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the
December 2009
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A Splash and a dash
Ernest Bazanye

Idle Thoughts of a guilty lawyer
Bee’s Thoughts

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Count Your Blessings
Xiona

26

Troubadour’
Darlkom

Album Review:

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The Truth About Climate Change
rhinorck

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Deck the halls...
10things I hate about christmas
www.workzine.com ISBN 978-9972-695-76-5 9 993726 993726

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ice breakers
get the party started!

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The Shrink Is in
rhinorck

6 11 11 11

Business Watch
Yusuf Mulinya

Drunken Medics
Linda Lillian

Bloody Tomato Sauce
Ivan Mugisha

The WorkZine rocking you from the desk Editor: Abid Were workzine@gmail.com Editor: Raymond Kukundakwe krays_ug@yahoo.co.uk Designer: Cistech Solutions http://www.cistech.ug The WorkZine is a tri-weekly publication aimed at the working class corporate crony like you. Yes, you. To advertise please contact either of the edotors listed above or visit our visit our website at www.workzine.com

The Shrink Is In
I like to think of myself as a shrink, infact one of the subjects I wish to study one day is that of Psychology. I have a desire to understand how other people feel about things and of late it’s brought me into conflict with the world.

I

have spent much of this year trying to understand life and death and making a choice as to what they should mean to me. I think all human beings should engage in an attempt to comprehend the meaning of Liberty, because sadly while many of us may think we are free, our minds are still shackled by the indoctrination we endure as children..

Life, has no meaning. No. There is no one above the sky, at least, we haven’t met anyone up there yet. . I am sorry to report that despite whatever fantasies we may have as regards our importance in the universe, we are nothing more than a bunch of primates in the process of evolution. Those of us predisposed to scientific fact will know that as far as humanity is concerned, the earth is about 4 billion years old, the universe, a staggering 13 billion years old. By the most conservative estimate, that of Sir Francis Crick of the DNA fame, humanity has been around for approximately 100,000 years at the most. The palaeontologists, the people who comb the pages of time trying to piece together what the earth has been like through the ages, report that over 90% of the species of life that have ever lived are no more. Those who study the stars have brought irrefutable evidence that our earth is an infinitesimal speck in the vast mystery that is the universe. The evidence is strong that the sun, the very thing that makes life possible on earth will die in a couple of billion years from now. Biologists say that the species that will watch our sun die will be as

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different from us as we are from amoeba. Truly appreciating these facts should be enough to humble even the most egomaniacal bastard on the planet. The message from history is simple; we must evolve or die out. So what is it that makes us so unique from all other life on earth? Is it the fact that a huge swathe of humanity believes that around 3000 years ago, as far as we can tell, a certain tribe of bumbling primates was visited by a divine being of irrefutable power and sovereignty and granted favour and leave to rule the earth? Or that the same being or another one entirely different appeared to another bunch of primates and told them that they had leave to spread their message to the ends of the earth at any cost? Or is the truth in fact that we are just like any other species trying to make sense of our brief and meaningless existence as a footnote in the history of the universe? Why do we think we are so different from ants? I don’t know the truth, I have the humility to realise that I know nothing for sure and that to seek to impose my views on any other individual is to deny them the Liberty of using their minds to answer what truly are metaphysical questions. I have heard it said that we, as humanity, know less and less about life, the universe and everything than we did a century ago and the beauty of that fact is that we know less and less about more and more. Life is not defined by manmade boundaries but purely in the way you choose to perceive it; if your religion helps give you a definition of it, then so be it, simply reserve my right to have my own definition of it. The point of all this drivel is simply to impress upon you the fact that your life and the world you live in is yours to mould. Only you have the ability to change and impact the world you live in, first by understanding your place in it and realising that there is no limit to your potential. So life to me is nothing more than a process of evolution and my part in it is to do my bit as far as the survival of our species is concerned while taking some sort of meaning from it. I choose to do this by putting down my thoughts for posterity; by teaching the younger generation that if we are to survive as a species we must work together. I’m off to get drunk and hopefully interesting things will happen after that. Have yourselves a merry christmas and a happy new year my fellow primates.
@rhinorck<Your editor is intensely depressed but he hopes to get over it soon. Infact, he’s probably heading for a pint after he sends this damn zine.>

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Idle Thoughts of a Gulity Lawyer
“After being in the field for a year and a half, I now know that it’s the commercial law that pays. I know that I will not touch litigation with a long 2,000,000 inch pole because I know with our judicial system it will be several years before I receive a verdict”

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knew that I wanted to be a lawyer at the age of 12. Before that, I had always wanted to be a doctor since the whole idea of me being able to “heal” another human being fascinated me. But a conversation with my mom one evening on the drive home from school when I was in p.6 made me change my mind. She kinda hinted that my dad would be really proud of me if I took after him. And a few years after that, those monthly “thingys” we women face kind of drove it home…I cannot stand the sight of blood (sorry for being gross, but I had to explain it). Law is a sort of tradition in my family, my father is a lawyer, so is my sister, my uncle, my aunt and several cousins-but we did not plan as a family to be lawyers, somehow it just happened.
When I was younger, the main reason I wanted to do law was help the poor and the innocent. This was obviously way way waaay before I entered a law lecture room, because I look back now and I never took any human rights classes while at university. All the subjects that had a human face to them, such as constitutional law and administrative law, I only did because they were compulsory. Before law school I had all these ideas of what a lawyer should be and what sort of cases people should take, all these ideas obviously shaped by all those John Grisham novels I love to read. But now, to be honest, after six years of studying law, two degrees down and me being an enrolled advocate, all I can think about is money, money, money. I want to do syndicated loans, and reorganizations on insolvent companies, leasing, company formation, deal with dominant companies and how to control them…. I only think about the money. After being in the field for a year and a half, I now know that it’s the commercial law that pays. I know that I will not touch litigation with a long 2,000,000 inch pole because I know with our judicial system it will be several years before I receive a verdict and any pay from a client, unless it’s a big corporate client who you can constantly keep billing for your expenses. I realize that in the little time I have been part of the working class, the only litigation I have done is when I’m helping out a friend, or when I have to assist one of the more senior advocates in my firm to adjourn a case when they cannot make it to court.

