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chris mpisi

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What (not) to do when an electric pole falls on your house.

[if gte mso 9]> Normal/w:View 0/w:Zoom false/w:SaveIfXMLInvalid false/w:IgnoreMixedContent false/w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText EN-US/w:LidThemeOther X-NONE/w:LidThemeAsian X-NONE/w:LidThemeComplexscrīpt /w:Compatibility MicrosoftInternetExplorer4/w:BrowserLevel /m:mathPr/w:WordDocument<![endif][if gte mso 9]> /w:LatentStyles<![endif][if gte mso 10]><![endif] Here are some presumptions…wherethere is smoke there is fire as sure as when an electric pole rots ittopples over and if it is situated in a densely populated area, said pole and accompanying power lineswill collapse on a house or two or threewhich will be destroyed in the ensuing blaze. The least of your worries will bethe property losses if this occurs at night, there may be fatalities. Howeverif it occurs at say 2pm mid afternoon on a working day, you will only becounting the cost of possessions lost inthe fire.The only music that plays whenthe roof is on fire are the sirens of the fire truck that arrives to put thefire out. In the ensuing commotion its easy for you to lose your head. In thisevent this is a series of blog posts offering advice on what (not) to do, frompersonal experience. @the sceneStatements to PolicePicture the scene, TV news cameracrews, smoke billowing, babies crying , neighbours in their multitude offeringa helping hand either putting out the fire or what’s left of your possessions.The fire truck arrives, uniformed police are at the scene and they want tospeak to you.You answer their questions as they write down your responses. Thisis what they call a statement. However this is not enough in Uganda, because ofour peculiar circumstances. The fire brigade is a division of the police but itis not the police therefore it is a mistake to think that one statement will dofor all. The statement you make at the scene is invariably a statement to thefire brigade. They all look and dressalike, true but they are not alike. Therefore, you must head to the areapolice station as soon as possible and make an official statement.PS: It can’t be stressed enoughhow important it is to get the names of the officers at the scene, the police in Uganda, wear their names on theirshirts and invariably have mobile phones, so take their names and numbersdown. That also goes for any representative of the power company, in our caseUMEME, who makes it to the scene.Photographic EvidenceThis means taking pictures of the scene. Officers fromthe police and fire department as well as from UMEME will take pictures at thescene to put in their reports. It’s also important that you take pictures of your own because thepolice, fire department and UMEME will not give theirs to you. Also if thecause of the fire is a falling power line, then its not your fault but thepower company’s fault and the pictures are evidence in any case of negligenceyou may or may not bring against UMEME. More importantly if you are going toclaim compensation from UMEME you need pictures to show the extent of thedamage you suffered that must be compensated.PS: If you don’t have a camera,use the one on your phone or call any one you know that has a camera and ask him/herto the scene to take pictures and pay for these services, they are essential.

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The Yellow Bus on Entropy Drive

[if gte mso 9]> Normal/w:View 0/w:Zoom false/w:SaveIfXMLInvalid false/w:IgnoreMixedContent false/w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText EN-US/w:LidThemeOther X-NONE/w:LidThemeAsian X-NONE/w:LidThemeComplexscrīpt /w:Compatibility MicrosoftInternetExplorer4/w:BrowserLevel /m:mathPr/w:WordDocument<![endif][if gte mso 9]> /w:LatentStyles<![endif][if gte mso 10]><![endif]The yellow bus of yore that favoured symbol of populist campaign rhetoric or the cost of education, appropriate for a country that has embracedUniversal Primary School Education like ours thanks in no small part to debt relief and the shrewdness of the donor community is at a cross roads. The discoveryof oil and natural gas in Uganda along the Albertine Basin from Rhino Camp inArua to the Semiliki, is that fork in the road. Before this discovery it was alright for the driver and theoccupants of the bus to meander along in a general direction since theassumption was that what lay head could not be any worse than what they wereleaving behind. However all that changed when oil was struck. It is no longerassumed but it is for certain now that what lies ahead is promising. Now thedriver and his passengers have a choice to make whether to continue on the samecourse or plot a different course.Staying on course leads our intrepid travelers to Entropy Drivethis route has no demands and even fewer changes of scenery since it’s the familiarroute, for both driver and passenger. Off course that is the road away fromEntropy Drive, is unfamiliar to both passenger and driver so each must learn torely on the other in order to get to where they are going. The National Oil and Gas Policy hints at how revenue fromoil will be shared with the objective being to create lasting value for the entirenation. A petroleum fund is necessary, where revenues from taxes and explorationpermits are invested, it should have a significant portion that is ring fencedfor education. If nothing else is achieved more Ugandans should go to schoolfrom elementary to tertiary level without worrying about tuition, lunch andstationery all these requirements are to be met by the government from itsPetroleum Fund. I don’tknow about you but I would rather be in the bus turning off Entropy Drive andsetting off on a different course but then I will have to trust my fellowpassengers and the driver who better be learned. This in my humble opinion isthe measure of the success of Uganda’s National Oil and Gas Policy that is howmany Ugandans get educated and are learned to an international standard

