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The inflight magazine of Air Uganda part of the

Issue 13

Uganda’s Fashion Industry Kampala by

Night

your complimentary copy

Asante Issue Number 013 February - April 2013

A Vanishing Way of Life


We at Leopard Beach are jolly proud at being voted Kenya’s Leading Resort for the third year running. So as a heartfelt “Thank You”we’ve come up with some exceedingly tempting offers for East African residents. We’d like to make it evident To every EA Resident That when you stay with us We won’t charge you for the bus You can have five nights for four And your kids can sleep next door Or if you feeling rather mad One can share with Mum and Dad And for those who need to work You’ll get every conference perk And when your meetings are all done Bring your spouse and have some fun!

Air Uganda fly to Mombasa 5 times a week from Entebbe

Diani’s favourite destination for holidaymakers and business travellers alike is delighted to have been voted Kenya’s Leading Resort at the World Travel Awards 2012 – for the third year running! The resort has recently undergone major renovations including new and improved wining & dining venues and the addition of ‘The Residences’ - a contemporary private villa complex. To celebrate our new look, we are pleased to announce a range of offers for our fellow residents and we look forward to showing you our new spots. Karibu!

Tripadvisor traveller’s choice 2012 winner

Terms and Conditions: Offer valid from February 1st 2013 to April 24th 2013, excluding the Easter Holiday period. Offer includes: · One child sharing with parents up to the age of 12 years free of charge including meals and special rates for children in a separate room · Five nights for the price of four · No Single Room Supplements in standard rooms · Conference package – 1 in 10 delegates go FREE including FREE Conference and meeting rooms and spouses stay FREE on bed only basis · FREE transfers from and to Diani Airstrip (unlike other fine resorts)

OPENING MARCH 2013

take a tour: www.leopardbeachresort.com drop us a line: nbobookingoffice@leopardbeachresort.com call us: +254 (0)20 2692844, 0726 803861, 0701 772023


Foreword – Chairman of Air Uganda

I

would like to extend a warm welcome aboard this Air Uganda flight today as we celebrate the exciting start of a new year. 2013 is certainly off to a fresh and exciting start for Air Uganda, as we celebrate the successful completion of the IOSA (IATA operational safety audit). Air Uganda is now registered as an IOSA operator which makes the Airline Uganda’s first ever commercial operator to attain this registration in this country. The accreditation is a major milestone in Air Uganda’s short history of operations and is confirmation that the investors remain fully committed to the company’s development and success. The internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system, developed by IATA, aims at standardizing and promoting air safety practices and efficiencies in the Airlines operations. In other words, the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) audit is designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. For an airline to meet IOSA requirements it must comply with, and verify the ability to deliver, efficiency and safety standards in the eight areas of corporate organization and management systems, flight operations, operational control and flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, aircraft ground handling, cargo operations and operational security. With Air Uganda achieving IOSA registration, the Airline is now positioned amongst the world’s leading airlines, demonstrating that it provides an operation that delivers operational safety and efficiency. The registration will also permit Air Uganda to enter codeshare arrangements and commercial agreements with senior airlines that are IOSA registered.

Our greatest challenge is to ensure that the airline retains its registration by continually maintaining these high standards. I am confident, however, that the team involved in this exercise will deliver a renewed certificate. Any start of the year traditionally acts as a fresh start, so it’s an ideal opportunity to take a positive look at the year ahead. Not only are we excited about obtaining the IOSA registration but we have introduced and renamed our customer care project ‘Shukran’. Shukran has been put in place to streamline the quality of service offered at all customer touch points. Our Shukran ambassadors, in all departments, will ensure that clients are given assistance whenever they are in contact with Air Uganda. With our Shukran (customer care) help desk at Entebbe International Airport, manned during most of our flights, we look forward to offering you assistance whenever necessary.

This New Year also means boundless new opportunities and, as such, the Airline has launched a new and exciting product called Crane Class onboard our CRJ200 aircraft. Crane class is an experience that we offer discerning customers who wish to travel in comfort and in style. The goal is to provide a memorable experience and to ease travel for the Crane Class passenger at all touch points. I urge you to try out this new product. As we reposition, we want to be the Airline that offers a great customer experience and good quality service. We are determined to keep our customers satisfied, comfortable and happy. Whether you are a first time traveller or a frequent flier with Air Uganda, I hope you enjoy your flight with us today and continue to enjoy flying with us in 2013. I welcome you to read and enjoy this complementary in-flight issue of Asante with lots to offer in news, health and inspiration. I hope our new look and stories inspire you to read on.

Mr. Mahmood Manji Chairman

asante Feb – April 2013

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Issue 13

magazine

of Air Uganda

part of the

g A Vanishin e Way of Lif

da’s Ugan n Industry Fashio

Kampala

28

Kampala by Night Every Night

36

International Women’s Day

Whatever day of the week you are in Kampala there is a party going on, somewhere.

We celebrate the role and status of women in Africa that has grown considerably over the years.

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40

Uganda’s Fashion Industry Almost of Age

TechTalk

Ugandans have started appreciating their own, and begun buying clothes made by local designers.

“We’re seeing not only the broad adoption of technology, but also density is increasing.”

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44

Getting the Best from Mombasa

Where There are No shrinks

There’s something for everyone to see and do in the old, fascinating, hectic and fast-growing city of Mombasa.

Sometimes what we need is a dose of reality.

18

48

A Vanishing Way of Life

The sheer style, diversity and practicality of habitat puts the African continent in a class by itself.

22

East African Region Making its Mark in Europe

It has taken all of 40 years for East Africa to catch on to the talent-exporting trend. Publishers: Camerapix Magazines Ltd Editorial Director: Rukhsana Haq Editor: Roger Barnard Editorial Assistant: Cecilia W. Gaitho Creative Designer: Charles Kamau Production Manager: Azra Chaudhry, U.K Production Assistant: Rose Judha Editorial Board: Rukhsana Haq Jenifer B. Musiime Jackie Tumuhairwe The views expressed in this magazine should only be ascribed to the authors concerned, and do not necessarily reflect the views either of the publishers or of Air Uganda. The printing of an advertisement in Asante does not necessarily mean that the publishers or Air Uganda endorse the company, product or service advertised.

ntary copy your complime

A Cycling Success Story in Kenya

African competitors have been a rarity in the top levels of cycle racing, now that is changing and Kenyan riders are leading the way.

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by

Night

Photo © Camerapix

The inflight

Cover picture: Beautiful potrait of a Maasai bride.

Regulars 1. Editorial 4. Air Uganda News 6. Whats Up! East Africa 34. Bookshelf/Interview 43. Asante News 52. Meet the Staff 54. Basic Tips for the Traveller 55. Useful Travel Tips

Pick up a Pomegranate!

This ancient symbol of health and good fortune is fast becoming Africa’s new super fruit.

50

56. Air Uganda Offices 57. Route Map 58. Abato Corner

You’ve Got E-mail

Tips on business e-mail etiquette.

59. Air Uganda Flight Schedule 60. Crossword Puzzle & Sudoku

ASANTE meaning ‘Thank you’ in Kiswahili is published quarterly for Air Uganda by Camerapix Magazines Limited P.O. Box 45048, 00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254 (20) 4448923/4/5 | Fax: +254 (20) 4448818 | E-mail: creative@camerapix.co.ke Editorial and Advertising Offices: Camerapix Magazines (UK) Limited | 32 Friars Walk, Southgate, London, N14 5LP Tel: +44 (20) 8361 2942 | Mobile: +44 79411 21458 E-mail: camerapixuk@btinternet.com Air Uganda, Marketing Office | Tel: +256 (0) 414 258 262/4 or +256 (0) 417 717 401 Fax: +256 414 500 932 | E-mail: info@air-uganda.com or jbmusiime@air-uganda.com Investment House, Plot 4, Wampewo Avenue, Kololo Website: www.air-uganda.com, www.facebook.com/airuganda@airuganda Correspondence on editorial and advertising matters may be sent to either of the above addresses. ©2013 CAMERAPIX MAGAZINES LTD All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. All photographs by Camerapix unless otherwise indicated.


Air Uganda News

Air Uganda IOSA Certified In December 2012, Air Uganda attained the highest safety standard in the airline industry, the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification. The IOSA is the benchmark for global safety management in airlines, designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. Air Uganda Launches Crane Class The airline has launched Crane Class ‘Premium Economy’, a product for the more sophisticated traveller. This product is offered on all Air Uganda flights. The customers in this class pay a little more than the ordinary Economy Class passenger but receive extra benefits when they fly. They save time by using a special check-in counter, set aside specially for Crane Class passengers; they get an extra baggage allowance of 10 kilogrammes. The passenger has access to the airport lounge and, on board, has an extra seat, reserved for his/her own personal space. Crane Class is sold at all Air Uganda offices and the benefits are accessible at all airports where the airline operates. We welcome you to try Crane Class; you will feel so special, and you won’t regret it!

Air Uganda Sponsors the Uganda National Basketball Teams In January 2013, Air Uganda provided discounted tickets for both the Men’s and Ladies’ Uganda National basketball teams, and two free tickets for their coaches, to travel to Dar es Salaam to participate in the Basketball Regional Championship. This sponsorship saved the teams from a long and tiring trip by road and the team was able to arrive in Dar es Salaam, fresh and ready for the tournament.

Shukran Project Launched Air Uganda has launched its Shukran project to champion customer service excellence throughout all of the Airline’s service ‘touch points’. The aim is to create a memorable and consistent experience for all our valued customers. Shukran is championed by Shukran Ambassadors who have set up a customer service desk at Entebbe International Airport to assist Air Uganda’s customers at check-in. A customer survey is also now available on-board to collect feedback.

Inaugural Uganda Air Show Ugandans were treated to a great display at the first ever Air Show that was organised by UCCA in conjunction with other air operators to mark Uganda’s 50 years of independence.

“Shukran ensures that every employee in Air Uganda has a part to play in delivering excellent customer care. It is not a specialist function owned by Commercial or Ground Operations,” Customer Care Manager, Njeri Wachira, said. “Our clients’ feedback will become integral in key business processes and service improvements,” she added.

Air Uganda was the biggest airline in the show, its MD 87 operating at least three flights per day at the 3-day event. All Ugandans were given a chance to fly, as tickets were sold at a very low fare of UGX 50,000. The crowds were treated to aerobatics, pass-bys, flights and aircraft tours. It was an exciting experience for all visitors, especially the children who had never seen an aircraft close-up in their lives. The Air Show was so successful that the UCAA and Air Uganda have been asked to make this an annual event to give a chance to every citizen to enjoy this life-changing experience. Air Uganda was glad to take part in the Inaugural national Air Show, with its aircraft, and providing such an experience to first-time fliers. We look forward to taking part in the Air Show next year! 4 | asante Feb – April 2013

Technical Director, Roberto Manzi, receives a Shukran service badge from Njeri Wachira, Customer Care Manager in a recent ceremony held in Kololo, where all senior management were awarded badges. On receiving his badge, Mr. Manzi commented, “Customer service is not a department, it is everyone’s job from the Technical to Finance departments as we all have internal or external customers.”


UGANDA BIKE CHALLENGE 2013

African Revival is organising yet another bike challenge -The Uganda Bike Challenge 2013. This time the challenge will take place in Uganda and will see the bike riders travel from Kampala to Gulu in Northern Uganda where they will visit one of the African Revival supported primary schools. This challenge has become possible due to the improved security situation in Northern Uganda which has seen stability for the last six years. For further information or to reserve a place in the Uganda Bike Challenge 2013, contact Mandy Scott-Johnson at mandy@africanrevival.org or Alexander Macpherson at alex. macpherson@africanrevival.org WHERE: Kampala, Uganda

KENYA OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

The 2013 Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championship moves from the traditional Muthaiga Golf Club to Karen Golf and Country Club. The four day tournament kicks off on February 13 with the ProAm, attracting approximately 150 players. The tournament will once again attract players from around the globe-with competitors expected from East Africa region, Africa and Europe, Americas and Asia. Expected to play this year is the cream of talent from the young professional ranks that are seeking to transit to the main tour or seeking re-entry. This year’s prize money for the championship is 195,000 Euros, raised from many local corporate sponsors. WHERE: Karen Golf and Country Club in Nairobi, Kenya

ROTARACT CLUB OF RUBAGA BEACH VOLLEYBALL ANNUAL EVENT

SAUTI ZA BUSARA MUSIC FESTIVAL

WHERE: Sports Beach Entebbe, Uganda PRICE: Entrance is UGX.3,000 Participants pay 50,000/- per team and the winner goes away with UGX 1,000,000. We hope to see you partner with us.

WHERE: Stonetown and Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar WEBSITE: http://www.busaramusic.org

This is the annual fundraising event and the proceeds go to service projects in our community. 2013 is targeting a total of over 1,500 people and the proceeds shall be used to contribute onto buying an X-ray machine for Rubaga hospital.

6 | asante Feb – April 2013

Sauti za Busara, ‘Sounds of Wisdom’, is one of East Africa’s best cultural events. This six-day festival showcases regional music, theatre and dance. It brings together people of all ages and backgrounds in celebration of the wealth and variety of Swahili culture. Performance spaces include old forts, amphitheatres and other historic buildings that makes Stonetown a unique destination. The music is paired with delicious skewered meats, lovely sunsets and lots of dancing.


