In trying to put together what to write about, I failed to find anything at the moment. However, since I always post every Thursday, I thought I would maintain my “tradition” lest my motivation to blog declines.
I had the pleasure of attending the Ugandan Blogger’s Happy Hour: July 2016 Meetup. My discovery of this “community” of bloggers can be best described as accidental. While doing research for a previous article on how Uganda needs bloggers as much as tweeps, I was compiling a list of the top bloggers in Uganda, only to stumble upon this event.
A quick research revealed it’s background to a 2007 YouTube video made by a visiting Danish exchange student. The video basically documents her experiences meeting with the community of Ugandan bloggers then. What caught my interest while watching the individuals in this clip was not only the passion with which they spoke about blogging but the maturity of their ideas. The likes of Comrade, Darlene Komukama and Carlo Kutesa among others inspired me to know more about the Ugandan Bloggers community.
It was reassuring to find out that the Blogger’s Happy Hour was still operational and somewhat “active”, and so on Thursday I enthusiastically made my way to Yasigi Beer Garden where it’s meetups are normally held. I had the opportunity of meeting some good members of the blogging community such as Joel, Edna, Sheila, Dilmandila ,Josh, Florentina, Solomon, Paul, Edmond, Kahill and Kenny.
Am always excited to meet a group of individuals brought together by a common interest in something. It is not common in Uganda to find people sharing a vested passion. This explains why many people move on and why many organizations diminish. As I was told when I inquired of what happened to the group in the video I mentioned earlier. I understand many times people move on beyond the point of “groups” due to other commitments, marriage or simply growing up. However, this creates a situation where the mentality becomes all about survival which kills any potential good that could have come out of these groups.
“Nfunila wa ?” , is a common response in Uganda you meet when you ask people about why they either leave a company, a business partner or even a church group. The desire to attain success has mentally crippled the youth in Uganda such that every young person wants to make it “big” using shortcuts and “deals”. No one shares common interests anymore, we see it government through corruption as officials take office only to enrich themselves and not to provide service to those who elect them.
We see it in sports clubs as players abandon local clubs to play for international teams which leaves the domestic leagues poorly skilled and non-vibrant to attract even Ugandans.
We see it in the droves of able bodied young men who decide to export their physical manpower as security guards to Iraq or as cheap labour to the Emirates rather than taking time to tap into the vast opportunities in the country that the Chinese, Indians and Europeans some how “see”.
We also see it among the promising minds of former bloggers who have abandoned the trade to go and do “better things” such as holding down a job or looking for rent money, as if blogging was a lesser trade. Ask David Okwii how his small blog reached him to the level Africa’s fastest growing multi author technology website which earns him more than that 500k job you fervently seek to give so much effort.
Let it be said, the youth in Uganda do not garner much enthusiasm from me, although they cry about change, they are not ready to take the lead. All we know is how to praise others and how much they have achieved instead of looking at how under achieving we are. As President Museveni commonly refers to Ugandans who support the English Premier League but cannot even name the goal keeper of the national football team.
That be said,
..the insight I gained from my experience at the Ugandan Blogger’s Happy Hour, is that of a community of Ugandan bloggers with promise, falling victim to the whims of mediocrity and simple mindedness.