Of late I am under pressure from some of the people who know me to reveal my as yet unknown association with Nyamirambo and Kabagali and other places similar in reputation to those two.
Now, the mere mention of “Nyamirambo” seems to evoke different images in the minds of different people depending on the socio-economic demographic to which they belong.
To most, this South-Westerly Kigali suburb is the perfect embodiment of bustling hustler life under scorching, tropical sun. To this lot, the place stands for enterprise, art, innovation, and, of course, hustler dreams.
Yet to some, Nyamirambo is simply a “slum”. But who still uses such words as “slum” in describing a place of human habitation? “Slum” is a defeatist term as it seems to ooze so much negative energy.
It is actually kind of sickening when you hear people use this outrageous word to describe places like Kabagali and Gatsata.
I mentioned in the first para that I am under pressure to disclose my secret addiction to the Nyamirambos and Kabagalis of this town. On a good note though, my tormentors never refer to these places as slums. Rather, they want to know what my association is with “the ghettos of Kabagali”. There is something rather glamorous about the term “ghetto”, something you won’t find in “slum”.
Well, one of the reasons is that I don’t want my taste buds to “forget” the taste of roll egg, aka “Rolex” , that magic meal of searing hot omelette rolled neatly into an equally hot, giant chapatti. So hot is this thing, that between the time the rolex boy packs your order and the time you start to dig in, the raw tomatoes and cabbage and bitunguru that would have been sandwiched there in will have cooked!
And did I just mention chapatti? That’s right: down in the ghetto, a chapatti is just that –the way we all know it –a chapatti. In some eating places that I’ve been to that are not from the ghetto, a chapatti has been called a “giant tortilla”. Now honestly, what in the heavens is that? I mean, what nonsense’s that? You know that 99 percent of the people you are talking to do not know a chapatti by any other name, and you still go right ahead to wow them with voca?!
Another reason you will see me disappearing into those dark, narrow and dangerous ghetto alleys is because I’m a music pro, and not just that, but one who also knows that ghetto life –otherwise known as “ghetto livity” in colorful urban, youthful ghetto speak is, and can never be complete without one thing, and that is music.
Ghetto youths love their music, and they love it hardcore. Whenever I’m in Nyamirambo, I expect to hear hard core bad boy and gangsta tunes belting out loudly from a rat race of mobile phones, computers, radios, and all sorts of audio devices.