Meet Sam Mugisha of BIC Tours

I recently met up with Samuel Mugisha, the Managing Director of BIC Tours, a tour and travel company that mainly specializes in Japanese tourists. All the clients of BIC Tours receive a package of locally grown coffee and pineapples from the land. These are given out as souvenirs to the tourists.

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Samuel Mugisha 

Sam (as he is commonly known) is a very humble man that you may miss him as you look forward to meeting a bigger and space consuming Sam. His story is one driven more by a cause to help others than satisfy self. As a fresh graduate, Sam found himself in care of his family upon his father’s demise. For the big family that it is, (28 children) and being the first boy child in the family, he wanted to extend a hand of help to his other siblings to acquire the education that they needed.

This was not to come easy. When he got an opportunity to go to Japan to study Japanese, he was more than glad. He jumped on to the opportunity and that consequently gave birth to BIC Tours as he shares here.

It is always a good culture to give something to visitors and having lived in Japan where gifting is a great deal, Sam was pushed to think of how to consider gifting his tourists. It is important to give a gift that is consumable, he was advised.

Gorilla coffee gives a picture of Uganda, it signifies that someone is from the Gorilla republic. This kind of marketing goes to places where the internet isn’t. It comes up at conversations that you would never be a part of. and most importantly, it comes up at coffee time.

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The BIC Tour souvenirs; Pineapple slices and Big Gorilla Coffee

 

There is need to buy something Ugandan from the Ugandan market. There is need to find Ugandan products in a Ugandan market. As people go around their trip, they get a chance to taste a local brand. It is important that people identify with the place where they are.

Ten years later, BIC Tours operates both in Uganda and Rwanda.

BIC Tours is located on the 1st Floor at Tirupati Mazima Mall, Kabalagala.

 

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Justice For Sexual Violence Survivors

“The biggest challenge with handling human trafficking cases is that you have willing victims driven by circumstances into submission to acts which result into sexual violence,” said Moses Binoga, the Chairman of the National Task Force on Human Trafficking.

Sexual Violence is one of the unvoiced acts that daily strangle up people in their relationships. It affects men, women and children. However, women and girls turn out to be more of the victims. This is mainly because of tradition and rigid gender norms.

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The need to address Sexual Violence. Photo credit: @FIDAUganda

It is such issues that ought to be addressed. The perpetrators of sexual violence usually are freed for lack of evidence against them. The inconsistency in the law gives lee way to the perpetrators to go unpunished. For example, does a raped victim first report to the health centre or the police?

One out of three women who experience physical or sexual violence is mainly inflicted by someone close to them usually a relative or friend. And reporting them to authorities is a challenge.

Also the police, in a number of countries in the Great Lakes Region, does not have a clear description of what constitutes to be sexual violence and what does not. This affects the process of justice.

It is because of this reason that The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) convened a two day conference at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort to find ways of seeking #Justices4SexualViolenceSurvivors during the #16days of Activism.

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Delegates  in  a group photo with Hon Mary Karooro Okurut. Photo credit: @Pauline_Kahu

Today, there are many gaps in the process of documenting and investigating sexual violence. Very few personnel in the police are well versed with how to address this issue.

According to ICGLR, sexual violence includes; rape, sexual assault, grievous bodily harm, mutilation and forced pregnancy.

Sexual Violence should not be seen as a public health care problem but as one that cuts across multi-sectors.

There is need to ask questions but most importantly to speak to the victims of sexual violence; men, women and children. Victims ought to be helped especially men. Very few open up as victims of sexual violence.

Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut pledged, on behalf of the government, to seek justice for the victims.

Timeless Truths by Dr Dennis D. Sempebwa

Do you remember a book called Students’ Companion? It was a medium blue book that teachers of the English language always emphasized to better one’s understanding of the language.

One thing that drew my attention to the Students’ Companion were mainly the idioms and the proverbs. It had a wealthy collection of them.

