Disclaimer: Been a while since I wrote something. I have been swamped, more than usual, and the creative juices (if we can call the nonsense I churn up ‘creative’) were tied up trying to actually do something commercially viable. You folks don’t pay for my gibberish (it doesn’t even get me laid, for fuckssakes!) and a man has got to eat. And fuel the car. And buy whiskey. And get laid.
So I haven’t been doing this writing thing for a while. Which partly explains the title – I needed something of a jolt, see, and I was like, Why have I never come up with a Luganda title for anything? It’s a delicious language, mean, snide, and hilarious at the same time. It’s proverbial, friends and neighbors.
And then yesterday, while walking the dog at about 10.00pm, a boda chap danced his bike passed me, so close his exhaust pipe warmed the bare skin of my leg. I looked up, ready to hurl some choice curse words at him (I like to go with the ‘K’ word when trying to get the lower classes to grasp how bloody angry I am) and then noticed he had somehow brought his bike to a grinding halt and was himself staring angrily at a bright pink 4 X 4 that had also slowed down and parked by the roadside.
The bright pink 4 X 4 wasn’t the best part of this scene though. No sir. It was the people in it. The driver was a lithe pretty young thing. The chap riding shotgun wasn’t lithe, pretty, or young. He looked old enough to be her father’s friend, and the reason why he couldn’t be her father was where his hand was – far up her shimmery silk dress, like he was mining for mercury or one of those rare earth metals the Chinese like going after (they use them in mobile phones I think). Fathers don’t do that. Most of them, at least.
I walked past the car just as the boda chap restarted his bike. He was too bemused by what he was seeing, and what had obviously caused the lithe pretty young thing to swerve into his path to remain angry.
But he couldn’t resist a parting shot as he rode off: ‘Banange akatuli kakola’.
Even the dog looked up at the words but the bike was gone. Behind us, the owner of said katuli was still recovering from the near-accident (or from her father’s friend’s hands – same thing really) and wasn’t quite ready to restart her car.
But she seemed to have the strength to express her anger at the incident.
‘Kale that lu man.’
She was angry at the boda chap. Oh father – gad.
I walked off into the cool night air, cars winging by, the dog beside me keeping up easily. My mind as usual, was off on a trip of it’s own.
It’s been a while since I heard a phrase like ‘Akatuli kakola’. And that’s not just because I don’t spend as much time in bufundas as I used to when the world was young and full of cheerful possibilities (Uni, in other words).
It’s because we have come to accept it as the norm. So we don’t even talk about it.
It doesn’t matter that most of today’s middle managers in the corporate world are female. It doesn’t matter that over the last 60 years, Income Generating Projects for the most part target women, and banks are more willing to lend women money than is the case with men. It doesn’t matter that women live longer, have higher pain thresholds, better immune systems, longer orgasms, more frequent orgasms, and are more likely to be protected by societal norms than men. It doesn’t matter that men are more likely to be victims of violence in general, no matter what the activists screech from their perches, sounding like they are in the middle of a perpetual (and really irritating) period. You can’t even blame it on political correctness, and a reluctance to pin anything on behavior that made us wince five years ago.
We have simply come to accept it as the norm: akatuli kakola. And the idea that women are about to give up this advantage of sorts that society has handed to them on a platter along with the ones they were already enjoying in the first place is ridiculous.
Akatuli kakola.
Deal with it.
She really was lovely though.