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Friday, 1 August 2014

Shopping at the Nakawa Market - Kampala

Our weekly adventure to the Nakawa market is just that, an adventure.  I love it.  This is my favourite thing to do in Kampala.  I'm not into spending my time in shopping malls and chain stores.  I prefer to mingle with the locals, live like the locals and eat like the locals.  It's really cost effective and there is nothing better than soaking up the energy and culture of the people.

I have been shopping at Nakawa since I arrived in Uganda.  After 2 months of weekly visits to the market I am rocking the shopping.  There are hundreds of stalls that display the most delicious fruit, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, maize and flour.  How do I choose the stalls to buy from?  I look at the quality of the produce and the prices BUT my deciding factor is the smile on the stall owners face.  I have my regular stalls that I buy from so when I walk towards them, the stall owners are standing up, smiling and already beckoning me with their beautiful friendly faces.  That's how!

I see that the 'Mzungu's' (white people) are always out to save a buck or two, always trying to bargain the prices down and usually don't approach the stall owners with a smile.  That isn't the way I shop.  I am not into crippling the locals financially through bargaining for a discount.  The prices are so affordable already and even more so for the quality of the produce.  Quality I have not seen in South Africa other than imported GMO produce.  Because I don't engage in silly bargaining tactics, each stall owner pops a few extras into my bag.

All of the produce is sold per kilogram and the prices range from 1000 UGX to 5000 UGX.  Just a reminder that the exchange rate is:

1 USD =  2500 UGX
1 USD =  10,50 ZAR
1 ZAR = 243.9 UGX

Today's shopping list:

  • Spinach  - 2 bunches
  • Broccoli  - 2
  • Carrots - 1 kg
  • Cucumbers - 2kg
  • Green Peppers - 2kg
  • Lemons - 1 kg
  • Oranges - 1kg
  • Garlic - 4 
  • Onions - 2kg
  • Potatos - 3kg
  • Avo's - 3 kg
  • Brinjals - 1 kg
  • Pineapples - 3
  • Bananas - 3kg
  • Mango's - 1kg
  • Herbs
  • Watermelon - 1kg
  • Pumpkin - 1kg
All of this shopping cost a total of 50 000 UGX = R205.00

This feeds two families of 8 people, lunch and dinners for one and a half weeks worth of meals and salads. The vegetables and fruit last long and once washed in vinegar water are good to eat just like that.  

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Uganda, then you simply have to venture into the Nakawa Market in Kampala.  I get royal treatment because I am classed as a 'rasta lady' and people from all over shout greetings to me throughout my shopping spree.  People stop me to have a chat because I am friendly and respectful towards them every time they see me.  It's wonderful to be accepted, for just being me, by the most humble and happy people.  

Here are some pics of the Nakawa Market.  Just look at the quality and the smiles.  If you are ever looking for me, then the Nakawa Market is where you will find me.  This is my local hangout ;-)

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