Titanic Struggle of Ideology and Wit at UBHH 2.0
an important note: Come one, come all, and vote for the Uganda Best of Blogs 2006! If you've enjoyed the thoughtful commentary and irreverance coming from everyone's favorite land locked East African nation, take a few minutes to review the nominees in categories like Uganda Blog of the Year, Best Design and and Best Writing. I'm honored to be nominated in the Best Photography category for my picture of the adorable Tashfanish of Kabalagala fame. Also, kudos to my good friend Jackfruity, who with formidable organizational force, put together both the latest Uganda Bloggers Happy Hour (see below) and the Best of Blogs Awards. Now to the post...
Who knew the titanic ideological struggle between capitalism and communism that dominated the second half of the 20th century would again rear its ugly head last week at a bar in downtown Kampala. Two wily bloggers with sharp writing skills, opposed in both disposition of wit and ideology, emerged at the second Uganda Bloggers Happy Hour as the new court jesters of Uganda blogging.
I'm speaking of none other than Dennis Matanda and the 27th Comrade. Dennis is a provocateur in a suit. He is the charming and witty marketeer turned banking consultant who introduced himself by reciting a limerick at the first Ugandan Blogger's Happy Hour. Neither Dennis or I remembered this when I saw him at our first happy hour, but we had met two years ago when he worked for Uganda's premier marketing outfit. While he works with Kampala's well-educated elite, his writings are akin to a fire-bell in the night, surely to wake the well fed members of Uganda's political class.
In the other corner is the 27th Comrade. Known more for his withdrawn and dry humor, 27th is probably the only communist in Uganda. He's a web designer and artist whose preferred medium seems to be Microsoft Paint (see left). I get the sense that 27th is a loner in the tradition of Nietzsche: brilliance muddled by madness. I'm not sure if anyone in this day and age can seriously espouse communism as a political ethos, and just to put it out there as a theory, maybe 27th is not a real communist but a guy who wants to both express the perils of conformity in a country where conformity is valued and the failure of the Washington Consensus to do more to lift his country out of poverty. Maybe one day we'll do an interview and get to the bottom of this mysterious character.
I love these guys. 27th and Dennis both had post-UBHH 2.0 comments taking gentle pot shots at each other. But we can all be comforted that despite their vast differences, they can find common ground in announcing their attraction to Jackfruity.