Thursday, 25 October 2007

CHOGM Disruption

It seems that everything that goes wrong in Kampala at the moment is blamed on the forthcoming Commonwealth Conference, to be held here next month. Hence the lack of internet on campus for the past three weeks is blamed on the need to patch-up our roads in case any delegates happen to wander in to the university. My visa application is also on hold due to 'CHOGM backlog' (more reasonable I suppose than my first grumble). I have written before about the hype the conference is getting but I am becoming increasingly sceptical about its ability to give a long-term boost to Uganda. As a friend of mine recently pointed out, can anyone remember where the last CHOGM was held?

The World Cup final on Saturday drew a huge expat crowd to 'Just Kicking', the main rugby showing sports bar. English were outnumbered 3-1 by South Africans but it was still a great atmosphere and one of those occasions here when you have to remind yourself that you're in the middle of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Another expat dominated event was the play I went to see on Friday at the National Theatre, titled End of an Error. It was, however, a rather unwelcome domination as several white actors had 'blacked up' for their parts, something that seemed totally unnecessary (to put it kindly) and smacked of laziness on behalf of the producers for not finding local actors to play the roles. The theme of the play, how land transferred from colonial owners back to Africans in the post-independent period, was interesting, if a little worthy. I just hope that next time they don't feel obliged to reach so readily for the make-up box.

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