Kampala: “Our Rolex made a name for what it was—a Rolex,” wrote journalist Grace Amee on her Facebook page.
Her post had been provoked by a series of pictures on the Jinja City Facebook page advertising a new Rolex joint.
“This feels like seeing a beautiful African woman bleaching into a Fanta and Coke patched unrecognizable being,” her post went, ending with a hashtag #SaveOurRolex.
In a few words, Grace had said what I had always wanted to say but never said.
Maybe I said it through action. I always told myself, “I can never buy that type of Rolex. It is not the real thing.”
Its simplicity. Its low price. Its right-thereness. Its real-ness. That is what made made Rolex, Rolex.
Anyone who has eaten a Rolex in its Rolexness knows the experience of walking over to a roadside stall and order for ‘Rolex ya maagi asaatu’-Rolex of three eggs, and the optional birungo- ingredients: A little bit of cabbage, tomato, onions and a bit of green paper. As a rule, all must, in the Ugandan speak, ‘disappear’ in the fried omelets at just shs3, 000($0.8) in high end streets or just shs1,000($0.3) at Mwamadi’s stall just across the sewerage stream in Kikaramoja ‘estate’.
But alas, enter town elite. I mean that lot that wants to fake everything from lifestyle—accent, skin color, the friends they hung with—to success! They are now faking our Rolex.
Why the hell are Rolex in high end restaurants having more of cucumber, carrots, Mayonnaise and all manner of green stuff than eggs, and going for shs20K, with a side dish of Guacamole?
That’s not even value addition. That is a poor man’s version of a Mexican Wrap or Mexican Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups. A burger is a burger-either beef or vegetable. You add pounded yams and it will not be a burger anymore. Why can’t therefore jealously guard the Rolex? Why should it turn into a Mexican wrap or anything but a Rolex?
#SaveTheRolex. Do not chock it with all those carrots, French beans, Mayonnaise and whatnot. You are not making a salad wrap. You are making a Rolex. Allow it rule in its simplicity. Let the eggs and Wheat floor with a pinch of cabbage, a pinch of tomatoes, a pinch of green paper and a pinch of salt reign! Save the country and its visitors adulterated Rolex.