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Susu

You are coming from your friend’s. It is Sunday. The date is the 9th of August. You have spoken about the far and near, you have indeed nattered. Y’know it is unusual to converse with an age mate in Rukiga. Nowadays when you meet in Kampala, you speak your English through the nose till the end. The English man did it! People who know Rukiga meet and they nasalize their English? Mscheew.

This friend of yours is one of those who does not suffer their English. It is not that he does not know the language. He actually knows a lot of it. A man who teaches literature, drama, etc. at Makerere and doesn’t know English? But when he is talking with someone from his home, he wishes for them not only to hear each other, but to listen to and see each other.

Of course he is Kitaburaaza’s son! Their people always have had big heads. Sometimes people say that the brilliance has become too much for them. There is a younger brother who decided to unfeather a cock, leaving the part on the head with all its feathered glory. Then he tied the remaining feathers in what he said was a ponytail! And the cock was set free to join the rest. Just imagine! But Kasa’s (how the Kasaburaara name is shortened to fit in the mouth) madness has come to him in adulthood. The years are thirty-six but when you talk with him, sometimes you ask yourself, Really, is this what a firm adult man should be thinking? You talked about the seven in one—this Museveni man who has ruled Uganda for almost three decades! Kasa thinks that someone should find some strong portion and relocate Museveni’s private parts to his forehead! Imagine! Kasa is not just tired: there is an added tiredness to his tiredom.

When you reach the Gayaza stage, he leaves you there to find a fourteen-seater commuter taxi. The taxis of Kampala seat fourteen people. They are mini-buses really. And your bladder has been warning. You should have asked where the urinals were while still at Kasa’s—whatever made you forget! Now you are going to suffer with pee. At least you find a taxi that has space. There is one at the stage that is full and is setting off. No more space. The one that has stayed is almost empty. When will it fill up?

You have your bottle of mineral water, as usual. Miiru. You are gulping. Stupid you, don’t you know that pee has been on your case? You think that drinking more water helps alleviate the pee problem? See suffering. This pee will make you dance the undanceable.

Kampala Wandegeya Kalerwe. The conductor is calling for passengers. Kampala nkumi bbiri. The driver is also calling from his side. But he is saying a different price. 1500/=. The conductor is saying 2000/=. But do you think that you are hearing them properly? Your mind is on the bladder. It is almost bursting. Maybe you can get out of the taxi, find somewhere to relieve yourself and return? This taxi will be gone, but you will find another. Not so? The heart says hold on. The taxi is about to fill up anyway. And you sit.

 

{TO READ THE REST OF THIS STORY, PLEASE PURCHASE ISSUE 43 (The African Literary Hustle).}
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