CELEBRATING OKTOBERFEST KAMPALA UGANDAN STYLE
You know what I want in this life, just once before I croak, a Cronut! A croissant and a donut rode off into the sunset (insert your favorite birds and the bees story) and a Cronut happened, how brilliant! Sadly I won’t be finding one anywhere or anytime soon so I figured I’d settle for the next best thing….a Pretzel. You’re probably wondering what the correlation is between the two, there isn’t one, I just like to eat and with Oktoberfest rolling in, this is what’s on my brain at the moment.
This year’s Oktoberfest,my first attendance took place over the weekend at the Uganda National Museum with gates opening at noon. The event promised lots of fun games and activities including; The Beer straw challenge, Tug of war, Beer pong, Arm wrestling, Stein (Beer glass) hoisting challenge, Beer speed drinking, eating competitions and Beer checkers.
There were various Food and beverage companies from both Uganda and Germany and a ‘Diva’ star entertainment lineup keeping with the ‘Diva’s edition’ theme featuring Afrie, Naava Grey,Siima Sabiti and Cindy along with The Almost Famous DJs,DJ Mary Joe and DJ Xzyl.
Main sponsors of the event were KCCA, YoKuku, RadioOne, StanbicBank, NUMIDA, Brussels Airlines, Tents4U, Brunch salads, Pink Coconut Décor, JumiaParty, Cloud core, Play Motion and Tusker Lite beer. The guest of honor being Dr.Albrecht Conze, the German ambassador to Uganda.
My brother Eddie and I got to the venue at about 3pm and got tickets at the door, the available ticket options included; Advance tickets at 15,000UGX, 20,000UGX for revelers paying cash at the door and 15,000UGX for those swiping with their VISA cards under the Blue Weekends promotion by Stanbic Bank. I opted for the latter option that entitled me to a free beer. Yipee!
Going in, the crowd was thin it being early and all spread about between the food and beer tents for shade on account of the sun being on one that afternoon, it was a scorcher, I immediately zeroed in on some cocktails from Call Marie Cocktails, I had a mojito which was everything I wanted and needed in that moment. We circled round the venue and within a minute had seen all there was to see. The M.C then announced the Beer drinking competition was starting, I turned round to remark on it to Ed but lo and behold all I saw was dust as he had sprinted off to join in. He was however too slow and came back all crestfallen at his failure, naturally I laughed my butt off. He did vow to be back next year to champion all activities beer and food related, consider yourselves warned!
We then descended the food tent; I made a mental note to find a pretzel later. There were loads of vendors but we settled for Pabloz plate. His pork looked and smelled divine, that glaze! I had to have some. It had cassava and relish on the side. Worth every penny. Fed and livations in hand, we joined some friends and hang around catching up and what not while the games went on and the crowd grew bigger with more revelers coming in. I found a nice lady selling pretzels and opted for the savory option, she slathered an obscene amount of butter on them as she figured they’d be dry at that point. She was right but I did enjoy my pretzel immensely, very filling, I can scratch that off my to do list.
Once night fell, performances of the night began. First on stage was Afrie, she was good, can’t say I’d heard her music before. Then Siima took the stage and blew me away, quite literally with her impeccable flute skills. She did a rendition of Radio&Weasle’s Juicy and then Murder she wrote,seriously,Murder she wrote! Chaka Demus&Pliers would be so proud. Her set was one of the best performances I’ve seen thus far. Next was Naava Grey,a really good vocalist who wowed the crowd with her well known hits.
Then came the costume competition, a lot of people put some real effort into their costumes which was nice to see, The M.C at that point Rwenzioni I believe is his name, was very entertaining, and set about letting the crowd decide who the best dressed was, Ugandans are brutal! In the end winners were crowned and handed prizes. Other raffle winners were announced as well who went home with plane tickets from Brussels airlines.
I’d sauntered off to refill my cup that was dangerously low on beer, which btw was in abundance at the low price of 3000UGX but made it back to watch Cindy the last performer of the night. I’d never seen her perform so it was a very nice treat. She’s got moves! Once she was done the Dj’s did their sets, I whipped my locks about and touched my toes as I do love to dance! At midnight the festivities came to an end as KCCA doesn’t play with its curfews so it was off to the club, home or wherever.
Oktoberfest was very well put together, attendance was good, the food and drinks plentiful, activities and costumes great all of which lent a nice German feel to the event. My one criticism would be the toilet situation for the ladies, you can’t have that many ladies sharing only one toilet, portable toilets are fine, we welcome them. I’d say in all it was a pretty good day, the next one should be even better.