Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Uganda and its excuse of expatriates.

UGANDA AND ITS EXCUSE OF EXPATRIATES

It is agreed that Uganda, arguably has the highest number of NGOs (both local and international) in relation to its population. Many of these are engaged (at least on paper) in helping vulnerable sections of society, protecting the environment and many with the war in the north. There was a crude joke doing the rounds sometime back- apparently, there were more NGOs operating in Gulu than the people they intended to serve. However, these NGOs are not restricted to the conflict affected northern Uganda, or upcountry at that, we have quite a number in our CHOGM city dealing with all sorts of issues from freedom of sex workers, gay rights, plight of street kids, preservation of Lake Victoria to fostering democracy in local councils. These NGOs are never short of a cause or program to implement. With the flourishing of the NGOs, we have equally had an increasing class in society- expatriates. For every ten foreigners of European or American descent that you meet on a Kampala street, or coffee café or Entebbe Wildlife Centre on a weekend – seven of them will most likely be expatriates working with an international NGO or working on a forest conservation program with NEMA, Makerere university or a municipality organ. They come in all kinds- from the former marine of the American Navy, retired sports instructor in a Boston Day-Care center to the former construction worker on a bridge project in France. They will find some expatriate work in Uganda.

Contrary to common belief that they have expert knowledge on what they are supposed to do, most times, they are completely clueless about what program or work they are supposed to oversee. You will have a Project Manager on a United Nations- funded resettlement program in Northern Uganda who is completely clueless on how to gather information, analyze data, consult and coordinate with existing local structures etc. If they had a choice, they would just load whatever they want to provide as resettlement packages unto a 50-tonne trailer and head to the villages to distribute these items, take good snap shots to share with the donors and their facebook friends before they head off to the comfort of their air-conditioned office, or posh hotel lounge to write a cosmetic report on the success of the project and thus need for more funding to fill the gaps. But thank God, they usually run into our robust local council authorities who are at the helm of checking NGOs or else they would be roaming peoples with all kinds of programs and incentives. (If it werent for our local leaders, we would officially be an NGO state.)Whether they do it out of competence or just an attempt to squeeze bribes and benefits from these NGOs, I don’t know. The Hornsleth project in eastern Uganda a few years ago comes to mind.

However, what interests me is their life outside the workplace.

They are wise. They will adopt the safest way around. Hire or surround yourself with some good local guys that will get you a good job well done. So you have this local guy as the field officer or program assistant, who is always running up and down to make sure all the project activities namely the local leaders are involved in the planning process, communities are well organized and scheduled for program activities and the donors are given the juicy updates. Everyone is happy, well life is good. On the weekend for just under 100 dollars, hour expatriate friend will visit some magnificent waterfalls in the outskirts of some upcountry town, or go on a guided tour in the game parks, and engage in their favourite pastime -photography, (African wild game, birds, flowers and plants will offer excellent shots that are perfect for a post card in a European Coffee shop).

Soon or later, they feel so at home, cut communication with their wife or girlfriend back home and they just find our ladies irresistible. Now in this age, where all our young ladies want and or prefer a white boyfriend, our expatriates will be spoilt of choice. But don’t be mistaken, they are quite selective on their partners. Whereas our African sisters are usually well endowed with sizeable butts, breasts and completely well built but well shaped physique, our expatriates prefer them thin or portable in Kampala speak. So, a month into his Ugandan experience, you will meet your expatriate friend in a night club or popular hang-out with a club beer in one hand and a Ugandan version of Harry Belly on the other. The dude will look like he has been in Uganda since the Obote days and probably is celebrating 20 years of undeterred NRM rule. Life is a complete bliss.

The next time you have a light chat with him, he will be asking whether non-Ugandans can own land here. His plan is to start flower business or start up a cosy restaurant to give Kampalans a slice of New York or London here in our dusty CHOGM 2007 City. Further chats will you get to know, how his Makerere University 3rd year student fiancé or struggling-model- fiancé, is pregnant and they planning to put up a house or build a home if you like. He is torn between the lady owning the land/house and running away from his lucrative NGO job, so the best thing to do is feel at home and enjoy what the pearl of Africa has to offer.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

General Kazini- The Lesson

General Kazini’s demise-The lesson.

The slain former army commander of UPDF (the national army) has since been laid to rest at his ancestral home in Sanga, Kiruhura district in western Uganda. Like many other stories that involve big government shots or huge sums of money, conspiracy theorists have since gone in overdrive over the General’s murder. For me, I can’t claim to know the man, later on the issues surrounding his death, but I have learnt a few things from the late General in the wake of his gruesome murder.

