|Wanted: one "smart" boda driver.|
After a whirlwind trip taking in the UK, Asia, Australia and South Africa, I've arrived back in Kampala to... a bit of a fash off (do I sound like I spend too much time reading Grazia?) with a boda driver. I'm pretty sure it was unintentional, since he didn't seem to know I existed until picking me up on the side of the road near my new house in Munyonyo this morning.
|Wanted: one "smart" boda passenger.|
Here I was thinking I was "smart", as the Ugandans say, in my new organge, pink and beige body con dress from Oz with blue Office shoes from the UK, which are now looking more vintage thanks to the dirt. Then along came Hamimu, 28, sporting a Florida State shirt he'd picked up at Owino market for 20,000 shillings ($8.08 USD), teamed with jeans for 15,000 UGX and Nike shoes for 15,000.
|Me and my new driver. Slightly matchy matchy?|
|And check out his seat cover. Pure sophistication. Mum would be so impressed.|
Okay our outfits weren't totally the same. But they weren't totally dissimilar, either (excluding the orange lipstick). There were several attempts to get a pic of me on a boda, showing off my new dress. Does this remind you of that time up the top of The Peak in Hong Kong when I asked that random guy to take a pic of me, Tamera Lang, if you're reading this?
|Does this pic in Uganda in Feb 2013...|
Remind you of this pic in Hong Kong in Sept 2006? In a way? Yes? Tamera Lang? (NB: private joke here, see if you can figure it out).
Of course neither Hamimu nor I, although we try hard, are as stylish as Alexandria, 18, a student from Lubiri Girls High who I met at Rubaga boda stage.
|It's not raining, but I'm sure Alexandria will happily let you stand under her umbrella ella ella ella eh eh ey.|
|The most stylish girl on the side of the road.|
I loved the rainbow umbrella, which she purchased for just 3,000 shillings in town and her Africa-shaped earrings, given to her during a promotional day at her school. Alexandria, who will start S5 next week, completed her outfit with a woollen hat (3,000 UGX) including feather and bright green blouse (7,000) from Natete Market, boho shorts (a present from her Mum) and sandals (10,000 from Natate). Her burgundy coloured handbag was a birthday present from a friend.
"That's my nature," said Alexandria, who likes dancing and studying (yes she really said this), modestly when I told her how "smart" she was. She may not be trying, but she won the unintentional fash off.
I bumped into her as I was taking THE HAT to William. Yes, that's right. THE HATS have started being distributed on the streets of Kampala. Thankyou Sunday Telegraph. Thankyou Down Under. Thankyou Mum.
|Is that VB? Check out the pout.|
|This is how to wear it.|
|No, this is how you wear it.|
Prince Wills, although my fave, wasn't the first driver to get a hat. That honour went to Mike, who I saw outside his stage at Garden City, on the same day I arrived back in Uganda.
|Nice hat, Mike...|
Just three days later, when I saw him again, he was distraught. While driving home his cap had blown off away into the dirt, down a pothole (not confirmed, but likely) never to be seen again.
But little did Mike know yours truly was about to pull off a hat trick...
|Until it blows away. But never fear - we knew there was a reason Mum bought seven (seven)!|
After Mike told me of his loss, I pulled out another hat, this time a bucket one. REAL TREAT.
Mike's new hat went well with his new Hawaiian shirt.
|The new shirt. Groovy.|
Some random drivers also got hats. After presenting Mike with his first hat, I spotted a rider in Makindye wearing a D&G shirt (wonder if it was real?) under a beige vest with sheepskin trim around the collar.
|Yes, we can see you look great in your D&G (oh and is that a Burberry vest?) But put a hat on.|
I dig your look, I thought as soon as I laid eyes on him. But you could benefit from a hat.
Voila! He was very surprised.
One non-boda driver, my friend Sandra, also got a hat, was chuffed to bits and hasn't taken if off since, or so she claims.
|Sandra shows off her new headwear. "The net at the back's good," she said.|
Now there's just two hats - one cap, one bucket - left (I ate ALL the chocolate Australian money for breakfast one day in Joburg - thanks Dad, I'm sure you're pleased to know I'm eating well. Aren't chocolate coins in the food groups?) I would like to give them to some of my old boys at my former boda stage at Nsambya, but there's not enough to go around and Uganda's been conflict-free for some years now...