Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas: The past and the present

If you look keenly at that corner, you will see Christmas winking at you with a sheepish smile. It’s here, people. The period you have all been waiting for to sing your Happy Birthdays to the greatest man to have ever lived, forget Hercules, or Putin, or Obama. Jesus is the real deal. Anyways, celebrations will later ensue. People will fall in saucepans of soup and jump out. Mayhem. Bliss. Delight. But Christmas celebrations have since changed. Us, old people, used to celebrate it differently, unlike all ye young folks. This is how it went down.

Celebration days

In the past, Christmas started on 1st December. Okay, that’s too far. It started around 18th December towards 20th. The villages held their breath. Drunkards combed the villages looking for tonto. Cannibals hunted to goats’ ass. Everyone in the village was drunk on Christmas Eve. But today, Christmas starts on 25th at 8am and ends at lunch time. No one gives a shit about it anymore. It’s just one of those days where you will go and rest your backside, dodge work and have a whole day by yourself to Tweet and make noise on Facebook.


We used to decorate, yamawe! Villages felt like a certain place in the Bible where Jesus climbed on a young donkey and moved like a boss. That place. Decorations were everywhere, by the roadside, on trees, in the air. In the house, a whole tree was uprooted and planted there as Christmas tree, with its roots and flowery leaves with a scent of Garden of Eden. We didn’t put sweets and candy on the tree. We put guavas and ripe mangoes and cassava. But nowadays? Ah, who still decorates the house? Who has the darned time to pick the littered leaves after Christmas when everyone is nursing a hangover? The house decorates itself.

Christmas carols

We had village choirs who combed the village, door-to-door singing Christmas carols. Boney M? Who is that sausage? Well, Boney M were there, but see, we never had time for cassette and radio and stuff. The village choir was the bomb. It was like Nicki Minaj, man. Like Justin Beiber of those days. You jolted out of sleep upon hearing their dreadful voices, like a song played in the wrong key. They banged drums and sang in local dialect with lamps lighting through palms afraid that a wind might blow it off. But today, Konshens can pass as a Christmas carol. Folks are using Love You Every Day by the other guy as a Christmas carol. Or one of those irritating songs from the villages of Jamaica. Stuff has changed. No one braves the night to comb villages singing himself hoarse. Maybe, if the neighbor has a smoking hot girl, there, there, people can sing.


We loved Christmas because of the new clothes. New shoes. New Kaunda suit. No stockings. New underpants. We started looking forward for Christmas midyear, around May. If you had no new piece of cloth, then, I am sorry, you wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas with us. At least buy new stockings. Now, jazz that shit to today’s world. Damns are expensive to be given. Whether new clothes, old, skimpy, torn or rags, they celebrate Christmas. Look around church on Christmas day, it would seem like a fashion extravaganza. Not new clothes, but a horde of tattered little skimpy, skinny things.

Merry Christmas

Eating Christmas In Uganda: A Blast From The Past

Is this what Christmas has come to? Meaningless promotions and lousy decorations? If you remembered the real Christmas from way back, you’d understand why Museveni insists he’s still a teenager. Anyone would want to stay stuck in the past.



It’s upsetting how kids these days parade Coke & Pepsi so casually like bad breath. Back then, if you saw a crate of soda being transported on a bike, you didn’t need to look at a calendar to know it was Christmas. Drinking soda was done as a celebration of big events. Now people drink sodas to celebrate opening the soda bottle.


Where’s the good old cotton wool and toilet paper? Almost all households spent the first ten days of December falling sick so they could visit hospitals and secure some cotton snowflakes.

Others feigned food poisoning and diarrhoea outbreaks to buy different shades of toilet paper without being judged because money wasn’t wasted on wreaths and ribbons. Toilet paper was Christmas paper.

And since when do people buy Christmas trees? In the spirit of giving and receiving, we stole Christmas trees from neighbours’ compounds. No, it wasn’t theft. It was the improved spirit of sharing. Only without involving the giver because we thought they had better things to do than be present during their display of generosity.


