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…

No wayyy!! Housework?!

This beggars belief. I mean…

Either, white people’s housework does itself - dishes doing themselves, food cooking itself, clothes ironing themselves etc - OR

The rich white people employ the less rich but still rich white people to do their housework, then these less rich employ the less-less rich but still rich to do the housework who in turn employ…uumm…African people?

Every white person owns a car

They are all rich and besides, cars in white people land are cheap. Sigh! Car ownership in Africa has become a status symbol of sorts. Most Africans on a stable salary will shun public transport in favor of owning a car, even if it means securing a loan to buy one.  It’s not uncommon for a Ugandan to drive 500m to work. That’s called ‘living like a muzungu’, a phrase that also applies to those Ugandans well-off enough to buy stuff without haggling over prices first.

They all speak English

Every white person is expected to be able to respond to “How are you today Muzungu? Where are you from? UK? USA?” Other countries don’t exist, that is, until the muzungu stares blankly, shakes his head and says, “German…?”. The enterprising street wise Ugandan will then offer a tentative “Fwancio…?” ‘Fran├žais’ is not a known word unless one studied French.

Paragons of truth

White people don’t cheat, ever! Not on their spouses, friends, business partners, anyone. They have an inability to lie. A white man’s word is taken to be as good as a drawn up, watertight document.

White people LOOOVE Africa

… AND WANT TO HELP. Whites moving in certain Ugandan circles (all circles except campers) will be inundated with sob story after sob story, projects that need funding, people who know people that might need help…etc. There will be those Ugandans quick to create NGOs and ask for donations without putting in a cent of their own money. To them, every white person is a potential donor – travelling white students are not exempt.

White people are all smart

They are all Einsteins. You’ll find that an average no good white is able to make plush living in Africa. He’ll be favored over a brighter African, to lead an African company. He lends it…get this…a professional feel.


Apparently, all of Einstein’s brain isn’t good enough to sniff out a con when one hits a white person in the face. They pay anywhere up to 10x more than the locals for everything and are easy pickings for those ‘street-smart’ Ugandans (unscrupulous and looking to make a quick buck off of the tender hearted). I’ll tell you this though, once the white person has been in Uganda for quite a bit and knows the prices of things and how stuff works, gullible is not a word you’d use to describe them…the free nights out dry up too. 

Any others I might have overlooked, please comment below…


  1. You cracked me a bit()
    He he!

    1. Bring on more :D :D...I know I forgot a few :D

  2. All so true. I am always having conversations about this. It's interesting when reality hits us and this perfect bubble we grew up imagining about white people gets seriously busted.

    1. When I was little, I remember picturing European streets (all from stories I'd heard) as being lined with gold and precious stones :D :D...

  3. White Beggars... hmmm.. you should see Ethiopian beggars.. I have never seen beggars that aggressive.. the muzungu friend we tagged along with had to literally run and you would thing the beggars would give up.. but naa... they run after him.