UNAA vs UNAA Causes 1

Something curious is unfolding in the United States of America that is as Ugandan as they come.

The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA), a group set up by Diaspora Ugandans in the United States to meet, greet, network, gain erudition and have fun (not necessarily in that order) is having its annual gathering in two weeks.

UNAA 2015 has invited corporate bigwigs to an

UNAA 2015 has invited corporate bigwigs to an “investment round table.” The seriousness implied therein has been rare in the past.

UNAA has ran annually for 27 years now. Yours truly flew in from London, England, and attended it in 1994 in Los Angeles. I attended it again in Washington, DC, in 2010. While all sorts of skulduggery and infighting have been par for the course, there is no denying that UNAA has repeatedly scored resounding success in bringing together Ugandans of all hues, often from different continents, in one place for three days and nights of fun and frolicking.

This year, however,  is rather different. In a fortnight, UNAA is hosting its annual  event in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 4-6. On exactly the same days it is hosting a similar event 1,300 miles away in New York City.

How has UNAA managed such a feat?

It hasn’t!

UNAA Causes has booked literally every prominent Ugandan entertainer - for a three-day event.

UNAA Causes has booked literally every prominent Ugandan entertainer for a three-day event.

A couple of years ago, internecine squabbling over money and management issues among the UNAA executives escalated so badly that a section of them opted to break away and form their own group which they named UNAA Causes. The publicly acrimonious split was so close to UNAA 2014 that there was no time to try to reconcile the two sides or paper over their differences. So, the breakaway group found an alternative venue for their celebration in San Diego, only yards from the UNAA event. It was an embarrassing development which both sides did their best to gloss over.

So far so Ugandan.

This year UNAA and UNAA Causes have had plenty of time to work on cementing their differences and they are now counting down to September 4th to find out who has gotten the biggest numbers to their respective jamborees.

UNAA gatherings have in the past been nothing more than three days and nights of inebriated shenanigans. If you don’t have a head for quaffing mighty amounts of alcohol until the wee hours, are not terribly into gossiping till your mind is emptied, aren’t too interested in carrying your entire closet with you to impress onlookers with hourly outfit changes, and aren’t of sound limbs to dance until you are thrown off the dance floor by exhausted hotel staff, you might find UNAA gatherings a challenge.

UNAA will also have entertainers flown in from Uganda

UNAA will also have some entertainers flown in from Uganda

Which perhaps might explain why UNAA has attempted to highlight their highbrow, but more low-key, business round table concept. They will need all the organization skills they can muster to make it a success if the miserably attended forums of yonder years is anything to go by.

On the other hand, UNAA Causes seems to have given up on the pretense that this event is anything other than a chance to get intoxicated and make merry. They have invited at least a dozen Ugandan entertainers for a three-day event. They, too, will need all their organization skills to ensure that attendees don’t stagger away complaining that their favorite artist didn’t get enough time to give them what they came for.

UNAA Causes is also charging less for its event than UNAA despite flying in a football team of entertainers and hosting everyone in very expensive New York City, and throwing in a boat cruise for good measure. How they have managed to do that is an interesting question since past events have been characterized by ugly wrangles over money. Does this event raise more money, after expenses, than the organizers have let on in the past? If so, what has happened to the sums left over?

When the dust settles, we shall no doubt hear about how the  two events unfolded because we always do. Right now, one can only spare a thought for how anyone who hasn’t yet decided which event to attend will be persuaded.

It’s a divisive, unhealthy set of affairs but when have Ugandan events ever been any different?

White Jonny comes to the rescue of poor blacks 1

Jonny von Wallström, who calls himself a “self shooting director, human rights advocate, farmer and world exploring artist living in Sweden” has penned a deliberate tear jerker for the Huffington post, ostensibly showing Uganda as “one of the most transphobic places in the world.”

Really? In comparison to what other countries?

America where the transgender phenomenon is now being treated as a novelty, thanks to the public transformation of a white reality television personality even though black transgender men and women have been getting the short end of the stick for eons?  Or South Africa where gay marriage was enshrined in law well before it was in Sweden and Norway? Australia perhaps?

Is Mr. Wallström perhaps making the mistaken assumption that having LGBTI-friendly laws on the statutes translates into public understanding and embracing of transgender people?

