To Top

Kampala is no ordinary city

You must succeed in Kampala or else you will have no friends.


KAMPALA 101: It takes special skills to survive in Kampala. It is one thing to survive in Kampala, it is another thing to survive Kampala. For the newbies in this town, here are some tips.

1.Discover the Cheptegei in you

The saying goes, “Failure is an orphan”. And so it was for Cheptegei when his legs couldn’t hold years ago in Kololo. The whole country mocked him, he was the trending joke. Time forward to 2020 and we are now celebrating the champion. Now that he is successful, we all want to associate with him. The bottom line is that you must succeed in Kampala or else you will have no friends, no relatives. “kola ssente mbwa gwe” aka “do yourself a favour and make money.” If you are poor in Kampala, you are a nobody. You will leave to hate the police. Your landlady will haunt you. DJs will not even send you shout-outs on a night out.

2.Grab your HAM moment

In Kampala, everyone is a lawyer. You must have the ability to interpret the law and find a technicality upon which to raise an illegality. For example, why should you pay rent in these Covid-19 times? This is the perfect moment to invoke the force majeure clause. The earliest you should be paying rent is sometime in 2021 when you have fully studied the situation. If you borrow money from a Kenyan friend, you can always argue that he had no authorisation to conduct financial business in Uganda.

3.Loyalty is a myth

There is nothing like loyalty in Kampala, just an intersection of interests. There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies. If you are Ashburg Katto or Full Figure or Bajjo, when the time is right, do not be ashamed to cross to the other side. And once you cross over, perform at 100 per cent. Give the new side all your energy and commitment. Fight like you have never fought before. Remember that your enemy could soon be your friend and vice versa.

4.Flaunt the Bad Black in you

Bad Black is anti-fragile. If you got into a fight with Bad Black, you would lose before it even got started. Why? Because she hit the lowest in her life. Once you have hit the lowest in your life, the next is for you to climb higher. Bad Black took out the skeletons in her closet and put all on display. In the end, her scars became art. We fell in love with her authenticity. And now, she is unbeatable, unstoppable. The lesson here is to find your flaws and brand them as your star factor. Once you do this, Kampala will be yours for the taking.

5.Do not screw your Bobi moment

There is going to come a time for you to shine. That time when your fellow musicians sell out to the ruling side and you are left standing alone. There is going to be that moment when your kingdom threatens to raze off part of your beach land. You must recognise that golden moment and rise to it. Those are your 15 seconds to leverage. If you grab them well, you could end up as a member of Parliament, then you will have your Arua moment and finally it will be a shoot for the presidency. If you are an upcoming musician and you get a hit song, utilise it to the fullest. There may never be another hit song.

6.You will not be on top for long

Once you get to the top, expect that you could soon fall to the ground. Remember the days of Doreen Kabareebe? Do you remember the days of Jam Agenda? What about Robin Kisti? The dough may rise, but it will eventually settle. Although you have all the rights to enjoy your peak, there is time to go to the bottom of the mountain. Be humble, you are not the first neither the last. Before you, we’ve had many celebrities, socialites, rich gangs, beauty queens and long after you are gone, many more of these shall come. Who could have imagined that Rocky Giant would have to plead for Buchaman’s mercy?

7.Everything is possible

Everything in Kampala is possible. You can lounge in Guvnor and be caught red-handed at a dingy party in Kireka. You can be light-skinned on Instagram and have melanin poppin’ in real life. You can be a criminal and still have full audience with the President. Let no body tell you things are impossible in this city. You can lead a double life. You can choose to be a CEO as soon as you decide. Nothing stops you from greatness in Kampala.

Twitter: ortegatalks

Don’t want to miss out on any story? For updates on all Sqoop stories, follow this link on Telegram:

Leave a comment

More in Columnists