We are in a gift-giving season and your sweetheart probably expects a Happy New Year gift. But if you are standing for any elective post, you may land in trouble with Museveniâ€™s election monitoring force.
Many people scratch their heads when it comes to gift choice. I got a wrist watch on Christmas and I expect something else this New Yearâ€™s Day. I wonâ€™t tell you what I gave but, certainly, it was not flowers. When the Whites imported their version of love on these shores, flowers were an integral part of it. To pick up your sweetheart, to visit Beloved, for birthday and any dating reason, you had to take flowers. Flowers!
And some Africans actually started giving flowers. Today, they are very expensive. Personally, I have tried so much but failed to love flower gifts! Flowers do not score in my goal mainly because I grew up with them, trampled on them as we played hide-and-seek with neighbours and urinated on them as my natural right as a man.
Fresh flowers, which are very expensive, require vessels and watering yet they wither nevertheless.
One day, in one of my working tours, I found myself in a hostel of campus girls. As we enjoyed our drink, I had no business asking which daddy (conventional or sugar) earned the money we were eroding. A certain record came on the CD player and Harriet, one of the hosts, increased the volume before reminding us that her detachable stereo was a gift from her boyfriend.
â€œMine brings flowers,â€ Anne, another host, chipped in an unsolicited point of information with an air of superiority. â€œFresh flowers, mind you â€“ very expensive.â€
â€œMine brings nothing!â€ I joked to quench the gift contest that was threatening to break our calm. (When I am detoothing women, I donâ€™t want anything to interrupt me). â€œShe only brings me herself,â€ I continued.
They laughed, saying it is men who are supposed to give â€“ which we should discuss another time.
The debate I wanted to teargas off was the sad fact that while the girl who received expensive fresh flowers had her dustbin full, the one who got a stereo player remained with a point of reference when her ego needed a boost. Do you see the power of unlimited terms?
I was once overwhelmed by the devil (donâ€™t laugh at me, even Jesus was) to take flowers worth sh50,000 to a new mother in hospital. But just as I said farewell, they took me aside to ask for a loan â€” of a similar amount â€” to pay hospital bills.
That meant that their smiles for flowers had been crocodile because had I brought dry cash instead, they wouldnâ€™t have been led into the embarrassment of begging for help.
My point is that if you have flowers for me, that is a wrong number. Take them to the people who looted DR Congo. For me who is still poor, I need articles that will last and be useful in the practical sense. Get me some electronics and see if I wonâ€™t keep referring to you to friends.
I am not saying that a flower, a card, an evening out and an oath of allegiance are unacceptable. They are okay, but if you have an alternative, get your lover an attire, beauty kits, phone, house utensils, furniture, electronics â€¦ name it.
The one who got flowers may not talk when her colleagues are talking. This is Africa, you should remember this.
What gift in Africa? Flowers that rot or something lasting?