When you enter a town, you are always looking out for those outstanding features that welcome you into the town. It could be the statues, the sculptures.
For Mbarara, it is the long-horned cow. Jinja was supposed to be a big chapatti sign while Masaka had to mould some grasshopper. But in Kabale, it is the gorilla. A gorilla represents brute force and energy, a creature that is willing to take on any challenge as long as its ego is under the spotlight.
And that is it for Kabale, the gorilla has come to symbolise its people.
Kabale people are made for any challenge. It is only in Kabale where you will find equality fully embodied and practiced. The women will smoke alongside the men. It takes special talent to grow up amid these hills, cracking out a living.
It is said that if they are from Kabale, do not dare them to anything, for they will surely not give up. No wonder, even the Kabale drinks are served in gigantic cups. If you ask for the ‘muramba gwe nturiire’, be ready to be served with the biggest mug in the history of mugs. In Kabale, it is not just a traditional brew.
The traditional brew is food.
In Kabale everything is big. The chests are big, the heights are big, the people are big. When you get to samosas, you only must pass by Karecera’s to get the point. But why the hell would things be this big in Kabale? Why did the gods make it this way?
Can you imagine when you order for fries in Kabale, you will be served a bucket-full of fries? Eating in Kabale is a serious business and food must be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
By the time a child makes five years old, he is able to lift a sack of potatoes and lift weights in a gym. It is a crime to be skinny in Kabale. If you find someone skinny, they are either a foreigner or some random Subaru driver from Najjera. Speaking of Subarus, it is impossible for Subaru drivers to survive in Kabale. It is not easy to do those drifts in the Kabale corners. It is the only place that humbles Subaru drivers.
I do suspect that the feminism movement started in Kabale. There is not a single place in Uganda where women run things like in Kabale. The women out work the men. No wonder, it is at Bunyonyi that the empress Nyabbinji set camp. Rastafarians all over the world come to Kabale to pay homage to her greatness. She was a true warrior.
We also fear that Kabale is losing its original brand story, aka the coldness. Back then, the theme for Kabale was a heavy jacket, ready to face all kinds of low temperatures. Now, Kabale is not different from a normal cold day in Kampala. How on earth can someone even move around for a week without a jacket in Kabale? Who stole the coldness? Could it be the global warming? Without the coldness, Kabale gets to lose its authenticity.
You will appreciate Kabale people for their honesty. They tell it as it is. There is no two sides to a Kabale person. If you are toasting a girl in Kabale and she does not feel you, it will be clear. However, if you are also being slow, the girl in Kabale will walk up to you and force you to speak out. You do not have to beat around the bush while dating in Kabale.
And to that point, in Kabale there are no whispering. You shout at the top of your voice and place your demand. If you must laugh, laugh your lungs out. It must be a hearty laugh. Again, it is only in Kabale where people can be real without fear of any consequences.
But where do the Kabale people hide when in Kampala? Surely it cannot be in Najjera. It cannot be Nansana. It cannot be Kisaasi. So, where in Kampala is one bound to find Kabale chaps? It cannot be in a night club because a Kabale man will not look on as he invests in a babe without returns. He will make the conditions clear, for every bottle I buy, I expect a hug.
Speaking of hugs, don’t risk hugging a Kabale person. They hug like it is a death match. You must have done some pullups and pushups before you engage in a hugging moment with a Kabale person. Dare risk with a handshake and you may have no palm left.
Bottomline, Kabale is about strength, it is about being a hard guy, hard girl. Kabale is about daring everything in life. Kabale is about a life of no fear, a life pumped with courage.