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Zuka Students' Film Festival: I heard the voice of God on a taxi

Zuka Students' Film Festival: I heard the voice of God in a taxi

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A rooster takes credit for the dawn

[if gte mso 9]> Normal/w:View 0/w:Zoom false/w:SaveIfXMLInvalid false/w:IgnoreMixedContent false/w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText EN-US/w:LidThemeOther X-NONE/w:LidThemeAsian X-NONE/w:LidThemeComplexscrīpt /w:Compatibility MicrosoftInternetExplorer4/w:BrowserLevel /m:mathPr/w:WordDocument<![endif][if gte mso 9]> /w:LatentStyles<![endif][if gte mso 10]><![endif]Time check, 10 seconds to midnight, 31 December 1999,countdown beginswith baitedbreath and ends…..nothing happened…there is two ways to look at it …having heeded allthe warnings about the Y2K bug …forearmed we, together, took action and apotential catastrophe was averted…or the whole thing was a hoax..fast forwardto 31,December,2050, global warming by all available,known measures is averted. Willwe be  able to say for sure it took humanintervention to reverse the trend or was it part of a larger trend unaffectedby human intervention, that is to say, a part of life on a living planet?Part of life in Uganda today isincessant power cuts that can last at least 12 hours a day in response to thismore folks are turning to alternative sources of electricity and heat for theirdaily needs such as cooking, lighting, phone charging, Barefoot Power Uganda offerssome affordable solutions to this end. The goal of 100% renewable energy by2050 is of no consequence to ordinary folks looking to keep the lights on afterthe latest delay in Bujjagalicoinciding with the GoU falling behind on itspayments to electricity suppliers making load shedding necessary.Inadvertently foil thatplan(100% renewable energy by 2050) or enable it…but then how can anyone claim credit or apportion blame? Its easy tosay that the developed nations,  US&Europe,the old world if you will and the developing nations, the BRICcountries,Brazil,Russia,India and China failed to agree on what collectiveaction to take to combat climate change at the recent UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, therefore impending disaster looms for all, as the news mediatells it.In criminal law, intenttrumps motive in a murder case, in other words, what one's intentions aredetermine guilt rather than why? This is why euthanasia is a crime, Dr JackKervokian pleaded in his defense that  hekilled his patient to put him out of his misery for he  was terminally illand in agony. The judge sentenced him to 10-25 years in prison for murder  notbecause the good doctor wanted to kill his patient's pain but because he killed him, onpurpose.Idealism kills the deal,in the words of Gordon Gekko, what has, my need to warm my food, boil water todrink, turn the light on to do my homework at night;got to do with saving theworld? So I need charcoal for my stove, if it proves too expensive I will lookfor a stove that doesn't use charcoal, maybe gas or invent one. I don't knowand don't care for the world except mine.

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They exist because I exist

The title of this piece is taken from, a poem entitled Ode to Envy by Pablo Neruda. Day 2 at theAmakula Kampala Cinema Caravan Festival found this viewer in insular mood and as result the three films mentioned hereafter, focus on individual performances that caught the eye. Also considering that today is the anniversary of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian trader, is self immolation that sparked the Arab spring, according to the news media's narrative; the ego is especially prominent at the moment, bear with I.

Ernest Okeyo from Kenya stand up, your short film, is a mustard seed. The story revolves around a young man who happens to be a fan of Liverpool FC but also an individual whose choices and actions have hurt his family in more ways than one. Be warned this film has a happy ending and is predictable which is inevitable since a key part of the narrative is based on past events, namely Liverpool FC's memorable triumph in Istanbul, 2005. However, it is still moving and well paced by the writer/director, Ernest Okeyo and I am not just saying that because I am fan of the said football club.

Individual choices are also at the root of Saleh Haroun's offering entitled, set in present day Chad at a time of insurrection. This film is characterized by  powerful individual performances especially from Youssouf Djaoro the lead character who decides to give up his only son to the war effort against the rebels. Prior to this the son takes the father's job as a pool cleaner at a luxury hotel and as a consequence of these events the happy family is broken.

 Pablo Neruda

The tension between the individual and the family are also played out in Anusha Rizvi's, A tragic comedy set in present day India about a farmer whose land has been repossessed by the bank over his failure to repay a loan of 100,000 rupees. Desperate,he hears of a government scheme that offers 100,000 rupees to the family of any farmer who commits suicide because of indebtedness and so he decides to commit suicide within earshot of a journalist who runs with the story, setting off a series of events that reveal the poverty and despair of India's farmers as well as the depravity of the political system aided and abated by the news media motivated, as both these institutions are, by self interest. This is Bollywood without the bright colours and fanfare, like you have never seen. Probably the best I have seen in a minute.