KILIMANJARO MARATHON

The Kilimanjaro Marathon (42.2km), Half Marathon (21.1km) and Fun Run (5km) is going into its 11th year! As a fully registered IAAF race, the marathon has official marshalling, time-keeping and refreshment points at regular intervals. It may be used as a qualifier for Comrades. The race is run under the watchful eye of Mount Kilimanjaro, with the altitude gain being quite manageable and with the entire race being completed between 830–1150m, on good tarred roads. Enthusiastic local crowd cheers support you along the route, and the social runners amongst you may even stop for a cold ‘Kili’ beer along the way! WHERE: Moshi, Tanzania WEBSITE: http://www.kilimanjaromarathon.com/

NAIROBI WINE FESTIVAL

The annual Nairobi Wine Festival gives connoisseurs the opportunity to taste over 90 wines from around the world. Taking place at the Southern Sun Mayfair, visitors can enjoy live music and food around the hotel’s charming pool. WHERE: Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel, Parklands in Nairobi, Kenya

THE KAMPALA INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION FAIR 2013

Welcome to the leading student’s recruitment exhibition in Uganda and East African region, bringing together local and international universities and colleges from around the world, every year in March. WHERE: Conference Complex, Hotel Africana in Uganda WEBSITE: http://www.worldwideeducationgroup.com/

POWER AND ENERGY AFRICA

ULTIMATE RIVER - RAFT MURCHISON FALLS, UGANDA

An expedition into Africa’s wild heart. This is a river of epic proportions and rapids don’t come harder than this. Spectacularly remote, raw and untamed, the Murchison falls area is an untouched wilderness and you could join the first open access team to attempt this feat alongside the world’s best rafting professionals. Not for the faint hearted though ... WEBSITE: www.secretcompass.com/ultimate-river-murchisonfalls-uganda/

Power And Energy Africa is an internationally acclaimed trade expo on energy and power related industries. The trade fair attracts participation from sectors such as power transmission equipments, transitional and renewable energy and all others that contribute significantly to the power engineering and alternative energy sectors of the region. WHERE: Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya WEBSITES: http://www.expogr.com/kenyaenergy/

asante Feb – April 2013

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Photos Š Jonathan Kabuye

entertainment

t h g i N y b a l a p Kam

t h g i N y r e v E

at never e one about cities th th , hĂŠ ic cl ed tir d an lls. It is an old wn when darkness fa do ut sh ly al er lit s you are in sleep, for few citie ver day of the week te ha w at th y sa to While some But it is safe ing on, somewhere. go rty pa a is e er th my pick Kampala single night, here is y er ev on g in go rty places have a pa . rites Jonathan Kabuye of the top venues, w

8 | asante Feb – April 2013


Monday For a long time the Jam Session at the National Theatre was the place to be on Monday evenings. Musicians got together and had some fun of their own at the Musicians’ Club on the second floor. But after wrangles with management, and the influx of dancehall artists performing to a CD playback, it lost its attraction. It still happens though, and those inclined to dancehall and young wannabe rappers dropping rhymes have a place to go. T1 Nightclub on 2nd Street, Industrial Area, is the only discothèque open on Mondays, with its Campus night.

There is action everywhere on Fridays, and different places have different theme nights.

The Kampala Hash House Harriers get together to run an average of 10 kilometres every Monday, and then celebrate the run with a bash at a different venue every week (which is indicated on their website). It is mostly corporates, and a lot of networking goes on as well as plenty of beer and dancing. For those who want a relatively quiet Monday out on the town, the Qwela Band performs a selection of Afro-jazz at the Sheraton Hotel. Tuesday Enjoy breathtaking views of Kampala Hills to a mellow background of live piano jazz at dinner time (Tuesdays to Sundays) at the 7 Hills Revolving Restaurant, Golf Course Hotel. Quite often it seems half of Kampala shows up for the Half Price Tuesday movies at Garden City’s Cineplex cinema. Quite a popular outing, this one. Harry Lwanga’s One-Man-Band (but backed up by former Tusker Project Fame participant Sharon) plays easy music at Faze 2, Nakasero; while the first of several comedy nights is on at Bugolobi’s Virgin Island Pub, with comedian Dolibondo and Friends Steak Out in Nakasero used to have the craziest Tuesdays in town, but it died down, and now it is just another official Campus Nite. But the real action on Tuesdays still remains at Silk Royale, the only disco open that night, and local artists have made their unofficial Tuesday hang out. So it gets quite busy, and often there will be a show of ‘beef’ between warring artists. Jazz and R&B singer Angela Kalule performs with her band at the Amnesia discothèque. Entry is free.

asante Feb – April 2013

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they also do on Fridays and Saturdays. There is also Ten Pin Bowling at Alleygators, so you can combine both. The original Campus Night was at Ange Noir many years ago, and it still happens every Thursday, although now it has competition from new-kid-on-the-block Amnesia. Other attractions on Thursdays are the Temporary Madness Comedy Show by Fun Factory at the National Theatre, and Rock Nite at Steak Out, Lumumba Avenue. The 7 Hills Revolving Restaurant, Golf Course Hotel.

Bebe Cool’s Gagamel Band plays at Daytona Bar in Ntinda, Wednesday Action really picks up on Wednesdays and revellers are spoilt for choice on where to go. First there is the Bonfire Hip Hop Nite at the National Theatre, where budding rappers try out their styles.

the Zawuka Band is at the Sheraton Hotel, and the Acoustic Night with Irene Ntale happens at Jazzville, Bugolobi. Two quiz nights happen every Thursday, one at Bubbles O’Leary’s in Kololo, and one at Shulaz Corner in Naguru.

Then comedy takes centre stage, first with The Crackers’ Mic Check Show at Theatre La Bonita, and then Comedy Nite at Laftaz, Centenary Park. There is a Reggae Night at Steak Out, and if you want to hang out with Rastafarians and the kind of things they do, this is the place to be. The faint-hearted could try out the more sombre reggae night at Hooters, UMA Show Grounds, Lugogo. Friday Club Pa Lui in Ntinda used to be a real attraction for

There is action everywhere on Fridays, and different places

folks in the northern Kampala suburb, but now it is just

have different theme nights. But top of the pick is the Afrigo

a big pub, although the crowds still come in, and it gets

Band at Obbligato, Bat Valley, and the Code 9 band at Jazzville,

really loud.

Bugolobi. While Afrigo plays mainly Ugandan music laced with rhumba, Code 9 will give you Afro-Jazz.

Kampala’s longest running Jazz Night is still on at On the Rocks Bar, Speke Hotel, but most of the people

Saturday

who turn up are not really into the jazz, but meet other

Looks like everybody goes to a disco on Saturdays, although

patrons who are regulars there.

the Afrigo Band will provide an alternative at Club Obbligato

Thursday

Sunday

Club Silk rules most Thursdays, with its various theme nights

Sunday is a very quiet night all over town. The clubs are closed

which rotate between Fashion Night, Comedy Nights, Crazy

save for Ange Noir with Carnival Night.

Dancing, and the extremely popular Unplugged. The Soul Seduction at Bukoto’s Cayenne Lounge’s poolside Karaoke at Alleygators in Garden City still happens, although

has picked up quite a following, and might be worthwhile to

it has lost some of its shine, but the faithful still turn up, as

wind down the week.

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asante Feb – April 2013

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fashion

Uganda’s Fashion Industry

Almost ofAge Text & photos by Jonathan Kabuye.

H

as the fashion industry in Uganda finally come of age? It just might have, if the number of fashion shows held last year is any indication.

For a long time fashion shows in Kampala were mostly entertainment events, with people more interested in the models than the outfits being showcased. Slowly, but surely, that seems to be changing. And it seems Ugandans have started appreciating their own, and begun buying clothes made by local designers, as opposed to foreign labels. 2012, was the year that Vogue Italia came to Uganda. Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzan held court in Kampala for a week but the fruits of her efforts have yet to be seen. For the last three years the monthly Silk Fashion Nite has been giving young and upcoming designers a platform on which to show what they have and attain some much-needed publicity. It is held in a small venue, the lighting is not ideal, but the press do show up regularly and that can only be a good thing. There were many fashion shows, led by Sylvia Owori’s One Love Collection, held in March 2012. Relatively new designer Brenda Nambi, under the label Bambi Fashions, had two shows, but they were not helped by poor production, which can be said of almost all the others. The annual Bride & Groom Expo, though restricted to wedding fashion, was the single biggest fashion event, with seven fashion shows spread over three days. Stella Atal showcased her designs at several events, with Xenson and Brenda Maraka also featured prominently. And the way forward? Fashion shows must be more professionally produced, with special attention to the lighting which can kill or make a show. But there is hope, so here’s to

ka

Mara renda

B 12 | asante Feb – April 2013

a better 2013.


Stella Atal

s Owori’ Sylvia on ti Collec oom

& Gr Bride Expo

Xenson

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destination

W

ith a city as old, fascinating,hectic and

fast-growing

as

Mombasa,

getting the best from a short stay

Getting the Best from

Mombasa There’s something for everyone to see and do, says Grace Mulenga.

will depend very much on the tastes

and curiosity of the visitor. For cultural enthusiasts there’s no shortage of historical sites, from the stately Old Town to atmospheric abandoned ruins along the coast. Photographers will find themselves snapping away at a wealth of architectural detail, blue Indian Ocean vistas and vibrant colours in the local markets. Sporty types and party animals might head for the livelier beaches, following days on the reef with nights in a casino, while those with a family in tow might consider some ‘light education’ in a glass-bottomed boat, a cultural centre or even a

Photo courtesy of Leopard Beach

Toddler enjoys the beautiful sand and sea on Mombasa beach.

Photo © Adeel Haq/Books R Us

crocodile farm.

Diani Beach 14 | asante Feb – April 2013


Photo © Rachel/Camerapix Publishers

Cultural Highlights Mombasa’s Old Town, with its memories of precolonial and colonial times, is East Africa’s largest and best preserved example of a Swahili trading port. It was built mainly of local coral limestone on an island where a break in the long-stretches of reefs allowed access to the hinterland. Thanks to a long-

Kids of any age are impressed by the ‘largest elephant tusks in the world’, set up in an M-shaped arch over Moi Avenue.

running restoration project, it’s possible to imagine

of the house could watch without being seen, the

white-robed merchants borne on the monsoon winds

great brass-studded doors, secluded courtyards and

arriving at the Old Dhow Harbour from Oman and

the original Coffee Shop where the day’s business

Yemen in search of ivory and slaves. Or maybe you’ll

would be done. The Fort Jesus Museum makes an

glimpse the ghosts of tough Portuguese soldiers

interesting break, with some wonderful old maps

who built the ramparts of Fort Jesus and manned its

and photographs among the traditional Swahili

canons, or linen-suited characters straight from ‘Out

household fittings and furnishings.

of Africa’ ferried by local canoe from their liner to

For a quick overview of Kenya’s other major

the Levens Steps and gasping for a cool drink at the

ethnic groups, those on limited time can head for

fabled Mombasa Club.

Ngomongo Cultural Centre, about 10 kilometres

The main road of the Old Town, Njia Kuu, runs

towards Shanzu. Here 11 villages have been

straight to the Club’s welcoming shade and is lined

established to showcase various traditional ways of

with merchants’ houses that retain a strong Arab/

life. The visit takes about four hours with authentic

Swahili or Indian influence. Much photographed are

food for lunch, accompanied by drumming and

the balconies of the women’s quarters with their

dancing, and can be arranged through most big

delicate wood latticework shutters where the ladies

hotels. Mombasa’s role as a cultural melting-pot

asante Feb – April 2013

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Photo © Robert Harding

Bamburi Beach

can also be explored in mosques old and new. The

Bike hiring has become a very popular way of getting

tiny Mandhry Mosque dates from 1570, while the

around, either in escorted groups or independently,

modern Ithna Asheri Mosque has wonderful views

since so much of the Mombasa region is fairly flat. The

sedate Nyali Beach, offer reef-going excursions for

the world’, set up in an M-shaped arch over Moi Avenue

snorkelling, scuba and fishing in designated areas,

to mark a royal visit in the 1950s. Thankfully, they are

and there is no shortage of ‘privateers’ offering

made of aluminium, not ivory, and are to Mombasa

similar trips for the more adventurous. Both Nyali

what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.

For even across the creek to English Point from its shady heavy traffic thins out on the coast roads north or south the most courtyard. of the town, where stunning ocean views glitter among jaded coconut groves and colourful tropical blossom. For teenager, Where’s the Action? dedicated petrol-heads, there’s also a very popular Gothere’s Many visitors head for the beaches – at least during Kart track with a large restaurant in Bamburi. It’s off the always East the day. Bamburi Beach is for those who enjoy a Mombasa-Malindi Road and opens at 4pm until late – Africa’s lively scene with plenty of hassle and hustle. It’s closed Mondays. At night, the club scene is often linked largest easily accessible from the main town across the to hotels, perhaps with a casino attached. crocodile Nyali Bridge in the direction of Malindi or Mtwapa farm at Creek by taxi or matatu (mini-bus) services, and is Child-friendly Mombasa Mamba cleaned every day. Offshore is Mombasa Marine Today’s parents don’t believe in leaving the kids behind Village, National Park. The many tourist hotels in this with granny while they explore Mombasa. But kids of Nyali. area, as well as those along the slightly more any age are impressed by the ‘largest elephant tusks in

and Bamburi have plenty of mall-style places to

There are the beaches, of course, but according to

eat, from traditional/fusion food to burgers, with

TripAdvisor, Mombasa’s number-one attraction is Haller

shopping for beachwear and safari gear.

Park, and not just for children. Reclaimed from a huge

16 | asante Feb – April 2013


derelict coral limestone quarry, the Park includes a delightful butterfly farm and provides nature trails with

Entrace to Mamba Village.

educational tours. For even the most jaded teenager, there’s always East Africa’s largest crocodile farm at

For a very different kind of attraction, the

Mamba Village, Nyali. Baby crocs can be handled by

Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre was set

visitors, as can some of the snakes, but the star of

up to help the city’s disabled people by encouraging

the show is Big Daddy, who has absolutely no table

them to learn a craft or trade. It has been running

manners when it comes to his main feeding time at

since 1969,and the results are heart-warming in

5pm on Fridays.

that visitors are welcome to wander round to admire

Out of Town and Assorted other Attractions

the workers’ skills and have a chat. There are eight traditional houses to see, music, dances and lots

About half an hour’s drive from Bamburi is Nguuni

of export-quality gifts and souvenirs on sale, which

Nature Sanctuary. Hint: if you’re looking for an exotic

makes a trip here one of the nicest ways to support

place to get married or for a big family celebration,

this initiative as well as the local economy.

the staff at Nguuni will make it happen in beautiful,

To see Mombasa from the water as the first arrivals

tranquil surroundings. For those willing to bus it along

saw it, there are several companies offering a variety

the Malindi Road, the Gedi ruins near Watamu are

of evening cruises round the main harbour area, with

the remains of a once thriving Swahili trading centre,

locally sourced food and entertainment to set the

and the word is to choose a regular guide if you want

mood. Once a week, there is a special evening at the

to get the best experience. So far, Gedi seems free

Fort, with dinner and a Sound and Light Show – truly

of theme-parkery, so take plenty of water, walking

a memorable way to round off a visit to one of East

shoes and insect repellent.

Africa’s most multi-cultural cities.

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asante Feb – April 2013

| 17


Photos Š James Dorsey

Culture

A Vanishing Way of Life Traditional African dwellings should be praised for their practicality and use of locally available materials, says James Dorsey.

T

he Maasai people of East Africa and most of their cousins, such as the Samburu, are hereditary nomads and thus masters of comfortable temporary living.

Long ago they learned how to use their natural surroundings to create fast, sensible, housing that is both practical and utilitarian, not to mention fitting in perfectly with the surrounding environment. Where western homes tend to be garish in order to proclaim their individuality, African homes strive to become invisible, a practical solution in ancient days when intertribal warfare raged in the land, not to mention living in the midst of large carnivores. In western cities where skyscrapers rise like transformers out of the flat plains, African communities blend in to the point of being indistinguishable from the surrounding lands.

Karamoja of Uganda manyatta.

