March 2009
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Day March 25, 2009

Ugandans abroad shouldn’t undermind each other’s jobs

Dear Ugandans abroad,

Africans don’t control the means of production so they really don’t have any choice when it comes to employment. That is why many Africans abroad are buried in the world of academia. You find them in Universities, mostly studying, from one area of discipline to the next, or doing research, if not taking some part-time teaching, or teaching assistant – full-time. There are really not much choices out there for Africans.

Quite often you find Africans who claim to have good jobs. But if you do a bit of investigations, you may find that the so called good jobs are not even good jobs, or that they have compromised too much to even get the good jobs and keep them. One cannot be all cool and relaxed under such circumstances.

Worse still, even back home, the few jobs available are never guaranteed because people who support the institutions, from government to you name it, are the so called foreign movers and shakers. They finance our governments, including all the institutions in a country. This they do because they basically take our natural resources at give away prices. Without their finances, even semblance of an institution of government would not exist in Africa. With productivities almost none existent, chances are, we would be fighting like savages yet again, hiding under the cloak of degenerate Kingdoms and Chieftaincies.

So, quite frankly, they, the foreign movers and shakers, are our government employees’ employers. We are therefore dependent on them all through and through; no choice.

We should all humble ourselves when it comes to employment; because we are all beggars for it.

The only Africans who can be proud of who they are and what they do are the peasants because they make their living. They choose what time to do what they do and how to do it. The only problem is, rapid economic development cannot be realised without organised peasant productivities. Until then, even our presidents are slaves whose lives and times depend on some peoples else letting them be; otherwise their breathings can, individually, be stopped.

That is the dilemma of not controlling anything. You are more or less disposable goods.

Jobs do not matter .It is whether you get some income or not. Lazy people resort to guns to terrorise communities to earn a living by stealing. In New York, foreign doctors, lawyers, pilots , nurses, are cleaners, cab drivers  and at the end of the week they get paid. Being a blue or white collar worker  does not matter as long as people know what they are doing and what they want in life.I do not think some people should look down on other people’s jobs. What is important is survival.


Ugandans abroad should marry fellow ‘Kyeyo’ instead of going home to look for partners

Dear Ugandans,
You wonder why many Ugandans still come home to try their luck with ”Ms” or ”Mr” right? You also wonder why Ugandan men and women abroad are hard?

You should know that the divorce rate among immigrants in the West is now at par and in some cases higher than the divorce rate among the locally born. And this applies to all immigrants irrespective of region of origin or religion.

Why is this the case and this goes to you question? Expectations. People have it upside down about life in the West. Take it from me that it is tough and can be hell for immigrants.

Furthermore, immigrants not just Ugandans do not adjust well to the liberal nature of the West, which is strong on women equality. Again, most immigrants not just Ugandans are still traditional and want to command women to obey them as if they were still living in Kampala, Nairobi or Abuja.

Since the laws favour women in general, most women simply can take the abuse? Why take abuse when in most cases the women are the bread winners because the system treats them favourably over men. Mark you even in household where the women is the bread winner/working steadily some men still expect the women to come home, tired, and cook for the man who spent his entire days drinking beer or watching porno movies on TV? Which women in the West can take that kajanja when they know that the law is on their side?

It is also the motherhood thing as employers treat women-as mother God bless them-sympathetically? Why? Because they are responsible. Men simply do not know how to hand the role reversal well. Actually men are depressed. Studies shows that immigrants are among the fastest growing group among mental illness patients. Why? Poor social capital and yes, racism.

Another problem and this again goes to some people’s observation that Ugandan men come home to look for that Ms or mister right. Big mistake most of the times? Why? Expectations? Those from Kyeyo misrepresent their true situation most of the time so when they person finally arrives in the West and finds a different set up, it is trouble.

But here is another reason and I have had two good friends who came back home to look for ms right and threw big weddings. Their problem is that they went for higher standards in terms of class. Class matters mark you. I asked my friends about their backgrounds, specifically what their parents did back home? And they told me their parents were peasants but they were courting daughters of elite men. One went for the daughter of a lawyer while another went for a doctor’s daughter. My buddies were well educated men.

