2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Uganda’s independence Jubilee and why all can’t jubilate.

Today Ugandans marked 50 years since colonial rule ended. On October 9th 1962, Uganda joined a list of African countries that were set to govern their own affairs after decades, in some cases centuries, of colonization.

I left Kampala a few hours to the Independence Day but even if I were home, I wouldn’t have joined the national event at Kololo to celebrate. I think we have a lot more to reflect on than an all out celebration.

It is important that every person should take part in deciding the affairs of their family, community and nation. So the end of colonialism didn’t mean the end of the quest for Ugandans to have a say on how they want to be governed.

Uganda like many African countries was a nation formed by colonialists through breaking nations (others call them kingdoms) and forcing them under one boundary as they saw fit- for their administrative and colonial interests. So to convince these nations to come to recognize and really be part of the new nation Uganda was a tall order!

Continue reading “Uganda’s independence Jubilee and why all can’t jubilate.”

For Uganda at 50

The last couple of weeks I have been working on a few documentaries one on trade and another on women empowerment. All these are around our 50 years independence anniversary due October 9.  I went to  the eastern district of Butaleja. It was my first time there and also first time to see rice in the field! These were the sites in this beautiful land.

Hajji Ahmed Naleba is a rice farmer in Butaleja Eastern Uganda. Emerging of South Sudan as top market for Ugandan produce has seen farmers like Naleba increase their profit.

Continue reading “For Uganda at 50”

Why We Are Happy To Confront Jesus And Mohammad, But ‘Fear’ Photos Of Breastfeeding Mothers

I thought Charles’ post raise most questions i have had over the past week. And why would you claim freedom of expression and can’t stand a photo of a breastfeeding mother? Well where i come from women are free to breastfeed in public and not feel ashamed and Google and Facebook ought to know better.


Google, owners of the video broadcast website YouTube, refused to remove “Innocence of Muslims”, the video that has outraged Muslims all over the world and led to violent protests in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The American ambassador and three other diplomats in Libya, were killed when protestors attacked the US consulate in Benghazi.

Google, however, agreed to temporarily block access to the video from selected Muslim countries.

“Innocence of Muslims”, according to its critics, mocks Islam and blasphemes the Prophet Mohammad.

Videos of “Innocence of Muslims” have also been posted on the social media site Facebook. Indeed in Egypt, a Coptic Christian who posted the film on his Facebook page is currently under 15 days detention on charges of insulting religion.

The storm over “Innocence of Muslims” is already passing. What interests me though is something different. While, for example, Facebook allows videos of “Innocence of…

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Happy Easter

This is the second Easter  holiday I have spent outside home. This time am next door in Nairobi with friends. Last months have been hectic and I am taking a few days to celebrate, appreciate, reflect on the gift of friendship and freedom. So my friend Rachel took these photos yesterday in cold Nairobi weather.

Easter is about freedom and someone recently asked “so Rosebell, what’s your favourite bible character?”   David! To me he represents human flaws, freedom and victory. And in the end I love the fact that in the end despite all flaws God calls him “Man after my own heart”.

So to all friends, real friends, family and everyone who values freedom, may you be free!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Support Nodding Disease victims; the most urgent challenge to a northern Uganda child

12 year old Nancy Lamwaka one the thousands of victims of LRA war but now tormented by a new disease.

Over the last few days I have received thousands of emails in response to the video I put out in response to KONY2012. Most of the emails were from grateful people who had learnt something from my video.  I am unable to read all the responses and reply you all at this time but your efforts are very much appreciated.

Most responses indicated they want to support the Ugandan child and be sure that the help goes to the right cause.

The cause

More than 3000 children in northern Uganda are currently battling a mysterious disease that has come to be known as nodding disease. Please read more from Wikipedia about Nodding Disease. There are so far 170 reported deaths.

