By Maxine Kampire and Nigel Nassar
Come to think of it — Ugandans, a big number of them actually, might be really tired, or fatigued (whichever works). Because a number of them are actually looking, or acting the part. See, we recently encountered this rib-cracking experience.
Just outside Vision Group headquarters, this man; tall, slender and dark-skinned, had on some brown pants, a bluish-green dress, and a brown top over the dress. Get this right — it was a man! He also wore a cap beneath which he held his extremely long dreadlocks into a pony. With a girly purse in tow, he was talking on phone, making feminine gestures as he informed the person the other end of the line to watch out for him (or her) on Bukedde TV.
This guy, strutting like a model and swaying his upper body side to side, acted more girly than your average girl. People stopped, astounded, mouths agape and eyes wide open — puzzlement just! And right there, we could not help thinking he must be one tired Ugandan, as in mukoowu. He is so frustrated with his life, probably the hustles of being a man, and has decided to take the alternative route.
Which brings back the whole Mathias Walukagga hit song, Bakoowu (they are tired/worn-out), in which just about everyone of us can mirror themselves, either based on a situation witnessed, or one actually happening to us.
In the song, Walukagga, who penned it from his experiences hanging with blue-collar workers, the jobless and the underprivileged, gives insight into how people in their different fields have since neglected their responsibilities and decided to look out for themselves because they are tired. Tired of minding a lot, after all, they were taken for granted and not appreciated.
Apparently, the prostitutes we see on Kampala streets were once wives, but because of their husbands’ ungratefulness, they got tired and went commercial. Also, that teachers have since stopped teaching because their own children are not in school, of course courtesy of their measly salaries.
Bottom line, Walukagga, while making you think he probably peeped into your own life, is saying people have got worn out by the unfruitfulness of their lives and hard work, and now have resorted to other options that may not be morally or socially okay, but they work nonetheless.
Like that girly guy; he is probably earning a fare living being a woman and entertaining at someone’s wedding — why give a hoot if being a man is not working out after all? Do you guys still see Kiiza Besigye walking to work? The stunt only won him some jail time and teargas. As you read this, the brother is tired, so tired he even relinquished the FDC presidency! So, who are the most tired Ugandans?
Be sure not to include Walukagga on this list. Because for identifying how tired we are, he is up on a pedestal now. Or if he is tired, then it is from trying to figure out what to do with his newfound fame and wealth, for he commands top dollar at concerts and parties.
Because people out there feel he has sounded out for them what they did not have the steel or podium to say, Walukagga has finally hit one major home-run by eventually getting himself accepted across the board, regardless of the listener’s music genre of choice.
“To be honest, Bakoowu is my most successful musical venture, and I have met all the dreams I ever had in life. I have built houses, including the posh home I am living in; bought cars and sleek studio equipment, moved my children to better schools, banked a good sum of money, and I am still receiving calls to perform at various concerts around the world.
Plus, I am now highly respected as a musician, and some sections of the people now refer to me as their mouthpiece, which actually inspired my upcoming song Palamenti Yaffe (Our Parliament),” said Walukagga in a phone interview. That only goes to prove that Ugandans are actually tired, the reason they would celebrate this song.
We definitely have to start with the Government teachers, who, like Walukagga says, went on strikes over poor pay several times and gave up. “Now they have since resigned themselves to teaching only when they feel like.”
Understandable if they are tired, huh? With a measly takehome of about sh270,000 for a primary teacher, and about sh450,000 for a secondary teacher, you might not get the urge to sue if you found your child’s UPE teacher harvesting his maize during his lesson time.
Heard that story of the Kayunga teacher who, instead of finding school fees for the son, ended up slapping the wife for delivering to him the news that the boy had been sent back home? The chap was tired. Dude had walked all the way back home on a hungry stomach, and he had probably just read the gossip column in the school’s copy of Blitz that his former pupil, now a Member of Parliament, had just completed his multi-million-dollar mansion in Kololo. Now that stuff can make one tired, huh?
What should the teachers do?
Let them go back to school. But no, that is like asking them to buy cake if they cannot afford bread. So, all UPE and USE teachers should each buy a hummock, set it up where there is a good shade around the school, and relax. Because there is no good pay coming; and life is too precious to spend it worrying and being fatigued.
