Forget political office, go abroad, slave, return to celebrity life!

Wednesday January 10 2018

For the holiday, Ugandans from abroad can hire

For the holiday, Ugandans from abroad can hire four local muscular young men as security detail for a total of $700 over the period and require them to wear black T-shirts, dark glasses and tight black pants. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGAH | NMG 

By JOACHIM BUWEMBO
More by this Author

Fewer and fewer Ugandans should be thinking of seeking political office in 2018 and beyond.

This is because several holidaymakers from abroad have demonstrated that you can live larger than the president by investing as little as $2,000 a month. So why the hassle and responsibility of holding political office when you can live large without accountability as fellow human beings worship you?

What the somehow childish holidaymakers — who slave abroad for 11 months and come home to enjoy in December — have shown is a serious idea that can be turned into gold by tourism gurus.

But first, this is what the holidaymakers, locally called “ba-summer” do. (The craziest of them emerge from South Africa where it is summer in December.)

When these “ba-summer” come to Uganda, they pay for some outstanding family obligations in the village for a day or two, then return to the city and towns and start spending their money with a vengeance.

Mid-December sees the local moneyed folk migrating upcountry, so the real flowers for honey bees, the so called slay queens, are the “ba-summer” who face little competition. They throw parties at which some of them, flanked by bodyguards, literally throw cash at people. But it is not very expensive to live that royal standard life.

If for instance, you come from Boston — the most popular city of refuge for Ugandan migrant workers in the United States, where the minimum wage in $11 per hour, you only need to save 200 days’ wages from one of your jobs to accumulate about $2,000. Then you are good for the holidays.

Here is the breakdown:
When your local collaborator has started and spread the convincing lie that you are the personal assistant of some foreign dignitary or celebrity whose name is well recognisable, you rent a one bedroom furnished apartment in a quiet location at $300 for a month; rent two saloon cars, one slightly bigger than the other, for three weeks for a total of $300 and fuel them $200 over the period; hire four local muscular young men as security detail for a total of $700 over the period and require them to wear black T-shirts, dark glasses and tight black pants. Exchange the remaining $500 into local currency and get Ush1.8 million for spending over three weeks of partying and outings.

With that budget, spend the day relaxing, eating brunch on the cheap and in the evening, after poring over social media, let in your security detail which arrives in the two hired cars and decide which “happening” place to go to.

With their drill perfected, they give you the VIP treatment, “checking out” the place where you are to wine or dine before picking you from the car and looking very mean as they guard over you while you relax. Filled with your heavy brunch, you only take a wine or some not so expensive alcohol and buy a few drinks for the slay queens swarming around.

Spend most of the time on your iPhone and looking bored. As long as she beats the other slay queens in grabbing the Ush10,000 bills you throw on the table and goes ahead to pretend to be settling the bill, look with disinterest as they compete to accompany you home.

Return to your rented apartment and wait for the next day of being worshipped. With such royal treatment available on the market on the cheap, who wants to be a politician to be disturbed by hungry voters?