Wednesday, June 28, 2006

in my travels

ya'll know how i'm, i'm a picture freak! i see a beautiful picture, i gotta have that pictrure and not only that, i gotta show it to everyone. that's just who i'm. i can't rest till everyone's seeing what i see and hopefully appreciating as much. i don't want to get mushy but i think it's wrong not to share beautiful things or a thing of beauty. i know this may sound skewered logic to some but i believe that we all contribute somehow to things of beauty and therefore deserve to share them equally too.

but i have been getting an education. In her Saturday, June 24, 2006 post Omni showed me how this is or a bad habit so i gotta be a lot more careful. you never know who's reading this and before you know it, i could be sued off the net for good. rightly so, i must add. any creator deserves to earn from their intellectual labour and it's not right to get props off them (and more bitingly, money) without at least acknowledging who the creator is.

which brings me meanderingly to what this post is about. i have been diving in all sorts of places and again i got some real dishes of pix which i think all you fellow picture freaks will like, maybe a few even drool over.

i don't bitch a lot about my situation because much of it is self-made and the parts that aren't, well there are lotsa people out there i know doing much worse. but i have always honestly felt that i was kicked out the creator's workshop a little too soon without my drawing skills. i deserved to be able to draw! i mean, since i was 12 i have been the target of several artist friends who drawn cartoons of me and this deplorable habit continues to today! (remind me to put up a gallery of this sometime). surely i deserved to be able to draw too.

the camera, i'm shakily learning to handle and soon, very soon, you'll be enjoying or enduring my first efforts. but in the meantime, what i dug up for your viewing pleasure...


I know it was staged and all but it still in my book sizzles! It's the omph(!) factor of it all. if you know what i mean. got it off one of those websites i'm always swearing this is the last time i ever visit, goddamit. and i think you go there too!

but i like to keep it local whenever i can and most of the time so local we go...

i like to call this picture the hunger artist (Franz Kafka fans, wave a little! strangely, i hear it more often these days, apparently Kafka was convinced he was writing comedy! story for another day). i know this guy, sorta anyway, nearly interviewed him when i was doing a piece on streetballing in Kampala but he didn't have the transport money to make it to the interview venue. this is one of the pictures some guy came to Ug and took of the leading artists in the underground hiphop movement.

i think we all like the guiter, don't we?

is this nearly world class? can you identify where in Kampala this picture was taken? ( Jay this is for you especially!) this lady can write. she's called Saint CA and she refuses to be famous.

if this isn't product endorsment, i don't know what is.

i'm told this is a bar called Spot After (are you as delighted by the name too?) These last two pix belongs to the guys i sometimes work for when i have it together. they got very good lawyers so before you go and steal this picture, think about the consequences. don't say i didn't warn you! that said, this could be a very good place for Jay and Dennis to buy me that drink they owe me since Ghana were soundly spanked.

the victor doesn't always get everything

ghana may have lost but they do have the prettiest fan...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who's your Obsession?

Welcome, let me introduce you to...
Omni asked for this once. Well, here we are. These are the Obsessions, Uganda’s leading dancing group. Rephrase: Uganda’s leading contemporary dance group. I don’t quite understand what that means, contemporary dance, but they do put on quite a show when they’re on stage. I know all of them, not as well I would like but…well…anyway, who’s your favorite Obsession? I have one.

the girls

They’ll probably skin me alive and but I spoke to two gents already too… and I’m quoting…

(Very Important Entertainment Writer): oh and my fav Obsession used to B Cleo.
(V.I.E.W): okay.
hetaeri1: then she did what?
hetaeri1: it seems she's many peoples fav
(V.I.E.W.):she seemed the most "intelligent".
hetaeri1: seemed and then?
(V.I.E.W): neva felt sweet like Sharon and Brenda.

and another vote for...
"Cleo, which I am told is her name in short, is known most widely for her contribution towards the Obsessions, a troupe of… well, I was going to say “dancers” but then I am old school. I saw it all, from breakin’ to Backstreet boys and in my opinion, coordinated waving of hands and wiggling of hips does not qualify as high caliber choreography. And as for their singing, I saw the video, yes, but the women were too topless for me to pay attention to anything they were saying. However, I have heard that they are not dismal. Cleo, as we were saying before we were rudely interrupted, is known most widely as one of the six surviving Obsessions, but her talents range much further than that. A veritable renaissance woman, this youngster has served as a tv presenter, aerobics instructor, is currently a billed staff writer for a glossy magazine, and one night when I went to bed late, I turned on the radio and there she was. On the radio, not the bed. Kohirwe is a deejay too.Such an array of talents must be celebrated, and that is why I am pleased to announce that Cleo Obsession is the Woman of the Year so far."