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I realize that my outlook on my profession makes me seem greedy, and selfish, and trust me there are so many times when I feel exactly that way. But I think that after six years of sweating it out in three different law schools, someone [read: client] has got to pay me for all that stress I went through! Okay. Now I feel just plain mean. But i hope it is not selfish to just want to succeed and be a superb lawyer in the area I have chosen, which is Corporate Finance Law. I must admit that one of the reasons I chose Corporate Finance Law was because I felt that the human rights law area is saturated with lawyers who really have a huge interest in protection and advocating for the rights of those who really cannot do it for themselves. But the major reason, which I am really ashamed to admit, was obviously the money. And now that I am writing about it I feel really bad. It’s not that I am not interested in helping those who cannot help themselves, but I am interested more in something that appeals to me–companies, and all the stuff that comes with them. In my free time (and sometimes when I’m busy), I give to the disadvantaged, and I have no issues with taking on any number of pro bono cases. In any event when I have to, I will defend any client to my death!!!!! But it is not something I would want to do every hour of my working day because honestly my passion is corporate finance and obviously the money, actually making lots and lots of money so I can retire young. I hope my thoughts do not give anyone a wrong view of the legal profession because I only speak for myself. The majority of my peers would probably
disagree with me; it’s just that for me it’s honestly all about the money. Does this make me a mean bad person?? I don’t know, maybe you guys will tell me.

Bee <The writer is obviously a lawyer and her services are available to the highest bidder>

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am a busy man. A very busy man. I don’t have time for malarkey, codswallop, or any of the many varieties of nonsense others in the media are constantly getting up to. I am a busy man. Silina budde bwakuwankawanka, to put it succinctly. I should translate that Luganda phrase for the benefits of readers in Burundi, but there might be kids reading and wankawanka sounds like it could turn out to mean something filthy. A few minutes ago I was struck by thirst. I decided to slake that shit with a Splash. (Buy Uganda, Buy Quality).

a splash and a dash! I
So I leapt up off my desk (I am very agile for my age) and sprinted out of the office (my age is 44, thank you for asking). Up the staircase I ran, down the corridors I flew, through the alleyway I rocketed, past Vision Voice Radio and out of the door I torpedoed, headed with conviction and single-mindedness of a guided missile to the container that sits hideously outside our beautiful new office building. There are no canteen facilities in our office building because it is beautiful. Too beautiful for our administration to permit any chance of rats and roaches. I got to the container, handed the rude woman there a five

k note, and said, “Give me Splash, you balding witch!” With her, I have learnt to practice pre-emptive rudeness. She gave me my change and I jetted back to my desk at similar speed and following a trajectory similar to the one exhaustively described already. Only when I got back to my desk I could not find the Splash anywhere. I thought to myself, “Mr Bazanye, you have finally lost it.” The Splash, not my mind. This mind is so big it cannot be misplaced. I could honestly not remember. I was about to get all my colleagues to stand up

and empty their pockets. There was going to be some fracas in this office, I swear, until sanity (other peoples’ sanity) prevailed and someone suggested I go back to the rude woman. I had to eventually walk back, at more sober and sedate pace this time, to the container to get the Splash I had bought and left lying on the counter. The rude woman snorted at me as she handed it over. If there is a point to this whole story, I hope you find it soon. Ernest Bazanye <The writer “shovels coal for Satan”, sometimes, he also writes funny stuff and likes Guinness >

Know Your Rights
The Employment Act 2006 Did you know that in case of an employee dying during the term of a contract of service his or her heirs or legal representatives shall be entitled to the wages and any other remuneration due to the employee at the date of death? Where an employee dies while at work or travelling to his or her place of work, the employer shall be required to transport the employee’s body to a place of burial as notified by that employee’s next of kin.
@Jaqa

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Business Watch:

The Next Credit Crunch

Barefoot Power
Barefoot Power is a social entrepreneurial business. We design and manufacture technology products specifically for poor people that have the potential to reduce poverty in developing countries. We believe that energy access is one of the key building blocks of economic development. Our first area of focus, therefore, is on the most basic use of electricity - lighting. Over US$10 billion is spent each year on kerosene for lighting in the homes of the poor in developing countries (see Lighting Africa and the Lumina Project). Our mission is to help poor families to stop spending their scarce cash by giving them a better and cheaper option. We are declaring war on kerosene! To do this, we have developed a range of affordable quality lighting products and initiated their mass manufacture. We aim to establish an efficient grassroots distribution network to supply the poor with these and other 21st century technology products. If you’re interested in any of our products are, please contact :

Just as you thought you had had enough of the credit crunch, you stumble upon this article. This article predicts yet another credit crunch. This time, it will not be about bad decisions big people in big banks made. It will be about bad decisions small people in small businesses are making, which collectively will tip, and have a big impact.
We are going to experience what I should coin ‘The Supplier Credit Crunch’. This crunch is greatly going to affect the so-called big super-markets, leading to the collapse of the Supermarket model. And what is the supermarket model? Let me begin with a small background that describes the supermarket model. These businesses, the supermarkets, largely thrive on the fact that they are able to obtain huge supplier credit. They invest heavily in premises to obtain shelf space and parking space for the potential thousands of customers, possibly in more than one location. They further invest in state of the art IT systems to ensure accurate tracking of the thousands of items they will be dealing in. These IT systems include barcode scanners, point of sale systems, security systems, and fully integrated inventory management information systems. They then finance their businesses purely on supplier credit. A basic study of supplier credit will let you know that it’s the cheapest form of credit available to a business. All the supermarkets do is guarantee suppliers that they have the perfect location and are thus capable of attracting many customers thus promising suppliers big business. The suppliers quickly sign supply contracts with these supermarkets, availing goods on free credit ranging between 30, 60 and 90 days. The Supermarkets open, the customers stampede through the
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BaseTechnologies
P.O. Box 11373 Kampala Uganda +256773709612 beccas@barefootpower.com www.barefootpower.com

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doors, and as they promised their suppliers, big business flows in. As more items are taken off the shelves by the customers, more are added on by the suppliers. Everyone seems to be happy. However, here is the trouble, and let me illustrate this with an example. Suppose Supplier X signed a contract to supply Tinned food to a large supermarket Y-Mart, and in turn the supermarket agrees to pay each invoice of goods supplied after say 30days. On day 1, supplier X delivers goods worth Shs.5m, payable on day 30. Since the supermarket mands of the supermarket, and at best he takes on bank credit which charges 24% interest per annum, and at worst goes to a money lender who charges 24% per month. To add insult to injury, Y-Mart, the supermarket, refuses to honour its obligation of the 30 days and instead decides to pay after 45 days, despite the thousands of complaints from the supplier. The supermarkets seem to use their big names to play dirty. The bubble grows further, until the supplier cannot handle it and either closes shop, or halts his supplies. In a nutshell, this is the ‘best practice’ throughout the supermarket industry. It is frightening to note that billions of shillings worth of goods are outstanding in these supermarkets, and yet this goes on unregulated. What is even more frightening is that suppliers agreed to give this kind of credit without any sort of due diligence. How does one allow a supermarket to hold Shs.30m worth of stock without any credit checks or collateral, yet your bank will not give you Shs.30m without checking your 3 year audited financial statements and asking for collateral? These are the bad decisions small businesses are making which are going to have a big impact. One can only hope that the remedy for this is for suppliers to form an association that holds their interests at heart. This association should, among other things, carry out due diligence on behalf of members, give credit ratings to supermarkets, negotiate favourable payment terms and generally act as a pressure group which keeps these large supermarkets’ greed in check, to save us from the looming Supplier credit crunch. Yusuf Mulinya Edge Consult Ltd

