Page 1

The inflight magazine of Air Uganda part of the

Issue 15

As a n te I s s u e N u mbe r 015 Aug u s t – O c to ber 2 0 1 3

Bright

Jinja’s Celebration of Colour

The Amazing

Story of

Kitata

Mogadishu’s

Warm Welcome

your complimentary copy

Webs ite : ww w.a ir -ug an da. co m

Painting the City


When it comes to Comfort and Convenience

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• Perfect for conferences and

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FOREWORD

Welcome aboard this Air Uganda flight

I

t is my pleasure to address you for the first time as Chief Executive Officer of Air Uganda and to express how happy we all are that you have chosen to fly with us. We have spent the last few months upgrading our products and

services to ensure that you have a pleasant experience with us, starting from the time you decide to book your flight, up to the completion of your journey. Our website www.air-uganda.com now has an enhanced booking engine, allowing you to search for flights quickly and easily. This is linked to a secure payment platform which allows customers to pay for tickets straight away using major payment channels like ATM/debit cards, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard), PayPal and mobile money, i.e. M-Pesa & Airtel Money. This platform then delivers your ticket to your e-mail address and your mobile phone. We encourage you to use this convenient channel, which operates 24 hours a day, and also to give us your thoughts via our twitter and facebook accounts on how we can further improve your travel. Uganda is a beautiful country that has many tourist attractions We have also rolled out our ‘Shukran’ customer service on the

and investment opportunities. I am pleased that we now have

ground to ensure that your experience at check-in and boarding

a partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Tourism to promote

is as smooth as possible. This, coupled with our premium

and showcase the cultural heritage and beauty of this country,

‘Crane Class’ product, is delighting many of our business and

which is appropriately named ‘the Pearl of Africa’. You will find

leisure customers throughout East Africa. On board, we have

in this edition of Asante magazine many interesting articles on

also upgraded our meals to offer a variety of tasty snacks to

Uganda’s tourism sites, as well as its history and people, in

suit the time of day and to ensure our frequent flyers are not

addition to the usual snippets on points of interest and activities

disappointed. These are but a few reasons why Air Uganda is

throughout East Africa.

becoming East Africa’s favourite airline with a growing number of customers.

Finally, I want to thank you for choosing to fly with us today and to invite you to join our Celestars frequent flyer program, as we

With your support, we have continued to invest in new routes.

look forward to serving you once again on your next flight.

We introduced flights from Entebbe to Kilimanjaro in May 2013, and further added our direct flights from Entebbe to

I wish you a pleasant flight!

Mogadishu in July 2013. We have also added frequencies to Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Juba, thus offering our customers more options to travel and do business throughout the region. Our codeshare agreement with RwandAir also offers travel connections through Kigali while our interline agreements with British Airways, Emirates, Kenya Airways, SN Brussels

Mr. Cornwell Muleya

and Qatar enable our customers to connect to further points

Chief Executive Officer

beyond our current network.

Air Uganda asante | August – October 2013

| 1


Photo Courtesy of Air Uganda

Issue 15 The inflight magazine

of Air Uganda

part of the

e

m Take

8.

Mogadishu’s Warm Welcome This vibrant and fascinating city, Mogadishu, is now becoming a regional business and leisure hub – a sign of great optimism.

12.

Painting the City Bright: Jinja’s Celebration of Colour This was a fun-filled event that will long be etched in the memory of the town’s residents.

17.

Uganda is Truly the Pearl of Africa Uganda, the warm heart of Africa, offers the visitor unparalleled dramatic landscapes, a profusion of wildlife and unique experiences.

22.

How Africa’s Giants Work As the longest land animal on earth, the elephant is not only beautiful and graceful to watch, highly intelligent and curious but stands alone as an engineering marvel.

26.

The Kasubi Tombs: Rising from the Ashes Discover one of the most important historical and cultural symbols for Uganda and East Africa as a whole.

32.

The Chagga: Africa’s Mountain Men It was simply a pleasure to be among these hardy mountaineers who loved their work and life itself.

36.

Cane, Wicker and Bamboo Furniture in East Africa It is probable that the first human seat was a tree branch or log.

46. Bookshelf

40.

The Amazing Story of Kitata How fate and talent combined to transform a novice into East Africa’s finest amateur golfer.

54. Basic Tips for the Traveller

44.

The Visual Arts in Uganda: Not Yet Nirvana Art in Uganda is on an upward curve: The quality of work has improved, and so have the galleries.

55. Useful Travel Tips

48.

The Meaning of Travel Are you a tourist or a traveller?

50.

For the Love of the Luwombo The way to a Muganda man’s heart is definitely through that bundle of wrapped and steamed banana leaves!

52.

Early Learning & Development in Uganda Uganda is moving towards becoming a society in which all children are active, healthy, knowledgeable and happy. Publishers: Camerapix Magazines Ltd

Editorial Director: Rukhsana Haq Editor: Roger Barnard

Painting the City

Bright

of Colour Jinja’s Celebrations

Story of

Kitata

agga The Chntain Men Africa’s Mou

Cover picture: Aboard Air Uganda with a beautiful smile.

Regulars 1.

Foreward

4.

Air Uganda News

6.

What’s Up! East Africa

56. Air Uganda Offices 57. Route Map 58. Abato Corner 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 Website: www.camerapixpublishers.com

Editorial Assistant: Cecilia W. Gaitho Creative Designers: Charles Kamau, Sam Kimani 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.

tary copy your complimen

Home

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 Correspondence on editorial and advertising matters may be sent to either of the above addresses.

©2013 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.


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Air Uganda News BOOK, PAY AND CHECK IN ONLINE We have introduced a new and improved booking engine that allows you to book, pay and check in online in the comfort of your home or office without having to come to our sales office. You can pay for your ticket using major payment channels like ATM/debit cards, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard), PayPal and mobile money (i.e. M-Pesa & Airtel Money). Once payment is made, the air ticket is delivered to your email address.

Mr. Clement Wangira from WBS TV, winner of a ticket bought online, receives a dummy ticket from Mr. Cornwell Muleya, Chief Executive Officer of Air Uganda.

“We are always looking for better and more innovative ways to serve our customers,” said Cornwell Muleya, the Air Uganda Chief Executive Officer “Our new booking and payment platform brings the Air Uganda services to your computer and mobile phone and this is a significant development in our ability to service our customers on a 24-hour basis worldwide.”

The first passenger to use M-Pesa to buy her ticket from Nairobi to Entebbe was Ms. Tracy Kyorugyendo who obtained her ticket using the new revamped Air Uganda booking engine. She was able to search for her flight, book, and pay and receive her ticket quickly and easily using the new system. “It was so easy to pay for my ticket, because all I did was book online and pay for the ticket using M-Pesa on my mobile phone. It saved me so much time because I didn’t have to go all the way to their offices. I am very happy and excited with this innovation by Air Uganda,” Ms. Kyorugyendo, said. Visit: www.air-uganda.com to book, pay and check in at your convenience.

Air Uganda sponsors rally champion, Jas Mangat.

FLY DIRECT FROM ENTEBBE TO MOGADISHU On 8 July 2013, Air Uganda touched down at Mogadishu International Airport for the very first time. The airline is offering three weekly direct flights, operating a 50-seater CRJ 200 aircraft. Air Uganda flights offer the fastest and most convenient flights to Mogadishu as the flight time has been reduced to two hours and no stops have to be made. There is an introductory fare of USD 450 (one-way) and you are guaranteed on-time performance and the best customer service.

4 |

asante | August – October 2013


ROUTES AFRICA 2013 COMES TO UGANDA

Mr. Cornwell Muleya, Chief Executive Officer delivering a route exchange briefing for Air Uganda at the event.

Air Uganda is excited to have co-hosted the colourful Routes Africa conference that took place at Munyonyo Resort Beach hotel from 7-9 July 2013. The event, organised by UCAA and Routes Africa, attracted aviation practitioners and airport authorities from all over Africa and the world. Issues concerning aviation, airports and airlines in Africa were discussed and suggestions to improve the industry were agreed on. We are proud to have been part of this conference and glad that Uganda was given a chance to showcase its beauty by hosting this prestigious conference. Thank you for visiting Uganda and please come again!

asante | August – October 2013

| 5


Welcome to Jahazi Literary & Jazz Festival 2013!

Maralal Camel Derby

The Annual Maralal Camel Derby brings colour and action to the streets of Maralal, considered as the gateway to Kenya’s wild and arid North and a mecca for nomads, camels, adventurers and travellers from all over the globe. This is a great social event where the finest camel jockeys vie for first place during the camel derby. The event is a chance to experience culture, colour, action and adventure first hand.

You’re invited to a scintillating weekend of openair jazz concerts, poetry readings, storytelling, great debate, cultural walks and talks, VIP dinners with the stars, and the very best after-parties in town! Enjoy close encounters with some of the world’s most talented writers and musicians. Put your feet up, kick back, and enjoy island-life. VENUE: Stone Town/Zanzibar WEBSITE: http://www.jahazifestival.com

VENUE: Maralal in northern Kenya

Kenya Fashion Week 2013

The greatest Fashion Event in East-Africa, KFW has positioned itself as the definitive business fashion destination, aimed at showcasing established and emerging designers and labels from Africa and across the globe. WEBSITE: www.kenyafashionweek.com EMAIL: sonu@kenyafashionweek.com

StoryMoja Hay Festival Nairobi

The 2013 StoryMoja Hay Festival, Kenya’s premier literary event, will be held on the 19th to 22nd September at Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi. The festival will have over 60 events in 4 days of brilliance. VENUE: Nairobi National Museum in Nairobi, Kenya WEBSITE: http://www.storymojahayfestival.com

6th Bayimba International Festival of the Arts

“Our environment is our future and our future is our responsibility” Come and see how protecting the environment can be so much fun. Expect to be thrilled. Lots of fun for the whole family …

Every third week of September, Kampala comes alive as a vibrant and eventful city when an unparalleled feast of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts from renowned and upcoming artists are brought to Kampala. The Festival is eagerly awaited by local artists and local people alike while artists from abroad and visitors from far afield pour into Kampala to take advantage of the exciting artistic experience.

VENUE: Kololo Airstrip, Uganda WEBSITE: http://www.littlegreenhands.org

VENUE: Kampala, Uganda WEBSITE: http://www.bayimba.org/2013-bayimba-international-festival

Green Festival

6 |

asante | August – October 2013


The Africa Concours d’Elegance

Welcome to one of the most prestigious and elegant events on the Kenyan calendar - The 2013 Africa Concours d’Elegance. An initiative of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and now 42 years old, the event is one of Kenya’s biggest social functions with owners of vintage cars getting to show off their cars and the best awarded for it. In addition, spectators enjoy a day of fun, fashion and glamour. VENUE: Nairobi Ngong Racecourse, Kenya WEBSITE: http://www.concourskenya.com

Bagamoyo Arts Festival

The Bagamoyo Arts Festival attracts visitors from all over the world, who come to take part or simply spectate and observe. Traditional dance and music performances, displays of acrobatics, sculpture exhibitions, art workshops, reggae and hiphop concerts, and much more, keep the town buzzing and the people busy for the whole five days of the festival. VENUE: Bagamoyo, Tanzania TEL: +255 784 472 745

Tanzacat Catamaran Regatta

The Tanzacat Regatta is a ten-day event consisting of 10 Olympic Course races and of course a sail to the exotic island of Zanzibar! It is one of the largest catamaran race events in Africa with over 100 sailor participants and more than 50 catamarans participating every year hence a must attend for sailing enthusiasts from all over the world. VENUE: Msasani Bay, Dar es Salaam

6th Annual Nile Gold Jazz & Soul Safari The Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari 2013 returns for the 6th year. The artist’s line up is incredible and ‘bold’, as we’ll be celebrating the music of Intimacy: Love & Romance…..The Old School Way. VENUE: Kampala Serena Hotel, Uganda WEBSITE: http://proggie.ug/events/6th-annual-nile-gold-jazz-soul-safari

East Africa Oil and Gas Summit (EAOGS)

Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), the organisers of the Uganda International Trade Fair, invites you to the 21st Uganda International Trade Fair at Lugogo intended to provide a wide platform for displaying products and services to a large audience from all over the world.

EAOGS 2013 will build on the success of the 2012 Summit which was co-hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Kenya and Global Event Partners Ltd and was a resounding success welcoming 326 delegates from over 170 regional and international companies attended with delegates coming from 29 countries. EAOGS has firmly made its mark as the most prestigious, annual Oil & Gas Summit for the whole East Africa region with excellent feedback from delegates across the board.

