Highlights From The 5th Annual Hotels and Restaurants Expo!

The past weekend, I was over at the 5th annual Hotels and Restaurants Expo at Hotel Africana. The event is organised every year as a unique platform for awarding all hotels, in different capacities, recognizing their contribution to both the Tourism sector and Food industry.

When I was assigned to cover the event on behalf of the team, I was ecstatic; for many reasons but the most important being “Food”. I love diversity and there is nothing that best describes that like food. We have thousands of foods from each of the regions here in Uganda and display of all these was what I was hoping for.

For the most part, this particular food event did not go as I anticipated. There was a lot left to learn for its organizers. I did speak to a few exhibitors about what they thought about the event and they expressed disappointment.

Miriam, Director of Signature hotel in Jinja said ” I have been to different hotels and restaurants expos across the world but I am very letdown by our own. Where are the people? She asked. We have been here 3 days and the only clientele coming in are the ones who have come to access the restaurant. 

Another exhibitor said that the organization was done abashedly and the public was not given much time to let the expo sink in as such a great idea to attend.

In my view, the event was not given much publicity, you do not hide a social event from the public and expect a turn up. Also there was not a collide of performances to grace the event. They could have had a headlining international chef or performance. This always attracts the crowds.

However despite the loopholes, there were some really graceful experiences that could be a foundation for next year’s edition. Allow me to indulge you with some pictures!!

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Two women, one totally okay with flaunting her body and another not bold enough.. Beyond that, they are both African!!

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Give me a bouquet of rose colored petals and we could make love throughout the night~~Anonymous

Meat on skewers, in aluminium foils roasting away on mesh were one of the sights lined up at the expo. The businesses that made the most money were those that decided to take their chefs out of the Kitchens right into their exhibition grounds. I didn’t really plunge in because my craving was not chicken neither was it meat!!

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As an event sponsor, I received a certificate for it… A guy I am thankful for took the picture!! 

 

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Signature Hotel in Jinja put on quite a lavish display!

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The cook-off judges.. 

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What do chefs talk about when they gather?? That I left for you to imagine!

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Back in my high-school, I pursued the cooking course–Home Economics, there is a beauty in laying out your cooked products than there is in trying to cook them all in a given time!

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Beauty!!

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Cherry decorated beds oozing love were equally present at the expo!!

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Not butterscotch, neither is it velvet.. This is the Black Forest… I can already taste it on my tongue!

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Table Lay out…

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Centre pieces done by Hotel Africana

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Looking for Art and Souvenirs, Uganda is the only place you will get them in Plenty!

Sarah Blick(in black dress)– A chef at Hotel Africana walked away with a brand new  Hisense 42 inch screen. She was more excited than any I have seen. She lost her words, lost her sanity(just for a while haha) and almost cried. She was privileged to have her Mentor, Mariam Bachu who was ecstatic for her win.

Ojara Brian, a chef at Shangri-La hotel emerged the best throughout the competitions. He was awarded 2 million shillings and a fully paid trip to Brussels. He is not the kind to scream or jump but you could see in the way he kept smiling!!

He is very laid back however I managed catch a slight interview with him.. Watch below

 


I would like to hear your opinions, this is my first photo filled blog post and the photos were taken by myself. Same can be said about the edits!!

Thank you!!

Brown Skin

Today I met the Brown skin
I call her that because it was what she was known by back when I knew her
Brown skin and I went to the same church
She was the light that filled most boys’ nights
And the reason most girls wore envy as a garment
She had all the handsome, masculine and well framed men under her whimsical
Acting like dogs would at the sight of a chicken bone
We on the other hand had the chaff; smitten, beaten and weak
The kind that would frail on cold mornings and sneeze more than whales
We held onto these weaklings’ hands, mostly dissatisfied but appreciative of their advances
Unfortunately, our necks remained craned to the men we wished to have
The men Brown skin treated like dots

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Overtime, we grew up, moved on and forgot these men whose fiery glances toward Brown Skin tore at our hearts
Our prayers changed to “Father in Heaven, we thank you for the unanswered prayers”
We realized we didn’t get them then but we were in a better place to make them wish they had invested in where their eyes were not
More often we went off singing Hallelujah and winking at Karma like “You are loyal bish”
We were happier than Jack and Jill on their way up the hill after we met their glutton looking bodies
We were more confident than Red Ridinghood when we realized they no-longer had effect in the affairs of our hearts
Oh the relish.

Forgive me, I tend to lose myself in too much thought
Let us get back to where we began
Oh yes, I met Brown skin and there was something oddly odd about her
She had lost a glow; both her own and her maker’s
She looked worn out, hard stretched and flustered at her 22
She had slew long before the world caught onto the slay queen trend but now she looked slain
In my bell bottom jeans, faded maroon tank top and fish open shoes, I couldn’t be compared with her.. I looked far better
She had tonnes more skin and age
Just one look at her and I knew what the cause was.
Just one look!!

