Sports can eliminate the disunity politics and religion create

For decades, the growth of our nation has been stunted by religious and political skirmishes, but sport has shown how vital a tool it can be in annihilating the inhibitors of our development.

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September 4th will forever be heralded by Ugandans as the day they qualified for the continent’s premier football competition following a 38-year old wait.

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Uganda Cranes team united the nation with their win against Comoros

Playing at home, in their famous Mandela National Stadium (Namboole), this vital match brought with it, a mixture of optimism and nervousness as memories of the team’s previous disappointments still lingered in the fan’s minds.

But the match also brought about a sense of unity in the country that didn’t even exist during the fight against colonialism. In the 90 minutes of the game we teased ourselves of what this nation should be.

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Education and Sport Minister Janet Museveni (In white top) celebrates cranes victory will fellows at Namboole.

We stood united in support of a single cause, under the Black,Yellow, Red flag. Putting aside our political, religious and social affiliations. At the game, Janet Museveni was the Minister of Education and Sports not the wife of the man some believe has been in power for too long.

In those 90 minutes, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje was the leader of all Muslims in Uganda, not Old Kampala, not Kibuli, not the Tabliq, not the Salafis, but all Muslims in Uganda. There was no NRM or FDC supportets at the game, only Ugandans supporting their team.

And when Farouk Miya scored that memorable goal in the 34th minute, we rose in celebration as a nation, not as tribes or Muslims and Christians.

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Farouk Miya's goal took Uganda to the promised land

For decades, the growth of our nation has been stunted by religious and political skirmishes, but sport has shown how vital a tool it can be in annihilating the inhibitors of our development.

Thank you very much for reading. And congragulations to the Uganda Cranes for making us proud. Have a great week.

PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIANCE: No matter the result, stay Ugandan.

The last time Uganda played in AFCON, Iddi Amin was still president. And we’ve had over 5 presidents ever since.

The clock’s ticking, fans check their tickets one last time before setting off for the stadium and the players are going through their paces after an empowering breakfast, on their backs they carry the fate and hope of a nation 40 million strong. All to be decided within 90 minutes.

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Uganda Cranes play Comoros at 5:00 pm today

Today is the day of reckoning, the massive advertising campaign has come to an end, all tickets sold, and fans from all over Uganda ready to witness as the nation quench the 38-year old thirst of not qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Now to demonstrate the length of this thirst in simple terms, one would say, the last time Uganda played in AFCON, Iddi Amin was still president. And we’ve had over 5 presidents ever since.

And as a country, as a team, we’ve been in this position before, having one foot into AFCON and the being dragged out at the last moment. It happened Against Kenya when we drew 1-1 and against Zambia when we lost on penalties.

However it is the attitude of some fans after these disappointments that raises questions about whether we are in this (Uganda Cranes) relationship for love or for the fame and glory?

On one of our previous disappointments, angry fans went ahead to attack the home of the then Uganda Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa for what they (angry fans) called treason but was in fact a tackle in the box that led to a penalty.

Other fans take on to social media to express how filthy and inexperienced the national team is and how they will never watch any Uganda Cranes game ever again. But today, they are back out there, doning the nations colours and chanting #MujjeTulumbe. And trust me, deep inside their hearts they have set aside which statements to make just in case we don’t make it.

But as Ugandans, when did we become so opportunistic that we can’t hold a permanent stance on our own national team. If you’re a no, be a no. If you’re a yes be a yes. There’s no “in between” in this.

So no matter what the outcome of the game today is, let our support for the team remain unwavering as it is prior the game. And trust me, our team will remain strong and motivated to continue their quest for inspiring and making us proud as a nation.

Thank you for reading, and please don’t forget, Uganda vs Comoros is at 5:00 pm today, and will be broadcast live on various TV stations. For those heading to Namboole, roar so hard in support that screens of our TVs break out. #MujjeTulumbeeeeeee

What impact should old social media posts have on your future?

Maybe 4 years from now someone will pull out an old post of yours and suggest you’re a rebel

The sports media fraternity was over the weekend awash with tweets that were posted by Burnley FC striker Andrey Gray four years ago. The tweets contained language that was deemed “homophobic”, ” sexist” and “racist”. For a man who had helped his team to a 2-0 win by scoring the second goal against Liverpool, one would have expected cheers and lauds but the response he got online was the kind that no match winning goal scorer would ever want.

Gray was able to issue an apology through the club’s official social media page which contributed mere to nothing in as far as reducing the social media outrage was concerned. Andre Gray wouldn’t happen to be the first let alone the last human being to post a line or two on social media, and he sure as hell won’t be the last to get stick for it, years later.

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Burnely Striker Andre Gray was widely criticised for a homophobic tweet he made 4 years ago

It could be you, maybe 4 years from now someone will pull out an old post of yours and suggest you’re a rebel, and at the moment it won’t matter whether you posted it as a joke or copied it from another person’s timeline. The social media world will judge you like Benjamin Odoki in his prime.

