By Nabendeh Wamoto S.P
Dear my elusive, horrible, foe. How are you doing now days?. Why are you rare in Uganda’s 6 per cent growing economy?
It’s now 1/3 of a whole year now since I last held you in my hands and oh! how I have suffered without you, longed for you, dreamt of you and I believe most Ugandans also. Ms. Money, even when you were Christened mobile money about 10 years ago you continue to stubbornly distance and desert me and that ever since you chose to desert me, I have prayed and wished for your death and I know a multitude of Ugandans would willfully attend your burial. For I have heard many curse, (insult) you to the marrow.
You must understand however, that despite my longing for your abrupt death, I still love you and lust for you. Ms. money, you sometimes come announced and unannounced at the same time. Why do you have to desert me and fellow Ugandans in that manner and for this entire long when financial experts insist that our economy continue to grow for above 6 per cent per annum?. I now think that you feel jealous and decided not to warn me that only denominations of coins, not paper money remain in my wallet. Perhaps you didn’t know that super markets which is now a popular phenomenon in Uganda today do not extend credit facilities to any Tom, Harry, Joe e.t.c. even those social evenings that were a bang in the past is now a nightmare for it seems a fortune not well spent when that old bad looking waitress had within a twinkling of an eye turned into a J-Lo of sorts, when one of my buddies recently failed to top up the amount in his beer bill at a pub in Mbale.
So I unwillingly searched my denim jeans’ pockets and counted only Shs1500 of you in coins and therefore, could not bail him out. Money, on that night which I now dread so much, you stubbornly refused to remind me to spare some of you for my transport back to my nest. My ordeal that followed from that point shall I now demand you to account. It is very cruel, brutal and horrible on your part because I clinically searched all my pockets and found no traces of you anywhere, I turned the pockets inside out but all in vain; money you were gone.
I reached for my wallet and only found my ID, some old business cards and some creased paper that serves the purpose of making my wallets heavy that when seen from the rear, old Jackies, Maggies and Dianas will think I am still loaded. My transport fare home was not that much; it was only Shs1000 after flashing one finger to the taxi conductor but all of a sudden, even three fingers flashed at the conductor indicating to him/her beforehand that I have only Shs3000.
“Sergeant” would not be heeded. My heart was still convinced that somehow somewhere I could have a coin or two of yourself on me to deliver me from evil in vain. I thought hard and the emotion in me whispered to me to walk out of the bar and make a re-entry. I thought if there were still any coins, the bouncer’s metal detector would alarm as he/she checks me. So as I re-entered, a mean looking bouncer’s metal detector screamed and from inside I felt the pulse of my heart as it jumped in artificial delight. My joy was however, short lived when I only found a single coin tucked somewhere in my old jeans’ pockets. On further scrutiny, it dawned on me that the coin was one with a portrait of a cow similar to those recently uprooted and re-installed at Mbarara’s roundabout.
I will not probe further into that miracle of an old wench’s transformation into a J-lo so let me stick to the main issue why I am writing this letter to you my brutal, affectionate, foe, dear money.
Still stuck but in motion, meanwhile time check was around 2:45 am, transport back to my crib (home) so like Rev. Anderson in Bernard Shaw’s “The Devil’s Discipline”, it is in times like this that one finds his true profession. So in my case I would be a thinker, a philosopher if you like.
I hastily remembered I had carried my ATM card and just next to the bar was my bank’s ATM booth. These machines are equally annoyingly too accurate; it made no mistake and flashed the words “your account balance is zero” in my face. If I may be bold enough to ask you dear money, why do you hate me? Why is it that whenever I have you, you always want to run away from me quicker than you came. When I have you, you sincerely never let me to settle in one place but rather keep urging me to dispose of you? These are the critical questions to which straight answers are sought from non-other than yourself (money).
Nabendeh Wamoto S.P (0776-658433)