travel advisory: avoid visiting the United States

Initially, I refused to get interested in the shooting of the black (or African-American) youngster by a policeman in the United States last week or the resulting riots because we had enough going on over here to keep me occupied.

But as the days wore on I noticed hell break loose and saw scenes breaking out that were quite reminiscent of protests and riots in other parts of the world. And I just knew that there would be NO travel advisories warning against travel to the United States of America in light of civil unrest and fears of public safety having broken down.

There were going to be no calls for the United States government or State forces from acting with restraint, or threats of the government facing any action for attacking its own people…

Meanwhile, stories of the Ku Klux Klan getting involved in supporting the white police officer who shot the unarmed black boy, are getting limited air play yet it should be confusing to some of us that this group is even allowed to exist officially like this in the very same United States where some people are so vehemently vocal about Ugandans and the laws and morals that we choose for ourselves.

So as we were saying earlier, which country will be the first to issue a travel advisory against visiting the United States (US) following the civil unrest over there? Will it be an African country?

The official US site that deals with such matters, travel.state.gov, is quite honest about how they issue their advisories, saying:

“We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.”

That does not, we should be clear, include sanctions against countries, but many of the travel warnings and advisories are issued against entire countries even when the incidents that trigger them are isolated to remote parts of the country in question.

Uganda is not listed for any advisory right now (yaaaaay!) so we should not be angry or upset.

But after reading the advisories that ARE listed there, no wonder Americans feel so entitled! Their government is actively monitoring the entire world and giving them tips to keep them from dying sooner than necessary or getting involved in a crime outside of their own borders; perhaps our governments should start doing the same forthwith, along the same vein.

As of today, there were thirty-nine countries on the list of US Travel warnings and advisories and the US was NOT one of them in spite of the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Next door Kenya is on the list: “The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. U.S. citizens in Kenya, and those considering travel to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime Kenya Flagin some areas. Due to the terrorist attack on June 15 in Mpeketoni, in Lamu County…”

So no going to Nairobi or even Kisumu, because of the bombs that went off in Mombasa…

 

But in order of date of warning, let’s go through the rest, whether you are a US citizen or not:

Lebanon: because of “ongoing safety and security concerns” and “the potential for death or injury in Lebanon exists in particular because of the frequency of terrorist bombing attacks…”Lebanon Flag

”Although there is no evidence these attacks were directed specifically at U.S. citizens…there is a real possibility of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ harm to U.S. citizens…”

Mexico is luckier: “The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of travelling to certain places in Mexico…” followed by a state-by-state assessment of security conditions in each state of Mexico.

Of course, Mexico is next door to the U.S., so perhaps it’s easier for the State Department to do this assessment; or because there are so many Mexicans in the U.S. it makes more sense for them to be specific rather than warn Americans off the entire country.

Sierra Leone: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against non-essential travel…after review of health conditions and limited availability of medical evacuation options…”

This is because of Ebola and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t go there even as a Ugandan citizen.

Algeria: “The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Algeria…continuing threat posed by terrorism…and kidnappings.”

Unbelievably, Iraq has a travel warning against it issued in August 10, but then understandably this one replaces the last one that was issued on August 8, 2014…and they probably get one issued every other day: “Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation…U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence…”

Surprising? I think not.

Saudi Arabia: What? Yeah, “The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travelling to Saudi Arabia” apparently because of “an attack by members of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on a border checkpoint along the Saudi-Yemeni border on July 4…”

You want to know how far the border point is from the capital of Saudi Arabia or how many other attacks have happened in Saudi Arabia to occasion this?

Don’t bother, as the very next paragraph states that, “The last major terrorist attack against foreign nationals occurred in 2007…”

Pakistan: Of course, “defer all non-essential travel”, followed by narratives that go back to early 2011 (I kid you not).

Nigeria somehow gets a serious warning only about some states: “The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because of the May 14, 2013 state of emergency proclamation for those three states by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…”

The next statement makes me laugh: “The security situation in the country remains fluid and unpredictable…”

This is true of everything in Nigeria!