VENUE: UMA Show Ground, Lugogo, Kampala, Uganda EMAIL: marketing@uma.or.ug

VENUE: Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi, Kenya WEBSITE: http://www.eaogs.com

Uganda International Trade Fair (UGITF)

asante | August – October 2013

| 7


New

destination

Mogadishu’s

Warm Welcome

Photos © Reto Kuster

Somalia’s capital is transforming itself from a war-torn city to a regional business and leisure hub. Optimism and hospitality are the order of the day, reports Reto Kuster.

8 |

asante | August – October 2013


destination

asante | August – October 2013

| 9


F “

orget about what you have heard

papayas, mangosteen, soursap, bananas

about Mogadishu in the past”, a

and other mouthwatering fruits on the

returning Somali businessman

roadside in the busy Hamarwenye district.

told

plane.

‘Business is good’, he explains, ‘because

‘Mogadishu these days is a very different

people now go where they want to, and

city.’ After landing, I stroll towards the

more money is changing hands. Even

neat, renovated and well-guarded airport

getting fruits from outside Mogadishu has

building that has seen all the violence of

become easier and cheaper.’ I hand him

the past. I quickly pass the immigration

a wad of 1,000 Somali Shilling notes –

formalities and am on my way into what

the only denomination available. Some

has been rated as the most feared city

shopowners prefer payment as a transfer

on the continent.

via the mobile phone, while for bigger

me

on

the

transactions, dollars are common. Surprisingly,

contemporary

Mogadishu

streets are largely devoid of armed men.

Walking around, I get curious – yet friendly

Instead, any drive through Mogadishu

– looks. Two boys suddenly stop playing

reveals the change since the fighting

and stare at me, then burst into laughter.

stopped in mid-2011. Buildings are

For years, Mogadishu has been off-limits

being renovated, lorries with building

to foreigners, and its people are pleased to

materials drive up and down, and the

see the return of visitors. Before the war,

walls of most shops are freshly painted in

Mogadishu was popular among foreign

bright colours. People relax, drinking tea

visitors to East Africa. I remember a friend

from small roadside stalls, often owned

explaining how much he liked Mogadishu

by women. I prefer to head for fruits as

in the 1980s, its brighly white facades of

refreshment in the hot and humid coastal

the merchant houses, the Italian touch of

climate. Mohamed sells fresh oranges,

the cafés and the hospitable people.

10 |

asante | August – October 2013


Today, Mogadishu airport is busy again. However, most visitors these days are Somalis from the diaspora. They return in large numbers to a country most have not been to in the past two decades. As a result of the boom, new hotels have opened their doors. But there is more than just the busy city. Along a track through the coastal sands, we head to the west. Between shrubs and huge sand dunes, camels and goats eat the little green they can get. We stop by a lagoon, where about two dozen flamingoes stand graciously in the salty water. Not far away, salt is being processed locally and then sold in Mogadishu’s markets. Two women in bright orange headscarves chat and laugh, completely ignoring the intense heat. Finally, we arrive at Jazeera beach with its white sand and shallow, warm water. On Thursdays and Fridays Jazeera beach is packed with Somalis enjoying peace and tranquility, playing football and volleyball or swimming in the warm Indian Ocean water. Excellent lobsters and cold sodas are sold in the beachside restaurant. Many of the customers are Somalis spending their holidays in Mogadishu. “I haven’t been back to Somalia for almost twenty years”, Osman, a Somali engineer who lives in

faces. “Engineer”, “teacher”, ‘pilot’, ‘computer specialist’ are some of the

the United Kingdom says. “I wanted to see with

answers!

my own eyes what’s going on in Mogadishu. Next time I will bring my wife and family along.” Hassan,

Back in the hotel, I sample fresh tuna fish, a spicy soup and spaghetti.

living in Canada, is delighted: “Look at this beach!

Somalis’ love for spaghetti is probably the most common reminder

I believe tourism could play a big role in the future

of Italy’s colonial past in Somalia. In the late afternoon an elderly

here. There are so many opportunities.”

lady approaches me, asking whether I would be interested in buying postcards. Postcards from Somalia? ‘‘Indeed’’, she says, and unwraps

As we return to Mogadishu, a group of a dozen

two dozen postcards dating back to the 1970s. During the fighting, she

camels is being navigated through the busy K4

had hidden the postcards, hoping that one day peace would prevail. Many

roundabout in the city centre by two men. Traffic

of the buildings on the photographs have fallen victim to the war. Yet,

has increased to the point where in the morning

I bought some, as a historical reminder – and as a sign of optimism for

and late afternoons, there are now traffic jams in

this vibrant, fascinating city. •

Somalia’s capital – something unheard of for years. Some parts of Mogadishu now even enjoy street lights at night. Finally, I head to one of the many

Note: Foreign visitors are advised to arrange security and pick-up from the airport before their arrival in Mogadishu.

primary schools in Mogadishu. Boys and girls are eager learners, and when I ask about their plans for the future, I see expressions of joy in their

Air Uganda flies 3 times a week to Mogadishu, Somalia.

asante | August – October 2013

| 11


Painting the City

Bright

Jinja’s Celebration of Colour The White Nile near Jinja, Uganda’s second-largest city, has become known as the adventure sports capital of East Africa. Peter Holthusen reports on an exciting new project.

12 |

asante | August – October 2013


Photos © Peter Holthusen

fun event

S

Below: Jinja recently hosted an exciting new tourism campaign dubbed ‘Painting The City Bright’, which included the participation of thousands of its residents who volunteered their time to paint 66 houses on Main Street in the cheerful colours of the Nation.

everal months ago it was my good

On 4 May 2013, the plans came to fruition when

fortune to receive a telephone call from

Jinja and Uganda extended a hand of friendship to

a very dear friend in Croatia called Steve

European cities associated with the source of the

Enstone and his partner, Sarah Larsson

Nile in a unique opportunity to showcase Ugandan

informing me of an exciting new project with which

tourism, investment opportunities and the ever-

they were associated in Uganda.

smiling people who cherish their country.

Jinja was to host an exciting new campaign dubbed

Like the momentum of the celebrated Olympic

‘Painting The City Bright’, which would begin with a

Torch, Jinja invented its own slogan for the historic

relay from Jinja to Skellefteå in Northern Sweden,

relay to Northern Sweden: ‘Big Hearts Create

where glass bottles shaped in the form of the Nile

Big Smiles’. The customised glass bottles the

perch, tilapia and hippopotamus would be filled with

competitors carried represented the iconic fish and

water drawn from the source of the Nile, then carried

animals with strong symbolic meaning borrowed

along the Nile, across the Mediterranean, through

from Uganda’s rich cultural heritage. These bottles,

Europe to Sweden. The event was to culminate in

filled with water from the source of the Nile, were

the first ever African Ice Swimming Championships in

given out along the route with a message of love as

Jinja – inspired by the city of Skellefteå where, for the

a gesture of the country’s renowned hospitality and

last two years, both the Swedish and Scandinavian

brotherhood.

winter swimming championships were held.

The

brainchild of Steve Babb’s Skellefteå-based ‘Big

At the opening ceremony Uganda’s President,

Steve from England’ initiative, thousands of people

Yoweri Museveni, proudly took part in the campaign

had already started painting 66 houses on Main

to paint Jinja bright, then walked through the town

Street in cheerful colours in preparation for the event.

meeting and greeting some of its joyous residents.

asante | August – October 2013

| 13


feature A world-class concert was also held on the final day of the event, where Jamaican reggae icons Inner Circle made their first appearance in Africa, alongside a variety of other reggae bands from Uganda and Sweden.

History was also written in May, when the first-ever African Ice

temperature in order to be allowed to call an event “winter

Swimming Championships were staged in the swimming pool

swimming”.

at the Jinja Nile Resort, the flagship hotel of the Nairobi-based Mada Hotels group. The process of lowering the temperature

“It was not easy to achieve this in the heat. But with the

of the water to 10˚C or less required large quantities of ice,

persistence and a lot of muscle power both from us in the

and for this facility the organisers of the event called upon a

team and the hotel staff we achieved it,” said Craig Dixon,

local ice company that the fishing industry uses to cool the

executive producer for the films with Big Steve.

day’s catch from Lake Victoria. On 11 March 2013, Jinja residents had carried out a test run in When the first Swedish winter swimming championships were

preparation for the actual competition. A lane on Main Street

held in Skellefteå in 2012, the air temperature was -34˚C;

was closed off and a pool filled with iced water was placed in

however in Jinja the temperature can be as high as +35˚C,

the centre. The temperature was +1˚C, and the Mayor of Jinja,

a huge contrast between the bitter cold of Scandinavia and

Mohammed Baswari Kezaala was first into the water. “What a

the oppressive heat of the Equator. In order to succeed in

lovely experience, I felt immense joy when I stepped out,” said

implementing the event, the swimming pool was filled with

Mayor Kezaala afterwards.

50 tonnes of ice. An enthusiastic crowd gathered to cheer the participants of For three days, the ‘Big Steve From England’ team from

the first African Ice Swimming Championships at the Jinja Nile

Skellefteå, the Dark & Cold winter swimming voluntary group,

Resort on 13 May 2013. There were entries from the host

which is connected to the International Winter Swimming

country Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of

Association, and the Uganda Swimming Federation filled

Congo and other African countries and also swimmers from

the pool with ice and managed to bring down the water

Sweden, Norway, Finland and the United Kingdom. No less

temperature to below 10˚C, which is the IWSA’s maximum

than 50 people competed for the title. Fastest of all was

14 |

asante | August – October 2013


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This is because the 70 kilometres stretch of the Nile north

In connection with the ‘Painting The City Bright’ tourism campaign, there was also a spectacular carnival on Main Street with musicians, dancers and other artists.

of Jinja is now a mecca for white-water rafting, river surfing, kayaking, bungee jumping, jet-boat riding and quad biking. The Bujagali Falls, an hour’s drive east of Kampala, is the launching point for a commercial white-water rafting route that ranks as one of the most thrilling and safest in the world, passing through three heart-stopping grade five rapids in one day.

16-year-old John Lule whose prize was a trip to next year’s Scandinavian winter swimming championships in Sweden.

There are several companies offering a variety of itineraries

Jinja’s Mayor, who inaugurated the competition by himself

without compromise. A typical itinerary would include a

dipping into the ice, intends to make this an annual event.

transfer from your hotel at Jinja where the mighty Nile begins its journey to the Mediterranean Sea. After a full safety

In connection with the ‘Painting The City Bright’ tourism

demonstration you will then enjoy a half-day adventure white-

campaign, there was also a spectacular carnival on Main Street

water rafting. With lots of good rapids, including the mighty

with musicians, dancers and other artists. A world-class concert

‘Itanda’ (The Bad Place) and a beautiful river with spectacular

was also held on the final day of the event, where Jamaican

flora and fauna, there are some very exciting sections with

reggae icons, Inner Circle, made their first appearance in Africa

space between to lay back and float along taking in the scenery

alongside a variety of other reggae bands from Uganda and

and enjoying the wildlife, particularly the many species of birds

Sweden.

to be found here.

At the show dubbed ‘Reggae on the Nile’, Inner Circle brought

Two kilometres upstream beside the Jinja Nile Resort is the

their special brand of pop-orientated Jamaican beats and

Nile High Camp which has a 44 metre bungee jump. Here,

energy-filled live performance to Ugandans at the Crested Crane

intrepid jumpers leap from a 12 metre cantilevered steel

Hotel. The concert was organised by Metro Green Uganda in

structure on top of a towering cliff above the Nile. If you want

partnership with Jinja Municipal Council and kicked off with

an extra adrenaline rush, there is the option of being dipped

performances from the Swedish Nine Miles reggae band.

into the river on a longer bungee. Often performing at this site is the ‘Ugandan Acrobatic’ Jeremiah Bazale.

Afrigo Band’s famous Rachael Magoola stepped in to join Governor and Ivon to perform the theme song ‘Paint The City

Fishing for Nile perch and tilapia attracts many anglers to

Bright’. Other Ugandan local artists like Ragga Dee and Gen.

the Bujagali Falls. The fast-flowing waters above and below

Megga Dee also performed for the crowd alongside DJ Mosh. It

the falls are probably the best places from which to cast off.

was a fun-filled event that will long be etched in the memory of

The king of the freshwater fish is without doubt the massive

the town’s residents.

Nile perch, while the much smaller, rather bony tilapia which makes good eating, can be found on the menus of many of

Less than 18 years ago, tourism activity on the Nile north of

Kampala’s finest restaurants.

