about the one photograph i regret having missed at Namboole yesterday


THE one photograph from yesterday’s #NRMconference at Namboole that I wish I had taken was the first one of the day, right at the security checkpoint where I was waiting to get my laptop cleared.

The access at the start of the day where the President is involved is a somewhat uncertain affair that involves explaining oneself to many polite but firm soldiers whose commitment to the task they are assigned is such that you would rather watch somebody else put it to the test than volunteer for the caper.

I have had many years’ practice of standing patiently by the side till the soldiers in question have done their job, and Sunday morning gave me another thirty minutes of experience during which the photo opportunity presented itself:

A large fellow employed by Silk Events as a ‘Bouncer’ had squeezed through the Sentinel security checkpoint, inescapably rubbing his massive muscles along the inside of the thing as he went through, and walked quickly past the small-bodied, plain clothes soldier doing the checking in spite of the beeping sound that occurred as he had gone through.

“Gwe, allo!” the small-bodied, plain clothes soldier declared.

And the bouncer stopped, a little bit surprised.

I could tell that the large fellow was uncomfortable being taken through a process that he probably runs on a much less dangerous scale every weekend or every other day. He had this demeanour about him that I would expect from a doctor who finds himself being processed through a clinic in a foreign land where he fails to start up the conversation that says, “You know, I am actually a doctor myself…”

That conversation is useless because of the famous taunt, “Physician, heal thyself!” as well as the practicality of things when one is not feeling well.

The doctor could be an orthopaedic surgeon, for instance, but when he gets a toothache he would have to totally succumb to a dental technician without asking questions. Or he could be a professor of epidemiology but once he sprains his ankle he is as good as a cabbage farmer being asked to design a political campaign poster.

This was my bouncer pal, about the size of a cow, being stopped by a mere human being at a security check point.

He came to a halt quite quickly but then I saw him doing a mental calculation that took in the diminished (compared to himself) size of the plain clothes soldier who had said, “Gwe, allo!” and factored in the numerous other plain clothes and uniformed soldiers within walk-over-and-slap distance.

His mental mathematics clearly involved the fact that there were possibly many years of intense and specialised training in ways to maim or kill people identified as a threat or a danger, all compacted into the humbly sized body of this fellow.

The equation must have made sense because the only way anyone could say, “Gwe, allo!” to a person with muscles the size of a modest commercial building, was if they had some hidden element within them that could neutralise the strength and energy he could muster up in anger, irritation or at the call of duty.

Actually, judging from the speed with which he lowered his shoulders, turned his head down, and took a couple of steps back, I could tell that his calculation had replaced ‘slap’ with ‘mortally-destroy-beyond-possible-recognition’ – which made me realise that the fellow was actually a fairly wise man.

But that’s NOT when I would have taken the photograph.

He came back to the sentinel checkpoint and submitted himself to a pat-down that was not very efficient since the small-bodied, plain clothes soldier could not reach his neck. In fact, if the bouncer had somehow implanted bullets or a small landmine into that neck as thick as most people’s thighs, then we would be reading a very different flavour of news today.

The photograph I would have taken would have been the one after the hulk had finally completed his check and been cleared of most of the suspicion the small-bodied, plain clothes soldier harboured either by default or because of the beeping.

My missed photograph opportunity occurred as the traumatisingly-sculptured Silk Events giant cautiously bounced off into the stadium, and the small-bodied, plain clothes soldier turned quite deliberately and watched him carefully.

My missed photograph opportunity would have captured the small-bodied plain clothes chap thinking to himself the thought: “But if this guy had caused any trouble after I said, ‘Gwe, allo’… eh!”

I will regret for a long time, missing that photograph.

