Friday, August 14, 2015

How to get by with your new lecturing Job (For those who are lecturing for survival)

One of the main traits of being a good lecturer is having the confidence, good academic papers, several other things, and the ability to make students pass. Usually, when you are a lecturer, students assume that you know way too much than they could ever understand.  This is true for some but for most not really. Some people take on lecturing jobs just to survive this harsh economy.

Now I am going to give you some tips on how to get by in this profession (for those that are just lecturing for survival) . These are a collection of teaching methods that I have been witness to. And if you are lucky to have several students like me; you will earn the title,  'Best Lecturer For Life (BLFL).'

1. Choose your university carefully.  I can not speak for many universities, but the best one for you because I have been there is Makerere University Kampala. This one comes with the prestige of being among the top 10 universities in Africa so that's already a bragging point when you are introducing yourself as a lecturer. Also it has high cut off points so definately this implies most of the students catch on really fast during class sessions. You don't have to stress so much.

2. Surely, you are a novice without passion in this profession. Where you do not understand what you are teaching, assure your students that the topic is self explanatory and move on.

3. Encourage students to ask questions and then give them those questions as their coursework or even start up a debate and encourage students to give opinions to the questions that have been asked. Then move out and reply your WhatsApp chats also don't forget to update your Facebook status, take a selfie for instagram then move on to the coffee shop. Come back to close the lecture.

4. Why even go to class in the first place?
All you need is to show up at your office, sign in the attendance book, knock shoulders with fellow lecturers but don't be rough, your shoulder bones could get hurt! Share some gossip and laugh with them (that is you creating evidence), mention that you have a class to attend and be a no show until the next day. You prolly have friends meeting for coffee at that time, join them already.

5. Okay bambi you may kinda feel guilty about not going to class for a whole semester. How heartless can you be? So then, go to class in the third week since the semester commenced, with copies of the course outline and distribute them to all students.  Even if you don't ever appear in class, at least the students will always remember how generous you were as to use your own resources to get them copies of the outline, many lecturers don't to that, instead they will always complain to the class how they earn peanuts blah blah. 
Wamma go ahead and discuss the course outline then tell them the date of the test.

6. Since you want to be even nicer than the lecturers who do number five exactly the way it is, at least you have a good heart and can compile several handouts in line with the course outline, bind them into a pamphlet and leave it a Juma's photocopier (whom you made a deal with to give you 25% of every pamphlet bought).

7. Do not forget to always check in at office, remember those logs will give you away.

8. A good lecturer is judged by the students results at the end of the semester. So to make sure that your students perform well, print for them guiding questions to give them an idea of how questions are set. Assure them that these are only guiding questions and that the exam will be totally different so that they can expand their reading areas. This is where you encourage them to use the insitution library or employ technology in search for the appropriate approaches to the questions. Be assistive as to suggest Google search, LinkedIn,, instagram or any other academia sites that can be helpful.

9. Set the exact guiding questions for both the test and exam. Shock them!

10. Marking can't be all that hard now can it? If you have been an absentee like this, the least you can do is mark the damn exam scripts.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What it's like dating a Mukiga man/

See, since time immemorial, across the globe, ladies have always dreamed of dating a romantic man. Of course romanticism varies and most girls will have a list of what denotes this romanticism. But right now focusing on Bakiga men, the concern will be on verbal romanticism. Bakiga inhibit their emotions so much and since they have high self esteem they assume that everything is obvious.

First of all. You will never hear a Mukiga man asking you to date him or be his girlfriend. The closest to that he will say is that he likes you. That's the first and last romantic thing you will ever hear. And needless to say, they can be really charming so you will find yourself spending more time with him and months go by without you having an idea whether you are his girlfriend or not. For him, in his mind, you are his and he assumes you know it. He will not feed you with any 'nonsensical' things you might want to hear simanyi 'I will love you till lake Bunyonyi dries' or 'our live will be as strong as that between Bakiga and irish'. It won't happen. 

That..... never going to happen
However, there is still hope that you will know whether you are his girlfriend or not; when he introduces you to his friends. You will even be in shock! For someone who has never mentioned or referred to you as his girlfriend, he will say it to his friends when he's asked to introduce you to them. So from this moment on; you can go ahead and refer to him as your boyfriend too. Mufittinga!

