Last weekend, Uganda was host to Pope Francis – the people’s Pope. A new kind of Pope. The one who washes and kisses the feet of the sick (a la Jesus) and allows children passed his security detail. The guy who has a master’s degree in Chemistry and worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires to pay his school fees. Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year. The first non-European Pope (since the 8th Century!).
An interesting guy to say the least. Pope Francis in Uganda! Woo-hoo!
Since I’m not the religious type, the fun in this event was how Uganda, East Africa, and world reacted to it.
Kampala traffic is well known and not always organized. In order to keep time during his hectic schedule, and in honour of Pope Francis’ humble transportation choices while in the region, we had this hilarious commentary:
As people who love to laugh in the face of absurdities, Ugandans circulated this meme WIDELY:
His visit also may have opened up a much needed conversation between some very powerful men:
We were a little pissed off when we saw this:
But bounced back quickly when we considered the source.
What many people around the world don’t know is that Uganda is home to Uganda Martyr’s Shrines at Namugongo (actually just a few kilometres from my home in Mukono). Back in 1886, the then sitting Kabaka (King) of Buganda sentenced a number of Christians, Catholic and Anglican, to death for “disobedience” (being committed to Christianity). They were summarily burned. Pope Francis visited the shrines and held Mass at Namugongo during his visit. Our current Kabaka attended this Mass. Pope and Kabaka also met privately that evening.
Something else rad? Even though the original Christian missionaries tried to stifle traditional cultural practices all over Africa in favour of adopting Christian rites (and to some extent succeeded), Pope Francis was met with traditional dancing and drumming on arrival at the airport.
(Photo credits: The Observer and The New Vision)
Betcha he was totally stoked!
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