Kampala State of Mind

Some of the best award winning stories that were narrated to me, have unfortunately been birthed from misfortune. My parents (mostly my mother) shielded me from much of what happened in public. She always cautioned me to be careful.  Almost every city is plagued with its own share of frauds, and Kampala is no exception. Don’t misquote me. Kampala is vibrant – with congested streets, relatively clear skylines and endless honking in traffic. At night (before covid-19), Kampala was known for its animated nightlife both, recreationally and spiritually. There is a bit of something for everyone. With  a diverse population, there are different creative ways to make (or rather steal) money.  

My housemate at university once told me, that while walking home at night, he suddenly blacked out and fell in the roadside bushes. When he woke up at sunrise, he had a pounding headache. His backpack had shrank and had been wiped clean of any personal belongings. He was robbed, but he could not remember any of the events leading to it. When I had just completed my bar exams, I had the chaste zeal to impress my mentor, but this dedicated attempt to make an impression, set me on a roller-coaster.

I began my career working for a law firm. It was such an exciting time for me.  I was working with a senior lawyer who I hoped to emulate. This fueled my desire to perform my job well. My mentor was sincerely keen on my growth-at least that is what I told myself- but, he also demonstrated it through the detailed comments he gave me on joint assignments.  Most of his feedback, felt like a tutorial but fewer things gave me more satisfaction than receiving more work from him. The only thing that beat that feeling was when he gave me positive feedback, that I had done a great job. Either that portrays, how much I was in need of affirmation or, just how desperate fresh graduates are for validation.

The office was deserted. One door slam after another, as colleagues left. I could hear the watchman’s radio, who had just come in for night duty. I refreshed my email one last time. I saw a reminder for an event I had registered for. It was a photo press award and exhibition ceremony at the Uganda National Museum. I still had some pending work.  Usually, I’d leave my laptop at work, but on that day, I thought I could take it home to finish the partner’s work in the late night or early morning. Therefore, I squeezed my laptop into my bag that had tones of folded papers and files, some of which I had never used for close to two months. My work colleagues and siblings were always puzzled at the sheer size of my bag whenever I carried it around.

I left for the National Museum. I do not remember who sponsored the event, but I know we had a lot of skewers, sausages and very sweet wine.  I love Kampala networking events because they are never short of meat products.  Besides the ‘small talk’ of, ‘you must be a lawyer!’ because I wore a suit, it was the same conversation and icebreaker always. ‘Where do you work?’  I am not blaming anyone, but small talk can be mentally exhausting. Repeating the same answers to twenty people is not ideal. With hindsight, I have learnt that a great deal of beginning a good corporate career entails tolerating ‘small talk’ and still putting on a facade that one is genuinely interested in hearing the predictable questions that follow. This was my entry into to Kampala’s working-class. Other than that, the event was exciting because of my innate curiosity in art. In High School, I drew a portrait of the Kyabazinga (King). It was auctioned at my school’s golden jubilee celebrations for a sizeable fee. I love art. It allows the subtlest expressions and gives us chance to create our own perfect world, devoid of the daily struggles that we face.

 The event went on well. I was impressed at the catalogue of photos exhibited. Ranging from pictures taken during the occasional post-election struggles between the local police and protesters, to a tranquil picture of a young boy standing in a large field of grass with his face half covered by the sharp blades of grass. This stood out to me. I was that boy in the enormous legal field. At the start of the unknown but with self-belief that was known.

I saw a couple of familiar faces, and caught up with them.  While having one conversation, I remembered that, I had pending work, which was due the following week. However, my overenthusiastic younger self, wanted to hand in that work to the Partner by the following morning. I checked my phone and it was about 9:00 p.m.  I got anxious because it was getting late, and since I was using public transport, I needed to leave soon.  I could not order an Uber or private cab because of my strict budget. As a young lawyer starting out in Uganda, my budget surely, was not as flexible as often portrayed by lawyers on overly exaggerated American legal drama series. Knowing my unique situation, I said farewell to a couple of friends and strangers, after which I headed out.

