By Titus Kakembo
Inyamat in Ateso translates to food. As the year ends, the city is awash with parties. The other day I was invited by Knight Frank at Inyamat in Ntinda. I stopped at a branch on Capital Shoppers building and telephoned my host Peter. I marvelled at the menu of teas, coffees and snacks as his line was busy. The leather seats, smiling staff and view of Nakasero from a distance kept me occupied as the sun shied away. It is any photographer’s dream come true.
“You are in the wrong Inyamat. Could you please come to the Inyamat Garden in Kigowa,” responded Peter.
The A-Z of Kampala (Bodaboda) shuttled me there in five minutes. The reception was not eyalama anyun (Nice to see you) as Iteso tradition has but jazz music sizzling from sub hoofers and mouth rioting scents from beef/chicken roast.
Peter ushered me to a table laden with all tribes of beer, spirits and fine wines except ajon. A keen observer like me could tell who was drinking Bond 7, Uganda Waragi or Black Label. Signs were visible and when a consumer talked with a drool, danced oneself lame, drank and the facial expressions that left faces corrugated.
With time the climate in most throats changed from droughts to isolated showers and finally floods. The best workers in the last six weeks were rewarded and told to stay put to reap the best out of Knight Frank. What followed was toasting to being in business for 25 years and managing to stay in the lead of the competitive Real Estate business.
Wolfing time unveiled brown and tender chicken wings, breasts and thighs. All spiced satisfy any Indian with a love for hot pepper. Given table manners, talking was minimized or done in low tones save for the swish sound as the soup was being sucked out of bones. Nobody was on diet.
After a slight break of three minutes, the Soukous music brought life to the dance floor. One Nicholas wearing a Charlie Chaplin hat got it off his head and dramatically sauntered. He would look up in the air. Then clench the left moon of his backside. This was followed by pumping his torso back and forth Soukous style
“Do you know me?” he asked when I photographed him. “I worked and lived in London for more than 20 years. Britons are not pally like Ugandans. I would not be chatting with you now.”
“I have dual citizenship of Uganda and UK,” added Nicholas. “By the way, I am a Mukiga who loves his Black Label. My daughters are in Gayaza High. I did not want them to grow with British values. But they would have gone to Oxford University.”
It was Jimmy Wange by Afrigo Band that cut the oral memoir narrative short. Nicholas was on the floor sweating profusely as my focus shifted to ladies whose extensive backsides were struggling to break out of tight Jeans trousers. They made me wish the “bumping” dance style was still in vogue. I never looked at the pillowy tops that were challenged to cover the by minute blouses.
For a sipping break, I walked to the gent’s and I met a graduate from Uganda Management Institute (UMI) beaming with smiles of satisfaction. With the effect of sipping a mixture of wine tumblers and Nile Special, I was literally walking in reverse gear. I staggered to the Ladies and stumbled on a chatty one.
“This is for ladies” she politely cooed.
“I am sorry if you think I have tress passed,” I feigned confidence and proceeded to the glimmering bowel. “I am straight, a father and Inyamat strictly for the ladies only!”
With the grace of a ballet dancer, I left her in a burst of laughter as I shyly sneaked back to the Kight Frank arena. There I found a beefy lady who had lost her left high heeled shoe.