Monday, February 11, 2008

Of the many things that I cant write about.

Just a by the way. My MP was arrested. 4 or 5 charges of sedition. And she was released on bail. Another opposition MP was released on bail. He was arrested on Friday, beaten during the arrest, (am not sure whether it was filmed). Man-handled badly, before he was escorted to jail.

It is funny how the police has this habit of arresting opposition figures on Friday afternoons. Just when the courts have closed. Means a night in jail. A weekend in jail, since the courts do not work on the weekend.

The crazy world of politics. A semblance of democracy, a hypocrisy to the creed of ideals, that is all that is necessary in our democracies.


Another of those things which I find hard to blog about. The thing that made me face my own reluctance to write on certain things.

The New Vision on Saturday was playing tabloid paper. Front paged testimonies of Ugandan truck drivers who had been raped in Kenya during the unrest.

It is a horrible thing to happen. Somehow, the idea of rape makes me go cold. No, contrary to what Ssempa goes around saying, I have never been raped. Not by any ‘sodomites’. Though I must admit to an assault once which had me on the cold edge of murder, once. Made me realise that I can kill. In anger, as well as in cold blood. Not a good bit of insight.

Yet rape is very common in my country. Marital rape is not rape. Not in Uganda. The man, after paying bride price, has the right to sex whenever and wheresoever he demands it. Culture stands firm on that.

The idea of a woman raped is ‘normal’. It happens, especially in times of war.

Rape of a man is a terrible thing to contemplate. In Uganda. There is no victim. The victim is judged guilty too. Harsh realities.

So, the New Vision played tabloid. Black headlines. Ugandan Drivers Sodomised.

I did not want to read what was underneath. I am a gay man. I know, or thought I knew the scapegoating which would be in the article. I did not read the paper.

Then I realised a curious fact.

The newspaper vendors put the papers on the sidewalks. Face up. Advertising.

the more lurid the headlines, the better. Attract the attention of the passer bys. You can imagine what the red rug’s headlines do.

Yet, on Saturday, the word ‘sodomised’ was more likely than not to be covered. By a stone or stick or anything playing paper weight. The poor vendors, and particularly women, were embarrassed by the headline.

I found it curious, and funny. And very much in character.

In the conscious of most Ugandans, a man raped was a very shameful piece of news. Yet Bukedde, and other local language dailies are always full of stories of women raped, girls ‘defiled’ and other heinous acts. And some of the most despicable photographs in New Vision have included hacked human beings, the red gore of cut throats and dismembered bodies.

What am I doing?

Trying to reconcile myself to the world that I live in.

I write of the beauty of my country. I tell of the beautiful things that happen to me. But that is not real life.

Life is a tough, harsh reality which daily faces me, us, as human beings. Cannot run away from it in the beauty of language. Have to balance.

Life is a rose bush. Blooms and thorns balance.

Though sometimes the thorns shade the blossoms.

On a lighter note, today’s New Vision had a hilarious cartoon. Our nemesis as gay Ugandans are two gentlemen. Nsaba Buturo (Minister of Ethics and Integrity) and Pastor Ssempa, gods ordained moralist and anti-homosexuality campaigner.

Well, the cartoonist kindly reminded them to take their crusade across the border to Kenya. Apparently, it is very necessary amongst those, er, heathens.



The 27th Comrade said...

I saw that headline about the sodomy and thought: Aha! Now we have a reason to witch-hunt GUG!

We'll just say that it is in service to tho safety of our drivers that we should track all homosexuals down and kill 'em.

But me, I'll only side with that when we are done tracking down all heterosexuals who rape, because all the rape reports should elicit the same Aha! Now we have a reason to witch-hunt heterosexuals!

Anyway, I'm here on the Beti Kamya thing. Beti Kamya is not worth defending. She did wrong, but these opposition people are too self-righteous and even incapable of tact and saying sorry. I'd have killed her already, if I were president and she said that shit about me. me, I don't kid, me. :o)

gayuganda said...

Aye, aye 27th

Welcome back comrade. Has been kind of dull and frigid without you.

Like your revolutionary fervour. Yeah, i did think that others would take it as a reason to persecute me. Funny, havent heard from Ssempa and Buturo. Not as yet!!!!!

As for Kamya.

I have realised that freedom is something that is not relative. If I want to be free, I should not delimit the freedom of others. Else I am a hypocrite.
Freedom of speech means that I have to defend your right to abuse me. Though I of course disagree with the specifics of your accusations.

So, you back for good from the slumming?


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