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History of Jazz Music

Many times you find yourself surrounded by jazz music. The stuff sophisticated people are force-fed right after weaning. You often wonder, where did this music come from? Why can’t we do paka chini to it? Why do people stare when I try to bump and grind when it is playing? What is wrong with doing the moonwalk while it plays? Today, I’ll attempt to give you a deeper understanding of this music.

In eighteen century England, during heavy revolts where people would burn down houses and loot shops, kings used to send out jazz musicians to quell the rioters. Jazz musicians were respected and feared. They were held in the same esteem as soldiers. Jazz instruments were weapons. Rioters would listen to the music, calm down and start buying lollipops for each other.

Stories abound of many a lonely traveler who was attacked by armed robbers and just as they were about to pounce on him and relieve him of all his earthly possessions (for lonely travelers in all credible stories, like this one, travel with all their earthly possessions)…just as the robbers were about to relieve him of all his possessions, instead of saying the proverbial “Do you know who I am?”, he would instead calmly warn them,

“I’ll reach for my saxophone”

And just like that, the robbers would pause and make eye contact with each other. Using robber eye language, they’d ask each other,

“Do you think he really has a saxophone? Should we risk it?”

The physically smaller robber would choose not to risk it. The bigger one would usually insist and move to take the lonely traveler’s goat. The lonely traveler would withdraw his saxophone and it’d gleam in the night light. A small gasp would escape the robbers. They’d piss their pants and start to retreat.

“Don’t harm us sir. Please. Do. not. Harm. Us”

They’d back off and run to their mummies. That is the power of jazz music wielded back then.

Several homesteads didn’t need guard dogs. All a wealthy man had to do back then was to have a gramophone blaring mellow jazz tunes all night long and he’d be guaranteed his property was intact. This is how jazz music came to be called safe music.

Published on February 26, 2012

How to choose what to order

Many times you go to a restaurant and take ages making your mind up on what to have. This guide is to help you through those troubling situations.

Baby squid

If you order this, you need to be patient because making it takes a bit of time. First, the chef has to find a hapless mother squid that’s unable to take care of all its children. Since mother squids are not too keen on giving their children up for adoption, getting a ‘yes’ naturally takes a bit of coercion. Negotiation skills are key. It is because of this that five-star hotels always insist that the head chef should have top notch negotiation skills. To test this, applicants for the job of chef are usually put in a real-life situation where they have to negotiate their way out; someone wants to jump off a building, chef applicant is called. Hostage situation in Kireka, chef applicant is called. But I digress.

Having persuaded the squid to give up at least one of its children, the chef chooses the chubby one, gets it and flees before the mother changes her mind. He then heads back to the kitchen and proceeds to split the squid open and prepare your meal. All this time you’ll be watching soccer highlights on Super Sport and saying funny things to your date.

Zucchini Casserole  

If you see this on the menu and immediately assume that this dish has a few nsenene in it, you are wrong. You are also slightly dazed but let’s not dwell on that. If you order this on the menu, be prepared to wait a while for it. Thing is, Zucchini casseroles were developed by Soprano Zucchinni in 1865 in Milan, Italy. He owns the dish. For anyone else to make this dish in the world, they have to send his great great great grandchild written mail asking for permission. Zucchini Junior then reads your request and thinks about it. if you find favour in his eyes, he replies and tells you to go ahead and prepare the meal. All this is done after you’ve ordered. Naturally, this takes a bit of time so many chefs around the world find it easier to send a friend request to Zucchini Junior on Facebook and hope he accepts it. If he does, approval can be sought online.

Published on February 19, 2012

Hello Who Is This?

Many times in your phone-owning days, you’ll get one of those calls where as soon as you pick up, the person on the other end asks you who you are. The odd thing is that many times in such scenarios, if you are lucky, the caller insists that you are the person they’d called to speak to.

“But Lovinsi, why are you changing your voice? I know it is you…”

If you aren’t so lucky, there’ll go off in one of those languages you only hear when channel-hopping on radio.

Rather than hurl your Galaxy tab at the innocent cat peacefully licking its bollocks in the corner of your room, here are a few well –researched tips on what to say to the person on the other end of the line.  Since this column is all for being nice to everyone, the tips are biased towards being pleasant to the caller. Instead of wasting their hard-earned airtime, help the caller identify who you are. Give hints.

 Tell the caller what you look like.

“I am very tall and have seven digits on my left hand.”

Tell them who you aren’t.

