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GLOBAL CULTURE

September Spotlight: Alex Ssbakiwa

September Spotlight: Alex Ssbakiwa
Abby Duran September 12, 2020

Uganda is considered the Pearl of Africa, rich in color and hospitality. Kampala is the nation’s capital and host for many tourists and ex-pats. Over 30 languages are spoken and met with religious recognitions; however, most are Christian or Muslim. The gomesi or busuuti is the traditional dress of the nation.

For Alex Ssbakiwa, Uganda was peaceful growing up. Yet he affirms that the nation’s current relationship with its past and present self is shifting. The uneven distribution of funds from its current dictatorship has many citizens living well below the poverty line.

According to Ssbakiwa, Most of the land is owned by absentee landlords, many who flock to neighboring nations for a more prosperous living. He expresses that “the lack of employment and tribalism is a root cause.” Minimum wages are non-existent.

Despite the political and economic upset, their culture is vast. Ugandans are adopting the universal music market; however, only government support exists for a select few. Eddy Kenzo is the most significant modern contribution, recently receiving a BET award. Another musician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, has taken an active role as a popular presidential opposition.

Given an uncertain future, Ssbakiwa places his faith and two hands in his community. Through his organization, Zion’s Children’s Orphanage, he provides shelter, schooling, and medicine to roughly 250 children. Furthermore, he assists his friends and neighbors in any approach he can.

Due to changes within the government’s charity laws, he no longer receives financial assistance. An unstable management team has led to starting from the ground up. Notwithstanding these downfalls, his vision has always been what can he provide for his community. His hopes for ZCO to own land and provide a safe and sanitary station derives from his faith.

VeraNation will be raising funds this month in our first Virtual Art Fundraiser. Donors can contribute a minimum of $5 via Venmo (@Abby-Duran Veranation logo should appear) and state in the message box which artwork they wish to raffle on. Winners will be announced one week from today. Contributions will be itemized and sent directly to Alex Ssbakiwa.

 

Zion’s Children’s Orphanage 

ZCO Instagram

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