Boko Haram also gets a mention, as one would imagine, as well as “Violent crimes occur throughout the country. U.S. citizen visitors and residents have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, car-jackings, rapes, kidnappings, and extortion. Home invasions also remain a serious threat, with armed robbers accessing even guarded compounds by scaling perimeter walls, accessing waterfront compounds by boat, following residents or visitors, or subduing guards to gain entry to homes or apartments. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all and provide little or no investigative support to victims…”

It goes on right up to Ebola and I am a little surprised that there is no warning re: “Avoid responding to email messages from Nigerian princes or relatives of deceased senior officials of the Nigerian governments…”

Liberia: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Liberia…” over Ebola, of course.

Cameroon’s warning is worded in dodgy english: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high risk of travel to Cameroon…”, in short if they are not careful U.S. citizens might find themselves travelling to Cameroon…

The rest of it is kind to the West African country: “…U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Far North region of the country because of “the continuing threat of kidnappings and other armed attacks” since Boko Haram is in operation there. (This is serious, since 21 expatriates have been kidnapped there since 2013 – most recently in May 16, 2014).

Ukraine: Yeah. If you’re not a Russian soldier, what more do you need to know?

Libya: Again – Really? This is unnecessary – it could have been replaced with, “Watch TV.” Yeah. “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Libya depart immediately…” (sounds like the withdrawal of forces, but of course there are none in the North African country, right?)

“The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution…” <—— see, it’s their fault, that Libyan government!

The other reason to stay away from Libya is in the statement “The newly elected Council of Representatives is scheduled to convene by August 4…” which reads so on August 21, showing how seriously the State Department is taking this Libyan issue…

Russian Federation: This warning does not say that you shouldn’t (you if you are a U.S. citizen) go to the Russian Federation, but is just an alert about tensions along the border with the Ukraine, in case you have not been paying attention these few months past.

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza: Again, let’s not dwell on the obvious. In Luganda, this entire warning would read, “Beera Mu Kilaasi.”

Yemen: “…high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest…”

Chad: “warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Chad and recommends citizens avoid travel to eastern Chad and all border regions.”

Then, leaving other foreigners to suffer, the State Department says, “The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid public gathering spaces and locations frequented by expatriates, including markets, restaurants, bars, and places of worship…”

kwegamba (i.e.) leave those other expatriates to their risky business of shopping, drinking, eating and praying but if you’re from the U.S. stay safe…

Honduras: “…the level of crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high.” since the country has the highest homicide rate in the world of 75.6 per 100,000 people. War doesn’t count, see?

Thailand: “The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens to be alert…” Thailand Flag

South Sudan: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to the Republic of South Sudan” because of the armed conflict there, as well as health care being limited and poor, the risk of violent crime, and so on and so forth.

This one is even boring to read – especially if you recall that the U.S. Department of State as recently as June was suggesting, through its African Bureau acting spokesperson Erin Rattazzi, that countries like Uganda should withdraw its troops from conflict resolution activities in South Sudan.

Djibouti is on the list for potential terrorist attacks; Venezuela for violent crimes and demonstrations even though, the advisory states, “Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Venezuela each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work…”; Iran, of course, is on the list but for the risk of one being detained on charges of espionage rather than the statement: “These guys really just hate us.”

North Korea also gets listed, surprisingly, rather than just have sanctions slapped against it, because of “arbitrary arrest and long-term detention”:

“North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally crossed into DPRK territory…” 

As if the North Koreans don’t watch all those American movies with spy heroes crossing into other countries. Msssschewwww!

And, the advisory goes on to say, “The Government of North Korea has detained, arrested, and imposed heavy fines on persons who violated DPRK laws…” as opposed to just letting them be in peace.

Read on to laugh a little at this one: “If DPRK authorities permit you to keep your cell phone upon entry into the country, please keep in mind that you have no right to privacy in North Korea…” LOL

After recovering from rolling about laughing your ass off, and finished checking to see whether you have Edward Snowden’s number or twitter handle so you can share this tidbit, continue with, “…and should assume your communications are monitored.” 

Syria also gets proper mention and “No part of Syria should be considered safe…” from a long list of things; while Afghanistan presents a security threat of a “critical” level: “No province in Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence and banditry, and the strong possibility exists throughout the country for hostile acts…”

The list goes on to cover the Philippines, Central African Republic, El Salvador, the DRC, Colombia, Sudan, Burundi, Niger, Mali, Somalia, Haiti and Eritrea.

It’s enough to make you want to stay at home, if you’re a U.S. citizen, unless you’re African-American and facing a policeman.

