Quick Talk meets Halima Namakula at her office on a Tuesday morning and the interview takes place as she is having her breakfast – bushera (millet porridge) and two sweet potatoes.
She complains about having been given a small cup for her porridge. “For me, I use a big dish for bushera,” she chides the person serving her and then we get into the interview.
I see you like sweet potatoes. [Wouldn’t one expect more breakfast ‘glamour’ from her – say sausages, fresh juice, wholemeal bread...you know, a ‘celebrity breakfast’?]
Yes. I have them for breakfast.
[With attitude] Because they are good for me. Bread isn’t good for me.
Are you allergic to it?
[With attitude. Again!] No! I am allergic to fat.
Ooooh. Hahahaha. I guess you don’t take alcohol, then.
I do not.
[Teasing] What’s your favourite soda?
[And she actually answers!] Stoney.
If I hadn’t forced you to choose a favourite soda, what would you have told me is your drink of choice?
I love passion [fruit juice]. If I need energy though, I drink Coca-Cola.
What’s your favourite colour?
Purple. I started loving it in my old age [Halima is in her 50s].
What colour was your favourite when you were younger?
Red. It is sassy. [Huuuu, imagine Halima sassing it in her old (her words) age. It would be a sight.]
Who is your favourite musician? It should be a current one.
[With attitude] Why current? Of the old ones I like Moses Matovu. [Mellows down] I love the way he sings.
Aha, and currently?
It is my daughter, Rehema [Rema Namakula is not Halima’s biological daughter, but Halima has been her mentor for years]. I wouldn’t go from there. Even if she were someone else’s daughter, I would choose her.
Rema has a beautiful voice. What is your favourite TV programme?
Akasaale k’Omukwano on Bukedde (Well, duh; after all, she co-presents it with Annette Nandujja and some dude. It is a love/sex advice show] and Agataliiko Nfuufu.
Eh, all your favourite programmes are on Bukedde. Would you look for love on Abanoonya if you were younger and single?
Yiyii, why not?
Because if I were younger, I would be beautiful and people would look for me; not me looking for them! I don’t understand young people who go on those shows. Older people should be the ones going.
Oh, so would you try the show now [seeing as you are older]?
I’m married so I wouldn’t go. I’m Mrs Uganda and Mrs World by the way. [Oh!? Quick Talk didn’t know that! So, what title does Crystal Newman Kavulu hold, then?]
What is the most romantic thing that has been done for you?
Uh-hu, I don’t even know. [After giving it some thought] Maybe my late husband, he surprised me one time. It was my birthday and he let me think that he didn’t remember it. We went grocery shopping together and he complained about not having money but when we went home, at 9pm, he said that we should go to Wendy’s.
That’s a fast food restaurant. I asked him: you are taking me to Wendy’s? And then I told him it was my birthday. He said the money he had was just enough for Wendy’s. But then he told me we first had to pick a friend of mine from a nice restaurant. And when we got there, he had a surprise waiting for me.
What is the most romantic thing you have done?
I don’t do romantic things. I am selfish.
Eh! Ok. When was the last time you cried?
I don’t remember. I am not a cry-baby. [Hear that Hon Joseph Ssewungu who cries every time Arsenal loses; which is not a lot of times lately...] The only time I feel like crying is when my mother is hurting.
Aww. That must be often, because she is old. Who is your favourite actor?
[With a ‘like-duh!’ attitude minus the rolling of the eyes, in case your imagination had sent you there] Denzel Washington. He is the man. I also like Halle Berry, she is beautiful.
Myself [Wow. Some modesty could do, Halima.]
Other than you of course!
I haven’t seen any. Maybe this guy; I have seen him in movies. He is tall, slender and is in his early 40s or 50s. He is good-looking and he plays daddy a lot [For the love of God, Quick Talk cannot know who that could be. Michael Wawuyo, maybe...? But Halima knows no names.]
You really like tall, handsome men. Which MP would you say is the most handsome?
I wouldn’t say because I wouldn’t want their wives to think otherwise. [Well, the very honourable Gerald Karuhanga is single so Quick Talk volunteers him.]
Is there any you would say needs to spruce it up; you know, they need to dress better, shave their beards more often, that kind of stuff?
Yes. Most of them [Over to you, honourables].
Halima said Quick Talk should mention the benefit concerts that she and Zumba troupe are going to put on in Europe and the US for a fistula project she is engaged in. [There, that’s been mentioned. Till next time.]
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