By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class) – LDC; Cert. PELD – NALI-K; LLB (Hons) – Mak; PG Cert. Oil & Gas – Mak]
I was at the Kampala City Festival, yesterday, Sunday, 4th October, 2015. It was the third, organized annually by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), held under the theme, Our City. Our Celebration. Having missed the previous two, this time round I was there, because I really had to be there to witness the festivities for myself. I needed time and space to have fun, be extremely free, and somewhat naughty. I really enjoyed the event, and I also look forward to attending many others to come.
The festival provides an opportunity for the people of Kampala and elsewhere, to celebrate, jubilate, and take pride in their city. Judging from the prevailing mood yesterday, I think these objectives are being realized. I learnt of the event’s occurrence at about 7:30 pm of the night of Saturday, 3rd October, 2015, as I did my laundry, and I determined that I had to be there this time round, since I long desired to. I had many house chores and activities to do in the weekend, but I decided to be done with them by early morning of the next day. I worked tirelessly, and ended up sleeping at midnight. I woke up early Sunday morning, at 5:00 am, to prepare the day’s food, and finish other household chores. Then, I went to church, and on my return, ironed my clothes. At 3:00 pm, I set off for the festival, and reached Kampala city center, the venue for the festival, at 3:45 pm.
There were many entrances, but I entered via the Pioneer Mall / Mapeera House inlet that was heavily manned by police, with walk-through metal detectors. I immediately bought a customized festival cap to put me in a celebratory mood, which I am still keeping as a souvenir. Then, I embarked on studying the reach and extent of the festival, in terms of area covered, number and kind of people in attendance, the activities carried on, leisure and entertainment, and the prevailing security situation, among others.
I noticed that the festival was primarily on Kampala road. It was interesting seeing this intensively vehicle-jammed and extremely busy road ¬– the whole stretch from the KCCA fountain at Kampala Pentecostal Church (Watoto), near Fido Dido, all the way down to Victoria University, near National Theatre – and all adjacent road junctions, free of everything, but a mass of people. It was a remarkable tale of “from vehicle jam to human jam.”
I observed that the festival attracted no less than 500,000 people, of different races and nationalities, various ages, diverse socio-economic and political backgrounds, all with one common objective – enjoying themselves simply and easily. This festival is apparently becoming a tourist attraction of sorts. It was amazing how people were free with, and tolerant of one another, no matter what one did; as long as, of course, one did not take this liberty beyond acceptable limits like occasioning injury on another, or stealing another’s property. Whatever one did for fun’s sake was graciously accepted, and taken happily. For example, in the middle of the busy and tightly packed human traffic, I met two girls walking in my opposite direction, one of whom was extremely naughty, dressed in short and tattered jeans. She grabbed my hand and started rubbing it around her forbidden fruit area as she made some erotic statements. I let her have her moment of fame, until she let go. I was worried and scared however, because her thigh-land was very cold. I imagined how terrible it must be for her visitors down there. Later, I met another girl seated in the middle of the road (I think after exhaustion), and I sat on her laps. She laughed heartily, pushed me off them gently, and stood up, as other people nearby cheered us. I also met a chic with such a well-endowed and juicy looking big ass, which she shook so nicely in accordance with the rhythm of the sweet, sensational music, that I almost touched it, had it not been for the Holy Spirit, which immediately possessed me, urging me not to dare touch what her mama gave her.
There was a lot of trade going on. A variety of goods and services were available for sale, and many others for free. As expected, vendors were allowed to sell on the streets, without being hunted by KCCA law enforcers. There were different foodstuffs – both eats and beverages. Service providers especially, telecoms, were there advertising and selling their items like phones. Even a blood donation exercise went on, which tempted me to donate, but after quick deliberation in my mind, I declined to do so, remembering that I came to have fun, and be somewhat wild, yet I didn’t want to jeopardize this leisure moment, as I could easily collapse after blood being taken out of my body. Then, I came across a tent where HIV/AIDS counseling was done, and there was free condoms distribution too. I was handed two packs of Life Guard condoms, which I took without objection. For the benefit of the perverts, who I know are now having weird thoughts, I must clarify that I only took them as souvenirs too. Lolest!!!
In terms of leisure and entertainment, it was visibly clear that people really enjoyed themselves to the maximum especially, me. There were different and many local musicians, all entertaining people, free of charge. As usual and expected, Ugandans did not disappoint on this front. I am glad that we, Ugandans, know how to have fun, and enjoy ourselves. People devised and played all sorts of games especially, those considered childish, and rather naughty-like. I endeavoured to participate in as many games as I could. Men and women played kwepena (dear reader, I am sorry I don’t know this game’s English name, and I highly doubt it has any), which is traditionally a game for very young girls. I participated in one of the kwepenas whereby if one successfully dodged all the balls targeted at him, he would pick all the condoms on the ground, walk away with one of the girls busy dishing them, and return her after they are over. Boys were also available for similarly successfully girls too. Unfortunately for me, the first shot hit me, and I was out. I felt bad, because I wanted to win and walk away with all of the girls present. I came across a small group of boys and girls playing football at the point directly in front of Bank of Baroda (it was the kind such as that I played with my Kigezi High School OBs called karere). I joined them, and scored the first goal. Then we passed a rule that if the ball passed between one’s legs, he or she would not play again until either after touching a passer-by of the opposite sex, or receiving a slap. I was the first to fall victim to this rule, after the ball passed between my legs, and I chose to touch a girl, in order for me to continue playing. I touched the upper arm of some nearby hot babe, dressed in a cool, short white dress. That way, I was off the hook. She and her friends came to gaze at us, and I substituted myself for her. I am the perfect gentleman, you know.
Security was tight, and people were very well behaved. For the time I was there, 3:45 pm – 7:00 pm, I didn’t witnessed any ugly scenes in form of violence, skirmishes, thefts, accidents, or even arrests. Uganda Police, supported by KCCA law enforcers, a few Military Police personnel, and private security operatives, ensured that people’s lives and properties were safe. I therefore, commend these security agencies, and Ugandans, for being vigilant and disciplined thus achieving truly successful celebrations.
I commend KCCA leadership, under Lord Mayor Lukwago Erias, and Executive Director Musisi Jennifer, for this wonderful initiative. KCCA deserves our cooperation and should be enabled to continue organizing similar celebrations in the future. To my mind, there are many possible ways in which we can assist KCCA, but the best form of appreciation we can give the Authority is taking pride in, and cooperating with it to further implement its programs. There are simple basics, for instance, paying promptly all due taxes and other charges, avoiding littering and dirtying the city, keeping away from all protected green areas like the grass, shunning illegal trading, and generally giving city authorities the benefit of doubt for them to be able to fully and effectively implement their mandate.
We should also help to publicize this event, so as to make it a tourist attraction in itself, by informing and encouraging our friends, relatives, and citizens of other countries, to always attend it. That way, we shall attract foreign revenue in our country. Kampala City Festival oyeee!