Your critics will at this point appear to have been right all along. Your employers will suspend or even fire you. Your entire world will collapse about you, just because you made an ironic post 5 years ago about how good the Gaddafi regime was or about who should or shouldn’t sleep with who.

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Social media allows users to post views and opinions, some of which may stir a negative response from other users

The retrieval of these old posts by whoever is responsible should in no way be separated from ill intent and/or sabotage of one’s career and life. You ever wonder why such old posts resurface when one is running for president, newly married or has recently acquired a prestigious job?

It is the timing of the resurfacing of old posts that raises eyebrows. Andre Gray’s tweets were released a few hours after Burnely beat Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday. A game in which Gray’s goal dealt a coup de grace to the Kops. So instead of Gray being in the news as a hero, he was the biggest villain of the back pages.

Reading through most of comments that followed the released tweets, one argument seemed to be more prominent than others. And that’s whether Gray has changed from the man who posted those words 4 years back, and whether it is relevant to harshly criticise him “now” and not “when” he made those posts.

Perhaps maybe racial, sexist and homophobic remarks weren’t very clear to social media users 4 years ago, or it’s just social media’s contribution to the surging levels of euphemism.

On social media, terms like Terrorist, Rebel, Racist, Anti-Semite, Sexist, Blasphemer and others are interchangeably and in most cases wrongly used to refer to Muslims, Freedom Fighters, Gender equality activists, Arabs, liberals and anti-Zionists. Just as I wrote about in this similar article Amin wasn’t an Anti-Semite but an Anti-Zionist

And for those willing to ruin one’s life or career, pulling out an old post of yours could be the difference between you being a racist in 2016 for a tweet you made in 2012. So the next time you post something on social media, ask yourself how much impact that post will/should have on your future.

Thanks alot for reading. Keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

Type of shops around you determine health of your heart

According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 17.3 million people die of heart related diseases every year with over 1.25 million of those coming from Africa.

Many of us would be pleased to live in a neighbourhood where a KFC or even a “Maama Naki’s” chips and chicken shop is a stone’s throw away, but a new research study found a link between signs of early heart disease and the types of shops/stores surrounding where we live.

The research study was published earlier this week in the medical journal, Circulation which is run by the American Heart Association.

As much as chips, chicken and deep fried foods of sorts are highly regarded delicacies, but their impact on our health when consumed in huge amounts is devastating, especially to our hearts. And nothing fuels the consumption of such foods than when the shops selling them are the nearest to our homes.

This means one can easily grab these for lunch, supper and maybe for breakfast as opposed to healthier foods such as vegetables and fruits. In the case of an ordinary university student in Uganda, walking past chips, chicken and rolex shops near his/her hostel to go buy fruits or veggies at a market 400 metres away is a waste of time, after all there’s a pile coursework that needs to be done.

Dr. Jeffrey Wing, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Michigan and a co-lead author of the research said; “The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,”

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Consumption of fruits & vegetables build a healthier heart

The healthy foods in question are mainly fresh vegetables and fruits. But for the ordinary African, the consumption of vegetables is often regarded in society as a “poor man’s food” which makes the consumption of chips, chicken, burgers.. et cetera the order of the day, in a continent where very few like to be associated with poverty.

According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 17.3 million people die of heart related diseases every year with over 1.25 million of those coming from Africa.

One can argue that a huge portion of those people could have had the chance to survive heart diseases, had it not been for the unhealthy food shops that surrounded them and continue to surround us today.

Thanks a lot for reading. You can follow Adam’s blog for more articles and can as well share these articles through your social media platforms to your friends and families. Thank you!!

SPORTS DOPING. Who is responsible?

To some players, if the only thing standing between breaking or setting a record is an injection or tab, the choice maybe obvious

Many had never heard much about the term “doping” until recently when big names in the field of sports were accused (some found guilty) of using drugs that enhanced their endurance, strength and general performance on the field. As the number of sportsmen and women entangled in doping allegations grow, Adam’s blog asks the question about who is responsible for this growing habit in the field of sport. Is it the coaches, sponsors or the players themselves?

The Players

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A cartoon depiction of a doped up athlete

If one is to carefully look at the core of sport itself, the urge for sportsmen and women to be faster, stronger, among other attributes takes center stage. The ultimate award of a gold medal or a trophy in effect goes to the fastest athlete, the strongest weightlifter, the enduring marathon runner which triggers a race among athletes to become stronger, faster and more enduring lest they lose.

And the objective of winning brings with it other demands, winning by greater margins. Like they say, Records are made to be broken. For sportsmen, breaking or setting a record is always just around the corner and to some players, if the only thing standing between breaking or setting a record is an injection or tab, the choice maybe obvious. So are players solely responsible for doping? That’s for you (reader) to decide.

The Coaches

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Some coaches demand a lot from their players

You either run fast or your off the team”. It is common for coaches to direct such statements to their players. To some it’s a form of motivation but to others it’s an ultimatum with real consequences for the athlete. Some coaches demand a lot from their players, most of which maybe unattainable under normal circumstances. And since the coaches are in charge, they are in the perfect position to provide the “solution”.

