Saturday, 3 December 2011

Mzungu! Mzungu!

(Written in Wakiso)

“White person.”
“Rich Person.”

Somehow all these descriptions are synonymous.

Being called “mzungu” is not intended to be offensive, but still, it gets old.  I cannot walk down any dirt path, or two feet for that matter, without hearing multiple choruses of “mzungu! mzungu!”

Wanting only to blend in, my skin color betrays me, and I do not go unnoticed.
One of my friends jokes, “it’s like we are b-list celebrities.”

Some days I wave to the onlookers, with a smile on my face.
Other days, I look straight ahead, completely ignoring them.
And, if I am feeling particularly feisty on any given day, I might respond with some cleverly-constructed, cheeky comment in the local language. This is usually followed by an uproar of laughter… as what mzungu would know any other language than English?