Culture, Lifestyle, Travel

#Ugandaesque: A Summer’s Guide to Kampala Nightlife

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat on the plane to Kampala and made a list of “All the things I will not repeat on my visit.”

Most of the points on my list usually involve Kampala (Kla) night-life situations, mostly because “Visiting Ugandans” aka “Summers” are known for partying.

So in light of Kampala nightlife, here is a list of things I hate doing when I go out with people.

Number one is Panamera. I have a major hate relationship with Panamera. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I blame it for maliciously ruining my shoes (yea, I know they removed the stones, but I’m still pissed), or the fact that a boda-boda chap will creep up behind you and attempt to “wine” hoping you’ll be too drunk to notice. Or because by the time people get to Panamera, they’re on their worst behavior and my very sober self gets disgusted, when I see people with degrees and jobs stumbling, because it’s “Wikidi Weno”. Also, why are we okay with partying at a place where a man was killed for stealing 10,000Ush ($3)?

“Everyone is there,” is perhaps the phrase I hate hearing the most when in Kampala. Oh trust me, you will hear it more times than you could care for. People go to places not to have a good time but because, “Every one is there.” Case in point. We were in Guvnor, which I consider the most reasonable lounge/club in town. We had found a nice spot with seats and tables. The air conditioning was working, the music was great, everyone was happy. But like every gathering of friends, there’s always one ungrateful friend who is never satisfied and for some reason, keeps pressuring that we head to ‘Club Play’ because, “Everyone is there.”

We get to ‘Play’. The place is crowded AS, hot AF, and basically un-civilization everywhere you turn. For some reason, people want to cram themselves in that downstairs section. So because I’m polite, I follow my friends, squeeze through the entire downstairs crowd to make it to the furthest corner where the bar is, only to be told to go back because the person who we were all following can’t find the person she was looking for. Thennnn, some of the friends in the group decide to squeeze through the people at the bar to buy drinks. Mind you, there is a full blown unoccupied bar upstairs, but we are here, rummaging through this crowd of potential phone-thieves for I don’t know what reason.

What gets me the most is that the person who usually talks everyone into coming to Play is the first one to get irritated with the place, because apparently, it’s too packed. Meanwhile, she lives in Uganda, but for some reason, Play being packed is news to her. I, who has every right to be disgusted, is standing quietly tolerating shit.

As if that’s not annoying enough, there’s more. Remember, the reason we are in Play is because everyone is there. Whenever someone says that, I want to ask them if they’re going to talk to everyone because for all the times that I’ve been to “everyone is there places” we end up sitting together, on some painful bar chairs, around a micro table and only talking to each other.

As a matter of fact, I’m usually the one that ends up being the most social because old friends haven’t seen me in a while, so they stop to say hi, which I don’t mind except for the fact that it’s a “sauna situation”, everyone is sweating and people want to hug.

Blankets and Wine. Oooohhh you thought I would leave it out…no bruv, it’s on the list. Okay, it’s not really on the list but a situation happened which I really needed to address. B&W is the bomb diggidy, but this one time I went and a friend of a friend who was hanging with us decided to put her wallet on her chair, and stand up to cheer the artists on the stage (you see where I’m going with this?). Once again, this is a person that has lived her entire life in Kampala, so you would think she understands how things work.

We all stood up to watch the show and once the performance was over, dis chica turned around and of course, the wallet was gone. Naturally, she started fussing and stressing all of us out, even gathering the guts to ask around, if anyone had seen the person that took it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t even look in this girl’s direction cos I was this close to cursing her out. By the time, me, that hasn’t been in Kla for a while is cautious with my stuff, why are you, a resident, so trusting, knowing damn well the city has thieves left, right and center. My point is, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to help my friends look for their stuff after it has been stolen.

Every time I’m on that plane to Uganda, I write the same list and yet somehow, I manage to make all the mistakes all over. I guess it’s because that’s what I miss the most, hating the things that I hate about Kampala. That’s what makes the holiday memorable. Those are the stories we (summers… there I said it) re-tell each other and crack up when we come back.

Thanks for hanging out…


(Check out my blog, I’m a lot nicer on there).

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Mahbuba Matovu started calling herself Buba Fabulous on Facebook and the name stuck so much that she started a whole blog about living a fabulous lifestyle. She’s a life loving Ugandan who juggles her time between running her lifestyle blog, freelance writing and pursuing her Pharmacy Doctorate in Houston, Texas. She also loves fashion, make-up, photography and Do-It-Yourself projects. Check out her Lifestyle blog ( and find her on Twitter and Instagram @FabsCulture.

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