Characters for your stage.

Boarding school. Funny how just two words bring up a lot of memories for most of you out there, isn’t it? That loud matron, the warden who would keep watch for those loitering out at late hours, stealing your first kiss after night preps or slipping a note into your sweetheart’s hand  as you trade goodnights, staying up late at night making ‘solu’ when ‘kawu’ has hit, I could honestly go on. But why don’t I let you take a trip down memory lane before you continue reading? There you go. Each story has a different ending for you, doesn’t it? Anyway, the story I am about to share is for those of you who barely had a reputation to keep, so to speak. To explain this, let’s start with breaking down the ‘levels’ that we managed to mentally place upon ourselves back then.

First, there were the cool kids. The kind that every guy wanted to be associated with. It didn’t matter if you were seen with their flask or notebook. To anybody else, it looked like an endorsement of sorts. A kind of badge that said, “Look fellas! I’m cool now!” Of course, these chaps hung with the coolest girls, snuck in the coolest gadgets, and had cartons of goodies delivered to them during visitation. Furthermore, they somehow managed to keep their academic record clean despite all the ‘chilling’ they did. They never quite stood out as ‘bwats’ and neither did they get singled out as failures. Whatever methods they used, it gave you a bit of weight to be seen with them. Obviously, I never fit into this category no matter how hard I tried. Believe me, I did. But I was too lousy anyway.  I can name names though. Just treat me nicely.

Then there were those who knew what school was all about. An education. We called them ‘bwats’ since they were always the ones who teachers used as an example for those of us who did less than average at every academic assembly. We got so used to them walking all the way from the back of the assembly to receive their awards that any other person doing the same would cause jaws to hit the floor and eyebrows to worship the ceiling. Always dressed smartly with either a book, mathematical set or ruler in hand (most times all three), it was somewhat reassuring to see these guys anywhere on the school compound. A sort of flag that said, “You are at school now. Act like it.” On the other hand, they also had the power to dampen the mood without trying. I mean, imagine you’re thinking about what to tell your crush after she said she likes you too only to see mathematical set-boy rushing to class, which would be the reason as to why you now remember you have a test tomorrow you didn’t read for. What are you going to tell your crush now, huh?

This other category is probably universal, I should say. The teacher’s pet. As the name suggests, they were always at the teachers’ every beck and call. They were the kind who would become prefects at merit alone. No surprise that a handful of them would actually cause the suspension and dismissal of many a few students. Well, it was common knowledge that many of these ‘teachers’ pets’ turned into ‘snakes’ eventually. For those not following, I mean spies. ‘Snitches’ is a more commonly used word these days, I’m told. You couldn’t even make ‘solu’ in peace with these guys on the prowl. It would definitely get you at the receiving end of a swinging bamboo stick at the Monday assembly under the pretext of loitering during lights out. Well, whoever came up with the ‘Taamu egeenda n’ebyaayo’ mentality sure helped make way for how to get one (or several) back with these fellas.  For those who don’t know, it directly translates to ‘The term goes with its own’. Which basically means since the term is ending, I can get away with kicking some snitch butt.

Now, let’s talk about the one group that made boarding school all the more enjoyable, the misfits. Living up to the name, these guys were always waist deep in any trouble that arose but somehow managed to get away with maybe a few whacks on the backside or even a suspension. At most they’d have to bring their parents to school to receive their punishment in front of the whole school. Of course, we’d only cheer for them. Heavy pats on the back would welcome them as they joined the rest of us after getting their punishment, only for them to go back to the old routine of rule-breaking. Sleeping in during morning prep was their breakfast, dodging afternoon classes after a heavy meal for a nap in the sick bay their refreshment. They gave prefects the hardest time and it was always a form of entertainment for us seeing one of these dubious characters go head to head against a prefect we all could not get along with. Of course, no one but teachers would side with the prefects. That’s how they managed to get away with most of the stuff they did. The cooks adored them, the askaris loved them and the girls fawned over them. We wanted to be them but we didn’t have the guts. In a way, they were a way for the rest of us to tell the administration to shove it, and we loved them for it.

The other bunch that we found no fault with were the ‘chillers’. I call them so because they were exactly that. These guys had no problems with anyone. They were really cool guys, but somehow had their fingerprints in whichever mischief arose. Of course, it was always a misfit who would take the fall but we always knew who else was involved. Proving it was something we never had the time to pursue. That was for the snitches. You could say they were a watered down version of the misfits with a dash of ‘cool kid’. What’s more is that the teachers actually liked these fellas. Just a word from any of these chaps and the cooks would give you more food. They were that cool. What set them apart from the ‘cool kids’ was that they didn’t have cliques. They fit in wherever they chose to be. Plus, they never played around with girls.  They were faithful to the hilt.

Now, I’m sure many of you had a few…….weird characters in your boarding schools. Those that seemed to be a bit off, if I may say so. It seemed like they ran on their own time-table. Let’s just go out and say it, shall we? They were confused. We shall go ahead and just use the shortened term ‘confus’(pronounced confuse). Not really talkative, these guys were an enigma of sorts and if you took the time to carefully observe and try to understand them, you’d end up more confused than a chef in a mechanic’s garage. I kid you not. They could walk into a room, totally oblivious to whoever is in that room, do whatever they needed and move out. On more than one occasion, it would be a room or place they have actually never been to. I would have found my own with these guys but I was too busy trying to be cool to realize it.

Well, you probably think the ‘confus’ were weird, but I assure you, they had nothing on this particular personality. There was probably one in every year of class. These guys never fit in wherever they decided to be. They couldn’t be cool, didn’t really make it to ‘bwat’ status, sure as hell couldn’t stomach the idea of telling on others but the misfit status was lost to them like a water on fire. They could never pull off being ‘chiller’ and they definitely weren’t confused. They were simply…..there. Like that one irritating pebble you notice around the compound and decide to do away with it. Only thing is that when you pick it up to toss it away, you don’t know where to throw it so you put it back where it was. Time and again. Until you just learn to ignore it.