Outside the museum, it was dark and had begun to drizzle. The headlamps from the vehicles on Kiira Road, blinkered on and off as the cars passed by. With my unusually large bag strapped around my oversized blazer, I crossed the road and strolled to the next taxi stage. I saw a taxi (minivan) approaching. As it came closer, I could hear it clunking. It sounded a lot like the taxi was hardly functional. Thank fully, it stopped right in front of me. The taxi looked half-empty and strangely dark on the inside. I faintly saw about three human-like figures seated in the back.  The conductor (turn boy) flung open the front door of the car and asked me, ‘Ssebo ogenda?” (‘Sir, are you going?’) It was now about 9:45 p.m., the raindrops on my coat had begun permeating through to my shirt and skin. I needed to get home as early as possible. I jumped into the co driver’s seat and closed the door. While in the car, I was thinking about completing the partner’s work.

As I had just sat, the taxi began moving at a relatively slow speed. Whenever the driver changed the gear, I literally felt the vehicle grinding, rather annoyingly. The conductor then screamed at me, shouting hastily, ‘Galawo olugyi.’ (‘Close the door.’) I wondered what was going on, because I had closed the door when I got in.  Either way, I listened to him. I held my bag with my right hand and then used my left to slam the door again, just to make sure it closed. After that, I checked my phone to see the time, and I still heard the conductor tell me, to close the door again. However, before I could do that, the driver told me to hold my phone properly as I was likely to drop it. How Kind of him! I thought to myself. I opened my blazer with my left hand and put the phone in the inner breast pocket of my blazer. I then turned to close the door while the taxi was moving.

This time, there was some silence after I closed the door. I figured that everything was okay. Three minutes later, the driver murmured to me that they had decided to change route because of a mechanical condition.  They needed to take the taxi to a garage. We were close to Kiira Road Police Station. They parked the taxi. I got my bag, which was next to me and jumped out.  It was getting late, so I decided to get on a boda boda (motor-cycle). Within fifteen minutes, I got home.

When I reached home, I was tired.  I freshened up and remembered that I needed to finish the partner’s work. After showering, I sat at my table in my room, dragged my bag from the floor and put it on the table. I opened my bag.  In place of my laptop, there was a HUGE STONE, with the charger wrapped beautifully around it! I wondered, whether like the great Patriarch Moses, I had been handed the ‘stone tablet’ with the Ten Commandments. I touched my head with both hands and walked out of the house, to the verandah, in critical contemplation.

I was traumatized. How did my laptop turn into a stone?  I sat on the terrace and looked up at the moon, wondering what had just happened.  There is that saying in Luganda that, ‘Kampala sibizimbe.’  When translated, it means, ‘Kampala isn’t the buildings.’  Although this does not make sense grammatically, metaphorically, it means that Kampala is more than just its buildings, one must be extremely careful when in Kampala, lest they will learn a lesson the hard way. I had become a scholar of ‘these’ streets. I graduated cum laude (with honors) that night.

I spent an hour trying to put the pieces together. I began to recollect, exactly how this happened. I realized that while I responded to the supposedly kind concern of the driver to put my phone in my blazer’s pocket, I had unintentionally let go of my bag. It must have happened at the time I closed the door. Someone switched my laptop and selflessly replaced it with a concrete slab of the exact same weight. I had been conned!

I was sad, my laptop, which had all my law school assignments and pictures had just ‘disappeared’ in thin air. My overzealous attempt to complete my mentor’s assignment, was no longer feasible. Indeed Kampala sibizimbe. I told my brother about this and he laughed at me- I know he did not mean bad- after all; I got a stone in place of my laptop. It was funny, but I did not talk about it until two days later. I was still struggling to contextualize what happened.

It is interesting how such an experience can affect one’s ability to trust.  I am always looking over my shoulder. I do not talk to random strangers on the streets.  I still remember that night, as if it was yesterday. Kampala sibizimbe!

  • Joel Naluwairo
    Posted at 02:49h, 17 September Reply

    Wow. This is a great account of your Kampala sibizimbe story.

    Thank you for sharing Joel

  • Unknown
    Posted at 04:01h, 17 September Reply

    ???its a funny but sad story as well. Indeed Kampala sibizimbe

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 04:21h, 17 September Reply

    Thanks Joel for taking the time to read. Yes, it was quite an experience.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 04:21h, 17 September Reply

    I learnt a lot that night . Thanks.

