Its makeup is a tangled mass of high-voltage consciousness:
bodabodas, carrier bicycles with bells, minibuses, wailing ambulances, humanity, and all manner of noise flow in the cobwebbed arteries in maddening haste to reach the craved financial apex.
The banal landscape sprawls against the impenetrable horizon: manicured lawns in the city square provide a mattress for the jobless at noon; as banana mangroves breath royal visage, a mildewed statue in standby solitude mocks the numerous shopping malls that swallow and spit shoppers on the pavement; and perched on the hills modern high-rise buildings urinate acid on the iron roofs of deformed slums that struggle and groan on less than a dollar per day.
From good old Katwe some little people in rags and invisible tears crawl on Bombo road to pick crumbs fallen from the national table sitting obese kids from the leafy Kololo suburb a walk away from the corridors of political power. The city streets are a composite ancient mosaic.
How come the lips on the faces of those faded bygone election posters wear dusty lipstick, dead quiet and oblivious to the laborious heartbeat of poverty underfoot? Big-eyed Bessigye is fodder for crisis news reporters walking on tyres. With a diet of gunpowder smell and teargas what is a teary Indian cuisine to wake a sleeping Idi Amin with another boring tale of micro-miniskirts that switch on politicians who twit by day and take a break to plough the garden of Eden by night?
Luganda is the urban lingo drilled into people’s ears by ragamuffin touts who spew and swallow words like vernacular radio deejays, even when the rain clouds threaten to wash away their pot-holed boots. The word perfect Winston Churchill would have coined another adjective for this teeming place which VS Naipaul describes as a city that is spreading and spreading.
© Victor Lugala