AfroGay would like to know which country this African man comes from and where he can be found. He is needed for research purposes:
Have you heard of the following names? Michaela and Tareq Salahi, Michael Semakula Kato Mulyoowa?
If you are living in America, you have heard about Michaela and Tareq Salahi unless you have been hiding under a stone. If you are Ugandan, you have heard about Michael Semakula Kato Mulyoowa even if you have been hiding under a stone.
And the reason why these characters are not to be missed in their respective countries is that they have made it a profession to ensure that they are not missed. The Salahis and Mulyoowa (aka Michael Ezra) have shown themselves to be masters of self promotion. More intriguingly for psychoanalysts should be the extent both sets of people will go to in their bid to create the impression that they are important.
The Salahis have made a whole life out of creating the impression that they are A-list celebrities, the culmination of which was their now infamous gate crashing of President Barack Obama’s State Dinner. They weren’t seated for the dinner itself because … their names were not on the guest list but they got past security, were introduced as invited guests and got to shake the president’s hand. And they have hogged acres of press time and space ever since. What emerges is a curious case of a couple who have gone to extreme lengths to create an elaborate deception that they are an “IT” couple. The sum total of it is that the Salahi’s are consummate scam artists who seem to live in a fantasy world that they perpetuate by inviting themselves to events, claiming to be what they are not and taking elaborate trouble to be seen with celebrities and then making tall stories about the resultant pictures they have carefully stored on Facebook.
Thousands of miles away, Michael Mulyoowa (Ezra) presides over an equally fake world that he has created and carefully nurtured with the connivance of a lazy press. He is on record as giving away 1bn/= (about $470,000 in today’s money) to the Ugandan press for no one is sure what. But it took months for the self-same press to admit that this money never materialized. Then he again appeared in the press as the proud owner of a custom made yellow Lamborghini. There has remained one problem with this story; the car has never been seen anywhere on Uganda’s roads. Perhaps his most daring pie in the sky story was the one where he put it about that he was going to buy Leeds Football Club for $130m. The story made headlines in Uganda but the Brits, being a little more circumspect about bombastic claims to money, checked Mulyoowa out and realized he was just a small boy talking big. They largely ignored his overtures with … silence.
|Mulyoowa – in the past|
Obviously, Mulyoowa doesn’t have $130m. There is simply no one in Uganda with that kind of money about whom so little is known. The New Vision uncovered his shady past and printed it, only for the story to go away far more quickly than one would have expected. One could sense a desperate desire by the Ugandan press to believe Ezra. And that in a nutshell has been his saving grace – a gullible press, willing to give Ezra more air time than he is worth. And so it was that he again managed to make headlines as the proud purchaser of a $250,000 Mont Blanc watch. Again a slight problem – to date there is no record of his having actually paid the money for this watch, and street wisdom suggests that if he has the watch, he duped the Arabs, and didn’t actually pay them for it. By the time he was pictured handing over a dummy check for $250,000 for the watch, the more discerning critics knew better than to go gaga over this person. Had Mulyoowa really paid $250,000 for the watch as was widely reported, he would have been due for a 50% Uganda Revenue Authority tax bill, putting him squarely among the top tax-paying individuals in Uganda for 2006. But the tax records for that year show no one with Michael Mulyoowa’s name as having paid the equivalent of $125,000 (about 230,000,000/= at the time) in taxes. Go figure.
Ezra is in the habit of bouncing small 2m/= ($900) car repair checks for lack of sufficient funds, and his mother’s house was once attached over his personal debt. The sum total of this man is that he is good at talking people into lending him a couple of thousand dollars, and he makes money from shady deals, likely related to underhanded political-related business (usually the same thing) . But his ability to blow up what can only be average wealth into the hundreds of millions of dollars is nothing if not breathtaking.
It is fairly apparent that people like the Salahis and Mulyoowas are driven by demons most of us can only guess at. Their obsessive desire to make headlines is as curious as it is mind-boggling, and it is usually their undoing. The Salahis finally overreached and gate-crashed a White House State dinner, bringing their make-believe world to the light. Mulyoowa, too, eventually overreached when he planted stories that he was going to buy an Airbus A380 airliner. Though his claims made the international press, most serious newspapers stayed away from the excitement. The last we heard from Mulyoowa was in October 2009 when the Kenyan police were after him for issuing a $20,400 check that bounced due to insufficient funds. He claimed diplomatic immunity in order to extricate himself from that embarrassment. The logical question to ask is what made Mulyoowa a diplomat, but enough on this person already, yes?
