UG@50: The Hunt For Our First President

By • Sep 25th, 2012 • Category: Uganda Golden Jubilee

Not many people know this, but there was actually a time in Uganda’s past where we did not have a president. Fewer still know that there was a time when the president of Uganda was NOT Museveni. This period is generally referred to as, that time when we had just gained our independence. Reports are as scanty as a skirt at a Sisqo Concert, but fortunately, we were there back then. How else would we confidently tell you conclusively that things went down a little something like this…

One quiet afternoon, as afternoons tended to be before Lady Mariam or Justin Bieber, the following conversation played out…

“Well Reginald, it was bound to happen, it was. I didn’t think we’d be saying goodbye like this. Fare thee well dear friend…”

“What the Queen’s Biscuits are you on about mate, they just got their independence and I wager it will be at least decade and a movie before the concept of expelling foreigners takes hold. In any case, I think all they want is a president, innit?  So give ’em one and Bob’s your uncle. How hard can it be….”

But it was hard. For you see, religion had successfully tarnished our people’s view on this leadership thing and despite the whole Mwanga thing of those days people were not being straightforward in their ways.

The Man Who Would Be King President

One of these people was a young man called Appollonious Milititus Obote. He was a fairly different bloke who had the misfortune of being drawn into a lifelong game of hide and seek with fashion sense.

“Curses,” began he, with a word that had not yet enjoyed a tour of the country, but risked having it’s entire life span fluffed out in the House of O, “this Mutesa guy is going to mess me up. I want to be the ruler of this country and it’s now or never…” We shall assume that this meant something else seeing as the concept of clinging to power was relatively unheard of. In fact, if we were to hazard a guess, that very concept was but a zygote.

Now, the colonial masters from pre-1962 can not be accused of holding on to power. They merely held on to the country for a bit with a morbid fear of the thereafter.

If you were paying attention, you would have noticed by now that we have introduced a new character. Mutesa was a so-so chap. He was actually quite like you and I {and that I write assuming you’re a guy} with the only difference, I suppose, being his ownership of a palace and royal blood. One of these may have heavily influenced the presence of the other, but that’s a story for another day.

He was quite content with just being there, being a king, those things what. But the country needed a President in much the same way a desperate virgin needs a cucumber, and as such, Edward could not just be there being a king those things what.

It would have been hella funny if the guys handing us our independence had actually said, “even us we want to be your president” for you see, they were British and there’s no way Brits could speak like that. From an early age, British are taught how to avoid mbogos. This essentially involves affecting an accent so refined, a cup of coffee would feel ‘local’ as it was being raised to a Briton’s lips.

Searching. For That Something That I Would Never Find

So anyway, try as she might, Uganda couldn’t avoid having a president. So the colonialists, who were also British, run around the entire expanse of Kampala looking for someone that would fill the void.

The logical thing to do, obviously, was to have someone that had some sort of experience with this ruling thing, hence the search for a king.

Uganda’s Got Talent

The first King, unfortunately, was getting set for his third marriage, or was it his Masters and as such Larry King proved a non-viable candidate. Frustrated, the king seekers moved on.

You need to understand, this was long before Ugandans had taken to bestowing fancy names upon themselves all fwaaaaa-like and stuff. Why, if you so much as had the name Ernest, you would be the envy of your peers. To spite you they would spell it as ‘Earnest’, making you feel bad, yet even you had just fallen in things.

So, the search continued. If someone was smart back then, and I assure you, some people truly were, this would have been the best time to introduce a reality show, “Uganda’s Next President”, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, “Big Bother” etc. That sort of thing would have been more intriguing then, than now, because, well, there would in fact be a ‘next’ president.

Diana King, who would have made an awesome president lucked out because she was more preoccupied with finding a shy guy, but to her credit took a look at those that sought the man that would be president and told them she would say a little prayer for them.

Frustrated, the colonialists did what anyone in that position would do, they went to Buganda and offered Edward a pretty sweet deal. “Look mate, we get that you’re comfortable and all just being there, being a king, those things what, but this would be better, you would be King of the country!”

“I’m the king of the world!” shouted a young Leonardo Di Caprio.

Everyone in the room looked over at him wondering whether he was trying to plant an idea. “Shut up and get down from there before God hears you.”

Always the kind that wouldn’t take shit from anyone, apart from say, his agent or whoever handed him his scripts, Di Caprio shot back, “oh look at me, I’m scared, I’m done for, my ship is sunk…”

Now, anyone that has any knowledge of the very short history of the Titanic can attest to this being the first known case of inception. The idea took and, you know what, that’s not the story we are here to tell…

The King and I

So Edward was convinced to be in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, from a distance, Apollonius muttered some shit about a good Muganda being a wed one. Now this was not really a big deal, given that all the women in the country belonged to the king. Yes, even Bad Black, unfortunately. No, not Mama Fina though, he dodged that pornographic bullet.

So in 1962, Uganda had her first elections as a country and they saw an amalgam of the Uganda People’s Congress and the Kabaka Yeka party come out on top with Mutesa assuming the mantle of Prezzo, for sure, for shizzy and Obote settling for Prime Minister.

As they sat on the balcony, glasses of scotch in hand, Edward turned to his confidant, “What was that about a good Muganda being a wed one?”

Apollo, ran his hand gingerly through his escalator inspited afro then took a sip of his drink, glanced back at the new man in charge and introduced a phrase that was going to linger around the corridors of power for a while “I was misquoted…”.

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About Ivan

doesn't get why you feel compelled to force an accent when you're talking to summers

  • Fif

    You people have such meandering minds but needless to say, AWESOME!!!

  • antipop

    This is a good read. And I am.not just saying this because well, erm.. let me just leave now. I have said too much

    • SleeknWild

      See your life antipop