Entertainment, Film and Music

Ugandan BigBrother Representatives

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“YOU can’t hate your origins without hating yourself” – Malcolm X Somebody once wrote that Uganda is a nation of complainers, that we love complaining about each and everything.

And if we are not complaining and whining about why things aren’t what they should be, then we are condemning what is, and especially the people who would dare be different.

Just a few short weeks ago the whole country was up against Umeme and the load-shedding that made much our lives a real misery.

But now many places have had no load shedding for a long while, and there will probably be no more after July if we go by what the Government is telling us. So we should be happy and celebrating, right? Nah, we just go and look for new things to complain about, and make up new bad guys to bash.

For some strange reason the Big Brother Reality Show brings out all our meanness, pettiness, spitefulness and malice to the fore. It seems like every May for the last seven years we have been waiting for just this chance to vent our collective dislike for anything and anybody who dares to do good, and be different. Or even to just dare.

Last year we had Sharon Nalukenge Salmon, later to be known as Sharon O, as one of two Ugandans in the Big Brother Amplified show.

As a member of the girl group Obsessions, Ugandans have loved her for many years, especially when the girls performed their hit song Jangu Jangu. Guys just couldn’t get enough of them.

But then Sharon entered the house, and suddenly she was not what we wanted to represent Uganda. How many Ugandans have Salmon for a surname, they asked? And, hell with it, she was even too ‘light-skinned’, somebody complained.

It did not matter that she quickly became a favourite of Africa, Jangu Jangu became very popular right across Africa, and she even got to the finals.

Sharon did more to sell Uganda to the outside world than anything the Tourism authorities have ever done. Go to any African country and someone will ask you how Sharon is doing, and even try and dance Jangu Jangu for you.

This year the media was awash with speculations of who will be the Ugandans in the house and, although each media house had what it claimed was ‘exclusive information’ from ‘very reliable sources’, they all got it wrong, like they do every year.
So, amid all the confusion of two houses, seven celebrities and 14 pairs of house mates, Kyle and Jannette entered the house. And predictably, the naysaying started.

“The guy (Kyle) is not Ugandan, his Facebook page states he is from Rwanda,” was one of the common posts, even if his biography states that while his mum is from Rwanda, his dad is Ugandan, and he was born and studied in Uganda.

“Typical campus chic,” another wrote on Jannete, “she wants to drink all the booze and kiss all the guys.” Another complained that the Ugandans were the smallest (physi cally) in the house, and that is not typically Ugandan.

Yet another said there should have been no housemates from Uganda, that it should have been cancelled, ‘like in Ethiopia.’ One guy was annoyed the Ugandans were not up for eviction, that he would have voted them out! And this was on day one!
What’s up, people? What’s with the selfhate? While all that was going on, no Ugandan was posting about the extremely annoying fat guy from Nigeria, who will probably eat all the food and cause endless fights in the house.

Or the Angolan dude who thought he was smooth till the chic from Sierra Leone cut him down to size, and he called her b***h. In the meantime there were suggestions on which Ugandans should have been in the house. Someone suggested Agnes Nanduutu and ex-Mayor Ssebagaala; another that Straka and comedian Idringi could have pulled it off.

Others were incensed that Multichoice did not pick the dancing couple of Michael Kasaija and Natasha Sinayobwe. The Nanduutu, Sebaggala and Straka suggestions were obviously in jest, but there seemed to be a huge wave of support for the Kombat Dancers duo.

But have any of their supporters ever actually spoken to these two? I have, and I wouldn’t want them in any house where they have to do more than dance. That said, I don’t know much about Jannette and Kyle, no more than was given out in their profile data by Multichoice.

And with 28 people in the house, I still haven’t caught much of a glimpse of the Ugandans. I know that Kyle worked for The New Vision for about a year as a writer, but our paths never crossed.

So, how do we wrap this up? While I’m no psychiatrist, I say there is a real problem with Ugandans, and not just because we don’t like our Big Brother Housemates.

The fact is that they are Ugandans, the whole world sees them as Ugandans, and if we hate on them it means we hate ourselves. Which is a big problem, ask Malcolm X.

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