Jinja was limited to a peaceful and rather obscure picnic site at the Bujagali Falls – a series of impressive rapids about 10

A visit to this enchanting town on the shores of Africa’s largest

kilometres (6 miles) downriver of the source of the Nile visited

lake will not disappoint. It is the human psyche that demands

by a handful of travellers annually. Today, the eastern bank

we discover and explore. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush

of the Nile between Jinja and Bujagali has developed into a

amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in Uganda, you’ll

world-class adventure-tourism centre, serviced by four bustling

be well rewarded for charting a course to Jinja, home to the

backpacker facilities, and an upmarket tented camp and hotel.

most colourful streets in Africa! •

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asante | August – October 2013


feature

Uganda is Truly the

PEARL OF AFRICA

The magnificent Murchison Falls.

asante | August – October 2013

Photos Š David Pluth/Camerapix Magazines

Uganda, the warm heart of Africa, offers the visitor unparalleled dramatic landscapes, a profusion of wildlife and unique experiences, Asante reports.

| 17


Visit the Rwenzori to explore and view the fascinating vegetation.

U

Sport fishing, Lake Victoria

The crested crane, Uganda’s striking national bird.

ganda, once the ‘Pearl of Africa’ has cast off the

the west, the Nile waters are thrust through a 6-metre (20-

layers of its grim past and now stands proudly

foot) gash in the rocks producing the awesome spectacle of

lustrous.

Murchison Falls plummeting 42 metres (138 feet).

After a decade of peace the land is

flourishing, the towns and cities bustling with

trade and activity, the economy expanding and the people as

The force of the river, harnessed by the Owen Falls Dam near

welcoming as always.

its source at Jinja, provides the country with its major electricity supply and much of its earnings; both Tanzania and Kenya also

Straddling the Equator in the heart of Africa, Uganda is blessed

benefit from this hydroelectricity scheme.

with an abundance of natural assets. The size of Britain and lying between the two clefts of the Rift Valley, Uganda’s terrain

Other commercially exploitable assets include rich sources of

ranges from snow-capped mountains to lake-filled valleys,

minerals and metals such as phosphates, graphite, magnetite,

from extinct volcanoes to highland plateaux. The country’s

dolomite and limestone, copper and gold, and — potentially —

varied beauty is breathtaking.

oil in the Rift Valley.

Nicknamed the ‘Breadbasket of Africa’, Uganda is one of the

The major cash crops include coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco

most fertile countries on the continent. It receives more than

and maize. The natural fertility and abundant rainfall allow

2,000 millimetres (78 inches) of annual rain feeding streams,

farmers to produce two or even three crops a year. Future

rivers and lakes, which cover 25 per cent of its surface. The

developments look to other horticultural products such as

resulting vegetation — tropical rain forests, savannah scrub

vegetables and flowers for export to Europe and the Middle

and Afro-alpine flora — are host to an awe-inspiring variety

East.

of wildlife including the threatened gorilla.

The current

government, to retain its splendour for everyone’s enjoyment

Diversity of the land is reflected in the diversity of the people.

today and in the future, is jealously guarding this entire rich

Although there are four major groups — Bantu, Nilotic, Nilo-

heritage.

Hamitic and Sudanic comprising over 33 ethnic groups, speaking over 40 languages — the people are united in their

Some of Uganda’s features are outstanding.

The country

efforts to a prosperous Uganda.

boasts the second largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Victoria, where the boundaries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya

Uganda has a rich history dating back 500,000 years when,

converge and the River Nile starts its 6,400 kilometres (3,977

according to fossil evidence, early humans inhabited the

miles) journey to the Mediterranean. Close to Lake Albert in

western Rift Valley. The Bantus have an agricultural heritage;

18 |

asante | August – October 2013


White-water rafting on the White Nile.

Kibale Hooting Chimp

by 5,000 BC Bantu groups living in the west, south and east

On arrival, visitors are impressed by the modern, efficient

of modern Uganda tilled the land and smelted iron, later

Entebbe airport run on international standards. It has been

adopting south-east Asia crops such as yams and bananas ––

greatly renovated and expanded.

which are today’s staple food crops for the average family. Entebbe is only half-an-hour’s lakeside drive from the thriving Pastoral immigrants from the Ethiopian region intermarried

capital, Kampala, also on the shores of Lake Victoria.

with

the

agricultural

Bantus

and

established

The

pastoral

capital was once the site of a Bugandan palace where the

aristocracies in western and central Uganda. Nilotic nomadic

royal impala grazed. From this picturesque tradition the city

groups migrated from the north by the first millennium AD

derived its name: Kasozi ka Impala or Hill of Antelopes. But

and eventually established

rather than one hill, Kampala,

the dynasty of Bunyoro.

like legendary Rome, was built

For centuries the various groups the

have

traversed

Ugandan

plateaux,

Most visitors, of course, are attracted to this distinct country by its game parks, its majestic mountains and lush landscapes.

merging and clashing and establishing

new

groups

on seven.

The original hill,

on which British explorer and adventurer, Captain Frederick Lord Lugard, built a fort and administrative post, is now known as Old Kampala Hill.

and languages. Out of these diverse groups developed several

The fort still stands and although the government offices have

states or kingdoms:

moved to Nakasero Hill, now the city centre, it is one of the

in the west and centre the original

Bachwezi empire, later superseded by the centralised kingdoms

main tourist attractions of the city.

of Bunyoro and Nkore which in turn became dominated by the more cohesive and liberal kingdom of Buganda. Buganda

Other places of interest to visitors include the prestigious

continued to dominate until colonisation in the late 1800s.

Makerere University — the first in East Africa; the National Museum housing several cultural, ethnological and musical

In the late 1700s, Arab and European traders of cloth, utensils

collections; the imposing Parliament Buildings; the ancient

and guns, in exchange for ivory and slaves, were closely

Bugandan Kasubi Tombs; the macabre Martyrs’ Shrine and other

followed by Muslim and Christian missionaries, explorers such

religious centres including the Baha’i Temple unique in Africa.

as Grant and Speke, and finally European colonialists. After innumerable political squabbles amongst the colonial powers,

Kampala is one of the most pleasant cities to walk around. Not

Uganda eventually became a British Protectorate in 1894.

only is it safe from muggings and pestering but the pleasant

asante | August – October 2013

| 19


Other much-visited destinations include the lush, forested western highlands fringed by the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. The area boasts three lakes named after British Queen Victoria’s sons, four national parks and several forest reserves. Each of these magnificent parks has unique features and ecosystems. Kibale National Park is the wettest of the parks offering a unique moist evergreen forest habitat hosting a profusion of primates and diverse wildlife. But the priceless jewel of them all is Rwenzori Mountains National Park or ‘Mountains of the Moon’. It is a land of mists and mysterious rock and ice Lioness spotted in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

formations, weird overgrown vegetation, and the echoing, eerie

climate and temperature, enhanced by cool lake breezes and the green landscaped streets make it a delightful place to meander in. It may rain most days, but the wettest and possibly less pleasant months are February to April and October to December. The visitor is spoilt for choice when it comes to hotels, restaurants and cafes. Local and international cuisines are on offer as is accommodation to suit every one’s taste and pocket. Almost every week new hotels, apartments and places for refreshment open their doors, making Kampala a dynamic, energizing city. Most visitors, of course, are attracted to this distinct country by its game parks, its majestic mountains and lush landscapes.

Male kob, Queen Elizabeth National Park.

A trip to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the southwest is a unique experience for even the most sophisticated world

screeches of the nocturnal hyrax. Such are the opportunities

traveller.

of this park; it takes a minimum of six or seven days to savour its splendours.

Visitors may also be tempted by guided hikes and climbs through the park or a trip to the Garama Cave, once home to

But no matter which part of Uganda toured, the mode of

Iron Age communities.

travel or the time of year, the visitor will be amazed by the spectacular landscapes, the warmth of the people and the

Nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park— containing one

diversity of wildlife.

of the largest natural forests in East Africa including six square kilometres of bamboo — offers another rare opportunity

Most will agree that little appears to have changed since

to view the gorillas but the dense undergrowth makes the

the 1900s when Winston Churchill exclaimed in My African

trekking more challenging and is not to be undertaken by the

Journey, “For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for

faint-hearted. However the rich ecosystem makes the effort

profusion of brilliant life — plant, bird, insect, reptile, beast —

worthwhile.

for vast scale . . . Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa.” •

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asante | August – October 2013


a s a n t e |a A 1 3 | | 2271 s aungtues tM–a yO c– t Joubl ey r 22001 3


WILDLIFE

H w Africa’s Giants W rk

Photos © James Michael Dorsey

‘‘The first time I met an elephant it walked right up to my vehicle, stuck its trunk through the window and took in my scent, deciding I was tolerable’’, says James Michael Dorsey.

22 |

asante | August – October 2013


WILDLIFE

A

s the largest land animal on earth, the elephant

regulate the flow of blood into their ears where it is cooled by

is not only beautiful and graceful to watch, highly

the outside air and this is one reason you see them flapping

intelligent and curious, but stands alone as an

those ears so often, acting as a natural fan.

engineering marvel. Even though their skin is leather tough they sunburn easily, so

First of all it should be mentioned that there are both Asian

they spend much of their time in water when it is available;

and African elephants. The Africans, that are found in 37

if not, they pick up dirt with their trunks and throw it over

different countries, are easily identified by their oversized ears

their back and head for protection. A male African elephant

and larger girth, plus they have far less hair than the Asian

will stand 3 to 4 metres (10-13 feet) tall at the shoulders

variety. The ears of the African species are a great place to

while a female will reach 2 metres (7-8 feet). An adult male

start learning about these magnificent giants.

can weigh up to 5,450 kilogrammes (about 12,000 pounds), while a female might reach 3,650 kilogrammes (about 8,000

Elephants have no sweat glands but most of them live in hot

pounds). Because of this they are the only known animal that

climates and must cool off periodically. A close look at their

lacks the ability to jump. They have a life span of 50-70 years

ear will reveal it to be so thin as to show all the veins and

and the oldest one on record reached 82 years. They become

capillaries when a light is shone through it. Elephants can

sexually active at about 20 years of age.

Besides being used for eating, drinking, and smelling, the trunk is an integral part of socialising, and they use it to caress and interlock with other elephants’ trunks much like humans shake hands.

asante | August – October 2013

| 23


WILDLIFE

These giants are among the best swimmers in all of Africa, using their large flat feet like paddles, and are – despite their bulk – very buoyant.

Their bones, especially the leg bones, are massive compared

consume their body weight. Since there is little nutrition in the

to any other animal and have no marrow compartment inside,

grass and stalks that dominate their diet, they have a small sack

making them more like support columns than bones. These in

known as a caecum in their lower intestine that allows bacteria

turn are supported by multiple layers of muscles that, unlike

to break up the minimal nutrients and ferments them for use.

other smaller animals whose muscles follow the pattern of the

This caecum is in the place where humans have an appendix.

arm or leg, in the elephant, run at various angles across the bones, crisscrossing each other like a jigsaw puzzle, and acting

Like most animal vegetarians they have no canine teeth. They

as a fulcrum to hold up the massive weight. This gigantic

do not have individual teeth at all, but in their place there is

load would crush most other bone structures, especially when

one long, wide tooth with ridges, in both the upper and lower

the entire weight of approximately four tonnes is applied

jaw that is used to grind their herbal diet. These teeth grow

to a single leg when they run, but the elephant also has a

constantly from rear to front, pushing the older section forward,

gelatinous cushion in its heel that absorbs much of the shock

and in time, after much use, they break off in flat sections, like

and distributes it across the large flat foot with each step.

slices from a loaf of bread. This insures constant replacement with new and strong chewing capacity.

Another unique feature is their lungs which, unlike those of a human, are directly connected to their rib cage that helps

Many people think only male elephants have tusks. This is true

to inflate them as they walk. If they were a separate organ,

of Asian elephants, but the African females have them also;

as in humans, the elephant’s weight would not allow them to

they are simply vestigial, inside the mouth and too small to

breathe.

see unless you are able to open their mouth and get inside. An elephants’ tusks take the place of human incisors and are

They eat no meat, and being herbivores they will graze for

used for both digging food and for fighting, a most formidable

up to 18 hours per day, taking in up to 272 kilogrammes

weapon. The word elephant itself comes from ancient Greece

(600 pounds) of fodder per day and taking about 20 days to

and means, ‘ivory.’