an eid aduha tragicomedy along the Hoima highway


Tragicomedy – a term that students of secondary school literature back in my day learnt with relish but linked to the likes of William Shakespeare and days medieval in England.
It is also a term that very aptly describes many situations we go through on a day to day basis here in the beloved Pearl of Africa, which situations have us rolling around in laughter enhanced by a hysterical relief that that thin line wasn’t crossed to engulf us in grief.
This latest one involved a public holiday, an eager, relocating-to-upcountry-so-I-must-go-to-check-every-chance-I-get old man, an array of silly employees of various kinds, a village mother, her son and their bystander neighbours, a pick up truck, and a bicycle.
It is a long story, but I know how to cut things short.
The old man in question, eager to make full use of the Eid Aduha holiday, popped two manual labourers onto the back of his small 1200cc Datsun pickup and headed for Hoima early that morning. The labourers were fresh in from south-western Uganda, having arrived the night before at his home in Kampala, and were eager to get work in.
Somewhere before Kiboga, after a couple of hours of slow driving, the old man was certainly not at his most alert but aware enough of the road when a little boy on a rickety bicycle suddenly meandered onto the highway.
Swerving very quickly to avoid vehicular homicide, the old man was aghast to find that the the little chap on the bicycle was also making attempts to avoid being hit by the pickup truck. Their combination of effort, not being synchronised by way of a discussion or even simple gestures to agree which side either of them should go in order to share the road space in a manner that would guarantee safety of life, resulted in a loud crash.
The pick up truck came to a halt right in the middle of the road and the old man headed in the direction of the drainage trench where he believed he had seen the boy’s body fall, sans bicycle wreck.
A small bystander crowd began to gather, however, and called him back to first take his pick up out of the road in case other vehicles showed up. A brief debate occurred that the old man quickly realised would only end if he moved the damn pick up before going for the boy – which nobody else appeared to be doing.
Pick up truck by the side of the road, he ran back to where the boy was now sitting up and weeping. The chap could not have been more than nine years of age, but the old man could not account for the effects of his diet over time on his current body size. Suddenly, a boda-boda appeared and the bystanders strongly advised a hospital visit.
The old man attempted to offer his pick up truck as conveyance for the little chap but they were not having that – he had to go by boda-boda.
Leeta sente za boda!” (Bring the boda money!) a fellow insisted, as the boy and an escort arranged themselves onto the thing.
Ushs3,000.
As the old man walked to the pick up truck to follow the accident victim, he noticed another fellow seated by the side of the road with a large would at his elbow and a swollen shoulder. The fellow looked somewhat familiar, and as the old man slowed down to work out where he might possibly have seen him before, a bystander called out, “Take that one as well!”
He was one of the labourers, who had fallen off the pick up truck during the collision.
Off they went, following the boda-boda, but just before they left someone shouted out that he knew the boy’s mother and was going to fetch her to the hospital.
The boda-boda went right past the large Kiboga Hospital and straight to a clinic near the town. There, treatment ensued, focussing on the little boy who had now gathered his wits about him but still presented cuts and bruises from the fall.
Half an hour later, they heard his mother arrive with a couple of bystanders. After assessing the situation in the waiting room, she declared with confidence and much relief that the person sitting there was not her son.
She was correct.
It was the manual labourer who had fallen off the pick up and was still waiting for some medical attention as his shoulder went on swelling up.
The old man stepped out of the doctor’s office, called the boy’s mother inside and pointed her to the young fellow to confirm whether this victim, at least, was her son.
He was.
She turned onto her offspring with that sudden wrath that some mothers switch on for their children when they discover any wrongdoing. In Luganda, she unleashed a tirade of questions regarding: a) What the boy was doing riding the bicycle on the main highway b) Why he refused to listen c) Whether he was stupid or not d) His general level of stupidity e) Whether he knew what grief he could have caused the family if the accident had been worse…and so on and so forth.