Brown Skin was not jolly as she was before
She had long lost her spark
She had gotten comfortable
Heeding not the gospel of levels
You don’t stay in the same place for too long and expect to remain relevant
And just like that, the boys had come and gone same as the men
Coming and leaving like seasons
Enjoying her smile and hearty chuckle and later finding agitation when her dimples showered the sides of her temples
Had she soared, had she moved, she would have found inspiration from someone else
Possibly even finding a mentor to guide her through her life’s purpose
Maybe she would still have attracted all the men to herself because her glow would only have gotten stronger and better
Maybe we would still be jealous of her
But then she would be in a better place with a better outlook on life
But she stuck to the same, to what she knew
Scared of taking a step into the waters; fearing that she may drown

No this is no memorial message to Brown Skin
As a matter of fact, she is alive and maybe well; living life as the young people would say nowadays
She just looks faded as the black cloth you last let go
She looks drained, thirsting for more and not knowing where to get it from
Feeding on Inspiration and motivational speeches from “Servants” that have forsaken the words that give Life.
These servants are just not speaking to dead minds, they are influencing decisions
Her soul dies everyday but her Spirit was long buried
Under the clamp of man’s ideas—Religion
Oh give me a glass of wine, I am not jealous of Brown skin anymore— I drink because she has deliberately veiled herself
I sympathize with her but I pray for her more
In my bell bottom jeans, I write about Brown Skin
For the first time today, she didn’t say “Hmmm, she stretched out her hand in polite greeting!!


End: This is just not any poem… If you read to the end, I would like to hear/read your thoughts😊😐.. Thank you!

JACK MA: I see Huge Potential In Africa’s Youths.

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At 2:30pm on Friday, 21st July, Jack Ma made an entrance into a fully packed hall at the Kigali convention centre. He was flanked by Asian comrades dressed in perfectly straightened suits, carrying bags and tech savvy gadgets. These Asian comrades, I later found out were Chinese Billionaires too(Your association circle defines who you are). This was at the just concluded #YouthConnektAfrica summit and the wait to listen to Jack Ma was a session most delegates had anticipated.

His opening statement on African soil was; I have not come to Africa to sell Chinese products, there are already quite a lot of them here. I come to empower African entrepreneurs to create their own Alibaba platform.

During the “Spotlight with Jack Ma” session which was moderated by Julie Gichuru, Jack Ma spoke prudently about businesses, career decisions as well as youths being the engine that will drive Africa towards globalization to realize its entrepreneurial potential.

Here are a few things I managed jot down as he spoke to us during the session.

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If you are hiring, Hire a person that is more intelligent than you are. Hire the person you think would be your employer in 5 years.

Have a global vision and do it the local way. Think big and think the future.

We don’t own our policies; other people’s policies own us.

We cannot waste the lessons learned the hard way. Look out for stories on failure, there is something to learn from them.

Conquer the boarders. We are not different. We shouldn’t let boarders limit us from doing business

Today is difficult, tomorrow is more difficult but the day after is more beautiful

Jack Ma philosophy:  In business, first comes the Customers,  second the employees, and third are the shareholders. When the first two are happy, shareholders are happy too. Spend most of your time on your customers and not your competitors. Customers help advertise your business for you that it helps you beat your competitors.

Focus on the 3Qs that lead to success:

  • IQ=Smart=Know what you want,
  • EQ=Wise=Know what you don’t want
  • LQ=Love=Be passionate

The third world war should be the war against poverty and disease

Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”

 If you want to be big company, solve big problems. if you want to be small company, solve small problems.

The difference between young people and old people is this; Young people think about tomorrow while old people are always thinking about yesterday.

If you want to change the world, change yourself first. This is more important and easier.

Please notice that everything that whatever comes out from his abundant speech is a quote..

“Alibaba’s greatest success is hinged on youths and women. Youths have hope and eagerly take on challenges whereas the women tend to think about others more than they think about themselves. If you empower these two groups of people, then you will be successful.” Jack Ma emphasized

Jack Ma on whether he intends to have Alibaba in Africa said “We cannot bring Alibaba to Africa; Africa should build its own Alibaba. I see huge potential in Africa’s youths, No matter how big your vision is, you have to start small”.

“Africa has to start thinking of Globalization, selling things to other African countries, the future of E-commerce in Africa is much bigger than in Europe, bigger than in America, also don’t wait for government to build infrastructure before you start, If you wait for everything to be okay before you start, that means the opportunities are already gone.” he continued

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When the plenary session on which Jack Ma appeared with Rwandan President H.E Paul Kagame, UNCTAD Secretary General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi came to a close, there was chance for journalists and media to have a session with the Alibaba group boss and Dr Mukhisa Kituyi. Here is where I had a mini-interview with Ma..

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Me: You have visited Rwanda and Kenya and you mentioned earlier that you intend to invest in the African continent; is two countries out of 52, sample space enough for you?