18 | asante Feb – April 2013


When it comes to using natural resources to improve one’s standard of living, Africa stands alone. The sheer style, diversity and practicality of habitat puts the African continent in a class by itself.

Maasai manyatta hut made of cow dung.

It was this image of village life, of people in mud huts with thatched roofs that first drew me to Africa; an image perpetuated by western television that fascinated me by the various innovative ways other people chose to live their lives. It is difficult to speak in generalities, but when it comes to using natural resources to improve one’s standard of living, Africa stands alone. The sheer style, diversity, and practicality of habitat puts the African continent in a class by itself, and this is only speaking about housing constructed from natural materials.

Woven thatch home.

To address the issue of generality, of course, many

in turn has given the entire world a model to copy

Africans live in large modern homes with all the

when it comes to both architectural style and utility,

technical conveniences this entails, but overall the

not to mention having a minimum impact on the

majority of people live quite comfortably in homes

environment.

made from organic materials; some out of economic necessity, and others by personal preference. Either

This type of housing of course, was the only alternative

way this mode of life needs to be not just considered,

to early man who chose to cease living in caves, but

but also studied and appreciated.

over the millennia, while societies across the planet progressed, and technical advances changed the

The only other major land mass about which such

building materials and advanced the possibilities of

a statement could be made would possibly be the

housing comforts, it was the people of Africa more

Arctic where the Inuit and Inupiaq people of the far

than any other place that chose to live the old way.

north who used to make homes of snow and ice, now mostly live in prefabricated housing provided by their

While much of this topic was simply a matter of

governments, only using snow caves and igloos when

economics in which the people just could not afford

they go out to hunt for prolonged periods.

more advanced housing, for many people it was an adherence to tradition, and respect for the ways of their

The people of Africa have made a high art form of

ancestors, where in Africa respect for ancient cultures

living in harmony with their surroundings, and this

is still paramount. This involves ritual, dance, oral

asante Feb – April 2013

| 19


This is the image the world has of Africa. It is the face of its heritage that visitors wish to see before the advance of modern society replaces it.

Mud mosque in, Djenne, Mali.

history, costume, and religious belief, but architecture

where erecting a structure not only takes weeks or months but is also an

as well.

invasion of the natural surroundings whatever they may be, not to mention an entire infrastructure needed to support the construction project.

The indigenous architecture I am referring to usually involves an interior support system of wood, primarily

In West Africa I have stayed at a village that was one complete structure

tree branches that form the basic shape of the structure

of more than 100 rooms, all made from sun dried clay, complete with

over which as a general rule a mixture that can include

the floors, remarkably similar to that of the Anasazi of the American

local clay, mud, animal dung, and dry grass is spread,

southwest. In the great cities of Timbuktu and Djenne in Mali, not only

and dries in a matter of hours. Thatch, which is simply

are the giant mosques and universities made of mud, but so are the entire

plants or dry stalks, are usually woven together to make

cities. I have visited villages whose homes were made entirely from tree

a weather tight roof. This is often quite a piece of art

branches and others that were made from palm fronds, and found that

as master weavers have integrated designs into their

most of these could be lifted intact and relocated to another area with

work. This is also the type of housing created by the

no damage to the structure, and leaving no trace that they ever existed

Maasai.

on their original spot.

The average African living on the savannah can look around and find materials to construct a comfortable dwelling in hours, and complete it in a couple of days. In the so called ‘modern’ world, this is an impossible feat

Shelter made out of dried grass.

20 | asante Feb – April 2013


Clay city of Tagasango, Burkina Faso.

I have stayed among nomads who made shelters out of nothing

and would not trade their traditional homes for a ‘modern’ one

more than dried grass that were quite usable for weeks at a time,

for any price. This westerner who was born into a world of

and been in remote deserts where tents were sewn together using

mortgages, insurance, security systems, utility bills, support teams

camel hides stretched over a wooden frame. I have spent nights

of gardeners, housekeepers and maintenance workers, often turn

in huts made entirely from strips of bark peeled from trees and

my thoughts towards Africa and think, “What if?”

even stayed at the base of a volcano where the houses were made from petrified magma with grass roofs.

Africa has always remained true to its origins and traditions and more than anywhere else, this has been manifested in the homes

This combination of organic materials has proven over the centuries

of its people. This is the image the world has of Africa. It is the

to be more than just practical, but a necessity to shelter families in

face of its heritage that visitors wish to see before the advance

areas where, due to lack of infrastructure, they would otherwise

of modern society replaces it forever. •

be at the mercy of the elements. These homes are warm in the winter; cool in the summer, easily and quickly constructed, and for nomadic cultures, when the time comes to move on, they are simply abandoned, to return to the earth that provided them, eventually leaving no footprint on the earth. This cannot be said of modern high rises or the modernistic architecture of the western world. To those travellers who look at a family living in a mud hut and think them poor, I say you do not understand. These people are true environmentalists who exist in harmony with their surroundings

asante Feb – April 2013

| 21


sports

East African Making Making its its Mark Mark in in Europe Europe

Photos Š Getty Sports Images

by Joseph Kabuleta.


W

hat could have been a truly grim year for Ugandan football fans ended on a bit of a high with the national team winning the CECAFA Challenge Cup at home in December 2012. So great has been Cranes dominance in the regional tournament that it only

seems to make news when Uganda doesn’t win. The continued regional success, however, has been accepted by football fans as something of a palliative that eases the biennial pain of Cranes continued failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. And yet, as the recent CECAFA victory suggested, regional triumphs have lost their appeal, even as painkillers, and might even have something of a reverse effect. Uganda opened the tournament with a routine victory over Kenya; routine both in its predictability and in its execution. The two nations met again in the final and, in spite of the added drama and tension, the outcome was the same. Uganda has won the tournament a record 13 times; Kenya being their nearest challengers (if you could call them that) with five trophies. And even if victory over its neighbours is something of an annual standing order for Uganda, the one time it really mattered, in September of 2011, the Cranes botched Photos © Joseph Kabuleta

it and failed yet again to qualify for the big stage that is the Africa Cup of Nations. Needing a simple victory over Kenya to top their group and book a ticket to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea 2012, Uganda could only play out a heart-rending goalless draw. In the run-up to that game, Cranes had registered five straight victories over Kenya at different levels and since that game, Uganda has now recorded three straight wins over the Harambee Stars. Cranes’ continued victories over regional rivals in the CECAFA tournament and failure to beat the same opponents when the stakes are higher has left football fans in a spin. And while Uganda continues to rake up impressive stats in the relative oblivion that is CECAFA, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia, have all had the distinction of having represented the region at the Nations Cup in the past 12 years. Indeed Ethiopia --- beaten twice by Cranes at the recent CECAFA tournament ---was the only nation from this region that qualified for South Africa 2013, while Uganda hasn’t graced the tournament since 1978. When he visited Uganda in 2004, Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou was tasked to explain the continued dominance of West and North African nations at the expense of their CECAFA counterparts, who are often excluded altogether. But the Cameroonian had little sympathy for the East and Central region. “Football is not politics,” he said curtly, “and the Africa Cup of Nations is not a parliament in which every region has to be equally represented.”

Uganda versus Ethiopia during CECAFA Tournament in Uganda, November 2012.

asante Feb – April 2013

| 23


And so French clubs descended on the continent to look for the next Keita, and a romance was born between Europe and West Africa, one that has budded through the years. It has taken all of 40 years for East Africa to catch on to the Photo © Wikimedia

talent-exporting trend but finally the region, particularly Kenya, is registering steady progress in that regard.

Uganda’s First Burly Uganda striker Majid Musisi became the first East African to play in a top European league when he signed for Stade Rennes in 1992. At the time he joined them, Rennes were in the French second division but Musisi’s 13 goals helped them to promotion.

Salif Keita, Mali, St. Etieme 1968.

It has taken all of 40 years for East Africa to catch on to the talent-exporting trend.

The legendary SC Villa forward carried on playing for the promoted Rennes for just one season before he was sold to Bursaspor in the Turkish top-flight in 1994. It was in Turkey that the Ugandan played his best football, once being voted Foreign Player of The Year. In 1998, Musisi was sold to

Europe-based Stars

Dardanelspor, still in the Turkish top division, where he played

Hayatou also noted that the East African region similarly lags

for two years.

behind in exporting talent to the big European leagues; that being something of an understatement. The conveyer belt that

His relative success in Europe did not result in a stream of

transports football talent from West Africa to Europe was built

Ugandans heading in that direction. In fact, the country has

as early as 1967. That was when a French diplomat spotted a teenage forward called Salif Keita scoring for fun on the dusty pitches of Bamako. Without much thought the Frenchman recommended him to St Etienne, arguably the biggest club in France at the time. Keita landed in Paris unescorted, jumped into a cab and told the driver that he was going to St Etienne. “But that is 500 “That’s fine,”

Keita naively replied. “The club will pay.” They did, and the striker rewarded their faith with 135 goals in 167 matches, helping Les Verts to three league titles and two French Cups. Legendary St Etienne manager

Photo © Wikimedia

kilometres from here,” the driver protested.

Albert Batteux said that he could “do absolutely anything, just like the top Brazilian players can. I’ve seen him try things that were ‘supernatural.’ The love affair between Keita and St Etienne was such that in 1968, the club adopted a black panther as their emblem to honour their star striker, a figure which has been kept on their badge to this day.

24 | asante Feb – April 2013

Ugandan Majid Musisi in Stade Rennais, France in 1992.


It’s difficult to say with any degree of certainty what trajectory the fledgling career of Macdonald Mariga could have taken if he had joined Manchester City from Parma in 2010, as indeed he should have but for work permit issues. The then 22 year-old did eventually get the permit but the transfer window had closed and when it reopened, City had predictably moved on. The failure of that move saw him return to Inter Milan, then to Real Sociedad in Spain, and back to Italy with Parma. Still the gangly midfielder stands out for being part of the Inter Milan team that won a treble of trophies including the European Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010. And while Mariga’s younger brother Victor Wanyama might not have a Champions League medal around his neck any time soon, the 21 year-old Celtic midfielder was the main cog in a resilient Celtic team that conquered threetime European Champions Barcelona at Parkhead on November 7th. The Kenyan capped his stellar performance with a headed goal that put

Dennis Oliech, Auxerre FC, France.

world football’s most glamorous team on the back foot. That performance introduced Wanyama to the wider

never had any other footballer play in the famous top five leagues in Europe. Midfielder David Obua managed three seasons at Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Premier league but his contract was not renewed after it expired in July 2012. Defender Ibrahim Sekagya is also in the evening of his career but is still highly valued at Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian league. There have been a host of other Ugandan professionals in the past five years littered across the smaller European leagues from Sweden to Serbia and as far out as Iceland. But almost all of them are either on their last legs or have retired. At a time when Ugandans are fading into the mist in their European careers, Kenyans have stepped up to the plate.

Oliech Opens the Way In 2005, 20 year-old Kenyan Dennis Oliech signed a four-year contract with French club Nantes. Even though his progress in the French Ligue 1 was far from spectacular, Oliech kicked up a trend that has seen Kenyan footballers make their mark in Europe.

Macdonald Mariga of Kenya, plays for Inter Milan, Italy.


pitches in the outskirts of Kampala. But in 2004, he moved with the rest of his family to England. On his way to the supermarket the teenager spotted Coventry City’s training ground and the next day asked for a trial. “They asked if I had all the equipment, boots, shin pads and stuff like that,” Bigirimana told BBC Sport. “I said ‘yes’ but I did not. The next day they gave me a trial. It was near the end of the season but they took me on for the following campaign. It must have been a miracle.” In the summer of 2011 he signed his first professional deal with Coventry and made his debut in August 2011, against Leicester City. He was named the npower Championship’s Apprentice of the Year. In August 2012 he signed for Newcastle for a fee that wasn’t officially disclosed but was believed to be around £1million.

Victor Mugabe Wanyama playing for Celtic F.C, Scottish League.

Bigirimana’s story is inspiring in the way talent and

world and he has since been linked to another

fate combined to propel him to such heights, but it also tells a

three-time European champion in Manchester

more sobering tale. It demonstrates how the East African region

United. Overall, Wanyama, who was signed for

is yet to develop a clear scouting network to tap talents like his.

£900,000 in July 2011, has scored 11 goals in

If his family hadn’t moved to England, the gifted

73 appearances for Celtic, a decent tally for the

midfielder would probably be plying his trade in

combative midfielder that he is. Celtic manager

the Ugandan league, at best.

Neil Lennon told The Guardian newspaper that the gangly Kenyan, who played his youth football in Sweden, is now valued at £25m. Lennon has already described Wanyama as ‘world class’, the Celtic manager adding: “He’s a player who has progressed in physical presence and his technical ability on the ball is excellent. I think he is a wonderful talent and he can only get better.”

Bigirimana Miracle The Ugandan football public is laying an emotional claim on Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigirimana. The 19 year-old was born in Burundi in 1993 but says he played his first competitive football in Uganda where his family had moved. The Ugandan public remembers him as the buoyant kid who played with children five years older than himself on the dusty

26 | asante Feb – April 2013

Right: Bigirimana from Burundi plays for Newcastle United, United Kingdom, English Premier League.