 

I am sure there are other characters I might have skipped but the stage is now set. If so, do tell.  For now, which one were you? Which character is on your stage?

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Where do we go from here?

Hey there reader. I suppose you decided to sit down and give this your time because you were either really bored, or just plain curious. If you were curious, let’s hope you’re not a cat. But if you were bored, well, let’s hope I make up for your lost time. Hopefully you won’t lose any brain cells in the process. Oh, where are my manners? For those reading my work for the first time, I guess I owe you an introduction.

My name is Lwasa and I am an adventurer. Not the Indiana Jones meets Sidney Fox and Lara Croft on Nigel Bailey’s Star Enterprise kind(for those whose imagination is as haunting and far-fetched as mine), but rather the kind that experiences life in a way that’s rather……strange. The kind of strange that would make Deadpool give up repeatedly breaking the third wall. If you don’t believe me, maybe we should compare playlists. But that’s a story for another day. And if I remember correctly, there is a famed radio personality out there that owes me a playlist. Funny thing is, I don’t know her foot size. I know that has nothing to do with anything but I felt I needed to say something about shoes. For those looking at this as a sincere and heart-warming bare-it-all, you’re in for a treat. Medium rare.

Do you believe in fate? Well, many will call it luck and the majority believe one always makes their own luck. Persistence, I’m told, is key. It’s like religiously visiting the same old spot on your way from work only for you to one day find a lost kitten. Do you; (a) Take it home or (b) Leave it be so some random stray dog comes along and munches it up or a drunkard mistakes it for some curse sent by one of his family relatives and so he decides to stomp it to death? Let’s just go with (a).

So you take it home. Feed it. Give it a bath, and even get a litter box that very evening. You don’t share your secrets with anyone and you just got a being that won’t tell. Kudos to you! You finally have a companion. You even have a mental debate on the name you should give the being. Should it be a bold name? A name that brings up mystery? A name that will make the lesser beings wonder who the hell is more important than ‘one for the road’ when you make to bail? I’ve picked Meli. Don’t ask why. Just get your own.

So you and Meli are the masters of your castle. The rules are simple. You get back home, feed him/her, clean up the litter box then proceed to pet Meli. This is the only payment you will be giving in order to have someone that won’t interrupt you as you talk about your day. From the pestering workmate to the thieving taxi conductor, Meli will take it all in only a little more than purring. Which most cat lovers call ‘pretending not to care’, but I call it dozing.

All is well and good as time goes on. The rather interesting relationship between pet and owner blossoms to where your gallery has a photo of Meli every three swipes. We can’t blame you. Everyone needs that one thing that will have them sigh with content every time they look at their phone. Rather weird if it’s an animal but to each their own, I say. Long story short, you are happy that you have something that brightens your day. Something that makes all the mayhem in your life look like a typo in a Harry Potter novel. Things couldn’t be any better, right?

 

The phone rings early in the a.m. It’s an emergency, you’re told. Panic stricken, you rush to get to work to get a fix on whatever has hit the fan. It could be that nagging workmate’s head for all you care. Whatever. You just have to make it there ASAP. You slap some food into Meli’s bowl as you dash out of the house, ignoring your neighbour’s barely audible greeting. The trip to your workplace is a teary blur that leaves your fingers numb and your clothes ruffled to the point of you being quite the spectacle as you disembark from the Boda when you get to your stop. The askari is the first to notice that you have cat fur all over your pants. The Boda guy then casually points out that you have a hole in your shirt.  You shake a mental fist at the culprit as you grit your teeth. Meli!!

Office is not any better. From the irritating workmate to the printer that keeps screwing up your work, you feel like a beast of burden after just a few hours. And it’s not even lunch time yet. Your mental state is fizzing out. Your phone keeps buzzing every now and then and you can no longer have the luxury to visit the loo without it in case you miss a call. You simply can’t wait for it to all end.

Finally, 5pm clocks and you almost scream with relief but you are too tired to even open your mouth that wide. You drag your feet the last few steps out of the building and nearly hug the Boda guy as he stops right in front of you. You don’t even remember how you get home but you know there was only one thing on your mind the whole time. Meli.

You notice that something is off the moment you open the door. No cat running towards you with frantic purrs for food and petting. The first thing you do is call it. Over and over again. As you look under the bed, in the bathroom, in the wardrobe, the kitchen, in that box where you keep the polythene bags, and your brain is actually suggesting you look in the litter box, which is downright silly but you can’t help but look anyway. That’s when you notice, you left the window open. And given the gate is opened every now and then for entrance as well as exit, you put two and two together and you can’t help feel your chest tightening.

It’s a slow walk towards the now open gate, and you can’t even tell how you ended up standing next to the main road, just a few meters from the gate. But your eyes are on that one spot that your brain has refused to register. There’s a lifeless corpse lying there. Tongue hanging out, entrails spewing from a crushed abdomen, hind feet mere stamps on the tarmac. You recognize Giggle’s fist shaped brown spot right away. The one on his/her forehead. But that’s not what gets you. It’s the fact that the his/her upper side is slightly detached from the lower, almost like he/she tried to crawl away after the car did its work.

 

The walk back is the worst of it. And you already know what you are going to do because your body and mind have had enough and it is the only way you know how to forget everything. This is when you actually hear the neighbour. He tells you that he was trying to remind you not to leave your window open in the morning but you were too much in a hurry so he figures you never heard him.  All the more reason to get drunk, you think to yourself. But congratulations. You get to learn the pain of loss. And you get to pick where you go from there.

