I went to the annual Goat Races in Kampala last Saturday, and it turned out to be quite something else from what I had imagined Here is my article on the Africa Desk:
Glitter & Goat in Kampala
Lots of glitter and some goat - the ingredients of Kampala’s annual Goat Races held at the Speke Beach Resort near Lake Victoria last Saturday.
When people hear about Uganda’s annual Goat Races, they usually think it is a local event, based on some ancient tradition. But the event is considered to be the social happening of the year, with the Ugandan upper-class, preppy expats and Indian elite strutting their stuff in the most extravagant outfits.
Yes, there are goats. They don’t really race, but men push a big mattress behind them to move things along. The goats eat some grass, generally look confused, until eventually one of them accidently crosses the finish line.
The Goat Races started in 2003 as a small charity, but have over the years grown into a multinational event with many hospitality tents, catering outlets, performances andmusic. Just as with the Ascot Royal Horse Races in England, the emphasis is not so much on the racing, but on the eccentric outfits and hats.
As Grace, a 23-year old Ugandan with a tight yellow cat suit and golden feather in her hair sums it up: “Today is not about the goats, it’s about me!”