All this, meanwhile, was as she charged at the boy in order to administer corporal punishment. If you don’t know how mothers tend to whip you when you turn up with a small injury, then check out #AfricanMothersBeLike and #AfricanParentsBeLike on Twitter.
The old man restrained her, quite painfully because he had injured his shoulder during the collision, and was joined by a bystander-cum-neighbour.
Eventually, she calmed down but continued seething with anger. This silly boy, she explained, has been knocked by a vehicle on that very highway before!
In fact, she said, he had been shown a different, presumably safer, road to use when running his errands!
And even then, she complained, he shouldn’t have been using THAT bicycle, but another one altogether!
Gwe. If I had been there I’d be thinking to myself that she was more angry and concerned about the mangled bicycle than the scarred chap.
The ‘Doctor’, meanwhile, carried on with dressing the little fellow’s wounds and at the end stated the cost.
Ushs10,000
As the boy began recuperating, the old man introduced the injured labourer into the room, and when the Doctor saw the state of his now-very-swollen shoulder, he declared that this was a more serious matter.
No. He would not handle it. No. He needed to go to a bigger hospital elsewhere – and not the Kiboga Hospital.
The fellow would need much more than what Kiboga could do, the Doctor decreed. He did, however, administer painkillers and then commence writing a report of some sort.
It was while he was doing so, very slowly, that the old man realised that the woman, her injured son, and probably half their neighbourhood were still in the ante room.
There was the matter of reparations.
Ushs50,000.
And the exchange of phone numbers. Not for the purpose of claiming insurance or whatever they do it for in movies, and certainly not to enable a hookup later on, knowing this old man and imagining the sudden, unprepared presentation of the boy’s Kiboga mother that morning.
Off the pick-up went, to the hospital in Hoima, with the moaning labourer, his colleague, the old man and a lot of relief that the situation had been resolved fairly quickly. At Hoima Hospital, having disembarked at the first building, they were told very abruptly that they should take the fellow to the casualty section.
So they walked over to the casualty section.
At the casualty section they were asked where their admission papers were. They had none.
“You need to go back to that first building and get admission papers,” they were told.
So they walked back to the first building, saw the very same person they had seen when they first arrived there, and got the admission papers they needed. Then they walked back to the casualty ward, and commenced the treatment process – which very shortly thereafter meant they had to take the poor, injured fellow for an X-ray.
Not in the hospital, because it was a public holiday and the person in charge of conducting the X-ray was not available.
But, someone explained, there was an option available at a private clinic not far away.
The old man considered the agony the labourer was in, especially since the painkiller was fast wearing off, and rushed off to the private clinic.
Ushs25,000.
The injured labourer was processed and taken into the X-ray room, and after a few minutes of waiting the old man asked the nurse how long it would take before they got the results.
One hour.
He thought about it a little bit, calling on memories built over many years, and was a little puzzled – why would it take so long?
Okay, she responded, forty minutes.
He considered negotiating further but could not find logical ground for doing so, and could not envision where the discussion would end.
Eventually, they did get the X-ray done, and rushed back to the hospital to get treatment.
But it was a public holiday, remember, and there was no Physician or professional present with the qualifications or mandate to analyse the image or handle the case.
But if they went to a private clinic nearby…
As I said before, I know how to cut a long story short, so I will do so here just so you don’t experience the mental pain and agony of thinking of the physical pain and agony the old man and his more injured labourer were feeling by the time they got the right level of treatment the next day.
I’ll also leave out the part where, that evening as they arrived at the private clinic, a phonecall came through from the mother of the bicycle riding boy…the reparations were not enough to replace the bicycle, and could the old man send Ushs100,000 more?
He did.

