Discovering Ugandan Runways

At the overly sterile airport of Frankfurt, Germany, I drink my last proper coffee (which might actually be imported from Uganda) for approximately 13,000 Ugandan Shillings. Twelve hours later, I am about to land in Entebbe. I can see the city of Kampala on the right, a part of the mighty Victoria Lake on the left. The runway is the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen – little would I be surprised if there were giraffes next to the huge trees that I can see from even the window of the plane. And after coming to the house that I shall call my home for the next four months, I am already so Kampala, sitting or rather trying to hold on to the boda-boda! (My first ever experience on a motorbike was actually a bit of a drama. Being driven through the traffic jam of the capital’s rush hour, with a mini-van touching us in full speed, I was feeling like Angelina Jolie in “Salt”.)

I enter Goethe-Zentrum’s compound (where I’d start working in a few days) when the whole team is in the middle of their last minute preparations for a fashion show. And so the catwalk is the next beautiful Ugandan runway I see: colourful clothes presented by professional models (even a male one), fashion photos projected on a screen, and I am wondering: is this Uganda? For Europe with its vague phobia about everything unsafe Uganda is “this country in Africa” of civil war, poverty, malaria and worse. It seems that it can just as well be a country of fashion, sunshine, music and art.Fashion in Kampala