Please sleep, Splackavellie

You know that scene in the movies when a couple is in bed in a cheap hotel and they can hear another couple loudly having sex through the wall and they giggle and you who is watching the movie you also giggle because oh, it’s so funny?

It’s really not.

I had been traveling a couple of days through Tanzania and on one of my bust stops, I had a four hour layover. I was exhausted and got a cab to a cheap hotel to sleep for a couple of hours.

I collapsed on the bed with exactly two hours of sleep scheduled, closed my eyes and had begun to drift away when it started. The sounds coming through the wall were as clear as if they were at the head of my bedside.

Squeak squeak squeak! That was a bed, I guessed.

“Ah! Ah! Ah!” “Oh! Oh! Ohhhhhhhh!” Those were its occupants, I suspected.

I pulled the pillow over my head but could not drown out the sounds of the couple screwing next door.

Thud thud thud! The bed was now slamming against the wall.

I gave up after ten minutes and, lying on my back, crossed my hands over my chest and adopted the facial expression of a long suffering saint as I waited for my neighbours to finish having sex so I could go to sleep. It took a few more minutes before I could hear the promise of an end.

“Whoo! Whoo! Hah! Hah! Gggaaaaaaaaah!” That was the man. It sounded like he was climaxing.

“Haaaaaaaaaaa…” This one came from the woman and it came out low and soft and drawn out. She had also come it seems. I nodded my head, satisfied. I curled up and drifted off. Ten minutes later my eyes snapped open. Katonda wange. Had they just taken a cigarette break?

Because they were at it again!

Sorrow coursed through my veins. I had hours of travel ahead of me and these-these-these sex fiends!-were ruining my nap.

black woman.jpg



Get the fuck out of my toilet

I was in a foreign country (which I don’t feel like mentioning because it’s not important and I don’t even know why I started by saying that I was in a foreign country but anyway, let’s carry on).

I say, I was in a section of this foreign country (I really must stop saying that) where Karaoke is a thing, so some new friends I had made took me to a karaoke bar. I must confess, it was indeed de ‘ting. People sang and rapped so well there was no need for a DJ for some time and we all were ‘getting’ jiggy with it’ when I felt the need to go pee.

There was a girl standing in the hallway of the bathrooms and I could see that the only two stalls were empty. My plan was to pass her and enter the toilet on the left. Her plan, when I passed her, was to grab me by the waist, push me up against the wall and feel me up. People, she groped my boobies.

“Eeeek! Wooooaaah!”, I swatted at her hands as I tried to shrink away but she was still leaning in too close to be normal. “What the hell?!”

“You’re so pretty, baby”, she slurred. Although I have never experienced getting in a fight with a drunk chick in a toilet, I know that a fight in a toilet with any person has me squarely in the losing position. Small size and all that. I prepared to keep this civil.

“Okay”, I said. “But I’m here to use the toilet. Let me pass”.

“When were you born?”, she demanded.

“Why do you want to know?”

“Just tell me when you were born”, she purred.


I pushed past her and entered the toilet and was turning to close the toilet door when she stepped into the doorway and blocked it. I don’t know why of all the people ‘getting jiggy with it’, no one felt the need to come pee and help me out of this predicament.

“When were you born?”, she was yelling. Was this kyana insane? I gave her as politely hostile a stare as I could muster and said nothing.

“If you won’t tell me when you were born, I”ll tell you when I was born. I was born in 1985”.

Jeez Louise. I was being molested by a baby? A tad offended, I was still glad at a chance to end her search for a soul mate. If I was not too old, I would hopefully be too poor. No car, etcetera.

“I was born in 1984”.

“No”, she said, angry. She suddenly was very angry. “Stop lying to me!”

“Listen, Kid, I don’t owe you shit. If I tell you an age, that’s the one you take!”

“But-“ she protested. “But you don’t look like you were born in 1984. You look like such a pretty baby”.

I had had quite enough. I pulled myself up to my full 4 feet 8 inches, adopted the tone of a stern teacher and said haughtily.

“Young woman. Get the fuck out of my toilet!”.



This takes ‘turf war’ to a whole new level

I’m getting real sick and tired of your luganda to be honest

I’m going to do that racist thing where I say, “Hey! I have Baganda friends. We hang out and everything”.

Now that’s done, let’s discuss this excuse taxi touts use to bore people who don’t speak Luganda. With me it usually goes something like this:

Me: Excuse me please, how much is it to-?

