||In 1907, while touring Africa, Britain’s future Prime Minister Winston Churchill, described Uganda as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Churchill was moved by Uganda’s exquisite landscapes and people. He wrote in My African Journey that, “For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa.” Advising his countrymen, Churchill added that, “The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate on Uganda.”
Churchill was right. Uganda then encompassed all the gifts of nature and diversity. The question now as we celebrate 50 years of political independence is: What are we today? For all the celebration and jubilation, would Churchill, if he were alive today, come to the same conclusion? What happened to the diversity, the stunning green vegetation, the beautiful climate? Are we still a fairy tale country or a horror story? For all its endowment in people and culture, scenery and resources, Uganda today is far from that Pearl, leading some observers to describe Uganda today as the “tarnished Pearl of Africa.”. So what went wrong?