They won over the women even after I had cautioned them that they were making a mistake to go above their class-I know people will attack me for saying this but it matters. To cut the long story short, the young women they had married and brought over left them in less than a year. Why? The women cited socialization that even though my buddies were well read men and gainfully employed, their socialization was still different. So those UAH folks still looking for Ms or Mr right but especially Ms right do not ignore class or to put in bluntly “mwana wani” simply because you have been on kyeyo abroad. Wrong. Do not punch above your class.

But the biggest problem is the hybridity-modernity/west vs tradition. This has been the killer especially for conservative immigrant men who ironically still espouse the public private sphere idealogy.

And UAH moderator, Mr Abbey Semuwemba, is right that it is better to go for similar minded kyeyo who know the true picture and understand -I hope-the misery in the West.

But you folks in Uganda will soon grapple with this problem if not already. I noticed when I visit that the women have the good jobs with NGOs while the men are grassing. And my friends in the NGO sector complained that there are no marriageable men anymore in Uganda, lol. What they really mean is that there are no men of their class. Bingo.

Now the good, your folks in Uganda who are employed in decent jobs have it both ways. Your quality of life is certainly way better than for most of the folks in the Diaspora. Hard to believe but true so value your jobs and stay in Uganda. But be faithful, okay.

Have you noticed another trend? Ugandans (most immigrants actually) now take their children born in the West to study in Uganda or their motherland. Why? Because and sadly, children of immigrants are not generally doing well in school and could need up less educated than their parents. Smart parents are taking them back where schools can still discipline them.



”Kyeyo”:Uganda Boarding schools aren’t good for kids anymore

The boys of S.4 West in 1995 in Kibuli Secondary School when Alhajji Abbasi Kawaase was stil the headmaster

Dear Ugandans abroad,

Sending a child to a boarding school in Uganda is a mistake! Taking ones kids to school here just because you have failed to discipline them there abroad is wrong. There is no school in Uganda that is going to do them discipline for you. In other words there is no school here that is going to do the parenting for you. Schools in Uganda especially the private “good” ones are merely business projects. They are simply interested in your money.

There is this myth that Ugandan schools are better blah blah.This is simply nostalgia. Those schools are long dead- gone with the fundamental change of 1986 by Museveni! I know of many people who brought back their unruly kids to be taught here and they have all failed. Very few have gotten their money’s worth. The kids even got worse from here in Uganda. They learnt how to smoke bhung, marijuana and even cocaine from Kampala!

One of the kids when he went back to London became the boss of the street kids there! He is now serving time in “wormwood scrubs” a big prison in London! No, keep your kids where you are and where you can personally give them the parental love they need to grow up into responsible citizens.You bring them here in Uganda as a punishment, they will punish you back! Keep your kids with you. There are better schools over there. It’s where the Ministers and big people here in Uganda take their kids. Schools here have been spoilt by UPE,USE and no UUE (Universal University education)!

Just like the health sector has gone to the dogs, so has the education and everything else! It’s only the Presidency (PPU) that still works here! And even this, there are those who wonder …….

The mistake people make is to first bring their kids there in the developed nations then after they realize they are “failing” then “deport” their kids back to Uganda.This is both traumatizing and i think even illegal ! Imagine you are used to eating sausages and eggs, then they take you back to a place where they serve posho and lumonde! You are used to living with your “loving” parents then you are abruptly whisked to live with strangers in a dormitory?

If you think schools here in Uganda are better then leave your kids here and never take them there in the first place. It’s only fair. I have seen Big men cry when they land at Entebbe after being deported. What do you think a young child goes through? Some people have even committed suicide!

My view is this: Never ever take you kids out only to send them back “Mbu” to learn good manners or how to behave.The standard here have of course gone down the drain kabisa kabisa! I don’t think we shall ever get back to even half of what we had before the “Revolution”!

I earned my living sometimes back advising our people about this. It’s not a new thing. I got kids and I know what iam talking about. I went to boarding schools all my life and i think i got one of the best education our country did provide then. But i swore never to take my kids to boarding school. I just couldn’t imagine myself chewing chicken at home as my kid is somewhere with a rumbling stomach!

