From way back in the day, I have been a lover of old things; finger rings, lampshades and lots of other knickknacks. The beauty of owning these ancient things is that they are one-of-a-kind items, which you are unlikely to find anywhere, so antiques score 100 per cent on the scale of uniqueness. The trouble with antiques is that they are not sold everywhere. You have to have a keen eye or a bunch of connected friends with similar tastes to get your hands on some of these pieces.
Not an ordinary love
They are not your ordinary household goods. Antiques are quaint and ancient. They are bits and bobs collected from the old world. These items are not sold in regular shops on your average street. For one thing, antiques are not easy to come by and to qualify as things of value, they must have a back story. In order to find these sought after but precious and rare items, one may need to put in some leg work and it is while walking through the back streets that you will likely find a corner shop full of the goodies. If you are not lucky to stumble on a dealer or antiques’ shop, then you have to rely on word of mouth recommendation from others with similar interests to point you in the right direction.
In the past, while walking around Kampala, I have stumbled on a flea market at Centenary Park where, fortunately, I managed to pick up a lamp holder with a woven lampshade. The lampshade has served me well and though I was unable to trace its story and previous owner, every time I look at it, there is the secret satisfaction of sharing in the original owner’s good taste.
Then there were the signature rings, from a shop in the central business district. However, the shop where the rings used to be is no more. My newest connection to the world of antiques came via WhatsApp. A fan shared photos after visiting a shop. You can find antiques in other places though, if you have an eye for the stuff. One of the most memorable collections I have seen was a wall of teaspoons in the house of one of my interview subjects.
Little shops and covid
In order not to spoil it for the collectors, I can only say that there is a little shop on Ggaba Road where you can find old world things. For the antique lovers, part of the thrill of finding stuff is in the chase. If you can hunt down the shop, you will find a variety of antiquated stuff; from cutlery to crockery and jewellery among others. By October though, when the airport reopened, the antique shop proprietors were running out of some items, with no quick way to replace.
In much the same way as other businesses were affected by the Covid -19 closures, the antiques’ business suffered its own blow. According