Today, the wealth of language has been diluted with slang which has squeezed the juice out of it. Anyone who had a chance of being in the company of the granny folk must have had a chance to get the exposure to this form of language; one rich in proverbs and folklore.

Dr Dennis Sempebwa is one such a kind of person having grown up at a time where visiting the grandparents, for some urban families, was a routine for many a family in Kampala. He was immersed in the wealth of proverbs that his grandmother told him that he yearned for more. This led him to write Timeless Truths, 300 Enduring Proverbs for Our Generation.

Cover of Timeless Truth. Photo by @PHILKaJo

In Timeless Truths, Dennis explores various themes through a collection of 300 proverbs put together. The themes are in the area of Adversity, Purpose, Change, Diligence, Authenticity, Cheerleaders, Antagonists, Coaches and Faith.

The wealth of this collection is not only by the power of the words here written but also the endorsement of various personalities who have read it.

These proverbs cut across a myriad of topics and yet they are written in the simplest way possible. The author labours to give meaning of each proverb leaving no room for misinterpretation.

Dr Dennis Sempebwa collects the proverbs across the board from the Bible to native languages. However, in all, the author maintains a simplified semantic expression of these timeless truths.

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Dr Dennis D. Sempebwa speaking at the launch of his book. Photo by @Snipet7

“To hear the music inside of you, you’ll first have to turn down everyone else’s,” reads one of the proverbs.

Like Isaac Rucci said at the launch of this book; “This is not one of those books one reads to finish.” Rather, it is one read to reflect. There is a lot hidden in the proverbs that reading them all at one go, one may miss out on the greater detail therein written.

Dennis’ interest is to elevate the position of proverbs from the remote fire place that they were abandoned to the modern school of thought that today’s society subscribes.

The book is on sale on amazon at $10.99. The proceeds from the book sales are to help students in school get copies of the same.
With one copy sold, ten copies are made available to students in schools.

 

Family Planning mu Ndongo

Speaking matters health; who leads the conversation in a relationship?
Many couples shy away from seeking information regarding health. When it comes to men, many assume that only women should be concerned. This is not right.

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A staff member of PHAU

Couples should know about the status of their health and that of their children willingly and cooperatively. Until this is made known to them, chances are; whatever they learn from their circles of friends at a beer party or during salon talk is all taken as the gospel truth.

It is upon this background that  PHAU is organizing Family Planning mu Ndongo. This is a series of events that are being organized in various towns in Uganda teaching the local communities both men and women gathered together about the benefits of family planning and health as a whole to the family. The event is presented in a form of infotainment.

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Entertainers carrying placards with Family Planning Info

Last week, I joined the team for the event that was held at Kasana grounds in Luwero.

In the company of branded bodaboda cyclists with banners talking about family planning, we took a road drive through the  various trading centers in Luwero Town Council as experts talked about family planning and health.

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Branded Bodabodas staging at one of the trading centres

Later, free medical services and checkups were given to the community with counseling services. At the event, there were more women than men a challenge that leaves many loopholes in regards to improving family health.

An open session was later conducted where spouses were urged to maintain hygiene ranging from personal to family to community. PHAU along with her partners provided condoms that were distributed to the youth upon teaching them proper condom usage.

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A facilitator shows the community on how to use a condom

With the free blood testing, many locals took to the lab to have their blood tested.

The event closed with performances from celebrated musicians led by Maro and David Lutalo.

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Musician Maro sings the night away

Photo Credit: PHAU Social Media Team

Who Advocates For the Boy Child

During the #Nyaka15 celebrations,  I met a little  boy, his name, Owen. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up. At 6 years of age, I wondered what dreams I carried in my head. Will there be someone to help Owen realize his? This left me thinking, who advocates for the boy child? When you have traveled far away from the city where things look a little glorious, you will be challenged by the many numbers of young boys on the streets.

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Owen on his from fetching water Continue reading