“I am not Ghandi. I’m not Hitler. I am not a belly dancer even. I tried twice but that didn’t end too well”

Narrow down their options. Tell them what you do

“By day, I am a student. By night however, I prowl the city, walking old ladies across the street, karate chopping suspicious-looking people, fighting for the rights of taxi passengers to get all their change from conductors and nudging taxi drivers who don’t stop when the passengers ask them to.”

Give them even more details

“I have a scar on my pinky that I got while refereeing dog fights when I was five. One of the dogs attacked me because I called a foul and it didn’t entirely agree with my decision”

Do imitations

“This is my impression of George Bush giving a speech and then ducking when he notices a shoe moving towards his face.” Pause a bit then proceed to do the impression

Tell them about your phone

“I am currently speaking to you with a Nokia 1234. My last phone was stolen by a boda guy who rode by while I was speaking to my pastor. Can you believe it? The nerve of those people!”

Published on February 12, 2012


How to be a great soccer player

The African Cup of Nations, the one we cried about last year, is currently going on. Without us. The nerve of those people.  But you may be one of those people who do not know so much about soccer. You watch people running around and wonder what’s going on. Your friends generally avoid you when going to watch games because you’ll be that person asking “Is that Bill Clinton in shirt number five?”

This has to end. You can’t be that person anymore. It is time you learnt how to play amazing soccer. For one, you’ll become famous. Also, you’ll earn a lot of money. Follow these tips and you’ll become a soccer star in no time. I’d want to take a bit of the credit whenever those fast-speaking show hosts shove microphones in your face and ask you how you became such a star. This column is for everyone, so even you young lady can become a soccer star by following the tips below.


From the time you read that word above, start to hurl your feet at everything in sight. Soccer is about footwork so your feet have to be constantly at work. “What your eyes see, foot kicks”


The greatest soccer stars have all shown the highest levels of resilience ever seen in humans. So wake up every morning and jog to town and back. This tip applies even to you young lady. And it doesn’t matter where you live; the further away from town, the better a soccer player you’ll be eventually. If you live in Seeta for example, you’ll blossom into a Messi. If you live at Constitutional Square, you may never get past playing for the soccer team of your parish. Move house.


An integral part of playing soccer is celebrating goals because let’s face it, you probably won’t become a great soccer star by standing on pitch and looking pretty; you’ll have to score goals. When you eventually score, you have to celebrate. To train for this, show-up at different night spots in town at least three nights a week and party hard. Shout. Scream. Dance on tables (this will strengthen your calf muscles).

Do these for now. We’ll cover more as AFCON progresses.

Published on  February 5, 2012

Love is going to be in the air soon

Valentines is around the corner and several men are breaking out in a sweat. Nights at bars are being spent going over what would be a great gift for their significant other. Every time you walk into a bar and find men huddled around speaking in hushed tones and lowering their voices whenever you draw near, they are not talking about soccer or politics. Or soccer politics even. They are simply going over the different gifts they could get for their special person this Valentines. Katongole will suggest that they could buy aprons since their spouses like to cook. Jason will suggest that since his special person is always complaining about how the gadgets at home always seem to malfunction, a screwdriver set would be a practical gift.

Friend, I’ll save you the trouble. My time on the internet is not for nothing. I present practical gifts that will make your special person’s heart pop. In a good way.

Life-sized effigy of her favorite politician

If your special person is into politics and you’ve seen how her eyes light-up whenever the TV cameras turn to a particular politician, this gift is perfect. Get a good shot of the politician, go to Katwe and have an effigy made. Since it is two weeks to D-day and the global effigy-production manual clearly states that it takes eight days to make one, you are in luck. Put the newspaper down right now and run to Katwe. Run, don’t walk since we’ve seen images on TV about what will happen to you if you walk. Or first read the rest of the article and decide what gift suits her best.

Bulletproof vest

If your special person uses the streets of Kampala, this gift is ideal. It may be a bit pricy and my internet source wasn’t able to specify where one can get it locally but if you really love her, this is an ideal gift. You’ve seen news reports about what people are doing with guns out there. Keep her safe. She can wear it whenever she wears a dress. I don’t think a bulletproof vest can fit under a tiny top but the jury’s still out.

Published on January 29, 2012

Making finger-licking Chicken

This column is entirely about making you a well-rounded being. This means covering your appearance, your accent, stopping you from picking your nose, letting you in on what your workmates/classmates are saying behind your back and also giving you some vital skills. Today, like we’ve done before, we go into furthering your culinary skills. Your colleagues shouldn’t only be wowed when you say “Hey guys and girls, I know a sure-fire way that the SOPA and PIPA debacles can be resolved. Also, the Iran stand-off can be dealt with by…” They should also be wowed when you say “Listen-up guys and girls, I know I don’t look the part but I know how to prepare Espanooza Brugeli Mantozzo. I learnt by reading ‘By The Way’ in Sunday Monitor”.