In brief,  nodding disease is a mentally and physically disabling disease that only affects children between the ages of 5 and 15. Victims get seizures on the smell of food or when they get cold. Read more from previous blog

The World Health Organisation and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) have been working on research to establish the cause and how the disease is transmitted with no success so far.

Why we need to act fast:

With the healthcare system in northern Uganda wrecked by war and in a country where the right to healthcare is not guaranteed, most children suffering from this disease have been going through unbearable suffering. Parents are forced to painfully tie their children to trees.

Continue reading “Support Nodding Disease victims; the most urgent challenge to a northern Uganda child”

Uganda simply not doing enough to save pregnant mothers -US govt health strategist

For the last two days I have been on a trip with the US Mission in Uganda to tour health projects that the US government supports in western Uganda. Two districts of Kyenjojo and Kabarole are somewhere the areas where the US government is partnering with different health facilities to support an ambitious government plan to reduce maternal deaths in four western Uganda districts by 50 percent by end of 2012. In the two days we visited 7 health centres including a regional referral hospital. Some were run by faith based organization, one privately owned and others government run.

A woman waiting in a line at Mitandi health center, a faith based center.

Uganda has one of the highest maternal mortalities in the world. At 435 mothers per 100,000 live births that translates to 16 mothers a day.
Over the years the Uganda’s political leadership have found a scapegoat in health workers blaming them for the poor healthcare delivery system despite wide research on what many see as a crumbling health system.

On the trip was President Barack Obama’s top official in charge of health at the State Department, Lois Quam who heads the Global Health Initiative (GHI).
GHI was brought in when President Obama assumed office to ensure a coordinated foreign health support.

The US government has concentrated on maternal health in these districts that have some infrastructure to gauge what difference their interventions can bring.
The programmes are on voluntary family planning, skilled care at birth as well as emergency obstetric and postpartum care. The American government provide over $400 million annually in health assistance to Uganda.

I met great doctors and health workers who work with so little to save lives. Their stories I will run in the next few days.

I was able to talk to Christopher Dorval, Senior Advisor; Strategy and External Relations at the Global Health Initiative. He says to make a big reduction in numbers of women dying due pregnancy complications, Uganda leaders must show political will. Continue reading “Uganda simply not doing enough to save pregnant mothers -US govt health strategist”

“Is it outrageous to want to live in peace?”

On Sunday 22nd, Uganda watched in horror as a city enforcement officer , who later turned out to be a police officer,  brandished his AK47 shooting indiscriminately at a group of unarmed civilians who had gathered at a demolition site carried out by  Kampala city authorities. NTV Uganda brought the news in and people I was with said you could have mistken the scene to be Mogadishu. In this video, at 5:30 you see the animal that Uganda’s security forces have become. A man using a stick, a gun and a pistol to violate citizens.

Continue reading ““Is it outrageous to want to live in peace?””

Why Occupy Nigeria?

2011 was quite a year.  It saw the fall of 4 dictators, three of them on the African continent. Many waited to see if the Arab spring that North Africa enjoyed would cross the Sahara and come down. There were a few protests in Uganda, Swaziland, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal which didn’t yield a lot. Nonetheless, many African citizens had learnt a great lesson from the Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. They learnt that they could stand up to their leaders. Now that Nigeria, the largest (population) country on the continent has kicked off 2012 with #OccupyNigeria we wait to see how the government handles the situation after today’s strike and what lessons we can draw.

Photo by Esther Eshiet

The protest against President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to remove fuel subsidies has united many who say this will suddenly more than double the cost of living for most Nigerians. This year the Ugandan government has promised to start work on an oil refinery and the sector is already hit with corruption and bribery allegations. At the heart of the subsidies debate in Nigeria is why hasn’t government invested in refineries instead of selling crude oil and import fuel at a much higher price. I asked two Nigerian friends, both are taking part in today’s protests, about the issue because Uganda government has to learn from African countries like Nigeria that have been producing oil for five decades. Here is the two responses.
Continue reading “Why Occupy Nigeria?”