Friday, November 23, 2007

CHOGM days

Man’s life’s a punny detail,
in the huge grand plan;
a drop of water in the ocean,
a breeze to stir a leaf in a gale.

My world, Kampala is convulsed in Chogm. The meeting has started.
Correction. The meeting is starting today. But for most people in Kampala, it started a few days ago, when they realised that it would be almost impossible to come into town easily when the meeting was ongoing.
So, the roads have been clear of traffic. A couple of public holidays were declared, and embraced by those who could. Curiously, the president decided that the people who he controls least, the business people, should open their shops. While the civil servants and buying public relaxed at home and out of the city.
My world, I said, but it seems that I have been otherwise employed. It is like a dream that I am passing through. Knowing that it is, that the whole of my world is deep in the worship of that almost deity, the fabled Queen of England, alive and walking in the flesh the soil of Uganda.
We have a deep seated reverence of royalty. The Kabaka of Buganda had a demi-god status. Literally, to greet him, his loyal subjects lay down on the ground so that he stepped on them. If he so willed. He had the power of life and death, at the blink of his royal eye.
The other kings were not much worse. The Iguru of Bunyoro is still very much a god in the eyes of his people. So is the Kyabazinga of Busoga. A fracas was caused when his photo was put on one of the Chogm billboards. The guy had possed for the pic, but his people were horrified at the act of lesse majeste. It is curious. The Queen of England has her face plastered on the streets of Kampala. But the Kabaka of Buganda, the Royal Majesty in whose kingdom she is at the moment, cannot have his august face so defamed. It would be deeply insulting to Buganda royalists!
A very interesting world that I live in.



Iwaya said...

My world, Kampala is convulsed in Chogm....I love that line! I hope you do not mind if one day I borrow it?

gayuganda said...

Why ever would I mind?

I will remind you that I am borrowing (and massacring cheerfully) the language from the very Queen of the English who is visiting Uganda. Who am I to lay any claim to its bits and pieces? It is her language!


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