When people talk about a “Rolex” in Uganda, one of the last things they probably have in mind is a luxury watch.
The third annual Rolex festival took place in the capital on Sunday, and there were no stalls to be seen selling pricey wrist wear.
In Uganda, the Rolex is the country’s favourite snack, a sandwich made up of an omelette and chapati bread, and it derives its name from a play on the words “rolled eggs”.
Organisers hope the festival will turn what many regard as a poor man’s supper into a tourist attraction.
“People come from different regions. In those regions they have a different way of making rolex. So when you come for the festival you traverse the different regions in Uganda. Just in one day. There are different rolexes being made. We are used to the normal eggs, someone will bring for you chicken, meat, molewa (bamboo shoot) and basically you are going to different areas in just one day,” says Patrick Muhire, an official at the Uganda Tourism Board.
Rolex originated in the eastern town of Busoga where it quickly became popular among students at Makerere University in Kampala and its appeal spread rapidly from there.
Most people took it to be a poor man’s food. But with the festival, it is being accepted by the elites as a national delicacy, with hotels and restaurants adding it on their menus.
At the festival, Indian, Mexican and Kenyan chefs all offer their own special takes on the sandwich, which comes in various sizes.