Ugandans, re-arrange Ebola to spell opportunity


Please bear with the ebolised focus; this disease is like that. It takes over your mind, your every waking thought, and you eventually succumb.

But before it kills us all, you guys need to get up and smell the handwash detergents. Ebola can be spelt O.P.P.O.R.T.U.N.I.T.Y.!

Seriously, guys, stop whining and dying and pay a little bit of attention here because there is serious money to be made doing the following:

1. For Ugandans, start with the fact that we kicked Ebola soundly out of the country many years ago and proved that we are the most bad-ass at kicking Ebola’s ass (you need to use Americanisms like that because the main target market for what we are about to start selling will be the Americans). Get the entire world talking about how seriously we handled the disease the first-time round so that the world looks at us with a seriously newfound respect as they try to handle the disease and realise that it is actually harder than HIV/AIDS by FAR! If we can spin that story carefully with the Kony one, we could become the targets of all manner of efforts ranging from being asked to identify someone faster than Usain Bolt, to providing a supply of X-Men and Women.

But this is NOT the real opportunity, it’s just a foundation.

2. Ugandans, Start selling soap and hand sanitiser. I mean, World, Start buying Ugandan soap and hand sanitiser. It works best!

We need to get the world to understand that we didn’t get rid of Ebola by using dainty hand sanitisers in little teeny weeny bottles ensconced within feminine clasps and handbags, or using silly little bits of hand washing soap a la miserly hotel bathrooms. We used Sabuuni!

Sabuuni
Adapted from http://www.globalsoap.org

We used hardcore, proper, germ and virus decimating Ugandan made Sabuuni. It doesn’t smell unnecessarily sweet or fragrant; it doesn’t disintegrate for days and days even if you forget it in the basin when you delay to wash clothes for a little while; if it goes into the drain then the entire neighbourhood complains about a certain smell due to the blockage to the soak pit.

Sabuuni! The hardest soap ever made, only available in Uganda. If the rest of the world does not begin importing Ugandan made soap then they should import HazMat suits against Ebola and coffins.

All these so-called ‘lapses in protocols’ while handling ebola are just a result of an ill-advised reliance on soaps NOT made in Uganda.

Be like us, the people who beat ebola hands down back in the day when it was fresh and unknown and at its deadliest since there was so little research done into the damn disease and so little was known about it.

Use our Sabuuni. Or our JIK hand sanitiser solution, in canisters used from State House right up to my own home. In fact, dispatch it to the Ugandan candidates in the Big Brother House right now (mpozi who are they?)

3. Make videos about how to handle Ebola: Park all those Ugandan music videos I hear Sitya Loss ndi Boss and Panadol…keep the names and replace them with ‘Sitya Ebola ndi Boss’ done by the same Eddie Kenzo or Chameleone/Bobi Wine/Bebe Cool/Isaiah Katumwa/Maurice Kirya/Juliana Kanyomozi/The Afrigo Band/Rema/etc. In fact, let’s do a Ugandan All Stars Ebola song the way those other guys did We Are The World – call it We Beat Ebola! and fill it with the same catchy, dancy, rompy Ugandan beats that the world loves so much.

Do that and we will beat Naija music hands down. We won’t have Nollywood renamed Ebolaville because that is just scary, but if we multiply the popularity of Nollywood with the notoriety of Ebola and turn it into prosperity, then China will probably create a virus of their own called Ebolq just to get in on the action!

From www.mediaanalyst.co.ug
From www.mediaanalyst.co.ug

4.  Why are we not all international consultants on Ebola eradication? How are you a Ugandan sitting in your home or office just reading about this on the internet or watching CNN reports instead of being consulted, yet even random characters in the world of science, like Chris Brown, are making headlines talking about Ebola even though the most he has ever had is that disease that makes men slap their spouses black and blue?

Be serious!

Any one of you can release a book titled, ‘I Survived Ebola’ or a documentary about ‘How To Wash Ebola Out Of Your Life’ and this week you will be guaranteed more sales than that woman’s Anaconda video.

5. There are also hidden opportunities such as one chap posted onto Facebook, when he said he had walked to the end of a long supermarket queue in the United States, then taken a phone call in Luganda only for the entire supermarket to clear out on hearing the language because they realised he “was African” and therefore likely to be carrying the disease.

#Eish! That opportunity means you can open up an entire retail shopping business provided you have a white guy to help you with deliveries; or, on the dark side, you could rob banks by simply standing akimbo in the banking hall and shouting out stuff in your local vernacular while looking African – nobody will shoot, they will just flee till someone finds HazMat suits, by which time you will have emptied the vaults.

What you do, though, is don’t say “Gunigugu” – they’ve worked that one out already thanks to Eddie Murphy being so popular for so long.

I’ve told you – Ebola can be spelt O.P.P.O.R.T.U.N.I.T.Y.

Day 1/7: cue laughter in court


I was going to let the events of earlier today go by with just the tweets shared from my court experience, but then a group of tweeps threw the #UGBloggers7Days challenge my way and the literadrenaline was let loose.

