Makerere University does not have a school uniform requirement until the very last moment, when each student has to be draped in a gaudy black poncho and an upside down hat before they can successfully leave the institution.
MUK insists, however, that you wear the uniform made by their chosen tailor and priced at whatever they bargained it down or up to. You can’t just borrow my gown from two decades ago and style on these chumps.
This year the tailor didn’t stitch up enough biteteeyi for whatever reason and therefore imported a batch from China to make up for the shortfall.
This was at odds with the university’s Buy Uganda Build Uganda procurement ethos which dictates that these gowns must be bought Ugandan, so they can build Uganda.
The importation of graduation gowns from China flies in the face of this policy, like a rock flying in the face of a riot police-person’s helmet during a fees strike.
Solution for the graduation gowns mess
I have the advice, the solution MUK needs to prevent a repeat of this fiasco before the next graduation and in fact improve the BUBU factor. Read, dons, read and learn.
MUK graduate courses take, what, three years minimum? That is plenty of time to have every prospective graduate take trips downtown to the BUBU district (Kikuubo, Owino, etc) and order their own bona fide BUBU grad kiteteyi.
In fact, make it a course requirement for Makerere students to get their gowns from downtown Uganda, buying and subsequently building it, as they learn.
Let them haggle for the best price. Let them pick the best fabric from the various tailors. Let them survive having their phones stolen.
MAK students downtown experiences
It should be a course, especially for Business Studies students, Economics students, Sociology and Urban Planning Students; even Tourism students could learn from visiting downtown, not just because of all the wildlife there that masquerades as boda boda pilots, but because, of the seven wonders of Uganda, the downtown “arcade” must count for at least two.
How these things get built is a bigger mystery than the pyramids, chiefly because of the speed with which they rise. They sprout like acne and, almost overnight, there are a dozen new ones looming over the road beneath.
And then how do they stay up? They are more precarious than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, each one looking like it is going to topple over and kill more of us.
The kids should get kikuubo gowns within academically curated constraints, eg. price limits, thread count, number of times they make the trip without groping passersby–kikuubo is always slithering with sexpests who grab and grope at every bum that is within reach.
Of course if you don’t get the gown, you will have failed the paper, and therefore will not need a gown anyway. This guarantees that every student who graduates has a made-in-Uganda gown.
This idea is even more brilliant, because we can have our children’s gowns customised according to their needs.
Instead of the outdated colonial design, you can have something adapted to your requirements as a newly-minted Urban Planner, Food Scientist, Industrial Artist or IT Geek. Meaning pockets that hold the little bottles of waragi that you will keep sipping on during the graduation ceremony.
Also zips in the right places so that you can urinate conveniently where necessary, or have a quickie during the ceremony, as some of you will. I will never shake the suspicion that any time you see a group of more than 20 MUK students in one place, at least five of them must be contemplating, having, or recuperating from casual sex.
Sheebah’s graduation gown
You can also have the gown sized appropriately– short and tight if you have nice legs and nice bum.
We as a nation cannot imagine Sheebah’s graduation. To do so we have to imagine Sheebah in a graduation gown, and we cannot picture Sheebah in anything that doesn’t show of the most magnificent left leg in Uganda accompanied by the most spectacular right leg in the nation. We know all her songs but still don’t know if she did Makerere or not. When she stands for MP we will query her qualifications within eight minutes of her swearing in.
To avoid this problem assailing all graduating Sheebah’s, let them design skimpier gowns.
So, Makerere, I have solved your problem. Feel free to send me an honorary doctorate at any time.
Edited by David Tumusiime