  • Pauline Angom Laro
    Posted at 05:20h, 17 September Reply

    Its funny how most robberies happen in taxis. I have friends & my self inclusive, who have experienced theft , from phones to laptops, handbags etc. Sincerely some of these taxi drivers & their conductors are not genuine. I always have a personal boda guy so that he can transport to anywhere I go no matter the cost. In the case of taxis, I can never board from a stage I don't know & a face I don't recognize. I have to definitely know you.
    Sorry! It must have been traumatic. Indeed Kampala Sibizimbe?

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 05:41h, 17 September Reply

    I agree, Pauline. It is important to be as cautious as possible. I understand why one would only take a specific boda boda or use taxis only at recognizable taxi stages.

    Thanks for taking time to read and for sharing your experience. Kampala sibizimbe.

    Yes it was traumatizing. Thankfully, I recovered.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 05:52h, 17 September Reply

    Joel, a well written piece, as always. So sorry about that experience. I hear you, living in Kampala has made me a little paranoid. I heard a lot about these incidents and the last time I attempted to use a taxi, I too was asked to close an already firmly closed door. When I refused to, I received an earful and I was bounced from the taxi! It was either mid morning or early afternoon.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 06:37h, 17 September Reply

    Well said…this story resonates with what I have heard from my friends….you bring it out more figuratively though. Life in Kampala does present a learning curve of sorts….thank you so much for telling this story.

  • Christine Kirabo
    Posted at 06:38h, 17 September Reply

    This came with so much humour. I literally laughed the whole time, maybe because i knew where you were going. I mean have you even been to Kampala if you haven't had this experience. Nice piece Joel. I am always looking forward to your blogs. Well done!!!!!!

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 06:45h, 17 September Reply

    Thanks, Harriet, for these kind words. I understand it requires a lot of vigilance to survive in Kampala. The attempt to con you in broad day light! That was very bold. It must have been difficult to go through that. At least you were firm enough. Something needs to be done, or more awareness needs to be created.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 07:09h, 17 September Reply

    Aahh man this story brings to mind several accounts I have heard over the years about "bba kkijji" and "tereza side mirror eyo ssebo"
    Many have fallen prey to Kampala's bagezi. So is life brother. We live and learn. We just live and learn!

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 07:11h, 17 September Reply

    Yes, I later on learnt that it was a common tactic. Thanks for the kind comment and for taking time to read.

    It is my pleasure to tell stories. You are most welcome.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 07:31h, 17 September Reply

    Went through the same experience…be4…7.4million wz taken n I almost slept in Prison….my bosses then couldn't believe my story…

  • WeMix
    Posted at 08:30h, 17 September Reply

    I've heard of teens losing their laptops in the same manner. I think it's life in general. We are not living life alone or only through our lenses. Other's actions do have an effect on our own directions. A lot of times we are unaware of others motivations and how those motivations can affect us. I'm starting to learn that a lot of our "Success" in life is down to how we navigate the unexpected and the conflicts that arise as we seek to live out our VISIONS.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 08:39h, 17 September Reply

    Amazing Piece Joel.
    Your narration from the point of leaving the law firm to the point you reached home kept me on the edge. Haha Kampala sibizimbe indeed. We need to be extremely careful on these streets. I think I graduated with an honors too from all the conning on these streets.
    Amazing piece once again. ????

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:41h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you, Kirabo.

    Glad that you found the piece, interesting and nice. Thank you for these kind words. With hindsight, it is very funny. Indeed, this experience has become part of the order for many.

    I'll be writing more often. Thanks, Christine.

  • Dave_Benzo
    Posted at 08:46h, 17 September Reply

    This is quite hilarious. The stone tablet * .
    I too got conned off when I was sold a brick phone instead of a nokia Lumia. quite a great read though.

  • Birungi Rose
    Posted at 09:00h, 17 September Reply

    Went through the same experience as well, they stole my phone and wallet in the name of Galawo olugi.

  • Jonathan Treacher
    Posted at 09:10h, 17 September Reply

    Very good story. And while the loss of the laptop (and more importantly the files on it) was distressing, at least no physical risk. A few lessons: (i) always back up your data daily, as a laptop can always be replaced (ii) if you are asked to do something by a stranger always use that as a sign to be extra vigilant and (iii) keep your guardup – especially when tired an most vulnerable. These things happen in all cities but, overall, maybe it serves to you becoming vulnerable to worse incidents in future!

  • Karagwa Rebecca Nkwanzinungi
    Posted at 09:17h, 17 September Reply

    You write so well, always and this too, is no exception. I love the homour, most ???

