Late Thanksgiving #KoiKoiWest

Credit:Joel Jjemba

There is a holiday dubbed Thanksgiving in the United States but you already know that.

For some reason these global village dreams, always have my social media life posting Thanksgiving posts also even though, I have no idea how turkey tastes.
There is a point to all this by the way.
Am sitting in a taxi going back to life as I know it, a.k.a exams starting 5th December.
The real point is I spent my weekend with the cool people  crew of #koikoiug at Queen Elizabeth National Park, sipping on life.
The amount of fun had, is hard to reduce into words, yet this is not even about fun.
The cure for this limitation on the power of words is why most people in this group speak photography.
Mere mortals like I whose idea of photography is a click on the phone, have a reason to be grateful for these magicians/oppressors/gods of photography.
Anyway #koikoiug is about telling true Ugandan stories, from unforgettable experiences  and am so grateful for #KoiKoiWest, I came up with a list.

  1.  The Kafunda Kreazy Kreatives a.k.a Leadership and all their cool friends.

We were on the road the whole day.
First to Fort Portal, then to Kasese District then to Lubirizi district Western Uganda.(Joel Jjemba will post a blog with accurate figures and GPS coordinates, I hate math)

The reason the Hajji behind the wheel was able to get us to our destination unencumbered is because, when you go shell, you go well.
The smart people of Kafunda Kreatives, made partnerships with the generous people of Vivo Energy Uganda and sorted the whole fuel and service business, so we could make this very worthy trip, regardless of how mountaneous the humps on Kasese road are.
And for that am very grateful


Uganda is a country where for your emotional well being you generally don’t expect good service.

Usually the service providers in this our dear country, have a low tolerance for their job description and we have self taught coping mechanisms to this terrible habit, like facebook rants or twitter
So when you find good service, you know to appreciate it.
We stayed at Park View Safari Lodge during the trip and may I take this opportune moment, to  please recommend it?

I took this picture, and am not doing this place any justice

It’s a place where anyone visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park can and should  stay, not just for the view, but the hospitality, the comfort, the food  and everything in between.
It’s beautiful in a way that for a moment makes you forget your reality.

I am grateful for the people of koi koi.
The life-eaters who came out to play this weekend.

It’s not everyday or everywhere that you get to converge the faces, brains and personalities like the people on this trip in one place for more than 48 hours.
When you solicit for depth enough, you maybe dramatic enough to call it magical. (And I love soliciiting)
The conversations escalate without any regard to the laws on speed limits.
They are  a blend of smart discussions , meaningful arguments, worthy arguments, infused with doses of humor and sarcasm while spicing it up with meaningless banter.
I got inducted into a family on this trip even, and one of my new found  sisters Debbie said this paraphrased statement in her description of the people of koikoi.

There is space for everyone to be who they are. There is no pressure to be anyone but yourself. Whatever your corner, there is room big enough for it. 

So as  I sit in my room at school  which is nothing like The Mandela Cottage where I spent the weekend,

As I settle into my reality, which takes the shape and form of words like civil procedure, I am grateful.

That for two days straight,  I sent life as I know it  on holiday.

That I saw elephants and buffaloes and warthogs and crocodiles and hippos and lots of birds and all their cousins.

Debbie took this picture

That even though the king of the jungle won the game of hide and seek, knowing that I was in a place where I may have had a chance to see the lion, filled me with wondrous expectation. 

That I made my 3rd koikoi trip and found out, at the campfire on Friday night with Joel Jjemba,  Doreen and Debbie, that the 3rd time really is a charm.

That even though that charm cannot take away my reality, #koikoiwest is my experience to keep.That I have another great addition to my book of Ugandan stories. 

That  a wise man dared me unknowingly to ask for more from these experiences and I will take it.

That we were a few miles from Kasese district where massive shooting happened for reasons you can find here, and we made it out of there unharmed.

That I took a boat ride on Kazinga Channel.

That for a moment with some prompting  I thought about my aspirations for 2017.

That  going to Gabon to watch Uganda Cranes play the  Africa Cup of nations for the first time in nearly four decades next year,  some how feels like a valid dream, because the smartphone network, with all its awesomeness  to #koikoiug is  giving me crazy ideas.

Maybe I will write more, about this experience, but incase exams do a hostile takeover to my writing ambitions for the foreseeable future, it’s thanksgiving town over here.

Ps:#KoiKoiWest is your go to  source for all the incredible, out-of-a-magazine pictures from this chapter of the Ugandan story.

You are welcome.


  1. Hope Jakisa

    Have I told you before? …maybe no.. I want to be like you when I grow up. Welcome back… Awesome piece as usual. My future had better have koikoi with you in it.. Truly inspired

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