Those who frowned upon the improved spirit of sharing resorted to combing their neighbourhoods for people who had Christmas trees for fences, and sending them subtle friend requests through the occasional I-just-dropped-by-to-say-hello and food gifts. Then they pounced around December 21st and feigned ignorance with “Wamma I heard you have Christmas trees?”


Some things were written in stone. Like I didn’t know Christmas carols were songs sang for Christmas. I thought it was a term used to mean songs sang by Boney M or Philly Lutaaya. And I liked it that way. Now over six hundred musicians can claim they sang ‘Jingle Bells’ and all of them will win the case.


Herein lies one of the few surviving traditions. You had to eat a piece of everything that was cooked on Christmas day. And we cooked almost everything in the house; goats, chickens, cows, rice, sofas, carpets, brooms…everything. Then you showed your appreciation by belching. From both sides.



We spent the last hours of Christmas day walking aimlessly around town mostly because we wanted our new Christmas clothes to be seen. Then we entered discotheques and danced off the food with 30-minute Lingala songs. At the end of the song, you were hungry again and you went back to eat some more. Now all you hear in club is Chris Brown telling you to climb from wall to wall. Dude, I’ve just eaten everything in the house. How am I supposed to climb walls?

Shame on Christmas today.


A Legendary Christmas Story | Part VI






Chapter VII: King Herod Jams To Swallow That There’s A Famous Baby


Kill those bu-kids! Msssstttcccheeeewww

*Bang bang bang!*

“Who is it, dear?” Mary asks of Joseph?

“It’s the popo, honey.”

“What’s a popo?”

“That is an archaic slang term for the police. The writers of this series have used too much modern language in the dialogue they have written so far. This time, one of them has decided to make an effort.”

Joseph opens the door and starts bargaining.

“Listen, officers. I can explain. First of all, it was all Rahmet’s idea. Look, I’ve got a family to look after. Can’t we talk about this? We can help one another. I didn’t even know it was illegal. I swear. It was like that when I arrived.”

“Mr Heptutet, you have the right to remain silent.”

“We don’t have that in our constitution.”

“You have the right. I just gave it to you so you can shut up for a minute. Now, we have reason to believe that you have illegal materials on the premises.”


“For crying out loud, this isn’t a Benny Hill sketch. Don’t do that thing of saying I told you to shut up so you can’t answer my question.”

“Okay. Um, no, officer, I have no illegal materials in my house. All the stuff is at Rahmet’s place. Don’t tell him I snitched.”

“Note that down, partner. We have to pay a visit to Mr Rahmet down the street.”

“Yes, Detective.”

“Mr Heptutet, we understand that you have recently come into possession of a newly born son.”

“Have I? Really?”

“Where is your wife, Hermopli?”

“Um…Hermopli? Um, sheesh. I don’t even know. I got a new wife here, you see. Young Dispesis here. She’s brand new. Just 15 years old. I had her delivered about seven months ago and have been having a blast since, so you understand why I don’t even know where the hell that old bag Hermopli even is.”

“Doesn’t she live here?”

“Yeah, I guess. But I really don’t pay attention to the furniture and the livestock and the women. I have slaves who take care of that.”

“So, Mr Heptutet, you were not aware that your wife, Hermopli recently gave birth to a boy?”

“Really? She has always been giving birth to girls. It’s about time she gave birth to a real person. You know, sorry to go off on a tangent, but I wonder if there will ever be a day when women are considered to be more than property. I mean, a day when they have equal rights.”

“Yeah right. This is no time for jokes, Mr Heptutet. Step aside. We need to search the premises. Hey, slave! What’s your name?”

“Nefrusoput, sir.”

“Nefrusoput, who is hiding with you in that room?”

“Nobody there but us chicken, sir.”

“Slave, bring forth that woman and her newborn child. We have instructions to kill every newborn male in the city.”

“Officer, let me ask. Is that right? How can a king just wake up and kill everyone’s children and no one complains?”

“If you don’t like it, go invent human rights and democracy.”


And that marks the final chapter, legendary peeps. Have yourselves the coolest of festivities. If you want, anyway.


