Archive - Aug 2012

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August 15th

Saga of a Nearly Dead Town

John Otim and James Nyankori

For years Northern Uganda towns and villages were little more than dead places. A way of life forged over centuries was slowly grinding to a halt. The railway line and lifeline that linked the vast and fertile mineral rich region to the capital city of Kampala to the south where life was normal and business booming was dead. Road links within and to the outside world were impassible


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August 14th

Postcolonial Response to Othello and Apartheid

John Otim

Makerere University Main Hall was packed with postcolonial students in their colorful trademark red gowns. Present were many of the Faculty and a good sprinkling of the country’s political and administrative elite. The occasion was the debut of the play Not now sweet Desdemona, written, directed and produced by Murray Carlin. Murray Carlin was a White South African teaching literature at Makerere University and lived in exile away from the land of his birth.

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Failed State,Terrorism and Transnational Dangers

Jonathan Power

President Barack Obama and the White House believe that there are in the world two major fault lines, one in the Middle East and the other in the so called Failed States. From Africa to Central Asia to the Pacific Rim nearly 60 countries stand on the brink of conflict or collapse, Obama has said. These failed states are the perfect incubators for extremism and terror, Obama says.

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Reflections on Algeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary

David Porter

Algeria marked its 50th anniversary of national independence from French colonial rule on July 5th 2012. Independence came at a heavy price, after a bitter eight-year long armed struggle, marked by nearly 1,000,000 Algerian deaths, terrible repression, military removal of millions from their homes and torture. This forceful rejection and overthrow of French colonial control was an immense and spectacular accomplishment.


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Encounter with African Beauty Queen

John Otim

Kenya’s World famous Writer Ngugi wa Thiongo has said of his Kenyan life that he had always assumed the presence of European influence. But he was, even as a writer, Ngugi said, totally unaware of the Indian presence in his life. Till one day in 2006, after he published his childhood memoirs. As he reread the work, the Indian presence in his life and throughout Kenya sprang at him from all over the pages. India he now realized had always been, even more than Europe, a part of his experience


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London Notes: The Tarzan Returns

Ramnik Shah

While teaching at Makerere in the mid-1960s, Paul Theroux wrote two memorable and highly controversial articles in Transition the leading intellectual and cultural organ of emergent African literati of the period (and possibly the putative model for this very journal) published out of Kampala. These were Tarzan is an Expatriate and Hating the Asians


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Wars, Concentration Camps and Strange Nodding Disease Striking Northern Uganda

Okot Nyormoi

Every now and then the world is struck with a mysterious new malady. In the 14th century Black Death (now known to have been caused byYersinia pestis bacterium) almost wiped out the entire population of Europe and Asia. At the height of European expansion in the middle of the 16th the indigenous populations of the Americas were decimated by new diseases introduced there by Europeans. At times as in the case with small pox, this was a deliberate act designed to wipe out the local Indian population.

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