Category Archives: Tamale’s Opinions

#UGBudget2017: Fashion, Humour and the other positives from Museveni’s speech

Aside from the tax increments on sports betting, imported furniture, beers and soda, i had all kinds of negative perceptions about the budget being read because like many other Ugandans, it had that ‘1986’ normalcy fever. However, when the president stepped onto the podium to make his speech, i found myself listening in, and i must say i was shocked!

It’s been long since the president made it to the budget reading in full combat wear and at first it was intriguing until his speech made it to the ‘Vogue Fashion Runway’.

First, i loved the fact that the president had, after 31 years, (i am avoiding the use of, “since 1986”) that there are “some” clothes, shoes and materials which can and have been made by Ugandans…in Uganda! He quickly informed the audience that the uniform he was putting on was Ugandan made (apart from the beret) before he showcased a few more items; the yellow NRM shirt, “…with 35 per cent cotton from Uganda and 65 per cent polyester, which we still import” and another white shirt which “…is wholly made in Uganda but the polyester is also imported and another fibre which makes it strong is also from Indonesia”….but the labor is Ugandan! Hurray, way to go! We have done a great job!

The president went ahead to emphasize his point with a showcasing of a jungle hat which he personally designed before he gifted Hon. Abiriga with his sandals, wholly made in Uganda. Do you now understand how we reached the Vogue Fashion Runway?

But he was making a point though; we should stop misusing our purchasing power by crediting foreign products when we can support local manufacturers and employ the youth. I honestly agree with this and i am glad that the man has been in support of this angle of thought since the early 1950’s when KCC milk made it to the Ugandan markets and he stopped purchasing soda to support Kenyan manufacturers. I believe we can follow our president and buy Sembule Televsion sets to support the…oh wait, he asked for a bail out and couldn’t get any. Sorry. We can, like i was saying, opt to buy Ugandan clothes from Nytil and…and…(you know it’s really hard to name others!) and i forgot to mention the fact that i am not sure Nytil still exists!

There are initiatives the president has set up to support the youth (…again). During his speech, he showcased one of them and mentioned others where he had spent about 300 million shillings to help curb youth unemployment. He promised them (the ones he showcased today) machines to help them manufacture what they had studied. And at some point i heard my dear president insinuate that we should create jobs for our youth within the country rather than let them leave and go work as house maids abroad. Well well well…aren’t we such a great nation at making plans and keeping them! Let me sip on some coffee as i watch ‘Boss Baby’, another great comedy!

It wasn’t a very uncolorful budget reading as usual thus!

 

I learned a new word from the East, ‘Nyeko’ and an English term, “Change Of Use”. Nyeko is a Langi word meaning jelousy, and allow me use it to those hating on my opinion; you have ‘nyeko’. It was interesting also to learn that we can simply just come up with a new coffee factory in namanve and choose to ‘do other things’ with the existing one in Bugolobi…it’s called “Change Of Use!” It’s a new terminology.

In a nutshell, whilst some may feel like the budget was all gloom and ‘ceremonius’ (Kizza Besgye…hi! Nyeko?) i had so much to take away from the reading especially during President Museveni’s speech. I hope and pray that whatever has been planned and passed may actually come to pass…For God and My Country.

– See more at: http://www.ntv.co.ug/blogs/bonny-tamale/2017/jun/08/ug-budget-2017-fashion-humour-and-other-positives-i-picked-musevenis#sthash.5VWm7IV4.dpuf

Martyrs Day 2017: Of our modern day martyrs who do not matter

Allow me welcome you all back from the 3rd June Martyrs Day celebrations in Namugongo. For those who actually went there, I hope it was worth it. For those who trekked (not on your smartphones), I hope you felt that necessary pain…only that you didn’t trek back! Anyways, please allow me define the word “MARTYR” before I introduce this blog to you.

 

MARTYR

ˈmärdər/

Noun

A person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs.

“Saints, martyrs, and witnesses to the faith”

 

Verb

Kill (someone) because of their beliefs.

“She was martyred for her faith”

 

Here is the big question; would we still call them martyrs, celebrate them, trek for them if those 22 men and woman, were killed in these times for “their religious beliefs”? If there was a modern day Mwanga (and I am not saying he is not there though), and he decided to burn down Twenty-two young men and a woman for disobeying him because of their religious beliefs, would we run to Pope Francis and ask for their beautification so that we can kneel down and pray through their names? Or is it that we are caught in another contradiction?

 

Looking back at that definition, you will notice (if you are still with me) that it’s not just about religion but also other beliefs like; football, atheism, sexuality, politics…! If we are to go by that definition, I am happy to announce that the Ugandans who died defending Buganda, Bunyoro, Busoga, against white imperialism are dear martyrs too; the natives who fought and died bravely in that Maji-maji rebellion ( and other African rebellions) are great African martyrs…who do not matter because we are a very choosy and corrupted lot.

 

According to a few people I talked to, one is said to be a martyr if they are killed under duress! In other words; they are told to choose between this and that or face death. Yes, that is exactly what happened before Mwanga torched those Ugandans; choose religion and die! That already qualifies the Christians who were forced to denounce their religions and recite a few Islamic statements during the 2013 Westgate Al Shabaab attack in Kenya as Martyrs…and certainly takes me to the other point of view.

 

Politics!

 

We all know how dirty politics can be, we do not need a debate nor dictionary for that. Despite the dirt, there are very many followers, world wide, who participate strongly in this muddy game. These ardent believers will choose one side and swear allegiance “for life”! They believe in their “way of political leadership and strategy” and would never see themselves on the other side of the coin. Their political affiliation is like or even deeper than a religion (maybe because they earn or will earn from it).

 

Many of such ambitious believers, like many whose names we shall not say, have been politically (politics, the word, in this sense being equivalent to dirty) persuaded into changing sides by those whose names are many but we are not allowed to say. Well, of course some switch allegiance, just as easily as many have switched religions, whilst others would rather die – both literally and figuratively!

But in many cases it has gone to the point of dying (literally) for choosing not to change sides, raise the thumb over the peace sign or the other way round.

 

Are these too, our modern day unsung martyrs? The ones who do not matter?

 

But this goes wider and wider in terms of beliefs…other beliefs. It makes me feel like there are so many other people who have died because of their beliefs but have been ignored for the reasons that are beyond my understanding. There are so many people who have refused to give up their sexualities, work ethics, nationalities, and perceptions about life and so many other things that they believe and in the end lost their lives. Are these our modern day martyrs who actually do not matter?

 

Yes they are. But because of selective martyrdom, we choose to ignore the suffering and death of people whose cause is non-religious! And even when the cause is religious, the choice of who becomes a martyr and who will not seems to be beyond us.

 

So, on behalf of all those who have been thinking like me, I celebrate the unsung martyrs; the ones of old and those of the modern days. We may never get the chance to kneel down and pray through you, or trek for you but we recognize your fight.

 

Once again, I am entitled to my opinions just as you are. Feel free to comment and share your views!