(excuse me but) check this shit out!!!!

guy's gone craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

two weeks notice

walk softly, carry a biiiiiiiiiiig stick (Savage, shut up!)

no, this is not about that hugh grant movie (did i just hear a sigh of relief? did i just hear a sigh of relief???). no, this is about another old favorite movie of mine which bacoroni just jolted back to the surface of my mind and i couldn't help grinning all afternoon in memory of Office Space. Brilliant, work of genius that movie! I can't believe that movie was just made in 1999.

there are many times when in mad moments of bravery, Greg makes the best sense in the world when everybody's just being a Joanna:

Joanna: An hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?

Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.

Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and...

Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.

Mad! that movie is mad! and then there is the incident of the constantly jamming printer... hilarious! totally bonkers hilarious! and when they talk abou going to jail and the benefits and then find out the reality of what could happen to them in jail...goddamn it! it's just not right to watch that movie alone, it's selfish! you know what, this weekend Office Space is in my player. thanks barconi!

He's Back! He's Back!


i know i should be supporting African teams, I know i should be rooting for Ghana against all the odds to whip Brazil when they meet, but i'm not. heck, am not even sorry! I'm for Brazil, I'm for Ronaldo. I'm for the underdog. Yes, Ronaldo's the underdog here. The poor (irony! irony!) guy's got so much stick in the lead up to this tournament and during his first two games, he could well be hobbling on stilts if he wanted. But he's hang in there.

This is probably Ronaldo's last World Cup, and call me a sentimental schumuck, I want the big man to go out with a big bang. He deserves it. That's all I ask from the fates this World Cup.

But do we even need to think about if for a moment? Like Native Son said, "All said and done, Ghana cannot beat Brazil. Ghana wouldn’t eliminate Brazil unless God intervenes." Too true! Okay, I'm taking bets.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"It was many years ago that I became what I'm."

here's something that might surprise quite a number of people who know me. i have a top 5 list of favorite writers and Sherwood Anderson is on that list. Sherwood Anderson was an American writer born 100 years ago this year, whose most important work were fantastic short stories whose awesome technique critics tried to denigrate by declaring that he was simply writing like how people talk.

that, by the way, writing like how people talk, is no easy feat. Mataachi tried it out and no one understood where that was going! the early Bad Idea pieces in Sunday Vision Magazine by Ernest Bazanye were full of swooping bits of how yuppy Kampalans speak and readers lapped up that stuff without knowing exactly why. Without consciously realizing it, readers were besotted with the column because it was reflecting them. it's not an easy feat and Anderson did it over and over. unlike the crapping critics who like to say the best of anderson ended with WINESBURG, OHIO (1919), the master was still doing it when he comically died from swallowing a toothpick (i think!) in 1941.

i have an old copy of collected New Yorker stories from i believe 194something and there are two great Anderson short stories about old men and missing your life. the old man story is Lolita set in New York and the realization that with age comes a diminishing of physical beauty that is tragically not matched by a corresponding loss of interest in beauty and especially beauty in women. i'm not even doing that story justice here! there is a line towards the end of the story that hints at how that old man first feels an old man that afternoon, how he really knows for the first time that he is old man. and being old, you know, is like being in another country. it is a story that will make you catch your breath as you read. and there is not a single word a Ugandan primary school pupil cannot read and understand.

now try and imagine what it feels like to read story after story like that. WINESBURG, OHIO is that treat. i first read WINESBURG, OHIO when i joined Makerere University back in 2002, the first book i borrowed from the university library and for days i wandered around the university campus dazed. i never expected to connect with a provincial boy from an america of 80 years ago! the boy George Willard who is the connecting thread of the Winesburg stories. i own a precious, battered copy of WINESBURG, OHIO. if i'm going to be away more than two days from my home library, along with my Keats' Collected Poems i never travel without my WINESBURG, OHIO. night sleeping is difficult without these two books within arm's reach for me.

