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Saturday, February 9, 2008

God speaks to Uganda again

In a Uganda where God seems to enjoy speaking to His people including the likes of Kanaabe, prophetic spirits have never been so high!
The latest message from God was to Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre. While hosting Pastor Peter Ssematimba, on one of his Christian programmes on Light House Television (LTV), Kayanja insisted that the mighty God—He of Heaven and Earth, had spoken to him about Uganda and where it is heading in this tense election time.
"It was so clear to me. We shall have five presidential candidates, one will die, one will quit, three will remain," said the good shepherd. "And it will be 61.8% for the winner," he added.
We already have six presidential candidates. Let's assume that Dr. Abed Bwanika is a little unknown, so when rounded off, five aspirants remain.
Maybe the other part of the prediction will come to pass. After all the same pastor unfalteringly prophesied the recent earthquake that shook and shocked East Africa. But even if Kayanja's prophecy doesn't come to pass, no one has a right to point fingers, as humankind knows in part, so shall we prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13: 9).

Published in Sunday Monitor, December 25, 2005

The vibrant streets of Wandegeya

The thick of dusk is at large and thanks to the streetlights, the town is enthused with irresistible glitter. It is almost 8 p.m., and taxi touts are going about their job. "Bwaise Mpererwe, Kalerwe…tuula tugende," they boom as numerous kamunyes zoom by to their destinations. Then honks, more car beeps and the endless blare of taxi horns.

This has long been the culture of many streets in the evenings, and the excitement gets higher during festive seasons. When the sun begins to set, Wandegeya becomes an interesting place with all sorts of people. From street beggars and vendors to business tycoons; all are going about their normal business.

Others strategise on how they can hook up with the university babes. Not forgetting the flesh peddlers (ladies of the night). Wandegeya has got it all.With shops and towering buildings that border the main roads, Wandegez, as is commonly known to Makerere University students, is clean except for the filthy Katanga slum nearby.

I think Wandegeya streets are the most interesting and busiest around Kampala. At dusk, Wandegeya is full of life. Just take a walk between 8-10 p.m. and see for yourself.

Newspaper vendors, second-hand shoe sellers, hawkers, vegetables and fruit sellers plus other business people line their shops.

The rib-cracking night arrives when you meet the street musician. He shakes his near to kabina-less behind as he performs. With hairy broomsticks (read legs), the clownish singer holding an imaginary microphone really has the flow! All the dirty lyrics you have heard are what he packages in rare remixes rapping in Luganda, Lingala and Swahili, much to the delight of his fans. The way he gyrates his waist to the rhythm is enough to choke you. Street people love him and drop him coins before he scrams to a different place.

From here, you wander to the market place, the darker streets where Satan dwells. Yes, the factory of sex peddling. "Jangu uncle…jangu Abwooli…," the sex workers implore. The first time I was summoned is when I realised I was a coward. Man, with rumours that some of these women are incarnate spirits, you got to slow down in Wandegeya lest you play bed-minton with a ghost. The grapevine has it that both campus lads and lasses from Makerere University master their sex lessons from here.
But the highlight on these streets is the drinking joints and restaurants.

With names like 'I Feel Like Chicken Tonight' or 'Deep Blue,' you will be hurrying home when a hand tugs at your lapel. "Hey man, long time!" Turning, you see a Secondary School Old Boy (OB,) and before you know it, he is like, "Man how about pint?" "Kawa" and there in Owenz Bar and Restaurant you patch. Muscled chaps with red-eyes are all over; the dudes look like they have been snorting cocaine. Slowly, the binge takes hold; the revelry of such self-indulgence overpowers before you feel like you want to take that toothless waitress home.

Anyway, these streets --just like a chameleon --are masters of environmental adaptation. When campus students are on holidays, it retains its gentle charm. Even when it rains, the streets are ever vibrant.

The culinary rolex remains the most consumed delicacy by Wandegeya inhabitants.

The street brawls, the sound of music, the night- charming inhabitants make Wandegeya streets nothing but a big story. Wandegeya has the kind of streets that have everything. Idlers roaming around in circles..., you will spot a pot-bellied man yawning like a crocodile or catch a boisterous babe stretching with an I-Want-You-Baby attitude.

This is why Wandegeya streets stand tall and proud as they exude that air of poetry! There is definitely so much to enjoy on these streets, maybe only the genial artist can paint a true picture but for the common man- take a walk through these streets, especially at night, it is when you will relish the real perceptual experience!

Published in Sunday Monitor, January 3, 2005

Knot note: Real love asks why, people marry for different reasons

The cathedral is vibrant with beautiful voices. At the back, the glowing low-pitched voices of men are a thrill to listen to. In the outlined corridor leading to the altar, a little girl carrying a beautiful bunch of flowers looks flashy in a long flowing flowery outfit as her calculative walk rhymes with the sound of wedding serenades! Behind her, a procession of the bride and the bridegroom and their entourage too, very dashing!

In fact, the church is outpouring with crowds that have come to see God join two unlike poles together so that no man should put asunder! The lapel of the bridegroom's coat is pinned with a red rose while the woman is decorated to bliss; a special bridal fabric covers her.

As they walk hand in hand, down the aisle, they have braced themselves for the, "In sickness and health, until death do us apart," vows! What an awesome day! Patrons are actually witnessing that indeed on this happy a day, a man has left his father and mother to cleave unto his wife; and they have become one flesh!

We are talking of the wedding. Quite a substantial sum has been injected in preparation for the ultimate day. The bride must look radiant, so cashmere-wedding dresses have been ordered, say from Singapore, a load has gone into buying suits and shoes, champagnes that must be popped and of course a disco has been hired -- guests must shake their bums later in the night!

Well, there is treat in the wedding bash on a hilarious day where the luxury of sumptuous meals and wedding cakes define the true matrimonial party! And we are asking, why is it that people have to go out of their way to organise a wedding instead of simply approaching a man of God who would save much ado by simply slipping marital rings on their fingers?

Dear, the answer lies in a small game; people want to make cash. Among the Ibo of Nigeria, the saying is that when a man dines with kings, he paves way to his own greatness. So your parents have invited the big guns to your wedding, at the after party, Museveni offers a 100 cows, Wavamuno hands over keys for a brand new Mercedes while Sudhir surprises the newlyweds with a month of honey moon at his Munyonyo haven, all in form of wedding gifts! Then why shouldn't the unmarried borrow follow it up with their own wedding as well?

Modern society has transformed so much that one must shrive in financial abundance or else you will never grace the gossip pages of daily newspapers. Everyone wants that, which is why sons and daughters of the affluent hold press conferences to announce kwajula parties before they can wed. And by the wedding day, their parents will have sowed a generous seed in numerous planning parties hoping that on Dee day, the floodgates of gifts will gush down in quantities that not even any storehouse would contain!

