By Timothy Bukumunhe
- I had no idea that you could buy Lingala Christmas carols
MY neighbour, it seems, has made his first Christmas investment. Not a couple of turkeys from a farm deep in Masaka, but a music system that has enough volume output to blow my eardrums in.
He also got a string of Christmas-themed CDs and a friend who is looking over my shoulder as I type has told me that they are not called ‘Christmas-themed’, but ‘Christmas carols’.
Neighbour started playing Christmas carols at the end of November and, if I am not mistaken, November is just a normal run-of-the mill month, so why would he play carols?
Sometimes, he starts rendering himself a nuisance as early as 8:00am. He usually kicks off with a Jimmy Katumba and the Ebonies song, which he stops halfway through and then repeats it. Next up is the Celine Dion song — My Heart Will Go On, but I do not know what the song has to do with Christmas.
Is it not a ‘death song’ in the movie Titanic, played as the character Jack, (Leonardo DiCaprio) was drowning?
Anyway, Neighbour has made it one of his Christmas carols. After the death song, he follows up with numerous gospel songs for about an hour before he unleashes some Lingala, and I had no idea that you could buy Lingala Christmas carols.
But Neighbour is not the only person making a nuisance of himself. Since the start of December, it has been hard to concentrate — not just at work, but out shopping, and especially while having a drink in a kafunda.
You see, every 10 to 15 minutes, a truck will pass by and on the back of each truck are huge speakers blaring out distorted music, and seeing it is December, I assume it is Christmas carols blaring out.
Along with the loud and distorted carols, there is a fellow on each truck doing a sales pitch — screaming into the microphone, while an army of foot soldiers run amok, swarming the kafundas and shoving Jim Reeves CDs down our throats.
The carols were so loud that I presume Waitress did not hear what beer I asked for and brought me the wrong one, though, truth be told, she still would have brought the wrong beer even if the kafunda was as quiet as a hospital operating theatre and she had heard every word I said.
Foot Soldiers wanted me to buy Do They Know It is Christmas by Band Aid. In my worst Luganda, and Foot Soldier, in his worst English, the conversation went along these staggered lines:
Foot Soldier: “Boss, this one is nice.”
TB: “No, it is for the bafu (dead) who died in the Ethiopian famine of 1984.”
Foot Soldier: “Boss, eno nnyimba ya Ssekukulu.”
TB: “Yeah, nnyimba about the bafu in Ethiopia!”
As he walked off, above what I am sure was the carol, Silent Night, I hear Foot Soldier mutter to his colleague that: “Oyo, mukadde, tamanyi nnyimba za Ssekukulu.” (he is old, he has no idea about Christmas carols).
I shouted out my favoured word, tumbavu, but he did not hear me, for Silent Night was now at fever pitch and Waitress had served me yet another wrong beer.
With 10 days to go to Christmas, how many Christmas carols will we have to endure at a fever pitch volume as we shop or have a drink? Will Neighbour have graduated from Jimmy Katumba and Celine Dion? Would Foot Soldier have finally worked out that, Do They know it is Christmas, is not a carol, but a song for the bafu?
But what the heck, it is the Christmas season, the season where everybody takes leave of their senses!