But don't take my word for it, come on down to the UNCC and see for yourself.

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Population Control in the renewable energy debate

 A few weeks ago NTV run a feature in their 9pm bulletin highlighting population control and in particular neutering males. This means interfering with the sperm ducts and therefore with the man's ability to impregnate the woman. Has it come to this? Ddamulira Robert of WWF Uganda in this appearance on national television here in Uganda doesn't go that for but is he thinking what you are thinking?

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Has History been kind to African cinema

[if gte mso 9]> Normal/w:View 0/w:Zoom false/w:SaveIfXMLInvalid false/w:IgnoreMixedContent false/w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText EN-US/w:LidThemeOther X-NONE/w:LidThemeAsian X-NONE/w:LidThemeComplexscrīpt /w:Compatibility /m:mathPr/w:WordDocument<![endif][if gte mso 9]> /w:LatentStyles<![endif][if gte mso 10]><![endif]  The Amakula KampalaCinema Caravan Festival is many things, on at the National Theatre, a fixtureon the Kampala film and social scene, not well publicized, among other things. Butover the years, I have been to the last four mind; it can’t be faulted on itsprogramming. Its strength and indeed the main draw for me are the rich andvaried films on show that I would otherwise never have seen. The least youexpect from any self respecting film festival is to be entertained, educatedand even offended by the selection of films on show.This brings me to this year’s event which runs from the 14thto the 17th December at the National Theatre. On this year’s program on day one,is a silent film by Harold.M Shaw entitled made in 1916.Like anyone whose been to this festival knows, theevening screenings offer rather eclectic fare. This choice by the festivaldirectors intrigued me and by the time I got to my seat on the upper deck ofthe theatre I was ready to be regaled. Percussion Discussion provided the livescore of traditional Kiganda drums, ,shakers and vocals. The presentation on their part was flawless in that in noway was it intrusive and the viewer is left undistracted to watch this film.The film is about the Great Trek of the Boers that is theancestors of the Afrikaners in South Africa. These people traversed SouthAfrica looking for a place to settle, dispossessing the indigenous natives alongthe way. This film focuses on the battle of Blood River which took place onDecember, 16, 1838, a day that lives on in infamy, to borrow a phrase from FDR.I think the festival directors would have been better served showing this onday 3, December 16, it has symmetry to it. The Boers equipped with gun powderand rifles massacred Dingaan the Zulu King’s warriors and it is this event thatis celebrated in the film.The filmmaker to be fair cast Africans in their roles ratherthan whites with painted faces that was the staple of minstrel shows andHollywood at the time. That is the most I can say for the film the rest ispainful to watch, the African stereotypes of gullibility, servility are therefor all to see. It is humiliating to watch the proud Zulu warrior, Sobhuza portrayedas a man who owes his conscience to Christianity as taught to him by a whitemissionary. Any student of South African history will cringe at the premise ofthis film.It is also worth mentioning that most nations have exploitedeach other before or since, the Zulu empire itself was built on exploitingamong others the who are theSouth African aboriginals, so called . Therefore my issue with the film is not only personal moralreservations about lionizing exploitation but also portraying the victims ofexploitation as better off for it, even complicit in their own and the perpetrators asnoble in their intentions that just happen to involve  plunder.The duplicity of the  white settlers in manipulating the Zulu’s toturn against each other best seen when Sobhuza assassinates  King Dingaan, because the latter killed  Sobhuza’s (SouthAfrican slang for slave owner PietRetief, is glossed over and the weak mindedness of King Dingaan or his lack ofintellectual self defence played upFilm some say has no responsibility other than to entertainbut film has been used by among others Leni Reifenstahl, a Nazi apologist, evenour own government, to manufacture consent, propaganda which history itself isguilty of. Bantu educationsprings to mind, South African youths were taught self loathing( a governmentpolicy mind you) that is at the root at many of the problems in the blackcommunity, such as xenophobia, the very problems that the late great, SteveBantu Biko dared to confront through his Black Consciencessness Movement.All in all it’s a film worth seeing if only to recognize thepropaganda value of film. Be that as it may I was entertained by Percussion Discussion’slive score, clearly offended and yet I can’t say my understanding of SouthAfrican history is enhanced at all by this film. Don’t take my word for itthough, come on down to the UNCC (National Theatre) and see for yourself.

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Good News: Discovery WILL Air Climate Change Episode of 'Frozen Planet' & OnEarth Magazine

Good News: Discovery WILL Air Climate Change Episode of 'Frozen Planet' & OnEarth Magazine

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I and I See! ...Read more

Location Other
City Other Kampala, Uganda
Languages Spoken english
Gender male