Monday, June 05, 2006

Our father’s sons; the lot of us.

This is going to be an opinionated piece; plain and simple so please go elsewhere if you are in search of an erudite, objective, well written, insightful, blah blah piece of writing. A little background might help put things in perspective. My peers are all getting married, engaged or otherwise committed to long-term relationships with fine upstanding young women. Women you want to take home to meet your mama. Next weekend alone, I have like two weddings that I must attend and a kwanjula that I will not attend.

So a few days ago, the guy whose kwanjula I will not attend, V, and I were discussing the modalities of finding a woman that you want to make a wife. There are women for flings, those for being kissing buddies and those for making wives out of. This discussion had arisen out of a series of questions that we, one of our interns and I, were asked by this Kenyan chick who works for us, with regard to Ugandan women. I remember not the specific questions but the general context was that Ugandan women of today do not look after their men properly.

Ok, that is probably confusing to y’all so let me break it down. Women, generally speaking, v. generally speaking, of today do not treat us men the same way our mothers pampered our fathers. Think the following scenario; daddy comes home, walks into the house, sits down and takes off his shoes. Mummy comes in from the kitchen or bedroom or wherever and brings him a glass of cold juice to welcome him home and ask him about his day and whatnot. Having already taken off his shoes, the last daddy will see of them is when he espies them being removed from his vicinity by mummy as he reaches for his glass of juice. Indeed the next time he sees them will be when he is looking for a pair of shoes to wear tomorrow morning when there they will be, polished to a shine, lined up neatly along with the rest of his shoes, wherever mummy keeps his shoes.

The rest of the evening will be a repeat of more or less the same scenario. Without knowing how it happens hot water will be delivered to the bathroom, if they do not have a water heater like the average Ugandan family, when daddy’s done bathing, supper, hot and tasty, will be on the dining table. When he is done dining along with the rest of the family, the dishes will be cleared and disposed with forthwith. Daddy will then spend the remainder of the evening in polite and intimate discourse with his wife or if they have kids, helping them with their homework before retiring for the night. When he awakes the next morning, not only will he find his bathwater, breakfast and shoes ready, he will not have to search for the blue shirt that he likes so much and just decided to wear, it will be hanging in his closet, pressed, along with the rest of his clean and pressed shirts and pants.

If for example he were to awake on a Saturday morning, he would also find, in addition to hot bathwater, hot breakfast and clean pressed shirts, the house spic and span and smelling like a clean fridge, you know how when you open a clean fridge there’s this fresh chilly breeze that just refreshes you? Yeah, that’s it.

Now let’s deal. Obviously people like JKB will not relate, I’m sure Hopes would have a fit in surprise if he returned home to have his shoes removed and his feet massaged, katunda offered, bathwater heated et cetera, those things be as if not happening in the fast paced lifestyle of the first world so lets confine ourselves to the practical realities of the Ugandan scene, shall we?

BK is a lawyer a couple of years older than me. He works for one of the best law firms in the country, ah what the heck, he works for Alan Shonubi and Associates. He is of course successful, eloquent, well mannered, thoroughly urbane and sophisticated, in that haughty way only former Budo students can be. When BK goes home in the evening and feels like say a glass of water, he will not get up and fetch it even though the fridge be only a few metres away from him. He will call out to his girlfriend/fiancée, S, and ask her to bring him a glass that he may parch his thirst. Which she will do with minimum delay and present to him on bended knees. Yes, you read right, she will kneel t0 serve him. Kati, the feminists and liberal minded men amongst you are thinking, “poor village wench”, my friend, au contraire, S is also a highly educated lawyer – Ugandan speak for she did her MA in the UK – she went to Gayaza and works for a firm just as reputable as his. She also cleans up real good, if I were a few years older and drove an E class like BK, I’d have asked her out eons ago. But I digress, to the heart of the matter we must proceed.

V, to whom I have apologised in advance for cutting his kwanjula, is in full agreement with BK. A woman must do these things without being told, if she expects to be made an honest one. His own fiancée, also S (Namagunga I think), takes care of him “properly”. Even though he is also highly educated, and lived alone for many years in the UK doing his own cooking, laundry and stuff, he expects a hot breakfast on his table every morning when he awakes at 5:30 am – she gets to work at 9:00 just so you know – he won’t ask whether the tomatoes and onions are about to run out but will complain when they do and sure as night follows day, they will appear in his kitchen. He is also apt to be messy but he expects to live in an impeccably neat house. I’m trying to paint a picture for you here, work with me.

