Prior to my trip to Uganda, I had a lot of questions on my mind….. I wondered what the country looked like, the nature of the people, their culture, food, e.t.c. Landing at Entebbe airport in the Wakiso district, Central part of Uganda, I was very captivated when I saw “Welcome to Uganda, the pearl of Africa”, my face lit up and I was so excited that I wanted to talk to anyone that would tell me about Uganda. Immediately, I met a lady from Venezuela who was visiting Uganda for the first time as a tourist to see Lake Victoria. This further spurred my excitement to know more about the country.
About an hour drive from Entebbe is Kampala, the largest and the most industrialized city in Uganda. Life in Kampala is very busy as I saw a large multitude of people hustling and bustling, going about their daily activities on a hot sunny day. Communicating with the people was not a problem, because most people speak English. Even though Kampala is the capital of Uganda, it is still mostly dominated by one tribal group, the Bagandans and the most popular language spoken by this tribe is Luganda, however there are over 54 languages spoken throughout Uganda. Swahili is another language spoken in Kampala, although not as popular as Luganda, it’s still occasionally used for business transaction.
Despite the dominancy of the local language, Kampala entertains all tribes. The most common staple food is plantain locally known as Matoki. Their traditional outfit was originally “bark cloth” made from the bark of the trees which is gradually being phased out and nowadays the women wear Gomasy and the men wear Kanzu for traditional occasions. Their melodious local music is known as Kadongokamu. Geographically Kampala is also known to have seven hills. While I was in Kampala for six days, I had an amazing opportunity to visit the art and craft stores to learn more about the Ugandan art. It was really great to be in Kampala as I enjoyed learning about the culture and I found the people interesting, receptive and really friendly.
And off I am to Northern Uganda, where I will be spending the rest of my two months conducting the research. The experience has just begun, I’m so excited to not only learn about this region but also experience and be a part of it! I can’t wait to share with you my time in Northern Uganda…. Please stay tuned!!!!
Below are pictures taken at the arts and crafts store in Kampala with Ms Esther , one of the store owners.