Vocabulary Tips Await Kampala Election Tourists Visiting From Kenya – By Joachim Buwembo

Posted February 19, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Tourism ~ 4,644 views


Some more vocabulary tips for wealthy, apolitical Kenyans and Nairobi expatriates intending to hang out in Uganda until Kenya’s election season ends.An “academy” is a dodgy establishment in a rented building from which inspectors collect small bribes from time to time since it cannot fulfil the registration requirements for education institutions.

A “project manager” is a little-known person who steals donor money to share with his political godfathers.

“Fashion designer” means any female who can afford to hire a hall for her “exhibition” and has wealthy parents to cajole a few VIPs to attend the “grand” show, which gets extensive media coverage.

A “political heavyweight” is a malicious politician who is bent on destroying a rival politician from the same tribe with whom he or she is competing for their party leader’s attention.

“I am a Member of the First Family” means I am one of the few thousand distant relatives to in-laws or cousins of the real First Family.

A “pastor” can be anybody who constructs a makeshift church and gets up a congregation of more than three members. He becomes “bishop” when he builds a second shack down the road under a junior pastor whom he supervises tightly.

A “supermarket” is any grocery shop. But a “shopping arcade” is a bigger, rowdy market with a roof where fake Chinese goods are sold. A “shopping mall” is slightly different — it means a crowded concrete market where traders complain daily about lack of a toilet, but fear the ruthless landlord more than the riot police.

A “doctor” means anybody who works at a hospital and dresses better than a “professor,” who is a witchdoctor from neighbouring country.

“Diplomat” means a smart white person; a tourist is a casually dressed white.

An “NGO” is an idea being promoted by any broke fellow with a cut-and-paste project proposal for seeking foreign assistance.

A “convoy” means two cars moving dangerously with hazard “double indicators” on with siren blazing and carrying a minor official.

A “presidential advisor” is one of the one hundred no-longer-employable ageing fellows on state “welfare” who spends a few years without talking to the president.

“My container” means a few kilos of imports in someone else’s consignment awaiting to be cleared due to unpaid Customs dues.

“My site” is a half-developed plot belonging to a friend, usually shown to people you need to impress.

A “fiancée” is the person you met yesterday and suspect to have rich parents. A “mzee” is any potential customer regardless of age. “Family friends” means a prominent family whose kids you went to school with though they no longer remember you, while “Uncle/Auntie” refers to a wealthy acquaintance.

“Do you know me?” is a way of telling people in a bar that you have the phone number of a bodyguard to a senior security officer.

“Health-conscious” means walking around with a bottle of “mineral” water, but “very health-conscious” is telling everyone how you stopped taking sugar long ago.

Now you can confidently mingle in Kampala without anybody detecting that you are not one of us.

Joachim Buwembo is a Knight International fellow for development journalism. E-mail:

Source – The East African

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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