SIRâ€” Jacky Bageireâ€™s article â€œMention Africa and images of disasters and hunger creep upâ€ is my article of the year. I have lived in the United States for some time now; but I can no longer handle the inquiries about Ugandaâ€™s Idi Amin, jungles, disasters, cannibals, etc.
Much as I agree with Ms Bageire that â€œsome people are pretty content with not knowingâ€, what amazes me is that even Americans of my age (late 20s) who were born after Amin and happen to have heard something about Uganda, all they know about is Idi Amin, deaths, violence, only the bad things. It bothers me that our country is still portrayed in that image. They donâ€™t just dream about it, they have heard it or read it somewhere.
Most books in the stores by Ugandans are about Amin. Yes, itâ€™s good to talk about it but you forgot to write another book about the post-Amin era. People think he is still the president and his atrocities are still going on.
Is it that most people and our leaders after Amin have done much to promote his atrocities and forgot to give an update?
In the US, any person from Africa is either from Nigeria, South Africa or Ghana, never Uganda because very few can even trace it on the map. Those who have heard about it know only the extreme negative side.
As some of us who are here are trying to fight these false beliefs about Africa and Uganda in particular, let the media and government come in to market Uganda beyond Amin, death and disasters. Then investment and tourism will flourish.
I was happy to read in one of the local US papers of Uganda, in the whole of Africa, being recognised for the decline in Aids transmission. Well done!
Eddie K. Kiyingi
Chicago, Illinois, USA