Five local markets that colour my beautiful city, Kampala


#1. Nakasero Market
(I’m typing this at midday, listening to a playlist from my music collection. Now playing is Blow Your Mind, Dua Lipa.)

I call this the Google of Markets in Kampala.

If it’s not in Nakasero, it’s nowhere. A magnet that sits at the centre of the city, four connecting roads leading to its majesty.

The centre point for all fruits, vegetables, and any food you want, really. They even have fresh cacti.

You’ll occasionally rub shoulders with celebs who want to stay human and do their shopping. The prices here are a few shillings above average, though.

#2. Kalerwe Market
(We are a little over a minute into Blake Shelton’s I’ll Name the Dogs.)

Located out of town in the division of Kawempe, the Northern bypass kisses its side. It’s ideal for the food shopper who lives outside the core of Kampala.

It’s a meat haven in a predominantly Muslim community, with butcheries checking you out at every turn, ready to sell you beef.

You won’t find pork lying around.

They’re big everyday fruits and on local vegetables; nakati, dodo, buga.

Beware of the sickening traffic at the Kalerwe roundabout, it takes about nine months to move.

#3. Nakawa Market
(Now playing: The One, The Chainsmokers. Check out their album, Memories… Do Not Open.)

Nakawa is the market hub for students from Makerere University Business School and Kyambogo University. Please, don’t go hang around the market because you want to find young love.

But if you must, go buy stuff.

They sell mivumba clothes on Saturday, the Nakawa Market day. Students finding their way around life, looking for tuition and food, run some stalls. Enterprising, forward-looking kids hopeful about the possibilities of making it in life.

Watch yourself, though, those kids might just become your next employer.

#4. Sunday Market
(Avril Lavigne, Remember When. It has smashing acoustics.)

The City Authority sent out a notification. It asked unregistered vendors to vacate the streets of our beautiful Kampala.

Many ignored the notice. Where should we go? they asked.

The big guys applied the authority vested in them, anyway. They cleaned up the streets.

But those big guys have hearts too. They made a concession. Who doesn’t like a good deal? They opened up the streets to the vendors on Sundays at no charge.

Sunday Market is the place for a good bargain if you are on a budget.

#5. Owino Market
(Tropical by Inna is blasting through my earphones now. I’m swaying my head to it.)

Also called St. Balikuddembe market, Owino Market is a cat – it has nine lives. If it were a boxer, it would be that guy who is beaten, bleeds through all his pores but picks himself up before the bell rings.

Fire has gutted this market thrice. The vendors there have always dusted themselves off and made the market work.

Maybe it’s the intercession of St. Balikuddembe working, who knows?

For all your grains, nuts, legumes and clothes, Owino is the go-to market.

Follow Tuape on Instagram: Ernest Tuape

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