Take it or leave it, weddings have rescued millions for money-strapped souls. Jude is a broke, jobless graduate who has joined politics and attended many press conferences organised by his party. In this way, he has been able to hook up with a daughter of a minister who practices journalism. The poor guy does not even love her but is desperate to wed the girl because he knows the magic in those silver designed invitation cards: "The family of - and - with great pleasure invite the company of - to the wedding ceremony of their children…", he can't wait to go for the kill.

Don't blame Jude. The desire to harvest material benefits from weddings dates back to traditional society. Ananse takes advantage of this and plays different chiefs who want to marry his lovely daughter as portrayed in Efua Sutherland's classic play, The Marriage of Anansewa. When he has squeezed those staggeringly rich ancient chiefs dry, the once impoverished but now billionaire trickster gives away his daughter to the only sensible Chief-who-is-Chief.

See that it goes back to how one plays his game. Weddings can be a gamble though it's better to always concentrate on the glittering side of the coin. Mostly, they are organised because one wants to show off his jewel and vice versa. When guests thronged former president Godfrey Binaisa's wedding to the Japanese dame, he boasted, "Look at her!" Again, he tickled the crowds more with the romance of the weddings when he turned to his bride and said, "Darling, give me a kiss (laughter, then suspense) …and a second one (more laugher and more suspense)…and a third! Man, the old dude just showed us why good weddings will forever be good weddings!!

Also, people want to see wine flowing just like the wedding at Cana. In doing so, the newlyweds will have preserved cultural heritage. Traditional culture holds that people must wed to be recognised by the rest of the community. Secret weddings are to be left for those that have bones in their closets. But if one is devoid of any 'dirt,' then one must hold a wedding as a seal of oneness.

The book, Billy Graham Answers Your Questions notes that marriage is a divine act brought about by the creative hand of God: "It is the longest and closest relationship known to man and it is sacred in God's sight," Graham writes. And so do I say, what better way but for couples to consecrate themselves in holy matrimony by holding memorable, church weddings!

And when things come to a nutshell, it remains clear that women push this wedding hype. They insist on wedding publicly and if not, the marriage would rather not take place. Those who prefer moving in without giving a hoot are truly desperate and know they might lose the man. And of course the loving kind of guy will do anything to please his beloved. So staging a wedding becomes a way of professing undying love to the other half.
At that, when Yvonne Chaka Chaka croons along with the hook to that memory-reviving Wedding Day vibe, cast your last look to the pretty, sublime bride and her handsome prince charming seated side by side on their wedding day and remember that they had to go through all because it is the most unforgettable moment that can happen to anybody before we depart from this earth.

'Girls just want to have fun’

It is a cool evening at Mary Stuart hall a.k.a Box. Beautiful girls can be seen strutting about with gentle ease. A fleet of big cars packed in front of Box is a wonder to see! Pajeros and Jeeps. Small and big. Tinted windows... Babes are easing in and banging on doors like they own them automobiles. What's the animation about...oh it's a Friday. Time to party!But first, lets rewind a bit.

Who owns these vehicles? What are they doing at Makerere this jolly dusk? Who are the faces behind the steering wheels? Where are they taking these dames?

Friends, the answers to the puzzle are that city 'tycoons' what Campusers call the working class. Most are married, others not. Age. Gauge it from 35-50. And the girls they pick? Between 19 and 25. Then, they cruise with their dates probably to Nandos where they will go paka chini as they destroy bones (read chicken), munch chips, chaps and fish! Of course washed down with some fine wine!

As a young man, you cannot afford this but it explains why young girls always pursue older men. Now you even know where your ex-girl gets money to change her hairstyle after every two days, or how she set her hands to that expensive mobile phone. Yes, you know!

My little survey came with positive results. You may have those killer looks, or be endowed with a sensuous charm, an American height, the macho body and the brains, but dear, if you are the same age as her, or a year ahead and still a student, lose hope. If she's hanging around, she is playing games. The older money baron could be hidden under her bra.It is been proven beyond doubt that young girls prefer older men to their age mates.

They may not necessarily love them, or intend to marry them. Whether married or not, that old geezer has a fat chance over you, if he has got the shillings. Sheila of Makerere university paints the true picture, "What young girls want to have is fun, free stuff; airtime, the latest cellphone…they run after older men who have extra cash to spend, can take you out all the time, or order to have food delivered to your room at campus," she says.

Hear, hear! This in exchange for sex: nothing to lose, much to gain. No, much to lose after all because a recent study by Colombia University found out that when girls date men who are much older than them, those girls are six times more likely to smoke (both cigarettes and weed a.k.a marijuana) than girls who date guys of their own age.

But the real shocker came from Innocent, a second-hand clothes dealer in St Balikudembe Market who said his 23-year-old sister insisted on marrying a 52 year older widower against her family's wish. And two years in marriage, the guy dies; Monica sells everything and flies to Europe. She hadn't even gotten a kid from him, she is now happily married and a successful business lady.

So guys, you had better, watch out. These young girls are schemers. And also, before dating these old men, girls should go slowly.

"A man much older than you will just use you to gratify his sexual pleasure. True that he can give you everything you need. But that's not enough," says an angry Judith before adding, "I fell in love with a working man who is 12 years my senior, but after getting what he wanted, he started ordering me about for sex, became arrogant…never trust those guys, they have families and all they want is your flesh."

If you entered most of the girl's rooms in hostels around Makerere, you will be surprised at how rich they are. They have expensive fridges, woollen carpets, giant television screens, Sony decks, 5CD Changer radio, and so much stuff that parents can hardly buy for their children. As it is, many of these girls depend on their lovermen for such luxuries, as long as they know they can pay back in any possible way. Any.

There are however, few cases of genuine love where girls have gone on to marry men who are exceedingly older than them. In 1993, in Baha, Southern Saudi Arabia, a 12-year-old girl married a 70-year old man, despite the great age gap. The young bride became the fourth wife of the 70-year-old at a wedding attended by close families. You may consider this very unusual, but when love pricks, it tickles deeper.

Among other true reasons why young girls prefer dating older adulterers is that they feel secure around them.

"Girls grow much quicker than men," says Joan. "You find men my age reasoning like babies. Dating them would be ridiculous as they are too young to think for themselves."

But underneath all this, is that older men know what they want when it comes to sex.

'Older men are like fine wine. They get better with age," screams a line on when it conducted a chat on the topic, 'Young Girls, Older Men, What's the Attraction.' The same discussion raised many points.

"Young boys are not so mature, they just want sex."

"Love has no discrimination. If two people fall in love, it doesn't matter which age they are."

Another was straightforward, "I'll tell you what younger girls like about older men, and they can f*** you hard all night!"