Would Mr Wallström thus call South Africa more transgender friendly than Uganda simply because they have laws on their books that favor LGBTI even if there is more evidence there of violence against LGBTI than anything he can provide evidence for in Uganda?

If not, what standard is the writer using to tar Uganda with his scarlet letter, one trans person’s experience?

What if I told him that it is equally unsettling for most people in every country in the world to understand the trans phenomenon and that, therefore, education is the key everywhere, not just in Uganda?

Mr. Wallström:

You will not be able to count off on your fingers countries in the world where treatment of trans people is different from what you describe in your piece.

Is the treatment wrong? Yes. Unique to Uganda? No.

You will also find that it actually makes better sense to let us black Africans tell these stories ourselves. It might surprise some but we are educated enough to tell the world about our plight.

For a sample, check out a nascent but very good idea that likely would have made a more authentic case for this story – Kuchu Times.  It is written by black LGBTI Ugandans, for LGBTI Ugandans, with a Ugandan LGBTI perspective. I am sure you will accept that they are not doing a bad job at all.

Please keep that in mind next time you sojourn into an African country to seek tear-jerking stories to make your own.

Red Pepper gives gays front page erotica Reply

As all my fans know, I don’t make political comments whatsoever. Indeed, I am not going to start today, given that there is so much more to life.

That said, a little picture has caught my attention as I was busy minding my own business, getting over the hangover of last week when I attended a high end gay party in the heart of Kampala.

Red Pepper joins Amama Mbabazi and Yoweri Museveni in support of the gays

Sex on the Red pepper.:Which is the hottest, fairest couple of the three?

What consummate timing on the part of the Red Pepper!

Horny and bereft of a comforting male paramour, you can imagine my excitement when I saw naked male hotness on the cover of Uganda’s infamous tabloid, the Red Pepper. Taking a closer look, it became clear that they were images of loving men lifted from American websites, not Ugandan, but I wasn’t going to be fazed by this. After all, a man is a man is a man to a sexually starved man.

So, I took it in my stride and carefully checked out each of the images – slowly, and deliberately. I settled on the top picture as the one to get me off because it was plainly obvious it depicted the most sensuous man-on-man loving – a sight for my lovelorn sore eyes. It was a close call because even the middle picture is an ‘aah’ moment but I wanted a little more than mere contentment, given that I haven’t had any man-2-man satisfaction in goodness knows how long. So, I settled for the more erotic top picture for my kicks.

Now, fully uplifted from my erstwhile desperation for same-sex fulfillment, I can get back to the equally serious business of earning a living.

See what I told you unbelievers?

Uganda is really not a bad place at all to be gay. If you still doubt this, show me any country where you can be fed gay porn on the front pages at 11am in the morning, as you sip your cappuccino, with the full blessing of a government detractors call homophobic.

Thank you Red Pepper for providing an avenue for this desperado to get his sexual kicks in the middle of the working day.

Print away dears, print away!

The Pout that launched a thousand ships 2

Pout 4This is going to be a totally, 100%, edifying post so make sure you pay close attention.

I am friends with a Kenyan man I have never met in person.

Scratch that.

I am besotted with a Kenyan man I have never met.

Scratch that, too; that is Eric Mawira Gitari.

Pout 3It was intoxication at first sight, as I am sure it is with anyone with a scintilla of ability to spot perfection out of a crowd.

Tom Cruise is renowned to have made a tonne of money on account of his surgeon-assisted Colgate smile. Angelina Jolie still makes waves simply by letting her lips arrive in a room well before she does, conjuring all sorts of ungodly thoughts in those so inclined. In fact it is absolutely true, and is usually obvious, that Hollywood plastic surgeons are making a mint out of figuring and disfiguring the lips of starlets, wannabe stars, faded and never-will-be movie stars.

So, this is not at all about the lips as those are a dime a dozen all over Africa where full lips were invented before God moved on to Europe.

This is about … drum roll please … The pout.

I am mesmerized by, infatuated with the pout of a Kenyan man I have never met. His lips, too, could raise enough money to pay off three African countries’ foreign debt if he put them up for auction, but that would be too easy.