The point, though, is easily summarised as: “If you’re American, avoid death at the hands of foreigners in their own countries…you have enough going on at home…especially if you’re black or African-American.”

improving health & lifestyle in vernacular

20140813_224606

ON the evening that Gender Ministry Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana was launching his book ‘Corruption: A Tale of Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing’, I was the surprised, proud and excited recipient of a book written by another Ugandan few of you have heard about.

And whereas I will certainly buy Bigirimana’s book one day and give it an enthusiastic read, my eyes are now poring over ‘Huumura: Ebyokurya n’Omubazi gw’Amagara Gaitu’, a 143-page book by one John Arinaitwe.

I must immediately declare that Arinaitwe gave me the book free of charge, and that he has not solicited any publicity from me at all, poor fellow.

He handed two copies of his book, which retails at Ushs15,000 per copy (I’ll explain later why this detail is important), to Richard Barungi and I because we’re both members of the Board at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation where he is employed as Manager of UBC West ‘Empikahoona’.

He was moved to make the donation at the end of a Board and Senior Managers’ Retreat this week for reasons I won’t go into now; if he had been only a poultry farmer perhaps he would have handed us a tray of eggs or a rooster.

Back to ‘Huumura: Ebyokurya n’Omubazi gw’Amagara Gaitu’, on the inside cover of the book is a quotation from the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who is so essential to the world of medicine that medical professionals the world over swear an oath in his name, the ‘Hippocratic Oath’.

But this quotation, as presented by Arinaitwe, is in Runyakitara; which made me muse over the possibility of someone in Western Uganda studying medicine in vernacular and how that would increase medical coverage significantly!

Hindura ebyokurya omubazi gwawe, kandi omubazi gwawe gube ebyokurya byawe.” (No, I am NOT translating it into english, and I will tell you why in a couple of minutes).

A couple of pages later, after the National and East African anthems (I stand while writing this – and mentally applaud him!) I realised that the ENTIRE book was in Runyakitara.

As the realisation struck me and my reading slowed down, my admiration for Arinaitwe went a few notches higher on finding his very first entry taking a quotation from BOTH the Bible and the Quran, to explain the benefits or virtues of greens & vegetables.

And while I was squinting at a couple of words that appeared to be translated into the Runyakitara pronunciation of the english version of the same words, Barungi mentioned that the language of the book was much more complicated than his own native Runyankore.

We immediately took Arinaitwe down a line of questioning that he was ably handling when another colleague of his interjected with, “Wait! Do you know that the author of Katondozi (y’Orunyankore-Rukiga) commended Arinaitwe for coming up with some words in the language?!”

Katondozi y’Orunyankore-Rukiga’ is the Runyankore-Rukiga thesaurus written and published last year by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Manuel Muranga, Alice Muhoozi and Gilbert Gumoshabe.

These were the same words I was squinting at right then – Enkorera-mubiri (Enzayimu – Enzymes) and Entegyeka-Mubiri (Hormoni - Hormones). Arinaitwe explained that he came up with the words in Runyankore because he looked into the importance to the health of the body, of both enzymes and hormones, and decided to define it for ordinary people so they could understand them fully rather than just use the words.

It would have been unbecoming for me to stand up and clap my hands into his face, so I kept calm and questioned him some more.

My eyes popped when he said he had already prepared manuscripts translated into Lugbara and Swahili, and English! All these, he noted, had been done by his colleagues at work, quite kindly, I might add. 

“I haven’t done Luganda yet because they have asked me for money which I don’t have,” he said, in passing, but we stopped him there.

“How much?”

“They asked me for three hundred (300). So I will wait until I have that…”

We all paused for a while and looked incredulously around at each other till one person had the courage to ask, a little silently and in awe of the value of Luganda in general: “300 million…?”

“No!” he responded, totally missing our incredulity and the reason why we were so mistaken, “Three Hundred thousand.”

The courageous one plunged in again with: “Shillings?”

We paused again for a few seconds to try and understand how three hundred thousand shillings had stopped this life-changing, societal-improvement project from going to the next level.

That’s when he told us how when he finished the first manuscript he was a little unsure of his Runyakitara and so went to the Department of Languages at Makerere University to get them to proof-read and endorse his work, but was asked for ten times his current predicament with Luganda.

