First Ladies Galore

Is it just me, are are there an awful lot of first ladies in the news these days? There are Michelle’s biceps (which you too can get with the help of CNN!), former Zambian first lady Regina Chiluba convicted/imprisoned on corruption charges, former Nigerian first lady Oluremi Obasanjo kissing and telling in her new book “Bitter-Sweet: My Life with Obasanjo”, Ugandan first lady Janet Museveni adding Minister of State for Karamoja to her portfolio…who’s next?

In any case, this is the book I want to get my hands on. I hope Mrs. Obasanjo inspires more women to tell the real story of the “Big Men” they love and hate.

Why?

This weekend should have been a time of celebration for Uganda’s best performing secondary school students. Instead, the family of Isaac Bunkedeko, the best A level candidate of Namilyango Secondary School according to the New Vision, was in mourning.

The young man had planned to study law at Makerere University and become a lawyer, according to today’s article in New Vision. But last week he got a headache, and was subsequently taken to a clinic on Thursday. When his condition did not improve he was taken to the (infamous) Mulago hospital, where he died at 1am on Friday morning. The medical report stated that he had died of “sinuses”.

All I can wonder is WHY?? While it is possible to die of sinusitis, it is very rare, and usually due to the condition going untreated or undiagnosed, or complicated by another more pernicious illness. In any case, I do not understand how or why this happened. In the absence of contradictory evidence, I can only conclude that Uganda’s deplorable public health system has let down yet another bright star.

RIP Isaac Bunkedeko.

Go abduct yourself

Invisible Children, a “movement” that has tasked itself with resolving the conflict formerly in Northern Uganda and restoring peace and prosperity in the region, is embarking on the latest in its series of adventures — abducting themselves.

Why or how you can “abduct yourself to free the abducted” is unclear. Nevertheless, come April 25th, one imagines that thousands of youngsters across the western world will be in “9 COUNTRIES. 100 CITIES. ONE VOICE,” attempting to kidnap themselves.

A constant debate will be whether an abundance of uninformed and idealistic naiveté, sometimes laced with unconscious hubris, will do more good than harm. While I have my own misgivings about this organization, founded by accident by “three young filmmakers [who] traveled to Africa in search of a story”, I think the jury is still out on whether their intentions, however good, translate on balance into real benefits for the people they seek to “help.”

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