By Muzaphal Kimbugwe
Wednesday morning as I step off the elevator on the 6th floor of Esella hotel, I am stunned.
A week earlier I was booked for adjudication duty in the Acfode Inter University debate nationals, convening universities from all over the country to debate a number of issues on gender and governance. I am here as an adjudicator under the banner of Debate Society Uganda, a society of young men and women with a passion for debate, who in this competition are technical implementers for adjudication and tabbing. Essentially, they decide who wins.
I am stunned to be here, as part of this society of young men and women who on face value can be mistaken for ordinary contemporary folk yet they are inarguably some of the most intelligent and eloquent young people this nation is blessed to have. Some are clad in suits, others in shorts-yes, shorts
while some are casual smart, donning chinos and blazers. They are full of life and they have an enviable sense of humour. Around them, you can’t hold your laughter.
Gilbert, the Chief adjudicator in this tournament is a young man of average height, a strategic mix of tough and simple demeanour and with a great sense of humour. Gilbert is running a quick activity to help debaters and adjudicators know each other. Gilbert is a team building expert. You will also think that Gilbert is a comedian, because he actually is, and an MC among other things. He is an agriculturalist, an MSC candidate, a researcher and most importantly here, a seasoned debater and public speaker.
Just like Gilbert, most of the members of Debate Society Uganda present here are professionals in different fields while others are students. In all this diversity, intriguing as it is, I see young people doing what they love, having fun at it and doing it super well.
Fast forward, there is a briefing of debaters, after which Jacob Eyeru, the national head of Debate Society Uganda is to give a key note address on “Debate as a Vehicle for Enhancing Good Governance and Youth Participation”.
My oh my, Jacob is sui generis. Listening through his address, everyone is just amazed. Jacob is an engineer by the way so one would wonder, “Engineering, debate, how so?” Well, Jacob is above all things a seasoned debater whose story as he tells it jokingly shows how far he has come, from a young boy with a desire to debate, who grows into an outstanding student that leads his university’s fast growing debating union at Makerere University and is later elected East African Community Youth Ambassador for Uganda in the program’s pioneer years. That he now leads this society of debaters is not surprising.
It is a successful tournament, the Acfode inter university debate nationals. Round after round, my interaction with different members of this society who alongside me are serving as adjudicators is just awe amazing. Their understanding of issues, their ability to weigh arguments, their ability to give feedback to students and their commitment to debate is just admirable.
One of these guys, Segawa Ivan Sebastian is the current East African Community Youth Ambassador for Uganda. Ivan’s story as earlier told by Jacob in his keynote address makes this society even more intriguing. From humble beginnings of a boy who couldn’t write his own speeches, Ivan has grown into a seasoned debater who has among other things led his university’s debating union at Kyambogo, won many awards, represented Uganda at the world debate championships and is now the head of the society’s television debate program, the NBS Television school debates. Ivan’s story is just one of the many-stories of Debate Society Uganda’s members.
Beatrice Kaytiena, another member of this society is the Vice President of the General Assembly of the International Youth Diplomacy Conference in Accra Ghana 2019. Beatrice is an entrepreneur, a graduate of linguistics and a postgraduate student of international relations and diplomacy. Cut Beatrice and she will bleed debate.
Ntambi Michael Blair, the head of the society’s schools program is a 3rd year student of law at the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). He has among other things led his University’s debating union and he is the head of the Rule of law debates. By his dress code and gentle demeanour, we joke that he is deserving of the tittle Sir or Lord. Lord Blair, we say.
Samantha, another member of the society is a fourth year law student at Makerere University while Peter Muhizi is a teacher of linguistics. Peter’s experience in debate spans years of debate and public speaking training and adjudication. Peter was Chief adjudicator to the African Debate Championships in South Africa in 2018.
See why, on stepping off the elevator, I am stunned? To be in the presence of such young men and women is no easy feat.
And, oh, I haven’t talked of Patrick Ngasirwa, the tab master in the tournament or Joel Mucunguzi, both members of the society who are 4th year law students at Makerere University. Very humble and gentle souls yet overly intelligent and eloquent young men with an admirable command of the Queen’s language. What is even more admirable is their understanding of the law that will make you think they already are practising attorneys.
It is wondrous, how Debate Society Uganda has in a very short while managed to bring all these brilliant minds together for the cause of debate. It is even more wondrous, how sought after it already is.
This society has only been in existence for a couple of years yet today it is Uganda’s most sought after society of debaters, managing technical aspects of debate for both government and private actors who have debate as part of their programming. The society has among others managed tournaments
including the African Debate Championship, the East African Schools Invitational, the East African Universities Debate Championship, the Ministry of finance students accountability sector debates, the Olympic values debates, the European Union climate action debates in partnership with KCCA and the Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) debates.
Also, the society is now the technical implementer for debate in the Stanbic bank national schools championship, while its own national schools program is already ongoing.
Debate Society Uganda is already a member of the East African Debate Council, the Pan African Universities Debate Council and the African Schools Debate Board.
The society, impressively, is youth led, with its membership open to all youth with a passion for debate and desire to make debate available in its highest quality all over the country as a tool for nurture of young people to achieve an informed and engaged society.
I am more than confident to say that this society, Debate Society Uganda is the real deal.
Uganda Rugby Cranes flagged off ahead of Zambia, Zimbabwe clashes
The rugby cranes today had their last training session at Kyadondo rugby grounds ahead of their return legs with Zambi and Zimbabwe. The rugby cranes were seen off by some of the staff from their main sponsors Nile Special and enjoyed previlage of the company of the American and South African ambassadors.The Uganda rugby team besides going for the wins have also fronted the Nile Special current campaign #NoExcuse which is aimed at reducing sexual harassment in society.
