Photo Of the Day: Two Faces

TWO FACES: A displaced Sudanese boy closely stares at the butt of a gun held by a Ugandan soldier in MOYO district approximately 455Km (283 miles) northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Heavy security had to be deployed in the contested border area of Lafori to bring calm after Sudanese held and released nine Uganda members of Parliament. Ugandans in the area replied by blocking the Moyo-SouthSudan Highway on top burning houses belonging to South Sudanese in Moyo town.

Photo Of the Day: International Womens Day

WOMEN’S DAY: Women are seen walking to the market in Moyo district, in north-western Uganda. As the world commemorates the International Women’s day, women continue to stride further to overcome problems, centuries old. Ugandan women for example continue to deal with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Poverty, gender disparities, disease, lack of education among others.

Photo Of the Day: Lonely Tree

Photo Of the Day :Hawking Banana’s

A woman goes about her business hawking bananas in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics survey, there are 1.8 million informal businesses in Uganda. The majority of informal businesses in Uganda are in the agricultural sector (27%) followed by trade and services (24%) while mining and quarrying (1%) as well as Fishing (1%) accounted for only two percent of the total number of businesses.

Photo Of the Day:White Water Rafting

Porters carry a rafting boat at Itanda falls on River Nile in Jinja, 80km east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala in February, 2012. White Water rafting, a major tourist attraction is being threatened by the ongoing government commitment to build more power dams on the Nile to counter the country’s current power shortage. White water rafting on River Nile is a class five course, attracting foreign exchange, together with other tourist attractions earnings of over $600m annually

You are lightening; Subdued, I moan like thunder….

I attended a poetry recital yesterday, where Ugandan poets were joining their American counterparts in commemorating the last day of the month-long U.S celebration of Black Month History.

Dr. Suzan N. Kiguli recites her poems at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. She captivated the attendants with her poem "I AM BACK HOME" which talks about cultural shock on returning from the UK

I got particularly interested in two readings. One, a Ugandan love poet from celebrated Ugandan poet, Beverly Nambozo.

And the other, a typical ender to an African political gathering (Conference), composed and read by Prof. Timothy Wangusa. But first, Beverly Nambozo

Gwe Wange (You are Mine)

You pound my buttocks like the engalabi

I slap the walls to your rhythms, sharp, unforgettable

You are lightening.

Subdued, I moan like thunder,

Your sweat, robs me of my sanity

Am in a dream, I shouldn’t wake,

Iam in a nightmare

Ssebo gwe wange

You are rough like a jack fruit,

But inside, ripe and sticky like the yellow seeds

You hold two balls of tropical sunshine over my head, tickling my hair

Am matooke lying over your charcoal stove

Boiling in anguish, bubbling in delight

Ssebo gwe wange

And from Prof. Timothy Wangusa

-Africanology-

Consequent upon the Extraordinary Colloquim

Of All-Africa Think Tank of Academic Associations

Concluded this historic day in the city of Abuja

Its hereby recommended and forthwith resolved

That strategic organs of the Think Tank be set up,

Equitably spread across the African Continent

And situated on all principal university campuses

To research and promote the ethos of Africanology

The Amphitheatre of Anti-Governmentology in Algeria

The Bureau of Bankruptciology in Burkina Faso

The Centre of Senselessology in Sierra Leone

The College of Corruptionology in Kenya

The Ethnic-house of Extremisimology in Ethiopia

The Institute of Insolventology in Eritrea

The Library of Liquidationology in Libya

The Mission-Mansion of Misinformationology in Malawi

The Naira-nest of Nepotismology in Nigeria

The Polytechinic of Povertology in Pemba

The School of Sectarianology in Somaliland

The Senior Seminary of Swindology in Senegal

The Synagogue of Scarcitiology in Southern Sudan

The Temporal Temple of Terrorismology in Togo

The University of Ubiquitoniquitology in Uganda

The Zonal Zoo of Zerologicology in Zimbabwe

The director of each designated research organ

Shall be a pre-eminently published intellectual,

Prize-winning analyst and proven ideologist

Of permanent Western World Predatoriology

And Perennial Third World Strangulationology

Village Markets

Photo Of the Day:CPS Kampala

Photo Of the Day: HIV/AIDS Mother

An HIV/AIDS positive mother lines up for routine monthly check up with her baby, also HIV/AIDS positive in Kiboga district, 132km (82 miles), northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s largest city. There are an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in Uganda, which includes 150,000 children while an estimated 1.2 million children have been orphaned by Uganda’s devastating epidemic

Nodding Victim: Tormented 12-year-old girl lives like pigs

For a typical 12-year-old who should be the picture of health: physical, overly playful, full of energy, noisy and mobile, Nancy Lamwaka is the opposite. She is skinny, malnourished, hungry, profoundly retarded and immobile.