The media keeps portraying General Kazini as a fearless and brave soldier. But sadly that is as far as they take it. What do they mean fearless soldier? Aren’t Mugisha Muntu, Otema, Nyakairima, Katumba, Kayanja etc all fearless fighters? It puzzles me but in more ways than one, it confirms a rumour I got on Kampala’s rumour mill a few years ago. Apparently, in one of the clashes between UPDF and RPA in Congo, Kazini sent his troops to battle and then went ahead to call the Rwandan commanders to tell them he had sent his boys and they would finish off the Rwandan guys. This was inspired by extreme arrogance and pride. I mean how dare you tell your enemy that you are on your way to crush him? That is either too much confidence or fearless charisma that our media seems to attach to the fallen General.

On women/mistresses and alcoholism, Kazini isn’t an exception. It is the story of many men in many a community here in Uganda. While working with an international NGO in Gulu a year or so ago, I remember coming across many men drunk by 9am in the morning or lousing about the bar or drinking joints n he local trading centres/ towns all day long, leaving the women to fend for the family. There are no industries or construction projects to offer the men jobs to engage in productive work. Subsistence farming doesn’t offer much surplus produce to sell in the local market so they end up drowning their frustrations in the alcohol bottle.
The few months they get some gainful employment or short term job, they will put their income to marrying another woman since their wife was becoming quarrelsome over their drinking and “uselessness”. Usually, he will have met this woman at one of the drinking joints he frequents. Alcoholism and womanizing always define many frustrated men-from the casual worker who has lost his job with the construction firm working on the district road, or a corporate fellow laid off because his employer is downsizing in the wake of the global economic recession, to the Kikuubo trader who cant the tax guys and Loan sharks off his back. They will all find solace in the bottle and wicked women –it seems to be Uganda’s number one therapy for stress and worry.

At the late General’s requiem service in Kampala, The president H.E LT Gen Yoweri Kaguta, expressed his disappointment at Kazini’s lifestyle (Drinking and womanizing) and further mentioned how he had lost comrades, battalion commanders and colleagues to this reckless lifestyle. But for this, I want to forgive Kazini. Imagine you are just 26 yrs or 30 yrs, you and your friends have just come to power after toppling a dictatorial government through a tough guerrilla war. From the harsh terrain, bad weather, disease, stress and trauma that the war offers, suddenly you have the world at your feet- international companies want to do business with you, foreign governments want to treat you well, rich personalities want to be in your good books and women (man’s bane since time immemorial) are literally throwing themselves at you. Talk of moving from one extreme to another just overnight. You just need to be too somber and astute to keep your head level, take all this new found fame, money, partners etc in stride and tread the right path. It is easy to race down the fast lane of destruction. I mean you have seen young university graduates” get crazy” after landing a first job with a huge corporate entity-complete with a “big salary” and all the corporate perks that come with it. They rush to the nearest car bond, get a fuel guzzling machine, proceed to live a life of endless partying punctuated with alcohol consumption, excessive consumerism, poor financial management, multiple sexual partners etc. and before you know it, they collapse like a pack of cards. The guy who seemed to have it all, now can’t even get himself a decent meal later on get his hands of a crude waragi (local gin) sachet. That is the puzzle of life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The media and the Kabak Story- Part 2

The Media and the Kabaka story- Part 2Three radio stations namely Radio Sapientia, Kaboozi Two, Subbi Fm have since been closed for allegedly abusing broadcasting regulations. The CBS license has also been revoked. (According to NTV weekend edition on Sunday 13th September 2009) .Human rights groups have criticized the move saying the radio stations have not been given a fair hearing. Furthermore, the broadcasting council has banned bimeza- local radio talk shows/ live political radio talk shows done in the field usually a bar or social hang-out. I think the government is sending a clear message here, “You are either with us or against us”. The clamp down on the media entities is a ruthless one. And the media is equally confused or scared or undecided on which way to go. Following the arrest and continued detention of Robert Sserumaga a journalist with Radio One FM after appearing on WBS TV weekly political talk show with Peter Kibazo, NTV on Sunday 13th September 2009 ran an opinion forum question calling unto their viewers to comment on how media should cover and report on such issues? -Very interesting if you ask me. Is someone powerful telling them on which path to tread? Are they scared or worried by the happenings across the street? I mean they have seen radio stations closed and talk show panelists arrested by security operatives.
On Friday 11th September 2009, the second day of bloody confrontations between hooligans/agitated youth and the Police/ Military police, NTV gave prominence to the presidential address to NRM Buganda MPs on Thursday night at state house Entebbe. The president highlighted his concerns with the Mengo establishment and their planned visit to kayunga. Lt Gen Museveni said the Kabaka had in the past publicly rejected proposals/ amendments to the land bill and went on to sanction a team/committee led by the fiery Betty Nambooze to sensitise the Buganda peasantry on the proposed land bill amendments. Furthermore, that CBS the official Buganda radio was allegedly promoting sectarianism. All this was in violation of the constitution, he said. We had got the President’s side of the story, Buganda was still quiet or the media was not picking its voice.