So then, what would you have done? Is it; (a) Leave the kitten back in that spot for the stray dog/drunkard with his own version of stomp the yard? (b) Take it home only for the process to repeat itself so you can learn one of life’s ultimate lessons or (c) MAKE. SURE. YOU. CLOSE. THE. BLOODY. WINDOW.

Was it fate that led you to meet Meli? Or was it you writing out your own story by making daily trips to that spot? You tell me.

Well, like I said. Medium rare. Too bad I can’t be there to help you figure out how many brain cells were lost while reading this.

Life

She keeps describing her dreams, her future. You keep listening. And the more you listen, the more your feelings take a bashing. And slowly, but surely, you start to realise the one shot you had at feeling something real is slowly fading away, if not for good.
For the more she talks about the plans for her future, the harder it hits you that her dreams are way too big for you. For you can already notice how the path has been set. Some day, along that path, she will forget about you. And deep down, you already know this. It’s something that you try to come to terms with every time she texts you, every time she leaves you with blue ticks. Because you know that one day, you will slip out of her mind just like an idea not written down. It will be on that day when this will happen…
You text and she asks, “Who is this..?”
“Jimmy.” You reply.
“Jimmy who..?” She asks. Your heart skips a beat.
“Jimmy Bones..” You hesitantly reply with the nickname she gave you all those years ago.
“Umm…..sorry, but this must be a wrong number…”. This is the moment you have been preparing for ever since she told you about her dreams. the moment you have continuously armored yourself for all this while. But no broken bone, no stab wound, hurts as much as that moment. You suddenly wish, and beg the heavens, for the chance to ignore her that very first time you saw her. You look back at the phone, swallow that lump building up in your throat, and manage to text back a feeble, “I’m sorry. Thought it was someone I knew…” when all you wanted to really text was, “Just saw you on TV. I’m really proud of you!!!”
You toss the phone aside, already contemplating deleting her number, and that lump builds up again. You turn back to the TV, and there she is. Just as gorgeous as you remember her, but all that much prettier. You manage a teary chuckle, shake your head and mutter to yourself, “Oh Life…..”
Indeed. Life

The Rugby Player

The story so far: Our hero, Lwasa, has decided to take on the game called rugby in the hope that he will get bigger in size. After all, girls love mugged guys….

So It was no surprise when I decided to join rugby players (Rugby had just been introduced recently by a chap who had been expelled from SMACK. Let’s call him Wolverine) in their training. I needed to get stronger, and fast.

This is where my size came to be an asset. Being small, I was hard to tackle. And I found out I was quite fast on an open field. I was hooked. Since I had a basic understanding of the game, I caught on fast. And just like that, Wolverine made me scramhalf for our class team (we were in the same class). Finally, I could play without being benched.

Now, in all schools, there are rivalries between classes. Ours (S4’s) was with S.6’s. To us it was all because they ‘stole our women’ (any guy who has been there knows what I’m talking about), to them it was all because we were kids who had big heads. So naturally, we set up a game to settle the score, once and for all. A date was set, and the ads (cleverly drawn posters all over the school showing blood and broken bones. Of course, my memes inclusive) started. Threats were made, rumours spread about who will make it out alive and who won’t (which was me), boots were stolen and names were written on latrine walls. By the time D-Day arrived, the whole school was buzzing.

It was a sunny day as we walked onto the pitch. It was an uneven field, tilted towards the swamp where the school cows usually grazed, so the place had mounds of cow dung as well. We set off like any other rugby match, with my team performing a Haka of sorts (we couldn’t resist making a pretty vulgar one). The S.6’s just shouted a bunch of Swahili words and the game kicked off.

The violence. My! The violence! What do you think will happen when you give a bunch of testosterone driven teenagers a chance to go all out against each other? Madness, I tell you. Madness!! It was slaps instead of hand offs (some opted for punching), knees instead of tackles, flying kicks, swinging, everything you can have in a free for all, was on that pitch. And Wolverine was having the time of his life. Well, so was I. Dear reader, you should have seen me on that pitch. I was a Neo dodging tackles. My side-steps would have given Messi a headache. And I was a pro at the tackles (If we can call hitching piggy-backs from the opposing players tackling, then I’m good to go), putting down more guys than I could count.

My chance to score a try came in much sooner than I expected, late in the second half. I had pushed one of the S.6’s, some tall lanky Kenyan, off his feet close to our try line, and I managed to scoop up the ball after he dropped it. I could already hear my name being chanted by the girls on the sidelines. It was my time to shine!!

I set off at once! Running so fast I could have sworn everything was a blur.

“LWASA!! LWASA!! LWASA!!” The girls chanted my name. I could already see myself being congratulated by the Headmaster, getting kisses from all the girls, and the caterer awarding me with more chicken at the kitchen. For that moment alone, just for a moment, I thought I was flying. I was so high in the air I could touch the clouds. Unfortunately, I had been tackled.

See, I had been running so fast I had not bothered to look right or left. I was running along the part of the pitch closest to the swamp, therefore the lower part, so to speak. This huge Tanzanian fella ran all the way from the upper side of the pitch, and with all muscle and bones, rammed into me. The impact sent me flying several meters off the pitch, and where else to land but in the swamp?

The one thing I do remember before I hit the swamp was some girl screaming, “I told you he would die!!”

After the disorientation wore off, I could make out a few of my team mates around me, and more running towards the swamp. Wolverine was helping me get up, and that sure cleared my head. I was drenched from head to toe in muck, and I smelled like something sort of a toilet ventilator. But I didn’t care. I needed to bounce back!! I jumped up and down a few times, assuring those around me that I was fine. Laughing it off as we walked back, I couldn’t help smiling as I saw the girls cheering me on as they also ran up to me. However, the smell stopped them a few meters away. I walked on to the sidelines, waving to the referee to tell him that I was good to go. That’s when I noticed my left arm was bent at a weird angle. I was not the only one who had noticed.