What do the following figures have in common? 72%, 95%, 95%, 95%
For the first clue, look at the quotation below, from a venerable judge in 1959 in his ruling that an interracial couple could not be married and live in the Commonwealth of Virginia:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
With that, he banished Mr. Loving and his wife Mildred (they had been married in Washington, DC where the law didn’t prohibit interracial marriage) out of Virginia into exile.
And what has any of this got to do with anything? Martin Ssempa likes quoting the statistics showing that 95% of Ugandans polled oppose the decriminalization of homosexuality, and don’t want any change in the Ugandan laws against homosexual activity. It is thus worth noting that Martin Ssempa’s wife, Tracey, is American and … white. Just 42 years ago, Martin Ssempa would have been liable to imprisonment and and/or exile purely on account of who he fell in love with, and 72% of the American public would have supported the law denying him the right to love his current wife. And of course, interracial marriage was against the American ‘culture’ in 1967 since it took the Supreme Court to buck public opinion for what Ssempa will today surely agree was the right thing.
So, what about the second 95%. That is the unofficial figure of Ugandan men who have cheated and/or will cheat on their wives. Among those are famous ones like General Kazini who recently died in the house of a Trollope he was publicly cavorting with while his wife slept in their marital home.
And the final 95%? That is also the unofficial figure of Ugandan men who see nothing wrong with men who cheat on their wives or take up with a line of women even after they get married. 95% is the likelihood that Martin Ssempa will NOT castigate adultery or march to Parliament against it.
All of which leads us to a salient quotation about selective use of statistics:
At last! The White House has come out unequivocally against the preposterous bill currently in Uganda’s Parliament:
Following Nsaba Buturo’s recent climb-down over aspects of the bill, this couldn’t have come at a better time to remind everyone that the entire bill is unacceptable.
Over to you now, David Bahati and Nsaba-Buturo. Following the widespread condemnation from everywhere, it doesn’t seem as though there is much else to say that will make these guys see the folly of their bill. But this is Uganda and don’t be surprised if Bahati comes out blowing yet more vitriol. Stubborn folly doesn’t go away quietly.
Something tells me, though, that we are going to hear less and less from Minister Nsaba Buturo on this matter. Don’t ask me how I know. Just listen for what comes out of his mouth where the anti-gay bill is concerned.
It may be early days yet but AfroGay for one thinks the tide has turned decisively against this bill.
David Bahati, Martin Ssempa, Stephen Langa: … listen … and learn.
One of the traits I have learnt to cultivate is one of cheerfulness. I decided some time ago that if anger and hatred chew me up and twist me inside, that doesn’t mean that those I am angry with or cheesed off about will notice, care or be affected. So, I only allow myself to harbor anger and hatred if I am a couple of pounds overweight and wish to shed them. To me, wallowing in anger and self pity is an excellent elixir for weight loss.
And so I am sitting in bed, listening to the incomparably coquettish Eartha Kitt doing what only she could do best; charming Santa into parting with small, little, simple gifts. The lyrics are simply delicious and I must post them here … to cheer myself up and to remind myself that it is the season of goodwill, love and understanding. With that in mind, this year AfroGay is asking Santa for nothing more than … a fully paid and serviced G 500 Gulf Stream, like the one The Hon. David Bahati’s party delivered to Uganda’s president in March of 2009. Talk about getting an early Christmas present.
SANTA BABY by Earth Kitt
While Uganda’s religious leaders were busy drafting resolutions that show how dim-witted they are, John Nagenda (I always thought that this name was spelled ‘Nnaggenda‘ but that is a discussion for another time), the president’s adviser cuts to the chase.
Money quote: What crime have same-sex lovers committed, per se, by being who they are? Would those who believe God made mankind exclude them, and on what grounds? … When times have changed, if they change enough, then these words will include a leavening of same-sex relationships. Gradualism is not a sin. But hunting down people for same-sex love I believe to be a sin, against Love, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind
What crime have same-sex lovers committed, per se, by being who they are? Would those who believe God made mankind exclude them, and on what grounds? … When times have changed, if they change enough, then these words will include a leavening of same-sex relationships. Gradualism is not a sin. But hunting down people for same-sex love I believe to be a sin, against Love, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind
Now compare that with the Neanderthal blathering of the religious dinosaurs:
On which planet are these prelates on? Do they understand that donor communities have sustained Ugandan lives for more than the last 30 years? Are Ugandan lives worth sacrificing for religious dogma? The mind boggles.