Jack Ma: Two countries are not enough. This trip is a learning trip. I visited Kenya and Rwanda because of the development and entrepreneurial growth taking place in those two countries. I intend to have my team come back to do a pilot study as well as work closely with our contacts in Africa.

Me: What is the difference between Information technology and Digital technology? Aren’t these phenomena replacing manual labor?

Jack Ma: The world is transforming from IT(Information technology) to Digital technology. The more we embrace digital technology and not feel like it is taking away our jobs, the more accomplished work we can do. And in the end, create new jobs as well.

Me: What is your take on Entrepreneurship in Africa?

Jack Ma: I am impressed by the passion of entrepreneurship in Africa. I have traveled across the world and most people I have met are either scared for or worried about the future. However, the people in Africa have confidence in the future. Africans have passion and ideas.

Some of the projects Jack Ma announced to start in Africa.

*Under project number one – 200 African young entrepreneurs are to work at Alibaba headquarters with the aim of gaining experience in fields including; e-commerce, Artificial intelligence and Internet to develop their businesses when they return to Africa

**The Second Project – Alibaba group will work with Universities in Africa and governments to train specific courses including; Internet, Artificial intelligence, and e-commerce.

***Third Project —  will be a partnership between Alibaba and Paradise Foundation of china – this project will deal with promoting and supporting Environmental conservation efforts in Africa especially protecting elephants and other precious animals. A prize will be given to 50 rangers for the next ten years to thank them for their tireless efforts in conservation.

****Fourth project, Jack Ma pledged to invest in youth to show his confidence in Africa. He will invest $10 million in the African Entrepreneurship fund to support young entrepreneurs realize their dreams.

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What will baffle you about Jack ma; Asia’s richest man.

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  • He was rejected at Havard university for 10 times.
  • When KFC first came to China, 24 job applications were submitted. 23 people got jobs apart from him.
  • He learned English by going to a local hotel that hosted tourists every day so that he could meet people. He also bought a radio so that he could listen to the English broadcast.
  • After he graduated, he got a job as an English teacher, making about $12(UGX. 43,200) a month at a local university.
  • He first shared the idea about Alibaba group with 16 people in his sitting room. Jack Ma told everyone to spare all the money they had and invest it in the idea he shared with them. He told them the project was likely to fail, but if they succeeded, the rewards would be unimaginable.
  • According to Forbes, Jack Ma’s net worth is 35.4 billion USD( I honestly will not calculate this into UGX.)

Tony Elumelu: I Owe My Success To Someone That Believed In Me.

I love stories. I seek to tell them too. Stories of people and their culture, their ups and their downs, stories about life, love, patriotism, solidarity and just about anything. Therefore when I received an invite to attend the #YouthConnektAfrica Summit, the first thought that came to mind was the opportunity to tell new stories. I was going to a new country and while there, I would come face to face with diversity.

Therefore I sought a camera… I needed to document these stories. And a camera I got.

I arrived in Rwanda Wednesday morning, I experimented with the camera about what settings it had and what shades were better when—(I am no photographer neither have I taken lessons for it..It is something that I love to do for leisure–however I am now considering getting lessons in this field).

By Thursday, the camera and I were well acquainted, charged and ready to collect stories to tell back home. I entered the red-carpeted pathway leading into the complex. I was taking random pictures, of people walking up the stairs and rumps, others taking a look at the exhibition area, capturing emotion and excitement, capturing activity and motion too. When my Spirit said those were enough for the time being, seeing that we had an entire day ahead and yet it was just 9:15am. I shut the camera and let it hang around my neck.

A few meters into the auditorium, a lady smiled at me. She stopped me;

  • Her: “Excuse me,
  • Me: Yes?
  • Her: Good-morning
  • Me: Good-morning to you
  • Her: Ummh.. Are you the lady photographer I am waiting for? I just spoke to you a while ago. She says this gesturing to her phone.
  • Me: No it isn’t I. (I shake my head negatively)..
  • Her: Oh.. Okay.. I will just wait on a little longer.
  • Me: Okay then.. Have a great day.

We exchange smiles as I walk away. I head right into the fully packed auditorium. There are people everywhere. Some seated, others standing, some speaking into the phone, others talking to their immediate neighbors. There are people everywhere. I walk in and take a seat next to a man that later introduces himself as Robert, he is from Tanzania—He owns an ICT firm there. I introduce myself too and request him to watch my bags for me. He says it is okay.

The stage/podium looks set. There are five empty white seats. The Emcee was up the stage a while back asking people to maintain order as the conference shall commence soon. I walk to the place where there are a plenty of more media persons with cameras and audio mics. I stand there.. At this moment, I am angling the camera, taking shots… Shooting away, some pictures come out too zoomed in, others too bad, others professionally raw.

While at this, a feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see who it is, it is the lady I spoke to earlier.