“Isn’t that arm broken?” I heard someone ask. That’s when the pain kicked in. Let me tell you about the pain of a broken bone. It is unlike any pain you will know. It is deep, and weakens you immensely. There is nothing on your mind but pain. And for a moment, you are between reality and something entirely different. But it is all pain and nothing else to it.

I was in that kind of state when I was escorted back to the dormitory by a bunch of guys and some girls (yes, they were allowed to escort me up to the dormitory), and later on the nurse was summoned to check on me after the crowd had left.

That evening, the headmaster himself drove me home in his Mercedes. Ah, the crowds of girls who were there to see me off, no wonder the S.6’s hated us.

What I learned from this? Girls love dolls. Tiny guys look like dolls to them.

The Basketballer

For most, High school is pretty much where the best memories about school come from. For others, just mentioning ‘highschool’ in a conversation with them earns you looks of disgust. Then there are others for whom it’s a mixture of both. I would say I can fall neatly into that category. My worst moments in highschool brought about some of the most enjoyable, and the vise versa is pretty much true to the decimal. Allow me to tell you a story about one of my best (or worst, depending on the perspective of you, the reader) moments in highschool. No. There will be no giving away names of schools and or dates to this particular event. I’m no snitch.

After I was expelled for vandalism (I made memes of teachers in the School Magazine. No. I’m not joking) from a prominent school, I was taken off to one much closer to home, which by then was not such a big name. However, I have come to terms basing on the time I was there that there is no such thing as a ‘big school’ and a ‘small school’. There is just school.  It is the individuals within the school who may make it what it might or might not be. Also those snobby kids from ‘big schools’ who can’t wait to come up with names for your school after they come over for sports tournaments and conferences just because they had never heard of your school until then. And that it is located next to a swamp. Maybe also it is located in a village (Aren’t most schools located in villages anyway???). Anyway, back to the story.

I was in my O’ Level, a naïve kid who had been handed his first ever dismissal from a school just because he did something he thought was fun. But I got over that pretty quickly when I heard stories from the students who had been expelled from other schools. You would too, if someone told you he had been expelled because they found out he was the actual father of his Literature’s teacher’s kid.

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This school put an emphasis on sports, mostly basketball. Since I had been playing the sport in my previous school (but never got to play because I was the smallest guy in school), I quickly hit the court. You probably won’t believe me when I say I made the school team, but I did. I actually got to even play some games. But of course, the best part was usually spent on bench. I wasn’t the best player, but I sure was the smallest. I was the Sean-Wright Phillips of my school team. I looked like Kevin Hart standing with a bunch of Yao Mings whenever I was with the team. I was so tiny the school jersey top actually went past my knees whenever I wore it. Don’t let me get started on the shorts. Let me just say I was given special permission from the coach to wear my own shorts. The only problem with that was the jersey somehow managed to peep from under them after I tucked in (I solved that problem when I acquired a pair of shorts with those sewn in underpants). So as you can tell, I was quite the sight whenever I stepped on court. Till now, I sometimes wonder if I was indirectly being used as the team mascot.

My size made me even more determined to excel on court. Therefore, I ate more (About two heaped plates a sitting. No lie), trained more and did all I could to stand out. But well, my hormones just refused to step up. So it was no surprise when I decided to take up another game, rugby, to help me even up things. But that, dear reader, is another story.

What I learned from this? My hatred for tucking in as an adult comes from the discomfort of finding the bottom of my jersey wet with sweat after playing a game. Also, sewn in underpants can’t ride up your buttcrack. But they sure like to expose one buttcheek….

These Girls

I seem to have completely lost faith in people. And somehow that is not about to change. I have had it up to here(points to ceiling) with you puny humans. All you do is talk and talk. About this and that, and about this one and that one. Monday to Monday. Often,  I will deliberately tell a small lie, just to see how far it will travel. And more often than not, I am never disappointed. Usually the lie comes back to me more distorted than the alimentary canal during a bout of diarrhea. And most of these times, It has had a woman behind it. Allow me to tell you about the most interesting one I have had yet…
A few years ago I met this lady(Girl 1), who I kind of got to talk to, sharing this and that(I swear there was no sharing of body fluids), and often talking a lot of nonsense. She was the kind who would rather call instead of texting(WINNING!!), and had a laugh that kind of gripped you by the bladder. Time went on, and as usual, I decided to drop a small lie. Don’t judge me. I always do it to you humans. But never to cats.

One bright  day, when she was all trying to get me to share my deepest darkest secrets,  I told her that my bums are so hairy I have to shave every weekend. After her laughter died down, I made her SWEAR not to tell anyone. Not even the people in her dreams.
Fast forward 2 weeks after I told her that, we are at some random bar with a few friends of mine. I see her with a bunch of her friends in some corner so I go over to say hi. A few of them give me curious looks, and this sets off warning bells in my head. After we exchange pleasantries, I head off to where I left my beer. Several drinks later I see one of her friends walking(actually staggering) towards me. And the first thing she asked me was,
“So how many shaving packs do you use up in a week for your bums?” At first I couldn’t actually relate, then I remembered what I had told Girl 1.
“Just enough….” I replied as I led her back. I gave Girl 1 the most Bane-ful look I could conjure, and walked away.
Here is probably what went down:
Girl 1:”Gwe, I have serious jazz for you!!!”
Girl 2:”Eish….don’t keep me hanging girlfriend…give me some hot gossip!!”
Girl 1:”Lwasa has hairy bums.”
Girl 2:”LMAO!! LOOOL!! *tear emoji* Are you for real???”
Girl 1:”Eh eh, gwe he told me he shaves his bums twice a week.”
Girl 2:”Are you serious??? Gwe hold on…let me even tell momo…”
Girl 1:”Hmmm…this gossip is too hot. Post it in the group”
Girl 2:”LOOOOL!!! Kyoka that ka guy was even vibing vibing me…smh. With his hairy buttocks.”
Well, to those of you reading this, the story might have been twisted and turned so many times that it is highly likely the version you will be getting now probably says I have dreadlocks in my buttcrack, or on my bums, or as pubes. Whichever version you get, remember, DO NOT TRUST THESE GIRLS.

