Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Goat rearing-best practices

The dons at the leading tertiary institution in our beloved country are on strike; they want their pay increased. Our benevolent leader shared tried and tested wisdom with them; he said that if they want more money, they should go and rear goats. Any columnist around the world would jump at an opportunity like this to write a good story. A story that’ll bring you, dear reader, to tears after you read it. You’d have a huge lump in your throat for days and spontaneously break out into muffled sobs on hearing the word ‘goat’ or ‘don’. You’d switch from listening to that new song by artist-from-America and start listening to war songs by artist-from-Jamaica. You’d stop watching comedies and switch to movies where the star dies a few minutes in. This may not be that story. This is one with practical tips on goat rearing; we, all of us, love to keep it practical here.

Goats don’t like meat or chicken or fish. Such sad lives I tell you. They like grass. If they had profiles on Facebook and ‘Grass’ was a page, they’d like it. Expose them to as much grass as possible.

Crossing roads
For reasons a top research team in Katwe is still looking into, goats love crossing roads. They usually do this with their kids.

Goats give birth to children every so often. Their children, like ours, are called kids. Theirs, however, like ‘Three Billy goats gruff’, a story about how a goat triumphed over a mean troll that lived under a bridge. (As an aside, that story was written by a Don of a university abroad). Ours, our kids that is, like Ben Ten, a story about a child with superpowers that triumphs over evil I suppose. Read them the billy goats gruff story

Reading habits
They have none. No need buying them books.

Drinking habits
They drink water before, during or after eating the grass we mentioned above. There are no cases on record of a goat drinking alcohol or using any substances with aforethought.

Unlike many of us, goats are mean exercise machines. If left to their own devices, they really walk up a stink.

We’ll reveal more tips in time.

Fighting school strikes with guns

Head teachers in western Uganda are troubled people. Over the last few months, a number of student strikes have broken out in the schools they run. These have resulted in losses to the schools. Egos have also taken a hit in the process. In their wisdom, the head teachers have requested that the police give them guns to better handle any other strikes that may arise.

I think they were motivated by that age-old Persian proverb, “A gun-wielding head teacher with veins popping out of his forehead and with a thin film of sweat on his brow, shouting himself hoarse, spewing out cliché after cliché (Education is the key. Attitude determines your altitude. Discipline makes unicorns fly) is more convincing than one without a gun.”

The goal is probably to fight fires being started by the students with actual fire.

Their request is not strange in our over-gunned beloved country. When landslides hit the eastern part of the country a few years ago; our head of state showed up with a gun to commiserate with the mourners and maybe shoot the sorrow.

Every security guard on every corner has a gun. You cannot take five steps without seeing an AK47 casually flung over someone’s shoulder.

With so much artillery around, how have you prepared yourself? Here are some tips gathered from watching movies.

Learn to dive
Diving quick and fast is an essential survival skill. It looks easy in movies only because those people are doing it for the hundredth time; not all the dives pleased the Director so he cut and made them do it again. Get ahead by practicing in your compound, at home or beside your desk at work. There’s that thing Neo did in the matrix; don’t try that one. It is bad for your back.

Don’t start fights
You can always tell when a fight is about to break out; the two guys usually shove each other back and forth while sizing each other up. We always know that the main actor will walk out unscathed by all the blows he’s been handed and dodge all the bullets sent his way. When shoved, wince, let out a loud wail and run out whimpering. No gunfire will ensue.

Messaging in the past times

Once upon a time, humans communicated entirely by ooga agaaring to the person next to them. Communities were small. They left home to run out and kill game then came home, dragging their supper by the antlers and handed it to their mate. All one needed to get their message across was to, after scratching their lice into submission, speak.

As time progressed, we came to the realisation that sometimes, one needs to project a message across plains and rivers. We sought out people with an extra lung and used them to transport the messages. We also found a way to train pigeons to carry the same messages to their intended recipients. With time we found that these too had their flaws; pigeons every so often had to take a dump. And people with extra lungs sometimes became a meal for one animal or another.

We went back to the drawing board and hit our heads against a rock (because proper walls were rare) until another idea sprung to life. We decided that the runner could benefit from using something even more powerful than him to get from place to place; a horse. He would get the message, jump on to the horse and gallop off to the destination. All the animals that had previously had him for dinner now had a hard time keeping up with him on the horse. Winning. This held fort till we realised that if there was a river, lake, mountain or any such thing along the path, chances are the man wouldn’t carry the horse across.

Fast forward to today; several engineers later, we have SMS and WhatsApp. No horses. No doves. Type. Message delivered. A laugh. Reply received. The message; more said in less space, no chance of lions intercepting it, not affected by mountains, rivers and lakes and most importantly, no pigeons soiling it. I was going somewhere profound with this well-researched, incisive article but the word count is upon me like the hump on a camel. If I had more space, I’d have developed this into a persuasive, heart-wrenching don’t-text-while-driving appeal.

I would also have placed a few well-calculated blows on text-speak’s face. I would then have tugged at heart strings with a fervent appeal to keep said text-speak out of CVs and interview rooms. But the word count has been reached.