Thursday, March 25, 2010

Idle Thoughts: Rebranding Our Public Figures

Boredom can breed lots of ideas. Sometimes I want to grab a shot of a nearby ale, but then I remember I am now a teetotaler. Often times, I just decide to laze around. Once in a while, idle thoughts fly by. This, here, was one of them: brands we would give our outspoken public figures if we got a chance to give them alternative careers.

Top of my list were Gen. Otafiire and Ken Lukyamuzi ‘the man’. Quite unavoidable, easy targets, if you could call them that. They have been in limelight long enough to afford us a glut of diatribes from which we can choose. The rest of my lineup went thus:

Ken Lukyamuzi “the man” (Comical Ali):
I couldn’t have gotten a better personality. Comical Ali, for the uninitiated, is the famous Iraqi information minister in the Saddam regime who, upon his release from captivity by American forces, called a press conference to deny his alleged capture, insisting that he had actually turned himself in.

This was just weeks after he had called US Missiles ‘pencils’ and vowed to “push them back into their swamp”. Our Lukyamuzi, the flamboyant ex-honorable from Lubaga once fled into a yam plantation when the police came charging to quell a planned demo he had organized.

How “The Man” survived the tear gas of the day is a question for another day. The next time he organized a similar demo, he first paid for bail in advance, and went to court with the receipts in tow. Talk of covering one’s tracks.

Severino Kahinda Otafiire (King of The Jungle):
You may ask which jungle this is. It could be Ruhinda. Or it could be another territory, depending on which mood he wakes up in. Apparently, he doesn’t like the name Severino. You might have to make your will before you refer to him by that name.

Or pray he never gets to hear you. His wrath knows no bounds. Just ask Mr. Ras of the New Vision. Ota is said to have dropped this name the day he escaped from the seminary. Apparently, it reminds him of some torrid time during his brief stay at the school.

So, Why King of the Jungle?

He once swore on a public TV station that no one can beat him (I guess this included fellow bush war veterans); my friend Agaba Rugaba calls him the Lion of Ruhinda. Call him any name, but not Severino. You will be on your own if he gets to know.

Amid allegations that he had built a house in a wetland, he reportedly asked fellow panelists at Capital Gang whether he looked like a frog or crocodile to live in a swamp.

Robert Kabushenga, a fellow ‘gangster’ of the day, cheekily retorted that the issue of his looks was debatable, sending the entire studio into prolonged laughter. The maverick general elected to play it cool, this time.  

Ssebaana Kizito (DMX):
He needs no introduction. Twice been voted Kampala’s mayor, and once contested for the presidency. He could do with a career in music. I am thinking he could have given DMX a run for his money if he had chosen his career wisely. That gruff voice could just have done wonders to hip-hop.

Col. Kizza Besigye (Ja Rule):
The dictionary suggests Besiege. He, too, could have done with a career in Hip-Hap, like today’s ‘yut’ call it. You have seen him run rings around the Police. Now, Picture him doing a remix of Kibonge Kya Nini and you get what I mean. 

If you have no idea what Kibonge Kya Nini is, then it’s possible that you were born post 1990. You could even be a millennium baby as we used to label everyone born around the onset of the 21st century.  You could even be under age.

Specioza Wandira (Senga):
Also known as Kazibwe. Doctor, Mother, Presidential Advisor and expert on so many issues. Probably extra marital affairs adviser as well. She is also a senga of sorts. 

Her latest advice to women with promiscuous husbands caught many an ordinary observer’s attention: ”If men are at liberty to have as many wives as they wish, why are women restricted to only one husband? She led by example, estranging her then husband and sweeping one loaded Muslim tycoon off his feet; plus a host of other blokes thereafter.
 - Dan B. Atuhaire

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