It was way out of his reach, and he tried to negotiate his way lower but couldn’t see how it would work so he turned round to leave, dejected. But one person couldn’t bear the sight and offered to give the manuscript a quick look-over. Shortly thereafter, the volunteer reader, a PhD Linguistics candidate, summoned him in excitement; this gentleman, Dr. Celestino Oriikirizar, had suffered non-stop migraines for an inexplicable period of time but while reading Arinaitwe’s manuscript had started following some of his nutritional advice and the headaches had gone!

Long story. Cut short. Book cleared and published. Now in my hands.

But then the man needs “300” to come up with a Luganda version – so I am going to mobilise that; YOU don’t even need to get involved, besides buying copies of the book (at the Uganda Bookshop). I am also going to buy up a few copies – a copy for each of my own children so that one day they pick it up and learn some vernacular even though it is heavier on Runyankore-Rukiga than Runyoro-Rutooro.

They will also be healthier, and will learn that another child, Arinaitwe’s own son, Allan Roy Arinaitwe, inspired his father to finish and publish the book – but sadly passed on before it came to print.

Rather than buy up tomes and re-publications by Dr. Atkins and others with diet plans of foods that don’t even grow in Uganda, let alone get to supermarket shelves here, Arinaitwe will be their nutrition and personal health guide.

Thankfully, the government itself recognises the book and presents a foreword signed by the Commissioner for Health Service (Planning), Dr. Francis Runumi; who rightly (yes – in Runyakitara) lauds the book for addressing lifestyle as a health issue.

In fact, I am sending a few copies to some people in a village I know, in the hope that this Ushs15,000 spent will save me having to spend a lot more in medical aid for preventable illnesses and ailments. And if this book found its way into every household upcountry in one language or another, just after UPE…

the man with the key can’t be missed in an open plan office

Long before I joined British American Tobacco (BAT) as a staffer, I was a journalist and one day got invited to the BAT offices by their Comms man, Henry Rugamba, to be shown round their new open-plan offices in the hope that a feature commentary would result about the progressive nature of the company.

Open plan offices were quite modern back then, and exciting. They signified a new way of thinking, and suggested sophisticated behaviour. The company with an open plan layout was forward looking and led the way in everything else. Employees of such a company were less likely to use foul language, since they would look ridiculous in front of everyone; and also less prone to the temptations that come alive behind closed doors.

It had one door leading to the entire office – thus necessitating electronic, keypad or fingerprint access. It had soft-back chairs and modern office desks, and coffee machines.

Eventually it was in those same offices that I was involved in making some drastic, staff-driven changes to management, spurred on by the same openness encouraged by having an open-plan office, but I will get to that later.

That day, though, Henry effused about the open plan layout and must have wondered why I was so unmoved by the brief tour. But you see, my office at the time was the newsroom at The New Vision, which was as open plan as one could get without working outdoors. And even though the chiefs had their territory marked by way of desk placement, we were basically equals in most other things.

Shortly after that, I started working with the Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, and was assigned a plush office on the second floor of the President’s Office wing of the Parliamentary Buildings.

I was a ‘big man’ employed at Director level and on a special contract, moreover in State House.

Within fifteen minutes, I was disconcerted by the silence and solitude of the massive room with its red carpeting, and wedged the door open so I could interact with people going by through the corridor. That way, I figured, I would quickly get to know most of the people in the building and also introduce myself all round.

Some minutes later, I witnessed someone almost suffer a heart attack as they were walking past when he realised the door was open and I was sitting right there! The fellow didn’t know whether to run forward or somersault backwards and essentially did both at the same time, with the net effect that he stayed in one place and stumbled comically.

The next person to come along was also discombobulated, and eventually one polite, elderly secretary chosen to bell the cat came over to quickly greet me and remove the wedge.

I protested and even though she firmly told me how “we don’t do this” I insisted on having my door wedged open. Twenty minutes later, another staffer walking by recovered from her shock to also try to shut the door; and another an hour later who didn’t even say a word but shut the door all the same.

I realised I was probably going to spend my days explaining to people why my door was open, and walking across the expanse of office to wedge it open again. And I gave up.

But since we spent most of our time working out of doors in the field, I realised that at the highest level of government most of the work is actually done in an open-plan environment; the President’s meetings are always out in the open, and just about anybody gets to meet him at State House, talking openly about anything that suits their fancy.

