Dreams of Rweshande, Project 2026 and Masaka’s Independence

What you need to know:

Adventures. I have circled in and out of Mbarara nightlife, but an old man once gave me a tip; ‘always claim to be new to a city.’ In that way, you get a chance to be shown some of the city’s best kept secrets. Although I had been to all the night places which I was taken to, I got a chance to see them with new eyes.

Two weeks ago, I drove all the way to Rweshande to attend a friend’s kuhingira. For those uninitiated about Uganda, to get to Rweshande, you can take a turn at Lyantonde and take the Kaguta Road. Now, I am not one to fear long distances. The best driving experiences in Uganda will always happen on the highways. And yes, functions out of town are an opportunity to have a road trip experience.

But then, a week earlier, this road had claimed the life of my great friend and his lovely family. To combat this risk, I made it clear that I was not giving anyone a lift. I was going to face this road alone and thus have a solo road trip. Given that yours truly is yet to shoot any shot, he was ready to die with his family intact.

The trip to Rweshande turned out to be one of the most memorable. First, Kuhingira differs from Kwanjula in many ways. And then our friend (the bride), was covered all through the function. I guess, this is also a cool way of getting Ugandans to stay all through the function. Because there was only one way to confirm that it was indeed our friend, and that was after the function. Past 9pm.

The message was clear – there was no point in rushing back to Kampala. We had to experience more of what Rweshande and Mbarara had to offer. When you go out of Kampala, you realise how much we are suffering with the Kampala nightlife. In Kampala, we deal with disrespectful bouncers, and we deal with a snobbish crowd that has taken over most of the lounges. Thus, the only real parties now happen outside Kampala. And Mbarara is top on the list of great parties.

I have circled in and out of Mbarara nightlife. An old man once gave me a tip; ‘always claim to be new to a city.’ In that way, you get a chance to be shown some of the city’s best kept secrets. Although I had been to all the night places which I was taken to, I got a chance to see them with new eyes.

Now imagine there is that one club in Mbarara, it borders on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The thing with this club is that it is not just a club, it is clubs within a club. You could lose your way around it. You could be in one room, and they are playing Alien Skin and then cross over to another room where Luther Vandross is crooning. If Dante were to re-appear, he would seek inspiration for a revised edition of the Divine Comedy. So Mbarara was the party, the crowd was it, and if heaven has a definition, then it is nothing beyond having a good crowd, good music, and peace with oneself.

Back to the Kuhingira, there is this thing where you are reminded; ‘you are next’ at weddings. At funerals, everyone knows they are next, thus no one asks this question. But at a Kuhingira, this question cannot be dodged. Having been squeezed to the wall and having no way out, yours truly decided to launch his own ‘Project 2026’. Yes, yours truly has accepted to put his house in order come 2026.

Why 2026? Come 2026, there is a high chance we will not have a single pothole in Kampala. It will be certain that I have fallen in love for the right reasons. With the Kampala potholes, you could be dodging a pothole only to fall into a relationship.

Come 2026, National Water will be predictable. Because how in the heavens does one describe the lack of water in Naalya week on week? Is Naalya not supposed to be the headquarters of a smooth life? There is hope that come 2026, one will not wake up on a Monday morning to a surprise from National Water. Because how in the heavens would you explain to the weekend date that now they have to use some bucket to flush out all that nature has found useless in their body? You cannot bet your relationship on National Water. 2026 is the magical year when Uganda comes out of its own mercury retrograde.

Speaking of water, Masaka on the other hand declared Independence. And to confirm this, two special events took place. First, River Katonga broke its banks and with it went the Katonga Bridge. Then, the greatest of events happened in Fort Portal. The great St. Henry’s College Kitovu (SHACK) humbled St. Mary’s College Kitende at the pitch. If the Catholics were to sing about these events, they would rhyme along the lines of; ‘I need no other argument, I need no other plea.’ Indeed, it is proof that the region that prides itself in its grasshoppers and fluffy car dashboards has chosen to live with its own kinyanya music. Masaka had become too much for us. Have you attended a Kwanjula in Masaka? Listened to the music? Every song is aimed at someone. If you feel some air of peace in Kampala, it is because of this Masaka Independence. May the nsenene be with the Banamasaka!

Twitter: ortegatalks