Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | July 2013 | Be Inspired – Go For The Gold!

Posted July 18, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uncategorized ~ 2,918 views


Dear Readers,

Our usual monthly editorial arrives mid-month this time, owing to an event-filled first half of July.

Those who now call the US home celebrated the Fourth of July, Independence Day. As a first-generation Ugandan who grew up watching independence celebrations on our national television [UTV] I must say Americans take it a notch further. They embrace foreigners and make them feel part of  the “home of the brave”. Singing the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, helps to bring this point home. As much as I love Uganda and our anthem, I cannot help but feel that sometimes singing our Ugandan anthem does not inspire the same kind of patriotism and a sense of nationalism. I wonder how many of us possess our national flag or some sort of national memorabilia at our homes as a way to inspire some sense of national pride! Hence the need to learn from our American brethren on how best to inspire Patriotism among our people.

On July 6th our long-awaited Ugandan Diaspora Business Expo was held at the Burlington Marriott. For a ‘first’ I am proud to report that it was a great success and many of the attendees and sponsors vowed to return for next year’s edition. The idea is simply to empower our people through business and connections that can improve their lives, while providing networking expos as a way to learn of available opportunities both in the US and back home in Uganda.

Chief guest at the 2 day event was our patron Prof. Maggie Kigozi, Director/Shareholder at Pepsi Cola Uganda and former Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority. Post Bank, represented by their Board Chairperson, AAR and a number of Boston-area companies attended the event. Later in the evening participants got treated to a happy hour networking session, a fashion show and a sumptuous dinner. The link below features some of the highlights from the event that was crowned with a BBQ the following day at Arsenal Park.

Back in the news this month was the revolution in Egypt. The deposing of President Morsi by the military might set a new precedent on the continent bedeviled by conflict and instability. The revolution that started almost 2 years ago in Tahrir Square seems to have come back to haunt President Morsi as his Muslim Brotherhood regime and its policies were rejected by the secularists, culminating in a military coup of sorts. Egypt now finds itself at the crossroads with those in support of Morsi on the one end and those opposed to the other. Let’s hope and pray that ‘civil war’ will not be the chapter in this conflict owing to the Arab determination.

In other news this month the saddest and perhaps most shocking story came in the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who pursued and later killed a teen, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. Following last year’s nationwide protests and calls for his arrest, Zimmerman finally got charged with murder, which most thought would lead to a conviction. After deliberating for 14 hours, a largely white female jury found George Zimmerman NOT GUILTY, another indication of the imperfection of America’s justice system. The evidence and sequence of who did or said what remained inconclusive in what proved to be a lethal encounter for Martin, yet it remains clear that Zimmerman refused the advice of the 911 dispatcher he contacted to stay away and let police handle the situation. Questions regarding how a jury is to apply the standard of “reasonable doubt” required in a criminal case like this will continue in the national conversation. Debate has now began for the repealing of the  ‘Stand your ground’ law that Florida adopted and that some are now blaming for Trayvon’s death!

Equally disturbing was the revelation during a  CNN exclusive that featured Juror B37 who revealed how the Jurors deliberated and arrived at the NOT GUILTY verdict. It is hard to believe that race was not a factor in this trial and as in OJ’s case, color is and will always be one more stigma for the America’s justice system.

Finally, back home in Uganda, I have read our online dailies in bemusement. We could use some good news out of the motherland. Instead, it was shocking to read about our newly appointed deputy government spokesman, barely in office for two months but charged with three counts of fraud. One wonders whether the appointing authority does any vetting of these appointees. The other issue that also bothers me about our government is the picture that made news last month as the budget speech was read and many of our Government Ministers were pictured in deep slumber. Some have described it as  a sign of an aging regime. I think that we need to adopt the Kenyan stance of opening up positions in government competitively through advertising instead of the continued recycling of political allies to key positions sometimes with little on no experience. The rewarding of loyal cadres, many of whom are either defeated at the polls or former military aids, has me worried about what sort of generation of leaders Uganda can expect to have tomorrow.

With the year now half way gone, let me encourage you to strive to make the most of every opportunity life has to offer. For many of us now heading into middle age there is still time to impact our generation with our ideas and aspirations! Therefore “Go for the Gold” and remember you are never too old to dream! Abraham became a father of a multitude of nations in his old age!

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” — Dale Carnegie

Happy Independence Day/Month America!

Ronnie Mayanja
MSc. Comm – Boston University

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About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment


    Juror B37 extremely annoying

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