So when I eventually got to BAT as an employee, I figured I knew it all and was quite surprised when our Managing Director showed tyrannical and unpopular tendencies. It didn’t take us too long to rise up and change him – not by revolution, but through open dialogue and clearly stating our displeasure directly to him.

Open plan flattens space so employees are essentially the same. We all use the same desks and chairs. We all breathe the same space. We are not too special to look at each other. We are just workmates sharing space to achieve the same objective. It’s easier to talk and share views and ideas. Work gets done faster. The negatives of bureaucracy are fewer or less burdening.

Experience has convinced me about the usefulness of the open plan environment, and to this day I try to break down office walls so that employees can avoid closed minded environments; and so managers don’t become kings in little office castles.

Worse, closed doors allow managers to operate like little gods; their staff only entering into the shrine on occasion to receive curses or blessings depending on the strength of their sacrifice – be it a report here, an invitation card there, a problem solved or a problem being presented.

We should continue to break them down, so there are no mysterious issues behind closed doors, building fear and uncertainty outside of them; and people don’t disappear with keys and turn maniacal with the control that it gives them (including toilet keys).

management toilets vs toilet management

I RECENTLY began attending meetings at an organisation that shall remain unnamed where, as expected during such official meetings, a sensible amount of tea and coffee is served and consumed.

That automatically necessitates trips to the ‘washrooms’ at one point or another, and on my first such trip I was distressed to find the door to relief firmly locked. I danced gingerly at the end of the corridor as I investigated the whereabouts of the key or the person in charge of granting access, until I was directed to toilets on the lower level of the building.

These were ordinary toilets, it turned out, as opposed to the locked ones protected for ‘Management’.

With time, I was given such clearance that whenever I stepped out of the room the person with the key (sitting in an ante-room with the door wide open in order to respond to such events in a timely fashion) sprung into action and provided access.

At our next meeting, the Toilet Key Controller had realised it made sense to simply leave the door unlocked for the duration of the meeting. At one point in the day, however, apparently because a couple of ordinary staff had gained access to the special ‘Management’ toilet, the Key Controller took to locking the door at intervals – coinciding with one or two of my trips.

Eventually, I got fed up of the anxiety I felt every time I made my way down that corridor. I long ago decided that toilet access was too low down in the order of priorities in my life to cause me such angst.

And luckily I got to the toilet to find the Key Controller had left the set of keys behind. Within seconds I had hidden them in a difficult place, and it was while I was doing so that I realised how ridiculous the situation was.

This special toilet was not remarkable at all. One of the two toilets didn’t even haveToilet a toilet seat, there was a layer of dust over everything, cobwebs here and there, and piles of broken plastic things that started out in life as buckets, brushes and other items I could not recognise.

The water in the bowl was generally clean to the eye, as was the one running out of the taps. There were hard bits of things that seemed to be stones masquerading as soap. Or maybe they were just stones that cynical toilet cleaners had placed there as a prank.

I laughed a little at the thought that oppressed staff were generally playing an elaborate prank on ‘Management’ by not cleaning the windows, gathering bits of rubbish into the corner, and then locking the toilets to mock them. They just hadn’t labelled the toilet door: ‘VIP’.

Any office in which such an arrangement exists is unquestionably poorly managed, by people with a low-self esteem who seek to mimic their counterparts in companies where the senior staff have en suite toilet cubicles. It is a sad environment in which that low self-esteem in ‘Management’ trickles down.

For instance, what was the motivation of the Toilet Key Controller? What do they tell their spouse in the evenings when asked “How was your day?”

“Man, today someone hid the toilet key! I looked for it everywhere but I couldn’t find it anywhere…”

I couldn’t imagine their career aspirations; was there someone below them in charge of the toilets for general staff?

Locking a toilet is one thing; deploying an entire human being to manage its being locked is another; doing both yet the toilet is dirty and has neither seats nor hand washing soap points to a serious lack of priorities on the part of the toilet owner.

I must confess to having left many toilet doors unlocked after being given a key, because I am an anarchist that way. Some people believe that everybody should have access to drinking water, as water is life; if that is the case, then they should have access to facilities naturally at the other end of that equation.

A pal of mine, Rukaka Mugizi, took up a toilet habit that some people found irritating but I quite liked. While he was resident in Kampala after spending a few years ago studying medicine in Cuba, he began photographing toilets in various places round the city.