Anyhow, even as the cabal of religious relics were putting out their communique, rents were already showing amongst their ranks, and fittingly so. Religion is about being inclusive and so it stood to reason that some of the religious bodies in Uganda would find issues with the primitive resolutions reached in Entebbe by some of their colleagues. And they seem to have completely missed this exhortation by the Catholic Church for everyone to exercise restraint and compassion, the sum of which boils down to tolerance and inclusiveness:
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
AfroGay now a needs a drink.
We have just won one round!
Nsaba Buturo (Uganda’s Minister of Ethics) has caved in and accepted that the language condemning gays to life in prison or to death will be dropped:
Money quote from Bloomberg:
Now we can turn our attention to the rest of the preposterous clauses in this bill. We should not rest on our laurels. There is still a lot of work to be done. This is just the beginning.
AfroGay is betting some hours of sleep that it’s a matter of time before Robyn Rihanna Fenty returns to or wishes she was back with Chris Brown. If she has any sense, she should be calling, sending SMS texts and doing everything she can to take him back. One hopes that Chris Brown takes her back, too, because she is going to need him more than he will need her.
Brown and Rihanna – In happier times
And now Rihanna is trying to peddle an album that has likely come out without the preparation and thought that went into the phenomenally successful Good Girl Gone Bad and the fans are tepid about it. Rihanna doesn’t seem to know how to manage and, worse, she is alone. The photographs of her walking out of London night clubs in the wee hours of the morning – alone – don’t exactly tell the entire story but they say enough, don’t they? We are not exactly seeing Rihanna on cloud nine, are we?
Can someone please pass on AfroGay’s message to Miss Rihanna:
Rihanna darling: you started a fight with a man and he beat you up. That is what happens honey when you try to beat up on a man whether he is or is not cheating on you. Do, however, take comfort from the extraordinary lengths Chris Brown went to for a black man of his age to apologize so publicly and also do public penance. He has behaved with admirable restraint and maturity by refusing to trade ping-pong exhanges with you about the night of the bust up. He has also professed undying love for you.
If it is the cheating that worries you, honey, slinging their hook is what [especially] black men do and if you had any doubts, pick up any newspaper and read about Tiger Woods. Sleeping with other women doesn’t mean that your man doesn’t love you. It is just a guy thing as you will discover if you find someone else.
Rihanna darling, despite Oprah’s lectures (and she can afford the lectures, thank you very much) about Chris Brown being an abuser, you started this particular fight – you admitted that much yourself. Think of your career, too, darling. You are not yet established as a solid talent with a respectable body of work so you professionally need Brown more than he needs you. As you can see, you have no man and your career is already teetering on the edge of the abyss. Chris Brown complimented you as a lover and artistic collaborator. Pick up the phone, honey, and ask to meet him in a place where it is just the two of you. Thrash out your differences and get back with your man. Because if you don’t a million other girls, and a few men AfroGay knows about, are willing, ready and able to do whatever it takes to snag him.
I have waited almost six months to write about this experience for two reasons; the first one is that if there is a nosy official reading this, he/she will surely forgive me for admitting to a little spliffy indiscretion in the liberal free-for-all that is Amsterdam. The second one is that it has taken me this long to finally come to grips with exactly how my puffy experience made me feel.
After arriving at our hotel in Haarlem, our bags stowed and a nice meal out of the way, we took the train to Amsterdam, about 30 minutes away and arrived there at about 5pm.
I have been to Amsterdam before – many years ago. That first time we drove all the way from London, arrived in the evening just in time for evening rush hour. By the time we had dropped our bags, I had caught a cold so bad that I could hardly breath through my nostrils. We nonetheless went out into the cold, dreary evening, had one of the best steaks I have ever had at what I still think was an Argentinian restaurant (those I was with insist it wasn’t) took in a puff (or two, or three) at the nearest coffee shop and I retired to bed because the cold finally won the war over my body.
So, I really didn’t feel the effects of the three (or four, or five) puffs I took because I went to bed almost immediately thereafter … congested and very, very tired.