Secondly,  if you are watching too many movies or you tube videos of how other guys have proposed to their girlfriends, you in for another shock. A Mukiga man will never say the words "Will you marry me." Let alone get on his knees.... how? This is how Bakiga men propose. Therefore you should be prepared if you are dating one.

1.) He will ask you "konka shi why don't you marry me?"  This will sound like he already asked you to marry him and your response was negative thus he wants to know why why why on earth you cannot marry him. Okay now what's the correct response to "Konka shi why don't you marry me?" Riyalle!!

Obviously you can not shout "yes yes yes, I will marry you" as you had practiced during your fantasies.

2) If you are lucky that he proposes to you with a ring, he will place it on the floor, table or even misplace it. Then he will be like, "Haza look for the ring oba in my pockets oba it fell under the bed... don't you know you are going to be my wife."

3) Remember how you got to know you are his girlfriend when he introduced you to his friends? That's the same way you will know when he proposes. He will introduce you to his friends as his
wife. He is the one who calls the shots, in fact, he even controls your feelings for him because it's all in his head. What he thinks about your feelings matters more than anything you could ever say.

On the bright side, where as they are not romantic, and are poor at expressing emotion, their love is real and mostly expressed in their actions. For example, you will never lack irish in your home, in your life! That is love.

Oh and I should also mention that a Mukiga man doesn't care to hear you say you love him. He already thinks it and doesn't need any assurances is only default. And he will see no need of telling you he loves you. So if you hoped your husband would say the three little words to you everyday or even compliment you, move away from southwestern and venture into central, northern or overseas, lakes, rivers and mountains.

Don't say I didn't tell you. Don't be slow when your Mukiga man proposes the best way he can. Ok bye.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Of Valentine's day... fantasies and frustrations.

So the last time I blogged it was after valentines day! And I did not want my come back post to be about valentines.

In fact, even me I said, 'eh, wabula this year I won't write about valentines day'. What's there to write about anyway??? Regardless, you know how you can be not wanting to do something but then the environment pushes you to do so? Everywhere the talk is valentines day and blah blah.

But, I envy entrepreneurs!  They are the ones who are gonna make dimes this V-day. For examplè, there is this thing of Speaking Roses am seeing all over Facebook.  Who ever thought roses could speak? I really donno if they speak English or Rukiga but if you really love someone and fear to tell them or you have a crush on someone,  just tell the roses what to say and they will speak for you.  

So me I bought my self one speaking rose which I intend to give to myself and I brag on you bambi who will get nuthing on V-day. I bought it much earlier bacause sometimes I have no one to talk to and thought it would be nice having one to talk to me till late. But now the one I bought was big headed. 

So I fixed it in my bag and got into the taxi ...then it started speaking mbu, 'haza me am not breathing.'

Kyo! I opened the zip alittle and it kept quiet.  I thought it was over. I got home, placed it in a jar and when time lapsed I slid into my bed. Maama , awo wasn't it saying mbu simanyi it's too cold and it also needs some warmth!! 

I just ignored it. Then it started singing some song of Vince Gill's! The one about lonely-ish that goes like  "...nanana naaana nana nana...." You also know it?

But now imagine it was a walking rose? This thing would have taken over my bed, having me sleeping on the floor. 

But let us hope after you have delivered that rose to your Vale-y and you have gone back home they won't atte speak irrele stuff and ruin your relationship. 

Life is so unfair though. So I find this app on Facebook, 'Who is your valentine'. I all click on it smiles and anxious to know who my Vale-y is. Then boom..... there goes..... even the app jams to hook me a valentine. An app .....mere app! I told my self this wasn't right. Prolly technical issues, or low battery on phone, poor Internet connection, something had to be responsible. Then I did it again, sure that this time my Vale-y would show. But we'll, there was no change. 

Wareva! What the heck...its not like I even wanted one.

But ok this is a list of things I feel like this valentines 2015.  Don't worry or get envious of my life, I always make the list and nothing falls in place. 