It started with the toilets of a popular local that a number of us frequented, in Bukoto. Rukaka could not understand how yuppies and middle class people could spend time and money drinking beer and eating chicken at a place with toilets this bad.

One night he took photographs of the loos, and then emailed them round the next day in the belief that in broad daylight his mates would appreciate better the ironical error of their night-time ways.

It didn’t work. It couldn’t – many at that time worked in places where ‘Management’ kept dirty, semi-functional toilets securely under lock and key, and I cannot say what domestic toilets looked like. So, for a while, everywhere he went he took photos of toilets and emailed them to the group.

Sadly, he eventually stopped; but the group didn’t stop drinking and eating chicken at the dirty-toilet, water-less kafunda because of this. Neither did they tell their ‘Managers’ to focus on more important issues in the office than access to the toilet.

painting a new type of zebra crossing in Kampala: under the Kampala Art Biennale Banner

After this post about Zebra Crossings I was happy to find people following up keenly with suggestions and offers of involvement.

I got the phone numbers of a few people in charge of various things around the city and got to work to prepare to convince people to support it.

The school wasted no time in not only accepting the idea of re-locating the zebra crossing, but assured me the paint would be procured by them.

The Aga Khan Chief Executive Officer, Fred Tukahirwa, was quite clear about the school’s position.

“We have this in our budget, and it is for the children’s safety as well!”

A couple of weeks later, we were at the scene of the planned relocation measuring it up for the paint.

The new site would be right at a speed hump a few metres down from the entrance to the parking lot; the logic being that most cars would have already slowed down anyway at that point, making it easier for them to stop should children and parents begin crossing the road. A few metres down from the spot is another hump, which would also slow them down (see the photo immediately below this).

 

Fred Tukahirwa lays out masking tape ahead of commencing the painting

Fred Tukahirwa lays out masking tape ahead of commencing the painting

But before that, the Kampala Art Biennale team had jumped at the idea of helping to paint a Zebra Crossing because it would fit in perfectly with the idea behind the project: incorporating art into ordinary, every day life.

Both Daudi Karungi and Henry Zilix Mujunga were quite excited because they had an opportunity to create a zebra crossing that wasn’t the usual, plain black and white story that most people didn’t even respect.

Their planned design, though, couldn’t work because road paints are simply not manufactured in colours other than Black, Yellow and White.

“No problem,” they said on Saturday morning when we assembled at the site to plan how to do this, and then got down to work.

The rest is best told through photos, but here is an opportunity for the Kampala Capital City Authority to do two things:

1. Put a Zebra Crossing point on every other road in Kampala; to make the lives of pedestrians easier and also to get more people to learn how Zebra Crossings work

2. Change Zebra Crossing designs so that they are more colourful and attractive – maybe that will work to get people to use and respect them.

Plus, there is a message in this Zebra Crossing that should give the children, and their parents, something to think about as they walk across to school!

IMG_9316 IMG_9317 IMG_9322 IMG_9324 IMG_9326 IMG_9327 IMG_9331 IMG_9333 IMG_9336 IMG_9338 IMG_9348 IMG_9356 IMG_9357 IMG_9361 IMG_9363 IMG_9364 IMG_9371 IMG_9372 IMG_9374 IMG_9376 IMG_9377 IMG_9378 IMG_9379 IMG_9380 IMG_9383 IMG_9384 IMG_9387 IMG_9388 IMG_9389 IMG_9390 IMG_9391 IMG_9392 IMG_9394 IMG_9395 IMG_9399 IMG_9401 IMG_9402 IMG_9410 IMG_9411 IMG_9413 IMG_9416 IMG_9419 IMG_9428 IMG_9429 IMG_9432 IMG_9437 IMG_9441 IMG_9443 IMG_9447 IMG_9452 IMG_9463 IMG_9464 IMG_9469 IMG_9470 IMG_9476 IMG_9481 IMG_9482 IMG_9484 IMG_9492 IMG_9495 IMG_9498 IMG_9502 IMG_9509 IMG_9511 IMG_9512 IMG_9518 IMG_9520 IMG_9521 IMG_9522 IMG_9523 IMG_9525 IMG_9526 IMG_9527 

And there are many more photographs on the Kampala Art Biennale Facebook Page as well!