Friday, October 13, 2017

Perspective | On parenting and career advice

"Hello. Meet my son. He is currently doing *mentions course* at University. Please mentor him. I want him to be like you".

You’ll meet this kind of people, every once in a while. Senescent, doting parents who visit places and attend social events with their post-teen kids in tow. Caring parents in search of their kids' role models.

They track their progress, forecast the future and hope they’ll be useful to themselves once they are done with school.

Today’s parent will see this one guy who has seemingly made it and they'll want their kids to take the same career path. So they begin to draw fancy imaginations of what the children should or shouldn't do.

It's probably easier if the prospective mentee is at University and already half-aligned in their direction. You could you do your best the guy turns out better than you. Which is fine, because you become one of the family’s heroes and every time you show up at theirs, chicken breast and gizzard will end up at your platter.

For many of them, any career outside of the colonial courses (Medicine, Law or any of those Engineering disciplines) is tantamount to failure.

It becomes a different ballgame when some high school adolescent that you are supposed to groom into an Electrical Engineer ends up with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts degree.

From that moment, you'll always be viewed with suspicion. If you are feeble-minded, this is when you begin to feel your villain moment.

So the next time you bump into the parents at another gathering, you'll be given the kind of look security operatives give Bobi Wine when they suspect he's about to have another interview with Aljazeera.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tribute | Danz Kumapeesa: A life gone too soon!

Two months ago, the cameras focused on his ailing frame on a hospital bed for a planned fundraising drive. It would be the last the world was seeing, of youthful music producer Danz Kumapeesa.


At 22, life is only beginning for an average Ugandan who has gone through our education curriculum. It’s the age where many are either in their final year at or fresh out of University, lugging those dreaded brown envelopes around town in optimistic search of corporate employment.

At this point, every contact made looks like the ultimate gateway to that white-collar dream. So we save telephone contacts of every seemingly “connected” corporate, from people wearing cheap Chris Adams deodorant sprays to those who "can't stand anything other than" Roberto Cavalli.

This is the age where every single dream still looks valid, despite having no proper meals, surviving on Rolex and those half-brick sized mandazi we used to call Drogba.

It may also be a breakthrough stage; a watershed career moment that sees one scale the first of many heights they'll scale if they maintain the momentum.

At 22, Daniel Mukisa – the producer we knew as Danz Kumapeesa – had the (music) world at his feet, churning out club bangers at will and seemingly destined for a bright future.

Once, I wondered who or what this Danz Kumapeesa was, for the byline featured in just about every Ugandan hit song. He had become that ubiquitous!

He and Nessim (23) were probably the youngest, renowned producers in the Ugandan music industry.

Danz was the brains behind songs like Musawo (Winnie Nwagi), Mbozi za Malwa (Bebe Cool ft. Sauti Sol), Tuseyeya (Grace Nakimera), Nkubanja (Lydia Jazmine) among others.

A few months back, he fell into an ambush of thugs who clobbered him to coma, sustaining head injuries that left him bedridden for over three months. The 22-year old eventually passed on yesterday, October 07, 2017.

Rest thee well, Danz Kumapeesa.