Namasuba- Kampala's Growing Leisure Business Centre
Namasuba holds the Uganda Police's Crime Prevention and Awareness Award for the period of 2004-06.
more from author >>
First published: January 13, 2007
TV antennas of Namasuba.
Towering TV antennas rooted on houses' rooftops welcome you to Namasuba. Just like the antennas, there are a number of satellite TV dishes hanging over the rooftops of several residential houses; making one think that this is a sign that the suburb has its fair share middle class Ugandans. But the biggest number of these satellite dishes are hanging on poles which serve make shift video/film theatres (ebibanda.) These broadcast the incredibly popular European soccer games mostly on weekends, as well as movies.
While the heavy presence of dishes in Namasuba can easily be explained as an emerging leisure business, it is a different case for antennas sprouting from every homestead which owns a TV set. Namasuba, arguably has the second highest numbers of TV antennas. This position is due to poor signals for local TV channels next to Lyantonde town council, in newly created Lyantonde district, otherwise it would have the highest number of TV antennas.
But unlike Lyantonde which is about 150kms from Kampala, Namasuba is a city suburb located just six kilometers, along the Kampala-Entebbe highway. Namasuba shares the same hill with Najjanankumbi but occupies the sloppy side facing the other side of the city. This probably explains why TV signal is hazy in Namasuba yet very clear in Najjanankumbi zones and yonder, Zana suburb.
Poor TV signals aside, Namasuba like other suburbs of Kampala, is bustling with both social and economic activities. It is clearly one of the main suburbs thriving on the entertainment business as evidenced with the numerous night clubs, bars and film halls among others.
Namasuba's social business is further boosted by the ever busy Entebbe road, which has taxis operating 24 hours between Entebbe airport and Kampala city. This makes Namasuba accessible all the time, easing life for revelers to have fun until the late hours.
Rinsar Motel is one of the most popular spots in the area, because according to Jessica Ahimbisibwe, a waitress at the motel, 'it offers a bar for both residents and outsiders.' It also hosts a popular night club every Friday, plus other entertainment services like pay-per-view soccer channels which premiered on DSTV among others.
"For us we just need to walk to Rinsar for food, football or a drink - it is one-stop centre. You get music and a cold beer," says Ronnie Kibuuka, a resident of Namasuba who frequently takes his family to Rinsar for outing.
Along with leisure business, Namasuba boasts of three major fuel stations, two of which belong to Total, a number of guest houses and motels, super markets and shops. Along with the shops are phone booths, special hire taxis and dotted restaurants which operate well past midnight.
However, one black spot on Namasuba's economic chapter is lack of a centrally or communally-owned market following the eviction of vendors after the market plot they occupied was acquired by a private company.
The company allegedly promised to construct a modern market and give priority to the vendors who originally occupied the market. However, construction work has been bogged down by disputes over the rightful owner of the plot.
According to the defense secretary Namasuba central LCI, Kafero Sosolye, vendors have improvised by establishing a mark shift market along a dusty and dirty Ndejje road, while others have relocated to Katwe.
Kafero Sosolye- Defence Secretary, Namasuba Central.
Robert Jjuko, the chairman of vendors in Namasuba central zone says the new market is expected to have a storied building providing space for office rent, shops and stalls. The market still doesn't raise enthusiasm among the vendors because its ownership is not only suspect, but vendors also allege that the ground level building encircled by iron sheets is just a commercial building with no provision for a market.
Reasonable social infrastructure
Lack of communal market not withstanding, Namasuba ranks high among the city suburbs with adequate social services. With at least twelve schools-eight of which are primary schools, secondary schools and one college, the suburb has its education needs largely covered.
Besides schools, Namasuba boasts of numerous churches almost representing all the religious sects in Uganda. From a superimposing catholic church at the heart of Namasuba to the still under construction St. Apollo Kivebulaya Church of Uganda, the residents' faith needs are well catered for. Not to mention the well-maintained Adventist church at the rear end of the suburb and the numerous born again churches which are cropping up.
LCII chairman, Mr. Jamil Ssebalu, Namasuba .
According to the area LCII chairman, Mr. Jamil Ssebalu, Namasuba has slightly over 9000 residents. Namasuba is under Sabagabo County, Wakiso district. Sabagabo has eleven zones, which form local administrative units or local council (LCs).
Despite being a relatively populated suburb Namasuba is less prone to security threats compared to other suburbs like Najjanankumbi which often is in news over robbery cases, witch craft and recently barbaric acts of human sacrifice.
In fact, Namasuba holds the Uganda Police's Crime Prevention and Awareness Award for the period of 2004-06. "We have annual sensitization seminars for all LC committees in our county on security," revealed Ssebalu while showing off the award.
Health and hygiene
Kafero says that the seminars are also used to sensitize local council officials on how to mobilize fellow citizens to uphold good standards of hygiene in the area. The LC's have put in place by-laws and measures to ensure that residents dispose of their garbage appropriately.
Ssebalu says that the breach of by-laws and LC measures has led to the conviction of eleven residents who received various punishments ranging from community work, hefty fines and cautions. No wonder, while the housing system in Namasuba show less central planning-just like in many other suburbs, it is difficult to find a heap of uncollected garbage like those turning into road barriers even in the city centre.
Despite the high standards of hygiene, Dr. Evans Tusubira who heads St. Apollo health centre (the biggest health facility in the area at a level of grade III) says Namasuba has already registered one patient with cholera. Tusubira says the recent rains that cause flooding in swampy side of Namasuba have severely affected the area's hygiene.
St. Apollo health centre is a Church of Uganda owned facility with a capacity of 20 beds and caters for out patients as well. "Being the major health centre receiving 45 patients on average per day, we urgently need an operating theatre to handle major cases. We can only handle minor surgical cases at the moment," said Tusubira who has served the centre for six years. Looking forward that is Namasuba for you.
Concrete making factory in Namasuba.
more from author >>
First published: January 13, 2007
Enoch Mutabaazi is a media practitioner at Ultimate Media Consult with more than six years experience in the print and electronic media. Since he majored in Broadcast Journalism at his graduate studies Mutabaazi first worked as a reporter at Uganda Television (now Uganda Broadcasting Corporation TV) before he discovered his multidimensional skills in writing and public relations at Ultimate Media Consult. He is currently the Production Executive at Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd and writes occasionally.