Paint and Sip became a thing in Kampala about two or three years ago based on my botched research. Since then, I had vowed to participate in it. I had even added it to `activities to do with bae’ but the relationship ended before we even discussed it. Lol! But all hope is not lost. Last week as we celebrated the birthday of one of my long time besties, Vicky aka Vicks aka Mukwano Pure, I indulged in the long converted activity!!
On Sunday, 8th May 2022 I woke up with a desire to sleep all day but I couldn`t because I had a bestie’s birthday scheduled. I dressed up in green palazzo pants with brown and orange floral patterns, a navy blue bodysuit with a bareback that Mapeti, a long time bestie loved and topped off with a denim jacket. I left the house and jumped onto a boda boda heading to Kisasi, the meeting rendezvous. The organiser, Liza, had summoned us by 11 am. I was there on time. Other people started arriving clad in beach patterned clothes and colours: floral blues, yellow, green, red, white, black, and pink. Hats were passed around. Makeup was applied on different faces. Perfume filled the air with a promise of a good day ahead. The excitement was in the air as we exited the house and entered the cars waiting to carry us to our destination: White Sand Beach.
The car I was seated in had six people and we all talked to our neighbours even though the conversations overlapped here and there causing everyone to join in. We used the bypass-express highway which had no traffic making the journey short and sweet. At White Sand Beach, we paid an entrance fee of five thousand Uganda shillings paid by our friend and driver, Daniel. The weather gave us a cold welcome as we entered the parking lot. The cold was relentless. We ordered food. More people joined in. I obviously had chips and fish because when at the beach, you eat fish!!
Let it be known that the sand at this particular beach is not white. This ripped laughter out of the group. Being a landlocked country, Uganda does not have `proper’ beaches. We still enjoy the ones we have. This was evident by the throngs of people at the shores of Lake Nalubaale aka Victoria. People of all shapes, sizes and nationalities were walking on the shores, seated, eating food or drinking a cold beer or soft drink while others were swimming in the lake.
The paint and sip crew from Artistic Impressions arrived and with Liza`s help set up our workstation. Drawing boards, paintbrushes, pencils, and white plastic plates- acting as pallets with shades of red, green, black, blue, yellow and white paint.
Red flower petals were added to the ensemble giving it spice and flair. Word art from The Office series was clipped everywhere because the birthday girl is a huge fan of the series. There was a 30 looking cake decked with grapes, white chocolate, white flowers and lots of cream that was cut and passed around before the paint and sip.
We were invited to the workstation and the assignment was to draw the Eiffel Tower which the birthday girl hopes to visit soon. (Dear Vicks, I put soon because I wish you well. Hahaha!!)
We all probably thought the exercise would be easy but 10 minutes in, we knew it was a hard task. I wonder how the Eiffel tower was built. Who sketched it? Was it easy? Did everyone who saw it get it? Did they know it would be a symbol of love? All this did not come to mind when I was attempting to be an artist. Hahaha! But as I wrote this article, the questions poured out of me like rain on a sunny day.
We painted the Eiffel tower and sipped on juice. I am not sure what type of juice it was but it was nice. Nice is a Ugandan term to mean good or okay, not bad. I enjoyed the juice and even sipped more than one glass. There was a bottle of Rosé which was left untouched for the birthday girl, of course.
The two artists-facilitators from Artistic Impressions walked around the group, advising on what to do and how to do it. I can tell you that even with all that help some people drew their own Eiffel Tower. Others completely changed the assignment. (Hi Alice. God is faithful!)
In the end, we had our man-made Eiffel Towers which we were taking home with us. Talk about bringing Paris home! Ain’t nothing better than that!! Being the only group at the beach, painting, we attracted a lot of attention from the beach revellers who took our photos endlessly and without permission.
Later, we moved to a quieter place and played Otyo, a word guessing game. We used the app (available on IOS and Android). Oh, it was so much fun!! Tea was served. Hot coals hanging from a metallic stand were put in the middle of the group for warmth.
We ended the day showering the birthday girl with good words, compliments and prayer.
This is a dedication to Vicky and every person that attended the birthday party. Y`all are the real MVPs. To Liza please organise another party and invite us. The fellowship was heartwarming.
Happy birthday Vicky. We love you forever and always.