My first pair of shoes

My wife and I once shared an apartment with a Ugandan friend. Born and raised in Kampala, Nakalema (not her real name) was incredulous when, at a dinner conversation, I casually mentioned that I did not wear shoes in primary school. “Olimba! (You are lying),” she exclaimed. “They allowed you to attend school without shoes?” […]

Caesarean section in Buganda in 1879

FROM THE TINGASIGA ARCHIVES: February 1, 1999 Dear Tingasiga: The last palace of Kabaka Mutesa I at Kasubi-Nabulagala, is perhaps the most visible evidence of the grandeur and sophistication of late nineteenth century Buganda. The visitor who beholds the architectural marvels of Muzibu-azaala-mpanga, Mutesa’s main residence at Kasubi-Nabulagala which is now a mausoleum for the […]

Museveni-Besigye contest: how I saw it 16 years ago

From the Daily Monitor Archives: November 6, 2000 (Background: Dr. Kizza Besigye wrote a landmark critique of the NRM in late 1999. He was threatened with court-martial. He was spared after intervention by elders from Rukungiri. Plans were afoot to arrest him in late 2000.  Although Besigye had had no interest in being president, and […]

Ugandans should say no to violence, yes to dialogue

Letter to a Kampala Friend By Muniini K. Mulera In Toronto Dear Tingasiga: It has been a while since I wrote. My friends and I have been working on a website that we trust will broaden our dialogue and give voice to many who are unable to be heard through the traditional news media. The […]

The African and the Tall Poppy Syndrome

African culture is endowed with many positive qualities that one hopes will survive the powerful influence of American culture as it steadily conquers the world. African social interactions, especially our love of neighbour and our respect for the elders, are but a few of these humanistic cultures that we must protect and promote on the […]

In praise of Nkuba Kyeyo

Many Ugandans despise us. We are the Nkuba Kyeyo, a Luganda phrase that literally means: “I am a sweeper”, as in sweeping the streets and other facilities in foreign lands. It is used as a derogatory term for the Ugandan Diaspora, rooted in a culture that despises manual labor. The Kampala newspapers refer to the […]

Africa’s National Anthems Betrayed

One of the enduring creations that were bequeathed to us by Africa’s independence leaders was a plethora of glorious national anthems. As each country lowered its colonial flag, the new flag soared towards the blue sky and the uniformed service band struck a new anthem that called upon the citizens to renew their patriotism and […]