I am Shantel, I am waiting for my graduation.
KLA CHICK: Anyone else wonder what life is like for the slay queens since lockdown? Have they adapted to the new times?
The Covid-19 pandemic hit far and wide, many lives have been directly impacted. Shantel, our Ugandan slay queen has not been an exception to this rule. She’s one of the resilient forces that have faced off with the pandemic and is here to tell her story with #SOUG
#SOUG: Shantel, tell us about yourself? What’s your real name?
Shantel: I am Shantel, I am waiting for my graduation. Just that some of my marks are missing. I have a ka retake here and there, but things will be fine.
#SOUG: Are you sure Shantel is your actual name?
Shantel: Duh, of course. You know we always have these party names. You need the name that rocks the party scene. But my parents love to call me Shanita Namulindwa. But my friends know me as Shantel. It’s stylish when the party is up there, your friends see you and shout; “Shantel baby.” Now imagine them shouting; “Namulindwa?”
#SOUG: So how did the first lockdown find you?
Shantel: It’s sad, I had just started on works for my Blankets costume. I had lined up my proggie well. Birthday here, Roast and Rhyme there and the big Nyege Nyege. I had a Seychelles trip in the loop. That weekend, I even had a photoshoot planned out. Then, guess what? Lockdown happened. It was happening before my eyes. I had never understood Mayinja’s song. What’s the title mpozi?
#SOUG: Ebyatulumba Bizeemu?
Shantel: Yes, that song. I call Tasha, called Glam, call all my babies and told them, “we’re back in Idi Amin’s times”.
#SOUG: Wait, so you have babies?
Shantel: You guy, my friends, my friends, my girls, those are my babies.
#SOUG: You call your babies and what did you tell them?
Shantel: I told them we are finished. Because those bottle popping, that ka money from hangout, that ka transport money, all these allowances were going. I sat down on my mattress in my apartment and started sobbing. I looked at my Brazilian weave and was worried it may not be replaced in a long while.
#SOUG: Did you have any strategy?
Shantel: As I was there, I see this guy I had saved us; “boring” in my phonebook. Nga don’t I see his status updates. He’s there showing off his sticker for essential workers. I had to swallow and slide into his inbox. I was like; “hey, bby boy, long time, what you planned for us your princesses?”
#SOUG: The plan was that he would be the chauffeur?
Shantel: More like my lockdown Uber guy. But confuse him with pecks, hugs and he would just keep dropping me to the right locations. And he would be happy doing it.
#SOUG: Did this plan work out?
Shantel: Atte! Nga doesn’t double tragedy happen. Some Ugandan dudes decide to launch SMAU at the same time. And guess who is a member? My ‘Uber guy.’ Banange I cried.
#SOUG: So SMAU has really affected you?
Shantel: I rather have Covid-19 than have a SMAU boyfriend. It’s the most useless organisation. No wonder most men in SMAU don’t even have muscles. I hate them with a passion. Like what is the money for if they can’t spend it on us?
#SOUG: But can’t you get a job?
Shantel: I already have a job.
#SOUG: What job?
Shantel: My job is to look nice. My job is to slay. I also run a multi-million Likes empire on Instagram, TikTok, those things. You can say, I am a creative, I am a boss lady. Now if you want to associate with a boss lady, you should pay for her time.
#SOUG: Anyway, tell me about those good old days, when you were the life of the party?
Shantel: Oooo woooow! Those days! How I miss them! The party would start on Thursday. You know, better if it was a payday week for the dudes. Because it meant we were going to litter those tables with all tribes of drinks. Thursday morning, I would review the requests. I love to plan my life. You can’t do me random proggie, especially if you don’t drive a great car or stay in a good apartment. I would select the best option for Thursday, confirm time and starting venue. Then, I would call my girls and tell them, ‘Kampala will feel us today’.
I would then do my blunt a bit a bit during the day. Then evening, the dress up session. Nga we struggled to fit in those hot pants. Anti you know weight issues. Then the make-up. Then we would order for our Uber. And start directing him to our place in Najjera. Then we would hop in with our heels. Boy oh boy! Those were the days.
#SOUG: You seem to say Kampala has gone to the dogs? Are you in the struggle?
Shantel: That’s why I voted Bobi Wine. We can’t continue in this kinda hell. Imagine what has happened to all of us.
#SOUG: Shantel, we’ve run out of time. Parting shots?
Shantel: Me if they just restore my night life. I won’t mind even if it’s dzaddy or baby in the seat.
#SOUG: What do you mean?
Shantel: As in whether Mzee or Boo or Bae, or whatever. We want to Tumbizza sound!
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