he takes on bank credit which charges 24% interest per annum, and at worst goes to a money lender who charges 24% per month.
is generating good business, these goods are taken off the shelves in an instant, thereby requiring the supplier to avail more goods. Supplier X at the end of the week delivers more goods worth Shs.7m, and this invoice will be paid on day 37. the cycle goes on and on, until the supplier realises after 30 days that he has over 5 invoices outstanding totalling to over Shs.30m, and yet only the first invoice of Shs.5m is due to be paid. The bubble starts growing. Usually at this point, the supplier realises he needs to re-finance his business to keep up with the de-

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randomness is back

{Friends}

1. Friends don’t let friends sleep with each other... or touch each other in special places. Boys if you ever meet a woman who says she can sleep with you, with no strings attached, she is a liar- RUN, she is lying to you. I know this. 2. Friends do not give each other Back rubs If I am your friend, and I’m giving you a back rub, be sure i want to see you naked... why would i be giving you a rub if i don’t want to pop those clothes off. 3. Friends don’t hold each other while sleeping in the same bed I do know, and through experience that a man and a woman can share a bed and nothing between the two happens. But if you make a mistake of holding each other while sleeping, then ‘things’ are going to get out of hand (har!)... Don’t take that walk {sleep} of shame as friends. 4. Just don’t sleep with your friends, it does not make sense. 5. Friends the truth is I just want to share with you that Halle Berry picture and truthfully I do not care what you and your friends do between each other. 6. Friends if it so happens that you have to, between the two of you, don’t forget that rubber. 7. Friends if we do not hook up...Happy Holidays Normzo <The writer is very friendly and keeps a blog at http://normzo.blogspot.com>
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To Arthur!
2009 marked 250 years since Arthur Guiness came up with the Guiness formula. This festive season, the Workzine would like to invite all of you to raise a glass in honor of a great man and a great brew. There is a drop of greatness in every man and for some there is an ocean.

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Work Diary
Day: Friday Time Check – 9:03 am Location: The Office Our Brother has just arrived at the office, he sings in and shares a light moment with colleagues. Pours a cup of tea which he gently sips on while biting away at the doughnuts provided by the Company on a daily basis which are big, tasty and absolutely free! He runs through the day’s papers and heads off to his workstation. He does have a long day ahead of him after all. Time Check: 9:15 am Location: Workstation He has just logged into his facebook account and notices there are a gazillion of his buddies online. This is the right time to find out how their nights were, what plans they have for the day and if anyone has tagged him in any silly pictures. After replying to most of the comments after his, its starting to seem like he might not leave facebook so he does the honorable thing and leaves his home page by clicking on the bookmarked link below the page - ‘Mafia Wars’ Time Check: 10:15 am Location : Still at the Workstation An hour down at the work place and so far his day’s activities are unfolding so fast. For sure he’s going to spend no more than 30 minutes on Mafia wars… he promises himself!!. Time Check: 11:30 Location : The Damn Workstation Somehow, he could not leave mafia wars with all that energy and stamina still full so he had to use it all up and in the process, he leveled up which meant he had to stay a little longer to use up the new energy that the Godfather has just given him. Just 30 more minutes Time Check: 12:30 pm Location: To the Loo and then back to the workstation He really needs to start on this office work or else the Boss is bound to come asking how far he has gone with the report for the AGM .he quickly looks at the files on his desk and starts looking through them one by one with extreme care and attention. Then he hears a pop sound coming from his Computer… notifications. Beatrice just commented on his status. He looks left, looks right and concludes that most of his colleagues are busy observing stuff on their PC screens so he stealthily clicks on the notification with the innocent intention of replying it and getting back to work. Then he notices that Cathy just dropped him email asking him for the weekend plot. This one must be attended to quickly or else the weekend plot might not be realized. As he is replying the email, his boss’ head appears from around the edge of the wall. He minimizes whatever is on his PC desktop and throws a serious gaze at the files in front of him. his concerned Boss asks “How far with the report?”. Almost immediately, our brother answers, “Not good. Not good at all. There is a lot of analysis I have to do so it might take a little longer. But I’m working on it all the same. Before the end of today it will be ready.” The big man re-emphasizes the importance of the report and heads off to his chambers. Time check: 1:10 pm Location: Anywhere away from the office It’s LUNCH TIME. No matter how much work is left, this is HIS TIME. So he gently but confidently walks away from his work station making sure he has signed out of Faceobok, yahoo, myspace, youtube and meebo; plus two excel windows with bizarre accounts are maximized and left for whoever is interested to see, just in case some nosy work mate might want to know if he has actually be doing some real stuff. Time Check 2:20 pm Location: Back to the Workstation Back from lunch. Really full and feeling too lazy to complete the report. So he logs back into yahoo hoping to chat with a buddy of his across the room; a more reliable and more focused worker who by all means will have no problem helping out a buddy especially if deadlines are involved; of course at a fee. He sends for the office messenger who dutifully shows up and picks the files to deliver them to the more focused brother in the accounts section of the company. Time Check 2:45 pm Location: Workstation a (our brother) and b (focused brother) He sends a quick instant message to the focused brother to ask how far he has gone with the work and the focused brother asks him to come over to discuss some issues. This is a chance to show the boss that they work is actually complex and probably needs more work. So he noisily makes his way to the focused brother’s desk, making it a point to raise his voice when yapping about the files. The Big Boss