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asante | August – October 2013


Because their tusks are ivory and quite valuable to poachers, many biologists believe that an accelerated evolutionary process has begun in which the size of the male tusks is rapidly diminishing as a natural defence against this poaching, and that if it continues, in a few more generations, elephants may lose their tusks Right: Youngster trumpeting.

entirely, but that in turn may save the species from being hunted to extinction. The most fascinating and complex part of this animal has to be the trunk with its 150,000 separate muscles that not only allow it completely free rotational movement, but also the delicate flexibility to pick up an object the size of a small

Opposite: Flared ears are a warning to intruders.

It is believed that elephants are among the most intelligent animals in all of Africa.

pebble. It is strong enough to uproot a tree, and when an elephant stands on its hind legs to reach

who predominately claims these trees. While some may find

the tastiest part of the tallest tree branches it

this to be funny, the animal is extremely vulnerable to smaller

may reach 5 metres (15 feet) from the ground.

predators while in this state.

Besides being used for eating, drinking, and

I have had many personal encounters with elephants during

smelling, the trunk is an integral part of

my travels on the continent and have learned to read much

socialising, and they use it to caress and interlock

of their body language. For the most part they are peaceful

with other elephants’ trunks much like humans

creatures but will fight with fury when threatened, especially if

shake hands. They touch each other in every day

they have young or infirm in the herd. If you get too close they

interaction much as human friends do. They do

will flare their ears and trumpet a warning, and if that does not

not take food through the trunk to eat but pick it

work, a bluff charge will usually warn off the intruder. They are

up and hold it while transferring it to their mouth.

known to have tight knit family groups, usually ruled over by an

They do drink water through the trunk and it will

aging matriarch, and will gather to defend a wounded comrade.

hold up to two and a half gallons. When they

When the herd is threatened they will circle, placing babies and

drink they can consume 364 litres (80 gallons)

females inside, while the bulls face outward with their tusks

of water at a time. The trunk is also used as a

ready to defend them. When one of the herd dies they will linger

snorkel while swimming and, by the way, these

around the body for days, caressing it lovingly with their trunks,

giants are among the best swimmers in all of

and while we lack the ability to directly communicate with them,

Africa, using their large flat feet like paddles, and

it is believed that elephants are among the most intelligent

are – despite their bulk – very buoyant.

animals in all of Africa.

Another trait they do share with humans is their

We know elephants have been around since prehistoric times

taste for alcohol. There is a tree in Africa known as

as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) tests have shown that they

the Marula that is an elephant favourite. Its fruit

are directly linked to the extinct woolly mammoth. They have

ferments quickly once ingested and literally makes

survived all the natural disasters a continent experiences

the elephant falling-down drunk. Other animals

over millennia and are still there, but with poaching an ever

such as monkeys have discovered its properties

increasing problem, the elephant may now face its most serious

and make use of them also but it is the elephant

impediment to survival ever: man. •

asante | August – October 2013

| 25


26 |

asante | August – October 2013


feature

The Kasubi Tombs Rising from the Ashes Peter Holthusen reports on the reconstruction of the sacred Buganda burial site, and UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Centre.

O

n the morning of 16 March 2010, the residents of Kampala were awakened by news of a devastating fire that almost completely destroyed some of the major buildings at their beloved Kasubi Tombs – the ancestral burial ground of the

Buganda Kings and one of Uganda’s most cherished UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The following day, His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, visited the tombs to assess the damage. Hundreds of people from all over the country also travelled to the site to help salvage any remains. Although arson was initially suspected, the cause of the fire is as yet unknown and the Buganda Kingdom has already started to rebuild the tombs of their ancient Kings. President Museveni has confirmed the Government of Uganda will assist in the restoration of the site. Following the fire, the Government set up a judicial commission of inquiry chaired by Justice Stephen George Engwau to establish the cause of the inferno. The commission was also tasked to assess the security status at the time of the incident in addition to inquiring into the capacity Photos © David Pluth/Camerapix Magazines

of the persons in charge of the site at the time. The probe team recently finalised its report and handed it over to the gender ministry under whose responsibility, heritage and culture falls. During the course of a recent visit to the site, the new Katikiiro (Prime Minister of Buganda), Charles Peter Mayiga, vowed to make the reconstruction of the Kasubi Tombs his priority. “It will be my first responsibility which I will do and finish”, he later said to reporters.

asante | August – October 2013

| 27


feature

Among the visitors to the site were the Buganda Minister

On 1 March 2013, the project received a further boost when

of Culture and Tourism, Hajji Mohammed Ssekimpi, and

UNESCO signed an agreement to provide logistic, technical,

other Kingdom officials. The technical team in charge of the

scientific and financial assistance for the reconstruction

renovations at the tombs, led by Hubert Robert Kibuka, guided

of the tombs. The participants at the signing ceremony

the Katikiiro through the tombs.

in Paris included Elizabeth Paula Napeyok, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda

In 2011, the Kingdom of Buganda contracted the Kampala-

to France; Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO World

based Omega Construction Ltd to undertake the restoration

Heritage Centre, and Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Chief of the

of the tombs at an estimated cost of Shs 2 billion ($ 1m).

Africa Unit at the World Heritage Centre.

Despite initial delays in the reconstruction of the site, some structures such as the administration offices, visitor centre,

The ancestral Tombs of the Buganda Kings at Kasubi

toilets and the surrounding fence, among others, have now

constitute a site embracing almost 30 hectares of rolling

been completed.

countryside on Kasubi Hill, five kilometres from Kampala city centre, along the Kampala-Hoima Road. Most of the

The Project Manager, Jonathan Nsubuga, who made the

site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods, and

architectural drawings, said: “the tombs would be rebuilt to

bears eloquent witness to the living cultural heritage of the

their original state using materials such as grass and reeds”.

Baganda people.

He added, however, “the future development would include the incorporation of fire, smoke detectors and state-of-the-

Its place as the burial ground of the previous four Kabakas

art firefighting equipment to alleviate the risk of future fires”.

or ‘Kings’, qualifies the Kasubi Tombs as a major spiritual

The work is estimated to take about a year to complete and

centre for the Royal Family, a place where the Kabaka and his

is being supervised by Pius Mugerwa Mugalasi of Omega

representatives carry out important rituals related to Buganda

Construction.

culture. The site represents a religious sanctuary where

28 |

asante | August – October 2013


Opposite: The Kasubi Tombs constructed in traditional fashion, with thatch, poles and reeds. The tombs are housed in a huge domed structure that holds the remains of four former kings of Buganda, namely Mutesa I, Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa II, and Edward Mutesa II.

communication links with the spiritual world are still maintained.

the middle of the other buildings around the large D-shaped central courtyard (Olugya), with a forecourt

At its core on the hilltop is the main tomb building, locally referred to as

containing the royal drum house and entry gatehouse,

the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga which is a masterpiece of this ensemble. A

are a typical ensemble of the Buganda Kingdom

tomb building has been in existence on the site since the 13th century.

palace. The practice of using a grass thatched roof

The latest building was the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda,

resting on structural rings of palm tree fronds is still

built in 1882 and converted into the Royal burial ground in 1884.

being maintained as well as the internal elements and finishing materials such as the long wooden

Its special organisation, starting from the border of the site marked with

poles wrapped in bark cloth decoration.

traditional bark cloth trees, leading through the gatehouse, the main courtyard, and culminating in the large thatched building, housing the

Although the authenticity of the site has been

tombs of the four Kabakas, represents the finest existing example of a

weakened by the loss to the fire of the main tomb

Buganda palace and burial site.

structure, the building’s traditional architectural craftsmanship and the required skills are still available

The main tomb building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome,

to allow it to be recreated. This factor, coupled with

is a major example of an architectural achievement that was raised with

the extensive documentation of the building, will

the use of vegetal materials comprised of wooden poles, spear grass,

allow an authentic renewal of this key attribute.

reeds, wattle and daub. Its unusual scale and outstanding details bear witness to the creative genius of the Baganda and as a masterpiece

The Baganda belong to the Bantu-speaking people

of form and craftsmanship.

and date their political civilisation back to the 13th century. According to oral traditions, the first Kabaka

The authenticity of the Tombs of the Kings of Buganda at Kasubi is

of Buganda was Kintu. He is said to have come with

reflected in the continuity of the traditional and cultural practices that

his wife Nambi, whose hand he won by performing

are associated with the site. The original burial system of the Kabakas

heroic deeds at the command of her father Ggulu,

is still being maintained. The placement of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga in

the god of the sky. Kabaka Kintu is said not to have

asante | August – October 2013

| 29


Photo © Peter Holthusen Left: The entire structure of the entrance portal to the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is made from grass, a variety of fibres, and stems of tree saplings.

died but to have disappeared into a forest at Magonga. At

an important burial place of the Kabakas of Buganda. This

Kasubi and in all other Royal tombs, there is an area behind a

status was reinforced when his son and successor, Daudi

bark cloth (lubugo) curtain known as “Kibira” or forest, where

Chwa II, died in 1939 and was also buried there.

certain secret ceremonies are performed. At the Kasubi Tombs the Kibira is the area where the real tombs of the Kabakas are

His son and successor, Sir Edward Muteesa II, was at first

located, while in front of the curtain there are raised platforms

in conflict with Britain and then, after independence in

corresponding to the position of each Kabaka’s tomb behind

1962 he became the first President of Uganda, with his

the curtain.

own Prime Minister. Kasubi was stormed in 1966 and the President went into exile in the United Kingdom, but after

The first Kabaka to be buried at Kasubi was Muteesa I, the

he died in 1969 his remains were returned to Kampala

35th King of Buganda. He became a very powerful King, the

and buried at Kasubi in 1971. Four successive Kabakas of

first to be influenced by foreign cultures. Muteesa I adopted

Buganda were therefore buried in the same tomb house at

some Islamic religious practices learnt from the ivory and

Kasubi, the building which is at the core of this UNESCO

slave traders from Zanzibar. He also showed interest in

World Heritage Site. Each Prince and Princess who is a

Europe after acting as host in 1862 to John Hanning Speke,

descendant of the four Kabakas is also buried there behind

the first European visitor. In 1875 he asked Henry Morton

the main shrine.

Stanley, the explorer, for teachers of European learning and religion. Some surviving artefacts reflect this pivotal period

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II was crowned as the Kabaka of

in local history when the Baganda were first exposed to

Buganda, and in 1997 the Kasubi Tombs were returned

Arab traders and European explorers.

to the Buganda Kingdom, which is today one of the four Kingdoms in Uganda. The site serves as an important

When Muteesa I died in 1884, he broke two traditions:

historical and cultural symbol for Uganda and East Africa as

his body was buried whole and it was buried in his palace,

a whole, and is unquestionably one of the most attractive

Kasubi. This practice was followed when, in 1910, the

tourist sites in the country. Small wonder, there is such a

remains of his successor, Mwanga II were brought back from

determined effort to see the Kasubi Tombs rise from the

the Seychelles and also buried there, establishing Kasubi as

ashes! •

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asante | August – October 2013


asante | August – October 2013

| 31


destination

The Chagga

Africa’s Mountain Men

Photos © David Pluth/Camerapix Magazines

James Michael Dorsey climbs Kilimanjaro with the ‘Sherpas of Africa’.

32 |

Climbers descending from the summit.

asante | August – October 2013


destination

T

he history of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest

20th century, they united into one tribal culture that became

mountain, is as thickly shrouded in mystery as the

the Chagga.

billowing clouds that often hide its snowy summit. The Chagga had a powerful chief and were fine warriors. They

Even its name is a mystery as no one is sure where it came

had numerous ceremonies and traditions that have now been

from or what it means. Depending on whom you talk to it

mostly forgotten except in their evening tales around the fire.

is a combination of the Chagga words, ‘Kilimo’, meaning

Their proximity to the mountain attracted so much outside

impossible, and ‘Jyaro’ meaning caravan, thus an extremely

influence that over the decades it eroded their traditional

difficult trip. Others claim it comes from the Swahili words

culture, whilst they assimilated bits and pieces from those

Mavenji and Kibo that mean Mountain of Greatness, but there

who came to them from all over the world.

are countless other versions, too numerous to mention, and just as many authors have spelled it in as many ways over the years.

