Ugandan americans

by Olivia Miller


The Republic of Uganda is bordered by Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Lake Victoria, Tanzania, and Rwanda to the south, and Congo (formerly Zaire) to the west. The name Uganda is the Swahili term for Buganda, the homeland of the nation's largest ethnic group, the Baganda. British colonizers adopted the name when they established the Uganda Protectorate, centered in Buganda, in 1894. Uganda has great natural beauty, with an incredible variety of mammal species and birds. Winston Churchill called the country the "Pearl of Africa." Uganda's tropical forests, tea plantations, rolling savannahs, and arid plains are home to half of Africa's bird species.

Uganda's land area is 91,459 square miles (236,880 square kilometers), about the size of Oregon, and it lies across the equator. Its topography varies from the lush and fertile shores of Lake Victoria in the southeast to semidesert in the northeast. Uganda is fairly flat but high, with an average altitude of 3,280 feet above sea level. The capital city, Kampala, is on the shores of Lake Victoria. The White Nile, flowing out of the lake, winds through much of the country.

Uganda's population of 21 million is made up of a complex and diverse range of peoples, including the Baganda, Langi, Acholi, Pygmy, Europeans, Asians, and Arabs. The Baganda make up the largest portion of the population, about 16.7 percent. English is the official language, and many people speak Swahili and Arabic as well. There are more than 40 indigenous languages. Sixty-six percent of the population are Christian, evenly divided between Catholic and Protestant, 16 percent are Muslim, and 18 percent follow indigenous belief systems. The flag has six horizontal stripes—two each of black, yellow, and red—with the national emblem, the crested crane, in a centered white circle.


The ancestors of today's Bantu-speaking people, who include the Baganda and other groups, were likely the earliest occupants, about the fourth century A.D. , of the low-lying plateau north of Lake Victoria. The population gradually moved southwest and developed a way of life based on farming and herding. Kingdoms of the Baganda, Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole, and Busoga peoples emerged, and they remained strong from the fourteenth century until the nineteenth century. Uganda's inland location kept it isolated from Arab and European trading until the nineteenth century. When Arab traders reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. Buganda dominated the region, while Bunyoro was its greatest rival.

The first traders came in search of slaves and ivory. In the 1860s, British explorers arrived, seeking the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries arrived in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries came in 1879. Baganda converts to Christianity and Islam clashed with their ruler and eventually overthrew him. The kingdom then separated along Catholic and Protestant lines. This weakening of Buganda came during a period in which European interest in the area was growing. Imperial powers from Europe soon attempted to conquer Buganda and its neighbors. After the Treaty of Berlin in 1890 defined the various European countries' spheres of influence in Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba became British protectorates, and colonial agents established the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.

Colonial administrators introduced coffee and cotton as cash crops and adopted a policy of indirect rule, giving the traditional kingdoms autonomy, but favoring the recruitment of Baganda tribespeople for civil service. Few Europeans settled permanently in Uganda, but Pakistanis, Indians, and Goans arrived in large numbers. Agricultural production increased dramatically during World War I, and during the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1930s and 1940s, native Ugandans began to agitate for economic and political self-determination. In the mid-1950s schoolteacher Milton Obote, a member of the Langi people, created a loose coalition that led Uganda to independence in 1962.


In October 1962, with the coming of independence, ethnic and regional rivalries beset newly formed political parties. Obote, assisted by his army chief of staff Idi Amin, crushed the opposition, and became president, abolishing the Bagandan monarchy. Obote rewrote the constitution to consolidate virtually all powers in the presidency, and then began to nationalize, without compensation, $500 million worth of foreign assets. Obote fled after a military coup in 1971, and Uganda endured eight years of mass murder and destruction under the government of Idi Amin. Amin's main targets were the Acholi and Langi tribespeople, the professional classes, which included intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and the country's 70,000-strong Asian community. In 1972, all Asians were given 90 days to leave the country with nothing but the clothes that they wore. The economy disintegrated because the Asian population had been the backbone of trade, industry, and health care. The education system suffered lasting damage. Government-sanctioned brutality became commonplace. Amin went to war with Tanzania in 1978, then fled Uganda the following year, when the Tanzanian military pushed into the heart of his country. In 1980, Milton Obote returned from exile to resume control. Between half a million and a million people perished during the reigns of Amin and his successors from 1971 to 1986. Armless, legless, and facially disfigured torture victims survive in the population today.

