17 Jun 2019


Lugala At Large: Charcoal Burning Banned

“Sorry, sister. I don’t know about Japan. Everything here is made in China, including ice cream and the artificial hair on your head. Even your round face looks like made in China.”

By Victor Lugala 

The lampshade overhead is painted like a love heart. To my far left an open freezer lined with inflated red tomatoes, apples, pears in their splendour entice the few loaded customers. Variety of puffy hot pepper hang like things in a village market.



I'm surrounded with frozen foods but there's no such smell, so I can die drinking tea. With deliberate blurred vision of artistic notoriety, the supermarket shelves look like a museum of modern art: neatly arranged by some guided local hands. Outside there I can imagine environmental chaos: mountains of uncollected garbage, stagnant water turned brackish, street urination, and stagnant brains.


Charcoal burning is banned. Stop desertification! People can look for alternative energy. Fine! Let's go ethnic. We can cook with cow dung. We need genetically modified cows to excrete tons of dung for cooking our meals.  Cow dung will soon become a commercial item. Cow dung and urine from genetically modified cows do not smell.


Polyethylene bags are banned. Go ahead, pretenders, ban everything. Ban shisha too. Ban illegal money changers. Ban sachet spirits.  Ban sex even. Ban war! Yes, ban that one. Make dysfunctional celibates out of us all.


When sex is banned society will be orderly. Population will be checked. Nobody will want to create a civil war because a country's population could be wiped out within a short time.


It's getting dark outside there where there is generational chaos. It's bright inside the supermarket. I'm writing and thinking. Thinking and writing. Ideas are flowing faster than I can capture every detail. Nobody can ban my thinking. Ban creativity and literature is dead. Entertainment will be dead. So what? Pretenders don’t care a hoot about creativity.


Ban public urination! After all, the unknown gunman has made nocturnal cowards out of us all in the urban area. We can't go to the latrine outside the main house to answer the call of nature. We therefore urinate in plastic bottles and buckets and basins at night. Who cares? What if they ban plastic bottles tomorrow? The pretenders will close one eye on that, and business continues as usual. There are worse things to ban.


Ban miniskirts. Miniskirts are causing traffic accidents. Deny serial rapists the bad thought. Go ahead, ban skimpy clothes. The pretenders can go abroad and have fun.


The hum of the giant food freezers is like rain inside my head, fertelising my thoughts before they get polluted in the chaos outside of my skin.


Where there is chaos booming sound of music is filtering in, assailing my ears. Ban loud music. Ban headphones.


Outside there the chaos of World Cup football mania is palpable. Ban football. Football is an intoxicant like cocaine or marijuana. Husbands and fathers are running away from their loved ones to shout like lunatics in video halls. They are supporting players who don't know they exist. Football is generational chaos. Ban it with immediate effect! 


Generational chaos is caused by dead brain. Ban idleness and idle talk. Promote a reading culture, a writing culture, a healthy, a civilizing culture. Sanitize the thinking of society toward progress and brain growth.


The supermarket is now making me hungry after pouring my stream of consciousness on paper.


The red lampshade is vibrating as if there's an earthquake. Generational chaos is causing the earthquake. It must be a World Cup goal causing all this global chaos. Emmanuel Macron must be on tenterhooks supporting his boys on the pitch in Moscow. The French World Cup team has poached many Africans. France has also poached ‘Mr Spiderman’ who had to scale the wall of a tall building to rescue a lone toddler on a balcony. If he had tried that feat in mother Africa he would have been shot dead and forgotten after being mistaken for a robber.


The other day Macron visited Fela Kuti's museum in generational chaotic Lagos. The French president must be a Negritudist, I bet. Leopold Senghor, rest in peace, you still have many followers on earth. Fela Kuti, the late Nigerian Afro-beat legend was an Afrinanist to the end. Long live Fela! Long Live Africa!


I can imagine football fans squeezed in a video hall to watch a World Cup match. And the constant spitting on the floor. Cigarette smoke and spewing vitriol.


Bann public spitting! It is disgusting. It is abhorrent. It is nauseating. It is unhealthy. 


Ban migration, war or no war. Ban migration, unemployment or no unemployment. Make young Africans dig trenches, build roads and bridges of tolerance.

A World Cup score must have caused the earthquake shaking the tomato-red lampshade. The lampshade is the size of a bowler hat. If the frenzy continues out there, the lampshade could fall on my head because it is perpendicular to my head. Do I move away from where I'm sitting after warming the seat? No way!


I need more tea and a croissant with a bull’s eye. Don’t ban tea yet. Tea is not harmful. Is there something like cannabis tea? Ban that one.


If you ban a commodity or bad habit, ban for all. Law is law. There is no law for little people and another separate law for zoological sharks feeding on public coffers. I don’t like that discriminatory wise saying that the law is like a net which only catches small animals because the lions and elephants can tear through.

Ban cigarette smoking in public places. Cigarette smoking kills. I don’t understand why people like swallowing poisonous smoke.


The corner where I’m sitting and hiding from the generational chaos reminds me of a train restaurant somewhere in the heart of Africa where the soil is red like a fresh wound. Africa is always bleeding, anyway.


A young woman walks in swinging her limbs as if her shoulders were tired of carrying them. Her face is bleached and the colour of her feet is a different story altogether. She opens a freezer and samples some ice cream. She picks a small plastic container of ice cream and turns it around in her hand, looking for the price tag.


"How much is this?"

"Seven hundred."

"You are not serious, such a tiny thing is costing an arm and a leg?"

"Dollar. Dollar. Sister."

"Is ice cream also imported from Japan?"

“Sorry, sister. I don’t know about Japan. Everything here is made in China, including ice cream and the artificial hair on your head. Even your round face looks like made in China.”

Now, what are these two people up to, importing their generational chaos to disturb the lampshade overhead? The lampshade is painted like love heart.

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