Monthly Archives: July 2016

Paaka Enkadde

Disclosure: This blog is written in English.

Tell me where you stay and I will direct you to your stage in Paka Enkadde. For starters, Paka Enkadde is the old taxi park along Barton Street in the downtown of the Central Business District of Kampala.

paka

So to make my work easier, I will code mix the two terms to form Park Enkadde.

You wonder why the noun in Luganda has to be made proper and the English one not. Anyway, there is something about the old taxi park that I love about it. It is “self contained”. I look at it as the belly of the fire place where all the ash sits. No matter how big the log, its ash always settles there. And such is Park Enkadde.

It is a crowd puller. It attracts the cream (minus de la cream) of Uganda’s livelihood. Regardless of the time when you walk by the taxi park, you will find business booming.

From food vendors to *nsenene temporary stalls that keep changing as taxis assume position. You will not miss the apple vendors and all the other vendors of edible and the ^kyakala kyakala of all sorts. By the  way, there are a lot of under wears (on sale) somewhere near the confectioneries as you try to access Standard Supermarket. Anyway it is the old taxi park, what do you expect?(shrugs shoulders)

During the day, there is a call of ‘fasi fasi as one by one finds their way to or fro the park. This push and pull of both the people and the taxis leaves one in question of one’s safety as one leads to wherever one’s destiny calls. The same place has women who have mastered the art of balancing their merchandise on their heads as they seek out buyers mainly passengers in taxis.

One thing about the old  taxi park is that you find yourself there. It is not easy to tell the entry or exit point of this scandalous place. Any route can easily substitute for the other. It is for that reason that you find the uptown girls carrying small bags in the evening containing their high heels. That is how women easily qualify for the rapid response unit. They respond as per the demands of the situation, Park Enkadde inclusive.

I have a feeling some of these researchers go to Park Enkadde and carry out various surveys about Ugandans since you can nearly find any type of person in this park without necessarily travelling upcountry. This is called cutting costs.

Twice I have been a victim of a woman with a baby on her back who comes around the Gayaza stage in this park around 8pm asking for transport. Her purse is usually stolen around that time and she has to raise her transport home. The first time she succeeded at convincing me but the second time, I had to remind her of our fist encounter and slowly she disappeared. She is representative of the very many businesses in this place that go tax free. They always bail themselves out.

And such is the life in the old taxi park. If you don’t fall a victim of the not-few business minded persons then you will emerge successful.

Future prospects of this place; It should be included on the tourist attractions especially for the kids in international schools who may not have an idea of this other part of the pearl of Africa.

You should always remember that in this part of the city, charges vary according to pick time. During the day, you may pay the amount assigned on the placard but that does not guarantee the hours to follow. Never complain of the kind of taxi that carries you unless you are sure there is an alternative. The one I boarded this last night on my way home had a phonetic symphony of something like [nye-ge-nye-ge]. At a point, I thought that maybe the organizers of the NyegeNyege Festival once boarded this taxi and were swept away by the symphony… Maybe!

Hope we meet some day around this place.

 

*grasshoppers

^ merchandise

‘space

image by monitor.co.ug

Lets Talk Bodaboda

Depending on where adolescence found you, you may say bodaboda  or  borabora,  the reader will have to put the term to context. There is no other term as close to give it a second meaning.

I am one of the very many privileged Ugandans who have used the boda (as we prefer to call to it) at all times and at all costs. You know the boda is one of those confidants at each and every time of need; in a rush, emergency, pleasure, leisure or routine.

It may pass without mention for the role it plays in our society, to be specific; in our lives. The boda is a moving theatre of sorts. It gets you thinking, positioning you to re-image yourself in society. Every boda rider has a way of volunteering information to the passenger. Maybe it is part of their ethical code of conduct that may need revision. With the setting of an oral people that we are, conversation does not need to be applied for. One begins for as when they feel.

bodaboda.jpg

 

During the aftermath of the 2016 elections, one of the television stations ran a story of the fake bodaboda riders that were posited at offices and residences of top opposition leaders in this country. And we all know that boda riders are some of the outspoken political commentators with a guaranteed audience sitting just behind him. This came along with the allegation that not all the boda riders were necessarily on the job. Some had been deployed to carry out research for certain firms in Kampala.

Between 2012 and 2014, there were so many cases of iron bar hit-men who also worked as boda riders but shelving ill intentions. In a country where there are no regulations to such a very big arm of the transport industry, a lot is left to be desired. However the precaution is mainly left in the hands of the passenger, you and I.

Being the ardent boda user that I am, I have chosen to arm self with precaution. Whenever I am using a boda, I am slow with response to whatever tribe of conversation thrown to me. You never know who this rider is and what they want of you.  The bodaboda market, like any other welcomes anyone with very open arms as long as one can ride the motorcycle. And unfortunately there is no distinction between a motor bike used for the boda business and that for personal or private use. They all look alike. So you can never know the intentions of this person sitting in front of you manning the monster machine.

Jimmy will always sort me. Apart from the random rides that I get there and here, I rely on Jimmy for my rides. For more than seven years, Jimmy has been a bodaboda cyclist and that is his day and night job. I call him up for all my planned rides especially when I know I will be moving late at night. I find relying on him calming and of great reward to me. Did I tell you he offers me rides on credit? Yes he is that awesome.

I can never be in control of all the things that happen to me but for those little ones that I can, I try. We live in a world where we are always chasing something. And you can never tell when or who is chasing you. Maybe your chaser is the boda rider in front of you!

 

image by monitor.co.ug

 

#ForTheChildrenUganda

Whitney Houston in her song Greatest Love Of All, made her appeal known to the world

“I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier”

It is against this background that the Rotary Club of Kampala North is joining hands with the For The Children to build a children’s village with a youth education and entrepreneurship centre in Busunju on Hoima Road for the orphans that the organisation looks after.

4 the children

Rotary and For The Children have put together a concert dubbed #FortheChildrenUganda due to be held at the Kampala Serena Hotel on the 23rd July 2016 AT 6:00PM. Musicians Angela Sanyu Okullo and Moroots will take lead in a concert. Tickets are on sale at UGX 50,000.

Get your ticket now and be part of the change in these children’s lives.