Rebels drove Obote from office in 1985. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, leader of the National Resistance Army, set up a new government in January 1986. Museveni stated his goal of bringing peace and security to Uganda. He won strong support from citizens. About 300,000 Ugandan refugees returned from across the Sudanese border.

In the 1990s, Uganda worked to recover from two decades of instability and civil war. A new constitution was ratified on July 12, 1995. Museveni won democratic, nonpartisan elections in 1994, and again in 1996. International leaders saw the 1996 elections as Uganda's final step towards rehabilitation, and U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the country. At the end of the twentieth century, Uganda had set up new economic development projects and export initiatives, and renewed its commitment to education and social services. However, at the same time, it faced a severe epidemic of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). About 20 percent of Uganda's population was infected with the AIDS virus. By 1998, more than a million Ugandans had died of AIDS.


The first Ugandan Americans likely arrived as slaves, seized by or traded to Arabs between 1619 and 1865. According to the 1860 census, there were 4.4 million African Americans among a total U.S. population of 36 million people. Immigration records show that 857 Africans came to the United States between 1881 and 1890.


Immigration records from 1975 cite Ugandans separately from other Africans and show the arrival of 859 immigrants, most fleeing Idi Amin's terror. Of note is the fact that African Asians, a group encompassing all brown-skinned people, usually Indians, Pakistanis, and Goans, are counted in a separate category from Ugandans. In 1976, 359 Ugandans arrived, and 241 came in 1977. Immigration fell to less than 150 each year in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a time of political stability in Uganda. The number of Ugandan refugees granted permanent residence status in the United States between 1946 and 1996 was generally less than 50 per year, with the exceptions of 1993, when 87 were admitted, and 1994, when 79 were admitted. Only ten Ugandan refugees were admitted in 1996. In 1998, 215 Ugandans were winners of the DV-99 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery is conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.


Ugandan immigrants often join family members already in the United States. Immigrants with professional employment are geographically scattered, though significant communities have developed in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Sacramento, Dallas, and St. Petersburg. Some newly arrived Ugandans receive assistance from Catholic Social Services and other humanitarian relief agencies.

Acculturation and Assimilation

Because English is Uganda's official language, many Ugandan Americans do not face significant language barriers. Refugees who lived in rural areas, however, find American culture is very different from what they left behind. American life poses challenges for those who have not seen escalators, refrigerators, traffic lights, and scan-your-own grocery checkouts. Many Ugandans immigrate for better educational opportunities.


Ugandan culture is a mixture of various traditions and practices. In Uganda, people may break into song and dance, even in the streets, when they hear good news. If you are invited to someone's home, it is polite, but not required, to bring a gift for your host or hostess. Wives are automatically included in invitations unless it is specified otherwise. In conversation, most topics can be discussed freely, and national and world affairs and the arts are the most popular topics.

The West has traditionally viewed Ugandans as passive people. Their willing servitude and non-aggressive behavior results from centuries of tribal structure that discouraged individual self-promotion. The culture of the Baganda was authoritarian, and obedience to the king was crucial. David Lamb wrote in The Africans that "one's well-being depended on an allegiance to a man or a group of tribal barons, and that attachment did not include the right to question. The tradition of giving all power to a village chief, the era of colonialism, and the repressiveness of men like Obote and Amin had taught them obedience, even servitude. They had learned the art of survival."