For Christine, a resident in Bwaise: "It's because older men have had their share of life, they know what they want, and they are patient, confident and very understanding."

Unfortunately, many girls have fallen victims. Some teachers have been inside a prison for sexually abusing children. Girls who always go to look for jobs understand this. Your prospective employer may 'feel' like sex when you want a job. Most of these crooks can demand it right away while others will use force. Say, he invites you in his private office, and then he coerces you into sex upon which he later showers you with money and before you know it, you have become his secretary with sex roles to play.

Most girls can't even detect what these matures have been through. What if they give you HIV?

But anyway, it really doesn't matter whether you date a young dude or a mzeei. What matters is love. After all age is just a number. He may be 30 years older but if he induces butterflies in your stomach, then why not, go on and recite him those wonderful Shakespearean lines: "To me, fair friend, you never can be old. For as you were when first your eyes I eyed, such seems your beauty still!

Good luck!

Published by Daily Monitor, November 19, 2004

Museveni Faces LRA Dilemma

Will he seek a compromise peace deal with the rebel group, or keep to his original demand to see its leaders prosecuted in The Hague?

By Evelyn Kiapi, Dennis Muhumuza and Gawaya Tegulle in Kampala and Katy Glassborow in northern Uganda (AR No. 112, 15-May-07)

Faced with resolving a 20-year-long revolt in his northern provinces, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is trying to decide between supporting an international court case against rebel leaders or reaching a gentleman's agreement with them in the hope that this might hasten peace.

In 2003, Museveni invited the fledgling International Criminal Court, ICC, the world's first permanent international war crimes tribunal, to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA. But he then infuriated officials at the ICC headquarters, thousands of kilometres away in The Hague, with a policy flip-flop last July in which he offered an amnesty to the LRA leaders, including the rebel chief Joseph Kony, in return for a peace deal.

The LRA and government forces have been engaged since 1986 in a war that has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. As many as 1.6 million people - mainly from the Acholi ethnic group of northern Uganda - live in displacement, or internal refugee camps, where nearly a thousand die each week from disease or violence.

The LRA has abducted more than 20,000 children. Boys have been used as guerrilla fighters, while girls have become sex slaves as well as combatants.

The economic, social and political development of northern Uganda has been severely set back, but there has also been a knock-on effect throughout the country, where budgets have been affected, urban migration has increased and slums have grown.

With the bi-annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, scheduled to be held in Uganda in late November this year, President Museveni faces a severe dilemma as he seeks to cast his country in the best possible light to the international community and to the hordes of foreign journalists who will descend on his country.

Will he seek to bury the past by pursuing a compromise peace deal with Kony and the LRA? Or will he renew his original request - still on the books at the ICC - to have the LRA leaders prosecuted at The Hague?

The continued unrest caused by the northern conflict has raised fears that the government will be unable to provide security for Queen Elizabeth - Head of the Commonwealth since ascending to the throne of Britain in 1952 - and Commonwealth heads of state when they arrive in Kampala, Uganda's capital, to attend the summit. Reports in the British media suggest that CHOGM could be shifted to Canada or South Africa because of insecurity in northern Uganda and other parts of the country.

ICC prosecutors have conducted investigations into atrocities alleged to have been committed by the LRA, and in October 2005 ICC judges issued warrants for the arrests of the top leaders of the rebel group - Kony; his deputy Vincent Otti; Okot Odhiambo; Dominic Ongwen; and Raska Lukwiya, subsequently shot dead, in August last year, in a battle between Ugandan soldiers and LRA guerrillas.

The ICC has no police force of its own that it can use to apprehend suspects, but under the court's founding 1998 Statute of Rome - which sets out the institution's strict rules and guidelines - it is beholden upon states that have ratified the Rome treaty to make arrests. Neighbouring states that are signatories are also obliged to assist. By entering into peace talks and offering amnesties from domestic prosecution, Museveni is in direct breach of Uganda's treaty obligations.

"Museveni is acting in contravention of international law," Justice Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, told IWPR. "His government signed the Rome Statute, and offers of amnesty violate the letter of the law."

But the dilemma confronting Museveni is a tough one when the northern citizens of his country, especially the Acholi, are desperate for peace by any means after having been persecuted by a rebel militia for more than two decades.

Northerners are crying out loud for peace and for the chance to return to their homes. They simply and desperately want to move on with their lives without surrounding warfare that has now gone on for four times as long as the Second World War.

However, the enthusiasm for peace talks is not universal: a significant minority are sceptical about the possibility of success for the peace talks - being held in Juba, south Sudan - because they have so far gone on for many months and seem to have no clear strategic direction.

Although the negotiations have brought an interim relative peace to the northern people, residents continue to live in fear of a return to the barbarity of the recent past if the peace deal is not sealed. The LRA rebels cut off ears and noses of its victims as punishments, and the Ugandan army has also been widely accused of atrocities by northerners and human rights organisations, although none of its members have been indicted by the ICC.

One alternative for Museveni to the ICC and the peace talks is to use local traditional methods of justice to bring an end to the northern war. These ceremonies involve a series of symbolic acts to restore unity between the injured and offending parties. Prodigal sons and daughters can receive forgiveness and be welcomed back into their communities.If Museveni were to give local justice his full support, he would need to approach the United Nations Security Council and request that they pass a resolution commanding the ICC to suspend dealings with Uganda in order to give peace a chance. Conversely, if he were to support the ICC, he would need to retract amnesty offers and concentrate efforts on arresting LRA leaders.

Since the war started, there have been several peace talks in a bid to end the war, including attempts by Ugandan politician Betty Bigombe, who is an Acholi, to act as a mediator between the government and the LRA. All these have failed, but so also have the Ugandan army's military offensives against the LRA.

Evelyn Kiapi, Dennis Muhumuza and Gawaya Tegulle are IWPR reporters in Uganda. Katy Glassborow is an IWPR reporter in The Hague. Published on IWRP website, 15-May-2005

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Freshers Styling Up

MAKERERE- It is more than two months since first year students reported to Makerere University. Their innocence was wholesome with girls coming to lecture rooms dressed in long skirts, and the boys clad in trousers, long sleeved shirts and sparkly polished shoes.
But hardly had they discovered that their dressing style differed from that of continuing students than good old Professor Livingstone Luboobi said there should be a dress code at campus. It pierced so deep that the controversial Dr. Sylvia Tamale-the lady well acquainted with waves of liberty screamed, "Noooo!!

Others joined her protestations: "How dare an intellectual such as the Vice Chancellor say such a thing?" they wondered and before the answer to the discourse was a yes or a no, the inexperienced freshers quickly saw the light. They realised that they had been dressing as though they were monks or nuns and they have now discarded the old fabrics in favour of the true campus fad. Guys have embraced faded, knee-tattered and dirty jeans, caps, t-shirts and heavy shoes to look cool, calm and collected.