  • Her: Excuse me once again
  • Me: Yes?
  • Her: My name is Clari.
  • Me: Okay. My name is Cynthia
  • Her: I was waiting for a lady photographer that is supposed to take pictures of my boss but she unfortunately can not make it. Do you mind taking pictures of my boss?
  • Me: Ummhh.. Okay.. Who is your boss?
  • Her: He is one of the panelists. Tony Elumelu.
  • Me: Okay. (But I don’t know who Tony Elumelu is)
  • Her: Please get a few clips, pictures of him and what he says. Here is my card. How will I locate you?
  • Me: I will be here. And as you can see, I am the only one here dressed in a green dress…

We laugh about it. She thanks me for taking on the assignment.

I start taking pictures of who I thought was “Tony Elumelu”. Sadly, I later found out that who I thought was Mr. Elumelu was instead Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa.… as he gave the opening remarks (haha)

When Tony Elumelu was introduced by the moderator of the plenary,…. I froze… I then searched for the card the lady had handed me. She is the head of Brands, communications and marketing at Heirs Holdings!! Wooowww, how did this blessing locate me?

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So I gave my assignment my best energy, and I am glad the pictures came out stunning.

Later she asks how it went, and I tell her it all went amazing. She asks me to send her an email so we can chat more about the matter….

Here are a few take-aways from Tony Elumelu while at #YouthConnektAfrica

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Tony Elumelu in company of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina(President of the African Development Bank), Vera Songwe(Executive Secretary on the Economic Commission on Africa) and Diane Karusisi(CEO, Bank Of Kigali) answered to the question – How do we get to 50 million jobs by 2020?

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The soft spoken entrepreneur said that if we hope to get 50 million jobs by 2020, then we need to work together to create more entrepreneurs especially from among the youths. “The Tony Elumelu foundation realizes the importance of Youths to Africa. Therefore we identify, create and also mentor youths to become successful entrepreneurs to benefit Africa.” he stated.

“Africa needs to offer an enabling environment. There must be access to electricity, proper law structures and cross-border policies to enable free movement of goods among Africans. The goals we have set to have youths employed by 2020 require an integrated approach.” Tony Elumelu continued.

The young generation needs a lot of inspiration from their leaders. We cannot continue to fail our youth each day yet hope for a transformation of our continent. Young people are entering the job market, if we do not cater for them now, there is going to be insecurity not only in Africa but everywhere else in the world. Therefore as entrepreneurs, we need to support other budding entrepreneurs. This success is not only for an individual and his family but for Africa entirely.— Tony Elumelu

Mr. Elumelu further pointed out that if promoted, entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth can be an engine of social and economic transformation of Africa.

“I encourage young people in Africa to work hard and turn their entrepreneurial dreams into working businesses. African economies should create a conducive environment, and fix challenges like lack of access to finance, market and electricity, in order to enable the youth to exploit their talents,” he said.

He ended with this>> If we are serious about creating jobs in Africa, let’s come to the rescue of young African entrepreneurs. Tony Elumelu committed to mentoring young African entrepreneurs for the social economic transformation of Africa.

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Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. According to Wikipedia, he is worth US$700 Million. In 2010, Tony Elumelu launched the Tony Elumelu Foundation to spur Africa’s development through entrepreneurship and competitiveness.

In his words, he says– “As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck. As a matter of fact, part of my own success is owed to someone that believed in me, and was prepared to invest in my talents and take a bet on my future. It is for this reason that I developed the economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. Based on this guiding philosophy, we have launched successful programmes and forged meaningful partnerships with stakeholders across the globe.”

“In 2015, I heralded the ‘Decade of the African Entrepreneur’ by committing $100 million, to the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – the first of its kind and scale in Africa. Since then, our alumni – across all 54 African countries – have begun growing businesses and improving lives, contributing to our goal of empowering 10,000 entrepreneurs who will collectively create one million jobs and generate $10 billion in revenue.

We are committed to giving from the perspective of empowering the recipient, rather than making them dependent on us, because prosperity is assured only when ALL Africans are financially independent. My vision for the Foundation is to unlock the obstacles that Africa’s entrepreneurs face, so that they, rather than aid agencies or governments will spur the continent’s transformation.

At the end of our 10-year commitment, thousands of businesses will grow and flourish, driving sustainable prosperity across Africa. This is my vision. I invite you ALL to learn about what the Foundation does, what we hope to do and to discover what we can do together. In doing so, I am confident that we will achieve sustainable development in Africa.”— This is Tony Elumelu’s story, What are you doing to have more than 50 million Africans employed to enable a sustainable and self-sustaining continent??


 

Meanwhile, Clari mentioned that if I had trouble recognizing who he would be among the panelists, I should look out for “A red tie and Red Socks”.. Must be his signature dress-cord.

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Red Socks, Red Tie

P.S– I am honored to have been official photographer of Tony Elumelu on behalf of his team at the summit. He is a phenomenal man… Hand-claps for his life-changing works to the African continent.