Ugandans share many proverbs with other Swahili-speaking African peoples. Several sayings reflect the experience of living among abundant wildlife. Here are examples: The country rooster does not crow in the town; Do not speak of a rhinoceros if there is no tree nearby; When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers; The one who has not traveled widely thinks his mother is the only cook; The person who is tired will find time to sleep; Return to old watering holes for more than water for friends and dreams are there to meet you; Abuses are the result of seeing one another too often; Caution is not cowardice for even the ants march armed; Every beast roars in its own den; Haste does not result in prosperity; The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds; If the hours are long enough and the pay is short enough, someone will say it's women's work; If the hyena eats the sick man, he will eat the whole one; The talker will lead the dog to the meat market; Visitors' footfalls are like medicine for they heal the sick; When the master is absent, the frogs hop into the house.


Most people in Uganda, except for a few who live in the city centers, produce their own food. Women and girls have sole responsibility for meal preparation. Men and boys aged 12 and older are not even expected to sit in the kitchen, which is separate from the main house. The women cook food on an open fire, using wood for fuel. Most families eat two meals a day, lunch and supper. Breakfast is just a cup of tea or a bowl of porridge.

When a meal is ready, all members of the household wash their hands and sit down on floor mats. They have to wash their hands before and after the meal because most Ugandans eat with their hands. At mealtime everybody is welcome; visitors and neighbors who drop in are expected to join the family in the meal. The women serve the food, cutting it up into small pieces for each member of the family. Sauce, which is usually a stew with vegetables, beans, butter, salt, and curry powder, is served to each person on a plate. Sometimes fish or beef stew is served.

Normally the family says a short prayer before eating. During the meal, children speak only when asked a question. It is bad manners to reach for salt or a spoon. It is better to ask someone sitting close to it to pass it. It is also bad manners to leave the room while others are still eating. Everyone shows respect by staying seated until the meal is over. Leaning on the left hand or stretching one's legs while at a meal is a sign of disrespect and is not tolerated. People usually drink water at the end of the meal. It is considered odd to drink water while eating. When the meal is finished, everyone in turn compliments the mother by saying, "Thank you for preparing the meal, madam." No dessert is served.

Ugandan main dishes usually center on beef, goat, mutton, or fresh fish and the starch that comes from ugali, or maize meal. Ugali is cooked into a thick porridge until it sets hard, and it is served in flat bricks. One of the more interesting dishes is mkate mayai, meaning bread eggs. Originally an Arab dish, it is wheat dough spread into a thin pancake, filled with minced meat and raw egg, and then folded into a neat parcel and fried. A staple food is matoke, a dish of green cooking bananas, boiled then steamed and mashed, to which water has been added. Other food crops include millet bread, cassava, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams, beans, peas, groundnuts (peanuts), cabbage, onions, pumpkins, and tomatoes.

Ugandans grow some fruits, such as oranges, papaws (papayas), lemons, and pineapple, and these often serve as between-meal snacks. Groundnuts are an important part of the diet. They are roasted, pounded to a pulp, and then made into a sauce that may accompany meat, matoke, or vegetables. Groundnut stew consists of meat strips cooked with onions and tomatoes, to which peanut butter and milk are added to create a sauce. The dish is served over rice. Nsima is a pasty bread-like dish made from cornmeal and water that is boiled to form a paste that is served with meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables. Ugandans also fry bananas in very hot peanut oil.

Drinks include pombe, a fermented banana beer, and waragi, a millet-based alcoholic beverage. A popular Ugandan-American dessert is peanut orange cake, made from a typical cake batter with orange peel, vinegar, and one and a half cups of peanut butter added.


Each tribe has its own musical history. Songs have been passed down from generation to generation. Ndigindi (lyre), entongoli (harp), amadinda (xylophone), and lukeme (thumb piano) are common musical instruments in Uganda.