Photos courtesy of Patricia Scott

cycling


A Cycling Success Story in Kenya African competitors have been a rarity in the top levels of cycle racing, but that is changing and Kenyan riders are leading the way, says Patricia Scott. ohn Njoroge was born in 1984 in a village 50 kms (kilometres) from Nyahururu. It was a nondescript African hamlet, seemingly isolated from both hope and calamity. He left school when he was still a child, vaguely aware that it had a connection to his family’s poverty and some long forgotten tribal clashes that left schools in the area vacant. At some point in his young life, he was no longer a child and there was a need to work. He would wake up at 5 in the morning and cycle to the neighbouring farms, filling a milk container till it reached its 50-litre capacity, before heading off to the market. In his village, Njoroge became somewhat of an oddity, because unlike almost everyone who owned a bicycle, he pedalled not only out of necessity, but for pleasure. After the market run, and unencumbered by the weight of the swishing liquid, he would take the longer and hillier road home, always trying to go faster than he did the previous week. People ridiculed him. “What sense does it make for a man to ride in one direction, only to come back, with nothing, and for nothing?” At night, he would let those distractions drift away, to be replaced by images, romantic images, of a world of bicycle races and crowds, of hard men and the fierce European sun in summer. And always, he would be there,

When i was younger, it was my livelihood, then my freedom and pleasure. Now it is my future.

straining against his own weight up a mountain, climbing away from the peloton. As you might expect of a man who left school early, John Njoroge speaks English haltingly. ‘Always, in my mind is the bicycle. When I was younger, it was my livelihood, then my freedom and pleasure. Now it is my future.’ Looking at him now, with his short and powerful physique, one can see the feral boy who had to hold his own among men. Where he comes from, it seems that anyone who looks like him can almost be counted on to be a world-class runner; the rural areas surrounding Nyahururu, a town situated 2,200 metres above sea level, supply, together with Eldoret, more than half the marathon winners in the world. Half a world away in Singapore, Nicholas Leong, a commercial photographer and a cycling enthusiast, wondered if all that endurance talent in those isolated spots could be turned to cycling. He had watched the Tour de France since childhood, and had seen black players becoming ever more common at the highest levels in other sports. ‘ I just expected it would

Opposite: Motorpacing in France. John Njoroge is centre, in yellow.

happen in cycling, and soon, I was in my late 30s, and it still hadn’t happened.’ So he wrote to a dozen teams, telling them to go there to seek out talent. One replied, and it was a ‘sympathetic no’. So Leong decided to test his hunch out for himself.

asante Feb – April 2013

| 29


He waited for the Singapore Marathon, and bought a

would equip the best cyclists with good race bikes

flight to Nairobi on the night after the run, gambling

and send them abroad for competitions.

rightly that all the Kenyan athletes would be on it. He

Leong’s recruitment process included the obligatory

approached them at the airport and said, “Wherever

bicycle races, but also adventures into unlikely areas

you’re going, I’m going with you.”

like Turkana-land and treks into forests to look for illegal woodcutters who would ferry their contraband

Leong went with a plan. Without any evidence, he

on bicycles along under-used pathways. And on these

just knew that an excellent climbing specialist lived

journeys, Leong would hear of the mad milkman who

among the marathoners, he was sure he would find

rode more than he needed to.

him. Then he would give him a bike and take him to

Below: A rare sight in Europe. African cyclists at the foot of the Pyrenees.

the most famous climb in the Tour de France, Alpe

The other men he found were just as hard. Until 70

d’Huez. A few years earlier, Lance Armstrong had

years ago - the span of an old man’s life - the pastoral

ridden up the mountain in 37 minutes 36 seconds.

tribes in the area lived in forests, hunting game and

That simple plan took two years. In August 2008, his first sponsored rider rode up Alpe d’Huez in 42

minutes 10 seconds. Publicity about the feat helped

herding cattle. They feuded with the Maasai, running

to secure investment from a French hedge fund

hundreds of kilometres to the Maasai Mara and

manager, enabling Leong to set up the Kenyan Riders

further afield, on cattle raids. With modernisation

project and open a full-time training camp in Iten,

and a seven-fold increase in population, those tribes

modelled along the lines of numerous high-altitude

turned to farming, but what remained was the

running camps in the area.

magnificent physiology that generations of cattle raids had produced.

Everything since has taken longer than anyone initially expected. Until Kenyan Riders was established,

It seemed to Leong that the way to approach the cycling

cycling in Kenya clustered around the Nairobi area,

project was to build on what he found, and not impose

where mzungus would ride fancy bikes and perhaps

European training methods on them. ‘All around me are

sponsor the odd African, and the national federation

the finest endurance specimens on earth. They have

30 | asante Feb – April 2013


been hardened by the cattle raids and the African sun, and they got here without me. It seems to me that our job is to apprehend the rhythms of African life - the languorous lulls when the sun is hottest, the intense labour-and identify and enhance the most important

And Kenyan riders finished second out of more than 70 teams. If not an outright victory, it showcased their potential to the world.

elements of this life. The evolutionary model that has

The race started with two massive climbs, and the

got them here is indifferent and unfailing, and we ignore

Kenyans immediately took the lead. Up the second

it to our detriment.’

climb, the Kenyan cyclists rode with such relentless force and determination, the group of the first

That would prove tricky. The bicycle is an invention of

thousand riders had whittled to about 30. Ultimately,

the industrial revolution. A person plants himself on a

their inexperience showed. They had not paced

seat, leans forward and turns his legs in circles, a motion

themselves with sufficient precision, and Njoroge

that has no practical application in nature. ‘It’s almost

finished first among the Kenyans, in 13th place.

mythical. Off the shamba, we get guys who can climb mountains very quickly. But they need to harmonise

In 2012, they returned to Europe. This time for

with this piece of technology, and innovative methods -

redemption - and Haute Route, which bills itself as

African methods - need to be developed here.’ The staff

‘the toughest and highest’ amateur race in the world.

on board is eclectic. ‘Our two coaches on the ground

In seven days of racing, cyclists would climb the

are Australians who come from a running and outdoor

equivalent of Mt. Everest 2 ½ times. There would be

adventure background. We have an Irish exercise coach

no mistakes. John Njoroge, the feral little milkman,

as well. It’s a good mix, and we’re making progress.’

was in the mix from the start, finishing on the podium on every stage. And Kenyan Riders finished 2nd out

The first major test for the team took place in July of

of more than 70 teams. If not an outright victory, it

2011. Kenyan Riders went to France for the Etape du

showcased their potential to the world.

Tour. It was an amateur race that replicated the most iconic climbing stage of that year’s Tour de France.

That potential is rooted in the cyclists themselves.

There were 10,000 participants, and one-tenth of

Every one of them has a story to tell, of herding

them were credible amateurs who took the race very

cows for $12 a month or hauling 95-kilogramme

seriously.

bags of maize up hills. It is a life of depredation, but

asante Feb – April 2013

| 31


cycling Since its inception, cycling and doping have been joined at the hip by the almost impossible feats that hard men were expected to endure on the bicycle and the desperate need of ordinary men to believe in that impossibility. And so, over the decades, the dance of deception has evolved. On the one side, the fans, lavish with their adoration, laying flowers along the roads where their heroes rode, but also with the potential for unblinking venom at the first hint of betrayal. Above: Kenyan Riders at the summit of Col d’Aspin.

with it comes a fearlessness, because whatever

life

brings

must

simply

be borne, and in this perverse way, the suffering on a bicycle is almost a relief. For John Njoroge, a deeply religious man, all things are God’s will. Fatalism in Africa is an indispensable quality for enduring hardship. He has assimilated a simple personal truth: that in life is a discernible order, a temporal and divine one, an unspoken but wellunderstood system of fate, suffering, sacrifice, victory and disappointment. As a young man, he ventured into the world believing that things are as they seem; that a man’s story begins when he is born and his relations with others begin when he meets them. And in that simplicity, one sees life in the round. ‘There’s no reason to do this other than to race professionally at the highest levels one day. Kenyans know how to win, and they know how to suffer. I have complete faith in the project and everyone in it, from the cyclists to the staff to the investor. And in myself. It really is a matter of time.’

32 | asante Feb – April 2013

Then too the strange sub-culture of the cyclists, with their mild disdain for the fans, their fierce and unstinting loyalty to each other, their own particular argot: a sub-culture that policed itself with its own code of honour, its omerta – the Mafia code of silence – and brooked no dissent. The suffering on a bicycle is made to seem romantic when spun through the loom of a starry-eyed fan. And hardship, that great leveller, was the glue that brought fan and cyclists together. In recent years, the façade has been crumbling. After many false starts, cycling might actually be cleaning itself up. In all of this is a golden opportunity for African cyclists. There are almost no doping scandals attached to African distance running. Cyclists come into the sport as outsiders to that strange cycling subculture. And at least in Kenya, as insiders of another culture, a winning culture of their distance running contemporaries, one that places at its bedrock honesty, hard work, fair play, self-belief…. values that seem to belong to another almost more innocent time. The men in Africa on bicycles are pioneers on a great sporting and human adventure.


interview

Elizabeth Ntege is Director - Outsourcing of NFT Consult Ltd, Uganda and a frequent flyer on Air Uganda. Asante asked her about her lifestyle and why she flies on Air Uganda. There is a direct flight from Entebbe to Mombasa on Air Uganda which makes travelling there hassle free. The weather is great so if you are into water sports this is a great destination, and the variety of food and entertainment is first class.

Elizabeth Ntege Which is your favourite destination in East Africa? I do love visiting the East African coast especially Mombasa. Do you travel regularly to this destination? Yes I do, an average of six times a year. What are the main reasons for your visit - tourism or business? Although I am exploring the option of doing business in Mombasa, my main reason for visiting is family and friends. Does this destination fulfill your business/leisure needs? It definitely addresses my leisure needs. I see and enjoy something new at every visit. What are the main attractions of this destination?

34 | asante Feb – April 2013

Mombasa has a mature tourism industry so you don’t even have to leave your hotel as the variety of entertainment at most hotels by the beach will fill your day, but I would encourage anyone visiting to explore the variety they have to offer outside your hotel for experiences like shopping and eating down town (very cost effective), dinner and entertainment on a dhow and the variety of experiences on both the North and South Coast. How do you rate Air Uganda’s service to this destination? Goo d, but there is room for improvement. A r e A i r U ga n d a ’s s c h e d u l e s convenient? Generally the schedule is convenient but unfortunately at present they don’t fly to Mombasa on Mondays which, for someone looking for a short break over the weekend or wishing to travel for business at the beginning of the week, is a bit inconvenient. I hope the airline will be able to address this in the future when they have the facilities to do so.

bookshelf Facts, Fictions and African Creative Imaginations by Falola, Toyin & Ngom, Fallou

348pp, Paperback GBP26.00 ISBN: 978-0-415-64773-1 New in paperback. The fictionalisation of Africa and African issues in the media and the popular literature that blends facts and fiction has rendered perceptions of Africa, its cultures, societies, customs, and conflicts often superficial and deficient in the popular Western consciousness. This collection brings eminent scholars from a variety of disciplines to sift through the persistent fictionalisation of Africa, from facts pertaining to the genesis of powerful cultural, political or religious icons, the historical and cultural significance of intriguing customs (such as tribal marks), gender relations, causes of conflicts and African responses, and creative imaginations in contemporary African films, fiction and literature, among others.


inspiration

International

Women’s Day

Furthering Women’s Rights by Asante

E

very year on 8th March International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated worldwide. Thousands of events occur on this day, and in some cases throughout March, to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. For 2013 the chosen international theme is

is needed to maintain global momentum for

‘The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.’

women’s equality.

This recognises that over the years, across

In 2012, International Women’s Day was

different regions, real progress has been

celebrated in Kampala under the theme:

achieved in women’s rights. The event

‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures’ at the

celebrates the achievements of women while

Sheraton Garden and Lions Bar in partnership

recognising that further sustainable change

with the Alliance Française Kampala.


In Africa the role and status of women in society has grown considerably over the years. Women hold important roles in parliament, the legal system and other positions of authority. Asante highlights just a few examples here:

Be tenacious: You need not be an intellectual genius to succeed in this life. You simply need to work hard and to diligently pursue your dream with unwavering courage, fortitude, steadfastness and tenacity. Be ambitious: In everything you do strive for excellence. Be discerning: It is important in life to focus on those things that matter most.

Julia Sebutinde

For example, in a job, money is not everything. There are other considerations such as job-satisfaction, opportunities for

Julia Sebutinde is a Ugandan currently

scholarships, exposure and experience.

serving as a judge on the International

Be resilient: In life, you may meet

Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands

situations where you suffer racial,

- the first African woman to sit on the

gender, tribal, religious or other kinds

World Court. Prior to being elected to the

of prejudices. Through sheer resilience,

ICJ, Sebutinde was a judge of the Special

you can face up to such challenges and

Court for Sierra Leone.

instead of wallowing in self pity turn

During the Female Lawyers’ Dinner in October 2012, Justice Sebutinde shared some of the lessons that she had learnt on her life’s journey. These were: Be visionary: Have a clear vision of what you want to do with your life.

those mill-stones into stepping stones to success. Be humble: Humility means learning to keep your success in perspective. Self-critique: For one to grow in one’s career, you must periodically take stock

Be resourceful: Make the most of the

of your achievements, failures, short-

opportunities and resources that life has

comings etc. with a view to identifying

given you.

those areas that need improvement.

Be daring: Life is about taking risks,

Worship: Honour God and honour your

and having the faith and courage to follow

profession by serving your fellow man

your dreams through. Don’t be afraid to

faithfully.

take risks.

(source: www.ug.nationmedia.com)

For one to grow in one’s career, you must periodically take stock of your achievements, failures, short-comings etc with a view to identifying those areas that need improvement.

Carole Wainaina Carole Wainaina hails from th e Nairobi an d is Executive Vice President for the Dutch company, Royal Philips Electronics. She is currently based in London and is responsible for Human Resources in Europe. Having started her career at Price Waterhouse in Kenya in 1989 as a consultant, Carole joined the Coca-Cola Company in 1998 and worked for that company in Africa, Eurasia, Europe and the United States. She was Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to Coca-Cola’s former Chairman and CEO in Atlanta between June 2007 and December 2008 before joining Philips. Chief Executive Officer, Frans van Houten, said. “Carole brought the experience of a long career in different continents and strong qualities in change management and leadership development to Philips.”

asante Feb – April 2013

| 37


Today, as Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Development Board the first thing she does is check news online with a quick catch-up from Twitter alerts. Then she checks what lies ahead, and catches up with the team. Half her day is spent in meetings with investors and team members. She then attends to her paper work that needs analytical time. Before she leaves office she writes out a ‘to-do’ list for the next day and before bed she checks the news again. Clare is proud to be a member of the team that has worked on improving Rwanda’s investment climate and investment values. She looks forward to seeing RDB continue to grow and become a big catalyst for rapid economic growth for the country. “It gives us all national pride,” she says. “I want to be remembered as somebody who has contributed to Rwanda’s vision and gave it my 100

Clare Akamanzi

percent, and who has also groomed other Rwandans, especially younger ones, to be part of the journey.”

Clare Akamanzi is the Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Development Board. She was born into a family of six, the fourth child but the first girl. In primary school she did well in all the subjects and was the best in her class. In secondary she liked English and maths, did well in chemistry. She also loved literature, economics and commerce. “As a teenager you worry about short-term, small things like ‘what are they going to think about me?’” she says. “When you grow older you realise there are bigger things like developing a character, building relationships with other people, discipline, good health and investing the best you can of yourself in what you decide to do.” She says she always wanted to be a leader in society, working for people, and was a prefect in every school she attended. She went on to study law. In Makerere University she was the speaker of Mary Stuart Hall and the Guild Minister of Academic Affairs in 2002. Her first degree was in law but she followed this with a Master’s in Trade and Investment Policy and her passion since then has been business promotion. “I enjoy the dynamics of how investment transforms the nation but the law I studied also applies to almost everything I do in life and how I deal with it,” she says.

38 | asante Feb – April 2013

Tanzania Women’s Bank Ltd In 1999, a group of women entrepreneurs from all across Tanzania voiced their idea of having a ‘Women’s Bank’ to the then President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Benjamin William Mkapa. These wishes were granted by the government, who partnered with the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children (MCDGC), the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) to facilitate the establishment of the ‘Women’s Bank’. After eight years, in 2007, the Tanzania Women’s Bank (TWB) was at last created, incorporated and registered as a limited liability company with a shareholding structure comprising of 97 percent Government and 3 percent private individuals and entities. TWB officially opened its doors to the public on the 28th July 2009. The Bank’s aim is to empower women economically and socially. TWB strives to provide high quality services all across the board; thus the Bank’s recognises and appreciates the presence of low income earners, small businesses, the corporate clientele base, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).


