There is always two sides to a Kampala story

What you need to know:

  • The full story.   I have lived long enough in Kampala to know that there is no single story in this city. You must always ask for the full story, the second story, the other story. Kampala is not a singular tale. It is a city of many tales. And I arrived at this position after much reflection. Or perhaps one can say, I arrived here after enough knocks.

Let us talk about Makerere. Several people have gone to Makerere. Almost everyone in my circles graduated from Makerere. Little did I know that it was important to always ask those people; ‘which Makerere?’ If you do follow that Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, you will realise that Makerere exists in many forms. There is Makerere the University, but there is Makerere and all these institutes. Just because everyone went to Makerere does not mean everyone arrived at the university. Ask someone; ‘Ku kasozi oba ku institute?’

Now that was Makerere. In my earlier years, I learnt that no one ever gives out their secret to making money. Everyone wishes you can learn the hard way, just like they did. People will either make something seem too hard (that is if it is easy). And if it is hard, they will convince you that it is easy. Because why on earth was someone investing in Capital Chicken? In your mind, you think someone loves you so much that they will toil and bring you profits every four months or so. In this world, the things that do not require your sweat, mind, time, energy, or whatever, those things you go slow on them.

An old man once said; ‘there is nothing free in this world, you always pay in some form.’ If you do not invest upfront, you will be charged high costs of maintenance. Yes, the people who buy cheap cars can give a Hallelujah. Ask those who have gone through the phase of I know someone who can do it at a cheaper price. Honestly, why should you be looking for cheaper when you are building a storeyed house? Is that not climbing a level a bit higher? Why should one buy a German car that they cannot maintain? Last time I cried when this one person in a G-Wagon had worn out bushes, the whole car was making that noise, the kind of noise akin to Bruno K’s recent music.

Enough of the preaching, we shall leave this job to your pastors and motivational speakers. What is that thing where a person you last saw in high school adds you to a wedding group? And what is that thing where they give you a phone call to introduce their big agenda? To our tax authorities, the next big tax opportunity is Ugandan weddings. There is potential for things such as withholding tax. We can even tax line items such as decoration. Nga décor has become décor. Then there is the floorboard, no floorboard, no wedding. At this point, the only people enjoying weddings are the service providers, and, of course, us the guests, the critics. The ones who cannot wait to say; ‘Naye omusajja’s suit has refused. Or that metu’s gown is better than mugole’s.’ And what is with matrons and trying to outdo the bride? Muffa Ki naye?

Now I was really meant to tell you about Azawi’s new album. You know my mothers are from the Fumbe clan. This ka Priscilla Zawedde is my mother. Nga I am invited to the album listener’s party. Nga I am enjoying everything, I could see how I was going to pen the story of this album. But all that came to a standstill. The devil is a liar. As I descended the stairs on my way back home, the ankle got a serious sprain. Something chose to come between me and my Sankofa connection.

Okay, there is this one song that everyone kept wondering how it climbed to the top of the list. That song is titled; Married Man. But my neighbour had a good explanation. That everyone in this city, if you have loved, there is no way you have not found yourself with a married man. The popularity of this song is that many could relate. It took them back in time. Or better still, many were currently in a situation ship with a married man. Given that Kampala is about associations. Is it not time we create a trauma centre for those that have been crashed by Kampala love. Or we should imprison these people. Because why on earth do you be looking for love in Kampala? What gives you the confidence that you can find love in a sea of potholes? Let us assume you find that love. What kind of love will it be? 

The one of matching T-shirts? The one-off posting him or her on WhatsApp? Let us agree that this city is for business. The only engagements here should be those of a commercial nature. If you want love, go to Entebbe, go to Jinja, go to Mbarara (okay mbwenu, if you want power not love). And people, that was Sankofa for me; I was outside, feeling like a campion, brand new on a lucky day, only to end up with a sprained ankle. The devil indeed wears lugabire! 

 Twitter: ortegatalks