Advice: Always carry a camera if you can, you never know who may need your help!!

AKON: We Have The Power To Change Africa’s Story.

At the recently concluded #YouthConnektSummit at the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda, youths from across the world gathered to grace this year’s conference themed: From Potential to Success.

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A big percentage of the youths in attendance expressed disgruntled remarks about their governments not being a helpful factor in supporting their innovations, ideas and projects. They argued that in the end, this has scored-up the number of the unemployed.

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The panelist that fervently answered this query was celebrated musician Akon, who got onto the stage amidst ululations, thunderous clapping and excitement. This Plenary session was the YouthConnekt Bridges: Diaspora, the 6th Region. In all honesty, I haven’t been keen to follow up on Akon’s expedites since his hit song “Lonely”. Therefore as the commotion escalated, with youths adjusting their zoom functions on their smart phones to have Akon appear in the same picture with them, while others stood up to have a good view of the legendary musician, now turned business man promenade his way into the room followed by a group of more panelists, I sat still wondering what he would say, would he be singing, rapping or whot?!!!

*I am quite sure the majority of the screams he got were because these youths loved him and what they had come to know about him—his music.

Therefore when Akon began to speak, not only were there audible sighs but unbelievable hand-claps… He ignited a listening silence within the complex from both the panelists and over 3000 youths in attendance.

Here are some of my take-aways from what Akon said at the #YouthConnektAfrica summit.

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“We (the youth) have to be the driving force to rebuild Africa. We cannot depend on governments to do it for us. Their job is to lay down the framework and make sure that there’s accountability for the things that we do,” he said.

“When I was growing as an entertainer, I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to be remembered for just singing and dancing.’ I had to figure out what I can do that will help create a legacy. It hit me in the middle of the first song when there was a sudden black-out,” Akon said while narrating how he came up with the idea of his solar company to power Africa.

Akon further said that Africa has a lot of potential now than ever before. “Not many black Americans wanted to be associated with Africa. You would ask one of them; Yo brother what country in Africa do you come from? and he would go like, No man, I don’t even know where that(Africa) is. However right now many black brothers are willing to speak about their African roots. That can only mean that whatever is coming out of Africa is worth identifying with.”

In regard to funding, Akon advised youths to be aware of what needs their projects shall fulfill before they seek funding. He emphasized this with examples of how he spent a great deal of time searching for funders, and all the while he was rejected until China believed in his proposal plans.

When he was through, I was charmed. You could sit through an entire five hours listening to Akon, he has intelligent ideas and execution plans. He said that what Africa needed now more than ever was unity and that if it were upto him, the continent  would be “The United States of Africa.”

We have the obligation to change Africa and the strength is on the inside of us. The better we start to feel about Africa, the more it shall become contagious else where. “We have the power to decide what the rest of the world should know about us, on our terms. We need more stories of heroism told about Africa and that is our collective responsibility.”

Here is a snippet of what he said–>

The Refugee crisis In Uganda: Is Uganda missing the point?

Over the past 2 months, we have seen an influx of refugees into the country.  While statistics continuously change as refugee emergencies wax and wane in different parts of the world, UNHCR reports that Uganda is accommodating the largest refugee population in Africa with an escalating entry each day. These are most times fleeing from torture, death and mistreatment from the neighbors.

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An info-graphic from UNHCR shows a rapid increase of refugees and asylum seekers into the country from July last year since fighting erupted between forces loyal to President Silva Kiir and First Vice President Machar. The influx continues to be characterized by a high proportion of women and children (more than 90%). It should however be noted that a refugee is given as much rights to land, resources and access to travel.

Is Uganda capable of handling this crisis?

Right before the borders opened to welcome refugees, the country was finding trouble meeting the needs of its own citizens, especially the people in the Northern region—Several media houses and News publications reported about soaring numbers of people that wasted away and died from hunger because the region was and still is, facing an intolerable wave of drought and famine caused by arid temperatures. And now barely a month from the saddening news, Uganda’s boarders were opened to accommodate over 1 million refugees.

Currently Uganda has 9 refugee settlement camps with Bidi Bidi hosting over 270,000 people at a go, the highest number in any refugee camp across the world.

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Bidi Bidi camp at a distance. It is characterized with homesteads close to each other. Receiving refugees in this camp settlement was closed.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has remarked before “Uganda has continued to maintain open borders, but this unprecedented mass influx is placing enormous strain on our public services and local infrastructure.” Isn’t this a crumble to Uganda’s objectives to achieve the Middle Income Status by 2020?