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Work Diary
passes by the focused brother’s desk. The rather loud and attention-seeking conversation between focused brother and our brother goes to a whole new level. This time round, it’s twice as loud. It lasts a painful 3 minutes and the brother heads back to the desk, more sure than ever that his boss now knows he is the focused one. Time Check 3:15 pm Location: Brother’s Location An email has just arrived. Hopefully it’s a reply from Cathy confirming the weekend plot. He heads off to his email inbox and finds one email awaiting his eyes. It seems the other focused brother is actually twice as focused as was expected because he has not only compiled the report; he has included all the whole working process in the email. So our brother is excited and immediately he changes his facebook status – ‘Brother is feeling like a million dollars’. Time Check 4:00 pm Location – Brother’s Workstation This might be the longest hour in all history! But our brother lands on a ton of luck because outside brother’s window, the big boss seems to be pulling out of the drive way. Seems like big boss is leaving sooner than usual. This is a good sign because finally, the weekend can begin. Just as he is signing against his name in the Report Book, he receives a phone call from …. The Big Boss!!! “Brother, if you have completed the report, please email it to each of the directors, print and leave a copy for me on my desk.”, brother happily retorts, “Yes sir. In fact I have just dispatched the emails right now. How many printed copies do you want Sir?” The Big Boss replies,, ‘Just one will do .” So brother heads back to his desk and quickly re-opens his email to forward the report. He gets through with it in 30 seconds but realizes he has 3 unread emails. He opens them hastily and one of them directs him to his facebook inbox for a message. The link takes him to a message from Gary, “Lets link up at the Nfunda in an hour.” Time Check 6:55 Pm Location: The Nfunda The boys have gathered to start the weekend in style. Our brother, being the chief weekend enthusiast will explain how his day at work has been very hectic and how the Boss was on his neck for a report whose deadline was 5pm that very day. But trust his skills and experience to do the work very well yet in time. All the boys raise their liquor filled glasses and propose a toast – To the all the hardworking young millionaires!! Bernard Ewalu Olupot, P.R.O, Voice Communication (U) Ltd< The Writer is a critic of folks who love weekends, public holidays and festivities more than he does. He considers himself the epitome of all things anti-work.>

Prose and Poetry
In Better Hands by Marie Blue Petal I took one leap of faith Far from all the comfort And I fell right into your girth Then all my pain turned to dust I never knew your affection Would fill up the void in my soul Or the loneliness aching in my heart. I nestle my life in your palms I now know no suffering or sorrow All I have is peace and joy That you tickle me every day with laughter. I am your child; I call you father You walked on water And calmed the storm in me. I am in better hands now.

Here by the Fireside Here by the fireside we sing songs Songs of love and songs of wonder Life is a journey of rights and wrongs And sometimes everything is torn asunder But life is wonder up above or down under So I heard a girl say, named Susanna And all that you build and all that you plunder Will pass on the winds before the thunder This world is neither yours nor mine to barter A visitor from distant lands I come to wander Life is what you make it and no harder Such things I have learnt on this road I wander RCK

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10 things I hate about Christmas
The season is upon us and I still don’t understand why we can’t take our end of year break from the 10th. ‘Mbu’ what is the December salary for? So here I am stuck in office doing, well, nothing. Since I’m clearly running low on good cheer, allow me to expend my foul mood (Yes, I am sulking. ‘Nga’ some people are in the second week of their Christmas break? Wait, ‘oba’ she was fired?) Anyhow, these are some of the things I will not be looking forward to this season. 1. The late Christmas break (obviously). 2. The issue of presents. First, we don’t get any. Since my mom stopped buying my clothes, this concept has become an estranged one in our home, and to revive it, would only mean that mummy would have to pick out clothes for me. We will be grateful for shelter and food, and want nothing more. Second, I need to recall which sibling started the idea of collecting money to buy our parents presents. As the eldest and the only one working, I get the privilege of topping up on the amount collected. Don’t be fooled, this is more often than not, the lions’ share. I suggest that if we don’t get presents, neither should they. Emancipation, togetherness and all that...

3. The issue of the tree. The people on TV make Christmas trees look so inviting. All nice and green; with lights, shiny things and presents all around them. Fortunately, we have all woken up to the fact that our tree will never look even half as good, regardless of whether it is artificial (xmas 1999 – 2001) or natural (every other xmas before and after that). Why mummy still insists is beyond me. So we will have a tree (if you can call it that) up on the morning of the 25th, and take it out when the leaves turn brown (usually around the 12th). 4. The text messages. The same text messages. Over, and over, and over again! 5. The “kavuyo” at church on Christmas day. PS: It is easy to spot those of you who have not been in attendance for the past 364 days. This does not give you the right to push and shove, considering we have not received a mite of your tithe all year. Thank God for small graces, Christmas services can be conducted from the comfort of your living room, in front of a TV. And then ‘kara’ fires.... 6. Clearing up and doing the dishes after the ‘xmas luncheon’. I have been advocating for the use of disposable tableware for the past five years. Mummy insists that Jesus will not be pleased, and neither will she. I am petitioning Jesus on this matter. 7. Those insensitive friends who still go to the village as if they don’t have responsibilities here. What am I supposed to do in that week between Christmas and New Years’ Eve?

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8. The six days between Christmas day and New years’ eve. The boredom is so intense, we have adopted activities such as sun gazing and wind smelling. 9. The guy at the depot in Kamwokya whose disregard for law abiding citizens and life in general is remarkable. Warm soda? We might as well stand in the rain with our tongues out, and even then, we will get cooler refreshment. We are so going to Nakumatt. 10. The movies on TV filled with white Christmases, colour coordinated house decor, presents, hot chocolate, well stuffed turkey and proper Christmas trees. Even the cartoons are in on this. Oh, the resentment!! 11. The network jams on New Years’ Eve. Some of us are trying to reach out to our loved ones in “outside countries”. It is our last shot to petition for gifts under the guise of ushering them into the New Year. You know how it is. Acting like they don’t have money ‘nga’ they are holding dollars and pounds. Credit crunch my foot! In closing; it is unfortunate that Santa doesn’t exist, and even more, you are an adult (When did this happen? I don’t know). So no one is going to drop anything in your lap this season, we must all look out for our own laps and the laps of those less fortunate than ourselves. That being said, there is no such thing as an early present so don’t be shy, and stock up on those random acts of kindness this time round. Merry Christmas!!
Beqy <The writer has been nice and bit naughty this year and hopes Santa can be reasoned with>

Christmas Hangout: Hassan’s Joint

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Drunken and Drugged Medics

In normal circumstance we are scared of drug addicts and alcoholics. But what happens when the medical practitioner treating you is both a drug addict and alcoholic. In Uganda there has been a steady growth of alcoholism and drug abuse among medical practitioners. The absurd part is it goes unnoticed.
ing their own lives. Lilian Kabugho ,a nurse, sums up the misery stating “some medical practitioners are desperate.” Bigabwa supports her argument citing the stress factor in medical practice as a cause of substance abuse. Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ezra Suruma is quoted to have pointed out that the health system in Uganda continues to suffer from poor service delivery and inefficiency, including medicine stock-outs, poor attendance by health workers, corruption, and poor services. These are reflections of the strain in Ugandan medical practice where it is noted that in 2008 only 2000 Ugandan Doctors were registered under the Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council while the majority fled the country for greener pastures. However with the growing knowledge of these problems Uganda has to seek a way out, if medical practitioners are to be alleviated from the stress as well as temptation of alcoholism and drug abuse. It is known that Uganda lacks medical practitioners to cover its vast population of about 30 million people, but having the few health specialists in a tipsy state makes it worse.
Linda Lillian <the writer is a lecturer, sometimes radio talk show host, on and off musician and poet when angry!>

