Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Shame on us

Swedish missionary and a young boy mutilated by a rubber sentry in the employ of a 'concessionnaire' company in the Upper Congo. The Belgian Congo under King Leopold II employed mass forced labour of the indigenous population to extract rubber from the jungle. As the demand for rubber grew King Leopold's private army of 16,000 mercenaries were given leave to use any method to coerce the population into meeting quotas, including random killing, mutilation, village burning, starvation and hostage taking. This photograph forms part of the Harris lantern slide collection. Alice Seeley Harris and her husband John Harris were missionaries in the Congo in the early 1900s. They produced a collection of images documenting the horrific abuses of the indigenous people of the Congo by King Leopold II's regime. Their photographs formed part of what was probably the first orchestrated multimedia campaign against widespread human rights abuses."
Credit to Panos Pictures

Why does horror persist in Africa. 4 million dead in the Congo over the last 10 years, where is the outrage? Why is this still happening?


When Italy won the world cup, some pedantic people said it was a shame; they cited the investigations of corruption in the Serie A, doping allegations as reasons why the win for Italy was a mockery of the beautiful game. But that's exactly what you'd expect to hear from dated people, paper-pushers, and their kind.

it's easy to see why an Italian win was good for football, for the world, for individuals like me. Ladies and gents, i present exhibit A - there's need for only one; this my people is eloquence at its best. It's like David just came to life!! I'll leave you to decide the appropriate response - No touching please!!

Hot chick of the day

You know i was itching to say hot slut of the day - i'm reading way too many blogs! But my powers of self control although increasing diminished are still quite effective. For your tired eyes, i present the hot chick of the day - actually two hot chicks - my cousin Mbabazi, and her daughter Sonia aka Soni. It was taken months ago, Soni is now a year and two weeks old. Her birthday party was last week.

I didn't attend because it had rained heavily. Okay, that's the reason i gave. The real reason - because it had stopped raining by the time i would have had to go - is that meeting the same self-involved, insipid people that i met at the last party, and the one before was not sufficient reason for me to drag myself out of bed, and struggle through a two matatu long journey. So i stayed warm and read a play called Majangwa - A promise of Rain. It's a brilliant play by a little known Ugandan playwright called Robert Kalundi Serumaga(RIP). It is the most interesting play i've ever read. No scratch that, it gives the impression that i have enjoyed some of the plays i've read - i haven't. It's absolutely fantastic! I happen to have come across through the good fortune of being friends with the Playwright's equally gifted son Kalundi Robert Serumaga, whom - in the interest of advancing and preserving the arts and to satisfy my own curiosity about a man who has in my mind taken on legendary proportions - i agreed to help type the script.
You're not likely to find anything on google about this playright - There's more to the tragedy of Africa than famine, disease, poverty, famine, disease, poverty. Hopefully, in time that will change. If you're interested in reading the play, let me know; and i'll see about obtaining permission to email it.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just read an email from my fav person in the world, so i'm feeling pretty normal and rearing to do the things that normal people do, like blogging, reading chelsea fc fansites - boy, do i love being a chelsea fan; Chelsea fans fucking rock! - .....
In spite this good vibe, i can't help but contemplate why my fav person in the world is such a calming and happifying influence. Why do i suddenly feel like Dorothy - peering behind the curtain at the Wizard. There's a Luganda saying about that sort of thing - i can't actually quote it seeing how my grasp of the Lunguage is only slightly better than my French, but it loosely translated it means that understanding is the antidote to enchantment. Which reminds of something i've been thinking of lately - marriage. It's the antidote to Romance, isn't it? When people are in love, they want to be together all the time, so they decide to get married. When they marry, they get their wish but then the spark dims. Then either they try to get some salvage value out of the enterprise or give in to the deterioration.
You're probably wondering why i've been thinking about marriage. No, i'm not getting married; even though i did propose to Morgan today: Morgan is my contact at our ISP. I told him i'd marry him tomorrow if he sorted out our problem - and boy did that work, 5 minutes and i was already seeing results! Don't judge me for charming people into doing what i want - i'm a Libra, i can't help myself.
Speaking of Morgan, maybe i should call him - he is pretty fly, and he likes me. Well let's see how long i can keep the misanthrope at bay. I like myself, obviously, but the lil socialite in me sometimes feels a little suffocated, and feels the need to assert herself. Strange how happy i am right now, is it the net, Soni's email? I can't quite figure it out! There's shit going on that should have me pissed, but here - locked away in the small airless, filthy room i call my office - i can confidently say, i have no complaints. Maybe, like Bill Clinton, i'm learning to compartmentalise stuff! While this blessed state is fantastic, it's also a little frightening - shit now i have something to lose!!
Where was i? Ah yes, marriage. I've been thinking about it because a few people i know are taking the plunge. Why, i wonder isn't it enough to love someone, and trust that it's enough of a commitment. Why marriage?!!
But enough of that, but to the real issue of this post: why does my fav person make me feel normal. My immeduiate thought is that because she's normal. But it could also be that she's not normal. Maybe it's a case of "The Others"! Gosh, i loved that movie!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hello y'all, i really should keep my word but with all that's happening lately, i've become a bit nihilistic. What with Mel Gibson, France, Spain and the rest insisting on making displays of idiocy, i can't help but think that we're doomed. In the greater scheme of things blogging then becomes a bit pointless. Happily i have a friend who thinks that my stances on Africa and the middleast are, eh, unAfrican - whatever that means - and is bent on helping me see the light - that we Africans are oppressed, and we should band together with other oppressed people against the big bad western world. So i'm indundated with mail about these issues. Sometimes i respond to these emails - the most annoying ones. Below is my response to this article that he sent me.