there's a story called Hands in WINESBURG, OHIO. have you ever listened to Sting's 'Moon over Bourbon Street'? 'Moon over Bourbon Street' is exactly what Hands is about and more. it is the story of the downfall of pee wee Harman, Michael Jackson, Benjamin Britten and others before these tragedies unfolded. it is about...i can't do Anderson justice!

i'm blogging this early because someone sent me an email putting me to the stake about my promise to write something commemorative about Anderson and he's still waiting... and that is not the only writing project i have whetted his appetite with and not come through with, he adds. i have never blogged about Anderson because i can never do him justice. really, this is not false modesty.

i just realized that this is going to be like my second post in two days and i'm wondering what's up? it's not that i don't have what to do. my editor is actually glaring at me as i type this. i just can't seem to stay away from my blog this week! do you guys think i'm over blogging?

"I'm Anderson."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where's My Dido?

Does anybody remember a singer called Dido? There is an SOS out on her. Does anyone know if she is even still singing? Is she coming up with something new? An album? I’ll even settle for a single at this point in time! Just one song! Surely Dido has not thrown it all away? She has not decided that this singing business and the intrusiveness of global fame is not worth it? She always seemed like a high maintenance chick to begin with. But isn't that why we fell in love with her music?

I know her music is not the most deep stuff. Considering all the poet musicians who are up in my gallery of heroes, she would get an F if it came to grading her lyrics solely on paper without her voice singing the words. Or the beats she managed to hook to them. But then she wouldn't be a musician if we were judging her solely by the greatness of her lyrics, would she? She would be a bon fide writer, the kind of writer she was set to become when she was still an unknown slaving away in a bookshop to pay her apartment bills and waking up with an aching head remembering that, "I drunk too much last night."

Wait a minute, what am I saying? Have I gone completely crazy?!? Listen to Life for Rent, the song. Listen to the whole album, I absolutely recommend it. But listen to Life for Rent in that album too. Bad song writer? I have changed my mind. Dido doesn't deserve an F! Dido has that gift more writers of "serious" songs, books could do more with (and yes, beginning with yours truly!), and she has it in abundance. Dido in her songs but especially in Life for Rent tells complex stories of heartbreak simply, hauntingly, beautifully.

Maybe I’m just a guy who loves to go against the grain sometimes just for the sake of it. But I never agreed with the critics who panned her second album, Life for Rent, after her debut, No Angel. (Life for Rent, definitely one of my favorite album titles!) But I'm digressing here. Dido's second album is my preferred if I was pushed to choose between her two efforts. Sophomore efforts are easy to pull off, it's the second one that counts in my book to prove you have it in you, you can make music out of nothing it will be worth listening to still.
Not that Life for Rent was made out of nothing and was simplay a money album. Far from it! You can't listen to a song like sand in my shoes and still claim this was a quick spin-off from No Angel. For God's sake, I usually hate activist music but This Land is Mine is one of the songs when I need a longish non-aggravating-but-I-nod my head to song I turn on. Among living singers, I think only Sophie B. Hawkins can preach in a song and I won't tune out or switch off. That is a huge achievement in my book.

As you must have surmised by now, I'm a Dido fan. Yes, I'm a guy and I'm a Dido fan. What you gonna do about it? What this Dido fan wants to know is, where is Dido

Show me a better short Ugandan poem, I dare you!

I can't believe someone i know wrote this:


...the grey cloud makes a swing of appearance today
to stagnate enchanted in staid sunniness...
seemingly wandering from lighted unease to gloomy retrospect.

...marabou storks idle atop street lights
escapelaxing in a simplistic pretend
intent on appearing unbothered
and the lake wind streams by aimlessly...

No one can undo this day
this is just one kind of Uganda
that passes unnoticed...


Friday, June 16, 2006

Minega's Blog

“I feel like I'm walking a tight rope, without a circus net…”

Sorry guys, there will be no updates this week for many reasons. Lots of things going down.

