Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sunny Kampala

A sunlit Kampala afternoon.

Beautiful, golden sunlight. The birds are singing, sweet tingly carols in the background. The sun is up in an almost cloudless sky. Almost, because on the sides, nearer the horizons, huge, fluffy white masses dominate the sky. White, a brilliant, reflective white on a deep sky blue. It is beautiful.

Seems like I have been sleeping. Have I?

Mercurial moods. Sometimes up, other times down, most of the time in between. But, at the moment, I am appreciating the world. It is beautiful.

Has not rained in a few days. Drizzles do not count, but it has drizzled, once in a while, and usually at night. The weather has not been as settled as it is today for about a week. Not this clarity of sunlight, and the bird song!

There is a certain tiny bird here, a flock of them. Have an ear splitting song, tone. High, but extremely sweet. Would like to pull it out of the background, the rustle of tree leaves, and listen to it, again and again. The bird itself is tiny. Wonder how it pours itself out so thoroughly in that note of music, repeated again and again.

Would like to go out and walk the hills of Kampala. Like an explorer, for the sake of it. Climb Namirembe, Rubaga, Mutundwe, Mulago, the others. Look at the city laid out before me in the afternoon sunshine. The deep green of the trees, the red, rusty brown slum roofs in the valleys. The trendy suburbs with their heavy trees and red tiled roofs. Kampala, beautiful Kampala.

It’s a city of contrasts.

Near where I live, a judge also lives.

I believe he is high court, or supreme court, or whatever. Huge walled house. Manicured compound. I have never been inside, but kind of like to peep in whenever I see the gate is open. He is a big man, and, well, a big one indeed.

Just across the road from his house is another.

A shack. Child’s play house, like the ones we used to build as youngsters. You know, make a frame of wood stakes, and cover it with bits and pieces of old tin cans. We would look for the tins, and hammer them flat, and then make our house. Can picture it, low, rusty, metallic, and extremely confortable to my child’s mind. Though Mama could never allow us to sleep in it.

I swear this house is exactly like that, opposite the big judge’s house. A jumble of old, discarded tins, rusty remains of ‘baati’ roofing, bits and pieces. And a family calls it home.

Used to wonder whether they indeed slept inside. Confirmed, when once, passing, past midnight, the door opened and closed. Someone going in. During the day, they sell bunches of banana and fruit.

That is my beautiful Kampala. As harsh a beauty as Africa tends to be. But, I must confess, I do love it. It is the place I call home.



Princess said...

I was pretty ticked off at you yesterday, but this post has returned the warm, fuzzy feeling I usually have where you're concerned. :D

gayuganda said...

Ai Princess,

wish the world was that beautiful. Nothing ugly in it.

Unfortunately, it is not.

So, I will still have to make you smile, and remain what I am, a gay Ugandan. Because that is life, and that is how it will be. Not as I would like it to be, nor as you would like it to be, but as it is.

You are very welcome, as usual


Anonymous said...

if u didnt hve the ugly, u wudnt recognize the beautiful. tho one has to wonder y the all big judge doesnt aid the neighbour. Satin

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