Also, whichever girl wants proof about my bums, please drop your phone number in my DM for pictorial proof.

Idle at an awkward hour

Being a guy, a slightly less than normal one at that, I have often had moments where I question the decisions I make, but only too late. Too many times I have pondered what sort of demon had burrowed into my head to make me do something that ended up landing me in a truckload of trouble. I would have a hard time picking up which particular one was the worst, but a few do stick out to memory. A few who were there would say the time I tried to pee while on a fast moving boda was the worst(No. I was not intoxicated. I think…), my family would think otherwise. The time I decided to draw superman on the sitting room wall certainly more than sticks out, it has a few cracked ribs to memory. But this time, I will tell you, dear reader, about my one night in Mukono.

It started out like any other day. Birds chirping, chicken soiling the compound and the usual sounds of my neighbour Kyasanku’s radio blasting away Paul Kafeero’s ‘Dippo Nazigala’. It just so happened this particular Friday had dawned after I had made a decision to quit drinking. My 1st, and unsuccessful attempt to quit the troubled man’s ‘baby bottle’ had won me less phone calls and text messages(by then we did not have whatsapp messanger) and numerous appraisals from my Christian friends. But I wasn’t really one to care. I was doing it for me.
The day dragged on with me getting more apprehensive by the hour. I knew the text messages would start trickling in at around 4.00pm, and I was going to turn down the majority, which was going to earn me some descriptive terms from the asking parties. ‘Boring.’ ‘Docile’. ‘Sleepy’. These were terms I was used to hearing and reading, but of course, I didn’t really care. I was happier off finishing the food at home anyway(insert sarcastic laugh).
At around 6.30pm, after rejecting a number of offers to go ‘laugh at the liver’, I received my first phone call. A friend I had not seen in a while had just arrived in Kampala, and he had plenty of money to kill his friends’ livers with. As usual, I went through the routine of telling him how I had quit drinking. He was shocked.
“Dude, like seriously?? No more empire???”
“No bro. I gotta watch my health.”
This was followed by a listing of all brands he knew I would never pass up, detailing how much he had stocked up for us. But I was not about to be derailed. No sir!! This went on for a while, him cajoling, begging(pakalast things munaye), and I standing firm with my decision. Until he mentioned the ‘B’ word. Babes.
My attitude changed immediately, almost like the way a bored hyena would react after seeing a limping deer, or the way a shark would turn after a few drops of blood hit the water. My mind was raided with images of breasts, legs, skimpily clad maidens that kept chanting my name in throes of drunken passion and whatnot. I could hear him smirking at the other end. He had got me in, hook, line and sinker. The next few hours somehow became minutes, and I was soon at the party my ‘friend’ had set up. He was already drunk, of course, but like he had promised, the party was loaded with lots of the female species. The first I had been to where the girls outnumbered the boys. Patting my pockets to make sure my 13 condoms were still intact, I set off with a mission to get lucky.
Three hours and maybe 13 unused condoms later, I noticed Harold(For the sake of his identity I shall call my ‘friend’ Harold) had disappeared. I was a bit worried. I dropped my skirt chasing and embarked on finding out where he was. Fortunately, he had not wandered off into the road. I found him seated on the toilet, his eyes closed shut and mouth left ajar. I knew there and then my night was not going to be a splendid one.
I was the one who had known him longest, and was the sober one, so it was wordlessly decided it was me to take him back to his place in Mukono. Sighing heavily, I half dragged, half carried him to the nearest taxi stage and boarded a taxi to Mukono. The journey was not that eventful as I kept thinking about how many skimpily-clad babes we had left behind. All because of Harold’s drinking.
A quick boda ride from Mukono stage, ten flights of stairs and Harold was dropped on his bed. It was 11.30pm, my phone said.
“I just might make it back in time!!” I thought. Didn’t really have a clue what was in store for me.
When I was about to reach Bishop’s Mukono stage(I was on foot, hadn’t even seen a single boda), I heard what I thought to be a boda coming up behind me. I turned to stop it. Instead, it was a police motorcycle. I turned back, minding my own purpose. To my surprise, the motorcycle slowed down.
“Alo! Wot are you doing ‘ere??”
I turned, we were now at the stage so I could see it was a traffic policeman. He was wearing a jacket on top of his uniform so I could not read his name tag.
“I am going home.”
“Where is ‘ome??”
“Namugongo.”
This was followed by a loud jeer from the officer as he stopped his motorcycle.
“Alo, are you saying dat you stay in Namugongo? What are you doing in Mukono?” He was now standing in front of me, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. His eyes were so bloodshot it was like I was looking at a pair of black dots where his eyes were supposed to be.
“Are you not a iron bar man??” I was torn between laughing at his lousy grammar and rebuking him for asking useless questions yet I had clearly stated I was heading home.
“Do you ‘ave a ID card??” My heart sank. I explained how I did not have an ID(wallet was stolen, blah blah), but it was clear this very ‘competent’ officer had other things in mind. I carefully stressed how I was from dropping a friend and I needed to get home.
“Ah ah! You jus’ come with me!!” Given I am not one who likes causing a scene, I followed him quietly.
“Alo, so ‘ow are you getting ‘ome?” By this time I was irritated.
“Umm, I don’t know, probably fly there since you made me miss the last 3 taxis?”
“Hehehe!! Fly? You sink we ‘ave a chopper ‘ere?” My sarcasm had clearly been missed.
“So you ‘ave transport? ‘Ow much?” I had seen this coming.
“Just enough to take me home.” I answered.
“No extra extra?” He had slowed down as he turned to the left.
“Nope.” I leisurely replied. He nodded as he ushered me into a room that had been hidden by a tree trunk. It was a police station. I was now racking my brains for what a traffic officer would be doing taking a pedestrian to a police cell.
