I was officially a prisoner
Days rushed so fast that before I knew it, it was D-day. I called my childhood friend Drama Fudribo to take me to the airport since our ‘Tumukunde’ had started fading our memories and all we had left was bitterness.
Fudribo wasn’t bothered at all as he bought me a whole bottle of Uganda Waragi and I went sipping en route to the airport. By the time I got to the airport I was wasted! Thanks to this guy. Drama is not just his other name but he is drama itself. He is one other friend I owe most of my life to.
Aboard a South Africa Airways Boeing, my economy class flight took off at 7:15 am on Sunday April 28th, 2012. That is when I knew I was just about to BLOW UP!
I was back at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg two weeks later, this time not as an interviewee but a serious contender for the $300,000 jackpot at the end of the next three months. I was ushered into my hotel room and it felt different this time. It smelt nicer yet very surreal! I was alone in there. Two weeks back I had a TV and a roomie, this time I had no TV, no roomie and no phone.
I was officially, a prisoner who was guarded by a personal chauffer and taken everywhere I wanted as long as I never met any of the housemates on my way there. I got the most strategically located room and this time I could see all the housemates move in and out, though some of them I mistook for potential housemates.
All I knew was anybody dressed young and sassy in the company of an old not very well dressed human was definitely a housemate. I got to my warm hotel room on a winter cold Sunday 28th April, 2012. I was to spend the next 7 days alone in that hotel room except that my chauffer was in the adjoining room.
I only had a couple magazines to read though. The first time I entered it, I was wondering whether I was at least going to keep the TV and or get to be visited by a few species of the female gender but alas! The TV was taken away as I watched and my phone taken away as well, so there was no way I was going to communicate with the outside world.
I had promised my boys Nigel, Agaba and Robert Semakula, and my girls Mariat and Sheila to call them once I settled in but I didn’t get the chance. I could never believe I was going to be away from my phone for possibly the next 4 months or something but that was okay because at least my friends and Uganda would know where I went.
I thought about my mum and shed a tear. Probably doesn’t sound right? It actually happened. I was going to miss her daily phone calls so much but what to do. I told myself I was going to win the show for her so I held onto that belief. My brother Tony only knew what was going on. I wanted to surprise the rest of the family and so they were indeed when the show went live.
Six days into my 7 day long imprisonment I saw a coloured girl look at me upstairs and I waved, she couldn’t wave because it was illegal and she could have been disqualified had she been seen waving back to a stranger. That girl turned out to be Eve from Botswana.
The beauty that stole this feeble heart. I looked at her behind and for a minute I thought to myself; damn she is pretty. In her company I saw another short – haired light girl who later happened to be her sister Edith. Eve struck me immediately and all I could wish for was for her to be a housemate. And I waited.
Suddenly it was Sunday 5th May 2012, the day when lights shone so bright. The live show started at 19:00 CAT and my heart could only pound with anxiety and nervousness. It was finally happening, my life was about to be public property. Even the dudes were about to see me in the nude. I thought to myself, how gross! Ewww! But the thought of girls watching comforted me immediately and then I couldn’t wait.
At about 6pm, I was driven from the hotel to somewhere in Randburg where the live show was taking place. It so happens that my ride parked just next to another with another coloured girl who turned out to be Talia from Zambia.
For a minute I was spoilt for choice but then again I needed my heart to be faithful. I waved and she waved back and something told me we were going to be very good friends on the show. The ushers gave me my microphone and a belt with my name engraved on it and I was only waiting to hear my name being called.
Housemates were called alphabetically and since Uganda starts with a U, I waited longer, though I could hear everything going on behind the walls. Talia was from Zambia which meant she had to wait longer as well.
I tried to start a conversation but my chauffer could not allow me as I would be putting his job at a huge risk. I tried sign language but we both sacked at it and ended bursting out laughing to our drivers’ consternation. Finally, our turn came and I left my new friend Talia behind.
When I heard my name being called alongside Jannette’s, I rushed to her and we said a quick prayer and there we went. We were one of the youngest yet cutest couples. It was exciting how people viewed us! I shook IK’s hand and it felt real, I shook it again to make sure. He laughed and I knew it then; the games had just begun.
Jannette and I were interviewed and asked if we were in a relationship, we both chewed out words and everybody went out laughing. At least that was a good sign the crowd might actually fall in love with us. As we were ushered to the rare stage to join other housemates, my eyes met with Flavia Tumusiime’s who was a co-emcee on the day. She looked gorgeous and I waved as she waved back.
She seemed elated as I was. I always loved Flavia from way back in High school at Kitante Hill School where I went for a few months before I was dismissed for insulting a not so good looking Literature teacher. Uganda was well represented that day! We had made it and there was no special feeling better than that.
And then my eyes met with Eve’s and I knew all hell was about to break loose!
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