The girls strut about happy and pretty, donning long pants with visible panty lines, popping g-strings and tight tops (by the way, the bra is never the vocabulary of a campus dame.) They don't mind arriving in mini skirts spiced with slits that ascend all the way to the knickers, with their lips awash with makeup, pinned noses, rare hairstyles and model-like catwalks, what a way to go!
Campus Mania excites Kyambogo
KYAMBOGO-The previous weekend, it was a fun-filled day at Kyambogo University with selections for those to vie for Shs 1m cash in a radio game show dubbed 'Campus Mania.'
A tough and loud evening had students from Uganda Christian University Mukono, Ndejje, Makerere, Nkumba universities, KIU and the hosts Kyambogo strive to answer a series of questions.
The emcees- Marcus and Muji tried to rock the students but it was the students' unimpressive dance strokes and lame jokes that somehow provoked excitement.

When gospel singers Hum K and Harmony 6 came on stage, the crowds raised their hands in mid-air, cheering, singing and dancing along. The night wore on but the music and fun made it look young and vibrant as the crowd that had grown bigger and thicker. Students won gifts that included glasses, t-shorts, caps and much more.
In the games galore, a sport was played with the passing of a tennis ball from one person to another using only the chin and neck to help. It was fast and exciting as students yelled and screamed with glee.

Five finalists were picked from the named universities and these will be competing in a show that will run this December on Power Fm. It’s going to be tight and tough, no second or third prizes, just one winner!

Published in Daily Monitor, December 9, 2004

Behind the scenes at Miss World

ONE MONTH IN SANYA: In her first interview after returning from the Miss World Beauty Pageant in Sanya China, Miss Uganda Praise Asiimwe Akankwatsa talks about the racism, as African girls were segregated, the gossip among the girls and the fun she had. She tells DENNIS D. MUHUMUZA [pictured together] about the Miss World Contest, its unpredictability and all the madness that comes with the World’s largest annual television event.

How did it feel being part of the Miss World experience?
Great. It was the first time I was getting out of the country; I got a chance to mix with so many girls and learn what happens in different parts of the world. I made many friends; my best friend was Miss Zambia, Precious Kabungo Mumbi who was also my roommate. Miss Philippines, Carlene Aguilar, Miss Portugal, Angela Maria Fonseca Spinola and Miss Slovenia, Sanja Grohar were also my good friends. We spent a month in camp being groomed for the finals. We learnt basic things like makeup, catwalk, how to interact and everything.

In what mood were the girls?
Jolly. We were grouped according to continents because it was easier for the chaperons to handle us. The African girls were really nice and had solidarity but I loved the Caribbean girls most because they were most lively and would come up with all sorts of ideas. Towards the end, we were getting homesick, that's when we began getting on each other's nerves, that's when gossip set in.

What kind of gossip?
Like who is seeing who, remember this is a group of girls that haven't seen their boyfriends in a long time. And there are men. And these are girls that are being jealously guarded by chaperons to avoid any scandal. And all of a sudden, you start hearing that this one is seeing the other guy, this one is doing that -you know the girls; you all warm up to the gossip but have to keep it hushed because you don't want the organisers to know.

So did some girls sneak in men after all?
Every night, the chaperons made sure that we were in bed but that didn't stop the girls because we toured the whole of China and we were with these guys everywhere because there were very many paparazzi, so they had to guard us. They were men and very attractive men [laughs]. I would say it was impossible to sneak them into rooms but at least, we got a chance to spend some time together.

Miss Botswana, Tshegofatso Abigail Tumisang Robi was tipped to go far but it is Miss Tanzania, Nancy Abraham Sumary who won the Miss World Africa category. What happened?
One thing I learnt about Miss World is that it is not all about beauty or brains -rather it is all to do with luck. In fact no one ever paid attention to Miss Tanzania right from the beginning because she's shorter, with a big ass (behind). Miss Botswana was all over the place and everyone knew she was going to win. And then on the final night, just like that, they announced Miss Tanzania. It was a shock. Most girls cried. We expected Miss South Africa, Dhiveja Sundrum, to win because she's Indian anyway, and with the racism there, we knew she would win. Our bet was also on Miss Nigeria, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Miss Uganda and Miss Zambia. Honestly, we don't know what was considered because we were not asked any questions, all we did was dance in front of judges in bikinis and catwalk and that's it.

Surely any professional judge will not slap a prestigious crown as of Miss World on any girl because of racism?
I will give my personal opinion. Most judges are former Miss World and normally when your country has ever won, you already have a judge from your country and therefore stand a chance. Even Miss Iceland's mother is former Miss Iceland. There is obviously racism and there is no way we are going to keep quiet about it. For instance, there is this particular incidence, as we were doing rehearsals for the final day and this photographer comes and is taking pictures for the website. Asia goes there, Americas, Caribbean and then Africa. We go on stage (Africans) and the guy just takes one snap and runs off to take other girls that are already seated. Also, when I won in the talent show, I didn't appear anywhere. I mean I was there, I had done my best and then they just said I tied the position with Miss Costa Rica, Leonora Jimenez Monge and then they went ahead and said Miss Costa Rica amazed the audience with her tactics and she tied with someone else. They didn't mention my name and the country.

Before you flew to China, you told Daily Monitor that you are known to break records. That you would be among the top five...
I went there despite the odds and did well in the Talent Show where I was the only African who won. That was a record. And I will ask you whether any Ugandan queen has done that before. [Laughs] About not being in the top five, I expected that everyone would have a chance to show what they had and it wasn't the case. But winning at the talent show automatically qualified me into the top 25. It's there in the records.

Tell us about your winning poem
I wrote it myself and it was titled The African Child. It was about the plight of an African child, about child labour. There is this child who grows up in the village, does all the donkey work and no one recognises what he does or ever says thank you.

It is alleged that you headed into the finals ranked last at 250-1 odds?
Those rankings were done by outside people who had nothing to do with Miss World. The organisers followed a voting system, which didn't favour Africans. Ugandans know very well that they never voted for me. Not that I blame them because how many Ugandans have credit cards? They are very few and that's what they followed. But they should know that I was not the last. I represented them very well, they will never hear of any scandal I did there unlike some girls (whom I won't disclose here).

You promised to woo the winner into visiting Uganda. When is she landing?
She will be here before the end of 2006. I got her contacts and she is my friend. By February, however, I will have brought Miss World Africa who is our neighbour Miss Tanzania to Uganda.

What was so exceptional about Ms Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir that helped her win the Miss World crown?
I'll tell you one funny thing. Just like Miss Tanzania surprised us, Miss Iceland did the same. As we approached d-day, everyone started saying so and so could win and Miss Iceland never came up. Girls thought the winner would be Miss Jamaica, Terr Karelle Griffith because she's Jamaican in the real sense -she's nice, she's lively and all that. And then there was Miss Italy, Sofia Bruscoli who was also great. Miss Iceland only made it in the top 19 for the Beachwear, a thing that shocked her. She wasn't a celebrity, just a girl like others but luck was knocking on her door and now she is Miss World.

