Bringing change to bear with Africa-appropriate GMO science communication

  • NEWS
Preaching to Africa's GMO-averse countries and publics about the long-term merits of GM technology to the continent's agriculture systems remains very much a work in progress. More often than not, ignorance of the virtues of GM technology and unwarranted anti-GMO lobby narratives have stood in the way of progress. In recent years, however, the tide...

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The male mind is not a terrible thing afterall

  • SOCIAL

That Kendrick Lamar Song"b**tch don't kill my vibemay be old now but it still resonates heavily in my world.

It is a song that speaks huge volumes about the male psyche in many ways. 
In it, Kendrick who is rumoured to be releasing a new album under the title "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers"  expresses his desire to be left alone; on occasion that is. He tells his hypothetical beau to eschew killing his vibe [ruining his mood].

Now I can not claim to speak for every male, but that song is mood music, because guys often have those off days, when we are just indisposed to having a conversation.



Today’s world bears down quite hard on a male mind and it sure does put a heavy damper on it in my part of the world. As a consequence, 
Mood disorders have been on the rise.

The world has of late also been bearing down hard on many young women but their harsh realities and mood disorders pale in comparison to those of today's young man.


At times its just the need for self introspection or just the usual collection of thoughts that explains why he is not his usual cheerful self. But you also to appreciate that the less men think, they more they talk. Not a good thing.

Because the female mind is wired differently, some women make wrong readings of what is playing out when a male mind is having its off days. 
At worst, is when the female mind put false constructs on things; thinking if a male they are attached to seeks time alone, he is up to no good. Credulous thinking like that often leads nowhere but up a blind alley.



Desiring time alone-without being disturbed is an occasional male mood that happens when one least expects.Well, sometimes it is expected especially, when days do not go as you anticipate. Not by any long shot, does it mean however that a man is doing stuff behind your back or that he is deliberately acting out of character to make you angry. 



At times, those lonely as a cloud moments are all men need to get their mojos back, with the worldly pressures they face.


Author John Gray couldn’t have brought it out better in his book “Men are from mars and women are from Venus” In it, Gray mostly talks about male and female relationships and how we defer. He describes men as sly; saying little and having a tendency to get away if they feel too closed in some space.

Women on the other hand are described as outgoing, good humored and social. Now that is the distinction.

The desire by some men to have time off alone has nothing to do with emotionally immaturity or introversion.It has everything to do with laying to heart one’s deepest fears, inner battles, frustrations, insecurities, struggles, challenges and failures.

Because men have been taught to show-fortitude in the face of adversity, and misery, they won’t, in most cases, just lay bare their feelings or poignant thoughts.  No man wants to be looked at a wussy or a wimp.

Here is the take-home-the “unspoken word does no harm”. So if he has not spoken daggers at you, take a chill pill and put all your hunches on the back burner.

  

 

MARY MAYATSA A TRAILBLAZING TEACHER TRANSFORMING RURAL MBALE

American Historian, Henry Adams put it aptly, when he said teachers affect eternity and can never tell where their influence stops. That maxim in many ways speaks to the legacy and influence of 60 year old veteran teacher, Mary Khalayi Mayatsa.
Mayatsa, a mother of 9 has been teaching for 40 years and is on the face of it, not about to slow down. She recently decided to come back in harness and teach, though she had formally retired. “I retired honorably as a secondary school head teacher. I still teach because I want to serve as an example and to help others achieve,” the Mbale based mayatsa says.

Mayatsa’s erstwhile students speak of her in high terms especially as regards the influence she had on them. 28 year old Rogers Wekesa, a construction worker says Mayatsa molded her into the disciplined and hard working person he is today.
“She was an outstanding teacher and a strict disciplinarian who emphasized hard work and diligence to all her students. In many respects, the precepts she stressed to me at school have laid a strong path for me in life. That path has seen me bring a value to my life and to other people’s lives,” Wekesa says.

Mayatsa came out retirement in 2012. She is currently head teacher at Nyanga Integrated Primary school in Bumboi, Mbale. The school is family owned and a brain child of her late husband, George William Mayatsa, who himself was an Educationist.
At present, the school only has only a Primary section, though it had a Vocational section in its early fledgling days. In Mukhuwa and Bumarobole village, Bumboi, where the school is located, Mayatsa has struck quite a chord with the locals.
“Most people living in the villages surrounding the school are thankful that the school is operating again and that Mayatsa is in charge. She is a lady with a big heart and down to earth as a person and as a teacher. She like her late husband has helped a lot of people in this area and not only in terms of education. In many ways, the teaching service she is offering now at the school is a welcome development as most of our children are now going back to school,” Idi Makhafu, an elder in Mukhuwa village notes.

