Saturday, July 19, 2008

Of Ugandan Women and the So-called ‘Corporate Guys’?

By Robert Kalumba (Daily Monitor)

From the start, we need to clearly find out the definition of a corporate, in order to clear the fog that surrounds who a “corporate guy” is. Then, we will try and find out the fuss some women have with the so called “corporates”.

According to the Cambridge International dictionary of English, the definition of corporate is, “relating to a large company”. Now, a friend of mine who takes himself as one of the corporates of Kampala, decided to help me with the “street version” of what a corporate guy is, that is; Someone who works for a leading tax paying company, sometimes drives a company car, and tends to wear shirts with the company logo on “dress down Friday’s”, and avoids the kabiriti’s like the plague, preferring blackberries and other sophisticated phones.

So having sorted that one out, why do women fuss over these men?

Who are these men anyway and what do they have that attracts the female species, and can any average Joe become a corporate too?

For one to graduate to a corporate, one has to work for a “big” company, normally hang out in the hip bars for a drink, say Zone 7 (not “Mama Fina’s” at Kamokya), cruise a decent car-which is usually got thanks to a car loan from the company (but the women don’t know that!), always appear intelligent in public, discuss the land question of Zimbabwe, and when it comes to who he hangs out with, its with his fellow “corporates” from other companies who discuss about the free booze at the next Goat Race. So why the fuss with this kind of human species?

Tracy, a bank teller of Barclays Bank, tells me it’s all about the image that these men portray. She says, “If you see someone who works for a renowned company, immediately you think this person is wealthy and intelligent.” But when I pointed out that the average businessman who sells tiles is actually far more wealthy than these corporates, and that if you engaged him in some kind of current affairs talk, he at least will know a thing or two about what is going on in the world.

Tracy still insisted that a corporate guy would still be her pick.

But if its image that attracts some of these women, then they are falling for a lie, because a company car, and all the perks that come with working for a popular bank for instance, do not define the person, but rather the company. In other words, you are falling for the company car, not the person, and that is what frustrates some of the so called “corporates.”

Henry who works for a beer company claims he has failed to find someone who wants him for him and not because he works for a leading beer company. He says, “Very many times, girls come up to me and the very first thing they ask is where you work, like where I work defines who I’m, and when I lie that I’m a trader in Kikubo, they seem disinterested, until I tell them that I work for a beer company, then their eyes glow!” Henry says he is feed up with how myopic some women can be, but if it gets him the girls, so be it!

Please get over the company cars, the sexy sounding titles (assistant sales manager of blah, blah…), the blackberries, and the free invites to company parties, not to mention the free tickets to concert shows. And at least get to know the person, what they are all about, other than jumping up in excitement like a headless chicken at the mere fact that he mentions he works for the telecommunication company that has bill boards all over the country.

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