Sanya's Beauty Crown theatre where the grand finale took place, what is it like?
It's very huge -it's where all the important entertainment functions in China take place. Like when we had just arrived, there were the equivalent of the Grammys and we met Jackie Chan. It's as big as Nakivubo stadium or much bigger and is all decorated.

How much money did the guests pay to watch the event?
There were tickets for $600 ( about Shs 1.08m), $400 (about Shs720,000), $200 (about Shs360,000), and $100 (about Shs180,000) and the place was fully packed.

How is Sanya?
It is so beautiful with hospitable people. I mean the night I got there, I was like wow, I must be in Miami! There are palm trees alongside the roads, with beautifully dazzling lights though the place is very hot, so hot that clothes became a burden to us.

So did you guys strut about naked?
God, no!! [Laughs] We just kept it skimpy. It was comfortable that way. We were in sleeveless tops, and bikinis though we were never allowed to get out of the hotel that skimpy because the event is a decent one.

Is it true that some girls undergo plastic surgery before the event?
Girls go there to win. And they'll do anything to win. That surgery stuff is personal and you can't start invading people's privacy and saying they did it. All I know is that judges don't care how natural one looks. You have to wear makeup and look your most artificial -that's what Miss World is all about. In fact, African girls were laughing at me when I said I would keep it natural. They said, "Do you think we are looking for nature here."

The Beach Beauty final is said to be the most glamorous. What does it entail?Basically what happens there is that you dress in bikinis and then catwalk in front of three judges. You just strut and smile and walk back and a winner is chosen.

Did you bag any prize money?
No. Just a medal for the talent show.

So what next for Ms Juliet Praise Asiimwe after Miss World?
I've been taking a break, but my office opens on January 3 (last Tuesday). I will get serious with the fight against HIV/AIDS, help out in charity. I will also be cleaning up the city, and will do all sorts of things to help the youths -teenage pregnancies, I will be helping out in all that. I still have my books to read as well.

What should Uganda's next beauty queen expect in the Miss World pageant? Shock. Everything there is unpredictable. All I can tell her is to go and have fun. This is a free trip, free accommodation, one whole month outside, be yourself and let God do the rest.

Published in Daily Monitor, January 6, 2006

Thingz are tight at MAK

MAKERERE- The hottest phrase on campus is 'thingz are tight!' Indeed! It's a kind of tightness that began with the confusion that kicked off the guild presidential elections. The story is now history! Kibalya was declared winner.
And as the dust seemed to settle, supporters of Jet John Mwebaze still feeling cheated caused more havoc and foiled the swearing in ceremony of the new guild team. Then their man JJT (as he is popularly known) dragged the Electoral Commission and the University administration to the High Court accusing the Vice Chancellor of instigating tribalism. He alleged that the VC said that if the Electoral Commission declared a westerner winner, he would resign. We are waiting the courts decision: will it decide to throw out JJT's petition or call for a re-run?

Ironically, this ugly face of politics extended to the halls of residences where one had to win depending on whether he played the Kibalya vs JJT politics well. It is this confusion that voting in Africa and Complex Halls was extended until Friday when students went to the polls.

Now, books have also become tight. Tests, course works plus exams are around the corner. Those still playing dirty politics SMS lecturers asking that tests be postponed.

Now you understand what is meant when campusers say "thingz are tight!"

Published in Daily Monitor, May 19, 2005

Exam time

MAKERERE- The trying times of catching up with revision are here, but the library can only accommodate a few students. One student alluded to finding reading space as difficult as entering a rat hole. It is always packed to capacity whatever time you choose to go there.

By the break of dawn, the library is already quaking under the weight of students laying siege by its doors. When it is finally opened at 7a.m., only the fittest and toughest of the swarms will manage to enter.

Blame it on the examination period or still on the university authorities who are fond of increasing the number of admitted students per annum but do little to provide more reading space. That aside, those who manage to creep in and get seats stay watchful because as one stands up to stetch him or herself, their seat will be snatched.

It's also amusing how the beautiful girls who use the library only during examination time hassle, with tears flowing down their cheeks while struggling to find a seat in the library. Some students have to read while squatting due to insufficient furniture.

Published in Daily Monitor, January 20, 2005

Payback time at Mak

MAKERERE- Students who used part of their tuition fees on their girlfriends are stranded and are looking everywhere for anyone who can help them top up the money.
The joys of campus and its irresistible distractions sometimes call for using part of the tuition fees with the hope of recovering the money during the course of the semester, but unfortunately they haven't.
For those who have the money, the bank is buzzing with lines of students and even getting a bank slip is a long hurdle to jump. The other day, the guy in charge of one of the centres where bank slips are picked denied an Education student bank slips. The panicking guy begged on bended knees and could not hold back his tears but the adamant 'boss' insisted that he had been directed to dish out the papers to only Faculty of Arts students.
Just imagine how riling that can be! Everyone knows students have the right to pick those slips from anywhere at campus, but when 'bosses' make a big issue out of it, it sometimes explains why strikes at campus are ever blazing.

Published in Daily Monitor, January 13, 2005

The wayward ways of rabid campus dogs

Due to idleness, stray dogs around Makerere University have taken to indecent behaviour. Quite often, students have bumped into a bunch of huge and fierce looking dogs fighting to have sexual pleasure with their female mates.

These male dogs show very unsubtle signs of uncontrollable lust as they scramble to mount the female counterpart. In the heat of the moment, a dozen or more tend to forget that they are besieging the tiny paths around this great hill. Some though, with white and black strips look gorgeous even when they are howling hellfire at each other.

Such behaviour has gotten them undivided attention from campusers especially when they flaunt different, hypnotising styles in doing their thing. These dogs can't find asylum to mate in privacy – not that they care. They commit the once sacred but now abused act in broad daylight leaving Makereans hooked.

Once when I watched, one huge dog faced the opposite direction of the female. They were intertwined like woven designs in a basket. Then other males howled with obvious envy, but both dogs remained unbothered. One student who had watched the dogs play it live and unprotected wondered, "Was this a question of rape or early heat?"

"This beats me too," another chipped in, "dogs are ever horny in summer nights, it's only winter, may be kimansulo has visited the poor beasts as well, huh!"

By the time we left, they had displayed no signs of disengaging. Which to me explains the birthroots of city stray dogs the press has written about quite often. May be animal rights activists could think of ways to control these dogs or make a trumpet call for animal doctors to design dog condoms. Else their population will override that of man, at least around Makerere University!