Since that cat’s already out of the bag, it won’t hurt to re-iterate what we are going to learn how to prepare today. Espanooza Brugeli Mantozzo. As the name suggests, yes, it contains chicken. That name also hints that there should be mushrooms involved. To bring the chicken to tenderness (in culinary terms because strictly speaking, what are the chances that you’ll find an emotionally tender chicken?), it is essential that you chase it. Chase the chicken; past the flower garden, out the gate, through Mzee Kakulu’s elephant grass, back into your fence, past the kennel, past the kids stealing guavas, past the food on the sigiri, till it tires and surrenders. Because the dish we are preparing contains mushrooms, it is essential that the chicken you’ve been chasing surrenders in a mushroom garden. If it doesn’t, let it go. Go chase another chicken.


  • Tender chicken that surrendered in a mushroom garden
  • Salt
  • 2 shots of Gilbeys


  • Chicken captured (as detailed in the run-up above), pluck its feathers, cut it open and remove all the parts that we don’t eat. Then cut it into generous pieces
  • Warm some oil and when it starts to stink-up the house, drop the chicken pieces in it together with several mushrooms, three tablespoons of salt, one whole onion,  two whole tomatoes and a touch of vinegar.
  • Wait till the chicken turns alpha golden brown then remove it.
  • The shots of Gilbeys were for you. Drink them

Nutritional Information (Amount Per Serving):  Calories: Enough to make you a kick-boxer | Cholesterol: A lot

 Published on January 22, 2012

How to Be a Good Neighbour

Many times in our adult life, we find ourselves plagued by self-doubt. As children, things like whether our favourite pink shirt matched our favourite purple trousers and mauve shoes didn’t bother us; ok, I stand corrected. It turns out certain people were fashion-enthusiasts even as babies and cried more from mummy forcing them to wear diapers with polka-dots than they did when they were terribly hungry. That said, one ‘adult’ thing we didn’t worry about, even all those children who grew up too fast and learnt the power of carefully-timed tears, was whether we were a good neighbour or not.

As adults, we spend many of our waking hours wondering whether we are good neighbours. We wonder whether we are nice to the people next door (Or the animals, depending on where you live). I’m here to save you the time so you can use it to worry about inflation and GDP. Take the good neighbour test below and see how many points you score. It is a simple test; good neighbours have at least some of the things below.

Extra generator

Neighbour points: Seven

In these dark times, you need to look out for others. Get it? Because it’s dark, so you need to look out for them lest you bump into them? Ok, lame joke. But seriously, when your neighbour comes to you asking to borrow a candle, give them a generator.


Neighbour points: Four

In Uganda, it is an age-old tradition to bake brownies for new neighbours. I have seen this many times on TV but I’m pretty sure it was copied from here originally; like in 1932. I have it on very good authority that our great grandparents used to do it. The god authority said that much as there were no ovens, the brownies were made by improvising with flat irons. When a new person moves in next door, use the oven and grandma’s secret brownie recipe to make enough brownies to feed an army of hungry ants. March there and present the brownies with a smile.

If you scored more than five neighbour points, you are a great neighbour.

 Published on January 15, 2012

Dealing With Love

This column is all about suggesting, sometimes in strong terms, practical ways of making your life better. And easier. And making you that person that people’s eyes brighten around, not because of the copious amounts of alcohol they’ve been chugging down but because of how people are fascinated by your company. Taxi drivers, the butcher, boda boda riders, your boss, your lecturer…they all involuntarily lean in when you take a seat next to them and eat up everything you say.

So to further this agenda, the writer of this column is going to talk about love. He also knows only too well that you did all kinds of justice to more than generous portions of fruits, vegetables and all kinds of unhealthy food during the last two weeks. So much as love is the general topic today, in particular, he is going to talk about love handles. If probed further, he’d reveal that he’s actually going to deal with how to get rid of the love handles you developed over the last two weeks.

For those not well-versed in matters of the gut, love handles are those bits of extra flesh we now all have at the side of our belly. All websites I visited insisted that one has to go to the gym to get rid of them. I’d hoped for a less strenuous solution, like staring intently at people working out on TV, but nature is rather cruel.