In Uganda, one qualifies for a refugee status when;

  •  (a) owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, sex, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, that person is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable, or owing to that fear, is unwilling to return to or avail himself or herself of the protection of that country; 7 Act 21 Refugees Act 2006
  • (b) not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her former habitual residence owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, sex, religion, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, that person is unwilling or unable to return to the country of his or her former habitual residence;
  • (c) owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either a part or the whole of his or her country of origin or nationality, that person is compelled to leave his or her place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his or her country of origin or nationality;
  • (d) owing to a well-founded fear of persecution for failing to conform to gender discriminating practices, that person is compelled to leave his or her place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside the country of origin or nationality;
  • (e) that person is considered a refugee under any treaty obligation to which Uganda is a party, or any law in force at the commencement of this Act; or
  • (f) that person is a member of a class of persons declared to be refugees under section 25 of this Act.

Different countries and officials have offered mixed reactions about Uganda’s lenient refugee policy that requires that instead of refugees being locked in crowded camps surrounded by barbed wire, they are to be given large plots of land in sprawling settlements to build homes or, if they like, small farms.

The pressure from South Sudan is gradually pushing the country’s refugee-friendly policy to its limits. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, has said it needs $569 million (Approximately UGX. 3 trillion) to support refugees in Uganda. It has received less than one-quarter of the amount so far.

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The Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees is underway at Munyonyo Resort Hotel, hosted by H.E Yoweri K. Museveni(President of the Republic of Uganda) and António Guterres(United Nations Secretary-General)

Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, says the international community is set to support Uganda in raising money for humanitarian aid to the refugees it is hosting. He further continued to say that “Uganda requires urgent and robust support to deal with the refugee crisis in a humane and sustainable manner until durable solutions are found for the 1.2 million women,men and children who currently need its protection.”

Often times, The UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi has endevoured to share the reality that may be taken lightly– “The biggest contributors providing a safe haven to the world’s uprooted people are poorer communities.”

In the same line of thought, here are some of the gaps that I think need filling;

  • How sustainable is asking for funding? How long will it go on? What if much more is needed ?
  • Is the current number of refugees that just crossed into the country the only one the country should expect?
  • Should Ugandans look forward to clashes over land?
  • Will refugees then be sent back to their countries once all is settled? What if they do not want to go back?
  • What is government’s plan for the refugees? (Is there employment set apart for them since they are now receiving education?)
  • Will Uganda be able to achieve “Agenda 2030?DAw1KiZW0AAtqDn

Please note that I have nothing against refugees, they are people that have found themselves in the midst of circumstances that are intolerable. As a host community, we look forward to standing together with them and request all help possible from Government, well-wishers, fellow refugee host countries and Non-Government Organisations!

Do Men Ever Realize They Get Only One Chance?

This is one that has been stuck on the back walls of my mind, showing face once in a while and then slowly drifting back to the cognitive. Today it crossed my mind when a close friend opened up about his “trying to get into a relationship” ordeals.. He sounded hurt with his revelation. I listened because sometimes all that people need, is a listening companion and not one that will take them back to school of encouragement and comfort. Most times when we prove to know it all, we become a nag and deny the person spilling all a chance to grieve..

He mentioned that he wants to get into a relationship like any natural emotion-filled human. He needed to be loved, to flaunt and be flaunted, to not be the odd “single” guy among his gangos. “But even the girls that seem to promise, the ones that seem like they have given a green light just end up vanishing after a date, disappearing like what happened before was a fad.”–He shared thoughtfully

“It is all bed and roses in the inbox until after a physical date is set up. The sparks disappear.”

When he narrated this, I realized this has happened before… I have seemingly gone on speaking into the phone for several hours with a person on the other end and it seemed like he is the one, only for a date to happen and bam!!—Nope, not this one.. And just like that, you thank him for thinking up the idea of a date. This is you being polite because well, he didn’t spend peanuts while he was impressing you– this thank you note also marks the last days of the late night calls, love filled texts and possible flirtations.

After this post, possibly men shall share why they seem to rethink their idea of spending forever with a girl after a date. For now, I shall speak boldly for the girls.

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First, It matters where you are going for a date. Is it the loud place or the serene place. Between these two, I would choose the latter—why? It is the first time you are meeting therefore it counts that you aren’t interrupted by loud music or various strings of activity. To request to take a person out on a date depends mostly on their likes and character and never yours.. it doesn’t matter whether you don’t like it, it is their needs before yours.—This is called the Impress her mode. In all honesty, my friends are really the kind you will find deeply rooted into church and their first date stories just killed any possible hopes of ever dating the guys that took them out.. First because the person did not recognize their Christian values and secondly because while in the loud places filled with “mr big boom and agataako”.. The scripture from 2 Corinthians 6:14- Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? Is a constant reminder that their hosts are a bad choice. This case is closed!!

