Column Squad

Taxi Memoirs: A Ride With A Budding Local Artist


I am really concerned about the sanity or lack of thereof of our radio presenters. I wonder if there is something in those studios some form of electrical or chemical reaction that makes them crazy or if they are hired because they are crazy in the first place. Maybe it’s true that the first sign of madness is talking to oneself which is what these people are paid to do.

Sitting out the jam at Lubowa, I keep hoping that the psychiatric association of Uganda will break into the studio and rescue the obviously psychotic girl shrieking on a Luganda radio station. Do her employers ever listen to her? Do they know that she is a complete nutcase and are just comfortable making a few bucks out of her disorder before she begins walking back naked in the streets? You can’t put anything past Ugandans when it comes to taking advantage of others.

On the next stage however, I am surprised to meet yet another patient in form of a local upcoming artiste. He is trussed up in a toddler’s T-shirt and a dwarf’s pants which he keeps pulling in all directions to cover his modesty without any success.

Around his neck hang several chains with various pendants; a cross, a ganja leaf and a star. I get confused trying to figure out what message he is trying to send out.

He is accompanied by a nymph whose face is painted like a geisha’s. When they settle down beside me, I notice that the nymph’s hand is permanently settled on the artist’s thigh hovering protectively near his crotch. Well, I know about marking your territory and being on top of your game where a man is concerned but I find her attitude high handed, unnecessary and quite gross.

It is not too long before local artist gets out his gear and begins doing some tests and eventually croaking out some sort of tune mixing up the whole cacophony with some rap. The entire song goes like this

Yo yo this is Felix

Your man, I am you

You are me

I am here, its me

Its you brother

Come on

This is me, this is you

He repeats this over and over again with a few groans here and grunts there until everyone in the taxi is on the verge of tears. In typical Ugandan style no one in the taxi says anything; we sure can stand so much bulls**t.

Clearly Felix can’t and shouldn’t ever be allowed to sing whether in public or in private. But since no one is kind enough to tell him the truth, Felix continues to chase his dream in spite of the important evidence that he should be doing something else.

I am tempted to blame the nymph who looks enthralled by Felix’s croaking that he calls singing and keeps cheering and staring at him as if he were Tupac Shakur risen from the dead.

But again I remember that old sage; Leo Tolstoy who once said that is very difficult to tell the truth and young men in particular find it hard to tell it. Clearly Felix has not only failed to tell himself the truth but has thoroughly convinced himself to live a lie for the rest of his life. And as much as I know that most stations will be left without employees, someone should kindly start a drive to weed out the more insane radio presenters for their own safety and for the preservation of the sanity of all Ugandans.