When it comes to eating, Ugandans will never compromise…
Food Wars: There is one thing that brings us together as Ugandans. We can disagree on everything else, but in Uganda, we shall never fail to agree when it comes to food. Ugandans know how to do one thing excellently – eating. When it comes to eating, Ugandans will never compromise. In Uganda, we never turn down an offer. And you can tell a lot about a Ugandan based on their food association.
- The Uganda Rolex Eaters Association (TUREA)
The association was founded many years ago by the bachelors at Makerere University. The idea soon spread so far, so wide, that is has now been embraced in the streets of Bandali Rise. The chappati is Uganda’s truest friend, it is a friend in need. It is the backup of every Kampala dweller. And when you do not know what you want to eat, remember the rolex is always available, ever present at any hour of the day.
TUREA members have developed their own language. From nyanya mbisi to byonna sikilamu. But you must fear a man who boldly chooses byonna sikilamu. When Chop Life comes to an end (as it often does), nyanya mbisi is around to salvage the day.
Rolexes in Uganda come in types. There is Titanic, known to all girls that have traversed single sex schools. Basically, a rolex with at least two or more chappatis. Our friends at Bingos own the Titanic patent. After all, they are the queens of the wrap. There is also the ‘Conspi’ invented by the NGO boys. In this one, you add everything to your rolex, you can add a sausage, add crisps. It is basically a conspiracy against your stomach. But hey, at all costs, do not risk with a Bulindo rolex. You cannot add eating dust to the pile of your problems.
- Uganda Pork Eaters Cooperative (UPEC)
There is one animal that has threatened the position of the Uganda Crane and the Kob. This animal has the most names in the world. It is rumoured to have more than 1,000 names and a challenge is on for the person who can list all the names of this animal.
The President of this country can do everything, organise a birthday for his son, increase taxes but the day he ever touches this animal, that is when he will know the power of UPEC. UPEC is the most tech-savvy group. Members of UPEC have mapped out branches in every part of Uganda. Now, the command centre is somewhere in Kyadondo, although some claim that the true boss of UPEC is some Boaz in Wakiso.
One of the core themes of UPEC is to ensure that a kilo comes out as a kilo from the kitchen. UPEC has noted discrepancies in kikalayi. “It has become common practice for the kikalayi to have more cabbages than the animal. We need UNBS to intervene,” says a proclaimed member of UPEC.
UPEC has also promised to release the rule book when it comes to sitting for Paper One Geography. UPEC has also promised to document the 1,000 names of this animal. It has been known as a Silent Burner, an Ipsum, a Tundra, a Full Figure. Of late, it has become known as a ‘terrorist’. Of late, when you hear Ugandans on a Friday evening threatening to kill some terrorists, be certain they have gone to destroy the animal.
- Uganda Local Food Eaters Union (ULFEU)
For many years, ULFEU was sidelined, and then the healthy movement happened. And everyone started yearning for local food. In order to protect the consumers from market instabilities, the ULFEU was formed. It was formed by the first man to ask for ‘mere yonna’ only for Mama Bula to have posho taking the biggest portion of ‘mere yonna.’ Since then, ‘mere yonna’ turned out to be the biggest scam. When you say, “mere Yonna”, you have given the food vendor all the rights to mistreat you as they see fit. The only thing that does not exist yet is ‘nva zonna.’
ULFEU was also formed to regulate most Ugandan buffets. Most buffets will give you the option to serve the carbs but will still have someone controlling the meat and chicken. ULFEU was also meant to curtail the corruption at wedding serving tables. It was at these wedding serving tables that Ugandans learned about connections. It is not about what you know at the table, it is about who you know.
- Chicken Eaters Uganda (CEU)
CEU, aka ‘Sewu’, was a result of the battle between Namawojjolo and Lukaya. Who had the biggest chicken? Who had the freshest? And who had the real chicken? CEU was formed to answer questions such as; “Yalelo?” In Uganda, that question could be the difference between life and death. It is the last question one ought to ask before purchasing anything. Even with money, if you are helping someone with ‘change’, you must confirm if the money is for today.
In Uganda, everything is a conversation. It is the conversation that saves you. You must engage your seller in a conversation, it is how they tell you are Ugandan and are not to be cheated. It is through the conversation that you cook up myths about your hidden strengths. During these conversations, it is advisable to say things such as; “the last person who sold me bad chicken, I came back to him and told him to slaughter me a whole chicken as a punishment.” This will help the vendor reconsider in case they had planned to play you dirty. In Uganda, we work through threats. You must threaten everyone. You must act like you know even when you do not.
- Uganda Drinkers Union (UDU)
This association has been in the pipeline, largely driven by the watery cocktails that had taken Kampala lounges by surprise. Who protects the rights of a ‘drinker’? How can the drinker validate that the shot of whisky is indeed the true size of a shot? Drinkers have also complained of waitresses who keep showing up unannounced to shake their nearly empty bottles on the tables.
UDU is also introducing methods first witnessed on a kabalaza. One of the methods is known as the ‘abacus’. In the abacus, for a drinker to keep track of their bill, they request to keep a copy of their bottle tops, aka crowns. At the end of the night, a drinker simply counts the crowns and pays based on that. In this way, UDU expects to curb the practice of inflated bills at the end of a drinking session.
UDU hopes that in future, when a dude finds a girl drinking a beer, her preference should not have a drastic jump to a tequila or whisky within seconds of an offer from a drink buyer. UDU hopes that we shall transition from; “bakuwe kyonywa” to “bakwongere kyonywa”. If one is found drinking beer, the offer should be to add them more beers. Tastes and preferences cannot change like tweets of a birthday boy.
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