Second, I am personally the kind that will go out on a date and determine to listen(this is because I usually do not have as much to talk about like I often do—haha).. Any how, while at it you will realize that ideologies are not a match at all. There is no cross roads between your kind of ideologies and his kind of ideologies, it is clearly two parallel roads not able to meet anywhere.. See the Bible clearly states that “Out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks”.. Never take lightly what someone says, it has not just been formed by the tongue but it is something they have meditated upon, yes even in a micro second. Luke 6:45- A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Third, you can know a person that is putting up a front that they will not be able to sustain for a longtime. Yes, we are meeting for the first time and we both have our insecurities.. Will he like me and the dress I put on? is mostly what’s going on in a girl’s mind. Dear men, you don’t have to overstretch your budget, you do not have to tell me of exploits(that haven’t been a personal experience yet) just to impress me. Do not blow me up too much just to inflate me with a prick of a needle in the future. In the moment, let us focus on you and I. let us be as genuine as a stain on white linen.

Fourth, aren’t some guys just careless with their words? Please when I walked into the restaurant to meet you, I was not seeking self-esteem from you. I walked in with it in full throttle! Therefore do not lower it with comments like Omg, you are fatter than I thought, Oh shit, you should have worn purple lipstick to match your dress beautifully, why don’t you wear mascara for your eyes—are you even girl at all?? Aaahh for those whose eyes are bulged, hmm yes we have guys that have bolder balls… Their guts are very unexpected and un-thought of.. Who would like to be in a relationship where their levels of esteem will be diminishing every new day or worse, losing oneself just to keep up with the expectations of a man that seems to have shown interest.  Nope— this earns your name very fast erasing!!

Fifth, It is equally a turn off to go out with self-centered men. Everything is about them. They have been everywhere, achieved everything. 85% of the conversation is about them and your contribution only consisted 15%… Do not get me wrong, there is no harm in talking about you but on the first date, can you get to know each other?. The first date, if all goes well is an affirmative for many more chances to open up about your achievements but for now–let it be the 50/50 first date please!.. Now if these guys aren’t talking too much and blowing their trumpet, they are picking up numerous calls, scrolling through various chats. Gosh.. it is even hard keeping up with these.

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Lastly, meeting a guy and finally putting a face to the sweet texts that come in from Specie S, you realize he doesn’t meet your expectations.. Hhahaha… Where you expected tall, broad, brave and whatever it is that the text messages paint, you are met by the total opposite… Not to really burst this bubble but more often, girls will not keep interested if their expectations were not met..

There is pretty much left that will leave the girls not returning your texts or staying up on the phone with you like initially but if anything should be known,  it is that Men have only one chance—To like is as easy as to unlike. The English proverb “The first impression matters” holds much sense in such a state.

To the guys, if a girl ever leaves you for endless reasons, Mister, do not be offended or dismayed.. Each one of us was made for someone.. Pick up your bags and go on to the next. If you are worried you have to spend a fortune in yet another repeat mode, adopt dates where you don’t have to spend too much.. Go out for an evening walk, to the movies, to a picnic out somewhere nice.. Am I supposed to give thee ideas??? If yes, go read a book by the falls… This is a very exciting venture!! 

Okay Bye really..♣♣♣

Advice— Make them remember you!meercat

I would be very glad for feedback as well as opinions!! Thank you a bunch for passing by

WE AREN’T THE GENERATION THAT TALKS MUCH..ARE WE?

Our attention is either taken by our smart phones or by our music lists. Never the person beside or before us.

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We always need to check out the latest update, the latest follower, the latest number of likes. Yes, we could be moving towards the social marketing/networking era where social media is very imperative but have we forsaken the traditional strings that bond relationships—authentic relationships with the people around us.

A time back when I was really stocked about having a smart phone, it is all I maneuvered, chat this, downloading app that to an extent I missed more than half the things my parents said to me in conversation. On various dates, I missed catching the expressions(I am really the facial expressions girl because they hold emotion, they hold meaning and speak louder than what words may not  say). This was the trend until I decided I wasn’t going to be foolishly addicted to bending my head over a phone—To stick to this decision took/takes discipline.. Discipline to go out with someone and they are scrolling their phone and you are staring out at them like you have no phone of your own.

I once went out with a friend to a pizza place. We hadn’t seen each other in a longtime and the excitement over the phone was almost palpable. We did go out, ordered that pizza and nojitos but I could swear all we said were pleasantries and possibly me asking questions now and then, once she would lift her head up and shake it rigorously and then she just wouldn’t. The silence gladly embraced us when I decided to just stop prying. When the pizza—that seemed to be our only rendezvous was finished, we each packed up, smiled widely, spoke of how exciting it had been to catch up and then went our separate ways…Boy, I have never felt so empty or is the word ignored?—Maybe even annoyed, because I paid for the Pizza..

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I keep wondering, have humans become lonely that the only “people” they can trust are their phones? Because it just makes no sense how you travel miles to meet a person and then end up each scrolling your phones—restaurants can attest to this, there is no eat-out place where you will not find more than a couple of people sharing a table each minding their phones.

Relationships are built on intimacy and I find that this intimacy can not be found on social media—most of the time, I send out laughing emojis to things I have actually not laughed about, I have erased several messages for a fear of how I will be considered by the person on the receiving end. How then can people trust these gadgets, messages and notifications they receive thereon at the expense of an actual person in-front of them?