Dear K******
I hope you're well. I printed out the material you sent me janna and tookit home - I figure that if you send me something then it merits the serious consideration :-), which I can’t give while using the rightside of my brain. Because the good people at powe company had seen fit to let us have power on the day alloted to us to have it, i was able to read one of them last night. As I read the article on governance, I, like Ahmadinejad, felt the presence of a 6th century grand mufti upon me, and undertook towrite the sort of letter that only we the inspired will. Inspiration not withstanding – because it’s been eclipsed by attentiondeficient hyperactive disorder, and my apathy regarding bad west theories– this letter is not as cogent as it could have been but I’m certain thatyou’ll glean some sense from it. As I read, one thought was predominant inmy mind: What is the west, and what is its nature? What extraordinary entity is this whose methods are infallible, and designs are designs aretenacious and dynamic to the extent that they cannot be countered??
Perhaps it’s not so much that the vest is invincible, invulnerable,superhumanly cool entity but that the poor world is inordinately inept. For this possibility, there is sufficient evidence; unless, of course, thefailure to food security in a perfectly fertile country with a climate tomatch, reliable power supply in a country with abundant sun shine, andrivers, convenient access to water in places where it is abundant, decenthousing, passable roads and so on is due to the imposition of westernstandards, which our minds cannot help but capitulate to. Whatever happened to taking all opinion but keeping one’s censure? Which brings meto my next question:To what extent are human beings responsible for their own actions? Thewest may impose preconditions for its charity but it’s not mandatory thatthe “poor” accept it. Everything carries a cost, even charity! To pretendthat it is otherwise is foolish. If the poor accept charity, it’s witheyes wide open, at least with the option of it. If they choose to keeptheir heads in the sand, then they should not go about blaming others forthe consequences; it’s naïve and childish! With this state of affairs Iwonder what the agitation of independence was about! Or is it that wethought we could have self rule without responsibility. If we want thewest to be our guardian, we should forfeit the little matter ofindependence. Otherwise we should quit whining and get on with it. Africans and our apologists have made an art of asking and comprehensivelyanswering the wrong questions so it’s hardly surprising that this articlerages against none issues and not against the circumstances that engenderthem. This author spinning in narrow orbits cannot see beyond them. Thecrux of African problems is not western intervention but the internalweaknesses that facilitate it. We criticise western intervention anddiscount it as self-serving, all the while resolutely avoiding the pinkelephant in the room – our countries are studies in failure. It’s easier to be critical than to be correct, and we criticize because we don’t know how to set about being correct. We dismiss policy suggestions asself-serving, yet propose no workable solutions. To be self-serving is nocrime; even the noblest of things are driven by selfish intent. Wisdomconsisting in keeping oneself from being exploited by the selfishness ofothers; our drivel about self-serving Europeans only serves to show howfoolish we are. We deflect from ideas by attacking their proponents, andthereby doggedly defend our rot never acknowledging that the West canafford to be corrupt, we can’t! If the west is driven by need to minimise immigration, they’re not alone:South Africa, Botswana and a few others do likewise. Ivory Coast is indire straits over immigration. Perhaps those are part of the west.Secondly, we could learn much from the west. Their constant fidelity tothe cause of it’s nations Is something to be admired. If our governments did likewise, we would not be reduced to our circumstances!We continually harp about how we’ve been raped and pillaged, and focus onapportioning blame rather than on finding solutions. That we’ve beenrobbed is incontrovertible but what do we hope to accomplish by going onabout it. Isn’t it oxymoronic that we expect justice from the very peoplethat are supposedly against us. We have no leverage, we’d do better by letting off shouting ourselves hoarse and solving our problems.We must examine the possibility that we criticize the outside enemy because the reality of us being the enemy is overwhelming. I'll not keep you any longer. Bye bye
Have a nice day!