According to Bigabwa Kenneth<a clinical officer> ,drinking among health workers is a common problem because it relieves stress . Jude, a clinician working with the Bushenyi local government, argues that exposure to blood and pus regularly causes alcohol abuse by medical practitioners. “If you are from the surgical ward and you don’t drink you can lose appetite,” he explains. Tutamwebwa ,a medic from Bushenyi ,asserts that clients cause medical practitioners to drink, “someone will give you alcohol in appreciation for the service you have given. People buy them into the habit,” he argues. Ocheng ,a laboratory technician, also points out that most medical practitioner’s drink to socialize. That is the chance they get off work. “Drinking is mostly rampant during football matches,” he notes. The New South Wales Medical Board states “doctors are not immune to problems with drugs or alcohol. Apart from the general risk factors they share with the rest of the community, doctors may be exposed to particular risks relating to, the demands, responsibilities and stress of their professional life, conflict between their professional and personal lives, easy access to prescription drugs , self-treatment and reluctance of colleagues to confront or deal with early warning signs. The stakes are high in the case of doctors with drug or alcohol problems where the well being, and even the lives of patients under their care may potentially be at risk. There are real and tragic examples of patients dying as a direct result of their intoxicated doctor’s addiction. Even more it should be noted that medical practitioners indulging in drugs and alcoholic lifestyles end up devastatTate facilis modolobor sequat

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President Museveni Update:
In a rare show of transparency, Museveni has decided to open up about some of the things that rile him.

Europeans and Chinese don’t die, his bathtub does not get cleaned up and will Bishops please stop consoling people?
Apparently the president does not like it when these Bishops say of somebody that has died that “God has called him or her. But Now, we would have all appreciated it more if I always wonder, why does He only call Afhe had told us exactly how many more years he ricans and not Europeans or Chinese?” intends to rule for, or why he appointed Janet Minister, and does she really own Garden City? According to him, this is how all bishHow much money does he have on his bank ac- ops should proceed with funeral services count etc, but I guess anything he decides to unleash, we will be more than happy to hear. “Dorene’s dead. Not that God called her or anything, she just died. In an accident. Dust to dust…” At the burial of V .P’s son (RIP) Museveni was given an opportunity to speak. In his Museveni then summoned Gen. Gutti (the own words, Museveni had never really met commandant at Kabamba where Brian was doBrian the deceased so it is only fair that he ing Cadre training) to explain why all the other talk about well, anyone but the deceased. co-travelers in the same car weren’t as affected (i.e. why did they not die). Would it have In his speech carried by the Red Pepper (Pg. 28 made him feel any better had the other occuRed Pepper November 11, 2009.) , Museveni pants of the fateful vehicle perished as well? started by attacking the cause of Brian’s death as reckless over speeding drivers. Now as if we Sevo also revealed that State House maids did not already know this, he told us that his do not scrub the bathtub thoroughly and own drivers over speed and will not listen to him that is why the other day ‘God had almost anymore when he tells them to stop over speed- called him’ when he slipped in the tub. ing. Nobody listens to the president anymore! Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed readOver speeding taken care of, it was time to tell ing the story that featured this interview. off the pretentious of society. Museveni went on to accuse Bishops of consoling mourners! The The Antipop <The writer is a former scribe and audacity! How dare they come to officiate at a works with a reputable PR firm whose name we funeral and come with words of encouragement can’t recall right now. > and consolation? Who do they think they are?

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Climate Change
Why you should give a damn!
ou know it, I know it and everybody knows it. The weather’s not like it used to be. I’ve been around for twenty something years and I can tell that the weather’s changed a lot since I was a kid. We used to have two rainy seasons, now I don’t know how many we have. It’s a lot hotter than it used to be, millions of people are facing hunger and starvation, sea levels are rising and some countries might disappear from the map.

Y

Despite what the politicians would have you believe, global warming is real. I’m not sure what most of you think about it but from the information available to us, we are in for a rough ride without any certainty of arrival. Africa bears the brunt of this new threat to humanity yet contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions. The continent is expected to become hotter and drier over the next several decades. with tempratures expected to increase by as many as 4.3 degrees in the next one hundred years. This will have a negative effect on agriculture and food security in general. In a country where over 70% (last time I checked) of the economy is agro based, the facts should have us worried. The Copenhagen Summit has officialy been declared a failure, despite whatever flowery rhetoric President Obama may come up with. This problem seems too big for the politicians to tackle, you will notice that there was no world leader taking point on the matter, everyone was looking at their economies and wondering whether they’ll survive the next elections. Like most of the major victories of humanity as a whole, the battle must be fought by civil society, by you and me. It took

ordinary people saying no to end slavery, it took a baptist preacher from the hood and many more like him to realise the Civil Rights Act, it has taken the sacrifice of many a man and a woman to get us this far and perhaps it is our turn to step up to the plate. The problem with our world today, I believe, and as Presidente Evo Morales said is Capitalism. Until we fix the problems inherent in it, we will be bumbling along like fools in the dark. I want you to look at it from nature’s point of view, if we as a species become a threat to the entire global ecosystem, nature will wipe us out more or less, resign us to the title of endangered species, and it won’t have any qualms about it either. So what can you do? Go green I guess, a couple of guys in the Harvard Business Review of September 2009 say your next business model should be green. Ever heard of carbon credits? No? Well go look it up, it just might be the next global currency, which will be a sad way to go if you ask me.The economy that pioneers cheap, clean and renewable energy is destined to dominate the world. Good luck in all your capitalist endeavours. Sources: Uganda Metreological Society Climate Change Facts and Figures All you need to know about carbon credits An Incovinient Truth Six Sources of Limitless Energy The Copenhagen Climate Change Summit The Harvard Business Review

