go to         
Peasant Autonomy
go to the previous page     Nederlands     go to the next page
You want updates of this site? Contact us
You are here: CHRONOLOGICAL


Northern Uganda – 1970

Progress


for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Adam Cohn)

Uganda

“Away with the old villages! We will destroy all stuffy, stinking, unhealthy huts. We will burn down all old villages.” Ocol worked himself up, like he had to address a crowd, and had to stir them up to put an end to all backward African customs.

Exploitation of women and slaves must stop. Also cattle theft, initiation rites, subservience, superstition, and healing rituals where ill children die right before your eyes. Glorifying tribal wars of olden days has to come to an end.

So much poverty is still there. Let villagers do something against it themselves, let them roll up their sleeves instead of blaming 'the politicians' that nothing is happening. Who ever said that in the morning after gaining independence gold as dew-drops would lay on the grass? That the olam trees would rustle of banknotes?


for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Kaj17)

Uganda

He himself is a politician, and he has certainly become a bit richer. That is right. He has a nice house now in the city with a big garden and a Mercedes. So what?! Didn't he fight for Uhuru, for independence? Didn't he ask the minister to build schools in the villages?

By the way, he is still a 'farmer'. He has a big farm in the countryside. Every weekend he goes there. It is delightful to be in the fresh country air and to smell the fragrant earth. He isn't ashamed of it. He has wheat, barley and coffee and a huge flock of sheep. It brings in quite a lot of money. At the same time, he shows the people how to practice agriculture in the profitable, modern way.

To be fair, the village world as it used to be has gone. In fact, there are only two alternatives: you move to the city or you hang yourself. It might sound crude but that is how progress is.

_______________________

Source
In Song of Ocol (1970) of the Ugandan author Okot p'Bitek, an African member of the new elite reacts on the complaints of poor villagers; see Song of Lawino (1966) by the same writer.



Go to next page: From another world - French Alps – 1975
Go to: last published overview