Sunshine, Patriarchy and Nsenene

Nsenene season is upon us and it is happiness all around. November is not just a month away from Christmas bonuses (if you are those people) and jingle bells. It also ushers in grasshoppers. These are not just ordinary insects. Here are some personal truths about them.

  1. Unlike most insects, we wait on them all year and when they arrive we don’t bring out doom or whatever insecticide to kill them because they are not harmful to our health. We set up iron sheets with light and trap them. Okay maybe we don’t do the trapping ourselves but people do and we pay them money for it which brings me to my next point.
  2. They are bringing this country closer to midro income status. Throughout the month of November, nsenene employ a good number of Ugandans. Some are wholesalers. They send their truckloads of this delicacy to urban dwellers. Others are sigiri owning chefs frying and dishing out yummy portions in the middle of the old taxi park.  And others will be shoving them down your car window or taxi while you are stuck in Kampala’s unending traffic.
  3. They used to be the key to getting Christmas outfits. According to my grandmother who is a very wise woman nsenene alongside chicken and eggs are on the list women were not allowed to eat but they would catch, hunt, conquer, solicit them for their husbands in order to encourage them to buy them to buy her Christmas clothes. (I don’t know what to say to that except that patriarchy is greedy and mean and therefore we should all be feminists)

I really thought I had more nsenene truths but they are done, almost as fast as any amount of nsenene that comes into my proximity. I am open to any and all invitations to eat nsenene this November. Totally unrelated, why has no one come up with nsenene rolex, or nsenene pizza, or nsenene burger, or nsensene salad?  So many possibilities.

About the Author:

 

Komusana Fiona | Sunshine – She loves to have an opinion but more than that she loves to give it, so she writes. The idea that she gets to express her opinion without looking any one in the face is motivating.

Ghost Tales | Abasezzi

Mythical creatures and ghosts are probably a part of many more childhoods than adulthood. Nonetheless, we have all heard, and at best experienced them.
In Uganda, it’s probably the famous Bukalabanda or perhaps the Basezzi commonly referred to as night-dancers. Whatever your encounter with Mystical creatures, you have one! Let’s explore some of these stories here.
Buckle up! These stories have made grown men wet their pants.

Abasezzi;

“I come from central Uganda, Buganda in particular and those that hail from the same are no strangers to the fantasy or reality of Abasezzi, the night-dancers, not crawlers, these guys actually dance around at night.

The most fascinating technicality to their dance is the that they do this stack-naked, Adam’s suit. Oh! And often in graveyards. Which is where they’re said to take their next meal from. Aren’t we glad they’re not killing and eating? hehehe…at least they’re only taking the dead. Still, these guys are said to be cannibals. Truth be told, many villagers have found their loved ones’ recently dug graves turned inside out only days after their funerals” Joanne Nvannungi narrates.

These night-dancers are thought to be demon-possessed, or as my people say “balina ekitambo” (they’re under a spell). In their element, they appear taller than usual, very swift & posses charms and powers.The demon that possesses these abasezzi is said to be contagious, and can possess another person especially if you in the vicinity.

“I first came to hear about the basezzi when I was 6 years old, visiting my grandparents deep down in Bukomansibi (now a district, yaaay), then a part of Masaka district. Yoh, the stories left you numb & a tad curious, but you know we are not cats, we only got one life.
If you think I’m lying, wait out by the banana plantation in the night & maybe you’ll hear the rustling of dried banana fiber. Next you’ll see the fire. When they clap their hands, fire comes out. And then they’ll merge, dark shapes of naked grown-a** men & women. Yoh! And if you stick around and let them touch you, you’ll become one of them. You’ll catch ekitambo! By the way, you can’t outrun them. They’ll catch you and maybe even just appear in front of you as you scatter.” She added.

Do you have any basezzi tales? Share with us.