So yes, a trip to the gym is what we all need this month. Now I’m told gyms have a very strict dress code and code of conduct. For one, you cannot just show up in a suit no matter who you are. Many of my friends who are lawyers have shown up in those nice, fitting suits that lawyers wear, ready to sweat it out only to be turned away at the door. I feel their pain. I’m all for ‘wear-what-you-want-to-the-gym’. I think that with the attitude that these people who turn away those in suits, our beloved country will never see development. What happened to love, care, tolerance, acceptance and then sniggering behind people’s backs after? Why should a man/woman, after a long, hard day (or even one spent chewing gum and sticking the over-chewed pieces under workmates’ desks) at work be turned away when they get to the gym just because of what they are wearing? I think gyms do not care about love in general and love handles in particular.

 Published on January 8, 2012

How To Live Large in 2012

The beautiful New Year is here and the flowers and frowns of 2011 have already been handed out. The beauty about a new year is that we generally start it super-charged, willing the sun to shine brighter, whistling Westlife ballads and holding onto a yellowish, crumpled paper on which we hastily scribbled all our resolutions for the year. A leading research firm I stumbled upon in Bwaiise revealed that a resolution that tops several lists is ‘To be famous’. According to Horace Brown Kasibante (no ID was presented, so may not be his real name), a lead researcher at the firm, “So many people want to be famous. But think about it, if they all became famous, then who would remain to watch them, be jealous and spread rumors about them? Who would the commoners be?”

That said, if their research is anything to go by, I present to you a full-proof way to make sure you book your fifteen minutes of fame this year. It is said that no one should spend their entire life without having made at least one headline. In a country like ours, you are spoilt for choice on how to go about it. Also, considering that some theories and entire movies suggest that the world is ending this year, I don’t think it is fair that one doesn’t get a chance to have his/her name in big print or just have their picture published with a light caption like ‘omg, she’s having a good time. Lol’. See that person on TV saying ‘tukooye so..so..sausage’? That could be you. See that person winning an eating competition? That could be you. Below, I present a quick way to make headlines.

Go to the bank and get your savings; or get a loan. Banks have a loan for everything these days. Get the money in small denominations, (preferably one thousand shilling notes) and a few coins. That done, position yourself favorably in a bar of choice. Give the DJ a signal and when the music stops, stand on a table-top and start investing in your future as a star by letting out a shrill scream while you shower revelers with your money. Be careful when hurling the coins lest you hurt people and get thrown out. Your debut at the top can’t start with a black eye otherwise the newspapers which run the story about your feat will christen you ‘Black eye’; that is not a catchy name for  the famous person that you now are. Be sure to mention me in your interviews; I was kind enough to give you a free tip.

Happy new year.

Published on January 1,2012

Christmas: The Real Story Behind It

My Grandma, bless her soul, had a gift for storytelling. Every other Christmas, she’d gather us round and tell us what she said was the true story of Christmas, one stripped of all the glam added to the one we see on TV and read in books.

Long time ago, there lived a fairly rotund man, big of bone and big of heart. Everyone referred to him as Taata  Kurisimasi. He had a long beard and was in the habit of giving generously. During the last few days of the year, particularly on the night of what is now referred to as Christmas Eve, he would go from house to house giving gifts to children who had been good all year. Grandma, who was but a little child back then, says she always got a gift. Taata Kurisimasi’s gifts would depend a lot on what the child’s desire was. Some got chocolate, others got Riham biscuits while others got Sim sim balls, Cool cool bar, safi and some even got the ultimate gift; Nyama bites. Much as many would have loved to get ice cream, it was not practical back then to transport it from place to place in the hot and dusty country Uganda was back then.

Because of the numbers, transporting the gifts called for ingenuity. Taata Kurisimasi, decked in red and white, was always a step ahead. He had a sleigh that was drawn by goats. The goats had names but I can only remember one; Goliath the green-nosed goat. In the sleigh, Taata  Kurisimasi  would put all the gifts and call the goats by name and they’d run a few meters and then fly. Grandma says that everyone knew Taata Kurisimasi’s goats could fly.

Sometimes, Taata would carry only one or two gifts because almost all the children had been bad during the year. Some had broken windows while playing kwepena, while others had taken sips of malwa/ajon while the elders weren’t looking.

I always wondered how the big-boned old man would drop the gifts for the children. Grandma says that he, having spent a good part of his formative years in Katwe, would pry open burglar proofing, get inside the house/hut (for huts back then had burglar proofing), drop the gift under the sink and leave.

Anyone who run into the bubbly Taata Kurisimasi testifies that the first words out of his mouth were always ‘Banange Banange Banange, Merry Chirstmasi!’. This story was picked up by a traveler, a bit of glam was added to it and the media took over. Merry Christmas

Published on December 25, 2011