Burundi Women Preparing for Village Councils

Margaret Chacha Margaret Chacha, is currently TWB’s Managing Director. She has a wealth of experience in the financial sector

After many years of problems, Burundi is on the road to peace. In the last elections in 2010, more women were elected to government and parliament than ever before. Now, 34 of the 106 members of parliament are women. But in the hills, at the lowest administrative level, membership of women in village councils lags behind, at just under 16 percent. This is why Cordaid and its partner BLTP have launched a project to train 644 women from 23 villages in the provinces of Ruyigi, Muramvya and Gitega in leadership skills, human rights, local legislation and the importance of sound administration. The goal is to get more women taking a part in local administration and enforcing the peace accords at the local level. The project focuses not only on women, but also on village leaders who are nearly always men. More authority for women demands a cultural shift in traditional village societies, and this is a matter for both men and women. The communication techniques and conflict resolution and negotiating skills the training imparts will be an important part of making this happen.

spanning over 27 years in senior leadership positions in various local and international organisations. Prior to her appointment, she was Operations Manager for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. She has also held other positions in the United Nations Mission, CRDB Bank, and NPF (NSSF). Margaret graduated from The Queen’s University of Belfast and holds a Masters in Science specialising in Business Information Management and Technology, as well as a Degree in Sociology specialising in Industrial Relations from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Margaret also attended bank management course and various other finance courses at Nsekela College in Iringa and the Philippines respectively.

Nyandeng Malek Delic

Nyandeng Malek Delic, is the Governor of Warrap state and the only female Governor of South Sudan. She thinks more women will have positions of power in South Sudan in the near future. She says she was prepared for the task but was also given the opportunity. She was helped by the Government’s rule to employ 25 percent women in senior positions. She had held many positions in the state and the time was right, so it was a combination of being ready for the challenge and having the chance. Nyandeng says that when she went to campaign in the villages, people were really happy to have a change and a woman in leadership, and so far they are happy. Most of her colleagues were previously generals. Sometimes she feel out of place when they talk about the battles they have fought, but she thinks it depends how she presents herself. If people see her as fully confident, they will not have a problem with her being a woman. Her style of leadership is participatory. She likes to consult and hear from her cabinet before taking major decisions. That is how she approaches challenges. “Women should not feel excluded from these positions, she says. “I, as well as Nunu Kumba (Minister for Housing and Planning), have been nominated. In my case, I was the most highly voted governor after the president, with more than half a million votes. That should put an end to the idea that women are not suited to power.” Most men have no problem with female leadership, Nandeng says. In fact they see it as a good alternative for male leadership. (source: www.theniles.org)


technology

k l a T h c e T

by Asante

Ultra High Definition TV

T

he 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Floor , held in Las Vegas, United States of America, in January, was eagerly awaited by technology geeks and the electronics trade since it gave a good indication of what ‘must have’

“We’re seeing not only the broad adoption of technology, but also density is increasing.”

gadgets would be hitting the market this year.

The huge show floor spanned the space of nearly 400 basketball courts and the organisers boasted that Michael Phelps would have to swim 483 laps to travel the 24 kilometres (15 miles) of the carpeted CES show floor! The Consumer Electronics Association said that 2012 industry revenues were up five per cent on the previous year, confirming that CE (Consumer Electronics) products play an increasingly indispensible role in consumers’ lives. Consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to expand briskly, as mobile connected devices take centre stage in today’s connected, digital lifestyle.


Remote Home heating control

Cameraequipped smart vacuum cleaners

Windows 8 Tablet The Windows 8 launch last October caused most PC makers to roll out the bulk of their Windows 8 products at CES. Windows 8 tablets, based on Intel’s latest Atom Z2760 processor, were increasingly on display in Las Vegas. Additional hybrid designs are on the way, too, as are more budget-friendly clamshell laptops, with and without touch interfaces. LG have a number of Windows 8 PCs planned for 2013, including its LG Tab-Book H160 hybrid notebook featuring Only time will tell which new products will be the big success stories in

an 11.6-inch display, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-

the coming months. However, Ultra High Definition TVs, Windows 8

Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI (High-Defination Multimedia

tablets, smart appliances, and smartphone apps (application) fought for

Interface), USB (Universal Serial Bus), and a MicroSD slot.

centre stage in the exhibition.

At CES, LG also displayed an Ultrabook version of the TabBook, another Ultrabook called the Z360, and a 23-inch

The march towards total connectivity continues, with camera-equipped

touchscreen all-in-one PC, the V325.

smart vacuum cleaners, Internet-connected TVs, mobile apps for controlling your home’s heat, and Wi-Fi cameras that can upload

Samsung showed off its ATIV S smartphone – the only

your photos to Facebook dotted the large landscape of the Las Vegas

Windows 8-powered handset to feature a metallic hairline

Convention Centre.

design, as opposed to the candy-coloured looks from HTC and Nokia. Bearing a strong resemblance to such Android

“We’re seeing not only the broad adoption of technology, but also density

handsets such as Samsung’s Galaxy S III, the ATIV S has

is increasing,” said Shawn Dubravac, research director for the Consumer

a slim design with curved edges. The ATIV S also has a

Electronics Association. Tablet ownership has increased from one in ten

4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, an 8-megapixel camera

households less than two years ago to one in three today.

with LED (Light Emitting Diode) flash, and near-field communication (NFC) sharing.

Apps influenced every aspect of the show. Apple, one of the major drivers behind the growth of smartphones and tablets in recent years, had no

Wireless connectivity technology is becoming an increasingly

official presence at CES but mobile apps and accessories designed for

common feature in smartphones as more consumers

iPhones, iPads, and Macs had a strong presence on the show floor.

embrace mobile payment apps on their handsets. Screen

Microsoft weren’t there either, but the company and its products cast

sizes continue to get bigger, blurring the line between large

along a shadow in hardware, accessories, and apps displayed in their

smartphone and small tablet. Huawei, promoted a super-

Windows 8 wares.

size 6.1-inch Ascend Mate ‘phablet’ at this year’s CES,


Smart fridge The Grand S, the world’s Thinnest 5-inch phone.

smart home that responds to the occupant’s every whim has long been the stuff of science fiction but the world’s largest consumer electronics manufacturers have demonstrated connected appliances that move us closer to that future. And now many of those appliances can be controlled with a swipe on your smartphone.

WeMo Baby, an audio baby monitor that uses a smartphone as a receiver.

From Bluetooth refrigerator magnets to smart stovetops, home technology is getting more sophisticated – and more affordable. Samsung and LG showcased

advanced

and

companies

other

appliances, displayed

smaller gadgets for the home. Belkin picked up a 2013 CES Innovations award for home appliances for its WeMo Baby, an audio baby monitor that uses a smartphone as a receiver. Most consumers still can’t afford smart refrigerators, but smaller home devices are now well within reach of many prospective buyers. Both LG and Samsung together with a Windows phone and several Androidbased handsets.

Car makers and accessory manufacturers are working on fully integrating

Another Chinese manufacturer, ZTE, introduced a new flagship Android phone, the Grand S, at CES. The electronics maker claims that the Grand S will be the world’s thinnest 5-inch phone. The ceramic smartphone will offer 1080p resolution.

the form of connected apps that enable iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches to control other devices remotely. One of the biggest categories for connected apps was mobile entertainment, especially ones that let you stream live TV straight to your iOS (iPhone operating system) device. manufacturers

technology into vehicles. The automotive portion of CES featured highresolution displays, touchscreens, voice activation and dictation, and Internet connectivity. Of course, processors are not just for PCs. Chips figure prominently in cars these days, and chip makers showcased electric vehicles that have

Apps were everywhere at CES this year, but especially in

Accessory

exhibited robotic vacuum cleaners.

have

been

particularly

enthusiastic about fitness technology. From digital pedometers and heart monitors to scales, apps, Web services, and sport watches, fitness technology was much in evidence at this year’s show. Of course, apps don’t simply monitor your health; they can also keep tabs on your home. The concept of a

processors powering their infotainment system, digital instrument clusters, rear-seat entertainment, and driver assistance technology. The focus is also on safety. From self-driving car technology to driver assistance tech – including ‘third eye’ cameras and a seat-back driver fatigue monitor – companies are making a serious effort to keep drivers safe (and awake) behind the wheel. Wi-Fi cameras will become the norm in 2013; in fact, we may see more connected cameras than non-Wi-Fi cameras in the next 12 months. Many more (if not most) Digital Single-lens reflex cameras, mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, and compact cameras will be able to upload photos and video to social media sites, offload images wirelessly to phones and tablets, and stream high-definition video as you record it. Whether you love or hate technology, you certainly cannot ignore it!


Asante News Leopard Beach Resort & Spa Opens New Villa Complex Voted ‘Kenya’s Leading Resort’ 2012 for the third year running at the prestigious World Travel Awards, Leopard Beach Resort & Spa has a well-earned reputation for excellence. As well as enjoying prime position on Diani Beach among tropical gardens overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort has extensively upgraded accommodation and facilities making it the preferred destination for holidaymakers and business travellers alike. Accommodation comprises standard and superior rooms as well as 20 suites, cottages and luxurious private villas. All rooms offer a full range of quality amenities including Wi-Fi connectivity and flat-screen TVs. In March 2013, the Resort is opening a new villa complex – The Residences. Comprising two- and three-bedroomed villas, each with a private pool, this modern development will also offer an Asian fusion fine-dining venue with adjoining bar and will no doubt set new benchmarks for Kenya’s coastal tourism. To stay ahead of the competition, Leopard Beach has recently embarked on a major renovation programme. The popular Horizon Restaurant and adjoining Kalani Coffee Lounge have being refurbished and extended and now boast large, sweeping terraces

offering panoramic ocean views. Even the award-winning Chui Grill has being improved: the popular Chaîne des Rôtisseurs restaurant has being extended to offer guests a cool, air-conditioned and smoke-free dining section. And there’s a new addition to the Chui family, Wines & Whiskers - a classical wine bar with an impressive stock of southern hemisphere wines. With five restaurants, stunning bars, a large free-form pool, the Uzuri Spa and a new villa complex, this is a truly magnificent and cosmopolitan resort. And the Chui Team – under the able guidance of the Coast’s most experienced hotelier, Chris Modigell – is looking forward to showing off its new spots!

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w w w. so lla t e k . c om


By Monique Kwachou

Where there are

No Shrinks …

fiction Great Read Short Story

M

y earliest memory is of me in my aunt’s embrace boarding a train (or was it a bus?) for Kumba. I was three years old (so I was told later) and my mother had just travelled for the greener grass of the United States of America. I was going to Kumba to live with extended relatives, who were to care for me for a

while. I put emphasis on were, because it never was. That was my first attempt at belonging. The family was made up of Pa and Mami Anyi, a retired civil servant turned full time evangelist and a primary school teacher respectively. I remember it was difficult fitting in, as it would be in years to come. There were six children in all ranging from four to sixteen years of age. I was the same age as the last child of the family, give or take a few months. Yet I felt older. Maybe this was because I slept on a dusty mattress on the floor while Cynthia, my age mate, slept in a crib. Or maybe it was because I could trek up to three trips to the well and fetch water where she would go just once for herself? Or maybe it was because I had already learned the cunning to steal sugar cubes from high up on the kitchen shelf in the mason jars without anyone hearing me. Those sugar cubes made me feel good. I could forget that Cynthia had a load of gifts on her birthday whereas on mine we just prayed and gave thanks before the occasional meal of jollof rice. I would suck on one cube at a time at night when everyone had gone to bed. Or sometimes during the day too, in the firewood kitchen where no one could see me, and I was alone with memories of what had been said or done. And with every cube I’d feel a high and smile just from the sweetness, completely forgetting whatever hurt. That was the beginning of something else, feeding my emotions as American doctors would later say. I remember few other things about living in Kumba, some pleasant, most not. Like fanning Mami Anyi with an old calendar while she sat back on the chair watching CRTV news. It was always boring and I sometimes fell asleep on my feet or got distracted by other children playing “O ye Mother” just outside the window, their hands and feet hitting the air in musical rhythm. And my own hands would jut forward out of my control and the calendar would slap Mami who would either slap me with surprising speed for pudgy fingers, or ask me to go pick a pin – index finger to the ground one foot high in the air. Or other memories like Fred the third child telling me the orange seeds I swallowed by mistake would grow out of my head and become an orange tree. I had wondered whether I would die first or whether the tree would grow with me alive and I would be a tree-woman. There were good memories, I’m sure there were: like dancing “Murder She Wrote” while walking back from school in the afternoons, or like friends who snuck palm-nuts into class and shared. We chewed while the teacher wrote on the blackboard.

44 | asante Feb – April 20 13


***

M

y

and the others before unleashing the next

vivid

memory

***

M

is

tears that sprang out of fear that Awa

y

mother

didn’t

look

as

of another journey. I was

was right and whites were racists, as

boarding a plane bound for

much as from hope that he was wrong

the United States this time. It was 1995

and that they would not throw me off the

and I was six years old, and all I knew

plane, so I could finally meet my mother.

looked nothing like ‘America - the Great!’

was that I was leaving Cameroon to go

She looked beautiful, like a queen in the

The only way I knew she was my mother

and be with my mother.

little photo I had of her. I had stolen

was by the signboard she held with my

queenly as she had in the photo: her hair wasn’t done.

She wore a large CPDM Kaba’a and, well,

Mami Anyi was seeing me off at the

it from the album in the parlour when

name printed on it ‘Elizabeth” and then

airport with some of the children. They

Mami was not at home and looked at

who else would be wearing a Kaba’a with

all looked at me with a bit of amazement

it every night before I slept. And there

the Cameroonian president’s face on it?

and envy. And for once I did not pity

was hope: the fish in Jonah’s tale didn’t

I was still scared all the way to my new

myself, despite the ringworm on my

eat him up. It took him to somewhere

home.

shaved head and the fact that Cynthia

and spat him out there. Maybe ‘My

I remember more from this time – this

still looked prettier than me.

fish’ could take me to my mother too!

next season of belonging. I called my

I was scared though. The airport

I swore not to eat fish ever again. Then

mother ‘Aunty’ for six months because I

was so big, and everyone looked so

remembered Pa saying, swearing was a

was already used to calling Mami Anyi

important, official in my little eyes.

sin, I just promised instead.

