Thursday,October 22,2020 18:56 PM

Kayaking lights up the Nile

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th November 2003 03:00 AM

Kayaking is described as the only way to experience a full thrill of a whitewater river.

Kayaking is described as the only way to experience a full thrill of a whitewater river.

By Denis Jjuuko
Kayaking is described as the only way to experience a full thrill of a whitewater river.

And that is exactly what three Ugandan kayaking superstars wanted us to believe.

Are they mad? Don’t they have families to look after? Those were some of the questions that went through my mind as the Ugandan Kayaking Team decided to enter the roaring Bujagali Falls last Friday night. The rapids at Bujagali have been described as the most spectacular whitewaters in the world.

Team leader Paul Babi, 24, Geofrey Kabirya, 20, and Juma Kalikwani, 22, seemed the least bothered. With their kayaks, the boys did their best in battling the strong and harsh rapids drawing ululation from the crowd that turned up to watch and fundraise for them.

The Ugandan Kayaking team that beat a strong one from South Africa in September are due to travel for the Kayaking World Cup Preliminaries in Australia early next year. So Nile Breweries came in to look for the money that will enable the team realise their dreams by sponsoring the Nile Kayaking Festival.

Dressed in life jackets, dry tops, helmets and splash covers, the boys showed their expertise with paddles. At times they had to make acrobatic turns in the waters, while some spent minutes under the rapids. It looked so scary. But these are the boys who have been exploring the best kayaking river on earth for years.

Some started ‘kayaking’ though on jerrycans when they were just 10 years old. No wonder, the Nile is said to be the best kayaking training river in the world.

And in Australia, the rapids for the preliminaries are said to be man-made ones. With strong floodlights, we were able to see the guys explore the Nile, the world’s longest river. The thundering Nile looked so impressive at night and the boys made it look even better.

The 24-hour festival, meant that the kayak generals were supposed to rest for three hours every after one-hour of exploration. While they were resting, we turned our attention to the stage in the upper part of the Speke Camp for some entertainment.

There were two queen dancers. They were not the Ekimansulo (female erotic dancers that splash their private parts to the audience) type but they tried their best. They danced to all genres of music as they shook their fannies endlessly.

Rasta Sali, the Nile Breweries area sales representative was in such a wacky mood. Cracking jokes as the MC got the revellers involved in dancing competitions. Napoleone, the one hit wonder of the More Money fame showed up. The music continued and people danced till morning.

On the other side, the kayaking boys were still doing their spectacular rolls at Grade 5 level. The boys had made kayaking look so simple and easy.

I thought of paddling but I was scared to death. I was not ready to enter the falls at night and one of the team members had even told me the water levels increase at night as the people at the dam release more water. So I had to experience the Nile far away from the imposing rapids.

Kayaking lights up the Nile

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