Prison Is Comfortable, Says Allan Ssewanyana [interview]

Sports presenter and Makindye division councilor Allan Ssewanyana was recently remanded to Luzira prison for allegedly defaming TopBet. The sports betting company said Ssewanyana, on several occasions during his NBS and Top radio sports shows, claimed the company did not pay its clients their winnings. Quick Talk commiserated with the 33-year-old during a March 26 interview.

Sorry about the prison stint, Mr Ssewanyana. Kulikayo (welcome back).

Navuddeyo (thank you).

It must have been hard for you.

It was very disturbing. It tortures the mind a bit. Even the body. I lost out on many programmes. And I didn’t know what was next for me.

Bambi. Did this experience humble you?

No.

Huh?!

Prison is a part of life, especially when you are a man and a politician. This wasn’t the first time I had been in custody. I’ve been to police cells six to seven times. But this was the first time I was in Luzira.

Can we say that because of your police cell-incarceration experience, Luzira wasn’t too hard?

Actually, it is a bit comfortable being in prison. Prison is more spacious and you can talk to people. There are also games and I played volleyball. People in prison are not panicky because they know that they aren’t going anywhere, and I got many visitors I didn’t expect.

Visitors such as?

Apart from family, there are people who surprised me. The Lord Mayor visited me [Shya! Not surprising to Quick Talk. Look, Ssewanyana almost got himself killed, trying to block the Lord Mayor’s impeachment last year.

Ssewanyana memorably jumped over tables and councillors’ heads – with painful consequences – to stop minister Frank Tumwebaze, who was chairing the proceedings.]

[Makindye West MP Hussein] Kyanjo also visited. My friend who is a musician came to see me too. I don’t know whether you want me to tell you his name.

I do.

It was Eddy Kenzo.

Uh, how did a serious [ok, ok, semi-serious] guy like you meet Kenzo? You move in different circles…

Kenzo is my friend. We grew up together in Katwe, Kibuye. He is also my OB – from Nakivubo Blue PS – and we used to play football together.

I thought Kenzo was from Masaka. That Urban TV presenter said he was a big-time villager [Kyokka bannange]. But away from him, what other schools did you go to?

I went to St Kalemba SS Nazzigo, Mengo SS and Makerere University where I did a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a postgraduate diploma in Mass Communication.

What food do you most enjoy, Mr Ssewnyana?

[He is eating a chapatti and drinking black tea during the interview] Posho and beans. St Kalemba was a village school and they had a lot of sweet potatoes and cassava. I used to register for posho. I did not want to eat those potato things.

Do you take alcohol?

No.

Why? You are missing out.

I am not a Muslim and I have not been forbidden, but I just don’t drink. I can make myself happy or annoyed without taking alcohol [hmmm, we have seen!]

What type of music do you enjoy?

Kadongo kamu.

Really? What do you enjoy about those gomesi-wearing women? Don’t you like to see some flesh?

The reason I like it is because I studied at Nakivubo, and Nile theatre was nearby. Artistes such as [Herman] Basudde, Paulo Kafeero and Livingstone Kasozi used to come to the theatre and I admired them.

You have only mentioned male artistes. Are there any female artistes you enjoy or know of?

Yes I know some. I know [Maureen] Nantume, Stecia Mayanja and Catherine Kusasira.

Huuuh, the big-bottomed Kusasira! Would you want to tap her butt? Or more democratically, which female musician’s butt would you want to tap?

From Uganda?

Yes.

She’s called Grace Ssemogerere. She’s with Golden Production. She sang Sagala Sagala. Do you know that song? [Quick Talk says she doesn’t and Ssewanyana shows her the Sagala Sagala video on his phone.]

She looks all right. Why her butt, though?

Just!

You wanted to tell me the international artiste whose butt you’d tap…

It would be Shakira. She is a sportsman’s wife.

What? Anyway, what is your favourite colour?

Orange and green.

Do you have a lot of orange and green underwear, then?

Nooo. I have white ones.

Haha. What type do you prefer on women?

[Looking like the conversation has gotten too hard for him:] Eh, ebyo sibisobola (That’s a hard question.) Any. Uh-uh, but you put (write) Mothers Union.

Haha, in what colour?

Cream. [Whew. Cream Mothers Union it is then, for the councillor who also likes posho, beans and kadongo kamu…]

I thought you’d say red. It’s hot and you-know… !

Uh-uh, for me I like cream and blue.

What attracts you to a woman?

The calmness and composure.

Really? No beauty for you?

Uh-uh, you must be calm.

Are you married, by the way?

Not officially, but I have someone. We have two children aged seven and four.

And which body part of yours do you like most?

[Touching his signature style:] My box haircut.

Ok. Finally, which do you least like?

My feet [Quick Talk does not get to see what could be possibly wrong with the outspoken councillor’s feet.]

Source : The Observer

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