Move over Miranda

Move over Miranda

This is specifically about this Kenyan Man’s (let’s refer to him as The Pout for a moment, shall we?) ability to have women and the discerning male go weak at the knees simply by keeping his mouth closed.

If one were to quibble, The Pout is a man you won’t care as much to see smiling because that is nothing compared to when he purses his lips in orgasm-inducing diva sullenness.  To put it in perspective, the ultra fashion ice queen, the frighteningly uncompromising Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada fame, has nothing on The Pout. 

Had The Pout lived in ancient Greece, this is what would have been written about him:

In Greek mythology, Kenyan Man had the most beautiful pout in the world. Suitors came from all over Greece, hoping to win the man with the incomparable pout. Many were powerful leaders.

Paris, a prince of Troy, traveled to Sparta on the advice of the goddess Aphrodite*. She had promised him the most beautiful pout in the world after he Paris declared that he wanted the “fairest” of them all. When Paris saw The Pout, he knew that Aphrodite had kept her promise. While Menelaus was away in Crete, Paris took The Pout back to Troy. Some stories say The Pout went willingly, seduced by Paris’s charms. Others claim that Paris kidnapped him and took him by force.

When Menelaus returned home and discovered The Pout gone, he called on the leaders of Greece, who had sworn to support him if necessary. The Greeks organized a great expedition and set sail for Troy. Their arrival at Troy marked the beginning of the Trojan War.

Yes, my good friends.

Pout 6Had Kenyan Man lived in Grecian times, we would now be referring to him as The Pout that launched a thousand ships. Poor Helen of Troy would have had to scramble around  for a different description!

And knowing that he existed only in Greek mythology would help me contain my hopeless, utterly unrestrained, pining to be enveloped in the aura of his distracting, intoxicating … pout.

Sigh!

I attended a high class gay party in Uganda last week! 6

Yours truly attended a classy Gay Pride affair last Wednesday evening on a roof top in the heart of Kampala. About 100 people, give or take a few, attended.

This event is important to put on the record because, as everyone knows, gay events in their nascent stages have traditionally been down-market affairs characterized by threadbare organization in sleazy venues and a lack of purpose, yes even in the developed world. The reason for this has been that being gay has been and continues to be treated by those who don’t know any better as dirty and of pariah status, leaving anyone wishing to put on anything decent unable to find a willing venue to host it even if they could raise the money.

Well, this event happened in Uganda, in Kampala, of course with the full awareness of the government authorities since nothing like that can happen without the state’s tacit approval. In attendance on this beautiful night were diplomats, local and foreign activists, medical experts, volunteers, well-wishers and, of course, such luminaries as yours truly.

The wine and beers flowed, sensible conversation ensued and you had to pinch yourself if you heard anyone say ‘low class’ about anything at this gig. There really was nothing low-class about it. Most importantly, it was an opportunity for those who write the checks, civil society and the foot soldiers who pound the pavements to mingle and network. Yours truly got two important phone numbers that he will soon follow up on …

The gay movement in Uganda is taking advantage of lessons learned in battles and skirmishes elsewhere to ably punch above its weight – with a little help from its friends. This is not a bad thing at all because one uses whatever clout one can muster. It is mostly embarrassing to quote that man but it was President George W. Bush who once said that if you’ve got the power, use it. In this case yours truly agrees with him if only because to do so at this time helps the LGBT movement in Uganda skip stages of struggle worth decades. Think of how long it took from when the first shot was fired for Gay Pride to be celebrated in America and you will understand what I mean.

Yours truly remains disinclined towards pride parades as they seem like too much of a cut and paste initiative. But that’s not to say they shouldn’t happen or that they serve no purpose. But this wasn’t about me at all was it?

It was about the classy, dressy, chi-chi, LGBT cocktail party that I attended ‘smack down’ in the heart of Uganda’s capital city, with the full knowledge of the security services, courtesy of the gay movement in Uganda!

Hmm …

The Solution to Uganda’s (Africa’s?) Democratic Deficit Reply

Political commentators are tiptoeing around the solution to the democratic deficit in Uganda and most of sub-Saharan Africa – understandably so since it is politically incorrect to admit what needs to be done.

Until a person is informed well enough, it is dangerous to give him/her responsibility for anyone else, much less him/herself. It is why parents are expected to look after their children in the home till the age of 18 or so. Kids are kids and their parents must make decisions for them, only gradually relenting as their charges grow older, else you have bedlam in the household.