Tout (in luganda): Don’t bore me! Speak in Luganda!

Me: Also you don’t bore me. I don’t speak Luganda. Do you want a customer or do you want Luganda?! I can walk off and leave you with the language if you want!

It usually works and the tout and I part friends. Last night though, what happened was bizarre.

I’d taken a taxi and I think the men lied about where they were going. I kept asking (in Luganda by the way) if they were going to drop me at say, King Kong. They kept responding:

“We’re going to Jumanji”

“Yeah, but are you going to pass via King Kong?”

“We’re going to Jumanji”.

I wasn’t taking chances. In English, I asked to leave the taxi.

“If you don’t want to answer my questions, you can stop here”, I said.

The driver screamed: “Speak to us in Luganda”.

Sincerely a pause was in order. I turned in astonishment to gasp at him.

I could swear I’d spent the last ten minutes speaking to them in the language of their preference. It seems the rules state conversations must end that way too!


Munange. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

A cure for loneliness

If you are of a certain age-that is to say anywhere from your very late twenties to I don’t know yet coz I ain’t there at present-there comes a time when plot is hard to configure. People have gotten married, others are becoming responsible adults and the rest don’t want your idle arse around.

Which is where the kanfundas come in, praise Jesus. Over time, Kafundas have evolved from being places for the poor and unemployed to respectable venues for the elite who are allergic to solitude.

There are two categories of kafunda attenders.

Category 1: The ones who gat a legit kafunda

You’ll see them in bars in Kisementi, Kabalagala, John Babiiha Avenue (no longer Acacia-keep up); and then there are those in Serena and Golf Course but even thinking about touching on those mortals depresses my bank account so I shall stick with the familiar.

Like I said. If you have a kafunda, you also have friends who attend that kafunda. On specific days you know that you can just hop on over, have a seat and even if you’re alone, a pal will join you and in thirty minutes it will be a party.

That’s the legit kafunda.

Category 2: The Kaunda flukers

These are the people who have failed to ingratiate themselves into a particular kafunda. But that should not dissuade you comrade. This is Africa. Kafundas are open to all. Even Bazungu will giddily summon you over to their table if they’ve been in Uganda long enough. So put on your clothes, go to Que Pasa and simply stare. Someone you know will shout, “Yo, warrup? Come join us!”. If nothing of the sort happens, you must walk about, look busy muttering, ‘Excuse me, looking for a friend’ until you spot one. Say hello and that friend will automatically sidle over to make room for you.

It has worked for me on numerous occasions. Tonight is the end of one year and if you don’t want to be alone you don’t have to, friend. Should you belong in Category 2 (bambi), put on your drinking cap and go find that cure for loneliness.


Or you could just stay home and treat yourself

Get him up close and personal.

I was in an village upcountry alone and on my first day, as I strolled along a long empty stretch of dusty road to look for food to eat, three men on a boda boda begun trailing me, asking me to ‘love them’.

“Leave me alone”.

“No”, said the men generous enough to share one woman between them. “We are going to follow you on this motorcycle”.

“Fine”, I conceded. “Follow away. Good luck enjoying doing nothing”.

And so for a few minutes I walked, they hooted and hollered and soon begun to feel foolish I suppose. They drove past me and disappeared.

Lo and behold, they were the first men I saw when I reached the restaurant. This time they had a restaurant of men to give them more gumption. The catcalls begun in earnest.

“Fuck off”, I told the one who ventured too close to me and I hurried around the back to eat in peace. When I was leaving, the catcalls resumed. It is a wonder to me how as countries tell women to be ‘decent’, they have no concern for the men that shame the nation. As I stood and stared at these fellows outside the restaurant they honestly resembled goats in heat. All I had to do was bend over and out would come their ding dongs.

It was pathetic. One man desperately cried out to me, “But why don’t you want me to love you?”.

“That’s it!”, I snapped. “I want one of you to come out of that restaurant and stand in front of me and talk to me like a human being”.

One man stood up and the others rushed to come out and escort him.

“NO!”, I shouted. “Together you’re a pack of dogs that give each other courage. I want ONE MAN to come out here and the rest of you SIT DOWN!”.

To my amazement, the men all sat. The one left standing swaggered out to meet me. We faced each other.

“Who raised you?”, I asked.

“What do you mean”?

“Who grew you?” I elaborated.

“I don’t understand”, he was in unfamiliar territory and all his fellows were eagerly watching his performance.

