Farewell, Spain, we are now very much both World Cup-less even though #SpainIsNotUganda


Dear Spain,

No hard feelings, right? If there are any, then tough. We are not the ones who scored those goals or failed to stop them going into the nets.

But at least you guys have photos with the World Cup in your cabinet, so kudos (clap, clap).

And since there must be space in your album, here are a few more photos to throw into the mix – kind of like making a Spanish Omelette…speaking of which:

Spanish Omelette

But if you’re not that hungry, then perhaps you can eat Ugandan (I sense a sneer on the face of the Spanish Prime Minister, but he would be pleasantly surprised after the first bite into this):

Spanish Rolex

He’d look a lot less grumpy after one of these, I’m sure; and hopefully he’ll share it with Vicente, del Bosque, who as he reads this blog must be thinking:

del Bosque & Rajoy

 

He probably didn’t get audience with the Prime Minister earlier otherwise like many other Spaniards:

Just Apologise

 

Anyway, last night we watched the game on channels such as UBC.

African_Children

 

It wasn’t an easy game at all for our ‘brothers’ and we felt genuinely sorry even though we ribbed them to no end…all unnecessary if Rajoy had only apologised as frequently advised from all corners.

Mama Fiina

We talked about a lot while watching the game, but kept a certain focus running.

Spanner

 

And also made it clear where we stood:

Spain Supporter...Not

 

So the inevitable happened, for reasons that had nothing to do with #SpainIsNotUganda – it was all practical:

Casillas

Before long:

Waiting for Casillas

 

Taxi

The options began to open up:

Visa Application

Either way, there was just one option left (besides the apology for saying #SpainIsNotUganda):

KEEP CALM

Ka-Jambo

 

 

promoting and buying Ugandan: we need to walk our talk


Ladies and gentlemen, we have to start walking our talk.

The Friday before last, the Uganda Communications Commission hosted us to the Annual Communications Innovation Awards (ACIA) 2014 themed ‘ICT Innovation for National Development’.

I skipped lunch that day, for an unrelated reason, eventually changed into one of my nice Ugandan-made shirts, and made my way to the exhibition preceding the main event. I was full of hope because an innovation I was involved in had been nominated for an award.

A sharp kick of hunger stopped me short at a supermarket where I proceeded to implement this difficult personal policy of buying Ugandan if the item available is of a quality approaching close-to the imported equivalent I needed. My pals laugh at me but I always explain that, for instance, Uganda does not make Land Rovers so my choice of car is left untouched.

This time all I wanted was a small packet of crisps to tide me by till dinner. I was clearly not going to buy the ones in see-through kaveera because while walking through a slum with a well-meaning Pastor some years ago, I found out how those are made. He was showing me round his labour of love slum project when we turned a sharp corner and almost fell over a little boy engaged in some public toilet activity. This, a few metres from a woman, presumably his mother, deep frying crisps in a pan on a sigiri next to a small table with the buveera awaiting to be filled. 

Health and safety issues aside, I generally don’t eat too many crisps but on this day found a brand called Emondi, that stood as proudly on those shelves as the Tropical Heat and Pringles ranges did. I swiped them and drove to the exhibition, and by the time I had arrived had only managed to chew through a couple of handfuls and to this day cannot understand why they were so tasteless in packaging so promising.

Walking through the exhibition, however, lifted my spirits and distracted me from the hunger as I quickly browsed the Ugandan offerings of innovation in ICT and gained hope once again that not all is lost. Sticking with the theme, the keynote speaker was not some imported talent or celebrity, but a Ugandan working at Microsoft in a senior capacity – Ivan Lumala.

I pulled at my Ugandan-made collar a little bit and applauded the fellow for being what he was and representing me wherever he goes. All seemed to flow smoothly – except for some flies in the honey: Ignoring the suggestion at my table that the Serena Kampala had imported waiting staff from Kenya for the night, I applauded lead entertainer Myko Ouma for his fantastic guitar work but stopped short when I realised that his repertoire consisted of Sade, Jonathan Butler, Phil Collins…WHY? 

ImageBut that was not as bad as the performance of a one Eddie Kenzo (pictured being a pain on the stage elsewhere) whose Sitya Loss presented some infants gyrating on-stage in a disturbingly adult manner. As I said, go Ugandan only if the item is of a quality good enough.   

Someone at my table laughed at my murmuring and asked me if the menu was even Ugandan; and I made a resolution there and then to suggest that all government events when I am ever put in charge would promote strictly national offerings!

As-if to goad the ire within us at that point, the award nomination call-ups began and the music played when nominations were called up was…South African. Pan Africa, you say?

Okay, a quick Google search using the phrase ‘buy South African procurement rules’ returns the top result “General Procurement Guidelines -2 from the Republic of South Africa Treasury Department ” which contained the simply written paragraph:

“The government has implemented the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act as the foundation on which all procurement activities are to be based. Its aim is to:   (a) advance development of SMMEs and HDIs; …(d) promote local enterprises in specific provinces, in a particular region, in a specific local authority, or in rural areas; and (e) support the local product.

