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Hey typical Ugandan, ka volume keko oba…

You have probably heard the slogan and can count a number of things to define Ugandans. And before 2019 even closes in, we already have quite a set of things that make us so UG!

We are fully back from the four-day immersion that is the Nyege Nyege Festival. The countdown for next year is already on. But hey, have you noticed that regardless of our differences, there are things that have made us Ugandan in 2019. We disagree on a million things, but we are brought together by these things.

Party after Party

There is a new anthem in town; you can hate it, you can vilify it, the one thing you will not do is ignore it. This anthem is deeply embedded in our souls as Ugandans and it speaks to our lifestyle. The one thing the whole world knows about Uganda is the fact that we always have a reason to party.

We threw a party for the Rema and Kenzo breakup, we shall throw one when Kenzo finally moves on. Big Tril in three words captured the fabric of Ugandan society, it is ‘parte after parte.’ Until Monday comes and we need to get a ka quick 20K to survive through the week.

“Ka Volume keko oba?”

Chosen Becky did not realise that one of her song lines would become the defining question of 2019. In Bankuza, she wondered; “ka sukaali keko oba twongeremu” to mean “is the sugar enough, or we add?” It instantly became the caption for everything. If a girl is extra beautiful, all you have to ask; “ka beauty keko oba twongeremu?” to mean; “is the beauty extra extra or we add?” It is a mark of confidence that accompanies everything. If you are sure about your wealth, you can pose the same question to your wealth. But the one thing bosses will not ask, “ka salary keko oba twongeremu?”

The boda bodas

If you have never jumped on a boda boda, you are not Ugandan enough. You can present your passport, birth certificate, national ID but we shall not consider you as a Ugandan. We hate to love boda bodas. They are a necessary evil. The best conversations happen on boda bodas. Boda riders claim to know every place in Kampala, and they claim to know everyone. When a boda rider sets a rate, always take it as a rule of thumb that it is two times higher than it should be. If you have not jumped onto a boda this week, your Ugandan levels are dropping. Recharge as soon as possible.

The roadside rolex

Forget the homemade rolex, forget the pimped up rolex with chicken or minced meat. You need to do that famous rolex, with the famous plastic cup, the famous cloth that wipes the table and the famous ‘nyanya mbisi’. It is not a rolex unless you stand by the roadside and wait for it. It is not a rolex unless you get to answer the question about ‘nyanya mbisi oba byona nsikiremu?’ aka; “you prefer everything fried or…?” And once the rolex has been prepared, it must be carried in that paper bag that could easily have been someone’s CV or exam paper.

The bad driving

If you buy a car, put every common sense aside and believe one thing; “you are always right.” Never admit to being wrong as a Ugandan driver. Whenever something happens on the road, just get out of your car with the confidence of a self-righteous man. Forget everything you learned in driving school. Who needs them anyway? Learn to shout a few abuses. As they often say, “driving in Uganda is like war, you just never reveal your next move to fellow road users.” Indicate left but turn right. Drive slowly, when someone tries to overtake you, then speed up all of a sudden. This is Uganda, we are all right.

The Fresh family

If you have not added Fresh to your name in 2019, you need to rethink your life. For this is the year of ‘Fresh things.’ The man with the hat has already patented ‘Fresh Zeeyi’ come 2021. Wonder what’s fresh about old age? We have Fresh Daddy, we have Fresh Kid, and Kenzo is back in the dating market searching for a Fresh wife.

The short attention spans

We have too much information to process, there is always some hot topic for online in-laws to handle. As Ugandans, we cannot multiply our time to handle all these cases. Therefore, we have resolved, we shall always move on as fast as possible. You can imagine no one remembers the famous Suubi. We have moved on. At least we have Rev. Timothy Kalyegira to get down to the details of everything. Why should Black people suffer when a White man lives amongst us?

Our belief in prophets

We never tire of being told; ‘this year is your year.’ We have never given up on our prophets. They have promised that we shall be the head and not the tails, that we shall be a wonder for everyone. They have promised us heaven on earth, the wallets were opened, the Bibles were opened. Now we have to wait for a magical interpretation of the year 2020 and what 20 means in the Bible. You can be certain one Prophet will declare it the year of a double harvest. And we shall then plant our double harvest seed.


The Ghetto President, is he still one? Well, Bobi Wine told us to ‘kwebeleramu’. This can mean a million things, take personal precaution, think for yourself, look out for your interests, name it all. In the case of Uganda, it can also mean that at the sign of the first teargas cannister, sprint as fast as you can. When you find people running in Uganda, first run and then ask ‘why’ afterwards. Perhaps that explains why the revolution has delayed. We are all busy looking out for ourselves.

Learn to shout a few abuses. As they often say, “driving in Uganda is like war, you just never reveal your next move to fellow road users.” Indicate left but turn right. Drive slowly, when someone tries to overtake you, then speed up all of a sudden.

Let me hear from you, what makes you Ugandan?

Twitter: @OrtegaTalks

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