“Who gave birth to you?”

“My mother”, he answered.

“And did your parents raise you to loiter around like an animal determined to give and receive AIDS, and to treat women with no respect? To treat yourself with no respect? Don’t you and your friend have any dignity at all?!”

The men shouted suggestions to him and I shouted insults back to the lot of them. The owner of the restaurant came out and seeing what was going on, went batshit. I don’t know what language she spoke but she was clearly not amused with the men abusing not just her customer, but a visitor as well. Her tongue lashed on, my tongue added to hers and the man I was talking to actually run away from me and escaped into the restaurant.

To be honest I did not want to return for dinner. But I steeled myself and went back to the restaurant. It had only one small table and whoever didn’t get one would find a chair and manage without. I sat at the table and one man came over with a plate.

“Excuse me madam”, he said politely. “May I please have your permission to share this table with you?”

I was impressed. It was his table not mine but my demand for self-respect had pulled off amazing results in the space of an afternoon.

For the rest of my stay in that village, the men would greet me, “Hello Commando!”


I approve

Vaginas vs. Gear shifts

Due to the pressures and psychological inconveniences that Kampala holds, sometimes it is imperative to get the hell out. I betook my weary spirit to Ntoroko district in Western Uganda. The gwa is far. You pass Fort Portal, take the escarpment leading to Bundibugyo, branch off at Karugutu and drive for two more hours with the reward of viewing the Semliki wildlife on the way-kobe, warthogs and earth’s other lovely creatures.


Something about nature does good to one’s soul, innit?

For one week I avoided the internet, work and most importantly-people. Alas, the time came for me to leave and that is when I learned that when it comes to public transport, Ugandans need to start slapping themselves into development instead of waiting for the president to promise it (over and over and over again).

I learned the earliest taxi would leave at 5.00 am sharp and made the appointment. 5.00 am found me sitting outside my cottage with my luggage admiring the blanket of the sky. After 20 minutes, hypothermia was imminent so I went back to bed. The driver called to say he was late because the taxi was not yet full.

When the taxi eventually came, really, I doubted his sanity. It was packed. I was unhappily squeezed into the last front seat (that ugly one where the conductor sits) and we set off. After a few more minutes we stopped again.

“We just have to add some more passengers”, explained conductor.

“Where?”, I asked curiously. “You’ve got five people seating in each row and me squashed here like a cabbage. Where do you intend to put these people?”

There were four men we had to find space for. After a long and public discussion by all of us about how they would fit (I kept shouting ‘Wait for another taxi!’), one man seated next to me said, “I know what to do! Let the girl sit on my lap and we can squeeze six people in a row instead of five”.

Come the fuck again? I looked around the taxi to identify the ‘girl’ who was going to sit on the man’s lap. Everyone else looked at me encouragingly.

Kiss my arse.

“No”, I said.

The passengers begged and wheedled and I didn’t even try to be polite.

“I’m not sitting on anyone’s lap! I’ve been waiting since 5.00 am for this shit? NO!”.

“Fine”, said conductor. “You get out and we’ll see where to put you later”.

I offered to sit on the roof of the taxi because at least I’d be alone. You can see how my standards were falling quite rapidly.

In the end, I was put in the front seat with the driver and two other passengers. I was made to place my legs on either side of the gear shift and off we went. I gave up on the sanctity of my body as every time the driver changed gears, my thigh or vagina was lightly caressed. I tried everything. Sitting straighter, leaning to the left and daydreaming. Still my private parts were having a hard time of it.

When we reached Karugutu, which branches off to Fort Portal, flesh and blood could bear it no longer. I clambered out of that taxi to the insults of the passengers.

“You think you’re too good to travel normally. You think you’re a muzungu! Yada yada yada”.

I took a boda the rest of the long way to Fort Portal which would have been pleasant if it were sunny. The rift valley is a gorgeous sight but it was early morning, it was freezing and I didn’t give a fuck about the hills being alive with the sound of music.



Sincerely, don’t these ones just want to die?

In all my years of watching horror movies, I never understood why the old white men who ‘discovered’ Africa etc. were natural explorers. Traversing seas and forests they know nothing about and-unsurprisingly-getting killed by the natives of the land who didn’t wanna know their shit.

Eventually someone missing the good old days came up with an idea to remind the world about their roots through horror movies. These horror movies most often feature white people and it better stay that way. My ancestors don’t want us getting ideas.

