Tag Archives: disappointment

“Us vs. Them”

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Just some thoughts in the wake of the Sunday bombings in Kampala …

  • As anyone could have guessed, the responsibility of the Al-Shabaab military group for the bombings and loss of close to 80 lives has awakened some xenophobic sentiment against Somalis living in Kampala. In an interview with NTV last night, Ugandan residents of Kisenyi (a suburb heavily populated by Somali refugees) expressed anger and suspicion towards their Somali neighbours. The refugees on the other hand, stressed that they are innocent of the bombings and faced the same – and sometimes even worse – atrocities which forced them to leave their home country.

What surprises me even more though, is the sentiments expressed by some of my peers on Facebook. I suppose just because someone can type 200 words per minute and knows what the Internet is, doesn’t excuse them of ignorance and/or stupidity. To say things like  “we should smoke out the Somalis” or “Uganda should wage war on Somalia” or “okay we help yu with yo civil wars in yo weather damned desert country, give yu assylum in this beautiful pearl, yu even marry our women n yu give thanx by bombing us. okay no retreat no surrender, we to drive all these chaps out of here. dont support any of their enterprises n fire them at work, evict them on yo rentals, dont allow them entry anywhere; hospital restaurant, mosque, s/market. together tunawakilisha” … Seriously?

I suppose it’s just an opinion, just people saying ‘what’s on their minds’, but it’s a slippery slope from xenophobic opinion to xenophobic action – as the African foreigners in South Africa will tell you. For someone to say “all alshabab (sic) are somali, therefore any somali is probably alshabab” is very ignorant and irritating. I don’t think the average Kampalan knew much about the ongoings of Somalia before Sunday night’s tragedy, but it’s just lazy of people not to at least Google them before unleashing torrents of ignorance on Facebook.

That said, to argue any further I feel is to dishonour the dead and their bereaved families. I am very angry about these events, but for us to retaliate against the Somali community makes us no better than the Al-Shabaab themselves : committing horrible violence out of ill-informed passions.

  • The other thing that this tragedy has glaringly exposed (not that it was a secret) is the sheer lack of staff and equipment at our city’s main hospital in Mulago. Pictures of victims lying on the floor or being tended to in corridors, shortages of blood for transfusion, stories of the mortuary mixing up names and giving the wrong bodies to the wrong families…! As if they aren’t suffering enough!

 

  • On a more positive note, the country and Kampala especially has shown great solidarity over Sunday’s events, and a sombre mood hangs over the city. Many bars were closed last night and Monday, maybe partly out of fear, but I believe partly from respect for the dead and grieving.

Of shockers and fickle fans

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Since I last posted, Cameroon played a dissapointing game, conceding a goal to Japan; Cote d’Ivoire put up a worthy fight against Portugal in a goalless draw; and South Africa surpassed the expectations of even the most cynical naysaying Bafana-hater by playing a dismal 3-0 game with Uruguay.

We get that Uruguay is a pretty good national team. There doesn’t seem to be a South American country that can’t hold its own football-wise.

We get that the South Africans, on the other hand, suck. Only 4 of the players play internationally; they’ve lost several games on the continent; and even the locals don’t take them very seriously, often telling jokes such as:

Virgin wanted to sponsor the team’s uniforms. SAFA refused, saying Bafana can’t wear the word ‘virgin’ when they keep getting f*cked in every game  🙂

But no one could have seen yesterday’s Epic Fail coming. It’s funny just the other day I enthused to someone about loving the unpredictability of football so much. Heh. And now there they are, Khune-less, Pienaar-less, quite possibly Parriera-less, and deserted by many less loyal fans. And up against France, to boot.

Me, I have jumped the South Africa ship, along with all the other fans who put their vuvuzelas down and walked out of the stadium. No doubt. I can’t help feeling sorry for the host nation – with numerous complaints from international players about the vuvuzela noise, about the sub-standard Jabulani ball, and now this? The ke nako! slogan almost seems like a sad mockery!

But I haven’t given up completely – I’m still waving my Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire flags furiously. I don’t expect an African team to win the World Cup, but we are going to give the others a run for it!