These ones too are really tired, according to Walukagga. So these days, “they go to work just for the sake of it, otherwise a doctor/nurse will walk past a dying you without even noticing, since his or her mind is on whether he/ she will afford the month’s rent.” why are they tired?
These people are always on call, ideally. So expect them to walk out of their own wedding to go attend to a patient, all enabling factors remaining constant. Plus, doctors and nurses have seen more dead bodies, more blood, more filth and more undesirable stuff than is permissible for one lifetime alone.
For someone who takes in that much stuff they would rather have erased from memory in vain, a paltry sh1.2m gross and sh800,000 gross for a doctor and nurse respectively, can sure make you fatigued.
So what should doctors and nurses do?
Theirs is a calling. So, better or poor pay, they should not get tired. Instead, let them watch more horror movies, the likes of Return of the Pumpkin Head, Wrong Turn and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That way, they will get used to scary stuff, so dead bodies will be child’s play, and they will be able to work in a flash. No getting tired, we are sorry.
The jobless have been at it like forever, and with no job opportunities showing up, they have become bakoowu too. And from that has come creativity. A week ago in a taxi around Nakawa, this young man aged about 20, and very Ugandan too, picked up a call.
Suddenly, the chap started speaking like an Asian. Everyone in the taxi was taken aback, probably thinking he was joking with another funny friend on the other end of the line. Turns out the chap was talking money, how he had just got a new consignment of goods from Asia and needed to clear them if the other person sent him money by phone — he was conning someone.
“Ookkay, I am vaiting send the money now bana.” Then he hung up and maintained this poker player’s face, while all of us in the taxi tried to stifle laughter. The conductor stared at him for the rest of the time he was in the taxi, with that look that seemed to say, “hmm, some tired fellow right there!”
Then there is this hard-core mukoowu chap in town, he has probably tried to con you. On any other day he’s a normal chap. But immediately he sees you approaching, he contorts his hand and fingers into some shape and then twists and bites his lower lip.
Speaking through his nose and shaking like he has Parkinson’s disease, he goes like: “See, I have this paralysis and the other day the doctor said it will take sh5m for it to be corrected, so please help me with some money.”
Interestingly, when you see through him, he laughs and goes like, “tobalabula”, meaning “don’t tip the rest off.” Then there is the woman in the park who, it turns out, loses her transport money every day, and now she cannot get to Kakiri and wants you to help her with transport dime (her prayer is that you are not the one she conned yesterday). She usually has a baby in tow, probably to make you feel sorry — we even wonder if that is a baby. Now those two are tired!
Have you seen the chap around Garden City and Oasis Mall with a certificate of dumbness? Extreme, yes, but the chap actually has a certificate, with stamps and signatures on it. We do not know how he came up with that, but apparently, that impairs him, so you have to help him with some money. Tired right?
How do you solve a problem like these cha ps? The Inspector General of Police should just round them up and keep them in the coolers forever. Since they are tired of trying to find a job, they could have one hell of a rest in the coolers, huh?
Okay, these ones are really a bunch of bakoowu! They are so tired that it is okay for them to ask you for money to process for you a document when in the same office, on the walls, are about five posters clearly asking you never to pay for any services in that office, apparently because “all documents are free.”
Can you imagine that drivers now subconsciously try to always have change on them just in case of a run-in with a traffic officer? We too are so tired of them asking for money we decide to just give it to them and get the hell out of there before they conjure up another offence you have apparently committed.
How do you solve their problems?
Kayihura should perhaps change the rules and make it compulsory that every Police service is for sale — it will save us a lot of pretending to be friendly with them during a bribe negotiation, yet we actually do not really want to be friends with such corrupt people... Oops, we almost forgot that you are corrupt too if you give a bribe...Lol.
URA is tired of Pioneer
See, Pioneer Easy Bus almost built us some really cool castles in the air, courtesy of the promises they made. Bingo - just by operating at less-than-promised, they went and accumulated lots in URA tax debts, no wonder they vanished from the roads.
And now the poor passengers are also tired of URA for its being tired of Pioneer Easy Bus service, and the cycle of tiredness goes on. Come to think of it, aren’t you tired of the taxis taking advantage of Pioneer’s outing and hiking the prices? Now we don’t even know who is more tired, because we are tired too. Honestly tuli bakoowu and we don’t wanna know!