A Legendary Christmas Story | Part V





Chapter VI: After The Baby’s Birth, King Herod Gets Jerasy & Murders All Kings


Mbu that one is the king of break dance!

In a palace, not too far away, there was trouble afoot. A king was pissed as only a pissed king can be.

“Your Majesty, you should reconsider. This killing of kings thing is getting played out. Why don’t you kill a pauper or something? Heck, I could order a nice Ugandan boda boda rider. How about that? Does Herod want a boda? Just say it, ‘I can has bodz bodz’.”

“Silence! I will not be denied. I think we have downplayed this whole messiah thing long enough. Heck, they have gotten to the 5th part of the story and no one has mentioned me. 5 Parts! All this fuss over a baby boy is making me sick to my stomach. I haven’t seen such excitement over a boy since the Catholic Church insisted that altar kids be members of the same genital group as their superiors!”

There was silence as those present allowed this revelation to sink in. Silence that was broken by the arrival of one of the kings.

“Skibidibai, It is I, Ragga Diggi Diggi Dai, with greetings to you, that is up on high!” he blathered.

King Herod looked on in bewilderment and turned to one of his advisors, “Who is this guy? Maurice Mugisha? I’ve been told he bursts a rhyme that’s so fly.”

One look at the new arrival confirmed the advisor’s fears, “It is Ragga Dee, the king of the dancehall!”

“Kill him! No, wait. That might be too harsh, banish him to Uganda!” exploded Herod, “And while you’re at it, cut down the number of kings in the previous installment of this story so there’s less confusion. And for crying out loud, find out what’s in that flippin’ bag in the previous part of the story!”


In a barn, not too far away (when you factor in planes, trains and automobiles)…

Joseph was tending to Mary who was on the verge of giving birth. That she hadn’t yet was sorta odd given that the coming of the messiah had been mentioned ages ago.

“So how are you doing?” He asked his beloved, concern showing on his face.

“Not bad. Actually, the only thing that’s bothering me is Sura’s screaming. It’s so shrill it could move a mountain.” she replied. Her eyes not betraying her ire. Her words did, but her eyes didn’t.

To keep their mind off things, they made small talk.

“Hey remember when you found out I was pregnant…” Mary began.

“You call that small talk? Can’t we talk about the weather, or how phenomenally awesome it is that…” cut in Joseph, only to be interrupted by Mary.

“Why don’t we talk about the thing in the bag?” She asked. Not so much because she really wanted to know, but because she was pregnant and there’s a tendency to bring up talk that bugs.

“Leave the bag out of this!” came the retort.

“Why Joseph? Why?” Asked she only to realise that it wasn’t Joseph that had spoken these words, but rather the person narrating this story. She would have pondered longer on this, but there was simply no time. That and there was the small matter of the guest that had come in unannounced.

“Gregory House. King of daytime series.” their guest began.

“Daytime series? What are those?” came the question.

“Well, daytime if you happen to be in the third world and the only time you can get your grubby hands on them is in the middle of the day. So what seems to be the problem? Oh, a pregnancy? No need for an MRI or a scan. I can’t wait for the next century. There may actually be an interesting case.”

And like that, he left.


At a reception nearby…

“I’m afraid we are gonna have to lock you up for at least three nights!” Nathaniel stated matter of factly, a smug look on his face and a food stain on his uniform.

“Nuh, mayne, we don play lyk dat. Y u gonna go an do tha’?” asked an agitated T.I.

“For one thing, you are inconsistent. You’re supposed to speak with the last letter missing on all your words and on top of failing to pull that off, you’ve started to speak in SMS.”

“Cummon dawg. I can do whatever you like! I’ma stan’ up guy! Album in stores now!”

“Book ‘em boys!” Nathaniel spat out. Realising, as he did so, that there was really no one else to assist him. Well, with the exception of Herman who was busy arresting Usher.

“We have heard complaints from the Geographic Society of Geography Scholars. They are not too crazy about this mountain moving nonsense of yours.” he said he as he placed the cuffs on the superstar’s wrists. “Truth be told, neither am I. Your music sucks!”

