It was the height of Beatlemania and the film “A Hard Day’s Night” was on at the cinema. As it happens, my friend and I received free tickets for the movie for distributing flyers around Kampala city centre.
I deviated a little here, the school was putting on a production of Cinderella, my friends and I were cast as the musicians at the ball. Yes, you would have guessed it, the number assigned to us was “A Hard Day’s Night”.
This motley crew consisted of a native Ugandan, an Asian Ugandan, a Seychellois (who was white with red afro hair) and yours truly. We took our parts very seriously, learning the lyrics and practised on the only guitar we had between us. I am tone deaf and luckily for my companions, no one noticed (well that’s what I told myself).
When it came to a full rehearsal, our teacher brought out a record player and asked us to mime. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for the audience, she had trouble with the player. Taking our cue, we went into our rendition of the song with one guitar and cardboard cut-outs of the other instruments. She was brave enough to let us perform the next day in front of our parents and the rest of the school. It was a hit, but not due to our musical talents as the laughter went well on into the next act.
I moved from music to dance, it was just as ‘successful’. English country dancing, yes, a very odd pursuit in Africa. It was not what I had in mind for an extracurricular activity, but there was a girl involved and I joined the class just to get to know her. I managed to dance with her, but sadly only fleetingly as the style of dancing only afforded me a few seconds before we had to change partners. Painfully shy and like my singing, I had no sense of rhythm, I decided to give it up and consigned myself to gazing from afar.