Ma. In retrospect, I can only imagine how

Two nights before as we journeyed

I needn’t have worried though, at least

from Kumba to Yaounde, Awa - the

she felt.

not about what Awa told me. The plane

I remember going by the school bus

second child, had told me whites were

trip had its own problems. Everyone

to Greendale Elementary School and all

racists. I didn’t know what that was but

spoke funny, and I couldn’t understand

the children looking at me, mouths agape

I knew it was bad. He also told me my

what they said. So when I asked for

because of my shaved head, not to talk

documents were fake, so I would be

the toilet and got a speedy response

of the pink medicine mom had rubbed on

caught while on the plane and thrown

with a hand pointing at a door I found

the ringworms. I remember the name-

off into the ocean, and then a big fish

locked, I didn’t ask again. I just returned

calling, and the fact that I couldn’t even

would come swallow me like it did to

to my seat, folded the blanket earlier

know what I was being called because the

Jonah in the Bible. He even showed me

distributed, peed right on it and folded it

kids spoke too fast. The only way I knew

the picture of the huge fish of that story

and kept it under the seat. I don’t think

I was being insulted was by the looks

in Cynthia’s Children’s Illustrated Bible -

the Albino sitting in the window seat

on their little faces. I gazed with envy at

her birthday gift from her Godparents.

next to me noticed, though his nose was

glossy long hair of the white girls and the

So I was scared even as they envied

so big I’m sure he should have smelled

pretty ponytails of the lacks. I remember

me, because I was going to America

it. Or smelled something; there was also

insulting them in my own way:” Ya

- the Great! It seemed that’s where

dried fish in my little bag that my mother

mamiya!” “Ya big head like bucket!” “You

everyone wanted to go to, judging from

had presumably asked to be sent to her.

wowo!”

the lines at Kumba town junction as

The scents of either or both could have

I recall being put in ESOL (Educational

people trekked to play the DV Lottery

affected the air conditioning. The food

Services Overseas Limited) to learn to

with their reverently saved 1000frs.

we were given was another problem,

speak like the rest. And recall that as

I remember crying as I boarded the

some strange things called ‘escargots”.

the years passed I, too, acquired that

plane in the care of a hostess, not

But I found the sugar – it was not in cubes

American slang and rhythm of speech,

because I would miss anyone. I made

this time but in small paper sachets, yet

not

the sweetness still gave me that high.

completely; you kno’ what I mean? Even

sure I was out of sight from Ma Anyi

bothering

to

pronounce

asante Feb – April 2013

words

| 45


then it still wasn’t enough. I was still the chubby African kid, African because no one knows where Cameroon is. I pretended I didn’t know what Cameroon was either, not to talk of where. I was African, hoping to belong in the category African-American someday. And still I remember my mother handing me a bamboo broom to sweep the living room, saying the vacuum cleaner would make me lazy. I remember her yard sale on

Popularity is hard to maintain so I never

Saturdays, her only free day from the nursing home where she worked. Me, standing

quite reached to the level of belonging.

under the sun on a Saturday, “learning how to make money”. I remember her tilling the

I still had to prove myself cool over and

backyard of the house to make a farm. Not a vegetable garden, a farm. A farm that was

over again, not cringing when I saw

to grow corn and beans, and njamma-njamma- (huckleberry), imported from ‘home’. A

Cindy sticking her fingers down her

farm, as compared to the neighbours’ backyard playgrounds and swimming pools. No,

throat to throw up her lunch, or readily

she wouldn’t let me fit in. She was still Cameroonian.

acting as errand girl for Andrea who

But I tried to fit in, I did. I remember the bags of candy I bought with my lunch money

would send nude photos of herself to

(and sometimes money I had swiped from my mother’s purse) to share in the cafeteria to

boys she liked in class. I was dreading

all and sundry and get them to like me. It worked for the 45 minutes of lunchtime, then

the day I’ll be dared to take a whiff of

it had to be repeated every other day, until they came around me in hordes routinely just

pot, and was saved yet crucified when

for candy. I could mark this as another milestone, the beginning of superficial friendships

mom found out I was shoplifting, and

– of begging to be loved.

we had the ‘Big Fight’.

I can recall my first visit to the shrink. My mom took me for a prescription of drugs;

I remember the fight well; I told I

attention deficit, I think. And in the air-conditioned office with the wall-to-wall carpet that

hated her, with uncharacteristic courage.

kids played on I found out I had a problem, and I wasn’t the only one.Taneisha, the girl

Screaming about how she knew nothing

that had an appointment before me was fatter than I. Maybe that’s why I had the nerve

about me. She worked two jobs and

to go up to her of all the kids there. She told me she was seeing the shrink for help with

that was all she cared about, she never

her eating disorder. She was 14, four years older than me. It was Taniesha who told me

understood me, I yelled. I was a pre-

about eating food like a drug to calm pain, sadness and just to feel good. I didn’t know

teen, not a kid anymore. And when one

it at the time but she was telling me just what I was suffering from. She introduced me

of the new ‘tenants’ of the house, one of

to Justin the white, brown haired boy who had tried to kill himself on his 16th birthday. I

the many who were always there, just

asked him “why?” – Somehow getting courage in the fact that I was the ‘kid’ and couldn’t

arrived from Cameroon said to me

know better.

“All this bad attitude you are giving

“Do you believe in God” he asked in response.

your mother will come back to you

“Yes”, I replied.

through your own children”

“Well then you know we will be punished for our sins when we die, right?”

I loudly declared that if that was so, I

“Yeah, I guess so”, I replied.

was doing to my mother what she had

“So I figure I should just do away with myself now rather than add more sins to my list,

done to hers - cycle complete!

you know?”

That marked another turning point. I

“Does that mean the earlier I die the better?”

returned to Cameroon. To my mother

“Don’t know about you, but I need to, I have a lot of sins on me, my foster mother told

it was the height of punishments.

me so.” I returned to the shrink’s office two more times, still for Retalin prescriptions,

Either that or get jailed for beating the

always yearning for a time when she, Dr. Brookes, would look into my eyes and tell

‘America’ out of me. The plane trip

me my problem like Taneisha. Or ask me to lie on the couch like Justin and talk about

was uneventful this time; I knew the

everything and nothing.

sign on the closed bathroom door read

Yet the day never came. I remember I solved my problems my way; trying to make

‘occupied’ and I knew the menu, it was

myself a family of friends at school. When the cool kids at table five where I sat during

not foreign to me. I was only that less

lunch dared me to shoplift with them at Shoppers, I did and was finally accepted.

naïve.

46 | asante Feb – April 2013


I

***

To wonder on the ‘just war’ and ‘good life’ is pointless when faced with real war and

remember seeking belonging again. It

strife. Speculation is unnecessary in the face of our reality. And then I understood

was more difficult in a boarding school

how we coped without a shrink. Despite the fact that more than one of the girls in

where there seems to be both informal

the dorm had what Dr. Brooke would term an abusive parent and came from homes

and formal caste systems. Categorized

riddled with “risk factors of delinquency”; despite the fact most of us felt bad about the

first by our classes, by wealth, popularity

way we looked particularly as we all wore the same spirogyra green shapeless robes

looks and brains. I remember it was more

as uniforms; despite these facts we acted like nothing was wrong and did not talk

difficult because there was no escape. You

about it. Why? Because unlike Justin, we could not contemplate suicide to solve our

were there, round the clock for months

problems. In fact we knew deep inside that our problems were not problems. We were

at a time with the people who mocked

fortunate, envied not only among ourselves but by those who had not the ‘priviledge of

and belittled you. Constantly seeing the

an education’. We had all seen looks of envy or outright jealousy from poorer relatives

popular kids you envied and could never

in the village or children younger than us selling groundnuts and sweets and the school

be, constantly on alert mode trying to fit

gates as we came in on re-opening day in our parents private cars. Most of us had

in. Here, school did not close at 3pm, only

seen death take a relative too early and knew we could die at any time ourselves. What

classes did. School went on like a never-

was the point of doing it yourself? And eating disorders were a luxury in a place where

ending nightmare. And I couldn’t eat as I

having food was considered a privilege.

would like, there was no way to sneak food

Did this mean we were too primitive to care of our emotional and psychological

into class to console yourself while those

health? I wondered after that class strolling back to the dorm. I came to the resolve

at the back-rows called you names. And

I didn’t think so, we were just less shallow. It was an ‘aha!’ moment I think; as I

when all the food in the trunk was finished,

wondered how I could hate my mother for not dishing out attention as needed or

it was more difficult not to break down.

being the ‘best-friend’ mother Oprah and similar talk show hosts always talked about;

And there were no shrinks around.

That mother who went to the movies and clubs with you? She could not give what

I

***

she never had, could she? For once I looked squarely at the pain and was not hungry.

often wonder how I made it, when I

So I discovered that where there is no shrink, the problems are still there. They just

remember all that passed in the seven

lose their glare. There are more things deserving care, and things like trying to belong

years of secondary and high school.

come tagged along with prayers for your family or neighbour trying to survive, to pass

It wasn’t until the philosophy class in

and exam, or get a job mounted among other complaints to take to church on Sunday.

seventh year that I knew how I made it,

I did not stop feeding my emotions in that ‘aha!’ moment, but I did heal in a way.

as Mr. Afanyi explained why Philosophy

Understanding does that for you – kills some of the fear, the pain. And I found that

took off in Greece despite the fact that

the best therapy was not to be had laid back on a office couch, but rather if you’re

the Greeks had benefitted from Egyptian

lucky like I finally was, you can receive the therapy of people more grounded who will

knowledge.

not tell you ‘what your problem is’ but make you aware of problems bigger than you,

“The first and foremost explanation for the proliferation of philosophy in

such that you become appreciative of yours. For sometimes all the prescription we need is a dose of reality. And don’t worry, therapy is free.

Greece was the fact that the Greeks had answered the ‘question of subsistence’. They were satisfied physically with food for their population and … ” He went on but I trailed off there. Of course I understood. A hungry man, a man with problems bigger than himself, one who had a child in the hospital, who just managed to survive every day had neither

Monique Kwachou born in 1989 published her first book; Writing Therapy: A collection of poems in 2010 with Langaa RPCIG; a renowned Cameroonian publishing house. She is a member and executive of the Anglophone Writers Association (ACWA) and participated in 2011 Caine Prize Workshop for African Writing where she published her first short story. She has subsequently published other short stories with FEMRITE Uganda and A second collection of poems with Coal and Femficatio Publishing Ghana. She is currently working on her first novel and trying involving other writers in a dream project to produce an anthology of short stories by Cameroonian writers

the time nor energy to philosophise.

asante Feb – April 2013

| 47


nutrition

PickUpa

Pomegranate! This ancient symbol of health and good fortune is fast becoming Africa’s New Superfruit, says Kate Nivison.

surround their hard woody seeds (the ‘pips’ or ‘stones’ normally discarded by humans) with soft sweet flesh are obvious favourites. But the pomegranate’s style of spreading itself around is slightly different. It is only revealed on ripening, when the outer casing suddenly bursts open. Crammed inside are hundreds of what look like mini red jelly sweets just waiting to be popped into the mouth by the handful. These are called arils. They are slightly larger than a plump maize grain and each contains a delicious thirst-quenching hit of juice with an intriguing hint of tartness. As a bonus, added crunch and (and goodness) is provided by one tiny

Do you like surprises? Are you on the look-out

seed per aril.

for something healthy and colourful to perk up your

The recent upsurge of interest came about because

diet? Now’s the time to start checking your local

of the realisation that it is quality as much as quantity

market (super or otherwise) for pomegranates. They

that matters when it comes to healthy eating. Fresh

are in season from February to April in the southern

is better than processed, raw is better than cooked,

hemisphere, and will probably have come from South

and anything that ripens red is bound to be full of

Africa which is leading the rush, in this region at

the latest magic ingredients – antioxidents. These

least, to meet a big increase in demand world-wide

help control diseases caused by inflammation and

for these rather odd-looking but fascinating fruit.

may reduce the risk of various cancers. Such was the

Pomegranates are about the size and shape of

excitement when pomegranate juice was tested that

a large apple. Their outer skin is tinged with an

some claims of the ‘pomegranates-can-cheat-death’

attractive reddish colour but dryish, almost papery, to

variety had to be dealt with firmly by the American

the touch, while the fruit itself feels hard and heavy

Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

in the hand, so it doesn’t immediately invite you to take a juicy bite.

That said, there now seems to be a consensus that pomegranate juice which includes the crushed seeds

So what is it about pomegranates that made them so

scores twice as high as its nearest rivals, such as red

desirable? One thing dieticians agree on is that people

wine, orange juice and green tea when it comes to

everywhere, and as far back as humans go, just love

providing an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement, some

something sweet. Sugar cane, honey and fruits which

of the B vitamins and potassium and antioxidents/

48 | asante Feb – April 2013


flavonoids. Ironically, this comes at a time when a Spanish company has unveiled a high-tech wonder machine to remove the seeds and aril coating, both of which contain valuable nutrients. But if only half of what is being claimed for chomping the arils just as

Getting to grips with fresh pomegranates on a regular basis could be a valuable health tonic as well as a juicy, colourful treat for the family.

they come, getting to grips with fresh pomegranates on a regular basis could be a valuable health tonic as well as a juicy, colourful treat for the family.

