Top 12 Pictures of the Year 2010

Robert Mugabe Sleeps during the AU Summit in Kampala

Robert Mugabe Sleeps during the AU Summit in Kampala

Robert Mugabe even without saying a word is news himself. His mere presence is a big story. I had always looked forward to having three frames in my archive. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Libya’s Muamar Khaddafi and of course Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. How rich this year turned out to be. I got all the above frames. And Ooh! i got the Iranian President too. The controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But back to Robert Mugabe. He was in Uganda for the AU Summit. An hour into the opening ceremony, Robert took a nap. Why: Three probable options: He might not have had a good night rest after arriving a day before: Jet lag and lastly, he might just be too old. This picture appeared in several international newswires. Nikon D300s, f 7.1, 1/60secs, Lens 70-300mm: 25/7/2010

Eye operation in Iganga

Eye operation in Iganga

2. I got this picture while on assignment for Pfizer Inc as the official photographer for a press visit to Uganda. Pfizer is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. They had flown in journalists from all over Europe to witness the company’s effort in trying to help health institutions in Sub-Saharan countries minimize the HIV/AIDS and trachoma diseases. We visited one of the health centres in Iganga district from which i got this woman in her late sixties having an eye operation. Nikon D300s, f/4, 1/60secs, ISO-2500, Lens 18-55mm: 20/10/2010

Swimming at zero cost

Swimming at zero cost

3. I went with French Videographer/Photographer to take pictures of the Bahai and accidentally found boys passing away their weekend in a pool of stagnant dirty brick water. It was such an unbelievable spectacle seeing these kids swim with the happiest faces! I went on to take lots of frames which have surprisingly got me lots of thumbs up: Nikon D300s; f/14, 1/800secs: ISO-1600, Lens 70-300mm: 19/09/2010

President Museveni in traditional Toro attire

President Museveni in traditional Toro attire

4. How often do you get a world event to cover as a photojournalist in Uganda? Not so often. In April however, Ugandans culturally dominated the worlds’ web pages with the coronation of the World’s Youngest Cultural King in the western district of Fort Portal. In that event, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the guest of honour. Tradition dictates that he (president) had to change to the local Toro dressing for him to accompany the King through the coronation process. And boom, i managed to get this powerful frame of the president usually in suits smiling. Nikon D300s, f/10, 1/400secs, ISO-1000, Lens 70-300mm: 17/04/2010

Kabaka abandons the Kasubi Tombs prayers

Kabaka abandons the Kasubi Tombs prayers

5. There was a bitter taste in the thousands of people who thronged Kasubi tombs which in the night had been gutted. Buganda’s entire history was burnt to the ashes in just hours and so Baganda faithfuls were melting with tears rolling down endlessly. Nobody had definite answers to the endless rumors of how the heritage got burnt. When the Kabaka (Ronald Mwenda Mutebi) visited the scene to attend the prayer session, the venue was too small to accommodate the numbers forcing the Kabaka to abandon the function. His reaction was stellar. Nikon D300s, f/11, 1/500sec, ISO-1250, Lens 18-55mm: 26/3/2010

An HIV/AIDS positive child wears a helpless face at Mengo hospital

An HIV/AIDS positive child wears a helpless face at Mengo hospital

6. I got this picture while on assignment for Pfizer Inc as the official photographer for a press visit to Uganda. Pfizer is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. We were in the final two hours of the visit and I was desperately searching for a last minute picture that would fully present the painful picture of HIV/AIDS not just in Uganda but Sub-Saharan Africa. I had almost given up and on my way out of the HIV/AIDS wing at Mengo hospital, I landed into this baby with the mom consulting a doctor in a tiny poorly lit office. The innocence on the baby’s eyes is so touching. Nikon D300s, 2000, 1/50sec, f/3.5, Lens 18-55mm: 21/10/2010

"Ghost Warrior Dance"

"Ghost Warrior Dance"

7. Imbalu (circumcision in Bagisu language) takes place once every two years. This is when mass circumcision of mostly Gishu youth is done as their official cultural graduation to adulthood. I would not imagine waiting another two years to have a picture of this festival. In Mbale, from the town itself to the venue of the function about 10km away, it was nothing short of a festival. But I continuously asked myself how best I could represent a modern day warrior. I took a frame of these youths dancing during the opening ceremony. The sun was so bright that shadows cast so clearly. Nikon D300s, f/14, 1/640secs, ISO-1600, Lens- 18-55mm: 06/08/2010