Uganda does not have a national costume. However, the busuti or gomasi, colorful saris, are typical clothing. The style varies from one tribe to another. For men, the kanzu, an ankle-length robe, used to be regarded as the national dress. It was replaced by the safari suit, then by Western-style shirts and pants.


Music and dance play a large role in Ugandan culture. Each tribe has specific dances, such as the Imbalu dances of the Bagisu people on the slopes of Mount Elgon and the Runyege dances native to the area around Masindi. Traditional story songs tell tales of magic birds and animals, with songs and narrative interwoven. W. Moses Serwadda, a musician, folklorist, and faculty member at Makarere University in Uganda, compiled a book, Songs and Stories from Uganda, of traditional work and game story songs and lullabies. The songs appear in the original Luganda language, with phonetic pronunciation, English translation, and an explanation of the story or purpose of each.


Uganda celebrates many Christian holidays, including Christmas, Easter, and Good Friday. The Muslim population honors Islamic holidays. Hari Raya Puasa, the sighting of the new moon, signifies the first day of the Muslim calendar and the end of Ramadan, the fasting month. The entire country observes Women's Day in early March. There are also several holidays associated with independence and events during the civil wars: NRM (National Resistance Movement) Anniversary Day is January 26; Martyrs' Day is June 3; Heroes' Day is June 9; and Independence Day is October 9.


Because Uganda has a poor health care system, Ugandans who have immigrated to America typically receive of much better health care than those in their native country. Health insurance coverage by an employer is a valued benefit of life in America. Life expectancy in Uganda in 1998 was only 37 years.

AIDS has devastated Uganda. In the 1980s, the country had the highest reported incidence of the disease, more than 15 cases per 100,000 people. By mid-1990, 17,400 AIDS cases had been diagnosed in Uganda, and the number doubled every six months. At that time officials also reported that more than 790,000 people had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is believed to cause AIDS. They estimated this figure at 1.3 million by the year's end. Those who were HIV-positive included more than 25,000 children under the age of 15. Officials estimated that 20 percent of infant deaths in Kampala were HIV-related. Also, 22 percent of women seeking prenatal care at Kampala's Mulago Hospital, the nation's largest, were infected with HIV, as were many tuberculosis sufferers. Uganda's first confirmed AIDS deaths occurred in 1982, with seventeen deaths in the southern district of Rakai. By 1989, AIDS had occurred in every part of Uganda.


Uganda had 47 languages; 46 remain in use, while one is extinct. Many Ugandans live among people who speak other languages. Uganda's three major language groups are Bantu, Central Sudanic, and Nilotic. Uganda's population groups are usually categorized by language. Following independence, Bantu-language speakers comprised roughly twothirds of the population. British colonizers brought their language to Uganda in the late nineteenth century. Uganda adopted English as its official language after it became independent. It is the language of business, government, and education. Most Ugandans speak an African language as well. Following independence, Bantu-language speakers comprised roughly two-thirds of the population. Swahili is especially common. Also, numerous people speak Arabic.

In Swahili, which is a Bantu language, vowels are pronounced as they are in Spanish or Italian. Every letter is pronounced. Exceptions to this rule include "dh," which is pronounced "th" as in "this"; "ny," pronounced as "ni" in "onion"; "ng," pronounced as in "singer"; "gh," pronounced as the "ch" in Scottish Loch; and "ch," pronounced as in "church." In most words, the emphasis is on the next-to-last syllable.


Habari is the typical greeting, meaning "hello." Karibu is a Swahili expression of hospitality. Handshaking is common. When faced with problems that are annoying or even disastrous, Ugandans respond with " Shauri ya Mangu, " Swahili for "It is God's will."

Family and Community Dynamics

Ugandan Americans tend to establish single-family homes where children learn reverence for God and their family. The choice of a marriage partners is up to the individual. Ugandan immigrants take part in community and school events in much the same way as other Americans. The children of Ugandan Americans assimilate into American culture.