So it must be with the African voting masses. It is, for instance, incongruous that someone as knowledgeable, educated, well-traveled and intelligent as me has his leaders chosen by illiterate, uniformed, non-tax-paying rural dwellers simply because they make up 70% of the voting bloc. But that 70% is all Uganda’s cynical politicians have to appeal to with a bar of soap, a poorly constructed dirt road, pretense at education in the form of Universal Primary Education (a potentially freeing but poorly executed, half-baked education initiative in Uganda that provides unsound education for everyone who uses it) and a catchy jingle via text messaging.

Please note that my rant excludes rural dwellers that make a decent living from farming etc, and pay taxes.

City and town dwellers, blue-collar, middle and upper class people (20-30% of Uganda’s voting population) pay the nation’s taxes and so we should be the ones to choose who the leader of the country is. Villagers spend on average barely 1/10 of 1% of what we do on anything, meaning that even their consumption levels are inconsequential to Uganda’s economy. In addition, villagers usually depend on us for their own sustenance through the remittances we send them because their subsistence maize crop has failed, their 10th kid’s dysentery is playing up, or the 35-year-old son who’s never put in a decent day’s work in his life is days away from the grave due to his chronic alcoholism.

The 70% are thus comparatively irrelevant to the productive sector of Uganda’s economy. Yet they hold the numerical advantage, and their ignorance makes them easy targets to manipulate by tired, cynical, corrupt, megalomaniacal politicians, and so they continue voting back in miscreants and incompetents on account of receiving a tin of paraffin and a tawdry tee-shirt with a politician’s mug shot on it.

It is an utter disgrace that my informed intellect and tax-paying clout is deemed to be at par at the ballot box with the parasitic masses who contribute nothing to the national coffers. Until all Ugandans are educated to the level that makes them informed enough, people like me should be given the vote to decide who the country’s president and parliamentarians should be. That would leave the masses with plenty of time to choose their village representatives (RDCs, LCIs etc) because those work at the level these people understand. Whoever wants to be able to vote at a higher level must get informed, get a trade and pay taxes.

Terrible news! My Eric Mawira is upset! 1

Eric Mawira Gitari. Do you remember him?

He is the Kenyan man I swooned over recently and offered to marry on account of his sex appeal, cutting intellect and fearlessness.

Well, my crush, my Eric, is crushed, gutted, destroyed.

Specifically, Eric is tearing what’s left of his hair out on account of his president, Uhuru Kenyatta, pronouncing gay rights in Kenya “a non issue” in a podium response to American president, Barack Obama that was beamed across the entire African continent and the world.

eric mawira

Eric Mawira Gitari nearly giving himself cardiac arrest

But should Eric’s melancholy really be allowed to cast a pall on  what has, doubtless, been an exceptionally momentous week for Kenya and, paradoxically if you are not thinking far ahead, for gay rights in Kenya and Africa?

Eric my darling:

You risk looking naïve if you don’t realize that, like the American president currently stoking up a storm of excitement in Kenya that is akin to the Second Coming, Uhuru Kenyatta is an elected politician who has to keep an eye on the pulse of his voters. You confound watchers who are aware that, despite the American racial ulcers that have kept that great country in contortions for more than two centuries, Barack Obama put provision of health care for the most needy Americans on top of his political agenda in his first term of office.

Obama, too, seems to have spent more time talking about the need to stop a far away country developing nuclear weapons than he has about racial tensions in his backyard. Yes, my beautiful Eric, that country is Iran.

While he has been doing all that, Barack Obama has made a black man his country’s top legal eagle, a significant first that many often completely overlook. Then he has replaced him with a black woman. Yet another first, but who is counting?

In the meantime, the black deaths at the hands of the police in America have continued, as have the even higher deaths of black men and women at the hands of their own. Barack Obama has, however, not spoken much at the podium about what he is doing about them all. Might that be perhaps because even he doesn’t have the magic bullet to a problem that the richest country in the world hasn’t figured out how to solve in more than 200 years?

After you raise your head from hanging it on Facebook, my irresistible Gitari, you will, I imagine, accept that it is often not what politicians say on the podium, but what they do behind closed doors to effect change,that really matters, won’t you?

