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Pablo: Suppose Mind Your Language was shot in Uganda...

Television is an interesting medium of communication.

At times I feel sorry for actors because people think that you actually believe in what you’re talking about.

The ever smiling Barry Evans who acted as teacher Jeremy Brown in the British comedy television series Mind Your Language was jumped for lead roles because directors thought he was like that in real life. He went to be with the Lord in 1997.

Mind Your Language was set in an adult education college in London and focused on the English class of foreign students taught by Jeremy Brown. Mr Brown had to put up with the students’ often literal, creative interpretations of the language that would drive any Englishman insane.

Imagine if this exact series were shot in Uganda today; who would be in the cast?

Let’s begin with the role of Ms Courtney, the school’s tight-fisted principal, who thinks poorly of Mr Brown and his teaching abilities, and often drops in unannounced to check on the students’ progress. She is a feminist and believes that women can do better than men at anything.

Over time, she grows fond of Mr Brown and his students. Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire would suit this role, considering the fact that she has a slight resemblance, save for the hair, to Zara Nutley who acted that part.

Giovanni Capello, the Italian chef, the class’s loudest student and de-facto class monitor’s main English problem, was understanding metaphors and big words, although he often answered wrongly on purpose to amuse the class.

When shocked or surprised, he often remarked “Santa Maria” or “Holy Ravioli”, and also often said “okey-kokey” instead of “okay”. He had an elaborate set of first names: Giovanni, Vincenzo, Marco, Dino, Alberto, Leonardo, etc.

This role would be taken by kickboxer Moses Golola who uses words and later goes to search for their meanings in the dictionary. Anna Schmidt was the hardworking German student, occasionally asking legitimate questions and as the series progressed, answered Mr Brown’s questions correctly.

Her main problem was mixing Vs and Wsand punctuating her sentences with German words. She also has exceptional physical strength and is never reluctant to show it, often punching fellow students who try to flirt with her.

MP Cecilia Ogwal’s accent and physical energy would qualify her for this role. Chung Su-Lee was never seen without her little red book of Mao, which she often quoted from. She constantly mixed up her Rs and Ls.

Early in the series, she had a fierce ideological rivalry with Taro, her Japanese classmate, but later in the series, he often sprung to her defence. Dr Miria Matembe would take this role unopposed. Ranjeet Singh had a good vocabulary but at times mixed up his general knowledge, and upon being corrected he puts his hands together for “a thousand apologies”.

Singh Katongole would fit this role perfectly since he has an idea about this character in real life.Tarothe Japanese had a reasonable command of English, but had a habit of adding “-o” to every word he said.

Musician Ragga Dee would take this role since he seems to be fascinated by letter  O in one of his songs. Jamila Ranjha, whose catchphrase earlier in the series was “gudhavening” was mostly fond of knitting in class. Her role would be done by Mama Phina or Straka. I also don’t know why.

Danielle was the amorous Frenchwoman who instantly grabbed the attention of all men, including Mr Brown. Her good looks often distracted Giovanni and Max from their answers, while Mr Brown was often caught in seemingly incriminating positions with her and she seems to have a crush on him.

Nkubakyeyo cum musician Zari Hussein would take this role. Bad Black would be competition for this role though.

Ali Nadeem was the most vocal of the students and often literally misinterpreted everything said by others. Ali’s typical catchphrases are “yes please!”, “oh blimey!”, “squeeze me please!” and “jolly good.”  Seya Nasser Sebaggala would take this role. You get the point members?

kkimuli@gmail.com

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