Published in Daily Monitor, May 8, 2004

Presenting...the Ivory Tower’s hunks

The use of the word 'hunk' is as common as it can get among campus babes. While the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines this as "a man who is big, strong and sexually attractive," girls at the Ivory Tower use this word to refer to a guy they fancy.
Never mind that the chap may resemble a chimp, as long as he got the dough, he'll be a 'hunk.' Surprisingly, it's the most intelligent girls one witnesses going beady eyed as they splash beautiful words about their 'hunks.'
"Guess what!" she'll excitedly tell her mates, "Derrick took me out last night. Oh I love him, he's such a hunk." They make him sound like an Adonis and you cannot help feeling jealous.
For instance, there's this guy, in my class. He's got scary skin and a huge nose. His feet are heavy and his breath really does reek. He smokes like an old pipe-puffing Rastafarian woman. Heavy bangles encircle his wrists and an earring dangles from a hole on his left ear. He carries himself like a god, but you would not class him as your fine specimen. The lad is ugly.

But for some reason campus babes are mad about him. Yes I know he walks with a spring in his step and has got a smooth baritone voice but does this make him a hunk? Our ladies think so and more so when he smiles. This object of interest has got lots of shillings as well. Like Carl Sundburg wrote, "When you got lots of money, you feel very funny/ And snug as a bug in a rug." This guy fits this description and girls would die to have him.

Besides, he's got such strong arms that when they circle those tiny waists, the girl's adrenaline flows. At least that's what campus babes say. Thus it's always the strongest, the macho guys you watch in movies and this guy that have a helluva lot of tricks down their sleeves to make them hunks in the eyes of campus Delilahs.

So guys, good looks, explicit honesty, and flair of speech no longer count. If you're broke and skinny, even if you have the warmest of grins and the finest set of teeth, campus damsels will never be yours. Such girls can only give in to 'hunks' - the bad boy with a sense of humour and a rat face. Free spirits not satisfied by the pleasures of the world. Those with lots of cash to splatter around. The groovy type that will be ready to gamble through life intensely and compulsively no matter what. If you cannot comply, then you deserve no place in the hearts of Makerean girls, for my dear, you’re no hunk.

Published in Daily Monitor, May 15, 2004

Diets that decide who your love will be

It's incredible the way these so called academicians nourish themselves. Eating small portions of food is the present fad. A chapati is the most consumed delicacy on this hill.
It is amazing that campusers relish this small, flat edible, made out of wheat flour and water, rolled very thin and fried. When I went on a benching spree, sorry research spree in most hostels and halls of residence, I was greeted with a "what do you want to have?" to which I would reply, "anything is good for me." And then pints of milk, sodas and tea with a chapati to go would find solace in my tiny-balled stomach. Which explains, why solid food is no longer an in-thing especially for dames who want to retain their waists and shapely curves. Mornings see most of these ladies serve themselves hot tea or chocolate and bread with fried eggs spread with tomato sauce.
Broke students have as well come to detest munching away at murrum (weevil laden beans) and kawunga. Instead, mugs of thick millet porridge (nicknamed ekiisanga by Banyankole students) are enjoyed greatly. It's mixed with blue band and sometimes tinned milk and sugar. It's so nourishing that a mere cup makes you feel like you will last for eternity. Millet flour is also cheap but most students from upcountry districts come with what lasts a semester.
The affluent students delight in purchasing packed or tinned foods from Wandegeya, or even 'first class' food joints like Nandos. And friends, if you're impoverished, you'll never find love at this great hill. Which is why students who cannot afford take-aways seek solace from locally made gin (Kasese waragi).
Meeting a Makererean happily staggering to his enclave of a hall after taking a pint for a mere Shs 500 is of the norm. Daughters of peasants who relish daily glasses of juice, with chips, chaps and chicken thighs, goat ribs or broiled fish now don't have a problem going out with Wandegeya taxi drivers. After all they (drivers) can afford it.
Other loaded students fill us with envy when they paw at kilos of pork, fish fillet, veal and sausages (by the way, I never knew what a sausage was until recently when a girl kindly chose to take me out and buy me one.)
"Posho gives me constipation, I can't force myself to eat stuff like that," Julius a first year Mass Communication student told me.
Campusers eat like kings because good food is fairly cheap. And now, many students own hotplates and electric kettles. The food cooked in halls of residence is considered junk. A student will get his two boiled eggs, a slice of buttered bread or a bun and roll them in two chapatis. With a steaming cup of tea or coffee, this makes an excellent snack. This becomes a daily routine and has reduced the general intake of food prepared in halls.
Unfortunately some of these light foods have ended up giving some girls huge sizes to worry about. They have fought back in an attempt to slim down only to end up going overboard. As with many other things, there is always a price to paY.
Published in Daily Monitor, May 1, 2004

Day of the groovy savedee

You see them dressed hip; going to the beach and for parties and making the cinema hall a part of their lives. Then you discover that they are saved. The days when people looked at born-again Christians as dull and drab seem long gone.

Nowadays born-again Christians –balokole or savedees –as they are usually called, talk the talk and walk the walk and are determined to have as much fun as anyone else. One can even expect a belly dance but with a Christian touch.

It is fanfare punctuated with serious moral and spiritual issues and a hunger to fish the strayed. To make this more appealing, mainline born-again churches have designed a menu of fun-filled activities for their congregation.

Kampala Pentecostal Church [KPC] plot 87 on Kampala road is not just a church. It has a youth ministry of workers, cell sections, music, dance and drama teams that find it easy to merry-make. And they do not just pray. There are fun days, retreats, lifestyle picnics, travels and praise evenings.

"It's positive and inspiring. There's free entertainment that instills a sense of belonging," Ombui Jared, a Kenyan says.

Ms. Dorcus Amboko, a staunch born-again says, "Before I got saved, I thought pleasure was synonymous with movie theatres, dance clubs, indulging in orgies, listening to secular music and such things God abhors but I always left empty. In church I've found strength and overwhelming joy."

If you doubt that born-again Christians can entertain themselves, then you should visit Prime Time at Makerere University's swimming pool on Saturday. Led by outspoken pastor Martin Ssempa, students both believers and unbelievers were having a lot of fun as the freely and spontaneously praised God, danced, sung and played games when I attended.

First, they broke into Jose Chameleon's Bwosaba. They waved their hands in mid-air, danced and sung along. It's so vibrant and attracts many students. Local gospel singers and dancers have found this a Harlem to show off what they got.

"Jesus is my cornerstone, yeah ye yeeah," some of them chorused as dancers in black overall trucks, with bandanas tied around their heads like kick-boxers, unfolded MJ kind-of-strokes. Such times inspire even those who are not saved to join the flock.