As a classic example, can you believe that while she was promising the world that she would never negotiate with terrorists, Margaret Thatcher was talking to Sinn Fein in secret? No, perhaps not. That was Britain so it doesn’t count, and you were still too young then anyway.

And while we are at it, isn’t it also true that today you can run a coach and horses through the space for dialogue that your current government has created between pivotal ministries (Health and Justice, for instance) and the gay community in Kenya? Or is that just a canard this lovelorn admirer of yours is making up in the tenuous hope that you will notice him finally and pay him some attention?

Finally, my indomitable Mawira: don’t you ascribe to the age-old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity?

If you don’t, can you perhaps drop your self-pity for a couple of seconds and think about the significance of the leader of the free world and Kenya’s rather cool president (if you ask me) discussing corruption, that small thing that afflicts literally every one of Africa’s 1.2 billion people, and homosexuality, that absolutely critical issue which “afflicts” rather less, with all the world’s cameras following closely, beaming the sensible, sane, sober exchange directly into homes in rural Kogelo (Kenya) and Kotwa (Zimbabwe)?

Eric Mawira, my hot-blooded homosexual rights warrior:

I became besotted with you from a distance because I only fall in love with smart people. I must thus stop lecturing you and work on getting our unrequited love to the next level before your hyper-ventilating does you in.

Bill Cosby is guilty of living too long! Reply

Bill Cosby’s erstwhile solid reputation is in tatters.

His female accusers and their lawyers are cock-a-hoop.

In a 2005 deposition that a judge released last week under questionable circumstances, Cosby admitted that he’d in the past acquired Quaalude pills with the intention of using them during sexual activities with women.

Woa! See? We told you he is a rapist …. the women’s voices are gleefully shrieking.

But do these revelations really reveal anything new?

Not if you have a mind that appreciates the time in which the alleged sexual activities happened. Essentially, as your truly argued in this support off Bill Cosby, the 1970s and 80s were the days when wanton sex with mind-addling pills, marijuana, cocaine and all sorts of seemingly consequence-free frolicking was the done thing in the world of these larger than life ‘stars.’ The stars lapped it up of course and the women went along for the ride.

As a friend I was talking to the other day observed, it wasn’t called the casting couch for nothing – there was unspoken understanding that things would happen to women before they were cast in parts and, unseemly as one may consider it now, that was how things were done.

So, with the purchase of these ‘sex’ pills, Bill Cosby was just blending in with what everyone in his circles and beyond did at that time. If they were still alive, you can be sure Sammy Davis Junior, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would now be busy picking through their past in trepidation at who would accuse them, too.

The women knew, even welcomed the opportunity to go on their knees and blow these seemingly hallowed guys and they indulged in whatever they did willingly. How else can one explain the endless bee line to Hugh Heffner’s house of debauchery where everyone seems to agree there was far more than glasses of booze imbibed by all, including 15-year-old girls who shouldn’t have been present at Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, itself a symbol of the unfettered hedonism of those days?

So, the women remain Dickensian Miss Havisham-like accusers; dredging up accusations from 30-40 years ago to expiate their guilt for the decisions they made then but have since regretted at leisure. Someone must now pay and that person is Bill Cosby. They have been handed a vehicle to rid themselves of the shame, if not make some money off of it, by a supportive culture that allows anyone to claim they were or are a victim whenever they wish.

Cosby is a sitting duck and, sadly, will have to pay the price for living too long.

David Bahati’s financial woes resolved!

Museveni has delivered Bahati's salvation where prayers failed!

In naming him minister, Museveni has delivered Bahati’s salvation where prayers failed!

Barely four months after he was elevated to State Minister, David Bahati, he of the infamous anti-gay bill, has had his financial woes resolved!

You might recall that yours truly told you that Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni had promoted Bahati in order to shut him up over his anti-gay boat-rocking.

Now, not only has Bahati been made to shut up, his financial problems have also been solved for him due to the fact that he is now a minister and can pull all sorts of strings to save his hide.

Congratulations Mr. Bahati. Now, how can I become a minister? I, too, am tired of this albatross of debt I grapple with on a daily basis.