Uganda has a wide variety of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles. The largest cultural group, the Baganda people, have historically emphasized blood ties through the clan system. Clan members all have at least one male ancestor in common. Clan councils once regulated many aspects of Baganda life, including marriage and land use. The British were impressed with the Baganda system of governance, and appointed members of the group to important positions during the colonial period.

Some Baganda customs have persisted into the late twentieth century. The Baganda have traditionally sent their children to live with people of higher social standing in the group. This was done to create ties between groups and to provide avenues for social mobility for their children. In the 1980s, the Baganda continued to believe this was an excellent way to prepare children for adulthood.


Many Ugandans immigrated to the United States to obtain a better education. The literacy rate in Uganda in 1993 was 62 percent. While not compulsory, education is highly regarded. Education is divided into four levels: primary, seven years; lower secondary, three or four years; upper secondary, two years; and postsecondary, consisting of university, teachers' colleges, or commercial training. Traditionally, there has been a fee for primary and lower secondary schooling; thereafter, education is free. In early 1997, the Ugandan government launched the Universal Primary Education Program as a step toward free primary education for all citizens. Under this program, four children per family could attend primary school at any public school at government expense.


Women traditionally have been subordinate to men, despite the substantial economic and social responsibilities of women in Ugandan society. Their fathers, brothers, and husbands hold authority over them. As late as the 1980s, women in some rural areas had to kneel when speaking to a man. This was the case even though women not only had significant domestic responsibilities but also contributed to the economy through agricultural work. Polygamous marriage practices also disadvantaged women.

Women's rights groups began organizing even before Uganda became independent. In 1960, the Uganda Council of Women called for marriage, divorce, and inheritance laws to be put in writing and publicized. The violence during Idi Amin's rule created hardships for women, as public services, schools, hospitals, and markets often became inaccessible. They had to take care of their families in extreme conditions. These difficulties, however, may have forced women to become more independent. Ugandan women's activism has continued. The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers set up a legal aid clinic in early 1988 to defend women's property and custody rights. The Museveni administration promised to end discrimination against women. In 1987, Museveni appointed Joyce Mpanga minister for women and development in 1987, and she pledged that the government would improve women's wages, job opportunities, and status. In the 1990s, women became increasingly involved in government. They had five percent of the seats in parliament and five cabinet positions. There was also a woman vice president.

Women still, however, had a higher illiteracy level—55.1 percent—than men, who had a 36.5 percent illiteracy rate. Fewer women received higher education. About 45 percent of the children enrolled in primary schools were girls. Only three percent of persons attending technical institutions were female.


Ugandan Americans follow the funeral customs of the United States and bury their dead in caskets after a ceremony. In Uganda, funerals take place quickly, and the dead are often wrapped in a shroud of bark cloth and buried outside of town. Family members are responsible for transporting and burying the body. In the Luwero area, only a whole body can be buried. People who found the bones of relatives killed by Amin did not bury them because of the traditional taboo associated with the burial of bones.


Ugandan Americans have largely lived peaceably with other minorities. The Baganda people have a tradition of tolerance, more so than many other African societies. Even before the arrival of Europeans, many of this group's villages had residents from outside Buganda. Some had come to the region as slaves, some as migrant workers, but by the early twentieth century, many settled in as farmers. Marriage outside the Baganda ethnic group was fairly common. Also, since Uganda became independent, all governments have officially opposed discrimination based on ethnicity. However, in practice, they did not always stick to this position, as indicated by Amin's expulsion of Asians.


Most Ugandan Americans are Christians, as about two-thirds of Uganda's population is Christian. The remaining third practices indigenous religions or follows Islam. Before Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda, many Muslims lived in Jinja, one of the places on which Mahatma Gandhi chose to have his ashes scattered. Religious tolerance is an important aspect of present-day Uganda. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and others practice their religion freely.