1. Those speaking roses. 

2. Picnic at the beach. Is there any beach that I can have all by myself? Crowds bore me to death. You can notice different types of excitement amongst people that just don't make sense at all. This is when my philosopher friend Tshaba says, 'you are just paranoid'. It's his 2015 favourite quote. 

3. Cake. Anti there is this chic giving discounts on cake to her loyal customers like me. So if you want discounted cake..... just go through me.

4. Wine. A bottle of Lambrusco. Oba it tastes how ?

5. Eh if this list goes on it will only be about food which might set me off as a glutton.

Hati bambi enjoy your vals day. Ok ba-bye 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Valentine’s Week in Detail

The Last two years, really, my calendar ran like 12, 13, 13½, 15, 16 etc. But this year is a year of change. A year of casting all my fears away and facing to whatever comes my way. Fear has made me give up on promising opportunities (which I do not necessarily regret) but still wonder what season two would have been like.

So this year, I decide to retain the14th on my calendar. Nevertheless, the week starting 10th is already being alot to handle. We all know people start coming up with funny alibis for the 14th Feb as soon as the new-year sets in. Smart people always plan ahead.

February 10th: Monday
This is how the conversation goes with Ongom;
Him:    So when can I see you?
Me:      When you have time.
Him:    Uhm Wednesday oor... oooor or Unnh... Friday?
            Nonononoonononononono, not Friday.
            Friday No No.
            Maybe Saturday?

At that moment I know am single again. Acknowledging facts is the first step in healing. I resolve to just listen to music and keep sipping some milk through an Amarura bottle until dusk.

11th: Tuesday
Never Date (hope to) anyone in the opposition. Even for friendship, just don't. They take it too seriously and end up opposing every important or irrelevant thing. He is called Martin but he prefers Mantini that's if you are to be in his good books. Mantini because it makes it easier to identify with the locals, chaotic crowds, katemba supporters, and them viceversa. Mantini is a grass roots name, really; a bottom-up name. The people feel him, he feels them, when his name is pronounced that way.

Mantini is going to be sulking all week. So he says. Because the NRM have nominated YKM to represent them in the 2016 elections.  He says, " it is ridiculous for M7 to even blush to this fact. It is erroneous, rotten, dextrosinistral, despicable. cantankerous, embellishing,  thwarting, manovelent, egrarious, abhorrent, hideous, extraditious. He says these terms to me. Some, I find strange. He says them as if they were coming from his hands and limbs. As their movement keeps rhyming with the sound.  He repeats the same terms, in the same order, to his grassroots friends when they arrive at his apartment. 

He says he has lost the mood for the whole week. That his political will is so damn low. He has declared the weeks mourning. That he will fast all kinds of sweetbies.
Everything I like.

Cake. Chicken. Pizza.  Icecream. Lavishing money. Shopping.

It is a time of mourning. He says we shall only eat of bitter herbs that they will help numb his frustration. I think of Mato Oput even though I have only read about it. I think of the Aloe vera plant in his compound and I wish to brush my teeth with chocolate at the thought of its bitter everlasting taste on my tongue.

I just know he is opposing me in his own style. He is opposition, after all. Of course, he knows valentine’s day is coming up soon. But he says it's too bad this week collided with M7's nomination.

12th: Thursday
A message pops up from Gutzy. His real name is Oguti Zakayo. Kudos to me of course, I coined the Gutzy name. However, most of his female friends pronounce and spell it like they were the masterminds behind it. That is arrogant of them. Their texts flow like, 'hey Gùhtzyë (read Gatzai),  worrup?' Then the neo-modernists, the teenagers, type and read as Gh'zye and G'zai respectively.

It's really alarming, these teenagers. And I know he hates it. Because where as the girls make it sound romantic, the 'brotherhood' (as his friends dubbed themselves) associate the modernist pronunciation with the school, Gayaza aka Gyza. They tease him, they blackmail him, they torment him; make his life miserable. He avoids them at all costs. He likes me because I pronounce his name as 'Gootzee'. Because the Goot reveberates with the 'Gut' in his name, Oguti. The sound identifies with his real name. He likes it.

