From Lumumba with love


This is a catchphrase, sometimes a war cry, a rallying cry, at times even an alarm, and a magnetic chant that resonates with all Makerere university students but mostly among the residents of Lumumba hall.

Lumumba is a male hall of residence that derives its name from Patrice Lumumba. It is mostly known for its fearless nature. It leads the strikes, terrorises other halls and protects its turf with such ferocity that there is permanent fear in its opponents’ hearts. The atmosphere is akin to the Viking raids in the Anglo-Saxon times of 11th century England. Lumumba without doubt remains the premier hall of residence at Makerere University. One might attribute this to its talented or gifted residents, the shrewd and charismatic leaders but it is the spirit of Lumumba that is most striking about every lumumbist. That unfailing spirit and passion for the empire or other issues that are close to their hearts that is present in the DNA of each lumumbist.

For the first time I attempt to capture the atmosphere in Lumumba from the proceedings of the first kimeeza of the semester, observed by yours truly with undivided attention. (This is normally priviledged information and the highest offices in the empire had to be consulted first before it could be relayed to the public)

Kimeeza is a sacred assembly of all residents that is convened to pass on information, debate the affairs of the empire, declare war or raids on enemy halls, plan strikes, initiate freshers, but mostly to keep the barbaric spirit alive. This is where the leadership hopefuls flaunt their talents, it’s the community of Lumumba plus a few boxers fused in one song. It is also where the true Lumumbist is made, not at the porridge nights or the Lumbox carnivals or even the many episodes of the naked mile.

Tonight, the chairman is seated at the table (the only piece of furniture in the room) and regaling closely at his side is the chairlady of Box (Mary Stuart hall, which together with Lumumba forms the Lumbox solidarity) and a few other escorts. A short distance away, the god of the empire(a metallic stature); Emperor Gongom stands erect both horizontally and vertically just adjacent to the iron gates. He is draped in a kanzu that used to be white. At the waist of the kanzu is a hole that allows his ever-erect appendage to protrude. It is covered with multiple layers of condoms, a light hearted yet stark reminder to all to follow his example.

The kimeeza always begins with the singing of the songs of the empire led by the cultural minister. Words that ordinarily, do not escape from the mouth are sung with ease. For the newcomers they must wonder whether this is the so called Harvard of Africa. The whole Lumumba empire is on its feet surrounding the table and listening keenly. Whoever wants to address the kimeeza must stand on the table itself. The speaker is mandated to direct the proceedings and he yields the stage to those who desire to speak. Several speakers rise and address the meeting. The skilled ones can spend over five minutes while those who don’t know how to keep the audience on its toes are pulled off the table by the hems of their trousers even before a minute elapses. Notable speakers are the chairman and some members of his cabinet; the health, cultural, and entertainment minister with diverse messages ranging from the upcoming health week, the beach bash or complaints about the Wi-Fi connection.

You can’t fail to mention the GGB (Gongom Guard Brigade) commander. A dark, tall, fully toned student that towers above everyone else but most of all he is the only five star general in the rug-tug forces of the empire. There is a thin line between respect and fear for him even among his own friends. His remarks are brief and devoid of all political intonations. Firstly, he announces that the GGB is recruiting and goes on to elaborate the criteria for selecting those vested with the responsibility of guarding the empire. The positions available; head of misinformation and propaganda also called the spy chief, the chief mobiliser, and chief of recruitments. Finally, he gives the security report and elaborates the guidelines of how to be security cautious.

When everything has finally been deliberated upon, the cultural minister bursts out with twesimye nyoo…  Almost instinctively, every Lumumbist’s left arm grabs his crotch while the ladies reach for their breasts and all (by now also including freshers) lift up their right arm with a finger pointing to the skies and the empire is swallowed up by the tune of ekitibwa kya Lumumba. It is a catchy rendition of the ekitibwa kya Buganda, but instead of singing sabasajja Kabaka, its sabasajja Gongom. Similarly, asaana afuge egwanga lyona is twisted to asaana aziine abakazi boona.

Granted, this is not an original anthem and it might be littered with many vulgarities, the voices are even hoarse and not tuned or in sync but it is infectious. The passion and energy with which it is sung is the most visible show of solidarity in Lumumba, and that makes all the difference between the empire and the rest of the villages.

P.S; there is no inference of any living person in the above article but if any direct or implied allusion is detected  it is entirely unintentional or merely for dramatic purposes