President Yoweri Museveni's back-seat company

President Yoweri Museveni's back-seat company

8. The morning after the bombs was full of tension. Rumours of bombs being detonated in different parts of Kampala were coming in minute after minute. It was scary. After personally surviving the blast at Kyadondo Rugby grounds by a whisker, i made it to the grounds again to get some frames early morning. I didn’t sleep that night by the way. I camped outside with hundreds of other journalists until the president came at about 11:30am. Then a few minutes later, i remember sharing a boda boda with a Xinhua journalist to Mulago hospital where the president was next headed to visit some of the survivors. The presidents’ security was all-over the place by the time we arrived. They let in journalists of their choice to enter the wards with the president. Unfortunately, i was locked out. Don’t feel sorry for me, i am used. It happens all the time. But I always like taking advantage of my disadvantage.  Next to me was the president’s car guarded by four Presidential Special Forces holding machine guns. From a distance, i peeped inside this monster ride only to see an AK-47 lying just where the president was seated. Remember the one he carried in Bududa? Yes, it was the same one. Am told he usually moves with it everywhere. Nikon D300s, f/6.3, 1/160secs, ISO-800, Lens 18-55mm: 12/7/2010

..."i need a peaceful referendum"

..."i need a peaceful referendum"

9. The Sudanese community in Uganda led a peaceful march in the streets of Kampala with a bid to gunner the international community to ensure Southern Sudan gets a free and fair elections during the coming referendum in January 9, 2011.North and south Sudan signed a peace deal in 2005 after more than two decades of war, with an independence referendum on whether the south secedes or remains part of a united country as a central component. Nikon D300s, f/9, 1/320secs, ISO-1000, Lens 70-300mm: 5/7/2010

Warrior Feet

Warrior Feet

10. Imbalu (circumcision in Bagisu language) takes place once every two years. This is when mass circumcision of mostly Gishu youth is done as their official cultural graduation to adulthood. I would not imagine waiting another two years to have a picture of this festival. But I continuously asked myself how best I could represent a modern day warrior. When the warriors sat on the ground waiting for the next performance, I sat down with them before i saw cracked feet of most of them. I quickly went down on my tummy to get this frame. Nikon D300s; f/16: 1/000secs, ISO-1600, Lens 18-55mm: 8/6/2010

Saving the last

Saving the last

11. This year, part of Owino got burnt; Kisekka market twice had flames gut some of its stalls. This particular picture was from Kisekka market. I was sleeping before a colleague (Jimmy Siya from The Independent) woke me up with endless calls. Kisekka Market was on fire. Hurriedly, I packed my gear, put on leather shoes, a T-shirt and jumped on a boda boda. Nikon D300s, f/10, f/400secs, ISO-800, Lens 18-55mm: 30/08/2010

Flying Over

Flying Over

12. Rally in Uganda is one sport that has never run short of fans. I went to cover the super sprint session of the Pearl of Africa rally at the Lubiri circuit and the place was full to the brim. I took several frames both for the sports and the entertainment pages. When the rally was done, fans started jumping over the wire barricades around the circuit where I got this frame. Nikon D300S, f/16, 1/1000secs, ISO-1600, Lens 18-55mm, 30/4/2010

47 thoughts on “Top 12 Pictures of the Year 2010

    • Paul, it was never easy to come up with the top 12 pictures. But a glad you could pick out your favorite. Thank you for passing by too.

    • Thx Joseph. U know we have to keep the Hillside flag flying at all fronts. Hillary just scooped Tusker Project Fame..why not try it in photography?

  1. Eddie…wow now i see why it was a headache to select your best 12 pictures. This is very excellent work…am proud and very happy for you. Keep it up.

  2. Wow!

    I especially love the “Swimming at Zero cost” picture. At first I thought it was a very impressive black marble bust.

    Beautiful beautiful shots. Two thumbs up!

    • King, thats the beauty of photography. You get to live this beautiful moments. With a two thumbs up? Am kind of speechless right now. You have always passed by my blog and i appreciate it thrice and much. Actually four thumbs for you!

    • Isaac, its good to see you around. Well, as a Ugandan photographer, you have got to go beyond what your employees want. Most of the time, you build them and they destroy you. So try as much as possible to widen your scope!

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