It has been a five-year journey to relocate to Africa. There have been highs and lows, plenty of fears and sleepless nights. Alas the time has come and voila I am waking up in a strange bed but at least I am on the motherland Africa.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Gambian President Yahya Jammeh at the White House in Washington in August 2014. On Dec. 4, the White House issued a statement expressing dismay over rampant human rights violations and the persecution of LGBT people in Gambia. Amanda Lucidon / White House
It is election season in Africa and some remarkable results have emerged.
For Instance recently:
Two incumbent Presidents lost the elections.
Two Presidents conceded genuinely and then one of them said, there is need to recount the votes again.
That one President is from The Gambia.
To many African watchers his concession to Mr Adama Barrow the President elect took many of us by surprise. The question was how could President Yahya Jammeh really accept the electoral results. Most African leaders tend to ‘manoeuvre’ such results to their benefit. When President Jammeh said that he has accepted the results and called the opposition leader to wish him well, it was a first for many of us to witness. A strong man of Africa relinquishing power peacefully.
Then the shenanigans started. President Jammeh of The Gambia asked for and sought for a recount of the results. Much as we were surprised with his accepting the results now with the recount, we see the old man African style leadership back in full force. He has ruled The Gambia for 22 years. From what we gather his party is not happy and have lodged an appeal to The Gambia’s High Court.
This side of Africa is akin to what we call the norm. Africa’s strong men clinging to power regardless of what their citizens feel and say.
The other side of Africa, gregarious, magnanimous, enigmatic, exuberant, youthful and exquisiteness belies the strength and depth of what Africa is about. Change that we see. Change that represents the aspirations of this youthful exuberance. Change that exudes the hopes and fears of a young generation ready to handle their own affairs of business. Change that epitomizes the we shall overcome feel.
We only hope and pray that this new Africa does come to pass, happens and make the two Africa’s one and whole.
Sometimes in life there comes a point when one asks, don’t the leaders who are entrusted to lead us really study the history of the country they rule. It always, always leaves me perturbed.
This week in Uganda, right, we saw events that reminded me about an attack of a palace of the Kabaka(King) of Buganda in May 1966.
Fast forward 50 years and yet another King(Omusinga’s) palace is attacked leaving scores of people dead. What I find amazing is the lack of proper information as to why the palace had to be attacked in the first place. Omusinga is the King of the Bakonzo people who hail from the Mountains of the Moon – Rwenzori. They are sometimes referred to as Rwenzururu people.
Government acknowledges the King(Omusinga) was inciting terrorism. But coming from the fact about what happened 50 years ago, such information from government should be taken with a pinch of salt.
We may never really know the real story about that palace attack, we shall leave that to the historians. Having said that, bear with me, let me take you on a journey a brief history of Uganda.
A brief History
Before Uganda became the motherland Uganda on independence day in 1962, all the constituent tribes had their own leaders from Kings, to Queens to Chiefs. With the creation of the country Uganda a republic was formed. It had a ceremonial President, a Prime Minister together with a parliament and political parties to lead the country. The Kings, Queens and Chiefs remained very instrumental in the cohesiveness of their people and this made the tribes stronger. The cultural norms and heritage intact. That high office espoused the pride of belonging, rich in history and instrumental in the future of the people by the people. Naturally frictions occurred as the new norm being the new form of government, a republic vis a vie the tribal kingdoms was put on a test from time to time.
History most definitely is repeating itself in 2016.
What is so deafening, in this case, is the that there is little discourse about what happened in and around the mountains of the Moon, in the capital city of Kampala the seat of all power in Uganda. When there is such silence then all kinds of voices appear to fill the void. Social media is awash with all kinds of stories and photos. Hard to get any facts, clear picture about what really transpired and why. Maybe the authorities feel that this is a far away Kingdom and not too much fuss will be made about it. Personally I do not know.
This much we know.
The King(Omusinga) is in remand charged with treason and trial starts December 13th 2016.
The deposing of any King anywhere by use of force is a very traumatising experience for any group of people. In 1966 when it happened to the Baganda it led to consequences far foreseen by the leaders of that day. For one hatred brewed to anyone from the north of the country from the Baganda tribe. Why? The prime minister, Dr Obote, a northerner (of the Langi tribe) and the commander of the operation of the day was another northerner (Kakwa tribe), he went by the names of Idi Amin. Five years later he too led his own coup and overthrew Dr Obote.
The trauma of the Kabaka being attacked by the military was huge. So, huge. What many Baganda found perplexing was that the Kabaka, was a member of the British military and they refused to come to his aid. It is things like this that make one wonder 50 years hence, don’t our leaders learn anything from history.
You can marginalize a people for so long, but deposing their King(Omusinga) opens up a can of worms that in 2016 we cannot foresee.
May God uphold thee
We lay our future in thy hand
These are the first stanzas of our national anthem.
The Omusinga (King) bespectacled gentleman in the middle at Kasese Police Station
The question has come about from a little chat I had about salt to be added into cooking food.
Unfortunately, I have no money to buy salt, so I say. The lady looks forlorn and says nothing.
Cooks the food without salt. She doesn’t eat because she’ll not eat food without salt.
Then a discussion ensues. ‘You are a man you should have money at all times’ she says. I say ‘this is the one time I have no money’. She says ‘I don’t believe you.’
Then I ask, ‘why didn’t you buy the salt? I know you have the money.’ She responds ‘Mine is female money. You the man are supposed to bring and pay for everything at home.’
I am gobsmacked. The lady has money to buy salt but will not buy it because I have no money to buy salt.
Herein is the quandary. I am not at home neither am I obliged to buy the salt because this is not my residence. I am a visitor okay.
I wonder are such matters which seem minor in the scheme of things bring discordant in a home. Can the aspect of the man not having money to buy salt really make or break a home? Whatever happened to partnerships. Is it only give, give society that it has come down too?
It is heart wrenching if the foundation of any form of relationship is reduced to money and lack thereof.
Totally flabbergasted. Now I know what to do next time. Have my own salt in the drawer and she can cook saltless food. I’ll add into my food at my leisure. I will be visiting this place a lot more often therefore I will do the cub scout motto of be prepared.
Not very happy person at this point in time.
The dynamics of gender are not lost on me but I am finding them ever the more complex. How one wants to make a point in regards to gender roles about unspoken rules baffles me immensely. How then can the women be emancipated if they still think in a dependency format rather than the independent format? Do the women play the gender roles because society dictates or because family dictates?
My topic of reference being a returnee back to the motherland, the pitfalls, the insights of what one should do before returning and as we all know if you do not plan then it means you plan to fail. Too many managerial clichés. Right.