Where politicians create mini-series to draw attention from the real issues. Mbu “walking to work.” How about, “Let us make laws to provide free and timely medical care.” Uganda, the electricity source for the entire region that cannot provide enough power for its 32 million. The country where aspiring politicians cry foul at those in power, then cry “yay” to useless-aimed-at-creating-undeserved-stature cars from those they chastise.
Uganda, where, parents blame ancestral spirits for their children’s protein-less swollen little bodies. And one office has budgetary allowances for medals. No, we are not hosting the Olympics this year.
The country where those who break to support the economy cannot send their children to university. In this country the law keepers, teachers and medical workers’ salaries equal the airtime allowance of parliamentarians. No same-feather flocking in Ugandan politics.
Uganda, where singers climb to fame by borrowing names from the animal kingdom and cling to fame by enlisting their partners’ barely-there-squeaky voices-but-clearly-yellow-coloured thighs. And manage to get airplay. Kampala, the land of daily widening potholes, hourly increase of vehicles and, nightly increase of street children.
Three generations have seen one government come and come and come back once more. The same generations have seen morality and accountability go, go and go. Our joint slaving amasses taxes. The taxes amass estates for leaders who should be in retirement homes. But they know the right people so they’re still in government offices.
While potholes and darkness reign in one part of the country, war-afflicted generations live with untold scars and nightmares. Reports show economic development but grocery receipts show increased need for salary increment. Or you could just get off Blueband. Things from outside countries are really expensive. Locally made sugar is 7000shs only. And you can scrape off the deo as well. Who’ll smell you as you walk to work?
Wait. There is an upside. Everyone can go to school now. Never mind that they think the past tense of beat is bet. Who cares about English? We are waging a war on all things foreign.
Welcome to Uganda. Where humour and satire have been exhausted. And shaking your head as you read newspapers has become a national identity characteristic. And TV news…what TV news? You aren’t you on the load shedding schedule?
So, forgive me if you did not laugh as you read this.
Uganda is my country, and it’s just not funny anymore.