On Friday 11th September 2009, late in the evening, a rumour was doing the rounds in Kampala. Apparently the Kabaka’s palaces in Kireka and Banda were being surrounded by military personnel. NTV in their 9:00pm prime news ran a piece of one of their reporters on phone confirming they had been to both the Kabaka’s palaces but didn’t see any military presence. They went ahead to interview some residents neighboring both the Kabaka’s palaces but none could confirm military or police presence in the vicinity. The following day, Saturday 12th September 2009, the Daily Monitor ran a story that three of their senior reporters at about the same time, had been confronted by military operatives at the Kabaka’ s palace in Banda, shoved and forced to take off their shoes. This I found quite conflicting. Who was telling the truth?

The same Daily monitor of Saturday 12th September 2009 ran an editorial calling on the central government and the mengo establishment to resolve their differences amicably and through dialogue. But more interestingly they emphasized the need to separate cultural issues from the political play field. This I find quite naive or they were just being too basic. For our young democracy, not so long ago, cultural leaders wielded a lot of economic and political power. Along came Colonialism but still, the colonialists in alliance with friendly cultural groups, conquered and overpowered other cultural entities in return for political favours, trade and economic opportunities, military equipment etc for the friendly tribes or cultural entities. I mean, just slightly over 50 years ago, we had tribal chiefs and kings that had political power, and to think that our cultural leaders today wouldn’t want to tread the path of their fathers and grand fathers is naive. More particularly, the Kabaka is surrounded by people with strong political ambitions namely- Betty Nambooze, Hon. Lukwago, David Mpaga, Medard Ssegona and until recently Mrs. Joyce Ssebugwawo, to mention but a few. Whether they are sober enough to separate their political ambitions from their cultural sentiments is your call but the Kabaka has a tall order to separate himself from politics. Impossible, if you ask me. Kabaka Mutebi has issues with the proposed amendments to the land bill, proposed Kampala take-over by the central government and Lt. General Museveni’s reluctance to offer Buganda Federo. All these stormy issues are before parliament, the executive and the general electorate which are all key elements of Uganda’s political arena. He has to throw himself in this mix to stand a chance or at least surround himself with some political lieutenants (as he seems to be doing). Soon or later he has to come out openly, take a stand and take a side. May be he has already done exactly that. He hadn’t spoken to Lt. General Museveni Kaguta for two years. That is quite telling.

The Daily Monitor management in the Daily Monitor, Monday, 14th September 2009 page 5, appealed to their readership to avail them with details, names, photos etc of the victims of the city riots known to them. This is very interesting. Because of technological advancement, our media entities will soon be competing with “citizen journalists” in the dissemination of news, information etc. With mobile phones (with access to internet), internet cafes, bloggers, social networking websites like Facebook etc, you have a lot of people willing to post a video or photo of military police clobbering a helpless youth on Face book, You tube etc hours before the Daily Monitor publishes it later on hits the streets. We are not sure they are actually willing to post or publish some of these stories in the fear of angering some people. I read the news of the riots spreading to Ntinda from The Independent blog, and it had been posted by an ordinary mortal. That was just thirty (30) minutes after the chaos had broken out. I guess this was done by mobile phone or a quick visit to a nearby internet café. Now our traditional media entities seem to acknowledge they can do better if they embrace these “citizen journalists”. However, the head of the Uganda Broadcasting Council, says they want to have a look at the credentials and qualifications of the staff in our media houses. Soon or later, the government will ban or demand the editing of posts, comments and contributions by ordinary people on stories on newspaper websites, blogs etc. The birth of Uganda’s citizen journalists could be a still one.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Media and the Kabaka Story