Since I’m deeply involved in the case I can’t speak about the facts surrounding it, but today I was in the witness stand of a courtroom for the first time in my life, thanks to a lawsuit brought against MTN Uganda andSMS Media Uganda by former Mayor and almost-Minister Al-hajji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala.

Briefly, Sebaggala claims that the two made a ringtone out of his speech and have raked in billions of Uganda shillings, infringing on a copyright that belongs to him.

Legalities aside, why are we NOT spending more time hanging around court rooms for our general entertainment?

The curtain-raiser was seeing this massive maroon Uganda Prisons bus sidle alongside me and try to squeeze into the queue entering the commercial court, the way Kampala drivers tend to do as if the cars are just an extension of their bellies.

After realising that the bus wouldn’t fit, the driver drove on a little bit and parked by the side of the road to let the following alight:

BadBrown

It took me a couple of seconds to understand what I was seeing, and by that time she was walking right past me and all I could snap was:

20141014_085022

#BadBlack, I tweeted.

“Maybe #BadBrown!” someone replied.

Everyone at the Commercial Court was a comedian, for some reason – even the askaris who exchanged looks, comments and giggles as she walked past. In fact, #BadB herself was joking with that blouse matching her skin complexion.

The bus driver had started it all, though, having driven an entire damn bus all the way from Luzira just to drop this one prisoner with her guard.

Inside our court room, the opportunities for laughter were countless – even before we saw the playback of Seeya’s famous video recording (find that here or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmJ7AzBQB7c).

I doffed my hat off to the judge for not guffawing out loud as most other people did throughout the day, even though his face broke up more often than not.

At one point I mentioned that I had offered Sebaggala’s team refreshments when they came to SMS Media offices, to which his lawyer responded, “…you say you gave them groceries…”

“No, my Lord, refreshments. NOT groceries!” I quickly corrected the fellow, lest the court record indicated that I had attempted to bribe Seeya with some shopping items…

Then, at another point the same lawyer asked, at a very unnecessary (to me) point: “The content was the same but the codes were different. By different, what do you mean? What do you mean they were different?”

“Er…they were not the same.”

“They were different?”

“Yes.”

“What do you mean?”

I turned to the judge for help, but realised I could try one more time with, “They were not the same.”

He appeared to finally get it.

Drawing to the end of an entertaining cross-examination, the second lawyer said quite distinctly at one point, “You claim you got the recording and created an altercation which you call a CRBT…”

“I did not!”

“Yes, you did. You made an altercation out of the recording!”

“Surely not an altercation, my Lord!” I interjected, again.

The lawyer, however, was off on a tangent and not to be interrupted, so he went on for a bit while the rest of us tried to work out what chaos the ringtone had caused, besides this outburst…

“…an alteration, you mean?”

He smiled.

As did everybody else in the room – including Seeya himself.

Would that all court appearances were this amusing; or that I were being paid to attend them…

bruno and the Ushs100,000


CERTIFICATE - Bruno
The scene – my two-car parking lot at the house.
The time – late one evening last week.
Protagonists – myself and, of course, Bruno, and certainly not in that order.

The day had been long and tiring, and I was surprised to be getting home roundabout the same time as Bruno, that earnestly comedic driver currently employed to convey my wife and children around town.

“Sir!” he said, to catch my attention after walking in my direction and stopping a respectful distance away.

I stopped offloading my car and turned towards him.

“Yes?”

He took one careful step forward, put one hand onto his wrist, and then brought the second hand forward to hand me two crisp Ushs50,000 notes.

Bruno often surprises me by the way his mind works, so I never attempt to work out the meaning of his gestures, mumbled words or even those he delivers with the right elocution.

So I took nothing for granted and, before bringing my hand out to accept the cash offering, I had to ask: “What’s this?”

Bruno did not disappoint.

He responded with such finality and purpose that for a couple of seconds I suspected he had set it all up for this one priceless moment when he would have me in front of him, about to receive two Ushs50,000 notes and asking, “What’s this?”

Because he replied with a very straight, blank, clear face: “Money.”

I almost died, and to this day thank God that this had not happened while I was drinking a glass of water or chewing on some hard bits of food, because I would have choked and died.

Again, the man was absolutely CORRECT! “This” WAS money! He was 100% correct on that count; he was handing me money.

My question had not covered the full length of the information I wanted from him – such as what the money was for, where it was from, what they excepted in return, and so on and so forth.

I had only asked, “ What is this?”

My suspicion that he had done this on purpose in order to respond, “Money” however, was short-lived. Surely, I thought, he would have first started with, “My hands, sir!” then after I had pressed on a bit, moved to “Money!”

But again, this was Bruno, and his blank face sometimes suggested that there were vacancies available behind it.

This was one of those times.

Farewell, Spain, we are now very much both World Cup-less even though #SpainIsNotUganda


Dear Spain,

No hard feelings, right? If there are any, then tough. We are not the ones who scored those goals or failed to stop them going into the nets.

But at least you guys have photos with the World Cup in your cabinet, so kudos (clap, clap).

