit my accustomed Sherlockian sharpness so I had left the deduction that my moustache was growing upwards in place.
It was only when I saw this ad, and then poked my nose, and felt all the hairy hairs hairing all over the nostril…
It was only when I poked my nose and it felt like a weave in there...
It was only when I poked my nose and wondered for a second whether I had inhaled a furry animal, probably a very small nkeberwe that it hit me.
How did it know? It just saw me and decided what ad to bring?
I am now afraid of clipping my nose hairs in case it uses the clippers to see further into my skull and starts reading my thoughts.
I don’t know how I will explain having black polythene bodybags, shovels, baseball bats and lime on my TL.