The Media and the Kabaka Story.
The battle lines have since been drawn, real battle lines if you like. Unfortunately, the game now involves guns, bullets, stones, spears and all other warfare known to you. Like all other stormy issues in this country ;- corruption scandals, riots in Kampala Central Business district, NSSF mismanagement, election fraud, botched infrastructure projects etc, this will generate a lot of debate and opinion in the public, media and the media will equally have a tall order to report and cover this story. More than ever before, our media is before the jury considering the sensitivity and fragility of tribal issues. The media plays and integral role in our economy, political and social lifestyles at large. It has capacity to make or break any of these, and can form, influence or sway debate and opinion on issues of national concern. CBS FM owned by the Buganda establishment has since been closed for allegedly abusing broadcasting regulations and inciting ethnic tensions. So, for me, in the midst of all this, I will keep my eye on our media houses.
City Beat, a lifestyle magazine of the government owned Vision Group, in their September 2009 issue, ran a list of Uganda’s top 100 celebrities. Guess who was No 1! Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi. They actually even ran a strange photo of his on the cover page. He is dressed in a smart-casual-tight-fitting suit, complete with sun glasses hanging on his forehead. He doesn’t look the Kabaka you know. I remember my fiancé dismissing it as a fabricated/ computer generated photograph at first sight. Whatever they intended to portray with that picture, I will never know. The magazine says it more or less followed the Forbes criterion. They considered the number of hits on media house websites, TV and radio mentions and politicians were not given a chance. That is my number one point of interest. There is an attempt to divorce the Kabaka from politics and that is quite naive. The Kabaka has a strong cabinet structured as any other political organisation complete with portfolios for media, law, youth and women, finance and security all very sensitive and critical components of a political entity. The kingdom has had conferences, discussions and dialogues both internally and externally all geared towards awakening and building political appetite. The Daily Monitor has run all the papers and talks delivered by the reknowned professor Mamdani on the need to build Buganda’s Political ambitions. The Kabakaship has strong political interests running in its veins, why the media wants us to think that the Kingship has no political inclinations we will never know. The 1966 incident was sparked off by political disagreements; the restoration of the Kingdom in 1993 was a political move. Kabaka Muteesa had some political power; Buganda has ambitions to take political leadership in this country. You cannot divorce the Kabaka ship from politics, and I think that is the greatest undoing for Kabaka Mutebi. General Museveni wants Ssabasajja Muwenda Mutebi to be a cultural leader period. Museveni would prefer a Kabaka who only organizes cultural fetes, teaches people cultural and traditional values, attends ceremonial events etc. Kabaka Mutebi wants some political power. Take it or leave.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Chameleone Generation is holding unto grass..

Good bye the Chameleone Generation, enter GNL, Goodlyf, Cindy, Tonix

Ugandan music has evolved over the years, from the times of legendary icons Philly Lutaya, Jimmy Katumba, Afrigo band, Elly Wamala through the era of Emperor Orlando, Rasta Rob, Menton Krono, Ragga Dee to the Chameleon-Bobi Wine-Juliana-Bebe Cool generation. The latter group is undoubtedly in the evening days of their career if you ask me. There is no doubt that this group must step aside for GNL, Goodlyf, Navio, Cindy, Rubba Dabba and AK 47. You see Ugandan music industry is a strange one: when you are in, you are real in. when you are out, you are real out. It is a world of extremes, nothing in between. So as a musician, you will have your concerts sold out or bought out by some rich promoter at huge price or you will flop with just a handful of people at your annual album launch. I remember when Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine, Bebe Cool and Juliana came through, Ragga Dee had no chance, he was just a hanger on. He later resorted to comic lyrics and kindergarten rhymes and that has since defined his genre. He isn’t your crowd puller any more. His music has nothing to write home about. Emperor Orlando went on a music holiday, changed looks/appearance by losing the dreadlocks and tried a comeback album that really flopped badly. He has never recovered and he seems to have given up on doing music. A few songs with the once famous Saida karoli from Tanzania didn’t do the magic he anticipated. The rest is history. Menton Krono of the Mugulu tewali mwege (In heaven there is no beer) fame is in oblivion, Rasta Rob later ran off to UK for green pastures and gave up on doing music. So Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Chameleone, Juliana rocked the scene for the last seven or so years. Now the tide seems to be changing like it ought to and like it has always done. Goodlyf (Mowzey and Weasal), GNL Zamba, Cindy, Navio, Rubba Dabba, Toniks are the new kids on the block. Chameleone, Bebe Cool and Bobi wine are in a fix, the end is here but they seem like they won’t go down without a fight. Chameleone has released song after song in the last couple of years but he has failed to get the true comeback hit. Telina (with chagga), Tupakasa kuba bulungi all failed to bring him back on top of charts. Bayunda almost did and got lots of media attention but that’s because everyone thinks it was aimed at his former crew mates (Mowzey and Weasel) who are the new kids on the block. Bebe Cool has had many songs in the past six months but all are more or less about his love woes, they were never going to bring him back on top of the charts. Besides, the greater anticipation is about his wife Zuena’s intentions to hit the studio and kick-start her singing in the near future. Bebe seems to be more into international music events and the Mandela charity concerts are fodder but a concert in Kampala is a tough hurdle for him. Bobi wine seems to have realized this precedence earlier than his peers. It seems he knew there was soon going to be a shift in the music scene thus his Mazzi mawanvu song that was full of self praise and a history of his music. He narrated his past and insinuated how he is deep and so won’t soon be shaken off the big stage but he knew a new dawn was here. He has since attempted to repackage/ rebrand his music- he now calls it edutainment (a blend of education and entertainment). So the Ugandan music scene is about to wave goodbye to Chameleon’s generation, and enter GNL, Navio, Goodlyf, Tonix, Cindy, HB Toxic etc. Brace yourself, the new generation is here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

