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The Kampala pedestrian

A pedestrian can be defined as a person who walks on the roads of Uganda in general and Kampala in particular. Wikipedia and the Oxford dictionary have their own definition of a pedestrian but mine is clearly not far off. In Kampala people walk to work (Which until recently was legal – sort of).
There are those with motorcycles, cars (the Toyota’s) and those with beasts (Audi, Hummer, Dodge). As a holy pedestrian, I am usually starstruck when I look at the cars people drive. (BUT: Where do people get the money to buy not-Toyota cars?). To the point; I will own a car sometime in the future and it will save me from the life of being a pedestrian in Kampala.

The Cover that is not: A pedestrian in Kampala is likely to fall or drop a smartphone in a manhole. There is someone in this city who steals the manhole covers. What are manhole covers used for? Welding gates and metallic doors? I do not know. But in these tough economic times these covers must be very useful.

The Splash; There are unbelievable tales of people who have suffered splash moments especially after a rainy day. Due to the somewhat poor drainage or poor road works or potholes, pedestrians get splashes. Of course it depends on who has splashed. For an ambulance or presidential convoy, it may be okay. The splashes may ruin your day and drivers usually DON’T apologise.

The body check; This one in particular I find unpatriotic. The people driving cars don’t leave their huge vans to be checked yet the pedestrian will be subjected to two body checks. One at the gate and the other before reception desk. Yes. Some hotels do this. (I can prove this beyond reasonable doubt).

The Taxi; During rush hour (huh! Wanna be Kampala rush hour), the traffic jam is annoying (for those in the cars). A pedestrian holding a fancy Kataala phone hooked to Pakalast (Load 1k; talk all day), walking on a walkway is hooted at by a taxi or one of those drivers. The taxi driver is using a walkway. All the passengers in the taxi are not even criticizing the driver for using a walkway.

The bullet; My friend Rogue King loves to call them bullets. The famous Kampala “boda boda.” The riders have no respect for traffic rules (Apart from the ones I use). They interfere with the flow/movement of pedestrians. I am very passionate about this one that I cannot say anymore about it. Except; Even at the zebra crossing and the traffic lights you are likely to knock a pedestrian who has right of way.

Optical non-nutrition; As a pedestrian I tend to peep or look at the people occupying cars. Its interesting what I get to see in peoples cars. Beautiful ladies are usually the center of interest. However this doesn’t help. Its non-nutrition because it benefits the eyes only in the short run.

The boss; The pedestrian will be subjected to a ruined day if it rains. No rain coat and no umbrella or and no boots. You will either be later for work and the boss will fume or you will miss an appointment with a client. Client has a car and the boss too has car. boooom.

Shoe wreck; Shoes get older. The sole will peel off in a much shorter time. Enough said.

In these tough economic times, more and more people(Cliche; ignore once) have become pedestrians (Unless your car is a Vitz, Starlet or Duet or if your company pays for your fuel or you very rich or you steal taxpayers money). They have also become frustrated because of the conditions of being a pedestrian. They have to buy water, spend more on shoe polish, shoe repairs, new pair of walking shoes among others. Even for the ladies who have the love for high heels, they are only reserved for the office.

My pedestrian life is lovely at times BUT its below expectations. Someone needs to have a voice for people like us who pay taxes and face such treatment from fellow citizens.

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