There was a police officer seated at the desk in the room, one of those who wear the bluish uniforms.
“‘Alo, I found this one being idle” the officer who had brought me in said to the one seated. I was taken aback.
“But I told you repeatedly I was going home.” I countered. This was followed immediately by the mother of all rebuttals. The traffic officer that was piling accusations on me then was quite different from the one that had asked if I had enough transport home. I was speechless. It all happened so fast I am still puzzled at how it happened to me. One moment I was hurrying to go chase some skirts, the next I was having my shoes, belt and wallet taken by a traffic officer. The most animated reaction was when he came across my pocket contents.
“Eh! Thirteen condoms?? ‘Ose daughter are you going to wire?? Even my wife does not allow 3 rounds!!” Each item after that was extracted amidst loud ‘Ehs’ and little snatches of ‘Thirteen condoms’. A few words were scribbled in a tattered book at the desk, and I was asked to note which items were written down in the book.
I was then ushered to a corridor that was bolted. Peeking inside, I noticed a few women seated on the floor. I had expected to be put somewhere worse, so I made to sit soon as I was pushed inside.
“Eh! eh! Now I see ‘y you ‘ad thirteen condoms! Eh eh! Wot do you want to do to these women?? Eh eh!!” This he exclaimed while pushing me ahead. I then noticed another bolted door at the other end of the corridor. This one had no light whatsoever behind it. That’s when it hit me, I was going to spend the night in a Mukono cell. I was hastily shoved into the room, which was quickly bolted behind me. I was soon to find out why.
The room had a strong pungent smell, the kind of smell that you find on goat farms. If that was not enough, the room was so hot I felt little beads of sweat start to form as I tried to get used to the darkness in the room.
“Wewe unataka nini??” A voice rang from a corner in the room. This was followed by loud shuffling as Swahili phrases were tossed back and forth in the room. I then found out the reason for the smell and heat.
The room was already full. The little light seeping in from the door exposed numerous bodies lying next to each other in the tiny room, and more standing. Immediately, I realised the room was too small and the occupants within weren’t pleased to have more individuals added to the crowded room.
Funny thing is, I was not scared. I was actually surprised that I was in a police cell. A hard slap on my buttocks was what shattered my surprise. My heart obeyed gravity at a speed only Kal-El could match. It blew up within my feet as my bladder prepared to give way. I had heard the stories, watched the documentaries and read some not-so-fancy books about the subject of being butt-raped in jail. But none had prepared me for the moment of having a fellow man caress your buttocks and thighs.
“Uyu hakuna na kitu!” The one ‘fondling’ me exclaimed.
My knees almost gave way with relief when I realised the touching was just him searching all my pockets for anything of value. The Swahili continued as I stood in the middle of the room, I knew they were deciding what to do. Eventually, I was pointed to a corner right next to what looked like a jerrycan. On close examination, it was a jerrycan with it’s top cut off. The smell as I made my way towards it told me about it’s contents. Yes. I spent a night seated next to the cell ‘toilet’. Every time one of my ‘cell-mates’ was urinating, I had the best view on the house. Also the best sound system. Thank God though, no one was allowed to do anything more than urinating in it.
The night was not as bad as I thought it would be, apart form that one drunk chap who was brought in after me that got a beating for resisting being searched. We even got to share stories about why we were arrested. One chap had been arrested for stealing ginger. Apparently, the sniffer dog that had been been deployed to sniff out the victim’s garden was hungry and instead sniffed out the mukene that he was drying out in his house. It settled to eating his merchandise as he was tossed onto a police truck.
Another guy, who had been in the cell for three months then, had stolen a car. Two guys had been arrested with him for raping an old lady while she was in her garden(but Mukono!), four others had been arrested for kidnap and murder(they were a pretty mellow bunch though), and they actually told me they had done it. The assortment of crimes within that smelly cell was both comical and worrying. Numerous murders, a few rape cases, plenty of theft and one who was caught preparing to go for his iron bar duties. I was laughed at as I narrated how a drunk traffic police officer had been my only ‘crime’.
Morning dawned quickly and we were paraded outside, shirtless, to meet the O.C of Mukono and answer to our cases. We stood up as our cases were read out loud from the tattered book that had been at the desk all night. It was a different police officer this time.
The O.C was quite a jolly man, making numerous comments as each case was read out loud, drawing laughter from all present, law enforcers and law breakers. This continued happening until my name was reached. My full name is quite a mouthful, and it will give any person quite some difficulty at getting it right. So it turned quite a number of heads as the officer reading it out took it left and right and through whichever loops further distorted it. I saved him the trouble by standing up.
“His case?” the O.C asked.
“Idle at an awkward hour.”
My mouth flew open. The O.C looked at the officer reading, then back at me, and then the officers around him.
“Idle at an awkward hour?” his eyebrows were now one thick line below his forehead, “I mean, how..? Who wrote that??” he asked looking at me directly.
“I didn’t get his name. He was wearing a jacket” I answered, my most innocent face displayed for all. I then went ahead to explain exactly what had happened, leaving out the part where it was a drunk officer and where he had hinted at kitu kidogo.
Long story(a very long one..) short, the O.C ordered my items returned, and I was a happy man who walked back into the station to retrieve them. Unfortunately, I found only three condoms from the thirteen I had walked with.
In a totally unrelated story, I bought me a half Uganda waragi as soon as I got home, which i finished off in record time.

