Rushongoza Begumya performing poetry in a one man show at Makerere University recently/Photo credit: Marvin

 

1

My Friend Kaleeba tells a story

Of his niece and cousin;

They are watching a TV show

His cousin is interrupting

She tells him to shut up

He says

“Never shut up a man.”

She is 9

He is 6

 

2

You go to a job interview

And get an offer

To be a mistress

 

3

We at a friend’s house

For an all nighter

A friend makes French toast bread for everyone

One person tastes it

Likes it

Turns to her

And says

“Marriage fall on you.”

 

4

Dinah’s lecturer

Says

“If as a woman you are poor

You are misusing your sexuality”

 

5

My friend Mitchy

Takes me for chicken

After the meal

She asks for the bill and pays

Waiter returns the change

And gives it to me

 

6

With my girlfriend

We are talking about what names

We will give our children when we finally have them

I ask her to suggest some names

She immediately sends me options from her father’s side

 

7

In Church

My cousin gives a fat cheque

To build the church

The preacher thanks her

Then looks to her husband

And thanks him

He adds

“Ninkwebaza ahabwokuba amani g’omukazi wawe gari omuri iwe.”

 

8

Me and my friend Bella

Are talking about women empowerment

She says the idea of women proposing is too much

Too radical

The joke here is in the insinuation

It’s the same thing as being in the middle of unshackling a prisoner

And they ask you to unshackled one wrist only

Unshackling both

Would be

Too far

Too radical

 

9

Why do we women fear men?

Maybe

There is something about a scrotum

That makes it look like a bomb

 

10

Sheebah sings the song “Akuuse”

In an article

By a big daily

She is described

As an independent lady

And a beautiful example of emancipation

Perhaps the real joke

Is how we have emancipated

Women from Chattels to sex symbols

 

11

In Kirihura

I discuss marriage

With a few village women

They all laugh

At the possibility of having marriage without violence

One says

God made men

Physically more powerful for a reason.

Lydia once said

That most domestic violence is really attempted murder

That the best marriage advise for young women is

“Quarrel with your spouse and you are dead.”

 

12

Today

I still laugh at a memory

From my childhood

My father coming home

Dead drunk

Shouting to my mother

“Kamwiine, Today fire!”

 

13

Pr. Lubega Quotes 1 Corinthians 11:3

“The head of every man is Christ

And the head of every woman is the man”

He addresses men and says

“To your wife you are the ultimate answer.”

 

14

At a family graduation dinner

For my sister

My aunt says to her

“You need to hold up on those big dreams and first find a man to hold you.”

 

15

A friend asks me

Why I am feminist

He asks

“Isn’t it a female problem?”

I tell him

We as men need to keep our fellow men accountable

We need to rid our society

Of its permissiveness to the mistreatment of women

This is not a joke

 

16

My friend

Was raped by her boyfriend

I got to know

Years and years later

She tells me

She didn’t know what to do

Her mother

Would have killed her

Her friends wouldn’t have cared

For many years

She didn’t even laugh once

 

17

Everyday

I laugh at how the word

“Nyoko”

Is used as an offensive word

 

18

Women can’t count

 

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