“I deserve respect; but I work a sweat for this worthless check…”

But while I’m away, I’m plugging. You a football fan? Rephrase… do you think, dream, breathe footie, and with this world cup you are in Nirvana? The blog to read is Minega’s.

“we all long to blow up and leave the past behind us…”

No dry analysis here. Though the take that side of things too is excellent. It’s the wry observations, the eye wandering along the sidelines comments that are making this blog for me the best on sports and this world cup in particular.

“Money will brainwash you and leave your ass mindless…”

don’t believe me yet… randomly let me quote a few Minega’s…"Ronaldo has the turning speed of a tanker….

"Incidentally Saudi Arabia has SEVEN Mohammeds in their squad- the training sessions must be a nightmare....

Question of the day 2: Is this the first time the Ghanaian goalie has ever faced corners? Everytime Italy got a corner he ran out like a man possesed and firmly punched thin air. Tie the bastard to the posts if you have to. If you are going to come out to get the ball, at least have a vague idea of where it is."

Okay, is that enough for you? There’s more but let me let you find them yourself….

“But fuck it, if you know the rules to the game play…”

“And yesterday went by so quick it seems like it was just today.”

Saturday, June 10, 2006

my favorite album covers of all time +3


my favorite album covers of all time +2

Before I was a fan, I was fan of this album cover

my favorite album covers of all time +1

don't be fooled by the cuteness. get ready to be blown away.

Public Service Announcement

Will someone out there please, please, PLEASE(!) tell me which is the best Eminem album because i can't. I'll even settle for the best Eminem song. It's like this guy's lyrics on my mind these days all the damn time! That's my word.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

this is why kampala's the place to be

you know that fav women saying about men, "can't live with them, can't live without them"? well, Ug and i are like that. i can't leave this country (and believe me the offers have been temptating), give up on her. something keeps me here working when all says that my effort is in vain. Ug and i, it's a tumultous affair only death will terminate but even then i have a few doubts. i have been thinking about this. i have been thinking about a few of the things keep me at the wheel...

you know when this comes in handy. just don't tell the kids where it is at.

the genius over at www. / www.

though rumor has it he's had it with this town. fingers crossed it's not true. really crossed. Throwing over writing for the time being, he's taken to making leather bags. men's bags, women's bags, travel bags. he says he's still in his apprenticeship stage but they are already very, very good.

(otherwise known as www. They don't make this vintage anymore.

fatboy of sanyu fm, breakfast with sanyu
Rookies learn from the master! never stale, never out of style, never trivial, always fun. bad idea on the radio really.

degstar's blog
the first blog i read even before even madandcrazy when i sign in. with Deg's "His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings" (Kaiza tell 'em where that comes from!). I'm never tempted to bend a knee so i make a bow in Deg's direction. I have had several opportunities to meet Degs but i have not taken them. Will he live upto my expectations? Lovely Amphibian (CLASS is this guy) knows all about that. It wouldn't be Deg's fault if he didn't but somehow i think he would.

'tis not the place that's magical, 'tis the company.

ronnie mulindwa (the Obsessions), charles muhumza (the Education Times), magoba brian (possibly uganda's best freelance dancer and a Red Cross station in himself)
these guys just don't seem to get what lying on the mat to the count of ten means! they never quit, even when commonsense which they have plenty of says the game is over. in a country with a government that delights in beating out any individuality, they are a delight for the eye, the ear and the heart.


on 17th april 2006, easter eve i nearly wept for the first time since i was 12. i thought betsy had died and sent this frantic sms to a dear friend who had tried to administer cpr to her in what i believed at the time was a vain effort, "A hard disk is the soul of a computer? That means Betsy's dead!! Fuck Easter eve!" Betsy was named after a baby skinned babe who gave tremendous (gasp!) nevermind... All my blog entries emante from her and that day when i thought she was dead and spent a month without her company, let's say i have been pampering her ever since!


austin bukenya
a living neglected national treasure (the one and only reason why i will sometimes admit i was once a Makerere University student because it gives me the chance to add that for a few months he was my literature lecturer. But he is much more than that. At the date of this post, he holds the record as the author of the best written ugandan novel ever and i'm getting an autographed copy soon!!!) for you who have never read The People's Bachelor by Austin Bukenya, a sample follows... sometime next week (!).

when Olivia writes
the only funny woman i have ever met.