Him: hey bebey?
Him. Am okay. So ki ekiliwo? what's going sideways?
Him: Naye why did you chill your WhatsApp bebey? Okimanyi 100shs per texts is not that funny.
Him. Fine then. Oba have a nice day bebey.

Gutzy all of a sudden is splitting with fire. I have never known this temper of his. He says I'm despising him, insulting him, insensitive, relegating him, selfish.
I couldn't understand where all this was coming from. I had to ask.

Him: How dare you address me in caps?  You think I don't know where to find them. Do I look blind that I can't read lower case sentences? Am I an idiot? Did you really have to insinuate that am slow? For you when you look at me, I look like those Bahima friends of yours?

Me. Ooh so is this about the caps?
Him. Just can't stand you rightnow.

Recounting events from previous days, I conclude that the thought of Valentine’s day is really a turn off to many guys.  Has Dudey just noticed the caps ever since the conversation started?

13th: Thursday
I encourage my friends to break up. Indirectly. By doing nothing about it.

Susan Hue and her Nigerian boyfriend Emeka JohnBosco. (While you thought JohnBosco was a Ugandan name). These two have been on logger heads for the last six months. I don't even know why they trust me with their issues. Kash says I have lugambo. But in your own opinion, do I have lugambo? I mean, if I had it, I would probably have told you all the issues this couple has entrusted me with. Fine, maybe it’s because I don't even recall them because when Hue starts to talk, there's a blockage in my ears. I just nod my head masquerading that I gerrit.

JB called me earlier on. He is currently in his village. That he went to cool his head and will only board the next flight to Uganda if Namukasa (so called Susan Hue) agrees to settle things with him.

He swears: if 'Ife mi' no call or no text me tamorrow. Nawaw! Chineke be mai witness naao. Chineke be m..... I go no step back on Uganda landoh, you de hear me, Usom? You de hi mi? Am almost sure he is pulling his ears as he says this. By the way usom means ‘my sweetie’, and Ife mi -my love. You didn't know, right?

I call Hue. Before I even say hi, she is already on the second line of her ranting about her relationship.
Her: you babe this nigerian man am giving him up to tomorrow. If he doesn’t settle things by then. We are done.
Me: I support you all the way my dear. Anything you say! 

I can only imagine what will happen tomorrow. You see I can be trusted. I didn't report one to another. Both parties can confide in me. If you are having relationship issues and you want someone you can trust. Don't hesitate.

14th D-day
Okay, I know this is gonna sound oba how... but yeah.  So no one has invited me for a date.  All my male friends are nowhere to be seen. So I start counting the coins in my piggybank and there is 32,050ugx. Wow! Am amazed. So finally am gonna buy myself cake and have the best day with my big love. The plan is, after I buy it, I sneak into the house without my sister and brother noticing. Their sweet teeth are rather too sweet.

I can't buy a full cake now. The lady has told me the cheapest is 50,000ugx. Of which buying that means walking back home.

I head to HoatLoaf Jinja road with the intention of getting myself 6 pieces of cake each at 5k.

While still in the taxi, I check my facebook inbox and there is this local guy offering me lunch. He says he is at shoprite lugogo. Eeeyi, I had just reached the Nakawa taxi park. Later, I drop out of the taxi and join him. Oh, I referred to him as local because he spells my name as Groria even when the correct spelling is right on his screen. His grammar is also very terrible. Unforgivable.

So I meet the dude. You know those people who make you keep scanning around to see whether anyone you know might notice you with them? That's Chan. By the way why does he call himself Chan? SMH

Me: Hey, (I refuse to say that name.)
Him: Eh you come? Sot it was for jox jox.
Me: mmmmstchw.
Him: enehaw, for me has just pay waiter, almost gone.
Me: calls the waiter. Uhm, chicken Burger and one piece of chicken
Him: eh, he nodes his head.
Me : atte what?
Him: lemi fas go for a sotiko
Me: You better be coming back.

When he had just walked out, that's when it dawned on me he was never coming back. I started wondering how I was going to tell the waiter to remove the piece of chicken or probably the burger instead.