“Hang on! What happens to me? When I was growin’ up, we was so poor, we couldn’t afford to get arrested. Niggaz slept on the floor!”


“You must be that Chris Rock guy. You can go!” Nathaniel said dismissively. “Anyone that carries his own laugh track doesn’t deserve to be arrested.”

“Wheeeeeeeeee!” baby Sura began. “Wheeeeeeee, y’all!”

A tired Herman looked over at the Justin Beiber wannabe, “What is it this time?”

“Nothing, I just love to scream. It’s sort of my thing.”


In the barn of miraculous happenings…

“Did the angel tell you where we’d find a medical practitioner on such short notice?” asked Joseph of his pregnant wife.

“No. But somehow I think that part is not going to be the focus of any stories told from this day forth.”


Then suddenly, there came a knock. In fact, two knocks.

*Knock knock*

“Who’s there?” asked Joseph

“Thlee Kings of Olient R” came the reply.

Before Joseph had an opportunity to ask for details, a quarrel had erupted outside the door.

“No, doofus. That’s only in the song. When we introduce ourselves we are merely Three Kings. It is only when we feel the need for exposition and such that we include the ‘R’”.

“How do you mean?” Asked one of the three kings, who, truth be told, history never accused of being wise.

Sigh. “We thlee kings of Olient ARE! See?” came the curt reply. “ret’s tly this again.”

*Knock knock*

“Who’s there?” asked Joseph again?

“Three Kings Of Orient”

“Kings of Orient who?”

“Er, that’s it.”

“I don’t get it. That’s not funny. Who writes your knock knock jokes?”

From behind him, Mary let out a groan. Joseph opened the door for the men with bad jokes and rushed to Mary’s side.

Move on to Part VI…


A Legendary Christmas Story | Part IV




Chapter V: Flexing For A Room In Bethlehem


Honey, see what the credit crunch has done!

In a security office somewhere in Bethlehem…

“Sign up! They said! It will be a great way to channel your aggression! A lot of good that did me!”

“I know what you mean Brother Nathaniel, why just the other day I was asked to deal with an 818. Can you believe that? After all that training, I am reduced to dealing with shepherds. And then they are let off with not guilty on grounds of insanity. Turns out they were “following a star”. There’s been a lot of that astral fascination going around lately. Just the other day Jupiter and Venus were so close to the moon, it looked like a smile.”

“A smile? What foolishness is that you speak of Herman?”

“You know, when you turn your er, frown upside down. Like this. Anyway, point is, my brother says that sort of thing will never happen again. Not even in 2011 years!”

“That is oddly specific”

“Tell me about it. Then get this. He says there will be a bright star that will herald the birth of the Mess…”


The intercom on the desk cackles to life!

“Code IV!!! Repeat! Code IV! Security!!!!! Come to reception now!!!! Hey, I love these upside down ‘i’ thingies. Do you think they will catch on in the future? Is this thing still on?


Nathaniel looks at Herman. A gleam of excitement in his eyes, “ A code IV! Do you know what that means? I can barely contain myself!”

“By the Roman gods that we suspect are pagan! A code IV is unprecendented. We are not equipped to deal with this sort of thing. This could change the very fabric of history itself. And yet, someone must take care of things. Quick! To the hotel!”


As they make haste, they are interrupted by three odd looking characters with crowns on their heads. They look suspiciously like kings.

“We are kings!” says one.

“Hang on. Brother Nathaniel, did this gentleman just cut into the story? Can he do that?”

“I don’t know Brother Herman. These kings of the Orient possess a certain mysticism that is enigmatic in nature. I know not whether we want to deal with this now. But wait! What’s in the bags?”

“Er, gifts?”

“I thought as much. Very well, on your way!”

“But Nathaniel, are you not being lenient?”

“My dear Herman, what would you have me do? Write them a parking ticket? Those things have not even been invented and for the life of me, I don’t know where I pulled that phrase out of!”


Minutes later at the hotel…

“What seems to be the problem? I just found out that Usher is in town and we must deal with this ASAP”

“It’s a Code IV!”

