Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | February 2015 | Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted February 7, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 5,744 views


Prof. Henry Louis Gates--author, historian and filmmaker. He has also won numerous awards for his work on African American roots. His six-part documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), documents African American history over 500 years, won him an Emmy and a Peabody Award

Prof. Henry Louis Gates–author, historian and filmmaker. He has also won numerous awards for his work on African American roots. His six-part documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), documents African American history over 500 years, won him an Emmy and a Peabody Award

Greetings Folks,

Here we are in  February, typically the coldest month in the Northern Hemisphere winter. This year we are experiencing colder temperatures than usual and record snowfall.

On a positive note for me, I started off the month meeting an new friend and inspiration. — When I met Prof. Gates I presented him with Totems of Uganda, Buganda Edition, by Taga Nuwagaba (a must-have for every Ugandan).  Prof. Gates serves as Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and is a great voice on the PBS series. Here is a trailer to many rivers to cross –

Back to African politics. President Robert Mugabe or Uncle Bob as he has now become commonly known on social media assumed the AU chairmanship. Mugabe who turned 91 is one of the oldest statesmen on the continent if not the world today. Why the AU got it so wrong by appointing a leader past his sell by date according to some analysts still baffles me. Then came the unfortunate fall perhaps a sign from the gods that the old man should honorably be retiring and enjoy his old age. Whichever way you look at it perhaps a warning from the UN secretary General to African leaders who temper with term limits and constitutionalism was a good reminder of the need for good governance on the continent. In the DR Congo rioters took the streets of Kinshasa to fight President Kabila’s attempt to change constitutional goal posts. And so we wait for what part of Africa will make news either via coup or a people’s revolution. The saddest part about African leaders especially the progressives or call them the ‘new breed’ who started off on a good footing with a chance to create legacies like that of Nyerere and Mandela is holding onto power at all costs and creating a very uncertain future for many of their republics.

In the north east part of Nigeria, Boko haram has rendered the once feared Nigerian military powerless. By attacking the northeastern Nigeria’s states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa including the largest city of 2 million inhabitants — Maiduguri, Boko Haram’s reign of terror seems unstoppable. They have also forced the electoral commission of Nigeria to postpone the Feb 14 poll to March 28th. President Goodluck Jonathan is facing his stiffest challenge yet from a one time military leader and retired major general of Nigeria himself a northerner Muhammadu Buhari. It now looks like the intervention of AU will be the only hope for change in this part of Africa.

According to Wikipedia — Boko Haram means (“Western education is forbidden”), officially called Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad (“People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad”), is a terrorist Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group is led by Abubakar Shekau. Estimates of membership vary between a few hundred and 10,000. They have been linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Boko Haram killed more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014, including at least 2,000 in the first half of 2014, in attacks occurring mainly in northeast, north-central and central Nigeria. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by the Nigerian Military have hampered efforts to counter the unrest. Since 2009 Boko Haram have abducted more than 500 men, women and children, including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014. Over 650,000 people had fled the conflict zone by August 2014, an increase of 200,000 since May; by the end of the year 1.5 million people had fled the region.  We continue to pray for the safe return of the abducted girls and an end to this radical form of Islam.

This month we also celebrated Dr. Nandi a Ugandan American success story that lived in cinncinati for 21 years and who returned home to make a difference. The new state of the art clinic at the mall will wow you if you check it out. This is what Uganda needs and its a breathe of fresh air to our ailing and crumbling healthcare system that sees many of our cabinet members and legislature flown abroad for their annual check ups as opposed to building and empowering our healthcare system that has been known to export some of the best doctors overseas. So I encourage you all to visit and support Dr. Nandawula and the Clinic at the Mall (in Bugolobi) —

The other highlight this month is the introduction of the AmCham or Ugandan American Chamber of Commerce to our Diaspora community. The AmCham Uganda Chapter wishes to grow membership and Diasporan Ugandans that have now acquired US citizenship are encouraged to apply to become members. I had the great pleasure of meeting our US Embassy Commercial Attache in Uganda who intimated to me the US government policy and willingness to engage with the Diaspora through various initiatives. Please be on the look out for the US Agri-business Summit coming up in Kampala during the month of April — see link for details.

On a sad note a son brought to the US by his parents is alleged to have murdered his dad and mom including a 5 year old brother in the most gruesome way imaginable and later fled the scene of the crime. This to me was a wake up call of how important it is to be in lives of our kids. It difficult to say if the lapse in judgement was partly due to mental illness or schizophrenia. But by the time the kid fled to Mississippi he certainly knew what he done. The fact that he stole his Parents credit cards and used them after their death also pointed to him as a major suspect. The challenge to my fellow diaspora do u know what your kids are watching and the company they are keeping. This could happen to any family if there is no early intervention. May God have mercy on the Isaac and the only brother who survived this tragedy.

Finally working with the Embassy in Ottawa and the Ugandan community in Canada we are in the initial stages of planning the second Ugandan Canadian Business and Social Convention. This time we shall be gathering in Toronto. If you attended the Vancouver convention in 2012 you will be sure to enjoy and networking with many of the Ugandans who have now moved and settled in Ottawa and Toronto. Tentative dates are the July Independence weekend (July 3rd – 5th 2015) Details to follow below is a link to the the Vancouver convention organised in conjunction with the Ugandan Community/Association of British Columbia.

Valentines day is upon us. And love will be in the air this month. If you found love enjoy it if you looking for love I pray that you will find your bliss. But some might ask what is the history behind Valentine’s day — According to Wikipedia — Saint Valentine (Latin: Valentinius) is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love. All that is reliably known of the saint commemorated on February 14 is his name and that he was martyred and buried at a cemetery on the Via Flaminia close to the Milvian bridge to the north of Rome on that day. Because so little is known of him, in 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars.

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. — Robert Fulghum

Where there is love there is life. — Mahatma Gandhi

Happy Valentines Day

Ronnie Mayanja
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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


    I enjoy reading Ugandan diaspora and want to thank all of you who bring these stories to us. God bless!

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