They were, and are, agriculturalists but as more and more visitors became interested in the mountain they began to

If you have experienced the wonder of standing on the summit

add guiding and portage as a means to better their economic

of Africa at 5,895 metres, (19,341 feet) you may not even realise

condition. Because of their international clientele, many Chagga

that the person who guided you there was most likely a Chagga

speak several languages and have gained a wide knowledge of

tribesman; over the years the Chagga have gained the reputation

the outside world without ever having travelled very far.

and nickname of ‘Sherpas of Africa’. Unfortunately, until recently, the Chagga have been at the The first written reference to the mountain was by Ptolemy

mercy of the people hiring them for the climb regarding wages,

of Alexandria in Egypt who in about 50 AD wrote of a “Great

equipment, and food, but that is all changing.

snow mountain”. Almost 1,000 years passed with little else being mentioned until small references began to appear in

When I went up the mountain several years ago on the Rongai

the writings of Arab, Chinese, and Portuguese merchants. In

route – one of six different trails – it was a six day approach

1848 a Christian missionary named Rebman is believed to be

march and I was astonished to find my porters all passing

the first white man to set eyes on the mountain, and in 1889

me as though I were the tortoise and they the hares, with

a German Geology professor named Hans Meyer and his

25 kilograms, (50 pounds ) of gear balanced on top of their

cartographer assistant, Oscar Bauman, are credited with being

head while wearing only flip-flops for shoes! These men,

the first to reach the summit on 18th October. At that time it

so accustomed to a hearty lifestyle went up and down the

was estimated that around 11,000 people lived on or near the

mountain like most people walk to work.

base of the mountain. They lived in thatched huts in the shape of beehives. These were the Chagga.

My guide, Geoffrey, explained that there were no rules or regulations regarding the employment of guides and porters but

It is generally believed that the Chagga migrated south after a large

he counted himself fortunate to work for the Marangu Hotel in

earthquake in the Great Rift Valley some 250-500 years ago where

nearby Moshi that treated its employees very well, especially

they found the Wakonyingo, Wangassa, Ungo, and a pygmy tribe

when compared to other outfitters on the mountain. At that

whose name is now lost to history, already settled on the slopes of

time Geoffrey had reached the summit of the mountain 15 times

the massive giant. In his 1924 book about the mountain, Charles

and guided hundreds of people. He was a fascinating man

Dundas estimated there to be close to 725 different clans nearby,

and I counted myself fortunate to have had him for a guide.

all with their own chieftains, ceremonies, beliefs, and rituals. Carrying only a day pack and water, I would plod steadily along These people slowly united until there were only six clans, all

all day with Geoffrey at my side, and find a perfect little camp

named for the six rivers that flow around the mountain, and

waiting for me with a hot cup of cocoa and a camp chair outside

after German occupation of East Africa in the early part of the

my tent when I arrived.

asante | August – October 2013

| 33


destination

promoted to guide or head guide, it carries great prestige. Climbing Kilimanjaro is serious business and several people die on the mountain every year because they are not physically or mentally prepared. Some think because of its low elevation compared to other tallest continental peaks it is an easy walk. It is not. The knowledge and experience of the Chagga are necessary for those who would stand at Uhuru peak, the summit of Africa. In fact, regulations now require anyone wishing to ascend the mountain to have a licensed guide and set number of porters for each member of the climbing team. During my climb, Geoffrey constantly asked me how I was doing, checked my pulse and, asked me questions to assure I was not

The knowledge of Geoffrey and his team was astounding, not only did they know every plant, tree, bush, and animal, but they educated me about the history of the mountain and East Africa in general. I

Above: Climbers taking a break on the Summit ridge.

succumbing to altitude sickness. I had to agree in advance that if at any time he felt I was not up to it, he had the right to turn me around

would sit in the cook tent before meals watching the

and head back down with no questions asked.

men work while asking countless questions, feeling I

He put my safety first.

had been given insight to a rare culture. In the early days guides and porters were paid The first morning that I stepped outside my tent to

poorly, had to supply their own climbing gear, and

find myself above a solid layer of clouds that seemed

while their clients were being well fed, the porters

to cover all of Africa, I felt as though I was touching

usually had one meal per day of a corn porridge

the face of God and realised the entire crew were

called ugali.

standing there also, in awe of the place they lived and worked, and knew then just how deep their love

Today there are unions for the porters and guides,

of the mountain ran.

and the Kilimanjaro Porters Association Project is working with various travel companies and

Even though we were spread out along the trail, they

be among these hardy mountaineers who loved their

Air Uganda flies to Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania

work and life itself.

4 times a week.

sang most of the day and I tried to join in even though I did not know the words. It was simply a pleasure to

outfitters on the mountain to assure proper working conditions, clothing, supplies, and food for the Chagga and have established a minimum wage for their services, but they usually get more than that. The Chagga are proud of their work on the

In recent years, the Chagga have greatly improved

mountain and eager to show their home to those

their standard of living due to this difficult work. The

who come to climb with them. If you do, you will

beehive huts are long gone, exchanged for nice homes

be richly rewarded with the knowledge, experience,

with plumbing and electricity. Within their community,

camaraderie, and just plain friendliness of these

being a porter is honourable work, and when they are

mountain men of Africa. •

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asante | August – October 2013


asante | August – October 2013

| 35


Feature

Cane, Wicker & Furniture in East Africa It is probable that the first human seat was a tree branch or log. From that humble beginning every kind of wood has been used to make bigger, better and more comfortable seating, says Patricia Hughes Scott.


Feature

The use of natural materials has long been part of African culture, and now bamboo is a rapidly growing

Bamboo is a rapidly growing trade in East Africa, with many beautiful, unique and intricate household items designed and handmade by African craftsmen.

trade in East Africa, with many beautiful, unique and intricate household items designed and hand-made by African craftsmen. Bamboo’s tough outer coat is stripped off to reveal beautifully marked slender lengths of wood which make elegantly attractive furniture. People throughout the ages have utilised materials which are found locally and wicker cane and willow, which are very supple in the immature stage, can be turned and twisted into almost any shape.

W

Wickerwork furniture is created by weaving coarse

tombs dating back more than 2000 years BC.

Cane refers to any of various tall woody reeds

hile we may not know who

fibres around a frame that forms the core of the

invented the first chair, we do know

item. The word wicker actually means ‘small pliant

that wickerwork (bending supple

twig’ from two Swedish words, and is taken to mean

branches) to make seating is an

any slender supply tree.

ancient craft. Woven rush has been found in Egyptian with a hollow pithy, flexible jointed stem. Raffia The legendary bull rush basket that sheltered baby

is the coarse stalks of the raffia palm, native to

Moses in the biblical story was probably a prototype of

Madagascar. The word rattan covers hundreds of

the wicker baby baskets in use today. Woven basket

plants which all have long, fibrous stalks covered

chairs were popular in the Middle Ages in Europe,

with tough bark.

and wicker work was taken to America by the pilgrims

other trees.

It grows like a vine, clinging to

from Europe who set sail to the new world in search of a new life.

Reeds are cut from the pithy interior of the rattan stalk, and rush grows wild in swamps along riverbanks

Stone carvings from the Sumerian and Roman

and other moist places. This is soaked in water then

cultures show dignitaries seated on wicker chairs.

woven piece by piece into a rope resembling twine

Seating made from pliable rushes, young tree shoots

which can then be used for baskets or wound round

and bamboo are evidenced almost continuously

a stronger wooden frame to make furniture.

throughout history. China was, and probably still is, the leading user of bamboo - for many purposes - but

Seagrass is the dried stems of a kind of grass found

this noble, decorative and one of the most useful,

in seas and lakes.

plants in nature, has spread around the world, and is now firmly established in East Africa.

Sisal is a widely cultivated plant yielding a durable white fibre used for twine but which makes floor

Natural materials such as wicker, cane, willow and

mats and many other things.

bamboo can be utilised to enhance any décor, not just veranda or garden furniture. Nowadays they are

Bamboo is a member of the grass family, although

used to make strikingly attractive indoor furniture, wall

it can grow to more than 30 metres it is usually

dividers and items like waste baskets or plant stands.

classed as a tree.

asante | August – October 2013

| 37


feature

All these natural materials are very strong and durable but, if exposed to

timber firms are having to import bamboo

extreme weather conditions or are not

from the Congo, although Tanzania has a

cared for, they could deteriorate. The

plentiful production.

following rules should be observed to lengthen the life of any item made from

feet) high and 30 centimetres (one foot)

Bamboo’s

these natural materials –

in thickness within a period of only two

construction, scaffolding, ladders, fencing

uses

include

rural

house

months. Reaching full maturity in one

and paper. Young shoots create good

• Don’t leave items for long periods in

year, bamboo has been reported to grow

windbreaks, which can be sustainably

direct heat, as this dries the fibres and

more than a metre (four feet) in a single

harvested annually and some species

makes them prone to splitting, as well

day in some areas.

have thorns which create an excellent

as bleaching the finish; • Clean items regularly to avoid mould

hedge. Development

in

bamboo

production

developing in the rainy season – don’t

in Africa, particularly in the regions

At the household level, bamboo is not

soak with water, use a damp cloth, and

bordering Lake Victoria and other water

only an ornamental attraction in many

when dry they can be wiped sparingly

catchment areas is opening up many

gardens, and providing beautiful furniture

with a light oil;

business possibilities. It can be grown

and other items such as flooring.

in areas used for sugar cane and coffee

also a valuable source of firewood and

cultivation, thus providing an alternative

charcoal and its rapid growth ensures a

or additional cash crop.

regular supply.

• Outdoor furniture should be varnished for protection.

It is

One big advantage of all these natural materials is if one part breaks, it is easily

At present, most bamboo comes from

Bamboo shoots are widely used in Far

replaced.

forests

governmental

East menus, and experiments are being

managed

by

departments, and demand exceeds supply,

conducted in East Africa in growing several

Bamboo in East Africa

especially to create hard and soft wood,

edible varieties which could be included

Bamboo is the fastest growing and most

and by large paper producing companies

in hotel menus, as well as available for

versatile plant in the world. It can reach

who use bamboo to make paper pulp and

general consumption. Mild and crunchy,

a maximum of about 37 metres (120

fuel their boilers. It has been reported that

they can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

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asante | August – October 2013


No other woody plant matches the bamboo’s versatility in environmental conservation. It is a viable

replacement

softwoods.

for

both

hardwoods

and

Its growth rate is three times that of

eucalyptus (now widely planted in East Africa) and matures in three years; thereafter harvests are possible every second year for up to 120 years. Bamboo rhizomes anchor topsoil along steep slopes and riverbanks, effectively controlling erosion. Their thick leaves, sheaves and old culms decompose quickly and create a thick humus layer that enriches the soil. Research by the Kenya Forestry Research

Some Facts about Bamboo • Worldwide, more than 10 million tonnes of bamboo are produced annually. • In India bamboo accounts for around 60% of the country’s massive timber needs, including their huge paper production. • Ancient folklore believed that the smooth expanse between nodes represented virtue, and the hollow interior symbolised modesty and humility. • Over 2 million tonnes of edible bamboo shoots, rich in vitamins and low in carbohydrates, fats and proteins, are consumed around the world every year.

Institute has shown that when this occurs, the forests have excellent hydrological functions. Some bamboo species absorb as much as 12 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per hectare, a valuable asset in the fight to control global warming. It absorbs water faster than most plants and is used in some parts of the world for cleaning sewage. Even

• In Thailand bamboo shoots are collected in the natural forests and widely consumed, although there is some concern about this widespread harvesting depleting the forest stocks. • Bamboo shoots are the key food for China’s pandas, the rarest group of which, the Giant Pandas, now number less than 1,000 in the wild. • Bamboo poles are widely used in rural house construction in the Far East and Bangladesh use around 10 million tones annually for this purpose.

more importantly, it soaks up heavy metals, so is a potential answer to polluted waters. In East Africa, Lake Victoria’s shores are dotted with large urban centres that discharge domestic and industrial waste into its waters. It is understood that ICRAF (The International Council for Research in Agroforestry) is interested in working with municipal authorities to introduce bamboo for waste water treatment in towns

• Arundinaria alpine is a species of bamboo native to Kenya but now widely grown throughout East Africa. It can yield as many as 20,000 culms (poles) per hectare per year – with each culm growing to a height of 12 metres (40 feet) and over 30 metres (90 feet) at full maturity. • The World Agroforesty Centre has distributed seedlings of the giant bamboo Dendrocalamus giganteus in East Africa. This giant bamboo is nature’s fastest growing woody plant, and its culms are the strongest, lightest natural material known to man.

along Lake Victoria’s shoreline. •

asante | August – October 2013

| 39


SPORTS

The Amazing

Story of Kitata How fate and talent combined to transform a novice into East Africa’s finest amateur golfer, by Joseph Kabuleta.

