Archive for January, 2009

January 30, 2009

This Weekend I’m Robbing a Bank

bankrobberI live about 15 kilometers from Kampala city, all by my lonesome.  I have neither husband nor child and to many of my friends I appear to free, unencumbered by life’s burdens.


However, while I don’t have a family, I have a family.  My unseen family is not one I chose.  I didn’t plan for it.  I didn’t want it.  I don’t really love all its members.  But it’s my family and for better or for worse, it’s here to stay.


I speak about that of which many Ugandans are aware: the extended family.


For much of this week, I have had sleepless nights over my extended family.  The school term begins on Monday and three young men need school fees.  They need new shoes, new books, new bags and new uniform.  One of them needs to move into a hostel close to his school so he can concentrate on his studies.  Another must have money to register for his A-level exams.  The third, frightened of being away from his ill mother, wants assurances that she will be well taken care of.  He wants medicine and food for her before he can settle into his studies.

January 30, 2009

Of Strange Headlines and Oops


January 29, 2009

Corruptible Language

  • An honest politician
  • A safe driver
  • A just judge
  • A straight policeman
  • A kind friend
  • A humble priest
  • A law-abiding citizen

 Somewhere along the way excellence became the exception and mediocrity the norm.

January 29, 2009

Why I Blog about Africa, etc



“Home is where you can scratch where it itches.”





Response to meme tags from Jackfruity, Denford and TMS Ruge.



I have admitted on this blog that the only sports I am interested in are sack racing, egg-on-the-spoon and dool.  Pulling out my toe nails with pliers is more enjoyable for me than watching anything that lasts more than 30 seconds and involves training, seriousness and winning.


Still, I’m able to recognize skill and praise progress … when it is repeatedly pointed out to me by others.


uganda-cricketRaise your glasses, calabashes, ajon straws and gammas to congratulate Uganda’s cricket team for its ‘sensational one-run victory over Hong Kong’ in Argentina yesterday.  The win puts Uganda level with Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea on six points and a chance for ICC World Cup qualification.


According to Reuters, Roger Mukasa’s 67 provided the foundation as Uganda made 180 all out although Hong Kong looked set for victory as they needed 21 runs off 27 balls with five wickets in hand.


Despite losing three wickets cheaply, Hong Kong still needed only three runs from the final over until Ronald Ssemanda bowled Zain Abbas then had Jamie Atkinson trapped.  On Friday Uganda face Argentina, Papua New Guinea meet Hong Kong and Afghanistan take on the Cayman Islands.



You thought there was nothing that could beat the strange stories you have heard about the life and times of Idi Amin?  There is more strangeness here …

January 27, 2009

Maybe football. Maybe

I would rather eat my hair than watch a football game.  That may change, thanks to this guy.





West Ham has confirmed the signing of the Ugandan-born German under 19 international, Savio Nsereko. 


I know it’s not reason enough, but I’m Ugandan, he’s Ugandan-born; maybe his granddad knew my granddad; oh, isn’t he a such pretty boy …


Or maybe I’ll just have a plate of kaweke please.

January 27, 2009

No. 432

Every once in a while I’m filled with regret about my blog posts. Like the one below: it says everything about what I meant to say, but nothing at all. :-(

January 27, 2009

Color Blind Coding

colorblind1I am generally accommodative of difference, but yesterday I made a comment to a friend that made me realize that perhaps, I am not as open minded as I thought I was.


Kololo is a leafy, plush neighborhood of old money and fame in Kampala.  The roads are paved, the sidewalks clearly demarcated, the houses are big and the compounds are sprawling.  While the rest of the city grapples with irregular water and power supplies, public utilities are never in short supply in Kololo.  It has street lights, police patrols and the best security.  It is that place on the hill that is so near to many of us, but so far away.


It is hard, almost impossible, to break into the Kololo circle.  Upwardly mobile Ugandans can build castles in praise of their new found wealth all over Kampala city, but not in Kololo.  Kololo is reserved for those who made the money before I was born.  It is a tribute to colonialism with many houses in the area staffed by two to five servants – an ayah, a cook, a shamba boy, a butler.  Real English tea parties are held in Kololo and wives of foreign diplomats gather at each others homes for lessons in African art, African music and African tribal customs.

January 26, 2009

23 Years of Yoweri Museveni: Fundamental Change or Much of the Same?


Excerpts from Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s speech made at the steps of the Parliament of Uganda after his successful military battle to power in 1986: 

No one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guard: it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country.


In Africa, we have seen so many changes that change, as such, is nothing short of mere turmoil. We have had one group getting rid of another one, only for it to turn out to be worse than the group it displaced. Please do not count us in that group of people: the National Resistance Movement is a clear-headed movement with clear objectives and a good membership.

January 23, 2009

Behold! The New Rennaisance Man

Before I begin, here’s a picture of a lovely rose growing in my garden because I felt my ovaries shrinking with the mere thought of writing about masculinity.  I know I could have gone closer and tried to get it clearer, but you don’t have many options with an old point-and-shoot, do you?


Now everybody, lookie heeyah and say ‘awww!’




Good.  Now sing with me …


Macho, macho man

I’ve got to be, a macho man

Macho, macho man

I’ve got to be a macho!


Every man ought to be a macho macho man,

To live a life of freedom, machos make a stand,

Have their own life style and ideals,

Possess the strength and confidence, life’s a steal,

You can best believe that he’s a macho man

He’s a special person in anybody’s land. 


For the past two decades women in Uganda have openly and actively been in search of their identity.  In a fast changing world in which men are no longer the sole breadwinners, women are presidents and the glass ceiling is being shattered daily.  My female folk and I have more options than ever.  We can choose to stay at home or our careers can become our lives.  Although cultural norms are still strong, more Ugandan women are opting not to have children and are making bold decisions on inheritance, property and progress.


However someone didn’t pass that memo to men.

January 21, 2009

We’re Keeping the Green Mile

The Supreme Court in Uganda has upheld the death penalty.


The ruling made by the court today rejects an appeal by 417 death row inmates that sought the abolition of the death penalty on the grounds that it is unusually cruel, degrading and inhuman.  It upholds a 2005 decision of Uganda’s Constitutional Court maintaining punishment by death and death by hanging as legal.


The Supreme Court however ruled as unconstitutional keeping convicts on death row for more than three years.  It said sentences for any prisoners held on death row for more than three years should be reduced to life imprisonment.  More than 80 percent of the convicts on death row will benefit from this ruling.


Of the seven judges who heard the death penalty case, there was only one dissenting voice.  Jusice Engonda Ntede said the death penalty and death by hanging were degrading, inhuman and inconsistent with the Constitution of Uganda and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.


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