One of the most interesting things about the pearl of Africa is how strongly bound Ugandans are by a certain spirit. Now I know when I talk of spirits some of you, your minds fly back to your bu gods that you carry around in your handbags for the ladies and for the men those bu things that you carry in your wallets. To be sincere this article has nothing to do with those bu foolish things of yours.
What I’m referring to is this time round is what for those of you that have been in Kampala lately must have seen on some billboards; that stuff that says “The spirit that binds us.” It that spirit that some people who call themselves Christians pretend to detest so much as if they are not aware that Jesus at the wedding in Cana turned water into that spirit.
I even wonder whether those so Christians even know that Jesus on the last supper broke bread and dipped it into such a kind of spirit and said “take this in remembrance of me”. Are these Christians even aware that Paul urged Timothy to take a little of that spirit for the purposes of health. Now that is the spirit I am referring to here.
It is that spirit that has been given several names in Uganda but which mean that spirit. The scientist calls it alcohol; the Jew in the bible called it wine; an Itesot will argue that it is called Ajono; a Muganda will say it is called either Enguli or Mwenge Bigere. The ‘civilized’ ones even refer to it as “a drink”. Then some Munyankole may come in and say it is called Amaarwa but it is all and the same spirit.
Why is Alcohol so loved in Uganda?
The most amusing thing about this spirit is how much Ugandans love it. I hope most of you have heard of how Waragi, another name for the spirit, has murdered “fools” in this country. More than 30 people in Kabale, south western Uganda are reported to have so far died from drinking waragi. In the past many Ugandans have died from consuming this spirit.
What is surprising is that many Ugandans are not just about to give up with enjoying their communion with the spirit just because it has killed some people here and there in. Do not be surprised at the end of this year when you hear that our dear nation has performed spectacularly as far as consuming that spirit in concerned. By the way do not forget that our country has on a number of occasions done itself proud and featured among the best in alcohol consumption and not just on African standards but on world standards. That is what I mean when I talk of Uganda and “The spirit that binds us.”
Yes it is that spirit that makes us, we big men urinate in our trousers; it is that spirit that makes, we gentlemen shout and yell at whoever cares to listen to our foolish uttering; it is that spirit that makes us, the bright young men act silly at least for the moment. It is that spirit that gives us we the lustful men of this generation, the courage to express our sexual sensations to the daughters of Eve. It is that spirit that exhausts us, gives us a hangover and helps us forget about our stupid troubles that we face in this curse of a living.
No wonder that some call it Uganda Waragi. Therefore no matter what the hell dem say, we shall take the spirit. And let all Ugandans shout and say “For the spirit and our country!”
Please may I kindly ask that I take break at this moment and go and have a drink? Honestly, I promise that by the time I write next time I will surely be sober. So do not worry about me after all it is “The spirit that binds us.”
Keep following Zak as he delves into different issues, events and ideas concerning Ugandans with his youthful satire.