Here is the selected team to fave Zambi and Zimbabwe
1. Ssenteza Santos
2. Kivumbi Saul
3. Kimbowa Collin
4. Asuman Mugerwa
5. Odugo Faragi
6. Kanyanya Ronald
7. Otto Micheal
8. Olet Simon Peter
9. Odong Charles Uhuru
10. Asaba Brian
11. Pius Ogena
12. Ayera Desire
13. Emong Eliphaz
14. Aaron Ofoyrwoth
15. Epilo Paul Emmanuel
16. Ivan Magomu Arthur
17. Masendi Paul
18. Okorach Micheal
19. Munyani Ian Arnold
20. Wokorach Philip
21. Semwami Daudi Ashraf
22. Simwende Kimono Justin
23. Kasito Adrian
24. Oketayot Byron
Tusker Lite confirm participation in first ever Food Street Festival in September
On Monday, the first ever “KCCA Foodie Street” was introduced to the Ugandan social events scene promising an assortment of delicious local delicacies all aligned to take place at the heart of the city’s most esteemed street, Parliamentary Avenue come Saturday, September 7, 2019.
The Foodie Street will host food lovers within the city to a day of merrymaking on the food filled street is organised by KCCA and My Food Network in partnership with Tusker Lite to bring food lovers an unforgettable food fest.
“Kampala is the entertainment capital of East Africa and KCCa has a strategy to make it the premier entertainment and tourist destination in Africa. One of the ways to do this is to showcast our rich culture and hospitality and we know that showcasing our abundant street food, we can achieve this goal, said KCCA Director of Education and Social Services, Mrs Namuddu Juliet Nambi.It has been touted as a fun outdoors lifestyle food event that will showcase Ugandan street food while offering a variety of treats from the different street food exhibitions set to leave food lovers spoilt for choice. Revelers will be given the option of pairing their dishes with either a Tusker Lite or Coca Cola.
“Tusker Lite remains at the heart of the best food experiences in the country. We are looking forward to bringing foodies the party flavour in the first edition of this fun outdoors food experience come September,” said Balaba Brian, Key Accounts Manager, UBL.The event shall have over 30 street food vendors catering to the public from 10:00am to midnight. The event is a mirror of other street food festivals held in numerous cities around the world like Paris, Berlin, London, Manila and Brussels, just to mention but a few.
From sunrise to sunset the streets will be buzzing with activity with every other stall premise creatively set up as either a café or restaurant with Kampala City Council Authority giving the greenlight on the fun food event. There will also be music, dance and drinks all perfectly placed under one historic venue, Parliamentary Avenue located between the IPS building and Jumbo Plaza. Entry to the event is free.
Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ Campaign to highlight Sexual Harassment
Nile Breweries under its flagship brand Nile Special has launched a behavioral change campaign dubbed “No Excuse” with the aim of addressing the predicament of sexual harassment in the country. The brand will address the subject by calling for smart drinking measures among its consumers,since alcohol abuse has been identified as one of the primary catalysts for sexual harassment.The aim of the ‘No Excuse’ campaign is to:
• shine a spotlight on the sexual harassment problem.
• to bring about a change in long established societal behaviours and attitudes
• to activate bystanders with the aim of decreasing and preventing this act
• challenge the public to take appropriate action against perpetrators of sexual harassment
• encourage stakeholders to support the victims to access appropriate support services.
Attention is increasingly being paid to the prevalence of this vice in Uganda. Whether this is down to more cases being reported or the abuse is on the rise, is a matter worth investigating. What is certain, is that the public space in which women can freely express themselves must be guarded. This calls for collective reflection by all stakeholders on the measures to be undertaken to ensure that every individuals rights and freedom are protected as enshrined in the constitution under Article 20.Utilizing the brand’s online platforms, the campaign will implore the public have its say on what constitutes sexual harassment. The information will be curated and the data presented into a communication campaign to both raise awareness and also educate the public about sexual harassment while changing people’s attitudes and beliefs.
Francis Nyende, the Nile Special Brand Manager said, “It is a good thing that the plight of women regarding sexual harassment is edging to the fore of the national discourse. But it’s also rather disturbing that almost daily there’s a story about a woman that has been sexually harassed. As one of the leading Ugandan brands we have decided to champion the cause. ”Our ultimate goal is to reduce and prevent the incidences of sexual harassment, which affects the lives of too many women, both directly and indirectly, and thereby make a much safer society.
“Some of the places where women are more susceptible to sexual harassment is during the nightlife (bars, discos etc). At certain hours of the night, after consuming a couple of bottles, some men throw caution to the wind at the expense of the women. So we are here to educate revelers that they should drink smart, there’s no excuse for sexual harassment,” says Nyende.
Ms. Gloria Nakafeero, the Commissioner Gender and Women Affairs, Ministry of Gender,
Labour and Social Development said, “We are using the ‘No Excuse’ campaign as a catalyst to
get people to question themselves and their behaviors. We are aware that by identifying the problem we shall need to do more to try and create meaningful change. So by raising awareness about the issue, the existing laws and policies as well as the existing support services, we will contribute towards positive change in attitudes to make sexual harassment “inexcusable” and unacceptable and demand positive actions towards the elimination of sexual harassment.
I am happy to be associated with the Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ campaign. It always starts with a simple insight. What rings true for me was the idea that in Uganda, whenever we observe or encounter of sexual harassment, we’re inclined to absent ourselves of any responsibility – or worse still, excuse behaviour that’s totally inexcusable.” Article 24 of the constitution protects the dignity of every one in Uganda. No person shall be subjected to any form of inhuman or degrading treatment. This includes respect of a person to their psychological or mental wellbeing.
Enough is enough. Let’s stop excusing sexual harassment. Learn more at the Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ campaign websitewww.noexcuse.ug
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