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Four One One

Pork fanatics count losses at Kabagarame, organisers say unlike Jesus, they couldn’t turn stones into bread

Revellers were left with no option but to go to the kitchen and get whatever they could, after long hours of waiting. COURTESY PHOTOS

They say, “You can remove a man from the village, but cannot remove the village from them.” Following what happened yesterday at the Uganda Museum, that saying only applies to human beings, not animals.

For the case of animals, we could say, “You can remove an animal from the village and the village too.” Here is why! Have you been to Kabagarame, a popular pork joint in Bushenyi District, in Western Uganda? Kabagarame is a secluded place about 2km off Bushenyi-Ishaka road. Located in the middle of a forest, Kabagarame is characterised by traditional grass-thatched huts. There are about 50 huts, and each one of them is a kitchen, Ronnie Atwine, a regular at the joint says.

“People normally pile up at the weekends, so you can place your order at any of the huts. The pan-fried pork is served with karo (millet), matooke, cassava and greens, depending on your preference. People park cars, you could think it’s a wedding,” he says.

The joint however opens only on Saturdays.

Well, last weekend, Kampala residents who often travel to Bushenyi to particularly visit Kabagarame did not have to. The joint was carried from the village and recreated at the Uganda Museum.

One thing the organisers of the event could have forgotten though was that pork is a big deal and it is enjoyed by many people, not only those from Bushenyi.

The event organisers charged an entrance fee of Shs10,000, while a kilogramme of pan fried pork and it’s accompaniments cost Shs20,000.

Sadly, for Brenda Asiimwe, the event at the Museum was a waste of money and time.

“I arrived at the Museum at 2pm, after church, hoping to rekindle memories from my home Bushenyi, but they ruined our Kabagarame experience. After I waited for my pork for too long, I went to the kitchen to see what was up. But only three people were cooking, using tiny sauce pans,” she said.

“I think they underestimated the power of Kabagarame. The ushers would take people’s orders, but would not deliver. It was a case of who you knew in the kitchen. There was no food and they were not willing to refund people’s money,” she added.

“Their pork is so nice, but yesterday was a loss… let them keep it in the village,” Atwine said.

On ‘My Food network’, a facebook group, New Trend Items said, “We ordered for pork at 1pm and received it at 5pm and that was after pushing through the police officers. This event was a typical mess!”

Sera Owom Batamuhamba, who also attended the event at the museum had this to say, “We paid Shs100,000 for 5kgs but ended up getting less than 1kg. If I may ask, why did we pay Shs10,000 at the entrance?”

In a statement issued this morning, one of the organisers of the event Mr Samuel Ngambwaki acknowledged that they were overwhelmed by the numbers.

“It was beyond what we could expect… to us, this showed love and support. We must acknowledge we got a few hiccups mainly on food service delays, the meat was a recipe everyone wanted to die for… We couldn’t see this coming and unfortunately we were unlucky not to be Jesus so we couldn’t make a miracle like when he turned stones into bread,” the statement reads in part.

“We planned for utmost 800 people but the system shows we got over 1,500 people. People ate over 1,500kgs of meat in less than an hour. Kindly take our apologies, and this being a first time event, we learnt on job,” they said.

At this point we shall say to organisers, that they need to up their game or otherwise leave things of the village in the village.

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