How I Got Served by a ‘Deaf’ Waitress at Jinja’s Sikia Cafe

On my recent trip to Jinja town in Eastern Uganda, I had so much expectations about what I’d see when I finally arrive. It was a work trip, so I’d planned not to go so far but explore Jinja town. After a day’s hustle with my usual work, I decided to look for a convenient restaurant/café within Jinja town that I could go to and get something to eat as I check out a few things online. I finally ended up at Sikia Café and Ice cream parlor located on Gabula road.

Once I was in the restaurant, one of the waitresses reached out to me and it’s at this point I realized she was deaf. I pointed out to the item I wanted to have on their menu and after a few minutes, I was served. After a couple of minutes, I realized the rest of the waiters too were deaf (or have had hearing) but everything seemed to be normal & in order. I went on with my business, and helped myself connect my laptop to the nearby power source. Oh, and they did have Wi-Fi which made it much simpler for me to get online and finish what I had come to do.

After an hour or so, a lady named ‘Shadia’ walked by and I could tell she was the manager from the communication she was having with the rest of her team. I approached her to confirm if she was the manager and she said ‘Yes’. I went on to find out how they really operate and was very impressed by their initiative. Her husband who also runs the cafe, joined us and we had a chit chat for a few minutes before they went on with their usual business. I later left but kept wondering about how many people living with disabilities out there who don’t have the chance to be employed.

My visit to Jinja was a short one, but the next time I hope to stay here for a little longer. However accommodation is relatively higher compared to the other towns within Uganda. Jinja is located about 80 km east of Kampala, a 2 hours’ drive – depending on the traffic.

About Sikia Café


Sikia Café is an enterprise which seeks to create a better future for persons living with disabilities through skilling and providing employment opportunities. Sikia Café hopes that through this enterprise, they will create awareness by challenging other potential employers and local communities to be more accepting of people living with disabilities. Every penny spent at Sikia café brings them closer to their goal. The name ‘Sikia’ means ‘Hear’ in Swahili.

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