By Dr Ashraf Simwogerere
I was still very young in the 1970s, at Jjaja Nanfuka’s in Kasayi kyaggwe. She was a popular Musawo Muganda and a friend to Sarah Amin (the former first lady).
One day from Kampala, Sarah Amin had bought her (jjaja) a Radio. Jjaja Nanfuka, yajja ne Radio nga ajissibye mukitambaala kya brown. She was the only one to switch it on and off. No body else was allowed to touch that switch nob.
Kanakulya the oldest among us children was a bit stubborn, ERA NGA AYONOONA EBINTU. That day the Radio was brought, jjaja warned him with some beatings that; “NKIMANYI RADIO YANGE OJA KUJOONOONA GALAMIRA NKUKUBE”.Kanakulya was punished in advance. Nga nawe okiraba bulabi nti wamukubidde mu advance, kati ate alijonoona, ali mukuba jenkanawa?.
We all feared to touch the Radio. However she was not selfish about listening to it. He allowed everybody to listen to its programs. Era nga bwoyagala okuwuliriza, nga ojisitula mu kitambaala kyayo nojimutwaalira nakuterako. It was tuned to Radio Uganda only. No tuning to any other station. Even there were no FM stations then.
When the batteries (amanda) went down, jjaja could carry it to Salongo Musoke’s shop, who fixed new ones. None of us new its type nor its shape or colour. Nga tulaba kitambaala na kuwulira doboozi.
Kizito an elder and a neighbour, used to come home to listen to the news and personal announcements (Ebirango). Being an elder, Jjaja taught him (Kizito) how to switch it on and off. Era nga jjaja bwatabaawo Kizito najja nga tumuletera radio nga asaako.
Kizito admired the machine. Era olumu yatulabiriza najibba. At home Kizito was among the mourners. He successfully pretended to have been affected too.
After some weeks, Kizito several times requested jjaja to direct him where she bought her stolen Radio. That he (Kizito) had saved enough money to buy one. Jjaja directed him that Sarah Amin took her to Cairo shop, nga ewa Draper.
A month later after the disappearance of Jjjaja’s radio, Kizito bought a new Radio. Kizito’s radio wasn’t wrapped in any piece of cloth. It was really new.
Okumanya Kizito yali mukujjukujju, yaleeterako ne jjaja alabe ku radio ye empya. And it looked new, the mere fact that it was always wrapped in a cloth. Jjaja herself couldn’t recognize her own radio. Naye yali tamanyi radio ye bwefaanana, because it was always wrapped. Kizito had even pulled up its aerial to completely disguise and confuse jjaja that it was a different machine. Ate nga naffe tukimanyi eyaffe teyalina luwaya.
Olwo nga jjaja yagenda ewa Kizito okuwulira amawulire ne ebirango.
Kizito had no wife. He was staying with his grand daughter Nagadya 10yrs. On many occasions Nagadya could eat lunch at ours. And jjaja loved her. Omanyi kaali kanguwa nga akatumye.
Wnen Kizito unwrapped the radio he forgot to dispose off the brown cloth. Nagadya innocently kept it. She didn’t see her Jjaja Kizito unwrapping the system.
One day when Jjaja Nanfuka was listening to Birango with Kizito, NGA BATUDDE WABWERU MUKAYEMBE, NAGADYA CAME FROM THE HOUSE CARRYING THE BROWN CLOTH TO JJAJA NANFUKA THAT: “Jjaja kino ssikyekitambaala kya radio yo jebabba”.
Haaaaaa, you know Jjaja Nanfuka was a Nalukalala. Without asking any question, she jumped onto Kizito, Namutujja agakonde ne’mpi, nga bwamulumiriza. That; “Kizito gwe wabba radio yange, wajiteekawa. Olabika jewawaanyisaamu eno”. Kizito produce my radio now. Ngenda kukubira enduulu.
Kizito who was very frightened, and powerless, surrendered the radio before things could reach the village chief. He even told the story.
THE SUPREME COURT.
The scenario which happened at the supreme court the other day is almost similar to what what happened, at my jjaja’s in Kasayi in between jjaja, Kizito and Nagadya.
Our judiciary has been wrapped in a beautiful Brown cloth. Somebody hijacked it through the chief.
Lady Justice Kisaakye like the little Nagadya muzukulu wa Kizito, brought the piece of cloth at the gate of the high court for the press and the public to see, how dirty it is. Haaaa, kuswala kwenyini.
Omanyi ebya court ssiwandiika binji mbitya. Naye maama. “Eryokanga netonya”.
Over to you.
Dr. Ashraf Simwogerere, is a playwright, film producer, performing artist and professional dentist. In 2016 he was recognized as one of Uganda’s National Heroes.
He is one of the most recognised faces of Uganda’s Theatre having scripted and produced plays such as