This godson of mine turned 5 yesterday. They grow up so fast these days. As his favourite uncle (he might not know this yet, but it’ll come to him eventually) and more importantly, his godfather, it’s my role to shape him into a man. A man’s man if you may. And part of being a man is learning how to conduct yourself around the fairer sex. Now, he is a bit shy this one. Likes to hang at the edge of the crowd and study the playing field before making his awkward move. Bit of a rough diamond that needs polishing here and there. Some might say the situation is worse and he is an unmined diamond, but I chose to be optimistic.
Because he is based upcountry and I’m here in this Kampala of ours, we tend to spend long periods of time apart. Recently, my big brother got married and my godson was given the responsibility of being the peg boy, naturally, and leading the entourage with him were these two beautiful girls. This was the perfect time to see how much progress he had made since our last one-sided pep talk. At this stage, one-sided is pretty much what you can get most of the time due to his short attention span. Anyway, big stage, lights, cameras, action…and what does my lil man do, he develops cold feet. Ice-cold feet. Damn. This wasn’t good. Of he proper abandoned the entourage, gave the girls a cold shoulder and pretty much did a ka bye Felicia and went to have a party of his own. Of, man, thanks for making me look dapper, but I didn’t sign up for the rest of this dramatic business. Zero chills. Kwegamba winter had arrived in his ends.
But I’m no quitter. This situation could and had to be salvaged. There was no way my boy was going to be the talk of his school for all the wrong reasons. Sha. When the entourage broke off from the rest of the people to go and shoot some photos, I got some time with the youngin so we could have another of our one-sided pep talks. I broke down the history of our tribe, how the bakiga were brave and fearless men and how he had to step up and protect the pride of the bloodline. This talk was assisted by regular doses of Fanta to make sure I had his attention. When I was done, I gave him my game plan, we were going to begin his redemption with him taking a photo with the two flower girls. That way, he’d have photographic evidence that he’d been killing it and all the naysayers at school would have to shut it. With the talk done and plan formulated, it was time for action.
I instructed him to follow me and leave the talking to me as we set off to where the girls were situated. What are wingmen for? I reached there, introduced myself, made my case for a young brother and got them to agree to our photo strategy. When I turned with a smile of satisfaction to tell mans that the mission was good to go, I found an empty space behind me. On scanning the environs, I saw him where we’d been standing earlier holding onto the Fanta bottle and giving me his most intense dude-you-are-on-your-own look. This lil ninja was determined to make this difficult. I couldn’t fault him though coz I’d given him the determined mukiga talk, but it was manifesting in the wrong way. Time for plan B.
I turned back to the girls and gave them a different spin. The go-getter spin. Ko me, this is a generation of women that do whatever they want…women that step up and roll with the boys and even take the wheel when the boys can’t. Are you that kind of girl, I asked them. I got a resounding yes and we bongad. I then told them the importance of this photo and how it was now in their hands to make this happen for the wedding to be considered a success. Gatdayum, I was a wingman on steroids! The girls though were something else. They nodded vigorously to my speech and before I’d even finished the pitch, they were off to collect the boy and take the photo. Lord help anyone that tries to mess with these girls in the future. Before he had time to process what was happening, they’d grabbed him by the hand and were leading him to the cameraman. Me I was just there doing a slow clap. He didn’t make it easy for them though. That mukiga blood, yo! But I have to hand it to the girls. They got the boy there and the photo was taken. They even did the slaying poses while he pulled what I like to call the reluctant-ladies-man pose.
It’s obvious we have a long battle ahead of us before this young man of mine is moulded into the man he should be. I’m now finalising the training manual for him after which I’ll set some KPIs and then we’ll begin boot camp. In the meantime though, happy fifth young padawan. And fear not, we’ll make a world-conquering man out of you yet.