Thomas Tayebwa, a third year student at Makerere University says that balokole are fluid and have such fun and though he is a staunch catholic, he prefers to join them for the fun of it.

"Even those in the pews are funny. The church is riddled with actors, musicians, comedians, performers and dancers getting jiggy with it. You find a bunch of spice girls in choirs shaking what their mommas gave them. I love it," he put is.

Nevertheless, there is more than having pleasure. At Full Gospel Church, Makerere, Nakulabye zone, social and personal issues of church members are dealt with. The church organizes conferences on relationships. They also have movie nights for the married and the single that are meant to keep the spiritual life burning in an entertaining way. This also provides ground for socialization, a place to overcome loneliness and depression. One junior pastor who preferred anonymity said what is enjoyed is for the glorification of God.

"Ours is not just pleasure and fun but thanks as we extol Him with music and song. Vain ways of pleasure seeking like smoking, gambling and reading obscene publications can only lead to hell. Come to the church, have joy and fantasy as a born-again, spirit-filled follower of Jesus Christ," he advises.

Such love has captivated even asylum seekers. Many people attend in thousands to get involved in church activities. There is a feel and fill of diverse ethnic make-up. Consequently, different, perhaps competing churches now package venerable, life-inspiring fun to retain their sheep. For example Full Gospel Church has a campus fellowship whose catch phrase is "You gotta know what you are missing!"

Pastors also teach life skills. People in the working class attend lessons on Christianity and integrity, surviving in a secular world, or the law of sowing and reaping. It's instructive with connotations of deep logic and fun coupled with praise and worship.

"I came that they may have life and have it in abundance," the good book says and believers are truly having fun.

Pastors encourage believers to take advantage of free entertainment on Christian radios to be uplifted more. Upbeat stations like Power FM and Kampala FM play gospel jams, soul worship hits and Christian rap.

But not all is met with acceptance. Some savedees say there is more fashion than passion in the church. This perturbs Renee, a Mass Communication student at Makerere.

"Preachers don't preach hellfire and brimstone no more. There is ease in Zion…they rumble 'God will give you a car'…the list is endless. Even the non believer knows inequity has never swaggered like it swaggers today. Entertainment in church must be stabbed before we are thrown in a lake of fire," he warns.

But Wobusobozi Ivan who prays at Rubaga Miracle Centre says, "It’s not how a born-again Christian dresses or still it's not church activities like drama and music that one is judged. David used to praise God semi-naked. To me, Christians are free to have as much fun in ways they deem right as long as they don’t compromise."

Nicola Hancock, a pastor at Christian Life Church-Bwaise, also General Manager Top TV and Kampala FM thinks that as long as savedees follow the law, it's fine. Hancock believes entertainment crosses borders and speaks to many.

"Jesus reached out to prostitutes. Like Him, we don't want to drop to the standards of the world but we have to reach the world," she says.

She insists the church can't afford to isolate the developing world and has a responsibility not to be rigid but to steer the young people to serve God with God's message.

Nicola thinks that when the church fails to reach the youth of today in a way that is relevant, they will look for what appeals to them in the world that often leads to heartache, devastation and immoral behaviour.

"We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and then offer unconditional love to a needy world. As a Christian, ask yourself before going over the edge to have fun: is it a motive to bring attention to yourself or God? Then go on and enjoy life but stay relevant with Godliness," she concludes.

This is my first feature story. I was so excited when the editor liked it. Was published in Daily Monitor, Saturday, May 22, 2004, page 9.

Miss Ug’s long journey to world beauty begins


Chantal Kreviazuk's Leaving On A Jet Plane will probably be the song playing as Ms Praise Juliet Asiimwe boards the plane to China to represent the country at the 55th Miss World beauty pageant.

"I am leaving tomorrow and the main event is on December 10. We will camp in Sanya Island and will visit the whole of China for a month," said Miss Uganda 2005.

She is leaving with great expectations and if luck is on her side, then Uganda will no more enrich CNN with billions to gild its image because its admiration as the land of 'Miss World' will be enough branding.

The 22-year old Asiimwe, was crowned in early October by MKM Promotions, a UK-based event management company which had just received a nod from Miss World Ltd to run the show after Ms Sylvia Owori pulled from the franchise.

Come December, it will be untainted glitz and high anticipation when the organisers get to knight a fresh 'Miss World' to replace the reigning Queen-Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia from Peru.

"I know I will make it. I am known for breaking records," Asiimwe told Daily Monitor. And trust the daughter of Reverend Elly Akankwasa and Ms Joice Akankwasa, she is an embodiment of charm with an infectious smile and unquestionable confidence. It will be less surprising if she emerges champion.

The 5 '7' inches tall girl has been specially trained by Tiner International School of Beauty whose director, Ms Ruthy T. Kibirige, said Asiimwe is expected to do well at the Miss World beauty show because she's very eloquent, highly knowledgeable and above all has the right size.

All the 115 beauties will also visit the cosmopolitan shopping and trading capital of eastern China before hosting a charity auction and dinner at one of the city's many major international venues. The contest will see Praise participate in the Miss World Talent Show that will provide contestants a chance to present to the people of Wenzhou a taste of their own culture in a song and dance.

Miss Uganda's trip to China is an all-expenses-paid trip. There is the Shs1m spending money, not forgetting a new wardrobe that comes with the best as fit for any princess of fashion and beauty.

New hope for a boy orphaned twice in life

It was such a victory day for needy children! On July 11 Ambassadors of Hope Africa Children's Choir, a charity organisation that supports orphans between 6-12 years put up a life changing performance at Sharing Youth Hall-Nsambya.
The reunion show was a musical drama titled The Prince of Africa that featured two main performers and a cast of about 40 backup singers and dancers, staged for the 20th anniversary celebrations of Ambassadors of Hope sponsored by Music for Life.

Action rolled as the deep voice of an omniscient narrator related the story of Mark (Princess Sandra), a child whose parents die of HIV/AIDS when he was two months old. English parents adopt and love him like their biological son. At 8, Mark, asks why he is black when his ‘parents' are white. They explain everything and even accept to escort him on a visit to Africa, the ancestral home of his late parents.

On the way, fate knocks; the boat capsizes and all those on board perish except Mark. An orphan for a second time, he spends two days on a strange island in Africa but is rescued by Malaika (Mbowa Tony) a magician islander. They go hunting together; do some magic, tour lands and mountains eventually becoming inseparable friends.

A conflict develops when Mark decides to return to England but realises that he has no other family there. Malaika plans to help him board a ship that crosses Africa to England. But on the night of the 7th day, Malaika who cant stand the thought of separating from his boy leaves Mark asleep and disappears into the forests. Mark wakes up alone. Malaika is nowhere. Eventually, a crying Mark is left behind.