He brings the food and even my appetite has also hidden. I ask him to pack it for me.
He brings the food together with an S2 he had been given to charge telling me it’s for my so called friend.

Me: er waiter, keep that phone safe. He is coming back to pay and then he gets it. But if he doesn’t come, you can buy it at the price of this bill. Give it to a girlfriend maybe?

HIM: oooh
He says with the most perfect smile as if envisioning his girl’s smile when he hands it to her later on in the day.

That S2 was totally clouding his mind. I felt it was a chance to exploit.

Me: Actually, pack for me other 7 pieces of chicken, only thighs, and ofwono of coke and Fanta.

If the waiter is going to rip so much off that phone, in this case long lasting 'love', I decide I should also have some memories of that day.

My takeaway arrives. Much as I won't bother with cake, I'm glad I really showed Chan what 'jox jox' can tantamount to.

Like you all, I wish I would know what will happen in season two.

Will Chan return to the restaurant for his phone?

Will he find when the waiter has already given it away?

Will he post on my wall embarrassing me?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I have to cry on my Wedding Day! Whatever it takes…

Exaggerated excitement is a thing of the west! We Africans don't really need to shed tears to show that we are surprised or to express other emotions.

Alright, that's like an excuse I always give. We have imported so many western values and norms yet we become defensive towards those that may require a natural occurrence, effort or stem from regular practice (for which we haven’t had the chance)

I wrote a story about how am a Mukiga, and should for that reason be excused if easy quot;&quot expression of surprise didn't occur to me.

Nevertheless, I recently got a vision. Of my wedding day. I didn't see myself cry at any point! WHAT!  Who does that? Every girl is supposed to cry on her wedding day. That's totally by the book.(Not sure which one)

I'm so blessed I had that vision because now I can alter it and one of the four plans am going to lay out below are going to have to work.

If something doesn’t naturally occur to you, impose it on yourself.

Plan A
Remember something sad.
But, who wants to remember something sad on their special days? Okay maybe we can have a TV watching session, some Telenovela, a really emotional scene. It could help me boot start the tears, then maybe I will recall other emotional scenes I have watched before and start wailing.

Plan B
Chapa Mbalasi
In this one, my husband will have to be my accomplice. Actually, the whole bridal team. This is my special day and they all have to be supportive so that the ointment scent doesn’t come as a surprise. This plan excludes the flower girl and Peg boy from the team. Kids can't be trusted. In a brisk of a moment, she will be on the microphone reporting how Auntie Gulo has put chapa mbalazi in her eyes to create tears, and then she giggles innocently, not knowing the damage she has done towards my reputation.

In case the two plans don't work, plan C will be just perfect.

An Emotional Speech from my maid of honor.
First, she should be so emotional. In that after her first word, the whole audience will be in crying mood.
I will write her speech, of course, to be on the safe side. She has to cry as soon as she gets the microphone. At first we will think she is afraid of technology. Then she will put across a disclaimer that she is not always so emotional, so that we can empathize with her this time. Me I will already be crying and I will ask for cake to help me calm down even though cutting time hasn't reached. Cake does really calm me down, anytime.

She will go ahead and talk about how miraculously we met, on the street, and she knew we would be best friends for life. How she accidentally stepped on my shoe, leading to a torn strap, I could hardly move my leg with it.

And then she had looked at me so worried for her life, the mukiga in me appearing through my frown with a clenched fist ready to punch her unconscious awake. She had started pleading and offering me her nigina aka bona bambale shoes.

How suddenly, I hugged her tight, shed one too many tears and thanked her for spoiling my shoe as it had never really seen that happened to me on the street. How she had cried with me and pretended to be happy saying she had also never spoiled someone’s shoe on the street.

How I had asked her to be my maid of honor on my wedding that was two weeks away because of the instant priceless mutual emotional attachment.

By the way even when something isn’t really emotional as such, provided it’s said over a microphone and the speaker is crying, everyone will be touched. Thus, by the time she is done with the emotional speech, the MC will be telling everyone to feel free to use the dry cleaning services freely available as priory budgeted.

In conclusion thus far, what come may come! I have to cry on my wedding day if that's what it takes to convince myself that I was surprised I got married!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

On family dynamics...

