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Will ‘celebrity’ visit boost Uganda tourism?

Kanye West and family arrive at Masulita children’s home recently

Following with ‘little’ enthusiasm, the visit of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to Uganda, it ended as it started with no significance to Uganda.

However, it seems that there was a benefit for the couple who portrayed themselves in the social media as charitable.
Kim was filming and posting on social media her husband while ‘donating’ white sneakers to children in a Ugandan school. They also gave a pair to the President when they visited him.

I went online to read about the reaction of people outside of Uganda about this visit, and what I found was interesting, but also expected. There was not much about the beautiful Uganda, some of the comments were about the patronising attitude in the school and the disrespectful attire the couple wore while visiting the highest authority in the land, the President.

For more than a decade that I have been writing for this publication, Uganda and her beautiful nature and amazing tourism potential have been a rich source of inspiration. At the centre of my articles is one fact: Uganda, unfortunately remains a hidden gem when it comes to tourism.
With so much to offer, at every corner of its territory, there should be many more tourists booking their flights to this throbbing heart of Africa.

On a positive note, I recall a famous African American Hollywood star who was also on a visit to Uganda. Being a big fan, I was over the moon meeting him at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. He was sitting with my Ugandan Father, John Nagenda, in the outdoor restaurant, when I joined them.

This multiple awards winner struck me as the kindest and most humble celebrity one could ever meet. It took quite a while for the patrons of the restaurant to know that they had a celebrity among them. We chatted about different things, and the smile never left his face. As all good things come to an end, he had to make an early exit and said he had an early morning road travel plan within Uganda, without mentioning where and why he was making that long trip, he then excused himself and left.

It was only after his departure, that Mr Nagenda told me where he was headed next day. I learnt that he was ‘since sometime now’, involved in a charity organisation upcountry, and he was going there to follow up and visit.
Not choosing to boast about his work, I choose not to mention his name, I believe ‘as a famous saying goes’: The best charity is one done when your left hand, doesn’t know what your right hand did.

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