About 19 percent of Ugandans follow local religions. These may include belief in a creator, as well as in ancestral and other spirits. Prayers and sacrifices convey respect for the dead, who are thought to help the living. Some religious practitioners serve as mediators between the living and the dead. In the Bunyoro region, those who worship spirits believe them to be the early mythical rulers, the Chwezi, so their faith is sometimes known as the Chwezi religion. The Lugbara people of northwestern Uganda believe ancestors influence the fate of the living and communicate with them.

In the Tepeth society in northeastern Uganda, religion and politics are intertwined. Clan elders and priests admit chosen men to a cult called Sor, which makes sacrifices in hopes of enhancing fertility, gaining favorable weather, and warding off illness. This belief system holds that both women and men receive messages from spirits, but claims women cannot see these messengers. Women, however, have the right to perform certain religious rituals.

Employment and Economic Traditions

Ugandan Americans sometimes have difficulty adapting to the American work ethic, which defines time as money. Ugandans value relationships and nonaggression. They are not generally financially ambitious, but are content with whatever circumstances they have. Europeans and Asians in Uganda often accused Ugandans of being culturally inferior and lazy, when in fact, their values were simply different.

Still, Ugandans in America have pursued a variety of occupations. Because agriculture is an important sector to Uganda's economy, employing over 80 percent of the work force, many Ugandan Americans have farming backgrounds. However, numerous Ugandan Americans are professionals and intellectuals who fled Amin's reign of terror. They work as physicians, in other health care specialties, as teachers, and as journalists.

Politics and Government

Ugandan Americans have joined other Africans in organizations such as the National Summit on Africa to influence U.S. policy toward Uganda. A major piece of Africa-related legislation, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, was before Congress in 1999. The bill was designed to encourage the import of goods from sub-Saharan Africa by allowing them to come into the United States duty-free and in unrestricted quantity. The House of Representatives passed the bill in July 1999, but observers were uncertain that the Senate would pass it as well and send it to President Clinton so that he could sign it into law. African American legislators were split over the bill. Some believed it would help African workers, while others feared it would encourage multinational companies doing business in Africa to exploit these same workers.


For most of the twentieth century, the United States had no significant interests in Uganda. However, some U.S. companies did business with Uganda. The U.S. government has largely avoided involvement in internal Ugandan politics. It has provided some economic aid. Ugandan leaders have sought to persuade the United States to expand this assistance. After Britain ended trade with Uganda in 1973, in response to Amin's expulsion of Asians, the United States briefly became Uganda's primary trading partner. Difficulties with the Amin administration soon led the United States to withdraw its Peace Corps volunteers and cut off economic assistance. In November 1973, after repeated public threats against U.S. embassy officials and the expulsion of Marine security guards responsible for protecting U.S. government property and personnel, the United States closed its embassy. In 1978 Congress put an embargo U.S trade with Uganda

Relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration took exception to strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation. Relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform.

In the early to mid-1980s, the United States provided about $10 million in assistance to Uganda annually, mostly in the form of humanitarian aid— such as food, medical supplies, hospital rehabilitation, and disaster relief—and agricultural equipment needed to promote economic recovery. The U.S. Agency for International Development funds a multifaceted development program at a level of about $50 million per year, both direct assistance and Food for Peace commodities. The U.S. Information Agency sponsors a cultural exchange program aiding the National Theater and other cultural institutions, bringing Fulbright professors to teach at Makerere University, and sponsoring U.S. study and tour programs for many government officials. Peace Corps volunteers in Uganda work in small enterprise development, natural resources management, and education. Museveni visited Washington in October 1987 and February 1989 for consultations with the president and members of Congress.

In 1997, two University of Florida professors attended the dedication of Uganda's Makerere-Florida Linkage House of the Center for Human Rights and Peace, which works for human rights for street people, teaches human rights courses to university students, and sponsors internships allowing students to work for in human rights organizations. The Makerere-Florida Linkage House includes facilities available to University of Florida researchers.

