Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Hero Dennis Part I

Dennis, D to me, is my cousin. Elder. By maybe 5 or so years.
I look upto him in the way I would look upto a big brother.
D does not take shit from anyone. He will live his life exactly how he wants to, on his own queer set of terms, and still manage to come across smelling of daisies and gardenias. Hidden in there is a subtle reference to the fact that his "set of terms" rarely come into orbit with those of anyone else I know, however liberal they might be.

D teaches, real interesting stuff. You might have been in one of his classes. If you work for a firm that has no issue with spending $150 on you per day so you can learn about Emotional Intelligence. He is the new entrepreneur, harnessing the power and vision of his intellect to create and sell solutions that enable people to live more fulfilling lives. He just moved his office to Kanjokya Street in Kamwokya - the Silicon Valley of Uganda.

D likes his techhie toys. He’s got like the latest Nokia Communicator even though he already had the PDA/cell phone/ combo thing thingy that did everything short of microwave the beef stew. The last time I checked, even his business card holder was personalised real leather thingy that came with a combination lock. His business cards smell like leather, the expensive new Italian shoe smell. Who has a cad holder that uses a combination lock? D, that’s who. He got me hooked on Playstation, long after Super Mario (hhehehe how far we’ve come!) and thus far is the only cat, amongst my plethora of cousins, who has played the entire 007 Nightfire game using only the Walther PKK. very manly stuff if you know your games.

Naturally, he drives a real fancy car. A Mitsubishi. with big 18 inch chrome rims, 6 CD changer, ABS, airbags, 4 weather zones, massive sound system, tiptronic gearbox, rear spoiler, the works. That thing is a beaut. Even better than his first car which was a 190E Mercedes of no mean credentials. He likes to drive. Fast. Once, we did Jinja - Kampala in the Benz in like 30 minutes. On one spare tyre. On a Saturday at peak time when all the holidaying people are either driving out of or into town. He turned on the hazard lights and went looking for the floor of the car with his right foot. We stayed in the middle of the road all the way. Singing along to Cameo.
Another time he was driving to Mbale and met Linda, cousin, on her way back but he was going so fast that he couldn’t even think about stopping. To have attempted to brake would have been ... I shudder to think of the consequences.

Man loves his cars. So when he lets you drive this car, you do so with R.E.S.P.E.C.T! Last Saturday he returned from teaching some people in Nairobi. As we do every time he returns from Nairobi, I call him up and ask if he got any good books. Naturally he always does. So he invites me over to look at them. The other things he always gets, without fail, are candy - for his staff and cigars, for me (he musta been in a good mood this time coz he got Scotch as well). He likes to think he's teaching me how to be a real smoothie. I like the cigars so I humour him admonishing me not to smoke the thing like I would a cigarette. Usually we have a discussion about work and books and economics and women and life, like a life coach really.

This time he was in a bit of a foul mood. When he'd gotten home from the airport he'd asked this 19 year old kid from the gas station, D lives in Naalya, to come pick up his car and go wash it. That and buy some groceries as well. I walked in at 5pm and the kid had been gone 4 hours. That and he was on the phone giving D excuses about his whereabouts. The long and short of it is that he'd busted something on the car and was in a garage trying to get it fixed. At this stage I thought he'd hit a pothole and created a hole in the undercarriage so the oil or something was leaking out.

It was pretty obvious, even to me, sitting there leafing through a Calvin & Hobbes, that this kid was not about to return. D eventually got it, and since he didn’t have a car, he wasn’t about to go find the kid. So he hung up, we lit up and had a chat. I respect his opinion on matters corporate, afterall he's been with all the major communication firms except MTN, ran 2 Studios and a PR agency. Before he was 30. Which was last year. Eventually, night fell and proggie came up, drinks at Shell Club, courtesy of Phil who came over at 8pm. and from whom I got the CTU_24 ring tone. Real stand up guy that Phil. You can tell a lot about people by how they act when you’re introduced to them. Top of my list are the ones who stand up to shake your hand, unless they’re female in which case it’s ok to stay seated. Phil stood up.

We took Phil’s car to the gas station to find D’s car. One of those new stations that have sprouted all over the place. The kind that recruit one of those low budget security companies that dress their guards in a uniform that looks like the Home Economics class project of a 10 year old. Man, I can understand cutting costs on good security when you’re in business to make profits but if I needed a guard for my house and couldn’t afford Group 4, Saracen or Tight Security, I’d get a Rottweiler. Either that or the Uganda Police constables. You don’t want would-be burglars making fun of your askari’s uniform before they make you carry your household property out to their truck. That’s how the thieves in Entebbe used to do it. After gaining access into your compound, they’d, politely, request your wife for a pot of tea and then proceed to make small chat with her while you and your sons ferried your stuff onto their 2 tonne truck. I can just imagine the conversation going along these lines;

Thief: munange, business is so bad these days
Your Wife: mmpph…
Thief: yes, prices are so low, people are not buying!
Wife: (meekly) yes, naffe tetunda mu katale
Thief: kitalo! Ela binno ebintu byetubye tuyinza okwesanga nga tubitunze ku laisi nnyo
Wife: ... (What do you say to that?)
Thief: ye, ompayo meeka we’mba nkubitunziza? Let us discuss tutesse!

At which point your wife, appropriately, breaks down in utterly hopeless sobbing while you look on in complete helplessness. Look on the bright side; you’d be getting rid of all those extra sets of Luminarc glassware that y’all got from your mother-in-law at your wedding 6 years ago. If the thieves will take it.

6 Comments:

Blogger ish said...

dude, i think i know Dennis. if it's the same Dennis that used to giv motivational type talks to secondary school kids and worked at that video library on K'la road (at least i think it was)

Fri May 05, 02:30:00 am  
Blogger savage said...

I didn't know this dude was your cousin.If I am not mistaken,does he still have a radio show?

Fri May 05, 05:57:00 am  
Blogger savage said...

And because he is your hero, hope you don't take from him and hope from one job to another.You gotta stay on a job at least long enough for your benefits to kick in.

Fri May 05, 06:00:00 am  
Blogger Degstar said...

damn,
this town is too fuckin small!
yes, poet woman, he used to give motivational talks on sex (the Big O in 10 min or yr money back!) to secondary school kids.

no, Savage, he does not have a talk or radio show anymore but he is a panelist/occasional host on Andrew Mwenda Live, like when Andrew gets himself arrested for Sedition, Treason, Nepotism, Being Gay...whatever the govt throws at him

Inktus,
you need to start hanging out with men in your GENERATION, ok Luvvie?

Fri May 05, 01:15:00 pm  
Blogger ish said...

sweetheart, i outgrew men in my generation long before i could even sigh say "if only you were a bit older... and richer!"

btw, he used to always show up when i was in shit! like the first time he came to our school, i had just dumped my first boyfriend, and according to this ex, Dennis counseled him through the break up! and another time, i was stranded on k'la road, interesting story that one, maybe i'll tell it sometime...

Sat May 06, 10:38:00 pm  
Blogger CountryBoyi said...

i hv read & heard much bull abt this 'D' & i thnk he's overhyped. ths is e guy who once asked by a journalist wat he sayz when he's mad & e guy said "fuck!" and wat do u say when u r happy? "fuck again." not e one 2 inspire ma lil bro, cars & his fame notwithstandin. i hv also listened 2 him on radio on several occassions & ma conclusion has not been swayed.

Thu May 18, 07:56:00 pm  

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