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Troubadour’
K’naan is a rapper and a poet. That is almost always guaranteed to be a good combination. We know that a rapper who is a poet is, well, going to rhyme and his subject matter is going to be something worth listening to and not tales of his latest car or diamond necklace. K’naan is also Somali and that tells us that his content is also going to be something we can directly relate to. But K’naan has lived in Canada since he left Mogadishu on the last commercial flight to ever leave Somalia when he was 13 and this move has allowed his music to become more popular and eventually has allowed us to listen to it. Troubadour is his second album and to say it is an excellent album is an understatement. The album opens with ‘T.I.A’, which is literally a banging track. It will make you bop your head inadvertently. This banging track completely juxtaposes the song in which he sings about the hardships of living in parts of Africa especially in Somalia where “holidays quickly turn to hell days”. On ‘I Come Prepared’ he teams with Damien Marley to give us a fresh blend of hip hop and reggae. ‘Bang Bang’, which on some days is my favourite track off the album, is a blend of pop-rock and rap with Adam Levine, Maroon 5’s front man, where K’naan is bit lighter talking about a girl that is a “scorpion, she’s so hot; she’s a scorchion” and in which he makes some astute observations “Am I wrong but what is love without the pain to go along?” Kirk Hammett who plays the guitar on ‘If Rap Gets Jealous’ is the lead guitarist for Metallica. He is ranked the 11th greatest guitarist of all time according to Rolling Stone and the guitar on this track is so wicked, if you are a rock fan, even if you don’t like rap this song will get you. ‘Waving Flag’ is the anthem track on the album and it will come as no surprise that K’naan was commissioned to do a version of the song as the official World Cup 2010 song. This particular track is a story of the direst consequences and the hope that triumph is on the way. “When I get older, I will be stronger, they’ll call me freedom just like a waving flag” are words to inspire every African child. It will lift your spirits even as it grounds you in reality. ‘Fatima’ which is many people’s favourite song off this album is a beautiful, haunting song telling the story of his childhood sweetheart and how he loses her. The trumpets on this song practically speak to you. “15 minutes away” holds a special place in my heart. It’s the song, I play every time I go

K’naan

to MoneyGram to pick money my family sends me and it so accurately captures how I feel when they call and say, “you can pick it up today, it’s 15 minutes away” Every single track on this album is spot on. It is perfectly written, it sounds perfect and like music is supposed to do, it will take you out of yourself, put you in K’naan’s world and send you back to yours with some insight you can use to better yourself. Enjoy.

@Darlkom <The writer is a K’naan fanatic and has confessed to an imaginary love affair with him>

Track List
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. T.I.A ABCs (feat. Chubb Rock) Dreamer I Come Prepared (feat. Damien Marley) Bang Bang (feat. Adam Levine) If Rap Gets Jealous (feat. Kirk Hammett) Waving Flag Somalia America (feat. Mos Def and Chali 2na) Fatima Fire in Freetown Take A Minute 15 Minutes Away People Like Me

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Binning the Beenie Man
Beenie Man’s concert at Kyadondo Dancehall Grounds, said the leading newspapers of the land, was great. The artiste was on “top of his game”, according to one paper and his concert was “first rate” according to another. According to Facebook, however, he didn’t just suck, he flew into the sucko-sphere and was hit by a radioactive suck-steroid which caused an explosion that unleashed suck-waves that energized him with super-suckingpowers which he then flew back down to earth with and unleashed upon us all. Innocent fans had never been sucked at so badly. You, the bewildered public, must be wondering what is cutting. Who is lying, the press or the facebookers? Well, both and neither. The show was great. Chameleone is a magnificent showman and he proved that. Bobi Wine’s eyes were halfshut as if he was deep under the influence of something (probably piriton, what do I know?) but he still rocked the crowd as only he can. Blu3 were hot. Chandiru’s legs continue to be the sorts of limbs that could support a whole industry of poets. She is a truly talented and beautiful woman. Especially when she is on stage, so far away that you can’t see that shiny pimple-looking thing under her lip that is so creepy. Bebe Cool was also in attendance. Beenie Man’s band was excellent. The lighting was topnotch. The sound was up to par, as well. Those are the parts of the show that were good. I’m sure that is enough. To expect more is to be greedy. After all this stuff that rocks to want more is just too much. You want more? You want, in addition to all of that, for Beenie to also rock? That is too much. You must be satisfied by now. Beenie thought this and so he didn’t bother to rock and proceeded to be fake. First of all, he didn’t sing any of his songs. He tried to, but what happened instead was that he would yell out the first four or five lines then mumble one bar then turn round and wander aimlessly around the stage for a few minutes before leaping up and starting a whole different song. Seriously! We waited and there was not a single song he started that went into the second verse. “Sim sima, who’s got the keys to the beema? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Are you ready?! Bomboclat!” (Mumble and wander around the stage.) A disgruntled fan observed that it was like an Old CD that is so scratched it keeps skipping to the next song

halfway. After failing to sing his own songs for about an hour he gave up and turned his attention to other peoples’ songs. And for the next hour what he was doing was failing to sing other people’s songs. The poor band had to follow along as he stuttered at Chaka Demus and Pliers, the guy who sang “Wikid dis year” and other ragga hits. Then, Lord have mercy! he began to sing Turn Your Lights Down Low. He was trying to sing the Lauryn part. “Oh, I oh I,” he sang. Then, “Oh Iaiaaaaaaaaacracklecracklepop!” It was at this point that I began to notice people getting up to leave. Now, to be perfectly fair, Beenie was very high. He is not as awesome as Bobi Wine so he probably cannot be expected to remember the words to his songs under the influence of whatever it was he had been taking (Bobi’s Piriton oba?) so let’s cut him some slack. I am sure he learnt his lesson and next time will not come here and waste our time being a stupid, useless ********* on stage. We also learnt something. The show was rocking until Beanie came on, so you guys don’t be thinking that just because someone is Jamaican he must be better. Support your local boys and girls. I swear. Mbu welcome the King of the Dancehall. More like King of the latrine in the security quarters in the back of the dancehall. Ernest Bazanye <The writer “shovels coal for Satan”, sometimes, he also writes funny stuff and likes Guinness >

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theworkzine
Whew, he’s gone, and did he just go? No, he had to have inane the last word, “I’ll see you when I see you!” well, duh!!) Oh lookee here, looks like that utter… (polite brian, polite…) hmmm… that uh, that.. eeh, doesn’t really matter anyway. If he gets anything from me this Christmas it will be a t-shirt that says “Hit me!!” In glow-in-the-dark writing. Or maybe a “Jesus loves me; someone has to.” So, where was I? Somewhere important I’m sure… doesn’t really matter I suppose. Happy Holidays people. Stay alive. And no, there are NO parties at my place so you are NOT welcome, even if you do bring your own juice. Abid, that goes for you too Brian B Coutinho <The Writer will be hosting parties at his place with or without his knowledge>