U

gandan golfer, Willy Deus Kitata, dreams of

His dad came in the middle and fathered just him. When his

plying his trade on the lucrative Asian or European

mother married again he was left with older half-brothers who

professional tours before long. But before you

didn’t particularly like him and a step-father who detested all

dismiss him as another fantasising youngster,

but his own biological children. Kitata decided at the age of nine

yet to confront the austerity of reality, spare a thought for this

that he wasn’t going to stay in that place, and his adventure

young man.

began. The first step on his nomadic journey was Masaka town but after a short while he decided that opportunities, even for

No golfer from East Africa has ever played on any of those tours.

street boys, must be better in Kampala. He hitch-hiked his way

But then again, no golfer from this region has a story quite as

to the city and arrived starving with nothing or no one to turn to.

remarkable as this 21–year–old amateur. “But I was unfazed, really,” he says. “Having no one to care for Kitata is a lanky, unassuming lad who is still a little timid. When

me had been the story of my life, even when I was at home.”

I met him he was dressed in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt, with a backpack hanging behind it. He looked anything but a

He pitched camp at Luwum Street, right in the heart of Kampala,

golfer. He was a little reticent at the start but soon opened up

and did odd jobs to get money for food. After a few days on the

and poured out a story that left me flummoxed.

street, he approached a middle-aged lady and asked her to get him some work. She had a farm in Entebbe and took him to

Kitata swung his first club as an 18-year-old in 2010. It’s

feed her cows, goats and chickens.

possible he didn’t even know that there existed any such sport as golf until then. Yet by the close of 2012 he was ranked as

“That’s when I started saving money to go to school at New

the best amateur in East Africa. If you think that is incredible,

Life Centre in Entebbe town,” Kitata says, smiling. “When I got

then fasten your seat belt for the rest of this ride.

to Entebbe I found a friend whom I had met on the streets of Kampala and we shared a house down in the swamp.”

He was born into a polygamous family which, of course, is not unusual in the rural areas of Masaka, 120 kilometres

Even if their hovel was makeshift and a good distance away

west of Kampala. But unlike all other polygamous homes

from normal habitation, it was a good alternative to street

which are about a multiplicity of wives, Kitata’s mother is the

life. He continued his studies and eventually sat his Primary

one that bore all 12 children from three different husbands.

Leaving Exams in 2006. He got aggregate 24. He moved on

40 |

asante | August – October 2013


No golfer from East Africa has ever played on any of those tours.

Photos Courtesy of Joseph Kabuleta

Sports


No golfer from this region has a story quite as remarkable as this 21-year-old amateur. to Entebbe Lake View secondary school where he studied up

Incredibly, with three holes left to play on the final day of the

to Senior Three.

Open, Kitata was at the top of the leader board. It beggared belief.

His roommate in the shanty swamp house worked as a caddie at the Entebbe golf club and it was he who introduced the teenage

“Naturally, everyone was shocked but trouble began when I

Kitata to the sport. And so at the start of 2010, Kitata held a

became one of them,” he says. “How couldn’t I? There I was,

golf club for the first time. It wasn’t long before he and the sport

a novice who hadn’t competed until the previous year, but I

fell in love and they were joined by fate.

was leading at the Open. My mind wandered. I believe it’s the thought of the prize money that left me in a spin. I was already

“There was this Mzungu (white) man, a pilot from North Carolina

budgeting for the sh 4m ($1600), such a monumental figure in

who was on holiday in Uganda. He was such a tremendous

my life at the time.”

golfer. I really wanted to caddie for him but the caddie master wouldn’t let me. I was an upstart in the job and this guy gave big

The nerves crept in, and the bogeys too. Still he finished a

tips so everyone wanted to hold his bag. But it wasn’t just his

respectable third.

bag and tips that I was interested in. I also admired his swing.” One day the American was at the driving range, hitting one

“I called Tim who was in North Carolina to tell him what I had

ball after another when he noticed a young man watching him

done but he laughed me off. It wasn’t until he read the online

intently, with admiration.

newspapers that he believed me.”

“Do you play golf,” he asked. “I do, but only on Monday because

Kitata was still basking in the glory of his Open performance and

that’s when caddies are permitted to play.”

getting used to his new-found fame and newspaper interviews when he received a call from Johnson Omollo, the secretary

“So I will set up a match with you next Monday,” the American

general of Uganda Golf Union.

said. It was a conversation that changed Kitata’s life. “He asked me if I had a passport. I lied, and told him I did, “It wasn’t so much a match as a training session,” Kitata says.

and he asked me to bring it to the Union offices the following

“He corrected my swing and many parts of my short game and

day. I didn’t have one. So I went to the passport office and

I got to know his name: Tim Stahlschimdt. It was he who gave

immediately applied for one and got it after 10 working days. In

me my first kit, along with his contact details and asked me

that time I had to switch off my phone because Mr. Omollo was

to stay in touch.”

constantly calling.”

Kitata saved money from caddying and used it to pay for

Luckily for Kitata, he was still in time to be entered as part of

membership at the Tororo golf club, which he chose because

the Ugandan team to South Africa. “The speed at which things

it’s probably the cheapest in the country. And it was that

were unfolding in my life was overwhelming.

membership card that permitted him to enter the 2011 Uganda Open.

When I sat in the aircraft I was like fish out of water. Could all this be possible? Hadn’t these guys made a mistake? I was

“‘What is a caddie doing here?’ they asked me. I was timid and a

caught up in my thoughts when a hostess walked in my direction.

bit out of place. I didn’t look the part. Nonetheless I was allowed

My heart skipped. They have discovered their mistake. She is

to pay the UGShs120,000 ($50) and I was registered.”

going to order me off the aircraft.”

42 |

asante | August – October 2013


Sports

In 2012, he won six different tournaments in Uganda and finished as runner-up in the Burundi and Rwanda Open. He went to Malawi for the Zone 6 matchplay championships and took one and a half points off the best amateur on the continent. But Kitata’s nerves returned to haunt him at the Muthaiga Open in Nairobi when he was leading by 2 shots on the very last hole. What happened is something he would rather forget. “I could have used a 9-iron but I chose to drive instead. The fairway is narrow and I drove out of bounds probably three times, and chipped as many times. I eventually asked for a 7-iron and got to the hole after 15 shots. It was a total collapse.” Nonetheless, he finished 2012 ranked as the best amateur in the region. He returned to Kenya this year for the Matchplay championship and finished second out of a field of 64 golfers. “I have had to work hard on my mental strength and fitness to improve my finishing,” he says. “Tim sends me magazines and all sorts of material to help with that. But I also have to learn to manage the course better so I can hang onto leads.” His dreams of taking on the world’s best may be lofty, even “Fasten your seatbelt please.” I did so. It wasn’t until the plane

haughty as some would say, but Kitata’s unassuming nature

was airborne that I relaxed. I looked out of my window seat and

is evident even in his training routine.

saw the earth disappearing out of sight, and along with it my previous life of extreme struggle. It was a surreal moment.

On Mondays to Wednesdays he hits a minimum of 700 balls

“In Johannesburg we practiced for two days at the Benoni Lake

at the practice range, perfecting his swing and fade. Thursday

golf course before the tournament started.”

is his rest day. On Friday to Sunday, he plays 36 holes a day at the club in Entebbe. He says he has a putting carpet at

Kitata managed a 78(+6) score on the first day, followed by a

home and he sinks 500 balls every night before bed time.

74, and another 74. On the fourth day he scored a level par 72.

That weekly programme only changes when he is playing a

He was the best among the Ugandan team of four.

tournament.

“I left South Africa with my confidence sky-high. If I could score a level par on such an imposing course then anything was

Fate and raw talent have brought him this far but a few other

possible.”

things must fall in place before his dreams are actualised; chief among them is sponsorship. He is currently backed by energy

After his South Africa adventure Kitata returned to Uganda and

giants Eskom, but their sponsorship is only for the region. If he

started winning tournaments with consummate ease. That

is to go to the East and try to qualify for big tournaments, he

same year (2011) he won the Kakira and Kinyara Opens before

will need an increased sponsorship package to make it happen.

being recalled to national duty for the East Africa Challenge in

But having come this far in such a short time, who’s to say that

Arusha. He won all his four matches and finished as the best

he won’t achieve his dreams to perform on the international

player at that tournament.

golf circuits? •

asante | August – October 2013

| 43


art & Craft

But things are looking up, according to local visual artist Daudi Karungi, a painter, curator, printmaker, aspiring fashion designer, art events organiser and businessman.

The Visual Arts in Uganda

NOT YET

Nirvana

by Jonathan Kabuye.

T

“Art in Uganda is on an upward curve,” he said. “The quality of work has improved, and so have the galleries. And artists have taken the initiative of promoting their work through online blogs and journals; as a result key players on the international art scene have taken notice.” He cites renowned independent lecturer, art critic, novelist and essayist Simon Njami, who has taken a keen interest in Ugandan art, especially the Kampala Contemporary Arts Festival.

he Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts

The signs are everywhere, according to Karungi: a foundry in

at Uganda’s largest university, Makerere, has been in

Kilembe in western Uganda is transforming sculpture; the LaBa!

existence since 1937, and is named after the lady

Street Art Festival, now in its eighth year, brings everybody

who founded it. It is the oldest and most celebrated

involved in art together; a modern art museum is being

art school in East and Central Africa.

constructed in Jinja, and Ugandan artists are winning internal awards and scholarships.

Tens of thousands of students have passed through its doors, so there must be a lot of artists plying their trade in Uganda, right?

Then there is Ruganzu ‘Bruno’ Tusingwire, who won the first

Wrong. For a city of more than two million people, Kampala has

TED Prize in 2012 for his project using recycled plastic bottles

only five art galleries, although there are several small ‘studios’

to create an amusement park for slum dwelling children.

that sell art pieces. But being an artist in Uganda is still not an easy matter, and That might seem unfortunate but it is pretty average for

there are very few who do it full time. Many have 8am to 5pm

most African capitals, for art in Africa is generally not much

jobs, and paint or do their thing in their spare time. The largest

appreciated. Even the largest city in Africa, Lagos (with a

buyers of art pieces are either expatriates or tourists who are

population of over 20 million), only has 25 art galleries, which

just passing through. Maybe the fact that tourism numbers are

works out at around one per million people (Nairobi, with three

growing every year means the future is that little bit brighter for

million people, has seven galleries).

Ugandan artists.

44 |

asante | August – October 2013


ART & CRAFT

Just like their counterparts all across Africa, ordinary Ugandans

A sign of the future that Karungi sees is the annual LaBa!

do not generally pay much attention to the visual arts. Often

Street Art Festival. Every year the Mackinnon Street in upscale

artists are looked upon with curiosity, and very often amusement.

Kampala is cordoned off, and it becomes the canvas on which

Is there any chance of this changing?

different artists express themselves.

“Things can only get better,” said Karungi. “I see an increase in

It really is an open air art gallery with music, fashion designs,

public awareness through public art and performances, and more

sculptures, paintings, photographs, singers, dancers, and sketch

monuments. There will be more people visiting art galleries and

artists, to mention but a few. On that street you can mingle with

museums due to an acquired sophistication brought by better

break dancers, and get paint splatters on your shirt. You can get

education and increased incomes.”

your face painted, get your interest piqued by a photograph or, if you are really, really lucky, get to share someone’s dish of meat,

Karungi sees a thriving art collector culture nurtured by the

as food is one of humanity’s greatest arts.

numerous auction houses that will ensure that artworks maintain or increase their value. He sees art becoming an integral part

Who knows, perhaps a couple of people might take up a paint

of the school curriculum from kindergarten to secondary, after

brush, a camera, a microphone or even a sewing machine once

policy makers realising that it is not enough to emphasise science

they see how it gets done?

without creativity. And when night falls, the concert begins and features various “We will have bigger and better art festivals, art centres,

performers and will not stop till midnight.

residences and parks,” he said. “And the Ugandan government will be rich enough to support art programmes in order to occupy

“LaBa! means come, see and learn,” says Dominic Muwanguzi,

its energetic and yet unemployed youths.

an avid art critic. “It is a platform for Ugandan artists to showcase

Photos © Janathan Kabuye

their talent and skill, and be in touch with the local people.” •

asante | August – October 2013

| 45


bookshelf The Postcolonial State in Africa: Fifty Years of Independence, 1960-2010 by Young, Crawford

Index: 424pp, Paperback GBP28.99

Offers an informed and authoritative comparative overview of 50 years of African independence, drawing on his decades of research and first-hand experience on the African continent. Young identifies three cycles of hope and disappointment common to many of the African states (including those in North Africa) over the last half-century: initial euphoria at independence in the 1960s followed by disillusionment with a lapse into single-party autocracies and military rule; a period of renewed confidence, radicalization, and ambitious state expansion in the 1970s preceding state crisis and even failure in the disastrous 1980s; and a phase of reborn optimism during the continental wave of democratization beginning around 1990. He explores in depth the many African civil wars, especially those since 1990 and three key tracks of identity: Africanism, territorial nationalism, and ethnicity. Only more recently, Young argues, have the paths of the 53 African states begun to diverge more dramatically, with some leading to liberalisation and others to political, social, and economic collapse, outcomes impossible to predict at the outset of independence.

