The haggling, the sweet endearments, the lugambo…
Kampalan: There is a special breed in town, the Kampala urbanite. She is crafted differently from the rest. Her struggle has been one of inability to make her annual Euro trip. It is not the struggle of everyone else. It is a struggle of abundance not scarcity. He is the Kampala urbanite. She is the Kampala urbanite and here is the starter pack that defines these urbanites.
- He eats at a Kafunda, but not your type of Kafunda. His Kafunda works 24-7.
His kafunda has that 360 degrees interior décor. At his kafunda, local food is ordered with an accent. At his kafunda, there is tipping involved. Yes, the kafunda is on the famous Bukoto street. He parks his Mark X, lazily steps out, adorned in his crocs that cost him an arm and a leg. As if it makes any difference or not what kind of plastic one wears. But that does not deter him. He proceeds to play the famous Otyo as he awaits his order to be processed. Also note that he knows every Jimmy, Nexta, Brandon and Lucille that comes over to the kafunda. He even knows the owner (it’s his concept of BUBU).
- His life starts and ends at Bukoto Street.
Yes, everything in his life rotates around Bukoto Street. If you take out this mini-semblance of the Europe taverns, she is stripped bare. She has nothing else to call home. Where else can she project her intelligence if not at the quiz nights? Where else will he try to learn a foreign language? How else will he claim to have eaten something that is Mexican, a Quesadilla? Do not touch thy Bukoto Street for it is the soul and spirit of the Kampala Urbanite.
- She is a Tweep.
She has a Facebook account, but she holds herself superior to the folks that populate those Facebook streets. She wants to debate Kahuma on whether to drop out or not of University. But while she sustains that debate, she is applying for her MBA at the University of Capetown. Deep down she agrees that university life in Uganda was a blend of endless handouts (printed at the lecturer’s photocopier), and outsourced coursework. Deep down she has no idea about her final year thesis. All she knows is that she survived, and she graduated. At least Makerere remembers her name and so do the streets of Bandali.
- Speaking of Bandali, the Kampala urbanite’s party life is defined by Bandali.
The day we wake up when a Gamba N’Ogu has fenced off Bandali, there will be no hope for the Kampala night life. The life of paying heavily to experience poor service, diluted cocktails and painted faces. Speaking of makeup, where did this idea come from? How on earth did a Namubiru learn of fake eyelashes? But who are we to mansplain these things? Are we trying to undermine the beauty of Kampala women? Yes, as a Kampala urbanite, you must keep front-loading these terms. Better still, find every opportunity to use terms such as extrapolate, terms such as Zeitgeist. Blame not this author, he is also been longing for that moment
- The Kampala urbanite is a digital being.
He orders his food online. He orders his boxers online. But on a serious note, why would someone order a rolex online? Does that still count as a rolex? How does one verify that they used the famous musty cloth or the plastic cup? Did they even use the knife to turn the egg? This Kampala urbanite considers themselves woke. They recently read something from Kwame Nkurumah, and are currently reading Yuval Noah while experimenting with tips from atomic habits. But that is as deep as they get. If you want trouble, bother them with Edward Said and Orientalism.
- The Kampala urbanite is an expert on Kenyan affairs, particularly Nairobi affairs.
He is crossed paths with Chebukati, he is bosom buddies with Wetangula (has a photo to prove). In Kampala, once you take a photo with someone, you instantly assume a longtime friendship. The Kampala urbanite speaks of the Nairobi Social House, and occasionally drinks White Cap and Chrome. He is always looking for ways to escape Kampala, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Speaking of Nairobi, what is this thing of taking days to announce results? You have finally given Museveni something to brag about. Because while Kenyans are pondering the results of 2022 elections, Uganda has made up its mind about the 2026 percentages. The winner is known, and the reaction is defined.
- The Kampala urbanite is for extreme sports.
He hikes mountains with the slayers. He does not believe in the ordinary. He goes all the way, he keeps beating the extremes. Be worried, because he’s done deep-sea diving, he is jumped out of planes and has just finished a conquest of the Rwenzori. Above all, he just does not stop talking about the experience. Speaking of extremes, he is always looking for new psychedelic experiences, and of late he is championing a new form of hot whiskey. Yes, the urbanite speaks in terms of whiskey, and wines. While at Bandali, he does not associate with anything less of a bottle on the table.
- The Kampala urbanite thinks of herself as a gardener.
She also runs a farm (from the touch of her phone). She dreams of setting up an eco-lodge (there is a pinterest collection of this dream). She is artsy, she does not believe in the mainstream, she longs for the alternative. She does not go to a Church, but to a garage. She belongs to at least three fellowships (with Greek names). She acts like she has never heard of Chris Evans and David Lutalo. She belongs to the tribe of Azawi although she is always haggling for complimentary tickets. Oba, when do Kampala urbanites ever buy concert tickets? The urbanite is already haggling for Nyege Nyege. At least she knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who sells tents at Nyege Nyege. She is an expert on Americano? Although she was raised on ‘dry tea.’ The urbanite is currently going through an identity crisis. Is she an awakened African or a pseudo-European? But who cares, she has some moments to do a mental detox. And will never tire of stressing waitresses with requests for ice on everything she orders.
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