Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Why ‘indicating’ will not kill you

Whistling, driving happily along an uneven path, track, trail or if you are lucky enough to find a road in Kampala, you eventually realise that every so often, drivers turn without giving a turn signal, or “indicating”. This might rile you. You may feel the urge to construct a sentence using only expletives and send it in their general direction. Resist this urge. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Turn up the Isaiah Katumwa coming through your speakers and think happy thoughts. Think of rainbow, unicorns, patriotic public servants and pigs that fly. This column is for you individual who does not indicate. The columnist had to cut his research into why you don’t indicate short, but here are the benefits:

Using your car indicators is good exercise. Research by The Gemini Psychological and Social Awareness of long NGO names and other things institute shows that the health benefits of moving your finger to indicate are innumerable. It is good exercise. It gets your blood rushing and reduces the risk of heart disease, a lot of other bad diseases and ailments and STIs by a big percentage.

The institute’s research funding run out before they could actually put a percentage to the ‘big percentage’ but this columnist, using sheer intuition, feels the percentage is about 62 per cent. Indicate and reduce the risk of all that stuff stated up there by 62 per cent. In fact, by 72 per cent. Imagine.

Indicating helps drivers know what you intend to do. For example, if there is a goat at the side of the road and for one reason or the other, you want to ram into it, giving a turn signal lets the other drivers know this. That way they can honk and hope you re-think your decision or they can drive to the side of the road, whip out their smart phones and record the entire thing as it goes down. You would be an instant internet sensation simply because you gave the turn signal. Always “indicate”.

It is good exercise for the car. Cars need exercise too. By indicating you allow the car work out its pectoralis major circuit. This is located somewhere near the fixal dorsal of your car. Working this out extends your car’s life by several years. Do it. Use that turn signal. Make your car happy.

How to chair a meeting

Chairing a meeting is not as easy as Denzel Washington makes it look in that hit movie he acted about chairing meetings. He made it seem like it is all about staring people down and shouting, in a modified-for-TV-baritone, yourself hoarse. It is these things actually…and more. (To unashamedly quote that advert on TV about another newspaper) Much, much more. This column is going to take you from a puny, spineless can’t-chair-a-meeting individual to a take-that-Denzel chairman of a meeting.

First things first, shift in your seat, clear your throat and call the meeting to order. Getting the attendees’ attention may require a bit more work. It can be done by playing the sound of gunshots from speakers carefully pre-positioning in different corners of the meeting venue. Another way to grab their attention is by inviting a local artist to perform. When they are done, they should emphatically point to you as they dance their way away from thevenue.

The attendees’ attention fully on you now, thanks all of them for making it to the meeting on time. Take time off to give a stern eye to each one who arrived late. You can contact a local company (Ad: Support local companies that do good work. End of ad) to make sacks for late-comers to wear. Ok, skip that bit. I was joking, clearly.

Call the secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting. Play some music in the background as she reads them. Music from Pragmo and Isaiah Katumwa comes highly recommended for this. If the meeting is in the afternoon then you’ll need something more militant though, something with Eminem in it. Or Busta Rhymes.

As the meeting progresses, and attendees share their brilliant(?) ideas, be wary of the different kinds of attendees. There’s that person staring straight ahead for one minute too long. He is asleep. Wake him up by making strange cat sounds in his ear.

There’s that person talking too much and rubbishing other people’s ideas. Refer him to the counsellor in HR . There’s that person who says nothing. He looks. Scribbles. Looks. Scribbles. Occasionally ask for his opinion.

There’s that person on their phone. Typing. Giggling. Typing again. They always make it seem like they are super intelligent and can multitask; tweet and Whatsapp while attending the meeting. Direct your next question to them.

Make more money

This column in the last few weeks has been taking baby steps to progressively get you back on track with your New Year’s resolutions. Something this noble can’t be done in one or two articles. It requires an entire book, a few podcasts, a website, a number of CDs, guest appearances on Oprah and a TV show. I have kept my phone fully charged in case people who give book deals decide to call at 2am. I also now generally stay up more; you don’t want your big break to find you asleep. I don’t think Oprah calls back. She calls once, you pick, she invites you to her show. Must. Stay. Awake

Back to chasing that book deal by way of giving you advice; if you set out at the beginning of the year to make more money this year and you have not even been able to save enough to treat yourself to a rolex, this article is for you. Have you noticed how there are not enough people doing roadside gymnastics in Uganda? And have you not seen it flourishing everywhere else in the world? On TV you see it.

In movies, in series, when you surf the Web in “atomic speed water prove Internet café” in Bwaise, you see it everywhere. So why not rake in that money doing the same thing here? Set up roadside gymnastics somewhere in the taxi park for example. Or in Constitutional Square. My research didn’t pick-up on whether I would get in trouble with the law for recommending the constitutional square as a place for you to do gymnastics. Whatever it is, set up shop, research on the best tricks people like to see and then go and do those ones.

Another option is to set up a rolex hotel. We all know how everyone loves, totally loves rolex. Everyone who comes to Uganda goes gaga about the delicacy. Rather than have all these tourists and locals stay in Sheraton and then walk to your stall to buy rolex, build a hotel so they stay in it and eat as much rolex as their body can take. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the sweet smell of rolex being made in the next room? Who wouldn’t want to go to a steam bath with steam that’s delicately spiked with the smell of rolex?