Aspects of Colonial Tanzania History

War and Politics in the Sudan

by Mbogoni, Lawrence E. Y.

by Leach, Justin

Index: 208pp Paperback: GBP18.95

A collection of essays that examines the lives and experiences of both colonizers and the colonized during colonial rule in what is today known as Tanzania. Dr. Mbogoni examines a range of topics hitherto unexplored by scholars of Tanzania history, namely: excessive alcohol consumption (the sundowners); adultery and violence among the colonial officials; attitudes to inter-racial sexual liaisons especially between Europeans and Africans; gamepoaching; European settler vigilantism; radio broadcasting; film production and the nature of Arab slavery in Zanzibar.

The Cultural Identities and the Challenges of the Peace Process

Index: 272pp Hardback: GBP56.00 On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became an independent state after more than half a century of civil conflict wrought with human rights abuse. The post-colonial history of Sudan has been characterised by two Civil Wars spanning almost two decades each: the first from 1955-1972 and the second from 1983-2005. With questions of national and regional identity at the heart of both conflicts, the Sudanese Civil Wars have highlighted the key issues faced by post-colonial countries. War and Politics in the Sudan offers, for the first time, a revisionist comparative analysis of these Sudanese Civil Wars, disputing the popular notion that the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement was simply a prelude to renewed conflict in 1983 and the eventual coup led by Omar al-Bashir and Hassan al-Turabi in 1989. In addition, Justin Leach posits that Sudan’s size and diversity precludes the application of traditional theories of conflict resolution, questioning current approaches to the conflict s legacy. In this timely analysis of a region long beset by civil war, Leach outlines challenges to the Sudanese nationalist project, focusing on the strength of southern regional identities as well as the aims of northern political Islamists and potential problems for the new nation of South Sudan.

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asante | August – October 2013


leisure

I

n the noisy silence of transoceanic flights I often look at those around me and wonder who the tourist is and who is the traveller, because there is a difference.

Are you a tourist or a traveller? – asks James Michael Dorsey.

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asante | August – October 2013

I believe tourists seek a respite from the monotony of everyday life while travellers go to experience and learn, and ultimately to open their mind and heart to let different perceptions rush in. In the first century AD, a Christian mystic named Augustine wrote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read but the first page.” And the great travel writer Paul Thoreaux has said, “Tourists don’t know where they have been and travellers don’t know where they are going.” Both of these statements ring true and here is why.


leisure

Western culture creates tourists with a need to escape from the nine to five. The United States allows its workers the least amount of vacation of any industrial nation, and because of this few are willing to take the time to learn local history, customs, and nuances of where they are escaping to, let alone another language; they just want something different for a few days, and that is fine, but it is not travel. Travel is not just going some place. If that were the case then crossing the street would be travelling. No, travel is immersing oneself in the sights, sounds, smells, and imperfections of a particular locale, and it is taking the time to learn why that place is so different than the one you came from.

look or act in a certain way have committed a foul deed in the past, we find it easy to assume all such people commit the same acts with regularity. It is easy to sit in front of one’s television and judge others on the opposite side of the world, based on unknown sources and presented by reporters who are encapsulating thousands of years of history and culture in a 30 second sound bite, but it is only the traveller who takes time to investigate such things for his or her self in order to dissipate ignorant impressions of others. In a world that is becoming more and more dangerous to travel in, it is the very act of travelling that is needed to end the violence. It is travel that allows people to see that under our skin colour, native costumes, and disparate languages we all share the same core beliefs, and it is only minor cultural differences that separate us, differences that should be celebrated and not feared.

I have an on-going dialogue with an old friend from the Pacific northwest who wanders there extensively but refuses to leave his home turf as I do to roam the vast world. His argument to me has always been that he can see the rest of the world from his computer, television, or in books, and my reply has always been that such an experience will always be superficial. A picture of a cake does not reveal the smell, taste, or texture of the actual cake; nor does an electronic screen re-create the sights, Travel is sounds, and smells of the real world. Enticing as immersing oneself armchair travel is, it is merely a two dimensional in the sights, facsimile of a three dimensional world, and as our sounds, smells, growing reliance on electronic gadgets continues to make our material life easier, it is at the same time and imperfections removing us from the physical world. of a particular

locale ...

While my friend often waxes poetic about the romance of Venice, the grandeur of the Himalayas, or the serenity of the Serengeti Plain, he is merely quoting from second or third hand knowledge what others have experienced. He does not know the excitement of stepping into a Venetian gondola or the thrill of carnival. He has never felt awe as the first rays of a sunrise strike the flank of an 8,000 metre peak, and he has never watched a mother cheetah run down an impala to feed her hungry brood of cubs. Until we turn off the screen and step out of the door to follow our dreams we are only cheating ourselves, like window shoppers who never buy anything.

Prejudice grows out of ignorance. We are told a particular place or people are a certain way and we believe it because we see it on the evening news or in a paper. We who dwell in cities have become somewhat complacent, tending to accept whatever the mass media feeds us as fact with little effort on our own part to investigate the actual truth. This complacency is directly responsible for stereotyping and racial profiling. Because people who

In my travels, I relish these differences, realizing that ancient ways of living are no better or worse than my own, but simply another way. The world has shown me that the majority of its inhabitants live in homes made of mud, dung, or cardboard; that most of them have never seen a television or used a telephone and never will. They have no idea what a computer or cell phone is, let alone the electricity to power them and an airplane is either a bird or a spirit, because nothing else could possibly move across the sky.

I also have yet to meet a single person from the humblest of these circumstances who would voluntarily trade places with me and my western way of living because travel has also shown me that we all love our homes and our families for what they are and not for what they could be. Today, modern technology, combined with the advances of the airline industry, has shrunk the world, allowing access to the most remote places, places that a mere half century ago required days or weeks of physically punishing travel but now are attainable in the course of a single day of sitting on an airliner. The more of these places we visit, the more we will understand and be able to peacefully co-exist with our fellow man. Most wars are fought in the name of nationalism; arbitrary lines on a map dividing your space from mine. Should we ever evolve to thinking of ourselves as citizens of the world rather than nationalists, peace might just be in sight. This is why I travel. •

asante | August – October 2013

| 49


Photo © jonathan Kabuye

For the

Love of the

Luwombo By Jonathan Kabuye.

no other man would marry that girl, all because they did not cook luwombo. The luwombo is a traditional Ganda dish, simply described as meat steamed in banana leaves. At one time the Baganda steamed practically all their food, but the luwombo was a speciality and it often went to a person of very special status.

T

Only the youngest and tenderest of

new dish was served.

chicken luwombo was a special delicacy.

When it was clear that the last of the dishes had been served, he stood up in agitation

There are two main reasons for the love

and asked loudly: “Where is the luwombo? Where is my luwombo?”

of the luwombo: its particular flavour

here is an old story told by the people of Buganda, in central Uganda,

banana leaves were used, and only the

about a man who went to visit his prospective in-laws. The man and his

choicest bits of meat or chicken were

entourage were served with a sumptuous meal as befitting the occasion.

cooked.

But he was obviously unsettled, and kept straining his neck whenever a

Baganda did not rear many chickens, the

And

since

traditionally

the

and the fact that no oils are added to the But unfortunately no luwombo had been cooked that day, and the man stormed

food. These days when more and more

from his in-laws’ home in protest. It is said that the marriage never took place, and

Ugandans are struggling with afflictions

50 |

asante | August – October 2013


food

that come with good living, food cooked with no oils is a healthy alternative. When used for cooking, the banana leaves are chosen carefully. They have to be fresh and not torn, otherwise the liquid will leak out. There are claims that banana trees from

The way to a Muganda man’s heart is definitely through that bundle of wrapped and steamed banana leaves!

different areas give distinctly different flavours; it might have something to do with the soil in which they grow.

food”, while another said “Steamed food beats boiled food any day”.

The banana leaves are first ‘smoked’ to give them that tantalising flavour, but also to make them soft and supple so

One friend had this to say: “The ceremony around serving it,

that they are less likely to tear when being wrapped around

and the anticipation of what you’ll find – and then the steam

the contents. Some modern recipes have you pass the leaves

and aroma hit you - Pow!”

through boiling water to soften them, but that smoky taste will be missing from the food.

But the winner was “…Just because it tastes sooooo good”. So we should not be surprised about the story of that man

It used to be that luwombo just contained meat or chicken,

who left a girl he was to marry because they did not cook him

with onions, tomatoes and salt added. Now all kinds of spices

luwombo? The way to a Muganda man’s heart is definitely

are also used, although care has to be taken not to override

through that bundle of wrapped and steamed banana leaves! •

the banana leaves’ flavour. It is also true that these days almost anything can be cooked as luwombo, including groundnuts paste and beans. A particular delicacy is groundnuts paste mixed with mushrooms. After being put inside the banana leaves, the whole thing is tied with a piece of banana fibre. Care must be taken not to tear the leaves. Then pieces from a banana stem are cut up and placed in the bottom of the saucepan. It is said that these distribute the heat around the luwombo properly, and stop it from being boiled instead of steamed. But it might just have to do with tradition. The wrapped luwombo is placed on top of the banana stems and water added. Cook for about an hour. So, what is the fascination with luwombo?

I asked a few

friends for their opinions.

Driver Training for harsh environments

Sentiments expressed ranged from “It’s healthy”, to “ It has the flavour of naturally steamed food”, to the “Unmatched banana leaf taste”. Someone referred to it as “Real organic

www.OnCourse4wd.com

tech @ OnCourse4wd.com +256 772 22 11 07

asante | August – October 2013

| 51


inspiration

Development

Early learning

in Uganda

By Tina Parbhakar.

Children of Takuba Islamic Nursery School enjoy colourful picture books.

I

n Uganda, preschools and nurseries

an ECD learning framework to regulate

are a private sector initiative and,

training institutions and an ECD teacher

until recently, provided varying levels

training

framework

to

streamline

of care and education. The Madrasa

curriculum have been developed. As

Resource Center Uganda (‘MRCU’) was

a result, Uganda is moving towards

established by the Aga Khan Foundation

becoming a society in which all children

in 1993. Since then, the non-profit

are active, healthy, knowledgeable and

body’s mission has been to increase the

happy.

Photos © Zul Mukhida

availability of high quality, communitybased, culturally-relevant and pluralistic

Alongside supporting policy dialogue on

early

(ECD)

ECD, MRCU works directly with poor and

services. With the involvement of bodies

disadvantaged communities through the

such as MRCU, a national ECD policy was

Madrasa Early Childhood Programme,

brought into force in 2007. Subsequently,

which has a long history in the region.

52 |

childhood

development

asante | August – October 2013

Did you know? Early Childhood Best Practices: Child and Maternal Health and Nutrition • Regular pre-natal care & safe birthing • Immediate & regular breastfeeding • Full immunization & mosquito net use Strong Families • Economic & social supports for the family • Singing & talking with a child at home • Responding to a child’s questions genuinely Positive Early Learning Experiences • Guiding 0-3 year olds through picture books by a sibling, parent or other caregiver • Organized, play-based group settings • Activities that involve initiative & curiousity


inspiration

When

the

Programme

in

area and a block area, where everything

Mombasa, in the early 1980s, research

is labelled. By naming objects, children

suggested

young

become familiar with common words in

children, ages 0 to 6, deserved particular

their environment and learn that words

attention because events during the

are associated with objects. Similarly,

early years provided the foundation for

low-cost, locally made picture books

children’s later success. Current neuro-

provide attractive precursors to reading.

that the

began

lives

of

science confirms the importance of early stimulation, as human babies’ brains

Currently, MRCU is supporting ECD in the

triple in size between birth and age 3.

