Kasyate – I Don’t Have the Gift of Modesty

Simon Kasyate is Eskom’s corporate affairs manager, but is also a columnist for The Observer, a show host at NTV and hosts Desert Island Discs on Capital FM.

During this interview at the Eskom offices in Bugolobi, he lets Quick Talk into his world.

I know you are 40.

I don’t think so.

You don’t think so? I heard you say you were 40 during that phone conversation.

Yeah I think I am 40 but I am not. I will make 34 nine days from today [on April 19].

So, what gift would you want for your birthday?

Well, if you can drop me a Mercedes G55 AMG Cross Country that is sky-blue in colour on the exterior, and has a beige interior, I would be sorted.

Ah, that’s quite an expensive gift. What if I cannot afford it?

Of course I like classy things. I’ve got a Samsung (Galaxy) Note 3 – you can get me its gear. It can also be a suit. I’m not a very choosy person by the way [classy but not choosy?]

Do you have a favourite colour?

Colour? [Thinks and then decisively] Blue. I have to have a touch of blue.

How about food?

Oh yes, matooke. If there is no matooke, there is no food. And it must be prepared in banana leaves and it must come with a banana leaf on top [akawuuwo, for the uninitiated], unless it is katogo.

Oh dear, banana leaves! It is so tiresome cooking that matooke.

I also like it in its boiled form, when it is in its shells. [Like he is imagining the action:] Ooh, I love splitting it. For sauce, I love meat, but I like some g.nuts. If you put the g.nuts on top of the matooke [claps hands] I am good. I also like steamed vegetables, no sijui raw cabbage.

Ah, you sound very traditional. Are you a traditional husband?

I don’t think. [Like he can’t believe them:] I have seen men carrying children in their shopping carts…

No no no, those are the modern fathers. By traditional I mean you want to be knelt for, drawn a bath for and that type of thing.

I will not delve so much into that but let’s just put it this way: I think I am a nice guy.

Do you think you are humble?


Oh! You know I asked that because one blogger, Jacobs Seaman, said in one of his posts you were not humble.

He gave me the best description. I don’t think I enjoy the gift of modesty. I carry myself with gusto and bravado and I do it to keep my confidence levels. I also will not tell you what you want to hear because it will make you feel good. I tell people that they can do better when they can and it has earned me enemies but it has also earned me serious friends.

Haha… when was the last time you cried?

Recently, my maternal grandparents were celebrating 60 years in matrimony and while introducing their children, they called me to take up my mother’s place – my mother passed away years ago. I was… no… I am still attached to my mother so, I cried hysterically when I was told to take her place.

Aaaw, sorry. Who is your type of woman?

[While mulling over it]I don’t think I have a fantasy woman. Ok, they have to be pretty and prettiness is diverse. [One person will have nice eyes, another a nice nose and another nice hair.] But they should also be able to have a discussion. Even if it borders on an argument, they have to be able to hold their own no blondes.

Haha. What type of music do you enjoy?

Oooh I’m a junkie. I enjoy every type. I can listen to classical music, and then I will wake up one morning and listen to the Gregorian chant. If I am jogging, I will listen to Koffi Olomide or Congolese music. To dance, it has to be that Old Skool, 90s ragga-reggae. Of course I’m a crazy romantic so I listen to Luther Vandross. Give me Luther Vandross any day and I will listen to him. I could even jog to him.

Today’s Uganda la la lo… maybe Mowzey Radio.

Huh, you are a crazy romantic? What romantic things have you done for your wife?

I think beating that evening jam and coming home [before] the so-called curfew time is good. She gets some extra me-time. I also like to play the surprise game. Like on a birthday, you don’t say happy birthday in the morning but at a minute to midnight.

What is your preference in underwear?

Oooh, I could show you. [Not showing Quick Talk] I do go for nice Next, cotton hipster boxers.

Do you like them in blue?

They are usually white.

If you were allowed just one memory, what would it be?

Of course the 24 years I spent with my mum. My mum had something wonderful about her. [Reminiscing] She beat me so hard and loved me even harder. If it hadn’t been for her tough love, I wouldn’t be on your pages, maybe on your crime pages.

And if there was one event in history you could change, which one would it be?

[Following thoughtful pause] I was brought to the place where I am and I am supposed to be [because of past events]. I cannot say that I wish my dad had not died a day to PLE. I don’t think it was good but all these events happened for a reason.

If you were to have a biography written, what title would you want for it?

[Laughing] It would be Simon Kasyate: Fun Outside, Serious Inside. Many people think I am an extrovert and happy-go-lucky but I take my responsibility seriously.

Who would you want to author it?

Somebody that knows me and has a knack for writing.

Aren’t you going to give us a name?

No, they know themselves.

Finally, what would you take to a desert island?

Do you guarantee there would be food and drink on that desert island, because I love my food? [Quick Talk says yes.] Whatever is close to me, for company’s sake.

Source : The Observer

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