I had a post up, about a thing. That thing is currently being sorted out, so until everyone has a chance to have their say, I'm taking it down. Thanks guys, and good luck to the people involved.

blogren, what gives?

I'm sitting in Kansas biting my nails. Does this month mark the end of Uganda Bloggers Happy Hour? No word from Ivan (too tired from your party?) or Rev.

If it is the end, hit the comments and let me know why. I have my own theories (mainly involving you all sitting at home, mourning my departure and/or that you've concocted a bigger, better blogren bash and aren't inviting me, though that would be crazy), but I want to know yours.

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GVO Uganda: Poverty and Paris Hilton

My next piece is up at Global Voices Online:

Wednesday's Public Poverty Forum in Kampala had one blogger, Tumwijukue, asking, “Did they (re)define poverty? Did they speak of poverty of the mind? Or did they merely use the event as a networking opportunity and an excuse to miss work for the day, rushing to the organizer's table at the end of the forum for the Ushs. 50,000 delegates' allowance?”

Read more»

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looking for africa

People ask me what I miss about Uganda other than the people, and as I'm drinking real coffee (sorry, Dennis) and watching the leaves change colors, sometimes it's hard to come up with a quick answer. Yesterday, though, I was listening to a mix my friend made right before I left, and this song came on.

Blogren, you know what I'm talking about: the remix of Toto's "Africa." The one that's played every 83 seconds in Kisementi? With the rappers? And the a cappella? And the "CH! ch ch ch, ch ch ch ooooh"? Yeah, you guys know.

The thing is, I don't know. Who remixed it, I mean. The name of the group. So, armed with my delicious coffee and my fast American internet and a gchat window with the Comrade open, I went on a search.

I found MIMS:

And then the eurotrash dance remix:

And the Notorious B.I.G.:

And this, which I'm still having trouble explaining:

And the requisite terrible embarrassing amateur cover:

And this Wikipedia article. But not my song. Blogren, help.

well, that's surprising

Museveni's candidacy in the 2011 presidential election was officially announced this week. The choicest quote comes from Major Kakooza Mutale, the mastermind behind the Kalangala Action Plan, the paramilitary organization that intimidated (and often beat the living daylights out of) opposition supporters during the 2001 and 2006 elections:
I am not among those people who will die for Uganda but among those who will kill you for Uganda. I will kill anybody who challenges Uganda and don't underrate me because of my gray hair, I will kill you.

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kampala quickies

Reuters just posted a guide to 48 hours in Kampala: Speke Resort, pork, football, Ange Noir and the Botanical Gardens. Compare and contrast with In An African Minute's 36 hours in Kampala: Munyonyo fish market, Kabalagala, Rouge and Owino.

Ugandan Blogumentary online

The documentary made by the four Danish women who were in Uganda earlier this year is online, both at the Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke website and on Google Video:

It makes me miss you guys.

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this is interesting

The blogren are on Facebook: Uganda Blog Society. I think it's awesome — kudos to Joshi for setting this up.

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GVO: Blogger flees Uganda after threats

My latest piece is up on Global Voices Online:
Ugandan blogger and radio personality Dennis Matanda's provocative opinions on African culture, Idi Amin and recolonization have been covered on Global Voices before. Dennis caused another stir last month when he posted on his blog under the title “How to Be Dead.” The post chronicled the radio show, ensuing threats and frightening act of vandalism leading up to his flight from Uganda, a decision met with a mixture of support, bemusement and skepticism by his fellow blogren.

Now living in the United States, Dennis is working on his
first fiction piece: a novel titled Master of the Sagging Cheeks, which he hopes will bring a change in the way the world views African leaders. He agreed to share his story with Global Voices.

Read more»

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andrew mwenda: goats and journalism

I met Andrew Mwenda earlier this year at the Royal Ascot Goat Races. He was wearing a tie and put his arm around me, and together we watched the Casino Simba girls perform a blend of Kazakh-traditional and Britney-exotic dances.

This is how I will always remember him, though Mwenda is known for other things: his passionate argument against foreign aid to Africa during this year's TEDGlobal conference is one. His run-in with the Ugandan government for reporting openly on the death of southern Sudanese leader John Garang is another.

This month will add another line to his CV: after spending a year as a Knight Fellow at Stanford, Mwenda is back in Uganda, and he has big plans. He's leaving the Daily Monitor, where he has served as the political editor since 2004, and starting his own paper:

The newspaper is already registered. It is called The Independent. It is going to live up to its name – to be a platform through which Ugandans and other interested parties of all persuasions can freely discuss public issues. It will also be a forum through which national issues can be covered without fear or favour of any person or authority.

The aim of the paper will be to support the democratic process in the country, defend human rights, freedom, liberty and accountability.
The maiden issue of the paper is supposed to come out on October 19. It is going to be unique in that it will lift the level and quality of public debate a lot higher. A lot in its opinion pages will discuss the fundamental problems and solutions for Africa.

And maybe, just maybe, it will feature a picture of us at the goat races.


radio katwe gossip

Radio Katwe is a independent Ugandan news radio station that gained international attention from Reporters Without Borders last year when its website was blocked by the Ugandan Communications Commission just before the presidential election.

Despite the block, the site is still going strong, publishing a daily mixture of hard-hitting journalism and amusing gossip. The following article falls in the latter category:

British etiquette experts in Uganda to train M7 in table manners

We got some information some months ago that as the CHOGM plans continue to gather momentum, some British experts in protocol and etiquette were flown to Uganda to help Museveni get CHOGM compatible.

Those people who have sat in the same room with him at state dinners know that M7 is a very crude man. He eats like a greedy pig and it is an embarrassment to people.

Full article»

Impartial? No. Hilarious? Yes.

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o happy day, part two: september UBHH

The infamous 27th Comrade announced it. And then it happened:

So my curiosity did get the best of me right, blame in Sage for all the flack he gave it or the numerous bloggers who defended it. Well Kissyfur did show up at BHH. Mostly because I was going for rock night and needed to buy time before that and it sounded like a good idea. So yeah, I bribed Tandra with a Tyler Perry movie simply because I desperately needed to have somebody there that I atleast knew.


So anyways, got there abt 7.30 and interestingly enough i knew or had interacted with the majority there..isnt blogistan but an extension of ur life?? so i technically met Rev, ai, Dee, Carlo, Dante, the Baz (not the bee,mind), Liz and Heaven!.


I use a boda-boda to get to Mateos, known in some circles more appropriately as “that place where bloggers meet.” I attempt to keep my face non-smiling. I don’t want to give vendors the impression that we are buddies and they should offer me groundnuts. It’s my sod-off expression. Patented. Often imitated but never duplicated. Then I see two bloggers of the female persuasion.

Must. Not. Smile.

They see me as I try to stare down a pretty young thing that almost stepped on me. They smile.

Must. Fight. Smile.

One of them stands up. She seems taller than when last I saw her.

I yank the ear phones out of my, well, ears. That’s where they reside, isn’t it?

Smile Bad! Scowl Good!

She hugs me and my scowl leaves me. But not before saying, “Adios amigo, you’re weak. You give in way too easy!”

I'm counting around nine blogren, ten if you include Gay Uganda, who sort of showed. Mad props to him for doing so, especially in light of Monday's debacle. Having the courage to make it to UBHH at all given Uganda's current cultural climate makes you the Blogren Star of the Month in my book.

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