I don’t expect Eddie Kenzo’s music to ever play at a South African national or government event.

Another quick Google search with the phrase ‘buy Ugandan procurement rules’ got me to the Public Procurement Disposal of Public Assets Act two clicks later where the twelve (12) mentions of “local” referred to ‘Local Government’ except for three occasions in 59B. (Reservation schemes) that read ‘local expertise’,’local communities’ and ‘local organisations’.

Reservation schemes? Read the Act and work it out – but obviously it’s easier for the South Africans to buy and promote local. 

#EclipseUG – take these solar eclipse viewing tips seriously – they are even from Mulago Hospital!


As we prepare to set off for Pakwach and Masindi to catch the hybrid eclipse (hashtag = #EclipseUG), I am particularly happy that we have had tips, cautions and words of advice from someone at Mulago Hospital rather than an expert from outside Uganda.

I’m not going to crack jokes about how because this is from Mulago Hospital it is more serious than just the usual kb.

Instead, a big round of applause for Opthalmologist Dr. Anne Ampaire Musika of Mulago National Referral Hospital, who compiled the following:

PLS TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY!

COMPILED BY DR. ANNE AMPAIRE MUSIKA (and received through a third-party):

This Sunday 3rd November 2013, there is going to be a hybrid eclipse and everyone is excited.

SOLAR RETINAL DAMAGE/ SOLAR RETINOPATHY
When a person looks repeatedly or for a long time at the Sun without proper protection for the eyes, this photochemical retinal damage may be accompanied by a thermal injury – the high level of visible and near-infrared radiation causes heating that literally cooks the exposed tissue. This thermal injury or photocoagulation destroys the rods and cones, creating a small blind area. The danger to vision is significant because photic retinal injuries occur without any feeling of pain (there are no pain receptors in the retina), and the visual effects do not occur for at least several hours after the damage is done.

WHO IS AT RISK?
Susceptible individuals include children and teenagers, because the lens of the eye filters little short wavelength light before the age of 20 years; people with ocular conditions such as retinal dystrophies or albinism or who have undergone certain forms of cataract surgery; those taking photosensitising medication; and those using alcohol or recreational drugs.

During a solar eclipse more people are at risk. With the sun partially covered, it’s comfortable to stare, and protective reflexes like blinking and pupil contraction are a lot less likely to be in use than on a normal day.

WHEN IS VIEWING THE ECLIPSE SAFE?
The only time that the Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye is during a total eclipse, when the Moon completely covers the disk of the Sun during the short two minute period of total eclipse, and one should look away the moment the first rays of the sun appear at the edge of the moon.

It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques

WHAT EQUIPMENT CAN FILTER THESE SUN RAYS?
The commonly used filters include:

1. all colour film

2. black-and-white film that contains no silver

3. photographic negatives with images on them (x-rays and snapshots)

4. smoked glass

5. sunglasses (single or multiple pairs)

6. photographic neutral density filters polarizing filters

These however do not offer adequate protection because most of these transmit high levels of invisible infrared radiation which can cause a thermal retinal burn.

Welders’ glasses and pin-hole cameras are relatively safer though not perfect.

7. The safest devices are solar viewers with aluminized polyester. Most such filters have a thin layer of chromium alloy or aluminum deposited on their surfaces that attenuates both visible and near-infrared radiation

Other suggested locally available filters include:

8. negatives without images (x-rays or black and white films) used as double layers

9. pin holes (made by passing a pin through a hard paper or cardboard)

10. black kaveera (polythene bag)

11. compact discs

12. floppy discs

These may not be entirely safe but are a lot safer than nothing at all.

Viewing the sun through binoculars or telescopes produces the 10-25° temperature rise in the retina required for a thermal burn. By contrast, looking at the sun with the naked eye induces photochemical injury to retinal receptor cells and pigment epithelium, associated with only a 4° rise in retinal temperature.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
This thermal injury or photocoagulation destroys the rods and cones, creating a small blind area.
The danger to vision is significant because photic retinal injuries occur without any feeling of pain (there are no pain receptors in the retina), and the visual effects do not occur for at least several hours after the damage is done

TREATMENT, IN CASE OF A RETINAL BURN?
No treatment has been shown to be effective in solar retinopathy.
The emphasis is therefore on prevention,
Children must be closely supervised.
It is unsafe to look at the sun during the partial phases of a total eclipse, or during a partial eclipse.
Failure to use proper observing methods may result in permanent eye damage or severe visual loss. This can have important adverse effects on career choices and earning potential, since it has been shown that most individuals who sustain eclipse-related eye injuries are children and young adults

Binoculars and telescopes should not be used.

SHARE THESE TIPS AND TREAT THEM VERY, VERY, VERY SERIOUSLY.

VERY SERIOUSLY.