African Politics

We have a limited democracy around here

It’s dinner. The vote goes in the kids’ favour for what DVD we will watch this evening. (Dad’s latest find, a biography on Rich Mullins, will wait another night for, uh, Laura Ingills and company.) “Thank God for whoever invented democracy,” says Jon. “The Greeks did,” I noted. (More on this soon: some news from …

We have a limited democracy around here Read More »

Read More

Hello, democracy? This is Africa calling. Again.

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, March 3, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Is this you? Democracy? It's me, Africa, calling. Can we talk? About us? About our relationship? I mean, are you still interested?
Read More

Wrestling with angels

(Christian Week - May 2015) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It was an unremarkable day, birds and the African sunshine, the sound of a distant lawnmower, the dog laying quiet in back, shoes nearby, tea, a half-eaten yogurt, when fear washed over me like a river. Nightmares, yes, can come anytime.
Read More

Why you should always vote, exasperated or not

She was a neighbour crossing the street and we like to have a conversation with each other here and there and I rolled down the window of the van. “Hey. How ya doin?” I said. “Did you vote?” “No,” she said, with a rather exasperated expression. “No. I can’t be bothered. I can’t be bothered …

Why you should always vote, exasperated or not Read More »

Read More

Uganda is Gay Ground Zero thanks to fear, politics and misguided religiosity

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, March 15, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦Fear is a strange thing, which is why it’s so hard to look into the eyes of another human being that you’re about to gas or bomb or, in the case of Uganda’s gays, throw to the lions. This is also why President Yoweri Museveni recently refused to meet with Uganda’s gay community – there were repeated requests – before signing Uganda’s infamous anti-gay law. The new law means even touching with the intent of a homosexual act – try to prove or disprove this one – will get you seven years. Short of jail, a life-sentence for a single homosexual act, there’s obviously also a new chill on the street here.
Read More

Love is our highest calling

(Christian Week - March 12, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ By now you’ve heard plenty about Uganda’s new toughened laws on homosexuality, the news that spread to the West with the fanfare of a dark sporting event. Even short of jail—terms range from seven years to life—it’s a new day of survival in a horrible state-sanctioned chill. Several weeks in, like so many things in developing nations, it’s hard to know all that’s happening. Was that murder really a robbery gone bad? And that street beating? Why did she really lose her job? Many things simply don’t make the news here in Uganda.
Read More

What we can learn from Nelson Mandela about solitude

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, February 1, 2014) It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. — From the poem Invictus KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Much has been made about the tremendous story from Africa that ended 2013, that of Nelson Mandela and the worldwide send-off he was given, and rightly so. Mandela will be remembered as the embodiment of William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, that 19th-century verse describing a man who, as Henley put it, fell in the clutch of circumstance, who knew the bludgeonings of chance and bloody head, who found wrath and tears and horror, but through it all was unafraid and, in the end, “captain of his soul.” Well over a month after Mandela’s death, his name is still easily spoken across Africa.
Read More

And now onsreen in Uganda, it’s Rob Ford

(The Hamilton Spectator - November 23, 2013) KAMPALA, UGANDA – When Rob Ford first appeared onscreen in Africa I was sitting in front of some public televisions, a place where I often work, reading about Ghandi. It was strange because Gandhi, the great Indian leader, led a fifth of the world's people to democracy in his bare-feet, boney and malnourished and wrapped in just a sort of bed-sheet, while the burly mayor of Toronto has become a small man even while, in heavy shoes, he’s fallen with such a thud that it somehow has to be heard around the world. The last time I recall Ontario news making it this far was six years ago when the Shedden massacre involving the infamous Banditos gang got a couple of paragraphs in a Ugandan daily.
Read More

Will Barack Obama come to Africa?

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, February 16, 2013) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It was YouTube and it was Barack Obama talking to the neighbours in Kenya. You may have heard that they’re about to vote. The last time the Kenyans did this, six years ago, 1,000 lay dead on the bloody streets. Another 600,000 were displaced, including here to Uganda where UN shelters near the airport are still up.
Read More

Here is Africa. Don’t be afraid

(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday, January 25, 2013) ARUSHA, TANSANIA ✦ Edward should be fired. I can't trust Alice. And our piano and laptop won’t resurface any more than anyone will know what happened to that $13 million. This is how it’s going around here. Not right here, actually. I’m on business one country over, just southeast from my home in Uganda. At the moment I’m drinking a cider of sorts, what the gentleman beside me called 'rotten apples,' a pretty good name, I think, for my recent experiences.
Read More

Where words, mere words, mean trouble

The official charge is ignoring orders of a public official. But the real problem is words. Just words. You know, words can be enough. Too much, even, when they say this and that; when they’re relevant and lacerating; when they’re passed to others and speak more than anyone even realizes; when they speak truth that isn’t just truth to be understood, but that deeper truth that causes a lump in your throat because you know someone has experienced it with some amount of pain.
Read More

Africa changing — in some places

The revolutionary spirit sweeping North Africa isn’t coming to Black Africa — yet.
Read More

Now we need to forgive each other: Yusuf

Somalia wants to move forward, but it has a horrifying past to deal with.
Read More

Violence erupts after Uganda’s leader muzzles rival

In the mysterious game of African poker politics, you have to wonder if even a seasoned fox like Yoweri Museveni is not overplaying his hand.
Read More

The everyday feel of death

In Uganda, the land has uncommon beauty, and life has its own strange mix of dark memories of killings, talk of restorative justice, and forgiveness.
Read More

Stay in Touch with Thomas Froese

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top