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Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:10 administrator
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Only a few have been spotten on our city roads

Finally, there are Priis (Plural for the Toyota Prius) in our beautiful city. The one I have seen is from the earlier model, when they were still designed as compact sedans. Surely, however, the more modern mid-sized hunchbacks cannot be far behind. In fact, it would not surprise if there one or two already somewhere.

So what is the excitement about?

 

 
Saturday, 17 March 2012 13:28 By Maria Alawua
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Four picks from Different But One 16

In the Western World, in a cultural yet symbolic manner, newlyweds jump over a broom as they cross the threshold of their home within which all of life’s emotional experiences unfold.

The sixteenth ‘coming-together’ of artists from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts symbolically reenacts a ‘crossing over the threshold’-experience. Like newlyweds, or couples renewing their vows, I believe that the Makerere University dons are renewing their commitment to art, to which they are - in every respect - passionately devoted.

 
Saturday, 17 March 2012 13:25 administrator
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Most don’t meet the genuine manufacturer’s standards and breakdown under pressure

Accidents are so commonplace in Uganda that whenever they happen a few tears are shed for a while and then everything is forgotten and everyone, motorists inclusive, returns to their dangerous habits.

But I cannot understand are the police officers who stand before TV cameras to give their view on the cause of the accident.

 
Friday, 09 March 2012 15:50 By Achola Rosario
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Where the deaf, blind, and lame create beauty

She stretched out her hand to re-arrange his legs and then returned to her beading. She was threading beautiful coloured glass beads together and wrapping them around a beautiful hand-blown blue wine glass. She checks again on her son, who is lying on a blanket on the floor at her feet, his arms, knees and ankles twisted by disability. But when I shake his hand hello he does not react in fear like most disabled children do to a stranger. I can actually see his eyes smiling at me. He is used to being around love.


His mother laughs with her colleagues who are sitting at a table, each engrossed in their own craft. One of them, Maria, is in a wheelchair. She is having a conversation in sign-language to her friend to her left, telling her that I am here to do a documentary about human rights and does she have any questions she would like us to record about her human rights. Maria, a happy natty-dread wearing a Bongo Flava grey t-shirt, turns and tells me excitedly- `Yes we will’. I am rather surprised to hear her voice. I had assumed she was deaf.

Welcome to Shanga. As you enter the gate of a picturesque ancient former-coffee estate that looks left-over from some type of classic movie, complete with bright white church and spire on the main road, you enter the Shanga Experience Project, and pass under two trees that fall together into an arch and are artfully draped with more large glass beads. To the right, rows and rows of green glass wine bottles are threaded into curtains that protect the mabati-roofed workshops, where glass bottles are being fed into several large burners and are melted, ready for sculpting. Glass has taken the place of grass on the ground here.

They also have two small cylindrical burners for the specific task of blowing glass into awesome shapes. And all the people who work here, are deaf, blind, or disabled in some form. All earning a decent wage, one they probably would never be earning because in Tanzania, as in most of Africa, the disabled are considered useless. An eager young glass-blower in a green t-shirt and brown overalls talks into my recorder with proud anger: ``I want to ask the judges of the African Court of Human Rights, why is it that me, who went to school up to standard 4, a good school, every time I go look for a job, when I come for interview, they see I am deaf and refuse to give me the job. Why?!’’

Kindness is a language which blind people see and deaf people hear.

There is a website that encourages tourists looking for a different experience to come stay at the Shanga River House.

It proclaims that in the workshops, Shanga recycles aluminum, glass bottles, cloth and paper into hundreds of amazing products, combining ancient African and Venetian techniques with simple, homemade technology. They are the first to blow glass in Tanzania, do aluminum sand casting and make lamp-work beads. All is done by 42 disabled Tanzanians who never had a chance to work before.