THE IRONY OF TODAY’S MORAL DECADENCE

THE IRONY OF TODAY’S MORAL DECADENCE.
Kampala’s self styled moralists and Christian movements have been up in arms against social evils e.g. cross-generational sex. Premarital sex, fornication, drug abuse, homosexuality, that are threatening to eat at the heart of our youth’s moral fiber. The campaign against cross generational sex especially in the main stream media and on Kampala’s streets has been unrelenting despite the ever increasing numbers of young ladies especially university girls comfortable with older men. Furthermore, on weekends, the halls of residence at universities are turned into arenas for beer drinking binges and reckless sex escapades. The rates of abortion and consumption of after-morning pills, though unofficial are astronomically high as evidenced by the mushrooming drug shops and shanty clinics around Wandegeya- a suburb around the ivory tower. Truthfully, the picture is quite gloom.

However, for me this campaign by the moralists is quite puzzling. They claim we need to go back to the basics and appreciate the traditions and norms practiced by our forefathers and parents at large. These include virginity, marriage, respect for elders, etc. Ironically, the twenty-something kids who are being crucified for throwing morality to the gutters, are born to yesterday parents-parents who grew up cherishing virginity, marriage, respect for the human body etc. Our parents didn’t have drugs in their times, any MTV or Channel O to influence their mode of dress and behavior in the adrenaline-filled teen years. How they failed to instill the cherished values of our African culture into their children, we will never know. What I find quite strange is how they have since gotten away with their failed role at better parenting and passing on these values to their children and next generations at large.

Globalization has equally played a role that is strangely ignored by Kampala’s moralists. With globalistion, MTV, fashion magazines and internet found their way into family living rooms, school entertainment halls and thus always had to influence the way our generation would dress, talk and later on deal with our sexuality. Our parents, born and bred in yester-years were not ready to adapt to the phenomenon that globalization is. Parenting of yester-years was never going to be relevant in the fast world. Sex education should have come earlier to the dining table and discussed openly not left to the equally puzzled and old traditional aunties. At best, parents left this role of sex education to school teachers and what a mistake! Many a pupil usually have a strong resentment to the school teacher, so it was always going to be a tall order for school teachers to offer the best sex education.
Our parents should have repackaged their parenting manual to suit the modern times. Unfortunately, they didn’t or they were equally overwhelmed by the pace of modern times.

The HIV/AIDS scourge equally exacerbated the situation. Many children were orphaned at tender ages and at worst, left with HIV-born siblings. For the first time, we had new unfortunate phenomena in our African cultures- child mothers, child parents etc. This was unheard of in the days of our fore fathers. In days gone by, orphans were a responsibility of the extended family, but in modern times, this was never going to happen. The extended family was no more, especially in urban centers. So we had a generation characterized by children as young as ten (10) trying to elk a living for their siblings, and attain an education with minimal moral guidance and support from relatives etc. In some scenarios we had relatives trying to grab the properties, land etc left by these children’s parents thus creating family tensions and hatreds. The children would never attach much sentiment to family ties and values, thus the death of the role of family in child upbringing. So today we have, every one pointing a finger at today’s poorly bred children and dotcom kids, but we forget, may be our parents didn’t equally stand up to the challenge. The rest is history.

