Nairobi News


Why Ugandan women have taken over entertainment joints in western Kenya

Ugandan women have taken over entertainment joints in western Kenya. Visit key bars and hotels in Busia, Malaba, Bungoma, Mumias and Kakamega town and you are more likely to be served by Baganda waitresses.

Their perceived modesty, kindness and warmth towards customers has seen them gain a strong presence in Kisumu as well.

With a bent knee, they will welcome you with a polite greeting, “Osivotia” (How are you doing?) or “Ogambachi” (Are you healthy?).

Whether their polite postures and public relations skills are natural or pretended, they seem to have won the hearts of Kenyan men patronising bars and nightclubs in this part of the country.

A bar owner in Busia, who spoke to the Daily Nation on condition of anonymity, said most Kenyans find the Ugandan women polite.

They also don’t steal from customers, according to the bar owner.

“Failure to employ Ugandan ladies will send you out of business. You will lose customers to joints that have embraced them. Having Ugandan ladies is the new trend in town,” he said.

“These ladies also stay on the job for long compared with our Kenyan sisters, who will quit without notice. Continuity is important in our business especially [for] customer attraction and retention,” he added.

Kelvin Otip, another bar owner in Nambale, described the Ugandan women as civil and honest.

“Ugandan waitresses will never shout at customers. You know when men become drunk, their uncivil side unravels. The ladies from across (the border) understand how to “disarm” a man without deflating their ego,” said Mr Otip.


Nita Lukozi, a Ugandan waitress at one of the biggest clubs in Busia Town, said Ugandan women are trained from an early age to be polite and respect everybody.

“Our culture demands that as a woman, you have to respect men. You must be accommodating and welcoming to all visitors. This is how we were brought up,” she says.

“Here in Kenya, men appreciate our courtesy, unlike in our country, where it is a common thing expected of women,” adds Nita, 23.

For her part, Saida Nafula revealed that Ugandan women are drawn to Kenya because of better pay.

“With salaries ranging from Sh15,000 to Sh30,000, depending on the bar you work in, plus tips, [that] is adequate to send my children to school and provide for them,” said Ms Saida.

Fred Muchiri, a Kenyan truck driver, told that he and other drivers prefer seeking hospitality and entertainment services at places with Ugandan women because they are “easy to maintain”.

“As truck drivers who arrive at this border exhausted, we love hospitable Ugandan ladies who serve us at these joints.

“They entertain and keep you company as you wait to resume your journey the following day,” said Mr Muchiri.