I met this guy when inebriated i returned to the folks one night after a month's absence. he was fist-sized kit curled on my chest about 4am. 'twas his first day there. dogs are in terror of him. he's the baddest ass fighting Tommy in the neighborhood.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

In the Presence of God and My fellows

every once in a long while i meet people who tell a story so well that despite my repeated efforts, i know that i can never get on paper the truth of their speaking voice because they are greater story tellers than i can ever hope to be. Mr Ddumba Pontiano Tebadwamu, Deputy Headmaster Naalya SSS Bweyogerere Campus telling the story of Mary Kageya, a former student of his, was one of these cases. i travelled to near mukono to get this story. a poorer version of what i sat in rapt attention listening to follows...

"Her fellow pupils used to call her their daughter. They began paying for her her school fees in the second term of her senior six and continued until she finished her senior six in third term. No one forced them to pay Mary Kageya's school fees. They just did it out of the goodness of their hearts after seeing her situation.

I remember when her aunt came to me one day to tell me that she had come to take back Mary home. She could not afford anymore to pay her fees and she had come to collect her property. She was crying I remember, real tears, she did not want to remove her but she had no choice. Mary had to leave school even if she was one of the most disciplined students we had ever had, she was even a prefect.

We called Mary and we told her what was happening. And immediately she also burst into tears, wailing. I was very touched because when I was growing up I had passed through the same situation. I had started paying for myself my school fees when I was in senior one because my parents could not afford to pay for me my school fees. As a young boy I remember working on a farm where I used to earn sh.3500 at the end of a month of very hard work. It was such little money that during holidays I often had to look for extra work and that is how I started also building fences around plots of land and looking for work at schools that needed fencing just to raise some more money.

I nearly never made it to do the Education course which has helped me to get a job here as the Deputy Headmaster at Naalya SSS Bweyogerere Campus so I understood perfectly well what Mary was going through. To tell you the truth we were three people in my office crying at the unfairness of the fact that a bright girl like Mary might not manage to complete her education that I was determined to try and do something at least.

I approached three students who were in Mary's senior six class; Lugambwa Phiona, Nakato Juliet and Damalie and told them about Mary's plight. Their reaction made me stronger. They were not just crying. They begged me not to take her out of school when she was so near finishing. Instead they pleaded with me to talk to the whole school that surely we could come up with something. We have many humanitarian groups in our schools like Red Cross, Interact Club started by students which always go out in the community around us and try to help some of the disadvantaged around us. Like a family of some kids whose parents who have died and they are being looked after by an old grandparent with a lot of difficulty. They were all wondering if we are always doing something like that for those outside why we couldn't help a fellow student who was in the same situation.

I'm a grown man but at the school assembly I called to tell the whole school what was happening to Mary, I ended up crying again because of the speech Mary's aunt made. The whole school was very moved I remember and students throughout were in tears. It was one of the most moving times of my life when the students themselves decided there and then that Mary was not going anywhere. She must stay and they would all contribute money to pay her fees. They told Mary's aunt that, "You don't worry, even if Mary has nothing, let her come, she will find everything here. We shall provide everything even if we have to part with all our pocket money."

Her senior six class alone contributed sh. 215,000, senior five sh. 185,500, senior four sh 55,100, senior three 58,500, senior two Y sh. 53,600 and senior one sh. 48,500., Altogether it came to 636,200, more than enough to cover the fees of her second term which were sh. 440,000. But there would be the third term to pay for and surely the students added on the 196,000 which was left over to pay for her third term too.

Two students, one of them the Head Prefect Olowo James took it upon themselves to pay for her upkeep. They told her to write a shopping list of the things she would need like Quencher and biscuits and they would do the shopping for her since she had no time to do it herself. I gave them the pass to go out and they went to Garden City and they bought all the things she wrote on her list, the bill coming to shs.150, 000 and they paid for everything themselves.

In spite of the hardships she was passing through, Mary read her books. On the day when the results came back and she had got 24 points, enough to get her the Law course she wants to do at the university, it was a day of celebration for the whole school. If anyone deserved to succeed, Mary more than anybody deserved it the most."