“So you say, but we don’t see…by the unborn God! Is that lady pregnant! And is that what I think it is in the bag! This Code IV is unlike any other. It’s a sequel!”

“Yes. An evacuation order is in. er, order! Right this way madam, sir!”

“Really Joseph, you chose a fine time not to ask for directions!”

“Calm down Mary. I have faith. Something good will happen!”

The couple is promptly shown the door.

“What is that?” asks Mary.

“It appears to be a door type thing. Do you think we should open it and walk through?” Joseph asks.

“Seems to be the only way this story will move on.”

And so it comes to pass, they walk through and seek accommodation on the other side of this ‘door’ thing.


A couple of houses later…

“Yeah. Okay look its not you, it’s me. I have no problem giving you guys accommodation, but this whole credit crunch thing has kinda thrown me off!”

Joseph and Mary look at each other. Inquires Joseph of Mary, “You think this is foreshadowing something in the not so distant future?”

Says the Bethlehem Sheraton keeper, “Nonsense! This crunch thing can not, will NOT happen ever again, not even in 2011 years! But to show you I mean you no ill will, I will let you spend the night out back. I have a good feeling about you!”

“Thank you kind sir! May the Lord shower blessings upon you!”

“Er, yes. Now come, let me show you your quarters before those census people come back and do a recount. Where do they think we are, Florida?”


The manger…

“Well, I guess I’ve seen worse…”

“Really! What have you seen that could possibly be worse than this?”

“Remember that African edition of MTV Cribs?”

“Oh, oh. Joseph…”

“What is it Mary? What’s wrong?”

“Joseph. It is time. I think….”

Move on to Part V…

A Legendary Christmas Story | Part III



Chapter IV: Footing To Bethlehem


Joseph rides Mary


“I say my good man, did you just receive a short message off your gadget?”

“Indeed I did. I Chuck Wiseman the third, did receive a message of cellular origin on my mobile. I shall now proceed to read it out loud.”

“Dia cousin, we hdng out 2 c da messiah! Holla!”

Chuck Wiseman III heaved his large stomach, and the rest of himself as well, out of his plush leather office chair. Or tried to. He had just had a hefty burger meal like the ones that be at Ranchers in Garden City (awesome!) and, because of this, he slumped right back into the chair and thought to himself, “There must be a way to do this without moving”.

“You could try video-conferencing sir,” said his assistant, primly and with barely disguised contempt.

Wiseman thought about it and liked the idea. It involved no motion and therefore was splendid.

“Haro Wiseman! How is weather in Amelica!” crackled one video. On the screen grinned the long face of Dr C. B. Ng, professor of Astronomy at the National University of Indonesia.

“Weather’s great here on the EAST coast,” said Wiseman. How’s the world of Academics over there in the Far EAST?”

“Vely Good! Vely Lewarding!” replied Dr Ng, who, it was beginning to seem, only ever spoke in exclamations.

The other monitor flashed into life. A red-nosed, red-eyed, tousle-haired face appeared on it. “Asdfk sfdgsd oropisd ougsdr bndfsr, y’know?” said the man on the screen.

“Dr Ng, meet Dr O’Leary. He is a leading researcher from EAST Dublin university,” Wiseman said.

“Oh? Learry? Preased to meet you O’Really!” grinned Ng.

“Hertsrd fsdaf gwera rodfou touir, Doctor,” was the reply.

“Why he talk rike that?”

“He’s Irish,” explained Wiseman. “Now, you have received the news. The event our studies predicted is upon us. Time to head for Bethlehem.”

“Hsdfaer wer wer gosersad gour goose asdfa monk. Har har har harh!”

“We fry by jet!”


Some hours later the three doctors trooped into The Bethlehem Sheraton and walked past a man and his pregnant wife arguing at the reception.

“What do you mean no room?”

“I’m really sorry sir. We’re booked solid. What with the census and Usher coming to stage a concert in town. There is just no room.”

“This is ridiculous. My wife and I came all the way from Bethlehem for this census and we really wanted to see Usher do Moving Mountains. Plus, she’s pregnant. I demand…”

“EEEigh!!!” the receptionist suddenly started, staring at Joseph’s luggage “What is that in your bag? Oh no, by Jupiter! I can’t believe it! Call security! Tell them it’s a code IV! Now!”

