1,000 Ugandan Shilling Bill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Browse around the internet on your 2G internet appropriately labeled 3G LTE internet by a certain ISP provider in Uganda and all you see are stories of families In outside countries having holidays in the name of chilling…….note that word chill from the stress and demands of something called reality in life. In Uganda a third world country you would expect us to be working twice hard to get closer to the likes of Korea where people work twice as hard but wait that’s pushing the limits so I put in the chill pill. Everywhere around Uganda if someone is ranting like Kanye West the first aid you get him is cold syrup labeled the chill pill. On the job hunt after applying to three or four companies without a reply that they even got my application I hit the chill pill until next time when am in the mood to hunt for jobs once again.
Recently the president after decentralizing the administration of the city to a certain lady and dethroning the lord mayor he complained to whoever was concerned about how money meant for roads was going missing and blah blah……..well you would expect the concerned parties to shake and tremble in their pants but not Ugandan administrators instead they ran out to a road side vendor and bought a snack ‘katunda and gnuts’ which were appropriately handed over to the president to chill and the katunda was the chill pill to stop acting un-Ugandan.
Its not uncommon for you to contract someone in Uganda with a job say to make for you a chair and after all the haggling you agree on the delivery date. Well everything will be going smoothly until electricity commonly called ‘umeme’ chucks and we sink into a blackout. In those developed countries those ends you would expect the contractor to run around the city looking for a generator to finish the work because hey he gave you his word but not Ugandan contractors instead he pulls off his shirt, rolls out boxes that contained supply materials and sleeps or beats the chill. If it so happened that you came back before power has come back and found him beating his chill or sleeping his excuse would be
‘anti power chucked so I also slept what did you expect me to do?’
Dropped so flatly and coldly in your face without remorse forgetting you paid him. His not even concerned that you have other plans and deals to chase.
And if you thought this beating the chill was a trait for only the local road side experts then step up are the guys in the public service. These guys beat the chill so much you have to know them personally if you are to get served. I have an uncle who chased a land title over three months before he actually bought the land his excuse was I have to give this guy enough time to fit me into his plans or else I may be evicted from my own land before I can even process my land title because his beating the chill over lunch, breakfast and any other excuse.
Then in the evening if you happen to be one of the unlucky flock like me who have to be squeezed in poorly maintained public transport service vehicles called taxi better be high on your chill pill or else your fellow passengers stuff it down your throat and embarrass you especially if you run or have a job that is transport fee sensitive. If it’s one of those days God has a wet dream and releases his ejaculation on earth the city streets will metamorphose from concrete jungle to swamp and murky in a moments time. On such days the taxi touts have a habit of decreeing how much we pay which is usually several times over the normal fare better keep your mouth shut or walk home. In a socialist economy if you raise a complaint everyone is naturally supposed to fall in look at how the Arab spring was started that saw the end of the likes of Gadhafi, Hosni Mubarak a but not we Ugandans everyone is on his chill pill and will shut you down the very moment you try exposing to us your poverty. It not uncommon to hear comments like
‘Woman it’s not our problem you are dating a broke man who can’t afford to buy you a car’
All this knowing that once transport fare goes up it never ever comes down unless its name is the Uganda shilling and the other party is the dollar. No wonder its not common for a politician to be scorned and written off the moment he raises his voice against the government under the pretext see he now wants to be appointed minister and his using that to catch the presidents eye. I remember during the days of walk-2-walk led by free lance opposition leader Kizza Besigye it felt much better to take images of them being tear gassed than reasons why they were walking, Olara Otunnu was tear gassed pink at one point becoming an internet session thanks to his kitengi dresses. When the lord mayor ws kicked out of city hall in typical government style every one boda boda rider commented…
‘eh the lord mayor even his 20m monthly cant make him chill that guy is the man’
That’s how much we all have the chill pill