sending Bruno to the parking lot fwaaaaa


Progres

IT’S been a while since you heard about Bruno, and I want to assure you that he is still doing quite alright and providing his endless stream of irritating entertainment guided by thought processes running at a very unfashionable speed.
Luckily for me, he is employed to drive somebody else – my wife – and when I am unlucky and find my car taken custody by a mechanic, I submit to Bruno and the uncertainities involved in travelling with him.
Today, after leaving the dentist’s chair, we got into slow traffic outside the Acacia Mall and I decided on a whim to hop out and change some money.
NOTE 1: Never do anything on a whim where Bruno is involved. Plan very carefully and plan again, just in case anything can go wrong – because it will. When it does, revert to the next step in your plan.
I knew this about him, so I thought my plan out clearly then told him, “I am going out briefly. Drive round to the Kisementi parking and I’ll find you there when I’m done.”
My brother believes the problem with Bruno is his understanding of the English language, but I have often proved that not to be the case. All instructions to do with his money and his feeding, for instance, are received and acted upon quite well in english, yet those to do with my money or my feeding go awry.
I thought about the Kisementi arrangement a little bit more and came up with a better idea – City Oil is a much smaller place and was right there, about twenty metres ahead of us.
Plus, because it was right there, I could point at it on top of giving him the verbal instructions.
What could go wrong?
NOTE 2: Never ask “What could go wrong?” when doing anything involving Bruno. Murphy is nothing; a child – mere games to Bruno’s war-ness.
“No. DON’T go to Kisementi; go to the City Oil parking instead. That one there.” I pointed at it.
I waited a couple more minutes as I thought about what I was doing and considered seriously what could possibly go wrong, wondering what else I should tell the man in order to ensure no disruptions to the plan or nature itself.
It was that additional minute of waiting and extra consideration that led to my leaving my phone behind when I eventually hopped out of the car as the traffic started moving again.
I realised it when I had arrived at the building, and turned back to see traffic back at a standstill and Bruno not too many metres from where I had alighted.
Perhaps I could complete my errand and make it back before anything went wrong?
I tried.
Speeding through the process that had made me hop out of the vehicle, I made it back to the road within four minutes but…Bruno and his car were gone!
Surely he had driven straight to the City Oil parking lot.
The clouds had darkened with the threat of an afternoon shower, so I hurried across the road and was in the parking lot well within a minute.
This is when I realised I had a problem. I had gone to the forecourt, where the fuel pumps are, which I had pointed at when I said “Parking Lot”.
Suppose Bruno, overthinking matters and aiming to impress me, had thought to himself, “This man said ‘Parking Lot’ but pointed at the ‘Forecourt’ but I am sure he meant for me to go to the Parking Lot at the back.”?
This highly improbable thought was a likelihood because Bruno’s car was not visible within the confines of the forecourt. So I went to the ‘City Oil Parking Lot’, which I realised – when I go there – was actually the Cafe Javas (not City Oil) Parking Lot!
There was no way Bruno would think to himself a thought such as, “But this guy said City Oil Parking Lot and this one is the Cafe Javas one. Maybe the City Oil Parking Lot is the one downstairs?” before proceeding downstairs.
But because I could see no sign of either him or the car he was driving when I last saw him, I accepted the extremely unbelievable premise that his mind had gone that way.
Even as I hurried down the staircase I was calculating to myself that the time that had gone between my leaving the car and that point at which I was trying to work out his whereabouts, was generally too short for Bruno to have made all those decisions.
He wasn’t there. Neither was the car.
NOTE 3: Never think too much when working Bruno out.
Just in case – in the very unlikely event – Bruno had happened to be driving to and fro as I had walked from forecourt to parking lot to parking lot and we had missed each other that way, I basically sprinted back.
Remember, at this point, that I had just been on a dentist’s chair. One side of my face felt like a basketball and my tongue was as thick as my belly (I’ve REALLY skipped the gym).
I told myself, when I got through the upper parking lot and was standing on the forecourt, that perhaps my words had been garbled when I told him to park in the City Oil parking lot.
But then, if that were the case, how had he heard me telling him to go to Kisementi? Maybe my pointing had been unclear, because of something to do with the painkillers I had swallowed at the dentist’s?
If so, WHERE could he be? Had he gone to the City Oil on Bombo Road? Bakuli? Kyambogo? Had he gone to a Sitya Loss concert?
I maintained baffle stations as I walked into Cafe Javas to find someone – anyone – with a mobile phone I could use to call him (remember I left mine in the car?) even though I knew the odds were that his phone would be off.
For the first time since it opened, I walked through Cafe Javas Kisementi and recognised nobody there – not even the staff!
I resumed my bamboozlement about Bruno’s whereabouts, which led me to the simplest possible explanation: Perhaps he had stopped listening after the Kisementi instruction.
There are people who do this. Like when you ask someone for a phone number over the phone and you don’t have pen or paper, but after they read it out to you they try to continue the conversation while for you you are just reciting in your head “0-7-9-2-8-0-0-0-8-0”. Eventually you just hang up on them, planning to save the number then call back claiming the network was bad, so that you don’t appear to be a selfish caller…then they call you back when you’ve only typed out four digits…
Bruno was at Kisementi.
So I turned and headed over there, quickly. Even as I got to the corner of the Acacia Mall, I realised the risk of turning off to Kisementi at the same time as Bruno was probably giving up on finding parking there and was driving to City Oil.
So I stopped and pondered my options.
And it was while I was doing so that I turned to face the direction from whence I had conducted my frantic search, to see Bruno’s car slowly reversing into a parking spot, in the ‘Parking Lot’ of Cafe Javas.
As he turned from inspecting his parking prowess, since he doesn’t like to use the side mirrors, our eyes met and he quickly dropped his away. The guilt was obvious, and I pondered over it as I crossed the road yet again to finally embark the vehicle.
“Bruno,” I said quite sternly with my temper fully in check and my tongue quite restored, “Where did you go?”
He tried that tactic of mumbling something unclear but I sustained my line of questioning, unwavered.
“Sir,” he said, “I drove around.”
This was insufficient information, so I probed further.
“I am sorry, sir,” he conceded a minute later, “I went to Kisementi…”
So I had eventually been right.
But then…why had he come here, then, at the end of it all? What had made him think of City Oil? What had happened at Kisementi?
“There was no parking at Kisementi…”
Think about that for a moment.
Yes – if he HAD found parking space at Kisementi, he might have parked the car there and I would have STILL circulated round City Oil and Javas before walking to Kisementi. But supposing I had left the car with my phone, or had found one of you guys with a phone inside Java’s, was his mobile phone on?
“No, sir. My battery is dead…”

whoever killed captain alex did Uganda a major favour!


