Filming Kachabali

With Ssenga Betty Katana Nalongo in Nkowe Village, Kampala
With Ssenga Betty Katana Nalongo in Nkowe Village, Kampala

You have probably watched the video by now on social media and have your own thoughts about it. I am just amazed that the most (direct) feedback has been from the men. Women, you are short changing your men!

When my editors asked me to research on stories around orgasm of course my first reaction was “What the…?!@#$%%” Who wants to talk about that? Which african will happily engage in such a discussion? Sex is a taboo topic! I will be ostracised! I will be branded immoral!

Never mind that my mother has NEVER discussed it with me except in reproach. “Those boys you talk to mean no good to you. Dare you get pregnant or get HIV I will chase you out of my house!” Kekekeke. She meant no harm. Well, lets just say that she put the fear of God in me and I walked around with this stone face so no boy had the courage to make advances towards me. Except the late Kamau my neighbour who I turned down anyway but he still liked me. Rest in peace Kamwale.

Anyway, about the boys, the feeling was mutual because I in turn feared boys and men like plague. I must have had my first ‘boyfriend’ while a fresher at Maseno University. That didn’t go very well and I resigned to a life of solitude. The convent came calling but I couldn’t stand their long robes (always covered in a penumbra of secrecy) – I like mydressmychoice better. No issues.

What gave me the courage to handle such a bold topic as a mid-career journalist was my editor and my station and their crazy vision – “Leave no stone unturned” (hehehe that’s my version of it). I mean who talks about masturbation? Menstruation? Vaginas? Penis enlargement and all that in Africa? On Kenyan TV?

I only know of revolution of the soshiolaits who have brought their big bums to ours screens and we are all getting very excited. I hear Verah Sidika has a TV show. Never mind. We are evolving. Just like digital migration.

So I ended up working for VPRO (originally an acronym for Vrijzinnig Protestantse Radio Omroep, or “Liberal Protestant Radio Broadcasting Corporation”) which is a Dutch public broadcaster and has an incredible show – Metropolis TV Show.

Metropolis TV. Here’s the thing – this is a show to watch and it is a show I work on with all my heart, mind and soul. They are liberal. They are realists and my editors are crazy!

I met Betty Katana Nalongo in a hotel room in Kampala, through a contact I made on Facebook. Damn Michael Zuckerberg if not for you some of us would be out of work. Let’s just say you’ve made a few things easier for us especially journalists like me.

Betty invited me to her home, served me delicious matoke and took me through the whole kachabali practice. I chose to film this on my own. Some journalists can confirm that some camera people bring in emotions whilst filming. I remember one of my camera people couldn’t stand this gay guy I had to interview. Hehehehe. Mtajipanga.

So to make my protagonist as comfortable as possible, I went behind the lens and played a double role – cameraperson and the interviewee and oh, a third role – the Kachabali student. I wanted her to address me and none else in the room. It worked. Just pure girl talk. She opened up and I had the most amazing interview with a very blithesome, happy-go-lucky and open woman.

kachabali kampala3

Today, I celebrate her and many women like her who shun societal criticism and discuss bedroom matters not in secrecy but with reckless abandon.

Sex finally had a day in the light and was not hidden in darkness and mystery as is assumed, is the african way.

Kudos Betty Katana Nalongo and other Ssengas from Uganda.

P.S. If you have any questions, ask me and I’ll be happy to answer. Eeeh…In the meantime…keep pulling those lips for the ultimate sexual experience the Ugandan way – Kachabali.

Source: Atieno 2010 Blog