What you need to know:
Kampala is a sinusoidal curve, it has crests and troughs.
A WHOLE MAZE: If you make the mistake of driving within the city, you will be shocked at the maze. You could be driving innocently only for someone to stop you and inform you that you are driving in a National Park or some garden. And you ask, where is the garden? Where is the marking? Anyway, the good news is that we have been asked to ‘Kibikwasa MK.’
I love Kampala and Uganda selectively. I do not want to run crazy. I want to maintain some sanity. Any attempt to do otherwise would send man into a state of delirium. For poets and novelists, Kampala is the perfect place, it would exorcise one’s writing demons. It has all the emotions one would require in painting a character.
I also suspect that the English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, was speaking about Kampala in the Leviathan. Hobbes argued, and I rephrase; ‘the state of Kampala is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.’ Every road can lead you home in Kampala, it can also lead you far from home. It leads you home in the sense that anything could lead you to heaven. One random pothole, one mad driver, excessive requests from a girlfriend.
Back then, Bobi Wine claimed he was the Ghetto President. Museveni said, “huh you will see me.” And within a decade Kampala and Uganda have become the true ghetto with Museveni at the helm. Have you seen that airport arrivals section? Or even the departures, everything in Uganda works on animal instinct. You just second-guess your way around. If you make the mistake of driving within the city, you will be shocked at the maze. You could be driving innocently only for someone to stop you and inform you that you are driving in a National Park or some garden. And you ask, where is the garden? Where is the marking? Anyway, the good news is that we have been asked to ‘Kibikwasa MK.’ If the man could capture Kony’s guitar, what about closing off Kampala potholes? Those are small problems!
Speaking of deterioration, the pangs of Covid-19 continue to be felt. The disease could be behind us, but the effects of Covid-19 will never be quantified. Have you been to Garuga? It has some of the best beaches and hotels but Covid-19 did not spare them. There is Country Lake Resort Garuga, it is a shadow of its former self. Mbu the owner passed away during Covid-19 now the family is divided on whether to sell the property or to keep it.
But it is not too early to give up on Uganda. Even in the ghetto, something always works. It could work in the form of a smile, in form of drink buddies, something will always work even in hell. As I have started to fall in love, one of my potential princesses called me when I was on the Express highway. I stopped to take the phone call. Minutes later, a towing truck came and parked infront of me. Two young men stepped out and approached my car. ‘Hello sir, is everything okay? We are here to help just in case.’ Goodness, my heart smiled inches. Something still works. Yes, the gents were from UNRA.
What is Kampala? What is Uganda? These places have become an absurdity. One moment something is working, one moment something fails to work. One moment Uganda Airlines is perfectly on time, everything back to order, another moment someone tells you that they have been stranded for two days at the airport without a flight to Dar-es-salaam. I am now slow to praise or write-off anything in this city.
This Kampala is a sinusoidal curve, it has crests and troughs. Your favourite restaurant on Monday could give you the worst stomach-ache on Friday. Things are for kugezesa. It is all gambling now. You see a pad of water and you take a gamble. It could be a type of pothole that gets you held, or you could shock yourself and pass it. Cursed if you try in this city, cursed if you do not. Try anyway. We are in hell but we can as well smile about it. Even in hell, the music does not stop. Even in hell, restaurants open, children go to school, people date, people find love, that is Kampala and Uganda for you.
I have also decided to start laying traps for COP29. The hosting country is still not clear. It was meant to be somewhere in Eastern Europe, but Russia happened. Wherever it is taking place, I am preparing my list of delegates. Mbu it is the new level of boyfriend goals in this town. If your guy cannot even take you to COP, what kind of man is he? Where is that relationship headed for? Applications for COP 29 delegates are now open. We shall not fail to do simple things. At least we shall attend COP 29 from Nasser Road if all fails us.
Speaking of Nasser Road, have you tried to get a police letter in Uganda? You will laugh at the gimmicks. The police officers always go round in circles. Firs the photocopier, then the stamp, then the pen, then the book will be missing. All in the attempt to say one thing; ‘Boss we are hungry, will you give us something?’
After visiting the police post in my area code, I am convinced money is the real fuel. Forget those things of diesel and petrol. Money is energy. Money is the COP 29. I will return next week with a Kampala declaration concerning 2024.