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Dec 27, 2011

UHMG's GeNext Campaign is not just about advocacy for smaller Families

On Christmas day, my family decided to drive to the village to spend the day with the old people (grannies). Very cheerful lads there who are counting nine(9) children to themselves and all alive including my sweet mother. Church time: At church, half of the holy place was filled with children aged between 1 - 14 years, all lively  and happy running up and down shouting. One thing that amazed me, very few or none of these kids looked sick or malnourished. With the a few friends I gone with, an argument about small and bigger families with many children started. So many issues were put into perspective including the GeNext campaign on TV, Radio and Social Media. After church, I logged onto Twitter and what do I find,  a debate about GeNext. I missed that debate.

The GeNext Uganda Campaign
advocates for smaller families
The GeNext Campaign is an advocacy program being run by Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG) with an objective to convince and recruit young men and women to become activists because it is their “right” to be able to live a good life. And to live a good life in this context means that they have the “right” to have small families; or be a member of a small family. By having or being a member of a small family, they will be able to have a good education, can go on to be trained for better jobs, have more money for food on the table, will be able to ensure the quality of life for their children, will see a better and stronger Uganda, etc. 

Very well thought program but I must say there are major bases that are not covered in this campaign namely; targeted audience, communication medium and culture.

The audience targeted in this campaign is young adults and these seem to be people in a semi-urban or urban place based on the medium of communication being used. It should be noted that actually big families are in the rural areas and these big families are as a result of ignorance about family planning measures and lack of accessibility to family planning and birth control facilities. The people in urban places have access and capacity to acquire birth control and family planning facilitation and on top of that, they face a challenge of the cost of living in urban areas. Due to the mentioned reasons above, urban people would be compelled to have the small families GeNext is advocating for. There is no need to campaign for that here.

I see fancy adverts on giant billboards, social media and TV with healthy looking youth acting to be in frustration for lack of jobs. Let me get something clear here, I do not think advocating for a small family will find me the job that I need urgently unless we want to assert that being a GeNext advocate is the job itself and on top of that, having small families does not necessarily mean the children shall have enough food, good education etc when the facilities to provide the good things are not even there. Where would they come from anyway if you do not have the people (population) to work and avail the facilities? We also have to keep it in mind that Uganda has not reached the level having technology to provide the good facilities in question.

Thirdly it should be noted that Uganda has got a history of one of the strongest cultures in Africa or even in the world. From the African tradition, having a big family was held with a lot of pride and some families actually perceived it to be some sort of “security”. A big population, could also be passed as national resource because that way the country will be assured of  available and cheap labour to enhance development. China today is the best example I can give. The only challenge should be to avail measures of finding enough resource for the growing population but not entirely controlling it. The rural Ugandans have the strongest cultural attachments and for as long as they are not a target in this campaign then I find it a waste of resource.

UHMG argues that in the GeNext campaign, they are primarily targeting young adults because they are adaptive to change. I get the point but all of us need to remember that UHMG is a “Health Marketing Group.” I hope all of us understand what this means. On top of having health campaigns, UHMG also has a range of products on sale majorly aiming at family planning, STI/STD and HIV infection prevention. I do not think I would be wrong if I passed the GeNext campaign as a marketing strategy. Here is how I connected the dots.

Based on the medium of communication, I have come to notice that this campaign targets urban youth and majorly youth in schools and those out of school looking for jobs. This is because they are the working class of tomorrow and they are the ones with or shall be the ones with the capacity to buy the range of products they sell. Someone who has been educated automatically understands that a small family is the way to go because of the increasing cost of living in Uganda. So this shall compel the person to have prevention measures of controlling birth which leads to a big family. How does one do that? Simply use condoms, contraceptives, moon beads, etc the very products being distributed/sold by UHMG. The campaign is not targeting rural people because they do not have capacity to buy “O” condom or Injectaplan and that is understandable because like any other marketing or sales person, why would I go to a trade area where I have no mileage.

I want to conclude saying that if this campaign is genuinely about advocacy for smaller families then it should have started from my home village.

Til next time!

Dec 12, 2011

Who will kill Golola Moses?

Golola Moses pauses with his Belt at Hotel Africana
I know I should not be writing about Golola because to almost everyone who knows about the first "El Classico" before the real one on Saturday night and what happened probably doesn't want to hear anything anymore or would love to really know what it is that Golola Moses is and has been up to. Personally, I didn't know Golola Moses until early 2010 when  he became an internet sensation with his motor mouth. Golola Moses a  self-proclaimed Champion Kick Boxer of Uganda and now Africa. With a string of wins in the ring, it is mostly his ability to talk at high speeds, volume and outlandishness which made him a web sensation but the question was; Can he actually fight? or Can he still fight? Its until today that actually most of us realized that there is a GOLOLA MOSES and a Moses Golola if you know what I mean. Golola made himself. Social media built GOLOLA MOSES. The media that built him shall be the one to kill him. For the first time in Ugandan history the whole country was glued to TV for a little known sport to many but only because of the fighter's motor mouth and social media.

