Why “Death Has Eluded Uganda”


A prominent Ugandan news anchor once went live on national TV and his first statement was, “Death has eluded Uganda.” Watching TV, I kept imagining the whole of Uganda chasing after death and death craftily “eluding” us. I would have been more confused had I not gathered from social media that a prominent senior citizen had actually passed on and what this anchor could have actually meant was that “Death has befallen Uganda! This detail must have gone unnoticed by many Ugandans.

There is this school of thought that one Kenyan can do a job that would have required five Ugandans. Perpetrators of this actually support it with evidence such as the quicker growth and development of the Kenyan economy, the performance of Kenyan companies regionally and performance of Kenyans in various positions, even in the Ugandan market. It’s so believable in that most of the key decisions for large multinationals, even in Uganda are made in Kenya for the Ugandan market.

So are we that bad? The answer is definitely not. We are a hardworking nation. We have one of the best education systems and institutions in Africa, and the region runs to Uganda to have a peace of that.

We have some of the best brains in world, scattered in top entities locally, regionally and internationally. In fact, in my opinion, we are the best, especially considering the fact that we a very disadvantaged geographically. But look how far we’ve come as a nation. Forget the politics and corruption and all those other things we waste our time arguing about.

We are the best but only don’t come out on top because we don’t plan well. And the few times we plan well, we don’t follow our plans. That is it. We are not attentive to detail, and yet therein is the devil. Our approach to most issues is shallow and is not broad based. Someone please tell me I’m wrong about all this and I will give you examples of the marketing and PR campaigns we do as Ugandan entities. Tell me we plan to be mediocre, and then I will tell you that no one plans to be mediocre if they have seen better.

The human nature is competitive by default. It doesn’t matter whether you are Kenyan or Ugandan, we are all competitive, and this is the basic tenet against which patriotism is subconsciously formed. So if you have seen better, then you would want something better than what you even saw. Unfortunately here in Uganda, we don’t like exposure. Through reading, traveling and watching television, we get exposed. Through exposure, we are able to benchmark, and custom make it for the home market.

The few exposed Ugandans don’t benchmark! We just copy and paste. That’s why you find foreign based concepts, never see before on the local market; which is a plus, BUT too incompatible with the local market! This is so sad. Effortlessly trying to copy and paste without altering to suit local conditions. Secondly, we are not attentive to detail. That’s how national dailies have wrong dates sometimes, and even grammatical errors. Sadly, this lack of attention to detail now makes avocado “OVAKEDDO” in Uganda.


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