Shanga River House is down the valley below the workshops and the retail gallery where visitors can peruse what actually fits the cliché word `Aladdin’s cave’’. Metallic screens strung with silver disks of diamond-like glass beads, mixed with ½ inch circular cut offs of clear glass bottles are strung together to make a ultra-contemporary take of a Japanese screen that has a vivid African feel to it. The calabash lamp that has become the norm in most craft shops is re-vitalised here by making the shape of a calabash out of wire and stringing it with gold-colored glass beads, making the light refract beautifully out of each tiny bead like a medal. The obligatory handbags, t-shirts and children’s kitenge clothing are all made with such originality of design and superb finishing that they are items you would proudly wear everyday and declare it a designer piece.

Suc h pride is pervasive in every piece made and displayed.They also have a Tanzanite Experience branch at the Shanga Shop, where you can buy responsible Tanzanite straight from the source. All Tanzanite income goes towards supporting the project.

I was struck most by the theme of recycling in this place and its people. It is something so integral in their thinking personally, that even energy itself, it seems, is recycled. Positive energy engulfs the place, heightened by the clinking of the glass bottle screens against each other in the wind, that encourages you, the visitor, in turn to release your positive energy into the place and the people. And you get it back in doses. I for one, not only got the honor of recording the opinions of such amazingly strong artisans and the dedicated staff who run this place, but I also got given a wonderful hand-blown glass cone, that was destined to become a golf trophy, but was instead given to me by my green t-shirted politician-in-the-making friend, for giving him the chance to express himself.

You can find Shanga & River House through these contacts:www.shanga.orgemail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel: +255 787 255 777

 
Friday, 09 March 2012 15:39 administrator
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A memoir of the “Mad Men” era brings fresh perspective on all that sex and drinking

Advertising has one aim: to pitch a product as something desirable. There are different ways to move the merchandise—this car or that cereal or this beer will make you feel younger, slimmer, sexier. This may be the only thing the Pillsbury Doughboy and David Beckham have in common: They mean to persuade you that dinner rolls and cotton briefs, respectively, are something you need—or better yet, crave.

 
Friday, 09 March 2012 15:33 administrator
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Here is why you shouldn’t rush to pour water in the radiator

Everybody is these days talking about how cold it has become compared to how hot is was just last month. The temperature swings mean the roads are either very wet or very dusty. Our vehicles, not surprisingly, feel exactly the same way. When it hot in the engine they get really thirsty. Due to the high temperatures, the engine – just like a thirsty person on a hot day, consumes more water than usual. If the thirst persists, just like a dehydrated person, many engines break down because of lack of water.

 
Friday, 02 March 2012 19:35 By Dominic Muwanguzi
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Mugalu’s raw colours create fantasy and magic on the canvas

AKA Gallery in Kampala is this week featuring an exhibition by Uganda’s renowned self-taught painter, Edison Mugalu.

The painting exude Mugalu’s usual rawness; with no particular inclinations to any particular textbook genre or art principles.  This he blends well with his constant theme of reflections where he paints waterscapes, coastal towns like Zanzibar and fish markets. You will still find a man standing by the shoreline and fishing, women collecting sea shells, and a couple sitting standing by the shoreline and watching the sun set.

 
Friday, 02 March 2012 19:25 By Maria Alawua
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An artist’s quest to give the future a visual inheritance as the old Kampala makes way for the new

It took Jjuuko Hoods, one of Uganda’s most productive, self-motivated and energetic artists, two years of soul-searching, looking back at his past artistic achievements and experiences, to acknowledge that a turn-away from the contemporary mainstream crowd of artists’ was not an option to be debated about but a must to be acted upon.

 
Friday, 02 March 2012 19:18 administrator
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How he made money off knowing what consumers want before they knew they did

James D. Scurlock’s King Larry is a fun, trashy analog to Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, Scurlock’s subject, Larry Hillblom, the founder of the express-delivery pioneer DHL, was a postwar California boy who bootstrapped his way out of his working-class background through preternatural drive and iconoclastic vision. Like Jobs, Hillblom flouted corporate convention by attending meetings in blue jeans and not giving a damn about consensus and social niceties. Also like Jobs, Hillblom had a gift for anticipating consumer needs before consumers did—and was rewarded richly for his prescience.

 

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