– Do you know that the world athletics record of 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters is held by a Ugandan athlete?
Joshua Cheptegei has the best world record in history in the distance of 5,000 meters (with a time of 12: 35.36 that he achieved in August 2020 in Monaco during the Diamond League) and of 10,000 meters (with a time of 26: 11.00 that achieved in October 2020 in Valencia).
He is an athlete from the Kapchorwa area, a region that we were lucky to visit and meet some of the athletes. If you want to know more about our experience in this region, you can click here. And if you want to know how was our conversation with the manager of some of the Ugandan Olympians, you can see the article here.
Ugandan banknotes are a reflection of the different landscapes that you will find in the country
Uganda is a country with a great variety of landscapes and contrasts. We were lucky to enjoy it for a month that flew by.
The Ugandan currency is the Ugandan shillings (UGX). If you have any banknotes in your hands, take a look because there are different iconic landscapes of Uganda.
For example, on the 5,000 UGX note you will find a photo of Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Nyinambuga, one of the Kasenda lakes, appears on the 20,000 UGX note. On the 50,000 UGX note, the mountain gorillas are the main figure. And you, what figures would you put on the banknotes of your country?
– Do you know that Uganda is the first coffee exporting country in Africa?
Uganda is the second largest producer of African coffee, surpassed only by Ethiopia. In any case, at the export level, it is number one since a good part of the coffee it processes is destined for export, mainly to European markets such as Italy and Germany.
Here, the local population drinks more tea (in the country you will see many plantations of this evergreen tree) but instead coffee is the most exported food.
We were lucky enough to see the whole process from a plantation located at the foot of Mount Elgon. If you want to know more, you can click here. Instead, we visited the tea process in Kericho, Kenya. If you want to know how tea is processed, you can also read the following article.
Idi Amin, one of the most flamboyant and bloodthirsty dictators in Africa
This dictator born in the north of the country was a despot who ruled the country during the 1970s. At 1.95 meters tall and 110 kg, he was a boxing lover who began his military career invited to a police station because of his predominant physique. He managed to come to power and became a bloodthirsty against enemies, outsiders and even his own. He had seven wives, had all the ex of his wives were killed, and even killed one of his women. He had between 41 and 54 known children.
When they introduced him, he made himself say all the time as “President for life, Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal, Doctor, Vc, DCO, MC, Lord of all the beasts of the earth and of all the fish of the sea, conqueror of the world, British Empire of Africa in general and of Uganda in particular, and last king of Scotland “. With this, the arrogance and extravagance of this African dictator is already demonstrated.
This character, who unfortunately was very mediatic, has many curious anecdotes. One of them occurred during the early 1970s when he was already in power. Idi Amin went to England unexpectedly, and the protocol was immediately activated and he had dinner the same day with the Queen and the Prime Minister. They politely commented to him that the next time he would give more notice in advance to organize the protocol of the visit and they asked him the reason for his visit. Idi Amin, who said that he devoured all the food, replied that in Uganda he could not find good shoes of the number 48 and that is why he was in England.
He became the leader of everything that revolved around the country. Imagine that he laid off the Olympic boxing coach and he began to coach and participated in some fights that were broadcast on television. Obviously, he won all of them. Anyway, he was a wild man who didn’t trust anyone. He did not sleep two nights in the same place, and they could never contact him. Of course, all his ministers and workers had to be at his disposal 24 hours.
This was the character of Idi Amin, a figure that no one knew if he acted seriously or acted with frivolity and sarcasm (he sent, amid the tensions between the USSR and China, a telegram commenting that he wanted to see them happy or announced on television the dismissal of a minister of hers and explained why: they found her making love with a white man in the Paris airport toilets.
However, he was a bloodthirsty who ordered killings and torture on a daily basis to all those who did not like him. He tortured people in downtown buildings and with the windows open so that the population could hear him. As Kapuscinski wrote, “Uganda began to become a theater – tragic and with gushing blood – of a single actor: Idi Amin.”
He lost power also due to personal stubbornness. The personal hatred he felt for the Tanzanian minister led him to attempt the occupation of the neighboring country, but they fought back and Idi Amin went into exile in Saudi Arabia where he died in 2003. A biography that would need many chapters to explain the atrocities of that barbarian dictator who unfortunately ruled in Uganda for 8 years.