Straight from OR Tambo International Airport on a very cold winter Monday morning, we were ushered into the elegant G-Wagon Mercedes and it had never felt homelier for me.
It felt heavenly; you could not even feel the tarmac. Anyhow, I was used to the bumpy rides on the dusty Kireka streets so how would I even expect potholes in Mzansi? So naive of me you could say. I made sure my bags were fastened as I had heard that Johannesburg is a crime hub and at that moment I couldn’t afford losing any of my possessions.
Mind you in my bags, I had carried some food stuffs, inclusive of Matooke for my friend Stella who lived in East Gate Johannesburg and I was all excited to see her as she had been my guide way before I saw the real South Africa.
Immediately as we exited the airport, I saw a whole new world; Development, and straight I remembered Mama Umar in Kireka who sold Mukene and tomatoes just next to my former gate. The difference is shockingly crisp. It is the first world country I was ushered into. The roads were as large as the width of River Nile and I could not believe my eyes. Talk of the planned housing by the road as you drive swiftly towards East Gate, breath taking, only made me wonder when Jennifer Musisi will ever achieve the like.
The imagination was farfetched and you can imagine I had not seen Cape Town yet. Thank God I wasn’t headed to Cape Town because I was going to shed a tear. Cape Town is not meant to be in Africa, a common would argue.
The air smelt different as we drove from tunnel to tunnel. It was pure bliss! When we reached Sandton, the chaperone went for a quick fix at a PickNpay supermarket and yes, that’s when I felt myself in a foreign country. When you are used to Game, Nakumatt and Garden City and then you enter a PickNpay mall. That is when you feel like you will never return to Uganda. As the driver packed for a while I thought of calling Nigel and Agaba to tell them of what I had seen. I felt so local at that moment. Truth be told though, wasn’t I local?
Our chaperone hoped back into our Mercedes and off we drove straight to the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, a neighbourhood that is not meant for broke people. The whole Rivonia stretch literally got me gawking! At the hotel, I could see couples moving to the hotel and I figured some of these were the contestants we were going to battle the next day to earn a real qualification inside the Big Brother House.
We checked in and were guided by a weird talking coloured man to the 6th Floor. If it is your first time meeting with a coloured South African, you will not hear 80% of what they will say to you. I didn’t hear crap of what he said most of the times; I just kept smiling as if I had understood what he was blubbering about. One thing I noticed was he was happy to see me.
I could literally see the whole of Rivonia Street and pretty much the rest of Sandton once I entered my hotel room. I had only seen a McDonald’s store in movies, this time I could see it with my own eyes and I couldn’t wait to go grab a cheese burger and some flies. Janette and I were incarcerated in one room with two beds for the next five days……………
It was so cold on that Monday evening that I couldn’t feel my feet and I kept thinking, well, there is a girl in my hotel room and I can’t even do anything with her. She is a good looking petite girl but I somehow can’t see myself advancing. You get that feeling, right? The one of I see her as my little sister, yeah that one. So I thought of a very weird way of convincing her to come to my bed so we warm each other up, just for just. Nothing sexual!
Now I know this sounds weird to you all perverted minds but nothing could EVER happen between Jannette and I. I thought about it for a while and when I made my mind to call her to my bed, she was snoring like a she-goat. I retreated to my bed and switched the heat in the room up. I slept off in peace until one of Biggie’s guys called KK came to pick us for lunch and gave me 2000 Rands for pocket money for the day.
It was a lot of money for one day. Who gives you 600K Uganda Shillings for pocket money in a day? For the first time I felt like I was destined to be rich, which I am actually still working on by the way. It has been tough so far.
KK called our chaperon (driver) and in a few minutes, we drove to McDonalds and later KFC because Jannette was inseparable with her chicken. We were only supposed to be out of the hotel for one hour every day. All the other hours we had to stay indoors or else be disqualified. Fortunately, we had a TV which only showed SABC Channels and M-Net Movies, so I had no choice but to watch ‘Isidingo’ , Scandal and Rhythm City for a week. Excruciating I tell you!
The unexpected happened a few moments later!
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