What you need to know:
After losing his golden watch, Matogo following advice from his friend Patrick, decides to hit the gym and build up some muscles to fight next time something of his is stolen
When I completed high school, I was on a high. I had just got a job, so my mother bought me a gold watch. It would shimmer in the sun and sparkle in the night.
Oh yes, it was the kind of “bling” that made the heart sing. So every five minutes, I would check the time. That way, I could admire it and congratulate myself at the same time. Also, I’d make sure that everyone saw it.
If someone asked for directions to someplace, I would raise my left hand with elaborate hand gestures to direct them. In doing so, they couldn’t possibly miss seeing my watch.
People had to recognise that I had the ultimate timepiece. But sadly, one day I attracted the wrong kind of recognition and the watch was stolen.
I was anguish-ridden.
So I went to see the one friend who might help me redeem the situation.
Patrick was relaxing at home when I strode into his place with eyes cast downwards and shoulders stooped. I was broken, and my friend Patrick instantly could see that I was of a piece with the sadness that comes with loss.
“Philip, I am sorry that your watch was stolen but I can assure you that it is a blessing in disguise because now you can plan some revenge,” he said.
He then went on to advise me to hit the gym or go to self-defense classes. That way, I could beat down any future watch grabber.
I thus took his advice and hit the gym.
When I got there, I found a number of body building freaks whose huge chests tapered down to thin waists. Their torsos glistened like Vaseline on a light bulb, with huge biceps.
It was a sweat shop, and everyone was lifting heavy weights.
I was about to turn back and leave. But then an image of my stolen watch came into my head. That’s when I stopped and let the theme song of the Sylvester Stallone movie Rocky play in my head.
Unfortunately, the weights were too heavy!
At one point, a tough looking female gym instructor had to help me lift them. Still, I was there for an hour.
Then I left thereafter with more ounce to my bounce. But, tragically, the morning after, I couldn’t straighten my arms.
Yep, both my arms were locked in arm-wrestling posture for a week. It was like I was on the verge of a hug every moment.
It was time to hit self-defense classes. So I hit the boxing club in Kololo, when my arms straightened up.
When I got there, I saw muscled and chiseled dudes that had hospital handshakes…as they squeezed your hand beyond breaking point. I thus stepped up to the instructor.
“My name is Philip Matogo,” I said and then went on to explain why I was there.
“Yes, Matovu…” he started in reply. But I cut him off.
“I said Matogo.” “Okay, Katogo,” he misfired again.“No, it is actually Matogo…with a silent ‘K’,” I said politely.
“Sawa….Bwana Matako…I want you to run to town and back immediately. Then we begin hard things,” he said brusquely.
He had made a mess out of my name and so I didn’t dare ask him what he meant by ‘hard things’. I thus ran to town, and back.
As soon as I returned, sweaty and exhausted, he barked at me.
“Now, punch that tree….for 30 minutes!”
Punch a tree? No way. “I would much rather do some pushups or spar with someone,” I pleaded.“I would much rather….,” he mimicked me.
Then he said, “Bra, Bra, Bra!” (As in “Blah, Blah Blah.”)
He was eye-rolling, with rising impatience. I could see he was getting mad. Then, suddenly, his scowl evened out into a smile and he said, “Sparring, okay. Kato come here and spar with Matako.”
“My name is really Matogo…”
“Shut up and box!” he shouted.
When I saw my sparring partner, I was shell-shocked. He looked like he ate cement and burped concrete lullabies for opponents such as me.
His eyes needled me as he raised his arms. I felt like screaming ‘fire!’ while pointing behind him. So that he would turn around to look, and see nothing. And by the time he turned around again to face me, he’d only see me in the form of a hard punch.
But I vetoed that plan when I remembered that I might break my knuckles on his steely jaw.
Beads of sweat now collected on my brow as all the other boxers gathered around us, tittering and snarling. I thus took one step back, raised my hands in surrender and then ran for my life!
A few weeks later, I was downtown on Wilson Road. Some unwashed and unshaven dude stepped up to me and furtively looked around. Then he flashed a stolen glittering timepiece before my eyes. It was for sale. Wait a minute, it was my watch!!!
I thought of Patrick and how right he was: if I had learnt how to fight, I would have jujitsu-fied this thug.