  • Issa Kaduyu
    Posted at 09:29h, 17 September Reply

    Thank God you recovered, Kampala indeed sibizimbe! Many people including me are going through such traumatizing experiences daily! Good account Joel

  • ckay
    Posted at 09:31h, 17 September Reply

    Kampala sibizimbe indeed????
    I remember a girl who was punished and thrown out of my former hall of resistance in Makerere for this same incident. Only that this time round, the laptop belonged to another, who could not believe such manner of thuggery.

    Thank you for opening us this deep dark corner in your heart. I pray God restores your trust.

  • S.P.Allan
    Posted at 10:07h, 17 September Reply

    Brilliantly written.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 10:25h, 17 September Reply

    I have a question, and just like your brother I mean well…Did you keep the stone "tablet"?

  • Unknown
    Posted at 10:39h, 17 September Reply

    So relatable Joel. I've been pranked too

  • Unknown
    Posted at 11:38h, 17 September Reply

    Funny but sad. Had a bad experience too, and now am always cautious.

  • Vusi Magagula
    Posted at 11:54h, 17 September Reply

    This is a well written piece brother Joel. I can imagine loosing a laptop with all your precious information.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:00h, 17 September Reply

    I know! It is an elaborate scheme.

    Yes, that is life. We live and learn.

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Michael Uzor
    Posted at 13:01h, 17 September Reply

    Excellently written Joel. I can only imagine what that must have felt like!

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:10h, 17 September Reply

    I am so sorry that you had to go through this, especially the fact that your bosses couldn't believe your story. It all happens so fast.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:27h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you, Sam. I agree, this is life in general and we can learn from these experiences. Yes, navigating the unexpected and the conflicts that arise is important.

    Thank you for for reading and for these kind comments.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 13:30h, 17 September Reply

    I remember l ast got conned like this but because l had had stories about this trick l survived

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:33h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you for these kind words. Glad that this kept you on your edge. We need to exercise caution in our day to day activities. An honors degree is definitely worth while! Because we learn from our experiences. Thanks

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:36h, 17 September Reply

    Thanks Dave, I am glad that you found this hilarious. It sad to hear that you got a brick phone instead of a Nokia Lumia. Thank you for these kind words.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:38h, 17 September Reply

    This is a consistent pattern. Thank you for sharing your experience, Rose. Sorry to hear that this.happened. By sharing our experiences, we are creating awareness on the subject.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:46h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you, Jonathan for these great lessons.

    Backing up data is crucial, and I have began its implementation as a precautionary measure. I agree, especially on the need for extra vigilance when interacting with strangers. Now, I always have my guard up. Generally, these experiences, (although not desirable) serve as valuable learning lessons, that can save one from much worse incidents.

    Thank you, Jonathan for these insights.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:52h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you, Rebecca for these very kind words. I am encouraged to keep on writing. Yes, I also thought the whole experience was humorous (of course. only after getting over the shock).

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 13:53h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you Issa. Sharing these experiences, is a helpful way to heal. Thanks for the kind comments.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 14:40h, 17 September Reply

    Joel, you have to write a book. I felt like I was there. I have a similar story only that I never got a stone, just plain confusion and paranoia. It was stolen by young women too so I had to reassess my stereotype of a thief! I didn't leave my house for two days after it happened. Great piece as usual!

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:48h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you Charlotte. Yes, sibizimbe!

    That's really sad to hear – about the lady who was punished.

    Thank you for these kind words, Amen. Rebuilding trust is still an ongoing process. I hope I regain it fully.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:48h, 17 September Reply


  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:50h, 17 September Reply

    Haha! Nice one. Of course you mean, well. I threw it in the garden. I should check and perhaps keep it as evidence.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:52h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you. Glad that you could relate to this. I am sorry to hear this, at least that makes two of us.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:53h, 17 September Reply

    Caution is the main take away lesson. Thank you for opening up about a similar experience. I should open up a support group for this.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:54h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you Dr. Vusi for taking time read and for your kind words. Yes, now, I back up all my data, just incase.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:55h, 17 September Reply

    Thank you Michael. Then, it was a horrific experience, now, I can laugh about it.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 14:58h, 17 September Reply

    Glad that awarenesses, helped to protect you. The more we share our experiences, the better the awareness and less likelihood of a con artists' success.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 17:51h, 17 September Reply

    Thanks Ebun. I am sorry to hear about what happened to you. I understand the paranoia that follows. One needs time to heal and contextualise such experiences.

