How to gain access to a Ugandan shopping mall.


Security check

Security check

There we were minding our own business, about to do some innocent grocery shopping – or so we thought. At the entrance to the car park of the shopping mall the boom arm is down and the traffic is backlogging. Eventually one of the security guards, casually holding an AK47 across his chest, equally casually strolls over to the van we are in, opens the door and instructs us to get out and pass through the security metal detector on foot. Like whining children the protests flow thick and fast. “Yesterday we didn’t have to!” “But I’m not carrying anything dangerous” to “Do you know you are creating a traffic jam here?”

A stalemate arises.

Passengers sit tight. The barrier remains firmly down. I am confused over what the other passengers hope to gain by this sit-in. Although the petty arguments range back and forth, the now somewhat irritated armed security guard remains firm.

I break the stalemate by exiting the vehicle which prompts a mass exodus. We now line up to pass through the metal detector. In line with stringent airline codes all pockets must be emptied and put to one side to bypass the detector. Belts are removed and in some cases shoes! More verbal protests.

After passing myself through, my shoulder bag that has sidestepped this security is handed back to me having been given no inspection at all.

And I am left smiling … welcome to Africa, where logic is left at the border.

AWA. (Africa Wins Again).

Entebbe's newest shopping experience

Entebbe’s newest shopping experience



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