The presence of GOLOLA MOSES in our vocabulary  these days proves how strong social media can be. The same Moses testifies to have been through all walks and works of life to survive ranging from being a night watchman to a pit-latrine digger. Before the social media craze about him, no one knew him except his brother and village mates back in Masaka.  "I and my family grew up in the worst poverty Life that one could ever experience to an extent that our home became a reference to poverty. Everytime they wanted to talk about poor people they stated being as poor as the Golola's family" - Golola Moses once stated in a TV interview.
Personally, for someone who has risen from ranks as low as poverty reference to heights of demanding a pay of 30million I think deserves credit for working so hard.

So what is Golola Moses?
Having been all sorts of things and having all sorts of titles, Is Golola Moses a kick boxer, a boxer, wrestler, Voices Specialist, Actor, or a toilet digger? One thing for sure is that he has tried many things to make it through and after realizing what he can do best, he fails to find a hand that can hold him and show him the path to the stardom. The few who have done that have proven that they are interested in making money through him and just walk away. The show down on Friday night clearly showed how Ugandan events management is still wanting and how people can exploit fellow humans to make their way through and just walk away.
So why did Golola fight in an International bout?
Like I mentioned earlier, Golola made himself, the media has built him. However, the media has built him in a different capacity as of what he actually is. Golola is a person who is very passionate in sport (boxing/kickboxing)  but has missed out on having a hand to prepare him for international exposure. The media and social media particularly has  too lied to us that he is actually one who can get into a ring and do something extraordinary by a flick of a finger. For the first time, Golola Moses and his fans faced reality. Personally I tweeted, "GOLOLA is beating Moses" and later tweeted "The Golola I know was not in the ring tonight." For his ability and works of getting to an extent of bringing an "International" fight home would have been historical if the people in charge had actually been as passionate as Golola is.

On top of being passionate like any other person fighting for survival, Golola clearly knows that it is his mouth that can make him earn a living not kicking boxing. So for him to risk and put his life on the line to life taking elbows and kicks in the groin was only to do what the country expects/expected of him and all this was built by social media on him.

So if you are a kick boxer, why the chicken fight and wrestling antics in the Ring?
The chicken fight we saw in the ring on that night, is not something that can actually be used to say that Golola is nothing of a kick boxer. He is a kick boxer but here is the reason why he was not a kick boxer that night. One day to the fight, Golola and Nagy's management sat and agreed to fight Mua Thai kick boxing. I do not think in the wildest thoughts of Golola he even knew what that was. If its the case then we would have seen him atleast do stance of Mua Thai. When Nagy was performing his ritual, Golola was busy trotting in his corner and later jumped cheering his fans when they played the Buganda anthem after. If that was his ritual performance, then no problem.

You are a fighter not a promoter of the fight, period. The other motor mouth we have had in sporting history was Cassius Clay better known as Mohammad Ali but I do not think he was as vocal as this towards his fights and not loose talk by the way. 60% of Golola's life was spent on the media talking and calling  on people to come in numbers and witness a record bout in his favor which was to later turn out otherwise. There is no sports man who can ever perform when he doesnt have time to settle and train. It was the role of his managers to set out the time and days when he would address press conferences and say what ever he has to say but not  the way it was then.

Thirdly, after calling on all his fans he soon realizes that there is alot of expectations from the fans he promised something he could not deliver. When he arrived in the ring we could clearly see that the humble Golola Moses was actually now in the ring, not because he was concentrating on the fight but because he had the pressure on him to deliver something heavier than him. "If you are to come  for the fight, please come early and watch the first round, that is when I will finish Nagy because am not paid for over time." Whatever he meant there but those were his words.

The  Friday night fight to me was the biggest hoax/scam that ever happened to Ugandan sport. It was nothing but a castle in the air built by Ugandan media that almost took the Life of our most dearest Golola Moses.

We Love you GOLOLA MOSES and we also love Golola Moses.

Til next time!

Dec 7, 2011

Uganda to host ICT for Africa 2012 Conference

For the 4th consecutive year, ICT for Africa will harness Africa’s developmental potential in the global ICT network. The 2012 conference heads to Kampala, Uganda between March 21st-24th, where local and international experts will investigate the crucial role that ICTs will play in the continent’s development.  Long considered a technological laggard, Africa’s rapid uptake of Information and Telecommunication Technologies (ICTs) has highlighted the massive role the continent will play in the global digital revolution.
The dissemination of mobile phones has entrenched the continent as an emerging market with enormous potential for growth, while the innovations seen in e-banking, e-business, telemedicine and e-learning indicate a level of skill that is comparable to that seen in the developed world.
The ICT for Africa conference harnesses the knowledge of ICT experts and academics while generating new insight through the exchange of ideas and sharing of innovations. Hosted by the prestigious Makerere University Business School and sponsored by the NSF, ICTID, the African Society for ICT, the ICT University (USA), PC Tech Magazine (International) and UNHRO, the 4th addition of the conference offers a fertile opportunity for cross-continental debate in ICT innovations.
The event offers a four day exposé of Africa’s role in powering developments in mobile telephony, cloud computing and service-oriented software. Africa’s potential for becoming a future powerhouse of ICT innovation will be examined in the context of green computing, which the conference prioritises as an ethical output of ICT growth.
The conference is chaired by specialists from regional and international universities, including Prof. Victor Mbarika (Southern University), Prof. V. Baryamureeba (Makerere University) and Prof. Waswa Balunywa (Makerere University Business School (MUBS), making it a vibrant platform for debate that is both local and international in scope.