ACADEMIC FORTUNES CHANGE
There was a favourable change in Nyanga’s academic performance trajectory when Mayatsa took over the reins in 2013 after her retirement. 12 out of 14 school pupils got second grades in the PLE exams that year. That was quite a feat considering that the school was just getting back on track and is located in a remote place, devoid of power and short on teachers. Last year 15 pupils sat for PLE exams. 12 got second grades. The rest got third grades. Mayatsa expects even better results this year and even more pupils to enroll at the school.
She teaches Mathematics. Erick Sakwa, deputy RDC Jinja, one of Mayatsa’s erstwhile students says the good performance of the school’s pupils in the years after Mayatsa took over speaks volumes about her dedicated efforts towards teaching.

ON MAKING THE TRANSITION TO TEACH IN PRIMARY
Mayatsa is a secondary school teacher by training but she says making the transition to teach in Primary was not a tall order. “I had to break the mould and bring my wealth of experience to bear at the school. We had few teachers and I owed to myself to myself, my family and the school to teach and pass on knowledge. The area where the school is situated has many children but few go to school. I wanted to be part and parcel of the change in that status quo in the area,” Mayatsa says.

LOOKING BACK AT HER BEGINNINGS
Mayatsa begun teaching and tutoring in the late 70’s. “After completion of my studies at Kyambogo and Makerere, I taught at Shimoni teacher training College. That was from 1976-1981. From 1982-1991, I tutored at Nyondo Primary teachers College in Mbale. From 1992-2002, I taught and also shouldered responsibilities as a deputy head teacher at Mbale high school.  From 2003-2009, I was head teacher at Wabwala Secondary school,” she says.

Mayatsa says she cherished the experience of teaching at the threshold of her career, because of the consistent acknowledgement and respect, teachers got.  “Notwithstanding challenges like low pay and the turmoil the country was experiencing, teaching in the years of old was in many respects a worthwhile endeavour. There was a certain fulfillment that deeply endeared us to the teaching profession. Most people formed the decision to join the teaching trade because of the acknowledgements and laurels teachers often got. It was hard to find people who joined the profession as a last resort, like the way it is these days. The government needs to rethink the issue of teacher supervision and evaluation to improve the quality of teachers being churned out,” she says.

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Podcast: The jumbled world of Ugandan Politics

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Uganda's elections are on the horizon and there are indications that the country will likely be a tinderbox as the country goes to the polls early next year. Will the country be a political risk hotspot? At present, its short term political risk index from Marsh, the World's global leader in risk management does not make for goo...

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Podcast: Trump disapprovingly branded African nations as S-Hole nations. Look who is acting like despots from some of those nations now.

  • NEWS
So we now know for sure that an election loss is not after all a bitter pill to swallow for disgruntled African Politicians only. By refusing to concede defeat to Joe Biden in what US authorities are calling one of the most secure elections in US history, Trump has shown the world that he has something in common with some of the third world's paria...

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Podcast: It's the Climax: Trump or Biden, who will emerge victor of the 2020 US Presidential Election?

  • NEWS
In this Podcast, I cast an eye on the most important day in the American electoral process, which dawned yesterday. It coincided with the nomination of firebrand Ugandan Politician /Musician, Bobi Wine as a Presidential candidate.As the day progresses, many global citizens, myself included, will be watching keenly as one of the most ...

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Podcast: African security forces brutality during Covid-19 lock-downs-Part 2

  • NEWS
In part two of this Podcast, I disabuse some of the false impressions created by some western media outlets on the heavy-handedness of some African security forces during COVID-19 lockdowns. Some headlines in western media like the [France 24] April story headline entitled-" Curfew crackdowns in several African countries kill more people than ...

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Podcast: African security forces brutality during Covid-19 lock-downs-Part 1

  • NEWS
In part one of this Podcast, I speak at length about the brutality of Ugandan and other African security forces during the COVID-19 lockdowns. I sounded out seasoned Ugandan lawyers on the issue and also spoke to Felix Okia, a social worker in Bukedea, Eastern Uganda, who was wrongly arrested for ostensibly moving past the 7 p.m curf...

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Episode 2: Anti-racism/anti-police brutality songs.

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In episode two of this podcast, I present to you more flavours of some powerful anti-racism/anti-police brutality songs. The 2019 Ugandan anti-police brutality song "Afande" by the firebrand People Power President, Bobi Wine is included and also in one of the Africa anti-racism protests sound bytes I use, a Nigerian protestor tells a short sto...

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