11 Weird Facts About Uganda You Never Knew

Uganda is a landlocked East African country.  It is bordered on the eastern side by Kenya, on the southwestern side by Rwanda, on the southern side by Tanzania, on the western side by DR Congo, and on the northern side by South Sudan.  The country’s diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and the immense Lake Victoria.  Uganda is the world’s second most populous country after Ethiopia.

However, outside these generally known facts, there are a number of others which many people do not know.  Most of these generally unknown facts, you will find, are truly weird.  Look at the following, for example.  How come it is sometimes a bit difficult to directly comprehend Ugandans? What kind of symbol has lateness become in Uganda?  Exposing what part of the body gets the defaulter tagged a prostitute?

Get the answers to all these and more in these 11 weird facts about Uganda. Enjoy!

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Capital:                         Kampala

Official Languages:       Swahili, English

Government:                 Dominant Party Semi-Presidential Republic

President:                     Yoweri Museveni

Population                    37,873,253 (2016 Estimate)

Currency:                      Ugandan Shilling


Weird Facts About Uganda

1. Communication Style

Ugandans prefer the indirect communications style to the direct.  They use anecdotes, stories, and proverbs to drive home their points indirectly.  The truly weird part is that, this style of communication usually requires the full intellect of the listener to comprehend.

2. True Feelings Hardly Expressed

Most times, true feelings are not really expressed among adults.  Sometimes, one even gets the feeling of being overly fawned upon with false happiness.  But it is necessary to understand that Ugandans love a good joke.

3. Personal Space Issues

Personal space is rare when two people of same sex are talking.  But when two people of opposite sex are talking, there is good personal space.  In fact, there is hardly any touching when two people of opposite sex are talking.  Isn’t that simply weird, don’t you think?

4. Eye Contact; But no Staring

As regards eye contact, generally people prefer doing it indirectly.  They would look at the general area of your face, not really into your eyes.  This not to say you cannot look at somebody directly.  What is not a must is continuous staring.

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5. Punctuality is nearly Nil

In Uganda, people are not generally concerned with punctuality.  It is generally known and accepted that people would arrive within the first one to two hours after an appointed time.  If you fix an appointment for 1200 for instance, expect to wait till one or two PM.  Talk about weird!!!

6. Lateness is Status Symbol

The lateness is such that it has come to be a status symbol.  The higher the status of the person, the later he/she is expected to turn up for an appointment.  Also, the more prestigious an even is, the later the guests are expected to turn up.

7. Legs Must be Covered

In rural areas, it is a must for women to cover their body well, especially the legs.  Too much leg exposure can earn the defaulter the local name for prostitute.  It is really weird that the leg seems to be the sexual symbol of the rural Ugandan society.

8. Taxi Hailing Gestures

To hail a taxi in urban Uganda, here are the gestures you need to learn:

  • Pointing straight upwards repeatedly means…I’m going far.
  • Pointing down …means I’m going just nearby.
  • Hand flat and open towards the ground at waist level…I’m not going too far but not too close.

9. No Finger Pointing

Ugandans hate it when you point at them with the index finger.  In fact, it is same in most East African countries.  To them, such is an insult; and so pointing that way is meant only for dogs and other animals.  Instead, use the whole arm.

10. Taboos Around Food

It is a taboo to step over any bowl of food.  Instead, it is advised to walk round it.  So, even it means spending an hour to walk round it when stepping over it would have taken just a second, you must walk round it!  Well, that is not so weird, is it?

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11. Men Must Wear Trousers

Men almost always wear trousers.  This is so even when the weather is blazing hot.  Men who wear shorts are seen as immature, as boys.  Foreigners who wear shorts might be forgiven.  But still others would have laughed at you before they realize you are a foreigner.



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