Fine, in every family there is that one thing you will find unique. Of course, unique can be weird or desirable.  Forexample, most people refer to their parents as Baba, Papa, Taata, and the dotcom adult-kids like me, Daddy, and Pappy or Monkey and other petnames (for dotcomcom kids).

But the irony (yes, irony, whether the word is applicable or not - it just sounds cute) was when I heard my neighbor referring to his brother as 'sibling'. He was yelling, 'gwe sibling, engato zange waziteka wa?'

I was really intrigued at first hearing. But then brushed It off basing on the fact that it has been evident Ugandans are obsessed with trending sophisticated words that they will end up baptising their children with those words as their names eg Vuvuzela, Olympics, Eclipse, Extradite, LGTBI, POMB, Viber etc. If you go to Kabale, and you hear someone talk about Eclipse, don't be quick to applaud their knowledge diversity. Usually, they are backbiting a 'kalomate' with that name.

So, I went by my neighbors' to ask for salt so that I could be able to pry into their family 'name-referring-to' politics. You know, previously, they had come begging for hot charcoal saying they didn't have a matchbox,( I think they were just lazy, you know people and wanting ebiwedde) it's often fairer when one good turn yields another anyway.

I met Taata Loza at the door step, chewing sugarcane and dropping the residues carelessly. Loza is the kind of kid you might want to avoid when you are eating some terrific food. She must have been asleep though.
Taata Loza and I exchanged greetings and then I told him I had come to beg for a panga. I abandoned the salt, what if the man threw tantrums at me for begging mere salt that was 500shs from the shop opposite his house? This would ruin the future bilateral relations between our familes so I couldn't go through with it.

But appallingly, he was so happy I asked. He even said I could borrow a certain metal used to sharpen knives, the sink pump, the toaster they had newly acquired and so much more. I didn't object to his suggestion in as much as I didn't really need to borrow anything in the first place. I said I wd come for the rest eventually.

He called out for Maama Loza.

'Wife, wife, waifuuuu... oba kati omukyala azunze wa?'

'Wangiiii husband?' She yelled back.

This time I was intrigued to the brim that I couldn't hold my mandibles together.

Their lives felt like an Ultimate African skit in National Theatre. Had they probably perhaps met in drama club maybe, all of them, including the children? Or had they fallen out of a story book as was the case with Inkheart, the movie? But movies are usually fiction.

Some families can indeed be strange! Even when it comes to dinner at the table. Table manners really differ. On that note, never have lunch with Nigerians if at all you think your table manners are in the least up to average.

I was invited for lunch at a certain Nigerians place. The food was pork and posho. My first time to eat that combination and more specifically, pork with soup. (Pork with soup!?? Smh)

First of all expect only one serving spoon. This was to be used in the pork. (I actually think it was brought because there was a visitor)

The guy asked if he could serve me, but after seeing how he used his hands to amass the posho in his grip, rolled it and then placed it on his plate, I was numb. I politely said I would serve myself and asked for a fork which wasn't brought until I said I didn't know hw to eat with bare hands.

While eating, without even asking if I wanted more pork, he picked a piece of pork from his plate, with the fingers he had previously been licking of food and placed it on my plate.

I puked on my plate, literally, that everything felt disgusting and I couldn't eat it anymore.

Even worse was when, out of the notion that Nigerians don't waste food, he got all the food on my plate and poured it on his own, and ate it all. I excused my self to the restrooms. At the back of my mind, I had gone 'mbu' to puke .

I leaned towards the sink. I started pleading for the puke to come out. It refused. Truth is, sometimes we can want to forge standards. While in the movies, actors can easily puke after seeing something disgusting, that's not always the case in real life.

So when most of us say, 'eeew, I feel like puking, we mean,'eeeew, I wish I could puke, lodavmcy.'

So the puke jam, and so did the pee. I flashed the toilet anyway so that they would know I wasn't doing anything restricted in their restrooms.

By the way the food wasn't bad, but the eating habbits were despicable. My advice, when faced by a Nigerian, make sure you scoop enough in the first serving and isolate yourself.