And since there must be space in your album, here are a few more photos to throw into the mix – kind of like making a Spanish Omelette…speaking of which:

Spanish Omelette

But if you’re not that hungry, then perhaps you can eat Ugandan (I sense a sneer on the face of the Spanish Prime Minister, but he would be pleasantly surprised after the first bite into this):

Spanish Rolex

He’d look a lot less grumpy after one of these, I’m sure; and hopefully he’ll share it with Vicente, del Bosque, who as he reads this blog must be thinking:

del Bosque & Rajoy

 

He probably didn’t get audience with the Prime Minister earlier otherwise like many other Spaniards:

Just Apologise

 

Anyway, last night we watched the game on channels such as UBC.

African_Children

 

It wasn’t an easy game at all for our ‘brothers’ and we felt genuinely sorry even though we ribbed them to no end…all unnecessary if Rajoy had only apologised as frequently advised from all corners.

Mama Fiina

We talked about a lot while watching the game, but kept a certain focus running.

Spanner

 

And also made it clear where we stood:

Spain Supporter...Not

 

So the inevitable happened, for reasons that had nothing to do with #SpainIsNotUganda – it was all practical:

Casillas

Before long:

Waiting for Casillas

 

Taxi

The options began to open up:

Visa Application

Either way, there was just one option left (besides the apology for saying #SpainIsNotUganda):

KEEP CALM

Ka-Jambo

 

 

the daily dose, as served up by my man Bruno


Today’s helping came from my regular supplier, Bruno.

He has a humble soul to match the sharpness of his intelligence, and his comedic value far outweighs the irritation that accompanies it.

I don’t use him every day, but sometimes find myself ceding on-road vehicle management to him.

Part of his usefulness is in ensuring that vehicle parts are not popped off the vehicle while it is parked, and that valuables and other not-so-valuables do not disappear from the vehicle when my wife and I are absent.

As he dropped me at the Jubilee Insurance Centre on Parliamentary Avenue, I gave him the usual life-or-death reminder regarding my laptop: “Do not let it out of your sight. Do not leave it in the car. Do not let it get stolen.” twice in English, and twice in Luganda.

I pointed at the bag. I made him turn back to look at the bag. Then I made him look at me to see how serious I was, as usual, about this issue.

“Now go to the Parking Lot and please wait for me there. I will tell you when I am done with the meeting,” I said, and left after he had confirmed comprehension – which never really means much.

Two hours later, my meeting over and done with, I switched my phone on as I was walking out and saw an SMS indicating that Bruno had tried to call me not fifteen minutes earlier.

I felt a sense of dread come over me. The only reason he would be calling would be to tell me he had changed his location or to report an issue.

You would only understand the depth of my fear if you knew the full story of Bruno and his absolute inability to give or follow directions (which you might hear about later on). This shortfall makes it almost impossible to do anything with him if you are not physically in the same place.

But the next three minutes confirmed that he is improving.

I called him back praying that he had not been sent anywhere else or gotten lost between the front of the building and the Parking Lot.

“Bruno!”

“Yes, sir?”

“You tried to call me?”

“Yes, sir.”

Silence as I waited for him to tell me why he had tried to call me.

Silence as he waited for me to tell him (again) why I had called him.

“Yeah, Bruno. What is it? Why had you called?”

“Sir,” he said, “I had called to tell you madame sent me to fix the tyre.”

“Okay,” I replied, afraid that he was now probably in Entebbe or Mityana, trying to fix the tyre, “So where are you?”

*Here it is*

And he said: “Shell.”

Pause, at this point, and appreciate that where I was standing, on Parliamentary Avenue, smack in the centre of Kampala, being told that he was at ‘Shell’ was as descriptive as any other word in the english language at that point. Among words he could have said and been equally informative were: ‘Chicken’, ‘Biscuits’, ‘Bricks’, ‘Cement’…and even places such as, ’Take-away’, ‘Restaurant’, ‘Hotel’, and so on and so forth.

But I picked out the silver lining in my situation as I stood in the hot sun working out which ’Shell’ he was probably at and worked up the courage to pursue a line of questioning for more details:

You see, just a month ago, Bruno always answered the question, “Where are you?” with the precise and prompt response: “Here!”

I always planned that when I found myself down in the dumps I would call him up with this question so he lightens the mood.

He had improved from “Here” to, at least, saying the name of the place.

So, calculating that the nearest Shell to where we were was probably the one above Grand Imperial Hotel, I hurriedly started my climb uphill and continued my line of questioning, but first by ascertaining that my bag was still safe.

“Do you have my bag, Bruno? Are you watching it?”

He had been waiting for this question, I could tell from the glee with which he answered: “Yes, sir! I am having your bag with me!”

Great! I slowed my pace down a little bit at that news, which was a little lucky because then I asked him which Shell petrol station he was at exactly and he answered:

“This one.”

True, in fact, but very, very, very useless information
True, in fact, but very, very, very useless information

*I am not making this story up. You may wish to meet Bruno and spend a little time with him if you want to verify his general embeera (the way he be’s). 

“Bruno! Which Shell?!”

I stopped in my tracks.

“Total,” he said, “Opposite Uganda House.”