The maids were watching the State -of-the-Nation address as they lazed around the living room. I came in as the address came to an end and got the commentator asking for comments. An opposition MP was denouncing the speech saying it had nothing to do with the state of the nation because it had not addressed the starving teachers.
“Banange I am tired of hearing complaints these days,” said my maid. “Isn’t there at least one happy person these days to tell us how nice life is for them?”
“Kyokka things are really tough and there may not be that many people to say that life is nice,” responded the minister’s maid.
The broadcast was returned to the studio and a commentator was saying that a driver in KCCA was earning more than a doctor.
“Well at least no KCCA driver is complaining,” I said. “But remember that there are far fewer KCCA drivers than doctors in the country.”
“In other words the happy voices are too few to be heard as they say how comfortable life is these days,” observed the minister’s maid.
“Something like that,” I said. “But the President has advised how young people can go into entrepreneurship and self employment to make money.”
“I wish all of you luck with your four acres and coffee seedlings distributed by the afandes,” said my rude maid. “For me I am already in World Cup mood.”
“I think you are right this time,” the minister’s maid supported her. Let the World Cup begin and people can all talk football instead of this song of money is scarce.”
“That is called escapism,” I tried chastising them.
“Who cares as long as the people are happy?” snapped the minister’s maid defiantly. “Now the best national teams will be entertaining us for a full month. I shall be seeing Brazil play Croatia at the same time as President Barack Obama. He cannot fast forward to watch another match that has not yet been played.”
“Stop pretending to be a philosopher,” I hit back. “People are not going to eat football matches telecast from Brazil.”
“We wont eat the matches but they will make us happy, happier than posho, beans or chicken,” she insisted. “If there is an opportunity to be happy, why should we refuse? You discuss your Kyankwanzi resolutions while we discuss the scores in Brazil. But you cant eat the Kyankwanzi resolutions either.”
“Okay you win,” I said. “But only for a month. After the World Cup ends, your happiness will also come to an end.”
“But there are also some small world cups here,” my maid interjected. “We shall start following Villa and KCC and Express and I don’t know the rest yet.”
“And about time too,” I scoffed.
“And don’t forget Champions, Premier, and all those other European leagues,” said my maid, sounding unusually clever.
“Oh, how I wish the World Cup could last a whole year!” the minister’s maid whined.
“Your new passion for soccer is beyond my understanding,” I said. “It is like football is becoming your special dose for happiness.”
“But if it works, then why not?” she hit back.
“So you would happily watch football from January to December?” I asked.
“I shall happily watch football from January to December,” she emphasised. “And I don’t think there is a law to stop me from doing that.”
“I know you have the sports channels and can record special matches to keep watching them over and over again,” I said. “But who will pay you to watch football?”
“But watching football is great payment,” she responded. “So why should I be paid for being paid after being paid?”
“I mean who will pay you Uganda shillings for watching football?”
“Ah, the shillings,” she said. “I will be doing some work for my employer in between watching my football. But I shall not put any feeling in that work. All my feelings shall be reserved for football because it is nice.”