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Just the other day, I read a meme that for many will hit a wrong note. It said “Your boyfriend is single in his crush’s inbox”.. Hahaha, okay this is sick but devastatingly true How many guys tell you sweet nothings and then easily move on in a blink of an eye? Like whatever he was emphasizing before did not matter and just like that, swoosh he disappeared!!

Maybe I should get over this— I used catch taxis in the good old days and people would be sharing great joy(of-course some taxis are inauspicious some days) and banter until you got off at your stage. Lately, a taxi feels like a cemetery—silence, creepy nudging silence, with people nodding away at music blasting in their ears… Nothing, no talk, don’t you dare say a word!! Sadly that is life now…

We don’t talk much do we? We are about posting the latest picture on Instagram, checking how many Facebook likes we earned and making those various videos to earn a huge following on snap-chat and that is what life has become!!

Guess, it is now okay to be an introvert because relationships are no-longer necessary unless we are going out to an event or to eat-out. We don’t mind cuddling our pillows as long as our phones are right beside us, we don’t mind staying up late–there is a lot on social media not worth missing. Is there any such thing as finding out the color of the eyes of the person that’s seated next to us anymore?                                                                     I believe the fights in relationships are tremendous lately because unless she says something first, I am going to ignore her because well–I have quite a number of “severals” to fit in her space on social media..

It is grueling, It is tiresome… Life is only about social media now and never the person next to us.. We don’t talk anymore–Maybe we do, but not as much as before!

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Joogoo’s Made It To My Blog!

Today morning, I was awakened by the persistent crow from Joogoo. Joogoo is a roaster. A neighbor’s roaster. Aside from the chairman, this roaster is the most famous. He walks very bossily, showing off streaks of feathers protruding from where he poops. His comb is a fiery red that stands out very boldly when he decides to adopt the crane’s pose.

His feathers are between black, brown, a shade of white and a bit of purple-ish reddish!! He belongs to Mr. Ssali.. Mr Ssali is something close to a farmer, its just that his kind loves to dig. You can tell a person that is doing it precariously and one that will carry his hoe on his shoulder with such pride–Like it is a new found blonde. He asks around to help dig gardens, trim compounds or just care for the banana plantations. He hates it when the garden is “shabby”, dry leaves about, banana fibers protruding just anyhow.

Everyone around home talks about Joogoo and it looks like hens equally want a share of him. He only chases after them for 30 seconds and they will be cloying under him. Mr. Ssali says Joogoo is a pirate of sorts-he has escaped death and kidnap several times. This he usually narrates to kids that attempt running after Joogoo.. They never get him and this has birthed in him a pride very nonsensical. It shows in how he walks, in how he stays put even when someone shows him he is unwanted in a particular place, it also shows in how he crows.. SMH

I am not one to mind Joogoo really because I mean, everyone else gives him such importance like he is kingly. Maybe I would mind as much if he were headless like the historic mike. And I think he has noticed everyone else accords him exaggerated importance but me.. So today’s morning, my alarm didn’t ring at the usual 5:30am and so I slept on until 6:25am but I woke up only because Joogoo crowed like it was the last day he was doing so. Beside my window, he went on and on and freakn on—I wondered whether he had flown over the perimeter wall, squeezed under the gate or just supernaturally found himself there. How in Heaven was he there?

He literally screamed so loud that I thought to myself “Mr Ssali needs to take time off and actually help Joogoo deal with his ego. It is eating him up, slowly he is becoming a nag. Somebody is going to send armed boda boda chicken after him and Mr. Ssali will lose his only companion”.

See Mr. Ssali will eat beans and greens all year long– these he asks from the owners of the gardens in which he digs) than slaughter his Joogoo. I am sure because Mr. Ssaali will not eat him, man people spend their days dozing out… Sleeping out.. Having one lazy day at their places of work!

But look at me writing a full post on Joogoo.. Guess he is famous after all because he made it to my timeline-both in narrative and his award-winning photo.

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This is Joogoo. I am sure his pride makes him think he can be a crested crane too!! He won’t run even when you come threateningly close to him!! This Chicken needs a DC!!

Consciousness: Your Door to Reality.

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If I were, in one word, asked to give a reason why some in life seem to walk the extraordinary or transcendent road while others remain enslaved to the dictates of natural forces I would answer –‘consciousness’.

Consciousness is the state of being aware of what is going on around you. Consciousness is therefore awareness.

In the beginning, man was created a living being; with a body outside to contact the natural material world, and with a spirit inside to be in touch with the spirit world of God. With his soul, man would be conscious of either of these worlds to the degree he wills. The human soul, therefore, is the seat of consciousness or awareness.

Taking this a step further, your consciousness is what dictates reality to you. There’s nothing real but what you are conscious of .Whatever you are unconscious or unaware of is unreal to you.

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