If you fancy a little tree of your own, the seeds sprout easily. They are popular in China and Japan for bonsai ‘mini-tree’ treatment for indoors or

It’s easy once you get the knack. Score the skin/

balconies, and have pretty, scarlet-to-orange, hibiscus-like flowers. But

rind five or six times with a sharp knife from stem to

if you are in it for the long haul, beg a cutting from a neighbour’s tree or

calyx. It should then pull open easily as an attractive

go for one already rooted from a nursery. These will tolerate most soils

star or daisy shape. Lay out the aril-covered stars on a

except waterlogged conditions. A resting period of drought is actually

plate and watch them disappear. If you have a sudden

essential for fruiting, but in semi-arid areas extra water is appreciated

glut, making juice at home is no fun. It’s better to

in the hot season.

freeze the arils as they are. Just make twice the

The Cape area of South Africa is leading the way in the southern

number of scores, then crack sharply on the base over

hemisphere for this healthy and profitable crop, and Australia is catching

a bowl of cold water. The arils sink, while the pith and

on fast. Both have a long way to go before they catch India, the top

skin float on the top for discarding. Arils look great

producer at around 1.6 million tons a year – more than twice its

sprinkled over salads of all kinds, and are now often

nearest rival, Iran, where the story of this remarkable fruit began. But

added when dried to ‘trail mix’ for healthy snacks.

there are many areas in Africa where pomegranates could be grown

Commercial juice is delicious chilled, half-and-half

commercially with a little seasonal irrigation, or at home, for good health

with red wine, or as a great mixer in cocktails.

and enjoyment.

asante Feb – April 2013

| 49


business

il a m E t o G e v ’ u o Y on ns t h o J an B ri

giv

tiqu e-mail e s s e n i bus s on p i t es

ette.

an e-mail destined for someone else. As for that dreaded bcc, this is really

I

considered a little unethical – why are you

t’s a truth universally acknowledged

showing your business correspondence

that anyone with a computer and an

to unnamed people without your partner

e-mail address must be in want of

in that correspondence knowing about

abundant messages. And so they

it?

come flooding in from the far corners of

AT SOMEONE IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA, and

and abundant exclamation points have

up from people who assume we’d simply

spelling lurk in most e-mails these days.

a similar effect!!! In any case, capitals

wither away without the sustenance

For sure, e-mails are generally short, but

are much harder to read, especially for

their electronic reassurances provide.

that is hardly an excuse for glaring errors.

foreigners who use something other than

The same attention to style should be

the Roman alphabet, and who don’t see capitals as often as lower-case letters.

the globe, those endless e-mails popping

Poor

grammar,

punctuation

Call me old fashioned, but if only we

given to e-mails as any other business

all followed some basic rules of e-mail

correspondence – at least if you want an

etiquette, our inboxes would not only

answer.

be a fraction as full, we might actually

Just as annoying are those e-mails written

in

such

a

hurry

that

the

look forward to reading some of the

E-mails should be concise, clear and

correspondent apparently didn’t even

messages that end up there. As it is,

mercifully short. There is nothing more

have time, in their über-harried day,

countless reports have been written

dispiriting, especially on a Monday

to hit the shift key. Capitalise what

on how many work hours are lost by

morning, than opening an e-mail and

should be capitalised, no less no more,

employees endlessly scrutinising e-mails

being assaulted by huge blocks of text.

unless you’re practicing your German, in

for a few nuggets of real business

Clear layout – such as a space between

which case every single noun gets the

correspondence.

paragraphs – is always welcomed. So is

exhausting shift key. If you want to turn

shortness because reading from a screen

to poetry like e.e.cummings, an office is

The first rule of e-mail etiquette would

isn’t actually that easy. After all, people

probably not the best place to let your

be: don’t send an e-mail unless it’s

print out long e-mails in order to digest

creative impulses flourish.

personally addressed. The ideal e-mail

them more easily, so a clear and concise

should certainly contain a personal

e-mail might also just save a few trees.

The average e-mail reader is unlikely

salutation. Mind you, salutations can

There is one simple rule about clarity:

to be familiar with eccentric American

be something of a minefield. Some

use plain text. That’s it, plain and

poets and, unless they are aged 14, will

personalised content goes down well,

simple. No HTML, no RTF, no fancy

hardly be conversant with abbreviations

rather than a simple cut-and-paste

fonts and colours, no cartoon images of

and emoticons. Remember that many

template. For this and other reasons of

little chickens jumping up and down. In

international e-mails are being read by

politeness, you might want to refrain

short, you are conveying information,

people whose first language isn’t English.

from using the cc function unless strictly

not auditioning for a design position. And

While they’ll no doubt be able to quote

necessary. Nobody really wants to read

keep plain text… well, plain. SHOUTING

Shakespeare, they might not be up to

50 | asante Feb – April 2013


interpreting such abbreviations as BTW

In return, don’t harass someone for

(by the way), ASAP (as soon as possible)

a reply before working out the time

or LOL (laughing out loud) – though the

difference; not everyone is hunched over

latter is not a response one would hope

his or her glowing screen at two in the

to get after you’ve pitched your grand

morning just waiting for your words of

concept.

wisdom. Europeans, North Americans and Australians are unlikely to answer

Emoticons are just as absurd and have no place in business correspondence. These strings of characters, usually punctuation marks, are supposed to convey emotions, the best-known being the smiley face :-) Well, glad to know you are happy, but can we just get on with it? Recipients might react with :-/ or even :-( at this sign of business lèse majesté, that is if they aren’t already LOL at your lowbrow antics. Incidentally, the first smiley face was used online in 1982 by Scott E. Fahlman, a professor at a Pittsburgh university, though similar punctuation marks had appeared in print for some 20 years. The signature portion of an e-mail is another area where business sense is thrown to the wind by those who think

far from beavering away on your new business arrangements, you’re actually giggling at your desk with nothing better to do.

e-mails over a weekend (least of all on a Sunday), the Middle East falls largely silent on a Friday. Prepare for even longer waits during Chinese New Year, Easter throughout

Of course, if you ever find an e-mail that contains something of use, reply with the same courtesy as you would to a missed phone call – surely within 48 hours. Failing to do so isn’t only impolite but could actually lose you business, particularly in the case of subscriber e-mails or customer complaints.

By the way, you can ignore the e-mails informing you the government is now about to tax e-mails.

Latin

America,

northern

Europe in August, and a good many places at Christmas. Out of office replies will merely come flooding your way. Perhaps the most infuriating e-mail faux-pas is the follow-up phone call, usually

from

some

breathless

PR

person wanting to know if you received the e-mail sent out just minutes ago promoting their marvellous product – and what you’re going to do about it. Here’s the thing. If the e-mail was so important, you would have answered it right away. But if it was that important, why didn’t the breathless sender just

we’re all eager to browse through links,

phone in the first place? When

photos, quotations from Confucius and

e-mails fly into the inbox,

the latest Peanuts cartoon – all in search

common sense flies through

of something useful, like an address or

the outbox, it would seem.

phone number. The only other thing it might be wise to add is a legal disclaimer,

By the way, you can ignore

though frankly nobody likes to receive

the e-mails informing you the

an e-mail threatening them with legal

government is now about to

action should they accidentally forward

tax e-mails. This is an urban

it to their grandmother.

myth that has been circulating online for years now. If only it

Do not forward chain letters. Do

were true, there might be less

not send endless joke e-mails that

e-mails around – which would

supposedly brighten up the day of the

surely be a good thing. For if

recipient. Not only might they not share

there’s anything on which we

the same humour (they almost certainly

can depend, it’s death, taxes

won’t, if your e-mail is heading abroad),

– and a flood of e-mails in our

but this is sending the message that,

inbox.

asante Feb – April 2013

| 51


Meet the Staff

I

am 23 years old. I am a sales and

held job interviews. I was approached and

airport agent at the Air Uganda

asked whether I was interested. I was far too

Bujumbura station.

tempted to let the opportunity pass and was delighted to get the job. I have not looked

I was adopted – hence I’m a British-

back since.

Burundian – and I grew up in Bujumbura. I am also a fully qualified hairdresser. Being

I drive to work and start my day with what I

one has meant that I could contribute my

love best: dealing with clients. They present

customer care talents positively to Air

their requests and I try and work with them

Uganda.

to come up with a solution that suits both parties, through the correspondence of Air

Lydia

Inamahoro

Chapman

In September 2011, whilst I was travelling

Uganda, to the issuing of their tickets. I

in the US, I decided to join a volunteering

love the feeling I get once I know that my

movement programme called Youth With

customers are happy and that we’ve worked

A Mission (YWAM). This is an international

successfully as a team.

volunteer

movement

of

Christians

from many backgrounds, cultures and

Running up and down the ramp, interacting

Christian traditions, dedicated to serving

with various customers, being on time

Jesus throughout the world. The purpose

and having all the pieces in your ‘puzzle’

of YWAM (pronounced ‘WHY-wham’)

fall into place... it gives me such an

is simply to know God and to make

adrenaline rush and a feeling of self-

Him known. YWAM took me to the

purpose. It is a challenging job filled with

poorest places in India and Nepal. That

huge responsibilities. I have to be ready for

experience both humbled me and forced

anything because mismanagement of a

me to look at the world through a different

situation could be disastrous.

point of view. I experienced all modes of transportation, but driving through the

I hope to be successful and happy with the

dangerously, rocky Himalayan mountains

airline, as well as being a major contributor to

had my stomach in knots and made me

its growth and development. It is important

feel as if I was literally on top of the world!

to be focused, level headed and open minded, armed with a positive attitude.

By some stroke of luck – or perhaps fate! – I was working at a hotel when Air Uganda

The sky’s the limit!


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Basic Tips for the Traveller in Uganda Land Uganda is a compact country, with an area of 236,580 square kilometres – roughly the size of Great Britain. Climate Although situated on the equator, Uganda’s relatively high altitude tempers the heat, and humidity is generally low. Throughout the year sunshine averages about 6 to 10 hours a day. There are two rainy seasons: the main long rains, which start late in February and end in April, and the short rains, which start in October and run until about the middle of December. The region around Lake Victoria, however, receives rain at almost any time of the year. Topography It is located on the equator, within the eastern plateau region of the African continent and between the eastern and western ridges of the Great Rift Valley. Near the borders several mountain masses stand out strikingly from the plateaux. Economy Uganda is blessed with fertile soils that support a wide variety of food and export crops, both annual and perennial. Agriculture is the dominant sector of Uganda’s economy. The major traditional export crops are coffee, cotton, tea, horticulture, tobacco and sugar cane, while groundnuts, maize, beans, sorghum and millet have emerged in recent years as cash crops for the peasant farmers. Language English is the official language and is also the medium of instruction in Uganda’s education system, from primary school up to university level. Swahili is also spoken. There are some 30 indigenous languages spoken in the rural areas. The most common of these are Luganda and Luo. Electric supply All installations are of British standard and appliances should be fitted with the square, three-pin plugs of British specifications. The voltage is 240 volts, 50 Hz for domestic use. The voltage fluctuates continually, however, and proper surge protectors are advisable for any expensive equipment. Time Uganda is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Time remains constant throughout the year. People The people are warm, friendly, and full of humour. They are anxious to make friends with visitors and are continually asking guests whether they are comfortable and enjoying themselves. A large number of people speak English. Excursions Uganda is beginning to develop an excellent tourist infrastructure, with first-rate roads and communication facilities. Uganda’s national game, forest and recreational parks are indeed some of the spectacular showpieces Africa has to offer. They do have regulations regarding off-the-road driving, game watching, and so on, which are clearly stated at the entrance gates of parks or on leaflets supplied by the tourist offices. Mountaineering safaris to the Ruwenzori Mountains in the western Rift Valley are now becoming a favourite Ugandan expedition. Similar safaris can also be organised to climb Mount Elgon in the east, sharing the border with Kenya. Hotels There are international-standard hotels in Entebbe, Kampala and Jinja, as well as in many of the smaller towns. Camping, rustic bush camps and guest houses are also available. The Kampala Sheraton, the Serena Kampala, the Grand Imperial, and the Nile Hotel, all in the national’s capital are by the best. There are many other less expensive, but quite nice hotels in the city. Outside Kampala, most towns also have a variety of moderately priced and budget hotels. Banking hours There is a wide range of banks in Uganda, particularly in Kampala. Their hours are generally from 0830 to 1400 hours on weekdays, and Saturdays from 0830 to 1200 hours. Forex bureaux keep longer hours – 0900 to 1700 hours on weekdays and 0900 to 1300 hours on Saturdays. ATMs are available in the larger cities. Communications Telephone, telex, fax and airmail services connect Kampala to all parts of the world. Services are available at the General Post Office and its many branches, as well as in the main hotels. International direct dialling is available and now there are a number of Internet cafes. Medical services Uganda has good health services, with some good government and private hospitals and clinics in the major cities. Air rescue services are available.

Currency Uganda Shilling (UGX). Notes are in denominations of UGX 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of UGX 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. You can change money at banks and hotels. Although the forex bureaux usually have better exchange rates. Credit cards International credit cards are accepted in major hotels and shops. Working hours Shops and businesses are generally open from 0830 to 1730 hours on weekdays, with a lunch break between 1300 and 1400 hours. Some businesses are open on Saturday, at least until midday. Small, local shops or kiosks on the side of many roads are generally open much later, until about 2130 hours and on weekends and holidays as well; they stock basic food and household items. Public Holidays 2012 1 January 26 January 8 March 6 April 9 April 1 May 3 June 9 June 19 August 9 October 26 October 25 December 26 December

New Year’s Day Liberation Day International Women’s Day Good Friday Easter Monday Labour Day Martyrs’ Day National Heroes’ Day Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Independence Day Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) Christmas Day Boxing Day

Note:The two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximate. Customs Besides personal effects, a visitor may import duty-free spirits (including liquors) or wine up to one litre, perfume and toilet water up to half a litre and 270 grammes of tobacco or 200 cigarettes. Other imported items, not exceeding US$100 may be brought in duty free and without an import licence, provided they are not prohibited or restricted goods, are for personal use, and are not for resale. Note: A special permit is required to export game trophies. Health requirements Visitors from areas infected with yellow fever and cholera required certificates on inoculation. All visitors are advised to take an antimalarial prophylactic beginning two weeks before their arrival and continuing for six weeks after their departure. A gamma globulin injection provides some protection against possible infection by hepatitis and is well worth taking. Visa and immigration requirements Visa applications may be obtained at Uganda diplomatic missions. Two photographs are required for visas, which are usually issued within 24 hours. Visas are also available at the country’s entry points. Check with the Uganda diplomatic mission in your country if visa is required as some countries are exempted. Taxi services Taxis are immediately available at Entebbe International Airport. They can also be found outside most hotels in Kampala and at most of the country’s major centres. All don’t have meters, so make sure the fare is negotiated in advance. Car rental Several firms operate car hire services in Kampala. Vehicles may be hired with or without driver. For trips outside the city it is possible to hire insured cars appropriate for the trip (a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a driver-translator is recommended). Entebbe International Airport The main point of entry is Entebbe International Airport, about a 30-minute drive south of the capital, Kampala. Although modest, the modern airport does provide automated passenger facilities, currency exchange, postal services, banking facilities, telephoned, duty-free shops, gift shops and a restaurant and bar. Security The same rules apply for Kampala as for almost any city anywhere.Be careful and take the usual precautions to safeguard yourself and your belongings. Do not leave valuables in your car. Walking at night in all major centres is reasonably safe.


useful travel tips

1. Make sure you purchase your ticket under the exact name that appears on your passport.

9. Because of the altitude, airplanes can be quite cold (especially the floor). Always take a jacket or sweater with you on the plane and take one of the blankets that the airline provides.

2. Do your own bag checks before you leave home, to avoid getting stopped by security and losing innocent (but sharp) items you forgot were in your bag — hello, nail scissors! — Carefully check each piece of luggage at home first.

10. When booking a family holiday, try to book airline seats in advance to ensure that your whole family sits together.

3. Smoking is not permitted on nearly all flights and many airports have restrictions, too. Be prepared to go without a smoke for the whole duration of your trip. 4. Before the flight, make sure you know your flight number (and any others if you are connecting with other flights). Write it down and keep it where you can reach it easily. You will need it to find the counter to check in, to find your gate, to board the aircraft, and to claim your luggage. 5. Certain clothing and accessories can set off an alarm on the metal detector and slow you down. Avoid wearing clothing, jewellery or other accessories that contain metal when travelling through the security checkpoints. Pack all your coats and jackets in your baggage where possible. All unpacked coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection.