A Bar brawl

Bar brawls in Uganda are one thing that clearly never seem to happen. And by brawl, i mean it in a sense where it’s every man for himself. Not the usual altercations between two men over whose woman the two timing wench that came with a pot-bellied minister to the bar, only to meet her two other boyfriends, or between two women over who is wearing the best weave, maybe also why they are wearing the same weave. No. I don’t mean any of these. I mean the bottle-tossing, chair smashing, drunk humans tossed in air kind of brawl. The kind that separates men from scared little children. In my puny life of various escapades, I have managed to be a part of such a brawl.
It was a Friday and I had managed to get home early. The weekend had reached, and what better way is there to celebrate the arrival of a weekend than with a beer or two? Maama Naka’s was my destination after I took off my shoes. Pocketing a few coloured pieces of paper in my pocket, I proceeded to go and make war with my liver. Two or four beers would ease me into the weekend. Unfortunately, the place was closed. I felt suddenly drained of all happiness. Maama Naka had bailed on me. Fortunately, there was a new bar that had just opened that week. So my spirits were revived as I made a bee line through the various shops littering the roadside to the bar.
The bar looked neat. A few well shaped waitresses weaving in and out of tables placing bottles of frothy liquid on tables occupied by shouting individuals painted a busy picture. I made way for the counter and sat on a stool, the bar attendant quickly attending to me. Sipping on my beer, I turned towards the TV that was placed in a corner high above, the noise in the bar drowning out whatever little the character in the movie I was watching was saying. Occasionally, I would look around, measuring up a few people’s wallets by counting the number of bottles on their table. This went on for about 2 hours.
Where there is alcohol, commotion is bound to follow. Mid-way my forth(and last) beer, an argument broke out at the pool table. Apparently, one of the players, obviously drunk, had pushed one of his balls(and I mean pool table balls.) into the pocket – with his hand. This had caused a massive uproar from those on his opponent’s side. A scuffle ensued and before I knew it, someone had swung a cue at him, straight into his forehead.
The sound was carried over the noise, a sounding crack that had the cue reduced to splinters, and the victim flying over the pool table, face in the air and hands reaching for violated part by reflex. I watched him from my bar stool, his body landing a few meters after the pool table, into a table whose occupants weren’t prepared for the ‘surprise’. Bottles placed on their table were tossed to the floor, their contents poured out in explosions of glass as they were replaced by a thrashing human, his hands now covering his bleeding face.
The owners of the beers were just as surprised as the rest of the bar. They looked at the flailing human on their table, then turned, in unison, to where he came flying from. On the other side of the pool table stood the assailant, weapon of choice now a useless piece of wood but deadly weapon in his hand. Then all hell broke loose.
I have no idea who it came from, but I suspect one of the battered player’s friends hurled it. A bottle, at insane velocity, crashed into the culprit’s face as he held the broken piece of cue, sending him back into the crowd he was seated with, bathing any one close in beer and glass. That was when I knew I was going to be caught up in something wild.
There was a mad rush for he who had hurled the bottle, and then for the one who had used a cue. In that sudden movement of people, it became a free for all. Bottles were picked and tossed, like stones thrown at mangoes on a tree by village kids, only that this one was level. People were suddenly wrestlers, engaging in vigorous gripping and shoving, flying kicks, punching, biting, pool balls were used just the same as bottles, smaller participants in this mayhem were suddenly battering rams and or boulders thrown at the enemy. IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!! It was like a carefully orchestrated mess. The kind where you just watch in awe at the vile disgrace of creation they call a human. It was violent, people tossed from one end of the room to the other, bottles crushed under bodies, the distinct smell of beer in the air, with a hint of human body odour and sweat, punches thrown into already bleeding and swollen faces, those who came as couples trying to use their bodies as shields for their partners, the more daring abandoning them and charging into the mayhem. I was all so violent it was almost perfect.
Soon, the loud sound of a siren was heard and believe it or not, the very same people that were moments ago beating the snot out of each other were helping each other escape! Tugging and pushing at their drunk selves through the nearest window, those that were on the floor groaning in pain tossed onto shoulders of the more able bodied, and then passed to those waiting outside. It was quite surprising to see all these drunkards suddenly unified under alcohol with the sole purpose of making a getaway. The bouncers themselves, who were moments ago beating up anyone they could lay hands on, be it weave-wearing human or pool table, were now shoving drunkards through windows. The bar cleared out in a matter of minutes. As I made a run for it in the dark, I heard the faint ‘click’ as the bar attendant locked up, obviously he didn’t want to be put out of business after his first day.
Where I had been in all this mayhem? I dived under a pool table as soon as I saw the first bottle flying into the guy’s face. Don’t ask me how I fit under there. I also don’t know how. But I had the best view in the bar.

Rambo gets licked.

