BY ERNEST TUAPE
(Craft It’s new foreign correspondent in Kampala)
#1. The name
The girl I made a connection with on Tinder tells me she knows a place. It’s a bar on Shumuk House along Colville Street.
“Ola,” she says.
We meet at a café along Kampala road, walk together, make a turn at the Diamond Trust Center, then go up Colville Street and right there, sitting inside a line of old green rails with spear tips is where we stop.
Small place, cosy, plays music of the early 2000’s; 50 Cent, Destiny’s Child, Shaggy.
She recommends I do a Castle Lite. I say yes. We chat for four hours.
#2. The crowd
With the exception of the guy in white who sat on the cushy couch with a babe by left his side, leaving space between them for a cat to sit, man drinking coffee, woman sipping juice off her glass and eating chicken breast and chips, taking pictures of her food to share on Insta, both occasionally picking up their phones to check their WhatsApp messages and Facebook likes, looking so bored as though they came from Venus and Mars, the rest of us were holding meaningful conversations and striking deals through to the end of the evening.
#3. Jennifer, the waitress
She has dimples, brings chairs to place your bags on and holds her notepad and pen so close as though she doesn’t want you seeing what she’s jotting down.
She has a soft but powerful voice, one that tells you she’s confident in what she does.
And she takes care of your order within seconds. Everyone that I saw, within the first three minutes of arrival and settling, got their order delivered (if it was a drink).
I counted because I’m nosy sometimes.
Ola, through Jennifer, didn’t make my date and I wait for our drinks.
#4. The setting
It has a blend of indoor and an outdoor feel to it, with the Kampala evening breeze blowing through the open rails and the green and blue bar lights filling the evening with color.
The chairs rest your back straight and tables are the right size to hold conversations without having to shout across.
There is a respectable distance between seats and unless you are loud, like how my date and I were, her cracking jokes on anything and both of us laughing as though we owned the air in Ola, no one eavesdrops on your conversations.
People say restaurants and bars in the middle of the city are expensive. It’s difficult to survive in them with a shallow pocket.
Of course, their prices are above average. And with a loose UGX 10K, you might not get a decent drink or two. Maybe you will get a cappuccino or a dawa for that price.
Ola has a fresh outlook. It’ll give you options to think through and work something out.
I’ll tell you this, for my date and I, I spent UGX 15K.
Oh, remember to have a date who can hold a great conversation.
Follow Tuape on Instagram: Tuape Ernest