6. The air in the aircraft is dry. Minimize discomfort by drinking reasonable amounts of water and juices. Limit consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks because they cause you to lose fluids. Wear spectacles instead of contact lenses. Apply a skin moisturizer. 7. If you’ve missed a connection, don’t stand in line to rebook with a gate agent. Instead, use your cell phone to call the airline’s customerservice number (tuck it in your wallet before leaving). You may speak to someone faster, giving you a better chance at getting a seat on the next flight. 8. If you are flying for a special occasion and plan to carry presents in your hand luggage, don’t forget to check hand luggage restrictions first. Make sure all presents are permitted in cabin baggage and remember that the liquids in hand luggage rules apply to presents too.

11. Avoid booking flight segments close together. Major airlines consider a connection as tight as 35 minutes to be a valid connection, but this is often not enough time if there are long lines at security! 12. Have a written or typed copy of all passport numbers with issue and expiry dates, and dates of birth of children - so that you do not need to remove your passports or other documents when going through Customs etc. You will then have the information at hand to complete the numerous forms without having to show where you keep your documents 13. When you claim your bag at the airport, check it over before you leave the bag claim area. Look for any new damage on the bag and be sure that it was not opened and something taken. The baggage service desk for the airline is normally at the claim area; this is also true for Customs arrivals. Fill out the misplaced baggage information before leaving Customs.


AIR UGANDA CONTACTS AND OFFICES

Head Office: Housing Finance Bank Building, Second Floor, Lower Kololo Terrace Tel: + 256 (0) 414 258 262/4 P.O. BOX 36591 Kampala, Uganda Email: info@air-uganda.com Email: info@air-uganda.com Kampala Call Centre: Jubilee Insurance Centre 1st Floor, Podium Level, Parliament Avenue, Kampala Uganda. Tel: +256 (0) 412 165 555 (0) 312 165 555 Email: info@air-uganda.com Entebbe International Airport (Ticketing Office): 2nd Floor, Passenger Terminal Building, Entebbe , Uganda Tel: +256 (0) 414 321485 (0) 417 717 222 Email:info@air-uganda.com PLEASE NOTE : After working hours: Weekdays (17:45 hrs - 21:00 hrs), Saturday (14:00 hrs - 21:00 hrs) and Sunday (07:30 hrs - 21:00 hrs) Please call our Entebbe ticketing office on Tel: +256 (0) 414 321 485 +256 (0) 417 717 222 for assistance.

Bujumbura Sales Office: Av Du 18 Septembre, Galerie La Perie Tel: +257 (0) 22 277 262 +257 (0) 76 179 000 +257 (0) 76183 000 Email: salesbjm@air-uganda.com

Nairobi Sales Office: 10th Floor, IPS Building, Kimathi Street, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: + 254 (0) 20 313 933/4 Email: infoke@air-uganda.com Mombasa Sales Office: 1st Floor , TSS Towers, Nkrumah Street, Mombasa Kenya Tel: +254 (0) 412 313 626 +254 (0) 734 605 203 Email: reservationmba@air-uganda.com Moi International Airport (MIA) Sales Office Tel: +254 735 877 289 Email: reserservationmba@air-uganda.com Unit 1 Terminal Building, Mombasa, Kenya.

Dar es Salaam Sales Office: Harbour View Tours J-Mall, Samora Avenue, 1st Floor P.O.BOX 22636 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tel: +255 (0) 222 133 322/ +255 (0) 783 111 983 Email: reservationsdar@air-uganda.com

Juba Sales Office: Hai Suk Street (Opp.the Mosque) Juba, Sudan Tel: + 211 (0) 177 800 041 Mob: + 211 (0) 977 153 912 Email: salesjuba@air-uganda.com or info@air-uganda.com

Kigali Sales Office: Office No.26, Union Trade Centre Building, Town Centre Tel: +250 (0) 782 229 572 Email: info@air-uganda.com


ABAto corner! Robin Redbreast Sweet robin, I have heard them say That thou wert there upon the day The Christ was crowned in cruel scorn And bore away one bleeding thorn,-That so the blush upon thy breast, In shameful sorrow, was impressed; And thence thy genial sympathy With our redeemed humanity.

The Goose and the Golden Eggs A man had the good fortune to own a remarkable goose. Every day it laid an egg of pure gold. The man grew rich, but the richer he grew the greedier he got. A gold egg a day was not enough for him-he wanted an immense treasure in a hurry. He killed the goose. However, when he cut her open, instead of finding a horde of golden eggs, he found she was just like any other goose.

Sweet robin, would that I might be Bathed in my Saviour’s blood, like thee; Bear in my breast, whate’er the loss, The bleeding blazon of the cross; Live ever, with thy loving mind, In fellowship with human-kind; And take my pattern still from thee, In gentleness and constancy. George Washington Doane (1799-1859)

word square!

Q

K

N

Y

E

R

I

K

U

I

A

H

S

U

R

A

O

S

I

G

N

U

I

M

R

U

R

A

N

M

O

P

How many towns and cities in East Africa can you find hidden in this square?

O

M

O

M

B

A

S

A

Look for them from left to right, up and down, and diagonally.

R

U

B

U

Z

L

T

L

Score: 11 very good; 8 – 10 Good; 6 – 9 Fair.

O

X

I

J

I

N

J

A

T

R

A

M

O

D

O

D

Add vowels to the following to complete the sentence (3 words)

Hppystrhldys. Answer Happy Easter Holidays.

Answer Arusha, Dodoma, Jinja, Kampala, Kisumu, Lamu, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nyeri, Tanga, Tororo


Air Uganda Flight Schedule FLIGHT NUMBER U7 202 U7 206 U7 206 U7 206 U7 204 U7 204 U7 204 U7 202 FLIGHT NUMBER U7 203 U7 207 U7 207 U7 207 U7 205 U7 205 U7 205 U7 203

ENTEBBE - NAIROBI DEPARTURE TIME 06:00 Hrs 14:45 Hrs 15:30 Hrs 14:00 Hrs 19:30 Hrs 19:50 Hrs 08:30 Hrs 17:30 Hrs NAIROBI - ENTEBBE DEPARTURE TIME 07:45 Hrs 16:25 Hrs 17:10 Hrs 17:40 Hrs 21:10 Hrs 21:30 Hrs 10:10 Hrs 19:10 Hrs

Valid from 1 February 2013

ARRIVAL TIME 07:10 Hrs 15:55 Hrs 16:40 Hrs 15:10 Hrs 20:40 Hrs 21:10 Hrs 09:40 Hrs 18:40 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon - Fri Mon Tue Fri Mon - Thu Fri Sat & Sun Sat & Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 08:55Hrs 17:35Hrs 18:20Hrs 16:50Hrs 22:20Hrs 22:40 Hrs 11:20 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon - Fri Mon Tue Fri Mon - Thu Fri Sat & Sun

20:20Hrs

Sat & Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 08:15 Hrs 11:00 Hrs 11:05 Hrs 17:00 Hrs 16:55 Hrs 17:25 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon &Wed Tue,Thu & Sat Fri Mon - Thu Fri & Sun Tue, Wed, Fri & Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 10:05 Hrs 12:45 Hrs 12:40 Hrs 16:20 Hrs 18:50 Hrs 18:40 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon, Wed Tue,Thu, & Sat Wed fri Mon - Thu Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 11:30 Hrs 12:50 Hrs 16:20 Hrs 13:55 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon, Wed & Thu Tue Fri Sat & Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 14:05 Hrs 15:25 Hrs 18:55 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon, Wed & Thu Tue Fri

ENTEBBE - JUBA FLIGHT NUMBER U7 122 U7 122 U7 122 U7 120 U7 120 U7 120

DEPARTURE TIME 07:10 Hrs 10:00 Hrs 10:00 Hrs 15:55 Hrs 15:55 Hrs 16:25 Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 123 U7 123 U7 123 U7 121 U7 121 U7 121

DEPARTURE TIME 09:00 Hrs 11:45 Hrs 11:35 Hrs 14:30 Hrs 17:45 Hrs 17:40 Hrs

JUBA - ENTEBBE

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 320 U7 320 U7 32O U7 320 FLIGHT NUMBER U7 321 U7 321 U7 321 U7 321

ENTEBBE - DAR ES SALAAM DEPARTURE TIME 09:40 Hrs 09:40 Hrs 14:30 Hrs 12:05 Hrs DAR ES SALAAM - ENTEBBE DEPARTURE TIME 12:15 Hrs 13:35 Hrs 17:05 Hrs

16:30 Hrs

Sat & Sun

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 320 U7 320

ENTEBBE - MOMBASA DEPARTURE TIME 09:40 Hrs 13:30 Hrs

ARRIVAL TIME 11:20 Hrs 15:10 Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue & Fri Sun

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 321 U7 321

MOMBASA- ENTEBBE DEPARTURE TIME 12:15 Hrs 12:15 Hrs

ARRIVAL TIME 15:25 Hrs 13:45 Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue Fri

17:35 Hrs

Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 12:30 Hrs 18:30 Hrs 18:15 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon - Thu & Sat Fri Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 14:45 Hrs 20:45 Hrs 21:55 Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon - Thu & Sat Fri Sun

09:30 Hrs 17:20 Hrs 19:25 Hrs

Tue & Thu Fri Sun

12:00 Hrs 20:45 Hrs 21:55 Hrs

Tue & Thu Fri Sun

U7 321

14:40 Hrs

15:55Hrs ENTEBBE - KIGALI

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 350 U7 350 U7 350

DEPARTURE TIME 12:45 Hrs 17:20 Hrs 18:30 Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 351 U7 351 U7 351

DEPARTURE TIME 13:00 Hrs 19:00 Hrs 18:45 Hrs ENTEBBE - BUJUMBURA 09:30 Hrs 17:20 Hrs 18:30 Hrs BUJUMBURA - ENTEBBE 10:00 Hrs 17:50 Hrs 19:55 Hrs

KIGALI - ENTEBBE

U7 350 U7 352 U7 352 U7 351 U7 353 U7 353

For any information contact your preferred Travel Agent or our Sales & Reservation Office on 041 2 165555/ 0312165555 in KAMPALA


CROSSWORD PUZZLE & SUDOKU

Crossword Clues across 1. Fastening, grip firmly (5)

1

3

2

10. Used to lure someone into danger (5)

7

6

8

9

6. Annoyed (5) 9. Damaged (7)

5

4

11

10

11. Less old (5)

12

12. Ordinary (5) 13. High military rank (7)

13

15

14

16

15. Encountered (3) 17. Flower, part of the eye (3)

17

18

18. Vegetable (6)

19

19. Plant exudation (5) 20. Missive, part of the alphabet (6) 22. Fog (4) 24. Utter (3)

20 24

26

26. Chew with these (5)

27

28

28. Begin again (5)

29

29. Underground cell (7) 30. Give assent (5)

23

25

25. Educational establishments (7)

27. Male admirer (poetic) (5)

22

21

31

30

31. Become narrower, thin candle (5)

3. Light cakes of Scottish origin (6) 4. Intrude into a private matter (3) 5. Row (5)

Answers across 1. Clasp | 6. Vexed | 9. Cracked | 10. Decoy | 11. Newer | 12. Plain | 13. General | 15. Met | 17. Iris | 18. Potato | 19. Resin 20. Letter | 22. Mist | 24. Say | 25. Schools | 26. Teeth | 27. Swain | 28. Renew | 29. Dungeon | 30. Agree | 31. Taper

2. German songs (6)

Answers down 2. Lieder | 3. Scones | 4. Pry | 5. Scull | 6. Venison | 7. Eden | 8. Eyelet | 12. Paler | 13. Girls | 14. Nitty | 15. Mario 16. Torts | 18. Pinch | 19. Revenue | 21. Earwig | 22. Modena | 23. Sleeve | 25. Stage | 26. Tide | 28. Rot

Clues down

Sudoku

6. Game meat (7) 7. Biblical garden (4) 8. Small hole (6)

Place a number from 1 to 9 in

12. Less dark (5)

every empty cell so that each

13. Young females (5)

row, each column and each 3x3

14. ----- gritty (5)

box contains all the numbers

15. ----- Lanza (5)

from 1 to 9.

16. Civil wrongs (5) 18. Nip, steal (5)

No number can appear twice in

19. Income (7)

a row, column or 3x3 box.

21. Insect (6) 22. Italian city named o (anag) (6)

Do not guess –­ you can work it out by a process of elimination.

4

26. ‘Time and ---- wait for no man’ (4) 28. Decay (3)

60 | asante Feb – April 2013

3

2 4 3 1

3 5

8 9

23. Part of a jacket or shirt (6) 25. Raised platform (5)

7

7

6 5 5

8 9 8

6 4 8 3 4 5

4 9 3 8 2 1 6 7

2 4


We at Leopard Beach are jolly proud at being voted Kenya’s Leading Resort for the third year running. So as a heartfelt “Thank You”we’ve come up with some exceedingly tempting offers for East African residents. We’d like to make it evident To every EA Resident That when you stay with us We won’t charge you for the bus You can have five nights for four And your kids can sleep next door Or if you feeling rather mad One can share with Mum and Dad And for those who need to work You’ll get every conference perk And when your meetings are all done Bring your spouse and have some fun!

Air Uganda fly to Mombasa 5 times a week from Entebbe

Diani’s favourite destination for holidaymakers and business travellers alike is delighted to have been voted Kenya’s Leading Resort at the World Travel Awards 2012 – for the third year running! The resort has recently undergone major renovations including new and improved wining & dining venues and the addition of ‘The Residences’ - a contemporary private villa complex. To celebrate our new look, we are pleased to announce a range of offers for our fellow residents and we look forward to showing you our new spots. Karibu!

Tripadvisor traveller’s choice 2012 winner

Terms and Conditions: Offer valid from February 1st 2013 to April 24th 2013, excluding the Easter Holiday period. Offer includes: · One child sharing with parents up to the age of 12 years free of charge including meals and special rates for children in a separate room · Five nights for the price of four · No Single Room Supplements in standard rooms · Conference package – 1 in 10 delegates go FREE including FREE Conference and meeting rooms and spouses stay FREE on bed only basis · FREE transfers from and to Diani Airstrip (unlike other fine resorts)

OPENING MARCH 2013

take a tour: www.leopardbeachresort.com drop us a line: nbobookingoffice@leopardbeachresort.com call us: +254 (0)20 2692844, 0726 803861, 0701 772023


The inflight magazine of Air Uganda part of the

Issue 13

Uganda’s Fashion Industry Kampala by

Night

your complimentary copy

Asante Issue Number 013 February - April 2013

A Vanishing Way of Life


asante  

inflight magazine of air uganda

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