President Clinton visited Uganda in March of 1998 and while there announced a two-year $120 million U.S. gift to Uganda to promote education and democracy. Another $61 million was designated to go toward meals for schoolchildren. New American business activities in Uganda include Coca-Cola's opening of a bottling plant in the western part of the country in November 1998.

In March of 1999, Hutu rebels from neighboring Rwanda kidnapped 14 tourists and killed eight in the group, including two Americans, four Britons, and two New Zealanders who came to see the rare mountain gorillas of Uganda's Bwindi National Park. The U.S. government advised Americans to cancel flights to Uganda until further notice.

Individual and Group Contributions

Larry Kaggwa, professor of journalism at Howard University in Washington, D.C., is a native Ugandan and a veteran journalist and educator. He has written for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, The Washington Post, Hearst Newspapers, the Oakland Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, the Kansas City Star, and the Florida Times Union. He has presented scholarly papers in forums across the country and is dedicated to developing daily newspapers at historically black universities. Kaggwa is adviser to the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Namu Lwanga, a native Ugandan living in the United States, has a degree in ethnomusicology and has mastered and performs a wide variety of Ugandan traditional instruments. She also wrote, acted in and produced plays in Uganda before coming to the United States. A recipient of the 1996 Parents' Choice Award for her Web of Tales video, Lwanga is a storyteller, musician, and dancer who produces videos, albums, and performances that focus on Ugandan traditional movements. She won the Kenyan International Music Festival with an ensemble composition based on Uganda's war-torn past.


The Monitor.

The largest daily newspaper in Uganda, with a circulation of 30,000, is on the AfricaNews Website and is one of only two newspapers in Africa on the Internet.

Online: .

Organizations and Associations

Permanent Mission of Uganda to United Nations.

Address: Uganda House, 336 East 45th Street, New York, New York 10017.

Telephone: (212) 949-0110.

Uganda North America Association.

Encourages fellowship among Ugandans living in North America; fosters social, cultural, and business contacts; has local chapters in major cities and sponsors an annual convention.

Contact: Sam Kiggwe, President.

Address: Atlanta Chapter, P.O. Box 54136, Atlanta, Georgia 30308.

Telephone: (770) 623-6873.

Online: cmtee.html .

Ugandan Embassy.

Diplomatic representation in United States.

Contact: Chief of mission, Ambassador Stephen Kapimpina.

Address: 5909 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011.

Telephone: (202) 726-7100 through 7102; or (202) 726-0416.

Sources for Additional Study

Cunningham, James F. Uganda and Its People. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969.

Edel, May M. The Chica of Uganda. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1996.

Lamb, David. The Africans. New York: Vintage Books, 1987.

Uganda: A Country Study, edited by Rita M. Byrnes. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Federal Research Division, 1992.

User Contributions:

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paul kibombo
Interesting, am proud to be a ugandan, nd am also willing to travel to usa, just for a visit, am living in southafrica, capetown.
A Ugandan friend's mother is visiting and preparing a meal for my family. What is an appropriate gift for the mother and also her son and wife in whose home we will be dining?
Do I also bring a gift for the two small children? If so, what would be appropriate?
I am glad to be Ugandan-African but also interested in doing research with the Western colleagues, i have started search on information regarding the grabbed European cemetery sites in Uganda that existed way back in National survey plan of 1958. Any body willing to contribute in terms of material information is welcome, research fellows, interns are also welcome! by participating you also enjoy the feel of our Ugandan- African culture and how we relate to Western life style.
Any information in supplement and advice is highly appreciated. Respect to our fallen brethren could be achieved through establishing a Memorial Research Centre and Tourism Foundation. Regards to every public user of this site.
Proscovia Tendo
Thank you for the effort in put into this, we greatly appreciate. However, Ugandan greetings is partly true, reality is the the commonest greeting and largely used greeting is in Luganda (local language), only a small percentage of people in Uganda adopted the swahili language.

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