Friday, December 9, 2016

Tech | The Vision Group e-paper collection: What you need to know

So, Vision Group slashed prices for the online versions of their publications several weeks back. The latest figures show all English publications (New Vision, Saturday Vision, Sunday Vision and Kampala Sun) at a flat rate of 1,000 UGX, while all the locals are now at 500 UGX with the sole exception of Bukedde that goes for 800 UGX.

Access to the same is pretty straightforward – all one has to do is access their page at:, choose a paper of their choice and pay for it. There are several options. One may use MTN mobile money, Visa, MasterCard or even Airtel money.

Of the four, I find MTN mobile money most convenient. It’s just a two-step process that only requires you to input your number and go ahead to approve the transaction on your phone (tech junkies like Simon Peter will call it a debit request).

Cue the other option and mother of all bureaucracy comes into play. You will be asked to input about five types of your particulars before you are ushered to the next page that has a further six options including Ezee Money (which, actually, does not work).

Depending on which option you choose, you will still meet another boring catalogue of instructions that you are supposed to execute before you can complete your transaction.  

If you choose Visa, you are supposed to supply your full names, email, address, town, Zip Code and lots of what looks like irrelevant data. I suspect they will soon be asking about the last time you slept on an empty stomach.

While at it, they continue to remind you about how your payment will be processed via Pesapal so that you won’t bitch about it when Pesapal eventually sends you some redundant email seconds after completion of your transaction.

It is a similar story when you choose Airtel Money. There is a business number (111222) you are supposed to send money to, so they can send you a transaction ID that you will feed into that payment portal. You just have to properly quote the reference though – pp – and you are good to go.

Of course Pesapal won’t be done with you, yet. They’ll still tell you how they have successfully completed your transaction. And then the mail will follow, of course. Just in case you are the smart-alec that will demand for transaction confirmation.

The beauty of this is that you will still get your e-paper in pretty much the same format and layout as the printed version. The default view may appear small and illegible, but the bottom panel does have an option of zooming one’s current page to a more user-friendly view.

The default view shows the current version, but you still have the option of checking a paper that was published in the past (I am not sure how far back the history goes, though).

Dan A. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Culture | Gendered Names in different Ethnicities

Yes, we back again. This time we are looking at the existence of gendered names amongst the different cultures in our region.

We have already looked at how some cultures choose names according to prevailing conditions – weather, psychological condition or even one’s thoughts (remember that piece about the Samia?).

Today, we look at gendered names. The Baganda, for example, have a number of male names that start with “S (or sometimes “Ss”), with their female equivalents replacing the “S/Ss” with “Na”. Examples of such names include Semakula (Namajula), Sserwanga (Nalwanga), Ssebulime (Nabulime), Ssenyonjo (Nanyonjo) and others.

For others, the original male is pre-fixed with the syllable: “Na”. Examples of such names include: Mubiru (Namubiru), Mawejje (Namawejje), Mazzi (Namazzi), Mayanja (Namayanja), Lule (Nalule), Musisi (Namusisi), Buyondo (Nabuyondo) among others.

Most Nilotic communities, in general, have gendered names being differentiated by the first letter of the name, where, for example, most Male names that start with “O” have the female equivalents starting with “A”.

Examples of such names include: Okello (Akello), Ochom (Achom), Otim (Atim), Ocan (Acan), Ocen (Acen), Opito (Apito), Odong (Adong) and others.

Amongst the Western Uganda tribes, however, most names are used interchangeably. But further South, amongst the Banyarwanda/Barundi, the name-gendering shows up again.

An interesting pattern in Kinyarwanda has the original male names prefixed by “Muka”. Examples of such names include: Ntabana (Mukantabana), Rwego (Mukarwego), Nkusi (Mukankusi), Nkubano (Mukankubano), Nkunda (Mukankunda) and others.

Still in Kinyarwanda, female equivalents are prefixed with “Nyira” (instead of “Muka”), while some have both versions. One good example is the name: “Yuhi” that has both “Mukayuhi” and “Nyirayuhi”.

What gendered names exist in your culture?