Nasser Road, the duodenum of Kampala

I had business on Nasser Road juzi, which is such a dubious thing to say. It sounds like I am planning to stand for youth woman MP of a constituency whose latitude and longitude indicate that it is at the bottom of Lake Kyoga and that to show that I qualify for elections I require a certificate saying I hold an MA masters fiscal astrology or something.

I had business on Nasser Road juzi is, furthermore, not something we should be saying in 2019. Why does Nasser Road still exist? Why has it not been condensed into a 13 MB app by  now? Why do I still have to physically lift ass onto boda, don helmet and actually geographically move out of the conditioned air to go to Nasser Road? Juzi or otherwise?

I have not been in the CBD, or Central Business District, or Gotham, for so long that it feels as if I have never even been there. I mastered impeccable avoidance strategies that have kept me out of downtown, Jinja-Kampala-Bombo Road, Luwum, Wilson, Dastur and the whole morass for so long I literally can’t remember the last time I was there. All I have is nightmarish memories, and my mind pictures the place with the most extreme, most bigoted, most virulent, most hateful opposite of fondness

Like this writhing coil of pulsing, sliming species so devolved from human beings, so reduced to essential disgust that you, and me and all of us should not call them humans.

We should call them eugh-mans.

Pause for rimshot. Yeah. That joke has been submitted to the African Museum of Anthropological Research.

Jinja to Bombo Road is one long duodenum and everything on its surface is either proceeding toward defecation or expectoration. I’m sorry to be so gross about this, and I know I could have simply said “I don’t like the place because it is too crowded”, but if I did, what kind of man would I be? African needs Africans who are ready to say what is on their mind with clarity and courage.

I can’t believe I had to go to Nasser road.

Four elements compose Nasser Road. Stone (which makes the buildings and road), paper (which feeds the business as well as the inevitable thousands of rats) people (who, obviously, also feed the rats) and a suspicious smell I can’t describe.

I can’t describe it because I can’t actually smell it, which only makes it more suspicious. But I am certain there is one. The fact that I can’t detect it means it must be hiding itself, which just makes it more nefarious.

Nasser road is famous as a hub for printing businesses: book legers, receipt documents, file folios and the like.

It is famous for  printing, it is notorious for forgery.

I thought the  latter would be the only reason I would ever have to descend to that particular circle of the inferno –I don’t know where this feeling comes from, but I believe a forgery will one day be necessary, at some point in my life. Maybe it will be a fake marriage certificate. Maybe a fake divorce one.

Instead of either, though, it was a routine business matter that took me to Nasser Road. The agent of someone I work with needed me to meet him there to sign a contract.

Which brings us to the lesson for Uganda as a whole. Look, if we will not let the internet streamline and modernise business practices because we keep putting up taxes and laws to restrict its efficiency, at least let us allow the courier departments of the boda boda industry to do it. As if you can’t just send the contract on a bike, I sign it, and neither one of us has to hurt anyone’s feelings.

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