Pub talk in Africa

African pub conversations are as colourful as the beer labels

African pub conversations are as colourful as the beer labels 

Three countries, three traveller drinking holes, three conversations I never overheard in Sydney or London…

Confession: I was not involved in any of these conversations all of the below is the result of eavesdropping.


UGANDA: Kampala backpackers

The unforgettable sentence: “So our next step is to do some soil tests because traditionally villagers would leave the banana skins in the garden as fertilizer – we want to make sure we’re not going to muck anything up by taking them away.”

The context: A group of passionate UK university students with an idea to turn excess bananas into banana syrup, they would be at meetings all day and then drink all night


RWANDA: One Love Club

The unforgettable sentence: “Do you think your orthopedic workshop could create something for a camera?”

The context: An English traveller with an invention so backpackers can take 360 degree photos sharing several beers with the manager of the pub, hotel and workshop. The One Love Club, which is supported by a Japanese charity, exists to support disabled people. There is a huge demand for false limbs following the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda where many people had their hands and legs hacked off by machetes


TANZANIA: Binti Maringo cafe

The unforgettable sentence: “Have you considered a false marriage – I’d be willing”

The context: Binti Maringo is set on the grounds of a street children’s centre and all the café’s profits go to that centre. These two people from the UK had only just met through mutual friends. The woman is a teacher who came out to Tanzania for a one-year sabbatical but three years later has still not left because she became attached to an abandoned Tanzanian baby and is trying to adopt the boy.

The fact that she is single is making the process more difficult. However, for the record, she declined the offer preferring to do things by the book