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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos


Kampala: The holy city of hustlers

You blink, and before you know it, a phone is gone…

No different: Everyone has been wondering: “What is it that excites Ugandans about Ruto and Riggy G?” What is it that draws us to the wheelbarrow movement? Well, wonder no more. There is a public secret. We are all hustlers in Kampala. Our hustles may be different but at the end of the day, regardless of how or where, if you throw a stone into a Kampala crowd, it will always land on a hustler!

When Azawi sang the lines, ‘Tuyiriba nga b’amajje’, she was singing about every person who enters Kampala. Kampala is one big boxing ring, we all get in, we all punch, unsure of where the punches will land, but hoping we do not get punched back too hard. When we enter Kampala in the morning, we hope that we can hustle through and live to see the next day’s hustle.

Our relationships

Relationships in Kampala are a hustle. The one thing about Kampala is that no one is single. We are all in a relationship, moving out of a relationship and about to slide into a relationship. There is no private mailo when it comes to love in Kampala. Relationships in Kampala are run and maintained on a communal lease holding.

Every relationship in Kampala has a side hustle. If you do not know this, then you are the side hustle in your relationship. If he is always busy on the big days, on your birthday, on Nyege Nyege. If she is always up for some random conference, some random seminar, some prayer mountain. Just embrace your hustle.

The big cooking pot that is K’la

Kampala is that one big cooking pot. We are all cooking, we just happen to cook at different phases. Some of us are at the bottom of the pot, others are at the top. At the end of the day, we shall all cook up. If you are not yet cooking, relax, your time is coming.

We have all accepted that hustling is the way. All our cars have guards. Every side mirror on a Kampala car has a latch to deter a theme. We all have trackers in our cars. We are all running and hiding from an invisible force.

The politicians are running from the voters, the voters are running from the politician. You cannot trust anyone in this cooking pot. In Kampala, you fight for every space. In Kampala, you cannot escape the hustle. You can only transform it. You can only hoodwink it.

Passports are for hustling, National IDs are for hustling, Visas are for hustling. Even the President is not exempt from the hustling. If Kenya needed Ruto, Uganda needed him more. The godfather of the hustlers must make a grand pilgrimage to the holy city of hustlers. He must come to the centre of the hustle. Nairobi hustle has got nothing on the Ugandan hustle.

In Uganda, we have hustled so much, even the police no longer takes bribes. It takes water. It takes tea. It takes airtime. It takes newspapers. In Grenade speak, everyone in Kampala is now a ‘mu bandandana.’

The hustle that is education

Kampala is a city in motion. Everything is always moving. You must hold tight every time. You blink, and before you know it, a phone is gone. You blink once more, and you have a phone offer from Mutaasa Kafeero.

In Kampala, there is always someone who can do it cheaper. It is no guarantee that just because they can do it cheaper, they can do it anyway. In Kampala, you first say yes, then ask to confirm what exactly they were talking about. A boda boda will charge before he knows the destination. Until you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with the boda guy confused just as you are.

We have studied about the Canadian Prairies, we have been to Switzerland, we have completed dichotomous keys, but we just cannot figure out how one can be President decade on decade. But hey, we also understand where he comes from. He is also on a hustle.

University students compete on printing out lecture notes. It is handout on handout. We have no guarantee that the degrees will amount to anything, but we hustle to get them anyway. In Kampala, you just must put up a show. Pretend that everything is fine. A hustler must never give the impression that he is hustling.

Our bank balances

We are all struggling with loans. In Uganda, you must have at least three loan sources. The bank loan, the SACCO loan, the micro-finance loan, the family loan, the loan from friends, the loan from the wife or husband. Just time your loans in such a way that they do not fall in the same payment run. We have more months at the end of our salaries. We are suffering and smiling.

At least, at the end of the day, we have a massage parlour to run to, a pastor to promise us a new future, and a beer to soothe our throats. We are in hell but enjoying while at it. We are all Riggy Gs in the making. Everyone in Kampala is working hard to get promoted. To get promoted to a level where you can reduce the rate of boiling.

If you are still being cooked at the level of a boda boda, then everyone is shoving you off the road. Everyone is blaming you for the madness on the road. When you upgrade into a car, then your struggle shifts to ‘parking full’ signs. For how else would you expect a Bandali Rise spot to avail parking to a Vitz? Like how Tasha?

Our haters

Everyone in Kampala has haters. The enemy of our enemy is our friend in Kampala. Everyone is in a certain class. But at the end of the day, Kampala is beating all of us. At the end of the day, we are all being bruised by Kampala. Some are just lucky to have cold compresses on their bruises. The rich and the poor, the young and the old, the Chwezi and the Luopeans. The taxi hates the boda boda, the boda boda hates the taxi and the car owners, the car owners dread the taxis and hate the boda boda. In Kampala, hustling is not an option, it is a lifestyle!

Twitter: ortegatalks

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