With the help of a guide, we approached a simple home composed of two huts in Labul sub-county, Pader district. One of the huts functions as the kitchen. The environment is calm, dominated by tall mango trees. The loudest noise here came from the cocks crowing a good morning to a village that has attracted world attention because of a mysterious disease yet to have a medical name, let alone explanation.

We are ushered in and given wooden seats as Michael Odongkara, Lamwaka’s father, walks back into the living hut. Moments later, he re-emerges with a girl, half naked, pale, looking tired and with her legs tied together. Her eyes are evidently dreading the day ahead.

Lamwaka lives in isolation and in unimaginable despair, seemingly deep in thought and lost in a world she doesn’t understand.

Her troubles started in 2004 when she first collapsed, kicking like someone gasping for breath. Luckily for her, she continued breathing. Doctors diagnosed her ailment then to be epilepsy.

WRONG DIAGNOSIS

In 2008, she started developing symptoms that looked different from the known signs of epilepsy. This time, doctors were not able to define the disease she was suffering from, although it later came to be termed the ‘nodding disease’.

The disease, which lacks a scientific name and cure to date, has rendered Lamwaka so dangerous to herself that she has to be tied to a tree trunk for at least 13 hours a day for fear that she could hurt, or worse, kill herself, after previously getting close to doing so. Her hands are scarred from burns after she fell into fire a while back.

Her father’s heart bleeds daily as he goes through the traumatising routine of tying his own daughter to a tree like an animal. He says only his two pigs receive such treatment.

“It hurts me so much to tie my own daughter on a tree because in our tradition, it’s a taboo and unheard of. But because I want to save her life, I am forced to. I don’t want her to go loose and die in a fire, or walk and get lost in the bushes, or even drown in the nearby swamps,” he says.


Under the tree, she struggles to move towards the direction of the shade as the sun begins to shine hard. She stumbles but moments later, recovers her waning energy and follows the shadow.

All along Lamwaka is quiet, looking drowsily at her siblings seated a few meters away. She has not said a word or made a sound since she woke up. You could sense she wants to say something; perhaps invite her two siblings to play with her, but she just looks on, her eyes heavy and mouth effortlessly open, only occasionally shutting to close out preying flies.


Her siblings stay away from her most of the time and look on curiously at a distance for fear of contracting the disease, known to affect children aged between 0 and 15 years.

The only company Lamwaka is left with is the tree trunk she is tied to, her brave parents, a few hens pecking around and a host of nagging flies trying endlessly to feast on her rotting fingers.

As the sun settles above us, lunch time is beckoning. To Lamwaka, the mere sight of food is like a huge storm coming, her dad says. Only this time, she has no shelter; nowhere to run to take cover. She is exposed, about to be swept away.
“She gets attacked by the nodding disease every time she eats food, yet she has to eat to stay alive,” Odongkara says.

Food is Lamwaka’s worst tormentor. She can live with the pain, with the loneliness, with her ugly wounds, but not with food. Children affected by the disease are known to repel sights of food or its smell.
As her mother, Grace Akumu, approaches with a plastic plate of food, Lamwaka looks on in fear. Akumu kneels down, washes her daughter’s hands and starts feeding her. Every mouthful is swallowed with pain and hesitation.

Moments later, she cries out loud and instantly becomes stiff before falling down onto the hard, dusty ground and kicking furiously with so much energy. She is suffering an attack: her eyes become pale and static and saliva flows out of her mouth as her body shakes vigorously. Gradually, the stiffness wanes, she becomes silent, her eyes close and she falls asleep.

Ten minutes later, Lamwaka wakes up and sits up, leaning against the tree trunk. She pulls herself together and struggles to stand up, before taking aimless walks around the tree she is tied to. On a normal day, her parents say, she suffers such attacks at least five times.

Hopeless as the situation may seem, Odongkara does not want to lose hope. It is easy to see that he deeply loves his daughter, even in her state. Memories of the good old days before Lamwaka fell ill are still fresh in his mind. He says she was a cheerful, loving and responsible child who took good care of her siblings and drew only excellent reports from her teachers at school.
“I have never stopped hoping that Lamwaka will recover,” he says. “From the time she was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2004 and the nodding disease in 2008, I have remained hopeful.”

Still, he cannot hide his pain, despair and desperation. “I know for now, the disease has no cure and if it’s not found soon, I’m afraid that Nancy, like all the other children suffering, is as good as dead.”