By Timothy Bukumunhe
Something was amiss at the USPA journalists sports dinner last Friday at UMA conference hall, Lugogo. The time given on the invitation card clearly read 6:30pm. However, the first sports journalist walked in at 7:15pm while, USPA President, Joseph Kabuleta, walked in a whole two hours late and well after Finance Minister, Gerald Sendaula and Sports Minister, Oryem Okello had taken their seats. On top of that, there was not even a whisper of an apology in the offering.
Sports journalists as a lady from sponsors Nile Breweries rightly pointed out, are â€˜a breed of their ownâ€™ and it was not hard to see why. Ninety per cent of the journalists turned up to their own dinner dressed in a manner best suited to cattle herders in Karamoja. They waltzed in with filthy dust coated shoes, wearing Manchester United football club shirts and ski hats. Others went further - turning up in tatty shorts and sandals or clothing that would have had them gracing the â€˜Fashion Policeâ€™ page in the Sunday Vision. Basically, nobody bothered to dress up, the embarrassment of Nile Breweries.
Sports journalists (please see picture below) on a whole have the worst table manners in the land. When the MC for the evening, David Nsiyona announced that food was ready to be served, a queue had already formed. And according to sports journalists, â€˜a plate is not full unless there is food falling off it!â€™ Such was their greed; they heaped their plates like food was about to go out of fashion then watched in horror as pieces of meat fell off as they made their way back to their tables.
When they sat down to eat, it was like a trip to the dark ages. They stuffed their mouths with food making it almost impossible for them to chew. And the few that did manage to do some chewing (of sorts), it was only done twice and swallowed. On top of that, keeping their mouths closed as they ate was not an option worth considering. One writer was so oblivious that he was peppering his colleagues with food particles from his mouth he must have wondered why I was giving him a bad face everytime he glanced at me.
Oryem Okello marred his well-written speech when he got to the podium and decided to introduce himself as â€œHon Oryem Okello, State Minister for Sports.â€ Incredible, because when did â€˜Honâ€™ become part of his name? I am sure his birth certificate does not read â€œHon Oryem Okello.â€ He can be forgiven â€” he is a politician after all!