Saturday, 1 February 2014

Friday, 22 November 2013

Burundi The Land of Handshakes!

For close to two years, I've been working in Burundi-a tiny east African country (trending is a word that Burundi failed to take advantage in the east African integration to form an integration with DR Congo and Tanzania-I wonder what they'll call it!)

My service in Burundi is with Burundi Youth for Christ. One of the reasons why I was hired was to foster the east African integration which the government has decided to trample. So I may not be here anytime soon.

Over the time I've been here, one thing still beats my understanding! The Burundian Greeting.
Burundians are very social people who love their amstel and primus beer(not for this article but I couldn't go without mentioning it)

I'll describe the famous greeting with my own experience and this how it is.

To go for work, I take a 100m walk to the taxi-moto stage for my motorbike ride to work at a cost of 1000FBu. At the site of me, about five motorbike riders race to me and I usually take the one that reaches me first. He however won't set off unless I give him and his five colleagues/rivals handshakes.

Vrooom! I'm now at the gate to my workplace and the gatekeepers won't let me in unless I shake his hand or give him a hug!/¿?

Then I'm in with my Burundian and American friends.  I could easily pass by without even saying hi to the American but even a hi is not enough for the others! You have to shake hands. In my first month, a colleague-Jean Marie(not real name) related me to an arrogant murderer. That by consistently refusing to walk to his desk to shake his hand, I was 'killing him,' and I promised to always shake his and all Burundian hands so I could go to heaven and not the filthy Burundian jails.

While at work we receive an average of six visitors who are shown around and you can't survive more handshakes!

At the end of the working day, more handshakes as a symbol of farewell and good will. This is followed by another taxi-moto handshakes.

Vrooom! I'm now at the boulangerie/bakery to but bread for the next day. More handshakes from the bakery attendants and any one buying bread. The cluster of beggars all around me want money or bread but they want handshakes first. Actually that's the reason why I've never given any of them money.

Once in a while, I go to my bank(Ecobank-one of the only banks that give ATM cards) to withdraw some money. More handshakes from the security. Many times, the ATM is faulty and I've to withdraw from the counter. More handshakes from the cleaners, receptionist, tellers and even the manager himself! I almost thought I'm holding a really fat back account! That would be the most logical explanation but then this is Burundi!

Now in the Couture-a Chinese supermarket for a few basic supplies (the Arabian lady here is offended if you talk about Arabia. She claims she's 100% Burundian. That's evident by her love for handshakes anyway). More handshakes from her and any shoppers there!

Taxi-moto handshakes again and I'm home for another handshake from my Cook.
I'm home for a while then I decide to go to the nearby joint for a drink and some brochettes. That's when the bar attendants and goat roasters line up for handshakes before taking my orders!
Goat eating is always interrupted by strangers coming and leaving the joint. They all want handshakes!!

Then I'm home again for dinner. Before I sleep, I try to count the number of handshakes for the day so I could say a prayer for God to bless them.
You might want to help me count.

How many hands did I shake today?

Society is Selfish. We're very Generous

In my own words, society is the 'nearest' people around us. Nearest herein means their presence in our lives both physically and mentally. This includes family, friends, church, school, work et cetera.

Society secretly takes advantage of man's innate desire for love and appreciation to drive us to their selfish interests. This results in the burial of our own dreams and desires.

As such, we never really achieve any fraction of our own desires and aspirations. We are occasionally pushed to a corner where we can't decide who is selfish! Us or the stupid society!

Here's why I think society is selfish and we're not.

Society only cares about itself. If you failed an exam or something, society would laugh at and scorn you. Friends will run away from you. School will expel you. Parents will call you a waste... etc

But if society fails, we're always the to help it. Church will ask for tithes and offerings. Family doesn't care about your work and commitments. You have to be with them for all birthdays, holidays, parties. It's all about itself.

Society doesn't appreciate the fact that we're all different from each other in our own ways. It has created a stupid belief that we're all the dance and have to live the same lives.
1. Get born and become property to your mother and father.
2. Go to school, read hard, get a degree.
3. Get work.
4. Get a fiance(e) and introduce her to family.
5. Get married at church/mosque.
6. Get children, grandchildren, etc.
7. Die.
8. Face judgement.
9. Go to HEAVEN/HELL.

You might notice that society chooses for you everything else apart from 9-heaven/hell. It ignores the fact that you've faithfully served it. Tirelessly trying to please it. Then when in the one moment when you badly need it, you can't find it.

The reason is simple. Cause when you die, society won't need you anymore.
How selfish of society!

De'Moi

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Why Are men happier than women?

All over the world, Men and women keep arguing on the topic of happiness.

The degree to which you agree with me should not be contested in any court or whatsoever.

According to me,
Men are just happier people.


An encounter with one of my favourite writers yielded this blog.

Below are the casual excerpts. You are free to call them outrageous, selfish, acake, arrogant or whatever you may like.
One thing is for sure,
These excerpts are very different from those your African grand father would ever mention.

1. Your last name stays put.
2. The garage is all yours.
3. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
4. Chocolate is just another snack.
5. You can never be pregnant.
6. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
7. The world is your urinal.
8. You don’t have to stop and think of which
way to turn a nut on a bolt.
9. Same work, more pay.
10. Wrinkles add character.
11. Wedding dress $5,000. Tux rental-$100.
12. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle
your feet.
13. One mood all the time.
14. Phone conversations are over in 30
seconds flat.
15. A five-day vacation requires only one
suitcase.
16. You can open all your own jars.
17. You get extra credit for the slightest act
of thoughtfulness.
18. If someone forgets to invite you, he or
she can still be your friend.
19. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
20. Three pairs of shoes are more than
enough.
21. You are unable to see wrinkles in your
clothes.
22. Everything on your face stays its original
colour.
23. The same hairstyle lasts for years, even
decades.
24. You only have to shave your face and
neck.
25. You can play with toys all your life.
26. One wallet and one pair of shoes - one
colour for all seasons.
27. You can wear shorts no matter how your
legs look.

pkamukama@observer.ug

Why Are men happier than women?

All over the world, Men are arguably more than women. The degree to which you agree with me should not be contested in any court or whatsoever.

According to me,
Men are just happier people.


An encounter with one of my favourite writers yielded this blog.

Below are the casual excerpts. You are free to call them outrageous, selfish, acake, arrogant or whatever you may like.

1. Your last name stays put.
2. The garage is all yours.
3. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
4. Chocolate is just another snack.
5. You can never be pregnant.
6. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
7. The world is your urinal.
8. You don’t have to stop and think of which
way to turn a nut on a bolt.
9. Same work, more pay.
10. Wrinkles add character.
11. Wedding dress $5,000. Tux rental-$100.
12. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle
your feet.
13. One mood all the time.
14. Phone conversations are over in 30
seconds flat.
15. A five-day vacation requires only one
suitcase.
16. You can open all your own jars.
17. You get extra credit for the slightest act
of thoughtfulness.
18. If someone forgets to invite you, he or
she can still be your friend.
19. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
20. Three pairs of shoes are more than
enough.
21. You are unable to see wrinkles in your
clothes.
22. Everything on your face stays its original
colour.
23. The same hairstyle lasts for years, even
decades.
24. You only have to shave your face and
neck.
25. You can play with toys all your life.
26. One wallet and one pair of shoes - one
colour for all seasons.
27. You can wear shorts no matter how your
legs look.

pkamukama@observer.ug