Thursday, March 9, 2017

So who is #MarthaLeahNangalama? #Uganda rendez-vous-en-terre-inconnue

In 1986 when dictator #Museveni "liberated", I foresaw the future and got on my knees and said a Novevan to Saint Jude and begged to be saved from the calamity that was gonna take over Uganda.

In 1987, the 10 best schools in Uganda were invited to send a candidate for some scholarships.  Our school was gonna send Cornelia Kakooza Sabiti but at the last minute Connie refused to go and I had to go for the interviews for the scholarship.  Connie and I were heading for law school at Makerere University so we were not desperate teenagers.

On September 11, 1987, I landed in Vancouver and took a hopper plane to Victoria BC to join an international school for students of exceptional promise.

All kids had to write to the people who paid for their scholarships.  I had to write to the director of CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) and that is when it finally hit me that I had lead a privileged school.  Do you know how many schools exist in Uganda and only 10 schools could each send a kid for 3 scholarships.  That is when it hit me that some of us take our privileges for granted.  I soon had to write about the poverty of my family, my village, my district, my country and my continent.

When I graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's degree, the recession in Canada and most of the world was big.  So I applied to go for a master's degree and got into UofT all the while wondering what happens to other kids!

Upon graduating, I was hired by the biggest oil company in Canada (in fact, they hired me 6mths before I graduated) but this time, taking things for granted was no longer an option.  I vowed to pay for the education of all my relatives and any stranger that I met who needed a solid education.

Ladies and gentlemen, before you judge someone on Social Media, get to know them a lot.

I am a proud mother of 4 beautiful girls.  I have nothing to show for material things but believe me, by the time I am done, Uganda will be a much better place.

I thank all the people who follow me online and most now know that I only speak for my people. Ugandans are suffering.  My people are hurting so much it can drive one insane if not careful.

Uganda has about 1 million people owning and controlling everything and a country of 40 million people has been turned into beggars and slaves.  Consequently, sharing news from Uganda should not come as a surprise because you need to know where your donation and tax money is going and what it is doing.

Bankers, Managers, Business People, News media people, etc.. become my followers or friends on the Internet but how many of you read why I am on the Internet?  This is not to say that Uganda is the only country with humongous problems.  As a matter of fact, many countries have huge problems that we think we can fix by sending a cheque.

However, if all the Ugandans in positions of power, banks, business, schools, hospitals, farmers; if they all just paid attention to the plight of the people around them, we could get some great things done.  It is very scary to watch people building mansions and buying expensive cars without realising that they are building mansions where many live as squatters.  Because one time these people that you think are nothing to you will come and torch down your mansion.  Be very careful in ensuring that you rise with others for no one can succeed by leaving millions behind.  Dictators make this mistake and rely on a very tiny minority to keep them in power till the Arab Spring South of the Sahara hits them.  Ask Burkina Faso about it.  Uganda is shaping up for it too.  Abantu bakoowu.

Two weeks ago, I watched a show on TV5 (terres inconnues) on this one great man that picks stars, puts a blind fold on them and then flies them to places they never thought they could ever go.  He usually takes off the blindfold when they are airborne.

Thierry kept saying they were landing in Kenya.  I know Kenya too well and this place did not look like Kenya so I watched the whole emission.

This model is suddenly in a village high up in the mountains and freezing her French sister body off and then the magic happens.  I had never seriously thought about child marriages because I was not allowed but this show struck so deep I was crying like a bambina.  The young girl talked about how her sister had to get married at age 10.  The dad is one of the most compassionate men ever and his affection for his children is displayed all the time.  He regrets having let his oldest daughter marry so young but will not let anymore of his kids marry young.  He started to learn to read at age 43.  His kids walk for 2.5hrs to go to school and then another 2.5hrs to return home.

There is something I have learned about people from France.  They are brutal.  They do not mince words at all.  In fact when the girls were young and used to refuse to eat, I used to say "do you know how many children in Uganda go without food?"  Their dad always answered "here, call Fedex and ship them the left overs".  I was actually trying to teach the family not to throw away food.  Between the brutal truth from the French and the caring of too much from Uganda, we got to a compromise.  No one throws away food.  You must eat everything you put on your plate so it teaches us all to put small portions.  But below is one of the best shows by TV5.

Pour ce nouveau numéro de Rendez-vous en terre inconnue, c’est au tour d’Adriana Karembeu d’embarquer aux côtés de Frédéric Lopez pour une destination insolite. Au programme, un voyage au cœur des hauts plateaux d’Abyssinie (au nord de l’Éthiopie) et une rencontre émouvante avec le peuple des Amharas.

À 4000 mètres d’altitude, au Nord de l’Éthiopie, les Amharas sont à un tournant de leur histoire...  C’est là, au Nord de l’Éthiopie, qu’Adriana Karembeu a rendez-vous avec les Amharas. Ce sont les montagnards de l’Afrique.

Les Amharas vivent en effet à près de 4 000 mètres d’altitude, dans des hameaux entourés d’à-pics vertigineux. Ces premiers Chrétiens d’Afrique sont venus s’installer dans ce royaume céleste, il y a plus de 2 000 ans. Les églises, parfois installées dans de simples grottes sur les sommets, sont aujourd’hui encore le siège d’un incroyable recueillement.

Agriculteurs et éleveurs audacieux, les Amharas ont su composer avec l’âpreté de cette région. Ils ont façonné ces reliefs et prospéré sur ces terres pendant des siècles. Mais l’équilibre semble rompu.

Aujourd’hui, les montagnes sont surpeuplées. Depuis le début du siècle, la population a été multipliée par six, la densité de population atteignant par endroit 120 personnes au kilomètre carré. Conséquences : soumis à une utilisation répétée, les sols s’épuisent et la déforestation entraîne une érosion intense. On estime même que 32 tonnes de sol disparaissent ainsi chaque année sur un hectare de terrain ! Les terres viennent à manquer cruellement, et les enfants des Amharas ne pourront pas tous rester sur ces hauteurs. Beaucoup devront partir et construire leur avenir ailleurs.

Seule condition pour que le départ en ville ne s’apparente pas un exil : l’éducation. Une notion nouvelle dans une région où l’école n’est pas obligatoire. Le savoir, ici, peut sauver des vies. Il permet d’augmenter les rendements, d’améliorer les conditions de vie, et, surtout, de sauver les adolescentes du mariage arrangé.

Sissay est porteur d’espoir pour toute cette génération. Il y a quelques années, ce père de famille a vécu une véritable prise de conscience qui a définitivement changé sa vie. Depuis, c’est chaque jour qu’il lutte pour offrir aux enfants, en particulier aux jeunes filles, la possibilité d’accéder à l’éducation. Aujourd’hui respecté par tous les habitants de la vallée, Sissay montre la voie à toute sa communauté. Il leur montre que pour survivre, les Amharas doivent se battre contre leurs propres traditions…

Martha Leah Nangalama writing and sharing a story credit off TV5

Rendez-vous en terre inconnue - Avec Adriana Karembeu en Ethiopie - 07-05-2008

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