    Thanks for these kind words and for taking the time to read. Working on that book.

  • Martha Nante
    Posted at 20:27h, 17 September Reply

    Hahahaha this is funny and as well sad. Someday I will narrate to you how i stupidly and voluntarily handed over my computer to 'magician con men' I should call them – a tale that started with them stopping me as if to inquire about something, striking a conversation and then putting tiny stones in my handkerchief that would later magically disappear…
    I still laugh at this to this day.

  • Innocent
    Posted at 21:37h, 17 September Reply

    The days of our lives! So hilarious !

  • Titus Makuma
    Posted at 00:48h, 18 September Reply

    I’m Sorry to hear about that sad experience.
    On a lighter note, I didn’t blink throughout the read?. Beautiful piece?.

  • Paul Kwiringira
    Posted at 04:43h, 18 September Reply

    Strangely I have a friend who went through the exact experience, the whole stone scenario, it actually became a thing for a while in Kampala, I am glad atleast your life was spared. I have experienced something like this too, but for me the thieves broke into my hostel room whilst I was asleep and took my phone and laptop ?. It is always a blessing to hear your life stories, Joel, Keep it up..

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:41h, 18 September Reply

    Thank you Martha. I know, it is very funny when one looks back . "Magician conmen." Wow! I wonder how the stones disappeared? I am so sorry that they used trickery and manipulation to get your laptop. It sad, as you have said, but funny too.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:42h, 18 September Reply

    Yes, too much drama. Thanks, Innocent, glad that you found this funny.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:46h, 18 September Reply

    Thank you, Titus. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this. Thank you for taking the time to read.

  • Esther Namuddu
    Posted at 08:51h, 18 September Reply

    This is a very interesting piece.
    Kampala is really full of "sharp" men that make even the principled individuals like Joe a victim.
    The only positive thing about this is the experience to overcome similar future incidences. hahahah

    I admire your love for art.

    Thanks for Sharing.

  • Brian Paul
    Posted at 09:12h, 18 September Reply

    You should do another write up of this to further enlighten the ignorant because the games these guys play leave us traumatised and wondering…"why me?"

    Thanks man

  • Nuwabine Clare pelth
    Posted at 06:35h, 19 September Reply

    Wow!nice piece Joel I can relate it's one of the worst experiences I have ever encountered you never see this coming, these conmen not only stop in taxies, they come in many ways.
    we need to be so cautious honestly I have lost trust in some people. indeed Kampala Sibizimbe!

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 07:57h, 19 September Reply

    Thank you Paul for sharing your experience. The stone scenario, has been employed much more regularly than I thought. Yes, I am glad that I walked away alive. So sorry to hear about the thieves that broke into your hostel and stole your phone and laptop.

    Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to read my blog, as always. Glad that you were blessed.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:00h, 19 September Reply

    Thank you Esther for these kind words. Yes, Kampala and arguably most cities are full of 'sharp' men and women. Sadly, I fell for their trickery but have since learnt valuable lessons. I agree, the positive outcome is that I can now overcome any similar threats.

    You are welcome and thank you for taking time to read.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:02h, 19 September Reply

    Yes, Brian, surely I will cosigner this. The more we write about these experiences, the more awareness we are able to create. I understand, especially the question, 'Why me?' That is exactly, how I felt.

    You are welcome. Thank you for taking time to read and for leaving a comment. I appreciate that.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 08:05h, 19 September Reply

    Thank you Clare for these very kind words and for taking the time to read. I understand where you are coming from, it is definitely one of my worst experiences too. Yes, they come in many shapes, sizes and with different tricks. I agree, the key take away, is to always be alert and cautious. Like you, I am in the process of rebuilding my trust.

  • Sunita Treacher
    Posted at 13:35h, 19 September Reply

    Wow you have done it again. I have been longing to find myself a quiet moment and time to read this amazing piece of work. You such a talented young man, you should consider writing your autobiography when the time is right.

