By Alex Balimwikungu
On Friday evening, one of Kampala’s oldest exclusive members’ clubs, Kampala Club in Nakasero, launched a new bar at the multi-sports and social facility.
The function was presided over by Uganda Breweries Managing Director, Andrew Kilonzo and this was a sign that it was much more than just celebrating a facelift of one of the bars at the facility but a big step in UBL’s inclusion agenda.
Historically, the club was started in 1911 for persons of pure European descent but natives were admitted 30 years later. However, gender inclusion took a while longer with some facilities like the Men’s Bar exclusive to males.
Over the years, the facilities were opened up to all genders and Kilonzo was elated that what was historically the Men’s Bar is now the Tusker Malt Bar. And, as a gesture of celebrating breaking the barriers, Kilonzo took on the bartender’s duties and served the first drink, a Tusker Malt, to female member Claire Bashasha.
“At UBL we are very passionate about inclusion and diversity. We want to reflect the society in its shape and form. We are all about progression and we are proud of the steps we have achieved. We are aware that this has been a men’s bar only in name as women are welcome, but we hope it can now be called a members’ bar,” Kilonzo said.
Kampala club offers an impressive range of world class sporting facilities such as badminton, tennis, darts, squash, snooker and a gym fitness studio on top of other social facilities like bars and restaurants.
Club Chairman, Matthias Nalyanya was on the same page with Kilonzo when it came to inclusion intimating that; “it is a very long time ago when women were not accepted in the Men’s Bar. That is no longer the case. We have a lot of ladies here.”
Nalyanya also asked UBL to deepen their partnership with the club by taking up corporate membership and sponsoring some of the events that take place at the facility. Kilonzo affirmed UBL’s commitment to further engagements with the club.
The Kampala Club is recognised as one of the most exclusive clubs in Uganda. Most of the club’s members are derived from a rich background of professionals in different fields. Through the years, the club has grown from its initial 50 members to 650 members’ to date.