Sitting here at Kanjokya Street automatically places me at the level ground with some of the nicest people you will find in Uganda, like Simon who is the inspiration for this opinion and like #9 who is at the centre-stage. For funny reasons.
Here’s the story: US President Obama potentially flew over some cloud that later entered our air-space and this is reason enough for Uganda to be all alert and opinionated, particularly those Ugandans who are otherwise opinionated 24/7 even without clouds. And so, another opinion banged us on the head this morning via Al Jazeera website.
All of a sudden, Obama was the bastard who dared come to Africa and preach to Africans about democracy, gay rights and presidential terms, and indeed how dare he, who is he, he’s only part African, rejected by his African father so in fact, he’s not even African at all! Therefore what the hell does he, the Muzungu, know about Africa and on what authority does he speak to African Union about all this stuff, yet he keeps so many Africans in American jails (let me not go through that Al Jazeera opinion again to give you stats) and he himself oppresses Africans in the US of A, so who is he to tell us ish?
Somebody pass the ice pack. I’m getting a headache.
This is who we are: we invite people to visit us; we invite BIG people to visit us. We unroll red carpets but we are just waiting for big people to open their mouths to say something. We would love it if big people can tell us how smart, pretty, developed, advanced, progressive, democratic, futuristic we are. We would like to hear praise and get pats on the shoulders for our achievements. We would like to look great in pictures and we would like those pictures to fly around the world so the world can see that Spain is not Uganda, that Uganda is this heaven on earth that Obama praises so highly for all the good reasons.
But we don’t get the praise.
We get a somewhat shallow, detached opinion by a President of a superpower whose agenda contains Uganda and our issues somewhere at the bottom-fifth of his priority list. We get what they all get: be democratic (whatever that means), leave gay people alone (they are also people AND tomorrow this can be your child), don’t steal money if you are in government, don’t stay in power forever, and the rest of the blah.
We figure Obama sat far away from our President. There must be hate there already.
They did not take a photo together. There. Hate for sure. Nugu.
He did not come to Uganda in the first place. Ahaaa – see the hate?
So this point-five individual from neighbouring kraal, whose father didn’t even want him, is now there in Ethiopia dissing us? Naaaaah! Let us take all the dirt and mud we can come up with and throw it at him. Who does he think he is?
Let us invent this unique jail angle, where we can bundle every African voice that had ever been jailed to speak against this ugly man – whose only issue now is how to wrap up his presidency, write a book and start speaking at summits for a six-figure dollar fee.
So, good on #9 to earn some ko from that opinion written for Al Jazeera, continue writing and by the way, you never thanked me for sending you that book by William Strunk, “The Elements of Style” yet I’m sure you read it because it’s now slightly easier to read your work.
Only, perhaps, you need to more stick to the topic because your digressions are now going beyond the Pluto probe and you know, people want content in context without having to think too hard or travel too far in imagination to see where you’re going.
All I can say to Obama is: dude, you did it, you demonstrated that living a dream is possible, your wife showed the rest of the First Ladies how to dress for all occasions, your daughters are marvelous and you have a great life ahead of you. Enjoy it but: try harder to quit smoking, it’s not good for the voice – and you, of all the past US presidents, will be using that voice the most. Conferences, summits are all yours for the taking: with your simplicity and charm, you set an example of what a President of anything should be. Cool, witty, ordinary, approachable, communicative, human, delegating, easy, understanding, respectful – all the goodies contained in you that America and the rest of the world should look for when voting their next President.
This much from me, sitting here at Kanjokya Street. Thanking NWSC for clearing that sewer yesterday so one can breathe some fresh air now.