This past summer, I again found myself in Amsterdam, in a perfect frame of mind and with nary a cold despite the rather subdued summer weather compared to the barmy and sultry temperatures I had left back home. But I digress.
Once off the Haarlem to Amsterdam train, we made our way to the pot district. Upon inquiry, we were directed to a coffee shop which was directly right there in front of us. Talk about looking for the police station at the police precinct. The shop was empty but the lady behind the counter couldn’t have been more friendly. She took us through the absolutely bewildering array of varieties of weed with such names as super silver, gold, Congolese and goodness knows what else. Despite the braggadocio I felt from the stuff not having affected me 15 years ago, we decided to settle for what the ‘coffee’ lady said was the milder stuff.
Joints were rolled and in no time, we were puffing away merrily. About 10 minutes later, we got up and left. I didn’t feel any effect on me whatsoever, and I began to conclude that I was really immune to this cannabis psychedelic nonsense.
Then I began to notice that the city was becoming quieter and quieter. Though I could see people milling around everywhere, they were not saying a word and they were passing us by in total silence. The silence was quite reminiscent of a movie I watched many years ago about the after-effects of a nuclear explosion. Before leaving ‘our’ coffee shop, we had mapped out on a city planner where we were going to next. It seemed to be a couple of minutes away and when we left the coffee shop we headed there right away.
We walked down one alley, to the canal, down another alley, to the promenade, all the time carefully reading from our map. After walking like that for what seemed like forever, we admitted to ourselves that we were lost. That was when I started giggling uncontrollably. We checked our map again, established our bearings and headed down yet another alley. And we walked, and walked, and walked. The alley seemed to go on and on forever and, worse, it seemed to me that lifting one foot off the ground and placing it in front of me was taking an eternity.
There was no denying it anymore. I was stoned. And we were now hopelessly lost in the middle of Amsterdam. But we hadn’t come all the way to spliff city to get lost within a couple of hundred feet so we assured ourselves that we would figure out where our destination was. As we studied our map, two ladies came up to us, showed us their map and asked for directions. After admitting that we were just visitors, too, we helped them figure out where they wanted to go and off they went – giggling.
By now, the city was deathly silent. My mouth and lips were dry and I had this feeling of being spaced out, of light-headedness and being on cloud nine. I was also feeling slightly giddy and nauseous. I had to sit down. Around this time, we were around The Bull Dog coffee shop and we sat down across from it.
Sitting in front of The Bulldog, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was seeing the same people walk by again and again, sort of like in a movie that keeps on rewinding itself and playing from the same point. I was glad to be sitting down because my legs had turned to lead and I was feeling distinctively woozy.
And then came my own silence. Normally garrulous without any prompting, I no longer wanted to lift my tongue. I watched the recurring images of my mental movie replaying themselves again and again as the same people walked past – in silence. My brain’s reaction was a couple of seconds slow and I couldn’t be bothered to think. It nonetheless became quiet apparent to me, despite my stoned state, that the reason why I seemed to be seeing the same people again and again was that they were all stoned, or lost or both. I giggled idiotically at my realization.
I was also hungry, ravenously hungry. That, however, didn’t stop the overwhelming feeling I had of being part of a Pollyanna-esque existence that made me feel like donning a garland of flowers around my neck and handing out spade-fulls of love and understanding while singing Kumbaya. And I could still not stop the giggling about the absurdity of it all, the sense that I had puffed myself into a befuddled state where I was not in touch with my mental or physical faculties.
Slowly, gradually, the effects of my six (or seven or eight or nine or ten or whatever) puffs wore off and we set out again to look for the destination we were planning on when we left ‘our’ coffee house in the first place. As we sought it, I knew that I was done smoking spliffs for that day, and for many more days to come. We eventually arrived at our destination which was barely a fifteen minute walk from ‘our’ coffee house.
Despite having drunk coffee and wolfed down two or three pastries, I was still hungry. We ended up at a the Grasshopper restaurant near the Amsterdam train station. Just as I had done 15 years earlier, I ordered steak. It was one of the worst steaks I had ever eaten in any restaurant anywhere, but I finished every morsel of it completely.
By the time we left the Grasshopper, it was close to midnight … and time to head back to Haarlem. And I was still giggling uncontrollably like an idiot who has stolen a sneak peek at Mother Superior’s unflattering knickers.