Ok, now that I’m done wit fulfilling my “christmasly” duties I can get on to something serious. But just before we do, what is the deal with Christmas anyway? I mean apart from the fact that you are going to stuff yourself so bad you’ll think you’re at full term, never mind that you probably are a guy and just have the wrong equipment, I’m pretty sure that a chic just might get away wit immaculate conception… only come new years day it won’t be quite immaculate anymore, now will it? Quite a bit does get done in the name of watching fireworks and all, and of course, there are no rules against making your very own personal spectacular display… no rules that can’t be broken anyway. So yeah, Christmas is coming up. Some people expect gifts, some people expect food, and of course come new years all your friends expect to have a good time; on you no less. Aaeii!! Why does this issue have to be about the holidays? You know what, I’m going to make a change, yes I can. (corny, I know, ehh, deal). So now, you know all that drivel you’ve been reading about how to stay alive until next year (wonder if that will be a three week survival course), how to have the most fun, yet spend the least money (I suppose that does mean going through all of your salary in a couple of days and just sparing enough of your savings to make it through Jan) and of course, gifts gifts gifts… you know what, I am putting my foot down, this article is NOT going to be about the holidays. Now why is it that as soon as I said this article is NOT going to be about the holidays that I just run into a brick wall? – no, not literally, even I am not that far up into the clouds. Hmm, well, our dear darling editor doesn’t need this – what d’you call it again? Article? – thingy until tomorrow so maybe I could just cool my heels until some mythic muse hits me on the head with a huge hammer – again, not literally (ok, now really, here I am trying to make a gracious exit and the biggest twat this side of the equator, and the other come to think of it, walks in and looms over me like… why does this stuff happen to me? I mean… Urgh!! Gimme a mo(ment), let me just go kick him out, politely, I am supposed to be polite you know. He keeps saying things like “what are you doing? Oh, typing!!” can almost see the gears in his head moving, and that dim dim bulb up there just attempting to get a bit brighter, dude should have gotten an energy saver installed. Oops, polite Brian, you are trying to be polite remember, easy there, don’t break anything… you know what; I’ll be back in a flash. Let me go do what I do best; politely of course.

Idler’s Corner

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From The Left Field
Goodbye 2009, we’ve had a rough year for sport this year, haven’t we? Take soccer, both on the local and international scenes, nothing has happened. Now you might think different but you are going to need to face the facts. Nothing much happened in soccer here. I think Uganda won one trophy or the other and the players made some money, ha. Oba, we played Rwanda... read the tabloids for more details. On the international scene, Arsenal is rubbish and Manchester is cool. If anyone doubts look at Arshavin’s miss in one of their games (you are the fan, not me) and if you are reading the sports section of this zine, you should know what I am talking about. Compare that miss to Paul Scholes’ 40 yard screamer against one of the other teams and it should be easy to come to the same conclusion as I did. Discussion closed. Quidditch has to be the fastest growing sport this year. This year’s regional tournament was held in Kisoro and Kayunga came out top with a massive 27,000 points. Master seeker, Bujagali scored a career high 11,000 points against Mukono and won the tournament’s golden glove. Iganga and Kampala Central tied in second place with 22,000 point apiece and KPC once again came out at the bottom with a measly four(4) points. We have to wonder why a pentecostal organisation would want to participate in a wizarding sport. Anyway, hope they do better next year. In boulder rolling, Maersk Bugrovich once again emerged winner. Named “Obelix” by his competition, Maersk rolled a one ton boulder fifty two (52) kilometers in two hours beating runner up Abid da Mern by over forty eight hours. His signature rolling technique was

witnessed by adoring fans who drove all the way in their excitement. In lacrosse, I guess nothing happened because there was nothing in the newspapers about it. Congratulations to whoever won any of the various tournaments that run every year in the other countries in this world. In a word, nothing much has really happened on the sporting scene but wait...I think Ireland and France almost went to war over a hand of God scenario involving France’s Thiefy Henry. The war didn’t happenen, thank God. I have friends in Ireland and in-laws in France, I’d have real trouble deciding which side to invest my mounds of money in. Athletics held its premier event in Kampala, the MTN marathon. A plethora of underweight men and women in little shorts took to the streets in a bid to prove to their workmates that they don’t underperform just in the office but on the highway as well. Some variants and mutants run for the money. Really people, why would you run for money outside the following scenarios. 1. A pickpocket has snatched your wallet and is making himself scarce, at your expense as it were (unnecessary words but my fingers are flowing over this keyboard). 2. You have won the Yoola omudidi and need to run to the car for a sack. Some guy won the money, everyone else got tired and that is it on athletics. If you are disappointed in the contents of this article, that is your {expletive indicative of common occurence of *bilirubin*}. If on the web, check out espn, soccernet and so on for irrelevant sporting knowledge and statistics. Have a great year and remember to stay away from sports for reduced fatigue this coming year. Merry Christmas and a happy new year - your sports correspondent. @nagimesi <The writer is a sports fanatic, of sorts. He also likes Warcraft, GTA and other such pastimes

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Count Your Blessings
ecember is here, the time to sit and ponder on what has been done during the year, find if any, things to be thankful for….yadda yadda…so following my previous list, posted on my blog, I hereby add another. Am thankful for the state of my nation, wait, wait…don’t be trippin’…here is why. In a far away land, under the rule of a one “Bob” there was the exciting news that said land was home to one of only a handful of Mercedes Benz Brabus v12 bi-turbo supercars. This car was allegedly delivered to the Reserve Bank by DHL and left in the company car park, during a pay dispute with local bank workers, while its new owner, Gono, (equivalent of Mutebile-Governor) was on holiday in the Far East. In his defence, he said it was a company car, paid for by cash-strapped tax payers, and that it was in fact another type of Mercedes Benz that he got for a bargain price of less than two hundred thousand US dollars (unlike a Brabus which costs US $365,000). Then there have been some spectacular economic decisions that have been made this year, designed to frustrate the business sector, confuse the elderly, and incite mayhem. In fact, they even had a mini riot, when the soldiers were unable to draw their pay (there being no bank notes at all) in the run up to Christmas. During the course of the year, they had 10 zeros deleted from the currency with the introduction of new bank notes, some worthless coins re-instated, and the continued practice of expiry dates on notes (that they were told to disregard), and of course, the famous 100 billion dollar note (now discontinued). During 2009, writing cheques, paying for items in cash, withdrawing cash from the bank without a salary statement and making bank transfers have been declared illegal. The daily, weekly and monthly cash withdrawal limits from your own bank account usually start at out at the equivalent of a dollar or two but by the end of the month it’s not worth enough to buy a pencil. Paying for items in foreign currency is still technically illegal but the only way to actually pay for anything these days as there are not enough bank notes available to withdraw the equivalent of one US dollar (nobody even knows what the rate should be – it was several quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars to one US dollar back in October – by now it must be several hexillion (ZWD 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or thereabouts – and the biggest note is 500 billion).

