Uganda, Sseko’s home in Eastern Africa, is a lush and verdant country, containing a large portion of the renowned Lake Victoria, as well as the source of the Nile River. It is bordered by Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Uganda was originally named after the Buganda Kingdom which spread across most of the country, after which it was colonized by the British. Uganda acquired independence in October, 1962, and while it has suffered during some civil unrest, it is a fairly safe country, currently under the rule of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. We asked the Sseko ladies what they loved most about their country, and while we heard an array of answers, what we gleaned from their responses was their great pride for their homeland.
Aunt Florence is from the region of the West Nile, an area in the northwest corner of Uganda that draws its name from the fact that you have to cross over the Nile River to reach it. Aunt Florence reminisces about her childhood enjoying the Nile River and its many benefits. “It’s very pretty and a large river. I really liked it because of the delicious fish. And the water was salty so you can boil tomatoes with it and don’t have to add spices. We never lacked water. If you wanted a shower, you could go down to the river. And if you wanted to swim you could go down to the river. The only problem is that there are worms in the river that get inside you and go all the way up to your liver. It makes your stomach swell and it causes very many deaths. Too many. I also like that we have fruits, fish, meat, greens and matooke. We always eat fresh in Uganda. We cook our local food and we like it so much.”
Beatrice, also from a village in northern Uganda, on the South Sudanese border, says “I love Uganda because it is my motherland. I like it because I belong to it. We are rich in many things. We always have fresh fruit and so many things. I like village life because you can make anything you need with your hands. You don’t have to spend extra money on things.”
Sharon is a young girl, working hard to provide for her family and she describes how thankful she is for the safety and security in her country. “My favorite thing about Uganda is that there is peace. We hear on the radio that there is so much war and what-what in the world, but not here in Uganda. We also stand up for what we believe. Ugandan’s know what they are and they work hard. We have discipline and we respect people as our culture says.”
(view of Lake Victoria from the workshop)
Vicki, Josephine and Teopista share how much they like the environment and weather. “I like Uganda because of the environment and it’s a unique country. So many people and countries are interested in the Ugandan environment and that makes me proud of my country. There is green color everywhere and the weather is very nice,” Teopista says.
Harriet and Aunt Sarah enjoy the Ugandan food most of all. “I like the food in Uganda. My favorite is matooke and meat,” Harriet says. Aunt Sarah agrees, “I also like the food very much. My favorite meal is pilau (a peanut sauce), matooke and meat.”
Overall, the women love their country, and we do too. What we love most of all, is our Sseko ladies and how much they care for their country.