There are the ones who take a road trip to a place none of them have ever been to 

These are usually college students who buy a map, play pinky-pinky-ponky, pick a spot and drive off into a deserted environment of all things for no justifiable reason.


Wrong turn, bitches

The ones who ignore the person who thinks something is off 

There is always a sensible fellow who wants to go back post haste. This fellow usually has three or four stupid friends who tell him to not be such a sissy. Instead of sensible fellow walking back (I don’t care if it’s 1000 miles), he stays with the stupid friends so they can die in solidarity.

The ones who wander off to explore 

This usually happens in a forest. Someone wants to explore on their own. Thankfully they get what they deserve.

The ones who say ‘Let’s split up’ 

Are you mad? What’s wrong with you? What would possess you to think of that? Why would you want to-I can’t even.

The ones who decide to fight back against the evil 

I love these ones. If it’s a demonic business, they call a priest, they put crosses on the wall because pain and torture appeals to them. If it’s a guy with a chainsaw, instead of just leaving him in peace by driving to San Francisco they devise traps and means to kill him so that he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Is that chain murderer your responsibility? Haha.

The ones who know it’s unsafe but showers with a shower curtain 

Mwe. Alfred Hitchcock warned you about that shit back in 1960. I mean, a place has already given you a bad vibe. Everyone who’s ever watched horror movies knows you never ever shower with a shower curtain. In fact you don’t even bathe. If you must, go outside in the grass with a basin so that you can see who’s coming at you with the knife.


No. Let them shower and die by curtain.

And lastly- there are the fools who investigates creepy eerie voices 

Someone hears weird voices and sounds and has the temerity to call out, “Who’s there?”. What the fuck do you mean who’s there? If you didn’t come with them, get the hell out!

The lettuce leaves on that plate

I don’t like it when people visit my country for a few months, days, weeks or minutes only for them to return to their homelands and wax rhetorical about the cultures and people when they haven’t fully integrated. When they don’t yet ’know us like that’.

Which is why I want to first throw this disclaimer out there: this story is by no means a reflection of the country that is Turkey and its people. I know easy going friendly Turkish people. Two to be precise.

But my first time through the Turkish airport, I think I arrived a few minutes after an evil villain had doused the place with a hormone labelled ‘Non-Turks fuck off’.

I was with a few Ugandans and upon entry two uniformed Turkish ladies receiving us as we arrived at the airport were asking to see our boarding passes from the flight we had disembarked from. One of my colleagues thought he was still in Uganda where jokes are a thing.

“But we’ve just got off the plane. Haha. Why ask for our boarding passes? How did we come to stand in front of you if we are doing so illegally? Hehe, hihi”.

The women didn’t smile. They glared actually. Our collective chuckles were silenced and as they waved us through one of the madams said, “Fucking asshole” loud enough to be heard.


The airport looked a grand place for this tiny African. Sleek and alive, bustling with people and activity. I like to enjoy my maalo time alone so I decided to separate from my colleagues for the next few hours. I wanted a pharmacy and sought out several help desks. At the first one I stood in front of one lady and grinned brightly.


“Hello! Where can I find a pharmacy?” 

She looked at me coldly and flicked her eyes to her colleague in the store next to her. My smile faltered but I kept it plastered on as I went to the next lady. She stared at me and then looked down at something she was working on. I stood for about half a minute before she looked up at me with impatience and spoke tartly.

“What do you want”. Full stop.

Kyo #2

Several help desks later the individual I wanted to buy medicine from over an intercom was also so terse that I decided my body could heal itself of its ailments.

I was hungry though. Delighted at the prospect of sampling the local fare I approached one restaurant. The food was arranged behind a glass screen and I stood for some time trying to figure out what everything was. I kept trying to get the attention of the cashier/owner but I swear it was as if I were invisible. People came and somehow with zero effort were able to purchase something as I hovered and in between them raising my hand and calling out, “Sir? Hello, Sir?”

When there was no one I stood still and looked at him curiously as he counted his money, put tea to boil etc. He looked at me eventually.

“What?”, he asked.

“What’s this?”, I pointed at a sandwich that looked interesting. He told me. I didn’t want it so I asked about another item. What I wanted him to do was spend a couple of minutes telling me what everything was but I could see it wasn’t going to fly. I didn’t want the second item either so I asked him about another plate.

“Order something or go”, he said.


“Tea and those lettuce leaves on that plate”.


