Monthly Archives: February 2015

15 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, PRIME TIME IS YOUNGER THAN HER AGE

He invited me. The talk had been long and we had shot into the hours of the Sunday morning. My roommate, Justus, is not one of those people that stay out for long. Usually by 2100 hours, he is back indoors. But that is not the case with Saturdays. As dusk walks in, he is at the hostel putting a few things together for what he tells me is called Prime Time. So I asked him about this event that takes place at Makerere University swimming pool every Saturday of the semester and he told me about it.

This particular session that must have affected him took place on Valentines’ day. Being a Saturday, I was exhausted and wanted no more conversation but sleep. He was not ready to buy my excuse. He told me of what had transpired at the poolside during Prime Time. He told me of couples that shared their stories; how they met there and how their friendship matured into marriage. He kept mentioning Uncle Bob, the guy who has seen all the students at campus, come and go, get married yet he is still ‘waiting on the Lord,’ I’m told.

Justus’ talk and tale went on through the course of the week and I made it a point to pass by the poolside for Prime Time the Saturday next. And this would be like my third time there. My first time attending this event was in 2014, when I read on a manila chat laid on the ground in front of the pillars at the Faculty of Arts. The theme, Sex at the pool, caught my attention. The story was however different when I got to the pool. The second time, it was about Dying for a Partner and the responses were very captivating. I remember one young man saying, “I would ask her to first die, then I take off.” One thing about Prime Time that you cannot take away is the fun. Laughter is one of the main dishes of this weekly buffet. The chefs always make it a point to spice up the event with this inviting dish. And the audiences always seem well prepared to receive the laughter.

My interest at this event though, was first struck by the tweet beam. During the course of the event, the prime timers, like the audience is called, keep tweeting details of the event and it is very captivating. It is one of the reasons I would consider going back again and again. Like any other routine event, Prime Time has its culture. The audiences refer to themselves as prime timers. The few times I have been there, I haven’t seen a difference in setting, which is not a big deal to the audiences. It is always the black curtains at the southern end of the pool that acts as the platform just like the way theatre was arranged in the ancient Greek. The prime timers sit on the staircases of the swimming pool as they look southwards to the goings-on. There are personalities whose names shall always be said a number of times. At least I know in that place, there is a gentleman called Ojangole alias OJ. He is so pivotal in the running of the event that at least his name is mentioned once in every ten minutes. The other person is Bob alias Uncle Bob, the comedian. He happens to be the official host of the evening event. The audiences always seem to be expecting a lot of entertainment from these people, on top of the day’s emcees.

Prime Time has been running since 1999. The program was introduced by Pastor Martin Ssempa, one of the famous names at Makerere University at least about religious leaders. His work here is not different from the stories around his name. From as far as 1999, this man-of-God, like many introduce themselves, dedicated himself towards providing clean entertainment that would not lure students into sexual indulge. In fact the essence of prime time is to promote abstinence and, of recent; a platform against homosexuality.

Fifteen years later, the numbers continue to grow. When you come twenty minutes late, you’re assured of standing throughout the show because all the sitting area is covered. Prime Time continues making a positive impact on the lives of the youth at Makerere University. When you find them fighting to enter, you may mistake the crowd for a wrong motive. But they are fighting to get a seat where their souls will be nourished and entertained for the coming three hours. Saturdays are different for any student who attends Prime Time. No wonder my roommate always comes back with a smile on his face, eager to share the highlights of the event even when not called for.

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If you could think of this

Don’t be alone in that secluded place. Your mind will be stolen and your treasury hacked into. You cannot trust all that passes, all the sights that the eye catches. May be these you may but you cannot trace all the thoughts your mind’s birthed. You are special because you can think independently; you’re not special because you belong to a club. No, you will still be that special even when you are standing amongst the multitudes. Stand out and prove the reason for your existence.

But you cannot stand out when you are alone. Look for where others are, meet, interact and learn be patient and be open. Be true. Don’t lie like I have because you want to please, it will hurt you the more. Think. Act. Live. There is more than meets the eye. At least if it misses the eye, the ear will catch wind of it.

Don’t you be left out, instead go out. There is always more fish in the waters than at the shores. Dive in and hook it up. Who knows you will get the kind of fish everyone else has wanted to get but couldn’t find. Who knows whether your fishing skill shall be an eye opener to the unknown and new skill every one as ever wanted? Go out, stand out and open up.

Tell me, do you know what all people are doing? Of course not! But you need to know that which you are doing. The funny bit about the truth is that even your friends will only think of you because you shared an idea along their line of thought. People will not think of you because you exist, many do. People will think of you because of the tagline that you are known for. They will look for you because of that extra something that you did for your friend. They will remember you because you are the one good enough for the job.

Stop! Don’t you read this like another handout from one of your known motivational speakers and inspirational whoever they call themselves. Read this with a deep reflection of yourself; you living through the crevices of time. You, deeply scrutinising the length and breadth of that foot step that you’re taking or about to take.

Thinking of the past footsteps in itself is a thing of the past. Shut up and raise your damn head up right. Face the face of the future ahead of you, be violent shoot into the skies, who knows your opportunity shall be hunted down

Hate not who are privileged and in a better position, look at them as a means for you to learn. Don’t hate but learn. Learn the ways of the land; the politics of the game. Remember the players shall always change, but the rules remain the same. The question is “what is the game?” Before anything else, you should know the game you’re about to play.