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Anatomy of Uganda’s party animals

In Bugolobi, your Luganda must have broken undertones

Waweru defined: We are outside without an ounce of a doubt. And the party animals are back to their default settings. Although we often have some bar hoppers from time to time, most Ugandans tend to stick to their party locations. You will never find a Nansana chap running to a Ntinda lounge. Instead, Team Nansana will always stick around Mengo, Old Kampala and Kasubi. Today we dissect these classes of party animals.

  1. Team Bugolobi

Bugolobi chaps invented the chill vibes. Having been outcompeted by the hardcore days of Rouge and many other clubs on that railway street, these chaps migrated to Bugolobi. Bugos brought them peace but also the ability to flaunt your money without having to prove yourself on the dance floor. Every Bugos party animal imagines themselves to be some Ruger or Omah Lay of sorts. You can tell from their birdy hairstyles; the hair is always shaped to reflect a Naija trend. Team Bugos is also a fan of swiping cards. The quickest way to project arrivalism in Uganda is to pay by card not cash.

Do not forget your accent when you get to Bugos. Back in the day, every Ugandan strived to speak like an American. Now, the American accent trend is gone. One ought to have that heavy British accent, the ability to speak as though you don wa spee-ak. This is not the time to drive your Passo or Sienta to these streets. Based on the size of your car, parking can be full or available. But on a serious note, why would a Sienta strive for inside parking space? In Bugolobi, your Luganda must have broken undertones.

You cannot speak it fluently, it may cost you social points in these circles. You must remember your gin and tonic, cram a few cocktail names, insist on a vodka and whine about the cocktail not matching your standards. Bugolobi is about class projection, that you have escaped the traps of Ugandan mediocrity, have been to a rare European location and you are now ready to call the shots.

If you run a bar in Bugolobi, any price shall pass. You can sell a 30K bottle at 200K and chaps will only complain in their heads. In Bugos, you cannot bargain or complain about prices. If you plan to use a boda boda, please find a way to jump off a few metres away from the lounges. Nobody should see you jumping on that bike. When you are outside in Bugolobi, you must deny poverty, its friends, its associates and all its relatives. You must feign complete ignorance of poverty. There is one other rule in Bugolobi, snapchat is the only social media tool. If you hang around Bugolobi and you are not on snapchat, you could be arrested for fraud.

  1. Team Lugogo/Kyadondo

First, nothing can stand between food and Team Kyadondo. Many of them are stout addicts. They are chaps who have done stuff in different fields and now have nothing more to prove to the world. The only thing they will not tolerate is the absence of meat on their platter. These guys will eat all kinds of meat, the tangible and intangible meat.

Whereas in Bugolobi prices can be hiked, the team Lugogo will keep a watch on their prices. Most of them chill and relax with the bar owners. Although in Bugolobi it is a miracle to find the owner, in Lugogo, it is all about one big family, one love. Most of these chaps spit fire on Twitter, they are the chaps behind the memes, but in real life, they are just chaps in their 30s and 40s trying to hustle through the lies and madness of life.

If you want a real conversation, one that is devoid of heavy accents, one that hits the nail on the head, then get to Kyadondo. Expect no lies, expect no games. Both genders will share the bill, without one gender having to feign smiles once the bill lands. And in Kyadondo, beer is enjoyed in groups, it has no rules. You do not have to sit or smile a certain way. Just drink and drink. You are already a legend.

  1. Team Acacia/Team Bukoto Street

When you get here, you land in an identity crisis. From Acacia all the way to Bukoto street, you can meet all nationalities in the world, all accents, all  genders, all  music genres, and you will still have no idea what kind of people flock around these streets.

If you are yet to find yourself in life, do not hang out here, you will end up more confused. There is no thematic approach to the party animals in these streets. It is the young, the old, the liars, the broke, the expatriates, the spies, the new money, the old money, all these find an intersection at Acacia. One moment a guy with dirty sneakers will enter a lounge, another moment, a girl with a peacock weave will pass by.  Another moment, a chap comes out speaking in hardcore swear language, and then on another hand, two sweet souls emerge from a Shawarma spree and climb to the stairs of some pop club.

On these streets, the people who hang out here have done it all, they have hiked the hardest of mountains, they have heralded marketing campaigns, they have started arts and culture festivals, but they still maintain a down to earth character. Perhaps it is a coping mechanism for their confusion; their identity crisis.

  1. Team Kabalaza

Covid-19 rebranded the Kabalaza, it ignited the fires of a kabalaza. Kabalaza has always been about real-life conversations. On kabalaza, you simply sit and gossip in peace. The only reason kabalazas are the thing is because they have the juiciest and freshest gossip. If you want a plug for anything in this town, then spend time at a kabalaza. At a kabalaza, you will find people who process passports within hours. At a kabalaza, you will know of all the new trends. You will hear the sad stories of corporate farmers, the ones who went into the Hass Avocado trend and have now retreated. Farming taught them that you cannot farm from the office, while outsourcing everything to the farm manager.

At kabalaza, it is all in the open, if you have a crush on someone, you speak it out. Team Kabalaza people are usually the kind that have learnt their lessons the hard way, they have learnt to balance the extremes of life. They got tired of fighting, of pleading with snobby waitresses and waiters. Now, they want to whistle to Mama Naki to add another round for the team while the conversation continues.

Twitter: ortegatalks

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