Top social media commentator based in Helsinki, Finland, Henry Ndugwa Kakensa, recently club-hopped in Uganda while on holiday, and ranked the top hangouts he visited. Below we reproduce his interesting observations. Do you agree?
1. Club Guvnor
[Industrial area] is the best club to me. The atmosphere having AC almost every 10sq metres, has no sweaty smell. It is very tidy, the sound is great, the music good, the waiters are active and loyal. Cleaners are all over the place to check and clean the mess. Parking and security are reliable.
There are a few things, however, I didn’t like about Guvnor. One, you pass through the smoking area to juggle the two dance floors, making non-smokers susceptible to passive smoking. Two, that cleaner who sits in the washrooms full time makes some toilet users uncomfortable as they ease themselves.
2. Club Venom
Nsambya is one of the most beautiful clubs. It is spacious, with nice decor and has well-lit bars and the best toilets I have ever seen in Kampala clubs – very neat and tidy. There is enough parking but I am not sure about security in the basement, although I had no bad experience.
Security inside is lacking. Music is fairly good but management may need to get better DJs the sound is OK. In case of emergency there could be trouble finding your way out since the club is on the top floor [of Tirupati Mazima shopping mall]. There are greater risks of one getting involved in bar [brawls] and being thrown off the top!
3. Club Ambiance-Bukesa.
This is absolutely the most beautiful club in Kampala, both outside and inside but that alone cannot bring it to number one ranking. The music is very good because it has experienced DJs. It is very spacious with good ventilation. It has nice cubicles and comfortable seats. Toilets are so clean.
There are a few things I did not like, which made me push Ambiance to the third place. The lighting is too much not suitable for a modern club. Security is lacking, the main bar is situated next to the main dance floor – actually the bar is closer to the dance floor than the DJ booth.
I also didn’t like the idea of ladies and gents sharing the same handwashing basin in the toilet lounge. Parking is limited to a few cars (20 to be precise) and the rest of parking is paid for per hour and at the owneracutes risk on the roadside. You can [be mugged] as you walk to your car if you park so far from the club.
4. Club Silk [Industrial area].
Many may have [expected] Club Silk to be among the first two clubs. According to me, Silk has gone down in standard. The music is undoubtedly superb, they have a few good DJs, security inside and outside is good – there are more bouncers than waiters in Club Silk.
A few things have forced me to drop Club Silk in my rankings. One: the [partitioning] in the club the more they partitioned the club, the smaller it became. To make matters worse, there is more space occupied by couches than the dance floor and all the couches are [usually] reserved. The washrooms are small and with very few urinals. One has to stand in queue to pee. A [fat patron] may find difficulty passing through the passage connecting one dance floor to another it is too [narrow] and very dangerous in case of emergency.
Just like Guvnor, even here one passes through the smokers’ area on the way out. You will hardly see a waiter while in Club Silk. I also didn’t like the idea of playing the top 20 videos in Club Oxygen. Hygiene is also lacking both in toilets and the entire club.
5. Mask Lounge,
Bukoto. Many people may disagree with me about my choice of fifth club. Mask has a really good sound, the atmosphere is so conducive, well ventilated and the music superb. It is very tidy – both toilets and the club – though it is quite small and has many seats. Parking and security is reliable. Waiters are jolly and love their work.
I [hesitate to] classify Mask as a club, owing to its size. It is more or less a bar with class.
6. Club Amnesia, Station road.
The music is good, service by waiters and bartenders is good, Security is fairly good inside, but you would have to cough something to guarantee security of your car outside. The place is spacious enough.
There are a few things I did not like about Amnesia, [however]. It seems [to admit] too many underage children. The VIP side has its own DJ but no dance floor. The whole VIP space is full of couches. Entrance to this VIP section is by an electric switch that operates the door I wonder what can happen in case of emergency. Amnesia looks too much of a bar than a club. Sound is so lacking.
7. Nyondo Club – Najjanankumbi.
By appearance, this is the third most beautiful club next to Guvnor which comes second and Ambiance [the most beautiful]. Nyondo has very good DJs and well-lit bars and DJ boxes. Its VIP side is well ventilated, thanks to the open windows overlooking Entebbe road, but the club’s downside is horrible.
The sound [is not good], food is basically goat mchomo, making the whole place smell like a he-goat. You can easily lose your wallet in Nyondo. Remember the number of the waiter if you are to order for anything otherwise, you may never see himher again.
I wonder who designed the washrooms and what he was thinking! The urinals overlook the ladies’ washroom while the men pee, ladies [waiting for a free cubicle on their side] can see everything going on, the other side.
8. 9 Degrees – Kampala road.
If you are looking for the best music in Kampala, this is the place to go. 9 Degrees DJs can keep you on the dance floor from 10pm to 5am. The place is more or less like an ordinary bar. I wouldn’t classify it as a club.
The whole setting is of a bar. Security inside is fairly good and outside, parking is at your risk. You need to pay an askari to be guaranteed your car’s safety. Sound is fair, owing to the small space, service by waiters is fair, ventilation is ok, thanks to the open space overlooking the Railways headquarters.
There are a few urinals you have to stand in queue as you wait for your turn and the only hand wash basin there is at the same height as the urinals, making some drunkards pee in the sink unknowingly (Yes, I saw one).
Source : The Observer