D

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Still with me? Ok, well now for the icing on the cake. A recent story in the Herald, the only government-accredited national newspaper, reported that Gono has published his memoirs, detailing how US President George W Bush head-hunted Gono to become Vice President of the World Bank. Gono says that at the time he was on a targeted sanctions list, and that the World Bank offered to remove him from the list and “see what it could do with his friends already on the sanctions list.” But hey, look on the bright side…With such ludicrous fabrications, Gono’s book is bound to be a best seller. As a Zimbabwean by extension, I sympathize….truly. Now can I hear an Amen! (c’mon….ever heard of the story of the boy who cried for shoes and then saw another who didn’t have feet?) Fez <The writer is all for Pan Africanism, fast cars and wheelbarrows of cash

I

know that it is starting to seem like I have an unhealthy obsession with my hair and maybe I do but it’s on my mind right now so I might as well run with it. I watched ‘Good Hair’ recently. It is a Chris Rock documentary on the lengths black women in America go to for their hair. It is a good movie and I would recommend you watch it. The reason I bring it up is because one of the segments deals with the chemical that we as black women use to ‘relax’ our hair. It is a very corrosive chemical and I have

Again with the hair

decided not to use it anymore. Unfortunately or fortunately, that is going to leave me with my natural kinky hair which I have never worn long. See, I have been relaxing my hair since I was 9 years old. When I was 13, it was all cut off for school but as soon as I left school at 16, I relaxed it again. I’m tired. I want my own hair back; I don’t want to go to the salon every two weeks. I hate the salon. Ok, so now I’ve made my decision, what am I going to do with my natural hair? I don’t want dreadlocks; I would not be able to change them if I got bored without cutting my hair off again. I think I’m just going to let it grow into an Afro and I’ll deal with it when it’s grown. My problem is, one of my best friends is getting married in the middle of next year and I am going to be one of her bridesmaids. My hair has to be off the chain for this do and somehow I don’t think she’ll look too kindly on my Macy Gray-ish Afro. I realize that this has gone from a fashion article, which it is supposed to be, to a rant. Forgive me; I can not give any fashion advice in the state I’m in. As a matter of fact, if anything, I’m the one in need of fashion advice. So tell me, what do you think I should do with the natural hair? Do not suggest not going au natural coz that ship has sailed.
Darlyne komukama

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The Pretty Airhead
I have to rant about her. I have held my peace but I cant hold it any longer. Forget about all those characters other people have been talking about , this one deserves to be shot. I remember the first time I saw her: she was stunning, pretty , lovely wonderful exciting and she got me excited. She had this impressive sense of style. Everything she wore looked natural on her. She didn’t walk, she sort of convinced the air to lift her gently to where she wanted to go. She smiled at me and welcomed me to the office. I was in seventh heaven. Five years down the road and I wonder why she is still here. Granted she is pretty but if I had the power, she would go. The thing is that she is just a pretty head. I won’t say blonde because I have met some pretty amazing blonde girls who have both beauty and brains. But the Office Pretty airhead lacks the latter. She has nothing in that brain. I bet that if she was to have her head opened up, even getting a grain of sand out of it would be a miracle. It would probably be filled with inane songs like touch my body, Barbie girl ,…. You get the idea. Miss Pretty Airhead can not operate a machine. She can not write a report. She types at the amazing speed of one word per minute, her phone manners are only excused by the fact that she has a wonderful voice. Switching on a computer probably took her years to master and she is probably the one who calls IT guys to tell them that her coffee holder is hidden. The few attempts to get her to write minutes were a disaster. I will concede that she is not totally useless, she is a good prop when you want to get the guys from the rival companies jealous at lunch. She can also be used to get rid of your ex. She is good to look at . She is good at getting creditors to sit in the lobby for hours on end without complaint and then agree to come back tomorrow. Over a cup of coffee , she can give you all the juicy details on who is doing who in the office, who fought with who, who did shoddy work, who is being primed for a promotion, who is about to be fired, who has formed an alliance with whom , who is having personal problems at home and all that extra-curricular crap that one may need when about to launch a war in the board room or knowing which office girl is vulnerable for the pick. She is also surprisingly not easy. But when all is said and done, she is not worth having on the payroll. I wonder how she got through university <she has a degree, I checked!!> . All she is good for is to look at and nothing more. Madsen Hall <The writer works in an industry in Germany that has an open office policy which gives him a clear view of the reception.>

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On Passion and Planning
was perusing through a book my dad has been reading called ‘The Black Swan’ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, which basically explores the potential impact of the highly improbable. I didn’t have to read much to get the drift of what he is saying – which is essentially that long-term planning is futile, since the truly treacherous events are those over which we have no control whatsoever, and whose very occurrence is inconceivable. I should warn you at this point that I only read the introduction, so I may well have missed the point entirely. I wonder what he wrote about in the next 305 pages because it seemed to me that he wrapped it all up in that introduction – we are powerless against the unpredictable. When I have read the rest of the book, I will be sure to tell you about it.

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I

that, especially for large and long term tasks, structure is the backbone of sustainability. At some point, it is highly likely that the passion will die, and the structure is the fallback position that will save the day. But I have also learnt that if you give in to structure too much, you lose a basic sense of individuality, and of freedom. I have taken the lesson in structure to heart. I have become a ‘professional’ and I seek to always have good working processes – in my life and work. It gives a certain peace of mind. At the same time, I am trying my utmost to restore the freedom and passion in my way of thinking, so that I can merge the two schools of thought, because I believe that each is vital. I could tell you that each is as important as the other, but that wouldn’t ring true from where I sit. I can say with certainty that structure with no passion is monotonous, unfulfilling and just plain boring, which is why I have found myself in the rut that I am in. Passion on the other hand… one can truly live and breathe on it, for as long as it lasts. A life without passion is just not worth it. Have a passionate, unplanned festive season. You won’t regret it. ~~Gnuts~~

There are people on this earth who plan. And there are people that simply don’t. I am a planner. But I am also very likely to disregard my plans in a second if something else seems more interesting. I call it flexibility, I’m sure true planners call it whimsy, or flightiness. One of my friends told me a while ago that impulsiveness is for the weak. I was a little bit hurt by this because I had been telling grand tales of an amazing few weeks I had had in which I had disregarded all the things that I was meant to have done. She told me later that she had said what she did out of some spite, because she felt that she too often restrains herself by telling herself that there is a way that things are ‘supposed to be done’. The truth is that your environment influences you immensely – the people you are around, the work that you do etc, and I have found that working as an accountant has made me lose part of that ability to bend with the wind. I now believe a lot more in ‘structure’, and it is a good and bad thing. I have learnt

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The PIFF would like to thank all of you who have offered support for our cause. A merry christmas from all of us to all of you and your kin, may you have a prosperous new year!

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