Thankfully of the many kids God has given me, only one has been through what i went through.. boarding school at a young age!

Gook Akanga

UAH forumist in Uganda

Boarding schools are good for kids

Dear Ugandans,
Putting a child in a boarding school is not a punishment and it doesn’t signify hate to the child. As a matter of fact kids like being in boarding schools regardless.I don’t think that those who don’t get the chance to go to boarding schools feel good about it.
By the way there is much more for a child in a boarding school than just eating.
first and fore most the children learn to be independent of their parents. Of course not financially but they learn to think for themselves. they learn how to use the resources they are given reasonably. They learn to live with People of different categories,like culture, attitudes, personalities just to mention a few. They learn to make some critical decisions and of course they have  more time to study.
When it comes to family to me is just the attachment you have with your family members regardless of where they are, not how close you live to them or how often you look at them.
There is a possibility of bunching together in a big house with no harmony, with your own kids not wanting even to look at you, or talk to you.When it comes to the rumbling of the stomach, even the good chicken or meet can easily make it do so. you can even have a running stomach with your good chicken or meet before your kid gets one with the maram at the boarding school.
Waduka Abdou.

Buganda culture on men

Dear Ugandans,
The men in Buganda have Ssengas and Jjajja’s to couch them.As you already know, Baganda of Buganda are basically farmers. They have always grown almost anything because the land was fertile, The sun was always there and the worry was rain or no rain season.

Their main food was all types of bananas including Matooke, Ndiizi, Bbogoya and Gonja for eating. Then there were embidde for banana beer or wine, whatever you call it in English. In addition Baganda grew groundnuts, beans, peas and all sorts of green vegetables.

Furthermore, they had goats, chicken, and a few cows from our neighboring herdsmen. With chickens came eggs. All over Buganda there was fish of some kind and Baganda fished for food. There were also fruits, passion fruits, guava, avacadoes, oranges, tangerines, nkenene, berries, papaya amakoma mawanga etc etc. The list is quite long. When one says there were only Matooke and nothing else, I do not understand which part of Buganda they grew up in.

To cut the long story short, when preparing for marriage, the Muganda girl was taught how to cook and take care of her future husband; not only in the bedroom, but also in the kitchen and at the dinning table. Whatever Matooke contain for nutrition content, they were always served with: beef, chicken, goat, groundnuts, or fish stews or whatever the lady of the house chose to accampany Matooke with. The combinations kept everyone health, men and children alike.

Some of the foods a woman was taught to feed her husband before and during marriage, were eggs, chicken, fish, raw groundnuts because they were known for being good for the man especially in the bedroom. Something else they always talked about was hot pepper. When you say a Muganda man is left by his woman because of issues in the bedroom, I do not get it. The system had everything taken care of.

Then came western education and the Baganda men were the first to go to the schools before their girls, but the tradition continued. The men accepted the British jobs after school, but the traditions at home continued. The Muganda man has always been the head of the household. Even though husband and wife disagreed, there would be no shouting at each other. They would go to bedrooms when children were asleep and talk respecting each other. I do not know how much of this culture is still alive today. I have not been in Uganda to observe.

Traditionally, if there were issues of anykind in the bedroom, the Ssengas , Jjajjas were informed, because marriage was not for the two in it it was a family affair and community affair. Everyone wanted it to succeed. They would come up with remedies.

If Baganda women today leave their Baganda men, or get acquired by other men from other tribes in Uganda or overseas, it is not because of Men’s inneficience; it is because many people know the Buganda culture pertinent to women and want a piece of it for themselves. Besides many of us have gone to school learned the Queen’s language and tend to over look the tribal differences because we can communicate and get careers.

Again, it has nothing to do with the Muganda man. Times are changing so first and our cultures are getting eroded fast too. Just because I am a Muganda woman, does not mean I have to marry a Muganda man as in the old days. Where I am located any man with qualification is candidate and I will make a choice. Just because you are a Muganda man, it does not mean you have to be married to a Muganda woman. The doors are open to you for any woman in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ruanda, Canada, USA and the list goes on. I trust you get my point.

Assumpta Mary Kintu

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