Ever since I was old enough to make my own money, I have been buying the weekend editions of The New Vision and The Monitor newspapers. That would amount to just over sixteen years. In recent years I only buy a hardcopy of the New Vision because The Monitor has a better online version than the Vision and, I still like to feel and smell an actual newspaper.
Also, I have been paying money because I like(d) to read the thoughts of Ian Clarke, Ernest Bazanye, Lilliane Barenzi, Kizito and in the days before she left for the Nairobi Star, Angela Kintu. Inevitably after reading those people’s columns, I will have the rest of the paper to wade through.
However, today, I am disappointed in the New Vision. The Big Debate on pages 30 and 31 purports to address our mannerisms, as Ugandans, based on our tribal origins. Therein lies the problem. Even though it covers not one but two whole pages, was written by two people, and, mentions in its preamble that UG has over 50 tribes, The Big Debate (really?!) only offers up a smattering of comments on the characteristics, mythical and otherwise, of … wait for it … only 13 out of over 50 tribes! A worse article, I have yet to read.
A few examples suffice;
“Banyankole. They are beautiful people. Their long faces are envied by many. But they can be arrogant too. They also love themselves so much. Look around you and you will probably see them in a group together.”
I guess that group of firewood carrying, lesu wearing, long faced, Swahili speaking group of women that I drove past on my way home from buying the paper were Banyankole. Who knew?
“Basoga. George Isabirye, a Musoga, says Basoga are seen as typical womanisers, primitive and gifted chapatti sellers. Basoga women are said to be very patient with their husbands and can tolerate any marriage, however abusive it is.”
Since these are my people, and since we are in the zone of myths and anecdotes, where are the stories about our jiggers? Where are the accounts of our ‘natural viagra’ in the words of Hon. Basoga Nsadhu (RIP)? Where is our love of ‘emboli’ and groundnuts? Where is our pigheadedness, referred to in the vernacular as ‘empwiitu ya Basoga’?
At least my corner got a mention, the Bakonjo only merited this line, “These are said to be short people, but tough.”
My primary school Headmaster, Mr. D.H. Gawaya drummed into us that if you must eat a frog, then choose a big fat wart covered one, so that you make the entire nasty experience, at least, a memorable one. New Vision, if you must publish a two page spread on tribal myths and anecdotes, at least do a good job while you’re at it!
Having paid money for the bloody paper, I plodded through the article until I got to this gem;
“Itesot. They are romantic but ‘players.’ They do not like women who domineer them and beat them up.”
Really, New Vision? “… domineer them…”?
The story goes through 2 writers, 2 Subeditors, 1 Chief Subeditor and, I assume, a Features editor before the paper goes to print and y’all publish that?
Why don’t you chaps get your CEO to save some of that money he’s using to buy up radio stations willy-nilly and invest some of it in paying your sub-editors a decent enough wage so they can do their job?
And while you’re at it, please inform Michael Nsubuga (as well as his Sub and Sports editors) who wrote the backpage story on Moses Golola’s return from Nairobi that there is no such thing as a “…mortal mouthed Golola…”
I believe the word he was looking for was “motor mouthed.”
And now for the tagline;
The Vision Group. National Pride·Global Excellence