As a growing child, action movies were pretty much my only obsession, or hobby, along with many of my age mates. The kung fu movies were a regular topic among the kids, and most youthful adults around the neighbourhood. Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow, Drunken Master, The Big Boss, you name them, we had them by lip and heart. Often you would find us acting them out in someone’s compound, kicking the snot out of each other, trying to sound as kung fu-ish as possible. To one passing by, it sounded much like a bunch of stray cats were having a go at each other. And we loved it. The agonising pain of getting a ‘flying kick’ in your stomach, or a well calculated ’round kick’ on your backside, or the pleasant feeling of exerting revenge on the perpetrator of those body pains.We loved it all. Our only problem was the commando movies.
We never could get one chap to act as the commando, and the rest of the participants in the game as the enemy. Everybody wanted to be Chuck Norris, Schwarzenegger and Rambo (we never referred to him as Sylvester Stallone. We never cared for that name) so we always had a dilemma of too many Rambos. This always led us to opting for the kung fu movies instead, many of us eventually going home with plenty of bruises, both ego-related(after a smaller guy thumped you. But i was always the smallest anyway.) and physical. But it was fun.
It was one of such days when i felt like acting out a commando movie. Having just recently watched Rambo at a ‘rich neighbour’s’ place, i felt the adrenaline rush that comes with the need to be a hero. I had to go rescue some prisoners from the Vietnamese!! The garden at home was a good enough place to go and wreak havoc upon the enemy(banana plants, in this case.) I dashed home, picking up sticks here and there along the way, those shaped like guns were shoved into the hem of my shorts and the rest pocketed.
The garden was quite wide, the banana plants all menacing with the ‘captives’ they held calling out to me for help. I got to work. felling a few paw paw stems, i made my weapon of choice. A machine gun with four muzzles. This and a few ‘pistols’ tucked away in my pants. Plus my gigantic knife, and then i went off to my ‘mission’.
The enemy fell in great number. I was shooting right and left, tossing grenades, setting booby traps that they stupidly fell into, i was kicking, i was blowing off their heads with bomb-tipped arrows, i sent shivers down their spine with my war cries, made them pee their pants, they ran, they blew up, they cried for help, they were at my mercy! I was a commando! Even when ‘captured’, i was hard to crack. I was so tough that the ‘electrocution’ i was put under didn’t phase me. And when i escaped, boy did they pay! Necks were broken, legs blown off, heads split like water melons with just a punch! I was a one-man unstoppable force of full-blown commando justice! I was Rambo!
It was during this ‘escape’ that the inexplicable happened. One moment i was unleashing a barrage of punches on a banana plant(one of the vietnamese), the next i was flying about three feet into the air. For a moment, i actually thought one of the ‘vietnamese’ had used a grenade. But that little voice called reality had me turn around mid-air. I was wrong. It was no vietnamese, it was the old lady! This was a fate far worse that what the real Rambo experienced in the movie! There was going to be a murder!
Mid-way my journey through air to the ground, i managed to get my feet going. The way you will occasionally see Tom’s legs propelling before he chases down Jerry. I had to get away! All pretense of being Rambo thrown aside, i ran for my life. The old lady was having none of that. Having landed her flying kick squarely in my back, she had managed to latch her iron-like grip on my shirt. Running was futile. As soon as my feet touched the ground, i was back into the air, flying from my intended direction towards her clenched fist. The velocity with which my stomach met that fist cannot be remembered, But i do remember the air in my lungs carelessly abandoning my soon-to-be lifeless body. My mind was saying one thing. Run or Die!! But my body was too busy trying to organise itself to listen. A sudden appearance of sparks in my eyes let me know that the old lady had now opened her fist, and my face was receiving the wrath of an open palm strike. Commonly known as slaps. At this, my body finally reacted.
I turned, my small legs turning into engine pistons, ploughing into the firm garden as i set off. Over trench, under barbed wire, through kraal, through hedges(the thorns i plucked out later let me know i didn’t bother jumping it), in short, i was running as fast as my legs would permit. And hot on my heels, breathing fire and curses for ruining her banana plants, was the old lady. In my head, i could see my grave being dug. We were running through neighbour’s backyards, into their gardens and their cheers at seeing the old lady’s intention to skin me confirmed my fears. I was going to be killed. I had to act fast. A well calculated dive and roll had me double back towards home. The old lady still hot on my heels.
I was too busy thinking of the many places around home i could stake out i did not notice it. Obviously tired, she had decided to use other tactics. I heard it even before i felt it. A loud thud, followed by me being propelled into the air, my head being the first thing in the air, dragging the rest of my body with it. I must’ve flown about 7 feet ahead. I never could tell. Still can’t to this day. All i know is flying is a pretty awesome thing. Provided it’s not caused by a brick being hurled by one angry woman. That’s right. A brick. A freaking housebuilding brick. The old lady had hurled a brick at me.
When i landed(albeit not so well, resulting into pieces of skin staying with the ground.), i was more concerned with what had sent me flying than with the landing itself. Then i saw the brick. My mouth dropped open. I could not believe it! This woman actually wanted to kill me! I stared at the brick, wide eyed with hand on head, and then looked at the old lady. She wasn’t done. I noticed she was breaking a switch from one of the hedges. I was not going through more. My brain then finally kicked in, and i knew i had a good idea even before it hit.
Standing up, somewhat lazily, i staggered a few steps towards the house, then fell on all fours. Managing to drool a drop of saliva, i stood up again. This time staggering all the way into the hedges, where i closed my eyes. This was the only way i was going to get off.
I heard her footsteps getting closer. A deep sigh and what i made to be a stick falling was what i heard. She had tossed the stick aside. I felt her strong callused hands drag my limp body up, and she tossed me over her shoulder. I half opened my eyes, and saw a few neighbours standing, watching. I faked a smile, and many of them broke into smiles as they walked off. This time they had missed a whipping, but had been spectators to one of the best action sequences the neighbourhood had ever experienced. Rambo had fallen, not to a bunch of vietnamese, but to the owner of the garden where the battle had taken place. An idea crept into my head as we went into the house, an idea that i figured would make me a legend for years to come on the village. Next time we were to act out kung fu movies, i was taking the old lady with me….

I am

I am that spark that ignites your desire
that which fuels your madness.
I am the explosion of your senses
the explicit insult to your feeble needs.
of mind and body, result or not.
I am the force within your planetary resolve
not gravity. nothing of the kind.
I am that which streaks in the sky
a dying star, I am not. to feeble, I think.
I am that which siphons your resistance
the strength of a thousand black holes, I have.
I am that which reasons with your soul
for your body is too weak.
I am that which is enthroned atop your passion
its master and commander.
I am the continuous peal of deafening thunder
that plagues your wild fantasies.
I am your fear
you are at my mercy, I come when I please.
I am the scandal of your life
you dare not whisper of my existence.
I am that unknown
which you seek with feverish want.
I am not yours to keep
not yours to have.
I am that which eludes you
the fruit above Tantalus’head, the water at his feet.
I am………
that which I will never know, that which you cannot know.
for I am incomplete.
and I am just beginning………….