Country in East Africa and a former British colony. Ethnically diverse, with quite a few South Asians in the country.
The most notable Ugandan has to be Idi Amin, who pretty much wrote the book on being an African dictator. Killed between 80,000 and 500,000 people before being deposed after starting a war with Tanzania. Oft-depicted in the West at the time as a rather comical figure, he ended up awarding himself the title of: "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire ["CBE"] in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular." He also declared himself the king of Scotland, hence the film The Last King of Scotland. He was wildly believed to be crazy, and popular legend holds that he may have been a cannibal.
A rebel organization called the Lord's Resistance Army used to control Northern Uganda. Known for widespread use of Child Soldiers, and for the fact that its leader, a man named Joseph Kony, is completely off his nut (sensing a theme here?). His followers believe a strange mixture of Christianity and animist beliefs, and a many people's fear of Kony stems from the belief that he has magical powers. The Vertigo reboot of the comic book Unknown Soldier is set in Northern Uganda and deals with conflicts with the LRA.
Joseph Kony's actions reached the attention of American activists in 2012, who staged a very ambitious campaign of supporting the capturing of Kony by December of that year, by making him famous (it didn't work). Their goals are explained here.
The country is known for its criminalisation of homosexuality. In 2009, a Ugandan MP tried passing a bill that would either imprison or kill anyone with HIV, anyone who engages in homosexual sex, or anyone who knows anyone who engages in homosexual sex and doesn't report it to the authorities. To be totally fair, the death penalty would "only" apply to homosexuals who raped children or those who were disabled, but it is an outrage nonetheless. International uproar has pulled the death penalty part of the bill, but the ridiculously harsh sentences are still in it. Reasons for this? Ask this guy...
Also (with neighbors Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Burundi) trying to create a federation out of the East African Community customs and trade bloc. If they succeed, it will create an east-African "super state" with over 100 million people and more land area than almost any other country in Africa, one of the most populous Christian-majority states in the world, and probably enough power to shake up East African politics for a long, long time.
Media set in Uganda:
- General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait is a documentary about...guess who
- The Last King of Scotland, as noted above, a Sidelong Glance Biopic of Idi Amin
- Raid on Entebbe, a 1977 TV movie about the Israeli commando raid that freed their hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda
- Operation Thunderbolt, 1977 Israeli film also about the commando raid at Entebbe Airport
- Queen of Katwe, a Biopic of Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi
- The Wild and the Brave is a 1974 documentary about a Ugandan natural park, and the handover from the last white warden to the first African one.
Creators from Uganda
- Florence Kasumba was born in Uganda
The Ugandan flag