Rolex,Uganda’s symbol of unity

Posted: May 13, 2013 in The University spy
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Patiently waiting at the road side with a friend, we stand opposite my hostel in Kikoni with a bunch of other student residents, almost queuing for the famous Rolex, my stomach rambling at the sight of the sizzling eggs mixed with various vegetables, beckoning and teasing my intestines, unfortunateRolexfoodly I have to wait for my turn. If any one were keen, they would have noticed the evil stare from whoever is waiting for the Rolex as if daring anyone to queue-jump. All this drama I watch from the corner of my eye, being the lady I am it is rude to stare, at least not directly.

 My friend thinking out loud asks “ what makes us Ugandans, I mean something we can truly call Ugandan’, I was about to say potholes when I blurted out Rolex! 

Some people would automatically think it is the expensive Swiss brand watch and I stand to correct them. It may have the same name but it is actually fried eggs rolled in chapatti, fast food eaten by all true Ugandans although other nationals have now joined the club.

The Rolex is sold 24 hours on the streets in Kampala mostly areas where different universities are in Uganda like Wandegeya, Kasanga, hot dogs and pizza in the USA ,Nigeria Cuisine, Rolex is for Uganda, it has also been adopted in neighbouring countries like Rwanda and it still retains its name ‘Rolex’.

You watch it get cooked, difference is that this time you have no set table with waiters answering to your every call but you are standing under the scorching sun, tormented by the smothering dust and you don’t get marveled by the ‘chefs’ ridiculous cooking stunts.

The Rolex is eaten everywhere when you travel around Uganda such as to Gulu, Fort portal and Iganga, It is called a Rolex no synonym for it, amidst the language barrier, everyone speaks the language of Rolex just say the word and you will be served!

The rolex invention does not discriminate against any one, an ignorant person may affiliate it with lower segments of society but it is eaten by all members of society, be it the young elderly, rich, poor, literate and the list goes on and on.

It is eaten as a fast snack, a meal or even a supplement to the real meal. Research has linked it mostly to University students and bachelors who find it a cheap meal, the least price a Rolex goes for is about 1500 Ugandan shillings, it comes in different sizes depending on how much one is willing to eat and part with at the same time.

Rolex is given different names according to size such as, Titanic like the ship, it has 3 chapatti and 6 eggs, at 3000shs, queen size is 2000 shs, in Kikoni prices vary from stall to stall and eating it is not as sad as the titanic story.

With a diverse culture, over 42 languages that do not really unite us the national language English is almost reserved for the educated, Swahili is East African but almost exclusive to army men policemen, and those at the border, not all Ugandans. The Anthem, ‘God bless Uganda’ cannot be sung by many (you should hear people try, it’s rib cracking,) the flag another national symbol, I bet my life that some child in a remote village somewhere doesn’t know its colors, but when you mention Rolex, we all relate.

To the typical stereotype, Rolex originated from the Basoga a tribe in Eastern Uganda best known for making the tastiest chapatti and topping it up with eggs to make the best rolex.

However the origin of a Rolex Is associated to Wandegeya a Kampala suburb and sula’s story, it is believed University students flocked these streets in search for a fast and cheap snack leading to the invention.

It’s name comes from rolling (pronounced as lolling with a heavy luganda accent) of the egg and chapatti, ‘ro’ for roll and ‘ex’ from the eggs.

Worldwide, chapatti is flat unleavened bread also known as roti from India as well as south Asia. So the coming of Indians to Uganda had a significant impact on our culture winning ourselves a symbol that connects all Ugandan people as one.

Speaking to Sentongo a chapatti seller in Kikoni, with ‘boom’ for nickname due to the number of customers who frequent his stall, he reportrolex1meds for work at 8 am and starts by lighting his sigiri, (charcoal cooker) then the rest unfolds.

‘some students eat lolex (meaning Rolex) for breakfast’ says Boom

‘I use more than 4 packs of baking flour, four trays of eggs daily for satisfy my customers, with one egg the Rolex is shs1000 and two eggs its shs1500, I also sell plain chapattis at 500shs each.’ Says Sentongo.

His business has grown bigger and he now employs two more boys to help with the over flowing number of customers, according to him Rolex has managed to employ him and others, and he hopes to expand and more to a bigger place, he now makes other fast foods like chips to supplement the Rolex and soft drinks plus tea for those who can seat and drink from his place,

He hopes to start farming back in his home village in Masaka using the profits that he makes.

Grinning happily he offered me a recipe, if you are at home and want to make your own, you can use the following:

Ingredients you need per Rolex

1-2 eggs

A pinch of salt

A small handful shredded cabbage

3-4 thin slices of raw tomato, onions

Cooking oil, like 2 spoon falls

A few pieces of green paper thinly sliced.

Directions; fry the eggs with all the ingredients pan mixed, on a pre-cooked chapatti turn the egg on the cooked side, cover with the chapatti the roll it. The eggs and other ingredients vary depending on how big or small you want your Rolex to be!


So to aspiring politicians, and political party hoppers, there should be a new political party called Rolex, with a harsh tag that reads ‘ROLEX SIMPLY UGANDAN’

With the increase of tax on flour, i am guessing the rolex price will shoot up! i had better eat all i can ,the government is slowly making our symbol of unity not affordable, i wonder what we will be left with ???

Lets talk later, for now am back to eating my delicious symbol of unity thee ‘Rolex!


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