  • Tabitha Malaika
    Posted at 10:20h, 20 September Reply

    Nice post Joel! I've heard you tell this story several times before but there is something about your creative writing that makes one want to read it over and over again.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 16:47h, 20 September Reply

    Thank you Mrs Treacher for these kind words and encouragement. I appreciate you taking the time to read through all my blogs. Yes, I will definitely considering this in the future- writing an auto biography.


  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 16:48h, 20 September Reply

    Thanks Tabitha. Yes, I have spoken about this on several occasions. Thank you for the kind words, I will write more.

  • Akandwanaho Trevor
    Posted at 17:15h, 20 September Reply

    Joel my brother sorry about that incident. It happened to me, how my f inal term school fees was stolen in just a blink of an eye, whenever u tell people about it they never believe it.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 19:07h, 20 September Reply

    Your story telling is exquisite !! Kept hoping each sentence wasn't the last. Until it was. Beautiful and relatable.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 07:18h, 21 September Reply

    Trevor, thanks. I am equally sorry to hear that this happened to you and appalled that people never believe this story.

    Thank you for taking time to read and for sharing your experience.,

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 07:19h, 21 September Reply

    I am glad that you could relate to this experience. Thank you for taking the time to read and for these kind words.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 10:46h, 21 September Reply

    I guess this means I'm done with taxis for the foreseeable future ?
    Great story Joel( the way you told it, not the experience, obviously ?)

  • Patrick
    Posted at 20:19h, 21 September Reply

    Well crafted story as always Joel. While the underlying facts are unfortunate the style and imagery with which it was delivered was truly something. Thank you Joel.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 10:03h, 22 September Reply

    That sounds reasonable, especially considering my experience. Thanks for the kind words and for making the time to read.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 10:04h, 22 September Reply

    Thanks , Patrick for these kind words. You are welcome.

  • Fortzion Kasumba
    Posted at 06:15h, 23 September Reply

    This reminded me of the time i went through a "boda boda mugging" and lived to tell the tale ( full story here http://thefortzion.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-night-to-remember.html?m=1 ).
    A few months later I found myself in a taxi…and someone in the passenger seat asked me for "what the time is"…as I was about to reach for my phone, the lights came on and I declined to tell him the time…I was thrown out of the taxi promptly!!
    Thankful that you came out better!

  • ZIiko
    Posted at 09:58h, 23 September Reply

    I Love this

  • Unknown
    Posted at 05:52h, 24 September Reply

    Nicely put Joel! Enjoyed reading your story. Should keep us reminded that Kampala is more than the buildings we see…"Kampala sibizimbe" as the saying goes.

  • Henry Wanume
    Posted at 08:49h, 24 September Reply

    Sad tale this one, Joel. Kampala will have you mistrust even your own shadow.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 09:19h, 24 September Reply

    Thanks Kasumba for sharing your experience. I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you – the boda boda mugging. At least you were more alert while in the taxi. I learnt valuable lessons from my unfortunate experience. I am thankful that I came out alive and more 'alert' although I lost my property, as mentioned.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 09:20h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 09:21h, 24 September Reply

    Thanks Jona. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this. Yes, that saying is stuck in my head.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 09:22h, 24 September Reply

    Yes, It is indeed sad. It introduced me to some unique aspects of Kampala.

  • Martin Nomwesigwa
    Posted at 09:46h, 27 September Reply

    A sad tale this one; Joel your unfortunate story indeed brings out the true meaning of "Kampala sibizimbe".
    The sense of being played feels like a kick in the gut, puzzling with self defeating questions in most cases,
    Thanks for sharing your account of "Kampala Sibizimbe" with the world.

  • Unknown
    Posted at 20:25h, 27 September Reply

    Sad indeed. Actually have a friend that found himself in the same situation. Luckily he was already aware of these tricks and con-men. They told him to place his bag on the dashboard and shut the door properly. He rather grabbed his bag tight each and every time they asked him to shut the door. They failed to take his laptop and later kicked him out of the taxi in the middle of nowhere. Luckily found his way back to campus.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 04:21h, 30 September Reply

    Yes, it demonstrates the true meaning of the statement and was definitely a kick in the gut.

    You are welcome, thanks for reading and commenting Martin.

  • Joel Basoga
    Posted at 04:24h, 30 September Reply

    Wow! Awareness and information can go a long way to make such a difference. I am glad to hear that he found his way back despite being kicked out if the taxi.

    Thank you for the comment and for taking the time to read.

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