Uganda has been one of the rainiest places in Africa ever since Winston Churchill came over, took one look and said, “This place is like a pearl

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You now pearls are found in the ocean. It rains so much around here, it’s like this place is in an ocean. I’m going to call it the pearl of Africa and then colonise and exploit it.” Then he laughed his wicked imperialist laugh.

But even after 57 years of independence we still act shocked and unprepared when it rains in Kampala. This is a transcript of a Kampalan’s thoughts when it begins to rain.

“What is going on? Bagyenzi? It’s like as if oba mineral water but instead of coming from bottles it is coming from up where the sky is. What are we going to do! That is not a question. Because if it were, we would be open to constructive advice to answer it, but we are not. We are just running around like cartoons. Tusaba gavumenti etuyambe!”

But if there is anything Ugandans have failed to learn more than how to live in a rainy city, it is the fact that gavumenti doesn’t help just because you ask, or to be more faithful to the rhetoric, gavumenti doesn’t yamble you just because you sabbed it.

That is why we have not adopted the following intelligent ideas.

In developed countries such as the ones we are trying so expensively to emulate by building flyovers and launching airlines, they have a garment called a rain coat and a device called an umbrella that they use to combat the rain.

I commend you Kampalans for having the innovative spirit to always have vendors at traffic lights selling you sunglasses and caps to protect you from the sunlight, but I must urge you to take this innovative spirit to the next level and sell umbrellas and raincoats as well.

Also, gumboots are not only useful when touring the farms upcountry. Kampala city is at least 179 percent dust, according to findings from my incompetent urban statistics intern. Do you now where dust goes when it rains? It enters the water and becomes mud. The only way to walk on mud without embarrassing your office is to wear gumboots.

They have not been gazetted as military attire so you can wear them freely, no matter what your political affiliation or lack thereof.

You don’t have to walk through mud in your fancy high heels or your Nike sneakers for fear that if you wear anything more suitable you will get a tour of the military campus. Wear gumboots.

Next item to consider: in Kampala we have something called traffic. Traffic is best described as similar to parking, except that it happens in the middle of the road.

But when it rains, the traffic itself gets caught in traffic. It is as if it rained cars as well as water. Next thing you know you are looking at not just lines of vehicles, but piles of them. The other day there were cars underneath and on top of each other on John Babiha avenue.

Commuters always caught unaware by this.

“Baby I’m coming over on Wednesday after work, and I’m going to rock your world. Keep enough energy drinks handy because you will need them to deal with what I have in store for you,” she texts on Tuesday.

But I checked my weather app and it said rain the next day so I know that she will not make it. She will be stuck in traffic for five hours and by the time she reaches my place all she will want to do is finish all my whiskey, complain complain and complain about how frustrating urban planning in Kampala is and finally go to sleep on the sofa.

So Kampalans, I urge you: if it is raining, don’t drive. Leave the cars in the office with Affande Mande guarding them. (If you want, remove your side mirrors and lock them inside the office) then call a boda who knows all the panyas and travel home that way.

Otherwise you will get home the day after.

If you follow these friendly tips you will be happy, beautiful and middle-income. Trust me.


The post How to deal with rains in the city appeared first on Nile Post.
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