Photo: The Economist

Editor’s note: this article is part of the “Covid-19 Reset” project, where the LéO Africa Institute is asking its fellows and associates to imagine a new, progressive post-covid world for our respective communities and countries.

***

Masks

On Episode 4 Of Masked Singer
My little brother complained
That it was stupid for singers to wear masks
——–
I mean we should see
The structure of the teeth
That keep their voice
And if there are any defects about how their face was formed
We could form a Twitter taskforce
To roast them
———
These are bad days
Wear a mask if you are going out
——–
Those who say these things
Amuse me with their ignorance
———
Like we haven’t been masking ethnic hatred with
“Don’t marry from them. We can’t speak their language and at night when you are sleeping they will wake up and eat your children.”
Like we don’t hide “No”
Inside the syllables of “I will see.”
Like we don’t see patronage schemes
Mis-described as “budget allocations”
Like we don’t allocate 26 hours of our day to pretending.
Like we are not Fic Fameica fans
Masked as French Montana diehards
For the FOMO.
Like Chapter 4 of the constitution
Isn’t just using 38 Articles to say “Just kidding”.
Like People Power isn’t just kidding.
Like FDC isn’t just chilling.
Like Parliament isn’t a spin-off of money heist
And “Honourable” isn’t “horrible” just wearing a mask.
Like we care about honourable politics
And aren’t here to endure politics that’s just barely tolerable.
Like we care about LDU brutality and people getting bundled on trucks
Beyond getting our data bundles to tweet about it
Like we even tweet about it.
Like we will do anything about it beyond signing online petitions for MPs to return the 10 Billion
Like every electoral cycle and every day after we don’t put MPs in a position to patronize us
Like MP doesn’t mean Master of Patronage.
Like this rage on social media is for anything except getting followers
Like we will follow any political movement
That’s not asking us to follow them it to the bank
Like MPs aren’t really stealing on our behalf.
Like we care about things changing
Like we contribute to anything aimed at producing real change
Like we won’t change our mind after a bar of soap
Like we bathe.
Like we don’t misrepresent the situation to bathe in Donor Donations
Like we let that money flow into social impact programs
Like civil society doesn’t do the same thing with donations that Parliament does with allocations
Like we aren’t all just pretending.
Like we all don’t wear our masks everyday
———-
Maybe we just wore our masks too long
We mistook them for our skin.
————

Gloves

Watching videos of Salt Bae
My little brother complained
That it was stupid for chefs to wear gloves
———-
I mean
Isn’t sweat part of the recipe
That makes the recipe
A good recipe?
———-
These are bad days
Wear gloves
If you are going out in public
———-
Those who say these things
Amuse me with their ignorance
———–
Like we haven’t been wearing gloves all this while
Aren’t we the nation that doesn’t touch things
Things like
-Ugandan students stranded in Wuhan
-Ugandan citizens stranded in Kampala
-tickets to local shows
-ballot papers
-the steering wheel to drive to national parks
-tax credits to domestic exporters
-tax returns
-returning lost and found property
-imprisoned suspects without bail
-braille learning facilities for blind students
-education reform
Like public corruption that bends national values till they deformed
Like we are still not unconcerned about the quality of gender equality reform
Like the marriage and divorce bill doesn’t keep getting differed
Like people aren’t still getting referred from the floors of Health Centre IIIs to the floor of national referral hospitals
Like children are not still sleeping on the street
Like Parliament isn’t sleeping on the job with land reform
Like we haven’t been wearing gloves
Because we didn’t want to touch these things
Like we want to touch anything else
Except the keyboard to type social media rants about these things
Like we haven’t been wearing gloves for everyday
————
we just wore them for too long that we mistook them
For the skin of our hands
————-

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