Move on to Part IV…

A Legendary Christmas Story | Part II


Chapter III: The Sheep People Get The News


Yo! Check dis out!

From the bright light a sound emerges, kinda loud kinda booming, like those priests in your churches.

“Greetings earthlings. We mean you no harm. We come with news that will later be the inspiration for your descendants’ songs!”

“Bobo come quick. It’s one of them X-Files. It’s so clear. Hi-Def ain’t got nothing on this. Come quick I say, and while you’re at it, drop that sheep.”


“We bring you news of a saviour that’s about to be born. We need to be sure, but if you leave now, you should get there after the drama! Peace homies! And what’s that guy doing with that sheep?”

“Artie. I don’t know about you, but this has got to be the most surreal thing ever! And I gotta tell you. I have seen quite a few surreal things in my life. Like the wig on that lady’s head. What are you doing? And what’s that do-hicky in your hands for?”

“I’m sending ze, how you say, text to my comrade Chuck Wiseman of ze Wiseman Brothers. Does it boza you?”

“Not as much as that pathetic excuse for a French accent. So are we doing this?”

“Zat sounds like a mighty fine plan, but how do we get zere?”

Bobo chimes in, “Look up there! There’s a bright glowin’ thingy in the sky! Can it be…dare I believe my one working eye?”

“Yes, Bobo, the power company slipped up and restored the electricity in that internet café. Come, we must make haste and use Google maps!”

One sheep looks at another, “I don’t know about you, but something doesn’t quite feel right about that dude. And why do you suddenly have such sharp teeth?”

“Er, all the better to eat you with?”

“Nigger please!”


Not so far away…


“Hey, any of you hear that? I could have sworn one of them sheep just said nigger! That one right there. Next to the wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Uncomfortable silence.

“To the café!”

Move on to Part III…


A Legendary Christmas Story | Part I

Ho Ho Ho! (What was Santa thinking having that for a trademark laugh? Matter of fact, no, this is not the way to start a blockbuster story when kids are looking.)

Take II

Brethren, jingle bells (That’s better). As our way of saying thank you to all our legendary fans for making it to this great day with us, we premier the festive version of legendary awesomeness in the form of the greatest Christmas story ever told. Hope you came with your eyes. Let’s roll!


Chapter I: Breaking The News


What? Me? Pregnant? Where?!

“Oh Mary! You complete me. I love you! I love you full full condition. Nothing is going to change the way I feel about you! You hear me? Nothing! I wanna love you forever!”

“Joseph! Do you really mean that? Do you really?”

“Yes, absolutely. There’s no way that’s gonna change. No way! Nothing you could tell me would sway me!”

“Well there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, but I didn’t know how you’d react.”

“Now, now sweetheart. Fear not. I’m sure we can overcome anything, no matter how big, no matter how heavy. We are together in all this. What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is ours.”

“I’m having a baby, and it’s not yours. Frankly, I just found out it’s mine…”

“Say what???”

A few hours ago…

Chapter II: The Sheep People

Meanwhile in Bethlehem, Artie, French and Bobo, three shepherds, are sitting on a hillock, staring at their sheep.

“Look at them. How can anything be so dumb and not choke on its own ears?”

“I know. If I wasn’t a shepherd, if I didn’t actually see these things with my very own eyes, I frankly would not believe they actually existed. You would tell me about them, and I would swear you are lying. Look at that one.”

“What is it doing?”

“It is trying to mate with that blade of grass, I think. Oh, it has given up. Now it is trying to eat that ewe.”

Suddenly there is a bright light in the sky.

“Son! What is that! That is not a question!”

“Oh no! My ex-wife has found me!”

“Relax guys. It’s just Superman. Probably time-traveling because it is 4 BC and he hasn’t been invented yet.”

“You’re sure it’s not a bird or a plane?”

One sheep looked at another sheep and said, in Sheep language: “And they say we’re stupid.”

Move on to Part II…