Rugaba Agaba

Monday, January 19, 2009

MUSEVENI’S KIDS, WE ARE SOON DYING BEFORE OUR TIME

MUSEVENI’S KIDS, WE ARE SOON DYING BEFORE OUR TIME.
(My take on Obbo’s “Amin’s kids, we lived and died before our time.”)

Charles Onyago Obbo arguably Uganda’s best social-political commentator, last week, in his weekly column in The Daily Monitor-Ear To The Ground, penned a piece on the gap between his times and our times, the folks born slightly before or after 1986 when Museveni’s NRA took Kampala.
The NRA took up arms against the Obote II government contesting the 1980 elections. The five year guerilla war in Luweero and the final takeover of Kampala in 1986 has shaped the lives of many a youth born between 1980 and 1990 i.e. the five years during and after the Liberation war. Many a child born between 1980 and 1986 didn’t have a normal childhood. Am told the basics like sugar, salt, rice, soda etc were scarce or when available, parents had to endure long cues to get them. It was probably a time of few excesses. You see, when there is only a kilo of corn flour left four the next three days’ meals, and a three year old puts forward his cup for a refill of the sugary morning porridge, it will be disappointed, it will be told that it will have some more in the evening, and the mum instructs the maid to take him out to play, amidst the kid’s resenting cries and screams. This was common occurrence in many a homesteads because of shortages and scarcity of food stuffs and other basics. Sunday-afternoon-family outings with the kids were rare or far in between because of insecurity, scarce resources etc. Am sure some kids had some parents, uncles disappear or aunties, sisters raped by soldiers and goons taking advantage of the insecurity. This is probably true for both rural and urban populations at the time. Other kids had their parents run to exile and had to stay behind with abusive and mistreating relatives or guardians. Schools were ransacked by both the NRA guerillas and Obote forces and bags of beans, corn flour etc taken, school trucks or the headmaster’s pick-up taken away for a national cause. A story is told of how the NRA “borrowed” the Ntare School truck during the armed struggle. So to some extent, the pre-Museveni kids had a fair share of these turbulent times.

For those born after 1986, times were probably a bit better but the situation was still gloom. Along came the AIDS/HIV scourge that left many kids with single parents or orphaned or worse still, orphaned and left with a sibling born with HIV. Many of them ended up being mistreated by greedy relatives who wanted to take off with their parents’ belongings, missed out on education due to lack of school fees etc.

So today, you have many 20-30 year olds battling with siblings that their parents left behind, legal and physical fights with relatives over family property, frustration over poorly paying jobs, unemployment etc. A considerable number, have careers and jobs but the problems persist, they have walked themselves into debt and borrowing traps with bank loans and are sandwiched by pressures to take care of relatives, siblings etc. Furthermore, HIV is threatening to wipe us out. Recently, after getting two malaria attacks in less than a month, the doctor I was seeing inquired when I had last had an HIV test, the results, whether I had chest pain, diarrhea, difficulty while urinating, increased heart beat etc-probably signs of HIV. He was quick to add that today it is a normal question in clinics and hospitals. He said he was alarmed at the number of young people, who are infected and most times don’t even have a clue. Young girls and boys, even below 16 years of age, and from well to do families are being eaten away by the scourge that HIV is.

Our education has offered us little to write home about. We are taught to pass exams and later graduate with good grades to work for dream corporate entities. We are not harnessed to be innovative and inventive. The environment is not healthy to develop new ideas, concepts and innovations.
We are saddled in debt trap(Borrowing from banks, money lenders etc) courtesy of an insatiable desire for nice cloths, shoes, cars, Phones, technology gadgets and fancy lifestyles that most times we may not afford. Many fresh graduates, at their first job, rush to grab a salary loan from a local bank and head straight to a car store to buy a 2nd hand Japanese auto mobile. On a monthly basis, they have to remit a considerable sum to the bank to service the loan; their expenses go up considering fuel and car maintenance, fancy lifestyles etc. Then they have to keep borrowing to stay afloat and keep up appearances. The rest is history. They are stuck with a worthless car, peer pressure to stay up there, a bank loan to service, a boring job they can’t leave because how else will they service the bank loan. So, you have all these face book kids, just keeping faces, it’s a world of appearances Charles. We may be spoilt of choice, but the choices are equally poor.
Rugaba Agaba