Some athletes may not be aware that the injection or tablet that “coach” advised them to take is banned by sports federations and may have dire consequences for the player once discovered. In recent times we have heard of athletes (charged with doping) claiming there was a “mistake in the blood test”, or “I have never taken such drugs” and such claims may be true as the athlete could have taken the drug on the coach’s advice.

The Sponsors

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The Russian government was cited for running a “state sponsored doping” scheme

Sponsors come in all calibers. It could be a private company or the government, and to the sponsors, their investment should be met with remarkable results and performance. Besides the pressure sponsors put on players, some sponsors take the extra mile by getting directly involved in doping the players.

Recently, the Russian government was named for sponsoring the doping of hundreds of its athletes in the lead up to the Olympics in Rio which resulted into a ban of the athletes, some of whom may have been innocent or coarced into the doping activities.

As the quest for speed, strength and top performance ensues among sportsmen and women, the world of sport continues to get more entangled into the massive spiderweb of doping scandals that is being laid down by some athletes, coaches and the sponsors.

Thanks for reading…. Please follow Adam’s blog for more wonderful articles.

 

 

 

 

IS THE NRM’S MILITIRIZATION OF UGANDA A STEP TOWARDS TOTALITARIANISM?

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom

Ministries, agriculture, police, the economy and now medical services in Uganda are among the new areas of operation for Uganda’s military men and women. A military background of sorts has become a major boost to the Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) of those willing to acquire juicy jobs in the Museveni government.

The National Resistance Movement’s 30 years in power have witnessed a massive increase of military men and women at the helms of sectors previously dominated by civilians, and many wonder if the move is slowly driving the Ugandan Republic into a state where the civilian is a subordinate to a military boss who in turn is controlled by the commander-in-chief, the President.

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom. Such models have famously been used in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and today North-Korea. The dictionary calls it “totalitarianism”.

And a very vital component of totalitarianism is a military that serves the leader and not the people. Kind of what Museveni is trying to achieve by surgically appointing officers loyal to him to head various sectors. And for those members of Museveni’s party that aren’t real soldiers, the solution is in place as well.
  
Members of the President Museveni’s NRM party are annually called to a military type retreat in Kyankwanzi where they don military fatigues and get familiar with the sights and sounds of the AK-47 combined with party strategy discussions for the length of the retreat.

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Minister's J.C Miyingo and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi at Kyankwanzi recently

Among those attending the retreat are members of parliament, ministers among other civil servants expected to serve the general public (including the opposition) with the utmost “impartiality”.

The president’s 2014 decision to put the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) under the control of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) sparked lots of criticisms and outrage as hundreds of civilians were swept aside from the NAADS.

Yet again, similar a decision has been made with the UPDF taking over service provision at a hospital in Wakiso district where a number of civilian medical personnel were fired by the president. The move has inspired the trending twitter hashtag “#WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver” with users expressing all sorts of suggestions to where next the president should appoint the military to replace civilians.

As the Ugandan military continues to take over civilians’ jobs, questions as to whether the country is en route to totalitarian rule grow even bigger.

Thank you for reading. And to ensure you have a great week, I leave you with some of the famous tweets about the trending twitter hashtag: #WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver. Enjoy…

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Is your TV slowly killing you?

Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

News, football, movies, music and many more joys of life are acquired from the television set, providing an impeccable combination of sound and images (both static and moving) unlike any other medium of communication and entertainment.

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The TV brings stories to life in our homes, cars, schools and anywhere else we desire to take it with, but a research study published on Tuesday this week revealed a devastating outcome for TV viewers who spend long hours in front of their sets.

The research was published in the American Heart Association’s journal “Circulation” and it revealed that “People who watch TV for five or more hours a day appear to be at much greater risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung”.

This condition is referred to in the medical field as “Pulmonary Embolism” which in simple terms is a blood clot.
The blood clot is fostered when a person spends a long time without activity in the lower body (like when watching TV on a couch) accompanied by slow blood flow.

The clot which usually begins in the legs and pelvis may then embark on a journey to one’s lungs where it can cause danger once it gets lodged in a blood vessel.

Pulmonary Embolism shares symptoms with other common chronic conditions which makes diagnosis even much harder. Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

The condition is also common among travelers who spend long hours sitting in planes or buses destined for distant areas without rest.

To prevent the occurrence of this deadly blood clot, viewers and long distance travelers are advised to take some water when sitting for long hours, take breaks while watching TV or travelling and also do some bit of stretching to encourage blood flow to the lower parts of the body.

The habit of viewers moving away from TV sets during commercial breaks may be bad news for advertisers but a life or death situation for the viewers.

With the fast growing digital world, habits of lengthy watching are not only confined to TV sets but also extend to smartphones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets, but a separate research needs to be conducted to determine the relationship of these new viewing devices to pulmonary embolism.