Some of you will not see what the fuss is, some of you will. When first this issue was raised, I did not see the point either way, I was raised by my mum, my dad having gone to be with Jesus when I was like in P.2 therefore I did not see my mum oba removing his shoes and massaging his feet and stuff. But I have heard stories about my much older cousins walking in on my dad making gaga noises over my crib so I guess underneath the frosty exterior he was really a big old softie. Bless your heart old man; I’m looking forward to seeing you again. But not too soon, ok? When I was in secondary school, I’d make jokes about wanting to grow up and be a man like my mum. LOL, much respect to all single mums, that’s some hard shit and look what you end up with, sons like me who want to be waited upon hand and foot by their women. As indeed I do.

Yes, after due reflection I have decided that infact, I want my woman to be like that. Oh she can go and be the CEO, COO, CFO, whatever, of a Fortune 500 and I will support her to the hilt and then some in doing that, naye when we repair to our small country sized estate in rural Wakiso, I shall expect to be waited upon. I shall not expect to be pointed in the direction of the pantry when I express the desire for a ham and cheese sandwich and most certainly will not expect to be laundering my shirts, boxers and socks, whether or not we have a washer/dryer. In every bathroom.

For attention such as that, I will learn how to speak hint, i.e. “honey, my braid are itchy” meaning “honey, my braids are itching cause it rained on me as I walked to the tube station from our townhouse therefore I would like you to let me use your second car to get to work on rainy mornings.” Thanks Baz, for the above lesson in the semantics of hint.
I will rise to the occasion when you point out that Inktus jumped off a bridge and take you bungee jumping in Bujagali. Jay was in Mombasa for a week? We’ll do Mauritius then. You get the drift dontcha?

More’s the pity then, when in male bonding sessions, one hears tales of how Gundi’s wife got kicked to the curb because he asked for a plate of food after an evening with the boys only to be told, “Ssebo, even me I’ve been working. You go and cook for yourself if you want!” of course, there were plenty of other like scenarios so I trust you get the picture. I tell you, some women are for Kissing Buddies and others are for making wives out of. The two never ever intersect. That’s why girls from Gayaza/Namagunga get married and those from College School get screwed. Period.

On Tha Speakerboxx: Original Recordings; Frank Sinatra

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am a feminist...so aggrieved by this blog to the hilt.Worse still from college skul...need i say more.ill giv u a visit soon

Mon Jun 05, 12:58:00 pm  
Blogger joshi said...

gwe totulimba atti namagunga girls are marriage type!!!there is this one who invited me over and gave me roasted binyebwa...dude i had a running stomach the whole night and the next day i travelled by road to nairobi,imagine the agony!!!

Tue Jun 06, 02:51:00 am  
Blogger Jay said...

You done threw a spanner in the works.
We have different experiences from being raised by single moms. After 17 years of mom's tutelage, before I flew the coop, i got to learn how to do things my way. That means when I have somebody over and she starts getting too "domestic" it usually means she is cramping my style and doing things the way I am not used to having them done and this leads to some friction.
Removing my shoes and prepairing the bathwater.....I don't think so. But then again who knows by the time I get married my opinions might have modified somewhat. In like 7 years.

Tue Jun 06, 10:23:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Budo guys feel, the whole lot but thats all they end up at.. feeling,never live the real thang.And with Gungaz God!!! what a comby.

Tue Jun 06, 11:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Budo guys feel, the whole lot but thats all they end up at.. feeling,never live the real thang.And with Gungaz God!!! what a comby.

Tue Jun 06, 11:34:00 am  
Anonymous Kenyanchick said...

Runs the bath water, puts your shoes away, rubs your back, cooks... if that's what a wife does then heck, where do I get one?

Tue Jun 06, 04:07:00 pm  
Blogger savage said...

Naye musajja gwe Degstar Oli muzibu!

I used to feel the same way, as in I wanted it all, juice, bathwater and foot massages. This was from the fact that I had always known that the Man is the sole bread winner of the family and is responsible for paying all bills.

Well, a couple of years later. I know for a fact that somewhere in this weird world, The man and his wife contribute equally as in each pays half of the monthly bills like rent,gas, power, credit cards etc I definitely don't expect such a wife to come home from an equally tiresome shift to do all those things for her husband every damn day.

Tue Jun 06, 05:55:00 pm  
Blogger jkb said...