ABOUT five years ago the trailer for the movie ‘Who Killed Captain Alex’ was posted to YouTube.com.
Many of us suffered physical injuries caused by laughing when we were first introduced to that two minute trailer, and we sought out the full movie with both caution and relish, but zero success – until about a month ago when it was actually ‘released’.
The danger of additional physical injury due to uncontrollable laughter was real and almost life-threatening right from when the film opened up. The hilarity of ‘Who Killed Captain Alex?’ runs non-stop from the opening credits stating, “This film is lost and all that survives is a low-resolution DVD master. This is due, in part, to the harsh working conditions, but Nabwana IGG also erased his computer to be able to make his next action film, Tebaatusasula. He never imagined anyone outside his own village would see this film.”
From there on, the viewer is subjected to over one hour’s footage of ludicrously comedic proportions in terms of presentation, plot, production, and everything possible and impossible on screen.
Many of us watched the trailer on its own and never got round to catching the full movie, and many more dismissed it as inferior to the quality that they are accustomed to, from Hollywood and such other lofty heights.
But this week the man behind ‘Who Killed Captain Alex?’ has made it to the mainstream global news and given Uganda positive media coverage while the rest of the region is engulfed in floods right in the middle of their cities, and coup d’etats.
It turns out that after that first trailer was released back in 2010, a young fellow in the United States, in New York, spotted it and within forty seconds of viewing had made the decision to come to Uganda.
The American, Alan ‘Ssali’ Hofmanis, didn’t even call the number at the end of the trailer – 0712921775 – or do a background check on this ‘Ramon Productions’. He processed himself, bought a ticket and came straight on down to Uganda, and then somehow made his way to Wakaliga, the village where Isaac Nabwana (I interchangeably call him Nabwana and Nabwaana because one is more likely the accurate one and the other has been assumed) lives and shoots his movies.
Yes – movies! Nabwaana didn’t stop at ‘Who Killed Captain Alex?’; he has also produced or shot trailers for ‘Tebaatusasula’, ‘Return of Uncle Benon’, ‘Bad Black’ and ‘Rescue Team’, among others!
Ergo the term ‘Wakaliwood’ – a merger between Wakaliga and Hollywood (visit http://watch.wakaliwood.com/ for the high profile version).
The number of YouTube views the young man has garnered are in the millions, and should be immediately taken up by the Uganda Tourism Board, the Uganda Investment Authority and any commercial entity in Uganda that is interested in international exposure. Seriously! Those are millions of eyes of people whose cognitive association with Uganda is happily full of mirth – not Idi Amin, Ebola, Politics or any of the usual stupidity!
Plus, the comments of the viewers tell you everything there is to know about the power of creating content and posting it onto the internet.
The fact that Hofmanis needed only forty seconds of film to make the decision to  leave the United States for a life in Uganda is proof that we can move millions of people’s dollars, euros, pounds, yuan, yen and even Zim dollars if we create the right content and use it wisely on the internet.
You see, platforms such as YouTube are incredible tools for countries like Uganda if we learn how to harness them properly. This week Uganda also won the award for Best African Exhibitor 2015 at the Indaba Tourism Fair in South Africa, thanks to the hard work of our Tourism sector and the people at the helm there.
That stand cost us lots of sweat, money and additional hard work doing sales and marketing, and was probably visited by thousands of people whose primary function in life is directing monied tourists to the countries they should spend their time and money in. It was VERY important.
But consider that with about US$200 per film, Isaac Nabwaana and Wakaliwood has the potential on YouTube of reaching 1,000,000,000 (one billion) users, and that every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube. This website is localised in 75 countries and is available in 61 languages – so films like ‘Who Killed Captain Alex?’ with its amateur but extremely funny expressive comedy, could be replicated 61 times if our Department of Languages put some work into it – probably getting us 61,000,000 views in the process!
If just one percent of each view got us one visitor here within forty seconds the way Hofmanis was snared (or forty minutes), that would be … US$30million in visa fees alone at US$50 per visa payable at Entebbe Airport!
Give Him A MedalUS$30million revenue to the Republic of Uganda from the selfless creative efforts of an uncelebrated slum-dweller called Isaac Nabwaana of Wakaliga who neverGive Him A Medal 2 features in any of our celebrity pages and never gets mentioned on Twitter and Facebook and certainly won’t be on any of our national medal lists any time soon…except mine, now, because this Give Him A Medal 3young man has definitely made my week as a proud Ugandan!
If you are online and savvy enough to join the crowdsourcing initiative, you could visit their Kickstarter page and throw in your offering.
If you are in Uganda and can’t be Give Him A Medal 4bothered to do such things as transfer money online, perhaps you will visit that page and see how Nabwaana and company have converted bits of old vehicles into film-making equipment. If you do make that observation, and have a couple of old hard drives, computers, and other stuff that could be useful to a film-maker, donate it to Nabwaana and team.
I haven’t asked for their permission to say this, but I am sure the clothes they wear as props come from some wardrobe somewhere that could do with replenishing with whatever the rest of us can come up with.