West Nile Region and over 50 preschools

Furthermore,

research

that have graduated from its Programme

indicates three inter-locking areas of

in the Central Region. The Centre has

focus that can help any community raise

recently launched an Adopt-a-Preschool

a fully developed child: (1) good maternal

programme

and child health and nutrition, (2) strong

groups

families and (3) regular opportunities for

relationship with a preschool and support

positive early learning experiences.

its

social

science

and

that

allows

businesses

sustainability,

individuals, to

through

build

a

monetary

gifts, in-kind donations, or volunteerism. Research also demonstrates that the Madrasa

approach,

which

integrates

Child at Takuba Islamic Nursery School learns traditional drumming.

mental, physical, social, cultural and spiritual aspects of development, makes a real difference in children’s cognitive development and later success in school and life. Pre-schools generally have one teacher for every 15-20 children, follow a schedule that builds awareness of time and place, and incorporate song, dance,

MRCU also offers training to ECD caregivers and others seeking knowledge on topics including child assessment, material

Uganda is moving

creation

and

community

mobilization.

towards becoming a society in which all children are active, healthy, knowledgeable and happy.

If you want to find out more, contact the Project Director at sekalaala.madrasa@ utlonline.co.ug, or visit the Centre on Sir Albert Cook Road in Mengo, which

art, words and numbers into each day.

features a resource room filled with

Growth monitoring and a common feeding

ideas on easy to make education and

programme are additional features that

mental, physical, social, cultural and

play materials and one of the best ECD

ensure children are physically on track

spiritual aspects of development, makes

libraries in Kampala. •

and ready to learn. Classrooms are set

a real difference in children’s cognitive

up with designated areas, such as a shop

development and later success in school

area and a block area, where everything

and life. Pre-schools generally have one

is labelled. By naming objects, children

teacher for every 15-20 children, follow

become familiar with common words in

a schedule that builds awareness of time

their environment and learn that words

and place, and incorporate song, dance,

are associated with objects. Similarly,

art, words and numbers into each day.

low-cost, locally made picture books

Growth monitoring and a common feeding

provide attractive precursors to reading.

programme are additional features that ensure children are physically on track

Research also demonstrates that the

and ready to learn. Classrooms are set

Madrasa

up with designated areas, such as a shop

approach,

which

integrates

Writer’s profile Tina Parbhakar is an International Development Management Fellow working with Madrasa Resource Center Uganda and supported by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.

asante | August – October 2013

| 53


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 2013 1 January 26 January 8 March 29 March 1 April 1 May 3 June 9 June 8 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 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) 414 321 485 (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) 76179 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: reservation.mba@air-uganda.com Moi International Airport (MIA) Sales Office Tel: +254 735 877 289 Email: reservation.mba@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. B0x 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


! r e n r o c o t A AB

The Proud Man

The Greedy Lion

A long time ago, there was a tall, dark man who lived in a tiny village in Uganda. He was a very proud man and also a hypocrite. One bright Saturday he went to the nearby local market and boasted around as usual.

A long time ago Mr. lion, Mr. fox, Mr. wolf and Mr. hyena formed a group and agreed to share their catch. One lucky day they caught a calf and gathered together to share it. Mr. lion divided the meat into four parts.

Then he saw a man selling the fattest sheep in the market. When he was told it was costing 5,000 Ugandan shillings (UGX) he said. “5,000 UGX? But I could buy a donkey with 5,000 UGX!” The merchant who was polite and patient replied wisely, “Yes sir, you can. Only you know which one tastes better.”

Then he took three shares and said, “The first share belongs to me because I am a member of this group, the second share also belongs to me as I am the king of the savanna and the third share belongs to me since I am the strongest of all the animals. Then he pointed at the fourth share and said, “Whoever touc hes this final share let him be the judge of his life” and he ate all the meat. Since then the group never hunt nor eat

together.

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How many colours can you find in the square?

L

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They are written up, down across, and diagonally.

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word square! Score: 12 Excellent, 10-11 Very Good, 6-9 Good Add vowels to the following to complete the sentence (7 words)

rgnd,thwngsfstfrc. Answer Air Uganda, the Wings of East Africa.

Answers Black, Brown, Green, Grey, Indigo, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Violet, White, Yellow


Air Uganda Flight Schedule

Valid from 29 May 2013

ENTEBBE - NAIROBI FLIGHT NUMBER U7 202 U7 206 U7 206 U7 204 U7 204 U7 202

DEPARTURE TIME 06:00Hrs 14:00Hrs 14:45Hrs 19:30 Hrs 17:40Hrs 08:00Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 203 U7 207 U7 207 U7 205 U7 205 U7 203

DEPARTURE TIME 07:45Hrs 16:00Hrs 16:40Hrs 21:10Hrs 19:20Hrs 09:40Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 122 U7 122 U7 122 U7 120 U7 124 U7 120

DEPARTURE TIME 07:10Hrs 08:00Hrs 09:00Hrs 14:55Hrs 12:30Hrs 15:55Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 123 U7 123 U7 123 U7 125 U7 121 U7 121

DEPARTURE TIME 09:00Hrs 09:50Hrs 10:50Hrs 14:15Hrs 16:40Hrs 17:45Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 320 U7 320 U7320

DEPARTURE TIME 09:40Hrs 12:40Hrs 17:45Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 321 U7 321 U7 321

DEPARTURE TIME 12:15Hrs 15:10Hrs 20:15Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 330 U7 330

DEPARTURE TIME 09:00Hrs 11:00Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 331 U7 331

DEPARTURE TIME 11:40Hrs 17:35Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 352 U7 352 U7 352 U7 352

DEPARTURE TIME 10:45Hrs 09:45Hrs 11:45Hrs 19:00Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 353 U7 353 U7 353 U7 353

DEPARTURE TIME 11:10Hrs 10:10Hrs 12:00Hrs 20:30Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 360 U7 352

DEPARTURE TIME 11:35Hrs 18:40Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 361 U7 353

DEPARTURE TIME 12:05Hrs 20:30Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 330 U7 330

DEPARTURE TIME 08:00Hrs 14:00Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7 331 U7 331

DEPARTURE TIME 13:00Hrs 15:00Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7420 U7420 U7420

DEPARTURE TIME 05.30Hrs 14:00Hrs 06:30Hrs

FLIGHT NUMBER U7421 U7421 U7421

DEPARTURE TIME 08:45Hrs 17:15Hrs 09:45Hrs

ARRIVAL TIME 07:10 Hrs 15:10Hrs 15:55Hrs 20:40Hrs 18:50Hrs 09:10Hrs

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

ARRIVAL TIME 08:55Hrs 17:10Hrs 17:50Hrs 22:20Hrs 20:30Hrs 10:50Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon - Fri Mon, Fri Tue Mon - fri Sat & Sun Sat & Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 08:15Hrs 09:05Hrs 10:05Hrs 16:00Hrs 13:35Hrs 17:00Hrs

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

ARRIVAL TIME 10:05Hrs 10:55Hrs 11:55Hrs 15:20Hrs 17:45Hrs 18:50Hrs

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

ARRIVAL TIME 11:30Hrs 14:30Hrs 19:35Hrs

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

ARRIVAL TIME 14:05Hrs 17:00Hrs 22:05Hrs

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

ARRIVAL TIME 10:40Hrs 12:40Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue Fri

ARRIVAL TIME 13:20Hrs 19:15Hrs

FREQUENCY Wed Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 10:30Hrs 09:30Hrs 11:30Hrs 18:45hrs

FREQUENCY Mon Tue -Wed Thu & Sat Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 12:55Hrs 11:55Hrs 13:45Hrs 22:15hrs

FREQUENCY Mon Tue-Wed Thu & Sat Fri

ARRIVAL TIME 11:35Hrs 18:40Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue & Thu Fri

ARRIVAL TIME 14:05Hrs 22:30Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue & Thu Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 09:15Hrs 15:15Hrs

FREQUENCY Wed Sun

ARRIVAL TIME 14:15Hrs 16:15Hrs

FREQUENCY Tue Fri

ARRIVAL TIME 07:45hrs 16:15Hrs 08:45Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon Wed Sat

ARRIVAL TIME 11:00Hrs 19:30Hrs 12:00Hrs

FREQUENCY Mon Wed Sat

NAIROBI - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - JUBA

JUBA - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - DAR ES SALAAM

DAR ES SALAAM - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - MOMBASA

MOMBASA- ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - KIGALI

KIGALI - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - BUJUMBURA

BUJUMBURA - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - KILIMANJARO

KILIMANJARO - ENTEBBE

ENTEBBE - MOGADISHU

MOGADISHU - ENTEBBE

For any information contact your preferred Travel Agent or our Sales & Reservation Office on 041 2 165555 in Kampala, Uganda.


CROSSWORD PUZZLE & SUDOKU Clues across 3 Freshwater fish, or a stand (5)

Crossword

8 Babies can suffer from this (5)

2

1

3

4

5

7

6

10 Assessed (5)

12 Currency (5)

10

11

13 He keeps balls in the air! (7) 15 Roadside (5)

9

8

11 Weapon (3)

12

13

15

14

17

16

18 The French plural, or man’s name (3)

18

19 Widespread food shortage (6) 21 Big boats dock here (7) 22 Poke or nudge (4) 23 Sparkling wine (4)

20

19

21

22

23

24 Release information (7)

24

26 One who sells fabrics (6) 29 Garden of Eden (acronym) (3) 31 ----- Boyle (singer) (5) 32 Nickname for the Channel Tunnel (7)

26

27

25 29

28

30

32

31

33

34 Not daytime (5)

34

35 Owing (3) 36 Maker of jeans (5) 37 Pacifies (5)

35

36

38 US money (5)

37 38

Clues down

4 Arab leader (4) 5 Neckwear (6)

Answers across 3. Perch 8. Colic 10. Rated 11. Gun 12. Dinar 13. Juggler 15. Verge 18. Les 19. Famine 21. Seaport 22. Prod 23. Asti 24. Divulge 26. Draper 29. GOE 31. Susan 32. Chunnel 34. Night 35. Due 36. Levis 37. Calms 38. Cents

Fashion (5)

2 Mixed (with people) (7)

Answers down 1. Vogue 2. Mingled 4. Emir 5. Cravat 6. Harem 7. Reign 9. Lug 12. Despair 14. Lea 16. Rinse 17. Eerie 19 Fraught 20. Spuds 21. Sofas 23. Agendas 24. Denise 25. Lou 27. Ruler 28. Panic 30. Seems 32. Chat 33. Nul

1

6 4 down might keep one of these! (5)

Sudoku

7 Rule (5) 9 Haul, or projection (3) 12 Feeling of hopelessness (7) 14 Meadow (3) 16 Cleanse with water (5) 17 Spooky (5) 19 Filled with (danger) (7) 20 Potatoes (5) 21 Settees (5) 23 Programmes for meetings (7) 24 Denies (anag) – woman’s name (6) 25 Louis or Louise – in short (3)

Place a number from 1 to 9 in every empty cell so that each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains all the numbers from 1 to 9. No number can appear twice in a row, column or 3x3 box. Do not guess –­ you can work it out by a process of elimination.

27 4 down is one! (5) 28 Sudden overwhelming anxiety (5) 30 Appears (5) 32 Casual talk (4) 33 --- and void (3)

60 |

asante | August – October 2013

8

3

1

4

6

7

5 6

9 4

6 5

4

8

4

9

2

4

7 3

8 9 9

6 9

6 1

3

5 5

8


When it comes to Comfort and Convenience

WE M EAN B US INES S Hotel Emerald is a business-class hotel, ideally situated in the heart of Westlands, only a few steps away from the major business centers, shopping malls and entertainment areas. Our convenient location, combined with great amenities and a high level of comfort, make Hotel Emerald the perfect location for your next stay in Nairobi.

• Perfect for conferences and

corporate events, weddings, banquets and parties

• Ideal for business luncheons • Multi-cuisine restaurant with

Our hotel has 14,000 sq ft of meeting and conference space, giving you ample scope to plan that important meeting, seminar or dream event. Our events team will be on-hand to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Our comfortable guest rooms all come with business-friendly features such as complimentary Wi-Fi access, a 32’’ LCD TV and a laptop-sized safe, while select rooms feature a Jacuzzi and balcony with panoramic city views.

spectacular views of Nairobi

• 24-hour business center • Airport transfers & currency exchange

Westlands, Nairobi

www.thehotelemerald.com

For further information & reservations contact: HOTEL EMERALD, Krishna Center 6th Floor, 12 Woodvale Grove, Westlands, P.O. Box 13839 - 00800, Nairobi, Kenya • Tel: +254 (0)729 418 241 / +254 (0)732 515 705 • Email: info@thehotelemerald.com


The inflight magazine of Air Uganda part of the

Issue 15

As a n te I s s u e N u mbe r 015 Aug u s t – O c to ber 2 0 1 3

Bright

Jinja’s Celebration of Colour

The Amazing

Story of

Kitata

Mogadishu’s

Warm Welcome

your complimentary copy

Webs ite : ww w.a ir -ug an da. co m

Painting the City

Asante no15  

Inflight magazine of Air Uganda