How Ugandans View White People


Every Ugandan (I’d say African but…), born and raised, will at one time or other have thought that all white people (muzungu) are rich. Some have grown up, made white friends, travelled abroad, religiously read the papers and now know better. Most though, still believe that white people are….

Dollar bills on legs

Other foreign currencies don’t count. What’s believed is, a white man in Africa has money to burn. He’ll get invited to a night out by a spanking new Ugandan friend and will be excited. Lovely right? No. What he won’t have foreseen is; friend will multiply by 5 or more and the bar bill is for the rich to settle. If at the end of the night Muzungu looks unsure or confused, his disadvantaged friends will stretch, shuffle and leave the explaining to the waiter. “Another night out tomorrow?” Yes?

Beggars? What do you take me for…stupid?

No white beggars. Ahh! What the Ugandan doesn’t know is, white beggars are far ahead in the game. Theirs is a well thought out operation, each city unique. Some will be truly destitute, but most will belong to a network of beggars that employs lookouts (for police). Prague beggars wont hassle you for money. They’ll quietly settle in a spot where you could just about trip over them – say, a crowded pavement. They’ll hunch over, forehead buried in a cap bill that will be capped in their gnarled hands, which will in turn be resting on the cobblestone pavement with the cap crown held out for money. They’ll sometimes hug dog tightly while leaning over, displaying wretchedness that strongly tags at one’s heartstrings. Tourists always give…