Unlike many other people of self-importance, the man even has his own documentary selling on Amazon! See here: http://www.amazon.com/Wakaliwood-Nabwana-I-G-G/dp/B00F4CNEXE – putting Uganda on the map for much better reasons than fraud, theft, embezzlement, wars and what not!

I just wish I could translate this into the commentary language that the Wakaliwood guys use in their movies – complete with a translation of the volleys of bullets (“Wololololo!”); and THAT’S another thing Nabwaana and company are doing for us – putting us out there for that innovative translation of movies into our local vernacular.

Nabwaana is a good Ugandan!Give Him A Medal 5

the day stephen bought some new car insurance


Dedicating this morning to the protagonists in a series of actions that constituted the following experience recounted to me last week, and that I hope you one day go through first hand, if you have not already encountered people of this nature.

Stephen (not real name unless you actually know the guy – in which case, feel free to shell him to the high heavens) is the lazy type of gainfully employed Ugandan who will not do anything close to manual or menial provided there is a chap nearby who values a Ushs500 coin or two.

Last week on about Thursday he renewed his third party insurance by way of a loose boda-boda bound courier, and realised as he got to his home later in the night that the sticker had not been applied to the relevant part of his vehicle windscreen.

He was too lazy, as mentioned above, to reach across to the co-driver’s seat for the insurance tag and accompanying adhesive sticker, un-peel both and apply them against the glass.

The work involved would have taken almost as long as reading the above paragraph both times you did.

Instead, he went to bed, and the problem was still present when he returned to the car the next morning. By convenience, the askari was hovering nearby and ready to receive instructions to place the insurance sticker where it should be.

“Take off the old one first, then put this one there,” Stephen told him, handing over a couple of thousand shillings for the job, before going back in to do something less menial for a few minutes and generally not be in the presence of such work being done at his vehicle.

He eventually drove to the office and just as he was tossing the keys to the fellow who washes it every morning, he noticed something amiss with the newly-placed insurance sticker.

He couldn’t believe that the askari fellow had done the job so wrong, and turned to the car-washing chap to ask, “Do you see what’s wrong with that insurance sticker?”

“Yes, sir,” responded the car-washing guy, chuckling a bit at the foolishness of whoever had placed it, and quite certain that this was going to result in a revenue earning task for him.

The sticker had been placed on the windshield upside down. The words were facing downwards instead of upwards. The logo of the insurance company, which was quite recognisable even if one were incapable of making out the words by way of reading, was also upside down.

This proved both that the askari was definitely not a scholar who had fallen on hard times and resorted to that lowly occupation, and that he was not a man of simple logic. The wretched chap had probably stood by the side of the car at such an angle that he was holding the sticker upright by the time he approached the vehicle windscreen, but found himself having to turn his arm downwards in order to place it in the required spot.

Stephen shook his head in both wonder and dismay, then issued instructions to the car washing guy to fix it. And he left to get some white collar work done within the comfort of his office, surrounded by computers, internet access, coffee and biscuits and people far more sensible.

Several hours later, responding to a meeting alert about a lunch meeting at a trendy nearby cafe, he put his computer to sleep, made for his clean vehicle and was just about to set off when he noticed something else amiss.

He shot out of the car in a panic and went closer to inspect it, and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

The car washing guy had ‘fixed it’ by pasting the insurance sticker onto the front of the windscreen, with the back of the sticker facing up top; so that if a traffic officer needed to read the sticker, he would have to push his head into the car to see the details thereon.

Stephen was flummoxed. He could not understand how the car washing guy had never noticed in all these years that the stickers are placed under the windscreen with the details facing outwards. He also could not work out why the guy had not noticed that this was the case with the other, older car insurance sticker that was still in place.

And by the way, hadn’t he told the askari to first remove the old sticker and then replace it with the new one?!!!