In his predicament, all princes and princesses of Africa welcome Mark so lovingly and knight him a prince as well. And on that evening, not only does Mark decide to be a big prince among the princes and princesses with a big task of helping in rebuilding Africa but also, fully understands that he will never be an orphan again.

Renowned composer Maggie Walter produced the music for the script directed by Barnabas Frank.

Ivan Mutabazi the light and sound engineer of the team was behind the effects that reflected the rising and setting sun. A projector in form of a white curtain would flash a hunting scene, forests, or African girls dancing. All types of instruments and props – xylophones, drums, traditional guitar, calabashes, pots and much more livened the show.

The auditorium was crammed with kids from all walks of life who had prior to the performance nourished on plates plentiful of food. As the performance progressed, they clapped and cheered joyfully.

Mr. Raymond Ray Barnett, the President Ambassadors of Hope, said the family show was a stage rehearsal for an international show to premier in Vancouver in December.

Children who get into a choir, are trained to sing and dance before performing in churches in Europe. The raised money is then used to help other millions of children in Africa and abroad whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS. They are educated up to university.

As the celebratory performance ended, it was clear that the NGO that operates in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan has given life to the lifeless.

The Director Ambassadors of Hope Africa Children's Choir-Uganda, Ms Robinah Lubwama, appropriately quoted Psalms 41:1, "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble."

Published in Daily Monitor, July 15, 2004

MUK library goes digital

Monday, February 4, 2008

The boys are enjoying it

Last week, you must have had a smooth read with all those interesting pieces about adolescent babes chasing toothless old men. It was argued that, "Older men are like wine, they get better with age!" It was hilarious, though we missed out on the older women who date mere boys. But like always, the best must be saved for last. Nowadays the craze is that young men are running after old women and vice versa.

Guys have thrown in the towel because the smashing twenty year olds can hardly look the way of men who are 'poor' and immature, the do-it-and-tell kind. So to vent their frustrations, the 'young bulls' that, have been thought of as incompetent to handle serious ladies are now ruling the older women in the field of sexual politics.

The mother figure women that will not be shackled to marriage have cast their nets, got the catch, and are having a field day. On the other hand, the lads are not complaining and have encouraged their buddies to go on searching sprees for 'loaded' women.

They may resemble chimps, with teeth already knocked out by old age but as long as they have the cash to dish out, guys will fit in comfortably.For this reason, the Lonely Hearts page in The Monitor is ever so filled with adverts from young men between 17-30 searching for sugar mommies aged between 25-50.

One thing, these guys are looking for financially stable women who are in the late afternoon of their lives. It will therefore not be farfetched to assume that they have the ability to attract their age mate beauties but cannot because they don't have the financial muscle to sustain the relationship. The option is to hook up with hags on whom they don't have to spend.

Not bad considering that many unemployed graduates see it a kind of investment when they get older women and work for them as sex peddlers. There is the enjoyment and sense of satisfaction that comes with a teen flooring a real aged woman in addition to the designer suits, the sumptuous meals, the sleek cars to cruise around and of course, the heavy shillings that come with the package.

However, it must be a shaming experience, as some boys who indulge in these relationships want the affairs to remain discreet due the enormous age difference. This is confirmed in what someone wrote, "I' m 24 and looking for a sugar mommy who is romantic, caring and financially stable for a secret and serious affair..."

It could be that they go there not to stay but to have fun.With many getting hundreds of responses, it has become a known fact that older women are getting more attracted to young men. The reasons differ. A lively single woman (35) who owns a shop in Wandegeya was ready to speak but on condition that her name was not published. She said single, ageing mothers are merely interested in men they can twist and control.

"They have made their money, have got their status and don't want a man to destabilise their peace. That's why they go in for broke university guys, who can easily be controlled with money," she says and quickly explains that these poor guys get so much excited seeing brand new shilling notes; and have to work hard in bed to get their hands on more.

"These women want excitement and fun. They want to feel loved by someone who will be there when they call. And then, they can splash money like hell," our 'tycoon' lady said. But, why in the name of Mary Magdalene of Nazareth should a 20year-old hunk tangle with a 50 year old skirted someone?

Guys who have been there know why. As shaming as it is, most didn't want their real names mentioned. A one Moses says his uncle went abroad for further studies and left him home with his 40-year-old wife. At 20, Moses is healthy, very athletic and handsome. He says it took one weekend before his aunt seduced him.

"She played a Brian McKnight CD and pulled me from the sofa to the dance floor. I was scared but soon got lost in the embrace of the squeeze. And before I knew it, we were making love on the carpet," he says.

It's almost a year and Moses says as he laughs, "Man, she's such an amazing woman, I don't think I'll ever date those materialistic, sentimental girls again." He says he is now in love with her and will not think of what will happen when his uncle returns.

Rogers also graduated from school recently and hangs out with a sugar ma 25 older than him. "We go dancing and partying together and later make passionate love. She has taught me everything I know about love making and interacting with respectable people. I appreciate her maturity and though I had gone in for her money, it has eventually turned into love," he says.

Great sex and love for money are the most outstanding reasons why young men indulge in affairs with 'mothers.' "Women are so explicit unlike shy girls. They have so much experience and will let you explore every single sensual spot on their bodies," says Julius and adds: "They give you all the money you need, feed you and treat you like a king."

Besides, the growing guys are always available to quench their overwhelming old lusts though it will be peril if they started playing games. Remember the Bible story of Joseph and his master's wife. She had cast her eyes upon the handsome innocent and decided the kid was better than Pharaoh.

"Lie with me," she demanded, "Behold," refused Joseph, "My master… hath committed all that he hath to my hand… neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

And the story goes on to say that she kept tempting him day by day but he still refused to "lie by her, or to be with her." One day, she grabbed him by his garment and attempted to force him into sex, until Joseph escaped. What followed is a sad story.Why bring in this? Because these women will give you all the money you need, open businesses for you but if you happen to shack up down into marriage with another woman, they will kill.

"They don't want to be reminded of the void they had before they met you. She would rather kill than see her prince with another girl," says Daniel who had to escape from his sugar ma and is hiding in Kampala.

Moses warns: "They are intensely jealous, some of them have even dated crazy people. They are desperate, can't stand a sexy competitor. Chew her money but be careful." So guys, go in knowing you want to stay. Drive her cars, fondle those socks (read breasts), spice up the allure, give her what she wants, wait for her death, but if you bolt, she got the cash and will hire boys to track down and put a sword on your neck.

René Angelil may be 26 years older than his super star singer, but look at how Celine Dion confessed her love before their eventual marriage, "Many years I've kept our special dream locked away inside my heart.

So after all these years, let me "Paint the truth, show how I feel, try to make you completely're the Colour of My love!" So, like the renowned couple, yours too should not be for the money, lust or satisfaction, but love, love and more love!

Published in Daily Monitor, Novermber 26, 2004