I’ll experiment at my leisure elsewhere!


This is why you’ll find me these ends

A few years ago, an American friend invited a mixed crowd of Ugandans and Europeans to what she called ‘A whisky tasting’.

There were several arrays of bottles on the table which we were made to understand were special brands on their own. She then took us through the history of each bottle, the scent of the whisky, the aromas of each precious drop of liquid. Eventually a Ugandan man interrupted her.

“Listen”, he said. “This is what I see”. He begun to point at each bottle.

“That’s alcohol. That’s alcohol. That there is also alcohol. Can we now start drinking this alcohol!”

We laughed and the party begun. But there’s a lesson there. Ugandans love to drink but the appreciation of what they drink is somewhat lacking. Which is why – whether you like to hear the truth or not – we have an alcohol problem. We drink to get drunk.

I have categorised Ugandans into three drinking categories. The Responsible drinkers, the Irresponsible drinkers and the outright alcoholics.

Responsible drinkers 

These tend to have the discipline of the Queen of England. They have a brand of alcohol they like-gin and tonic, a particular beer or wine, and they stick to it. They also tend to stick to it responsibly without the sole intent of being unable to get back on their feet after a few minutes.

Irresponsible drinkers

I’m an irresponsible drinker, and that’s the truth. Whatever you put in front of me is what I’ll consume as long as it has ethanol. The irresponsible drinker is the guest who a concerned host tells, “I believe you drink wine. I’m so sorry but we only have poison”.

Bring it.

Outright alcoholics

You know yourselves and you should seek help. What makes Uganda a difficult country for the outright alcoholic is that all socialising revolves around alcohol. We don’t have picnic grounds to nibble on grapes or Blankets and Tea concerts.

Wanna become a responsible drinker socially?

Good luck with that. Uganda does not encourage that type of social progress. The alternatives for non-alcoholic drinks are the even more poisonous sodas, ridiculously expensive juices and mock-tails priced for one to need a savings account. The healthy stuff doesn’t come cheap. I am sick and tired of pots of tea (plain damn water mind you) costing 9,000 shillings at a cup and a half. In one special restaurant, a soda cost 4,000 shillings while the beer was 5,000.

The math, guys, the math.


This is why you’ll find me these ends 


Where’s this fairy godmother at?

I loved watching Cinderella as a child. I loved the idea that even if I was an unwanted, un loved, unappreciated vagrant of a servant there existed a fairy godmother who would one day come and make all my dreams come true. When I was a young girl, those dreams involved giving me a nice pair of clothes and making me look real pretty for a Prince Charming whose face is is so irrelevant no one knows what it looks like.


Coz life would be all about me, you jealous things

But honestly I’m starting to worry. I’m 33 years old and this godmother ain’t showing her face. I’ve passed the stage of wanting to be pretty, I’ve passed the stage of wanting a Prince Charming, I’ve even passed the stage of wanting other women to be jealous of me.

I need me some real shit. Fairy godmother; I know you’re old and have been napping but you need to come down here and make my dreams come true before my teeth fall out. You will find that my priorities have changed so you won’t find me sobbing in a bush. You’ll find me in a corporate boardroom working on a pitch to get someone to buy my latest brand of hair follicles. Our conversation may go somewhat like this.

Fairy godmother.jpeg

Lindsey! I’m so sorry I’m late. Now, what can we do about your clothes? 

Lindsey: Screw the clothes woman. I need you to give me the midas touch.

Fairy Godmother: Not a problem. Everything you want will turn into gold until midnight.

Lindsey: Madam, be serious. I want a permanent midas touch. I hustle the streets every day. The touch is needed paka last.

Fairy Godmother: But why can’t I give you a nice dress and carriage like in the good old days so the prince can think you’re in his league and want to marry you?

Lindsey: Princes, bah! I’ve been through dozens of the damn things. I want the money the princes have.

Fairy Godmother: Oh dear!

Lindsey: You can still give me the carriage if it’s big and impresses people so the midas touch is more effective.

Fairy Godmother: I’m afraid my skills are limited to romance, my precious. Don’t you want to give it another try dear?


I don’t think you’re listening to me

Fairy Godmother: Humph! Well, there is this lady called Lakshmi. I hear she’s the Hindu goddess of wealth, health, fortune and prosperity. But those things are fleeting my dear. True happiness lies in-

Lindsey: Lakshmi you say?


What’s your number, old friend?