Ha! Degstar, I have four things to say to u;

(a) With the emancipation of women, marriage has ceased to be a yard stick for social satisfaction or success. So knock it off!

(b) Ariko, if you believe in human rights, then you should be aware that women's rights are fundamentally part and percel of the UN's charter of rights adapted by the General Assembly in 1948.

(c) Free yourself from this uninspiring traditional patriorchal rhetoric for a bigger picture. The tremendously sky rocketing global economic development has women freedom to thank for more than anything else, and its no coincidence.

(d) SAVAGE; You wouldn't have said it better

Tue Jun 06, 07:34:00 pm  
Blogger Iwaya said...

uhm, i'm with Degs on this one!

Tue Jun 06, 09:53:00 pm  
Anonymous don't_eat_the_blue_ones said...

It's a good thing you said opinionated piece right at the start...

'“Ssebo, even me I’ve been working. You go and cook for yourself if you want!”'
You go, girl. That's what I'm talking about!

How is it possible that such an unfair mentality still exists? Pressed shirts? Hot breakfast? Screw that shit!

If we are BOTH educated hot-shot corp execs/ lawyers (as I plan to be)/et cetera, and we BOTH put in a hard day's work, why should I do all the domestic work when we get home?!

If I do get married (knock on wood), I'll have to lay down the rules. If I'm too tired to be bothered, you'll have to get off your patriarchal behind and get your own damn juice.

And guess what? I schooled at Namagunga. All 6 years.

Wed Jun 07, 01:38:00 pm  
Blogger baz said...

So that is why you don't put your real name on your blog!

I swear you should be found and flogged!

And not just by chicks from College school.

Wed Jun 07, 07:40:00 pm  
Blogger CountryBoyi said...

Interesting stuff, Deggy man. But that was the story of then, before kids came into the picture and took over the woman's role. I remember removing my oldman's shoes and socks, putting water for him in the bathroom, shining his shoes, washing his clothes and ironing while my step mama looked on. Things have changed today. Mamas are breadwinners while all most men do is to womanise. True if a man is real, a woman shd once in a while drop him some treats but that shd nay be the rule. The reciprocal factor should drive their marriage life!

Thu Jun 08, 12:10:00 pm  
Blogger Degstar said...

tar and feather me but y'all know i'm telling the truth. so dont shoot the messenger coz y'all know thats why men be "marrying down"; so they can have their cake and eat it too. it is a man's world. and then some.

Thu Jun 08, 04:55:00 pm  
Blogger ish said...

WOW! first of all, what about the girls who are called to namagunga and turn 'gungas down and choose to go to college schools???? (i.e. moi! seriously, my friends who did go told me the teachers called my name in roll-call for a whole term!)

2) i remember telling my mom i'm so in love with 'Ganda culture that i plan on marrying a Muganda man. she laughed and said "a Muganda man wouldn't marry you!" and i was offended "why not?" to my amusement she said "Tolina empisa!"

3) i dont know if this qualifies as "empisa" but i do plan on pampering my man. and the little i know about love tells me that when one is experienceing love, then it's not a burden but rather a pleasure to rub his feet and make his meals!

4) however, (u knew there was a catch, eh?) i also expect a bit of pampering! yes i want a back massage when i complain about how those shoes you like on me hurt my lower back! yes, i expect you to whip up some thing for dinner when i'm 9 months pregnant and can barely walk!

5) because i feel this applies, i dont plan on having house help in my family. i've been doiug the math, and i think my fam would actually save more if the kids cleaned their rooms and did their laundry while i cooked and cleaned the house and washed his boxers, savings which we could then put towards that vacation in Mauritius and those bungee jumping escapade.

Fri Jun 09, 09:31:00 am  
Blogger joshi said...

INKY AKOGEDDE!!!!!!!YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!!NOW THATS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT....all typical male east africans chant..."for she's a jolly good fellow.."

@Degstar,true story

@Gungas chick...i believe men and women have different roles to play in society,and also as husbands and wives,the roles are different...so dont be expecting ure man to do all ure supposed to be doing..fine i wont deny that i will give my wife that massage,cook her breakfast and that TLC.

Fri Jun 09, 12:31:00 pm  
Blogger Carlo said...

oh my word this is freaky! i think exactly like inktus!! i know we have the same DNA but does that include thoughts too? degstar, you know i'd be writing too much here if i was to reply to your blog so just check your mail.

Sat Jun 10, 05:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mbu.....and u think ur building the nation.

Mon Jun 12, 11:27:00 am  

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