Britain’s Labour Party continues to fight a lost war against Thatcherism

First a disclaimer: I don’t want to be common or working class. I aspire to be as great as God intended me to be and I thus make a bee-line  to $700 Ferragamos, deliberately sidestepping cheaper footwear, just to feel that I am moving on up like the Jeffersons. 

I am also the kind of uppity voter Britain’s Labour party wishes to see pulled down as many pegs as possible in order for me to be the same as everyone else who is just getting by, preferably with a helping hand from the state. In other words, Britain’s Labour party still yearns for the long-lost days of mediocrity, resigned acceptance of one’s lot, anger and/or envy directed at anyone who seems remotely moneyed, happy, successful, or all three rolled into one. It is still very much a party of the sad and dowdy.

Margaret Thatcher - continues to rule Britain 25 years after she left office

Margaret Thatcher – continues to rule Britain 25 years after she left office

Labour’s obduracy is the stuff of legend because they have espoused that same tired “let’s all be equal” message since before the time of Margaret Thatcher, more than 35 years ago to no avail. You’d think that 35 years in the wilderness with a message your voters don’t want would goad you out of your stupor. But, no, not the British Labour party.

Their only successful prime minister in the last 35 years was Tony Blair who the voters shooed in repeatedly because he was Thatcherite. Alas, Labour replaced him with an old school dour socialist, Gordon Brown, and promptly lost the  next election. In came back yet another Thatcherite – the current prime Minister, David Cameron.

The British Tories understand my uppity mentality which, incidentally, is now the mentality of the voters in middle Britain who matter at the polls.

Why is any of this important?

Simple. One of Labour’s own, Chuka Umunna has exposed yet further Labour’s problem with accepting that their low-brow (and contradictory) message of redistribution that seeks to punish wealth creation and make everyone … common … has been rejected by Britain for 35 years now.

Thatcherite Chuka Umunna will struggle to make it in the Labour party.

Thatcherite Chuka Umunna will struggle to make it in the Labour party

Debonair to a fault, Umunna is upper-class-raised, ambitious, likes the fine life and has little interest in being working class or ordinary because he wasn’t raised to be!! Why he is in the Labour party beats me but it’s likely because back when he started out he thought it was the best party to overlook his skin color and elect a black man this side of 2020. The Tories haven’t been known to be as obliging even though that is changing. So, Umunna has been playing hide and seek with Labour, hoping that they overlook his Tory pedigree and instead focus on his pretend-interest in the working class.

Chuka Umunna shoe of choice; Prada

Chuka Umunna’s natural choice of footwear; Prada Spazzalato ($800)

But of course the core Labour grassroots member is still a jealous, unambitious, cry-baby who would rather get, get, get than work hard to succeed. He frowns on anyone who seems rich or heading to be rich because we should all be equal in the image of mediocrity and low expectations that they seek to see return to Britain. Umunna knew this and so he tried to hide his true Thatcherite colors by playing down his high brow champagne, jet-setting, lifestyle up to and including changing out of his Savile Row suits in the space of minutes, donning Doctor Martens and faded workman’s jeans to address the core Labour voters he needed to rise through the ranks of the party.

Labour's preferred footwear for all

Labour’s preferred footwear for all (Doc Martens – $70)

Which is why Labour is in deep trouble in Britain and especially in England where they must win if they are to ever return to power. As they continue to hope for a return to an England where everyone was ‘equal,’ where life was ‘fair,’ where it was fashionable to be dull and unattractive, middle England is voting firmly for less profligate government spending, more fiscal responsibility, stopping welfare cheats in their grubby tracks, tough immigration controls, having everyone pay their way rather than the state paying for them to loll about while the rest of the country goes to work, and deporting malcontents who have sworn allegiance to terrorist groups abroad.

That is what private-school-educated Chuka Umunna thinks as well and he admitted it recently when he said that Labour has just lost the last election because it was speaking too much against the rich and too much to the poor, without spending as much time speaking to the middle classes. It didn’t endear him to the Labour masses and he has turned tail before the ink was dry on his nomination papers.

Labour is thus going to elect yet another soggy socialist who must then go on to lose the next general election. And fittingly so. Unless, unless, the Tories implode over something thus far unseen.

I pray that they don’t – for the sake of my love of expensive shoes.