Art, Culture, Books and Travel

A Dam Relief for Uganda!

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In media, human beings enjoy two things: bad news and good entertainment. A Dam Relief focuses on the latter. And by networking with many Ugandans, we discovered that Uganda does indeed have talent!

In May 2012 Max Bilbow (Director of Rattle Media Ltd), with the backing of Nile Breweries, embarked on a unique promotional project for Uganda’s culture and tourism.

A Dam Relief initially focused Jinja – the source of The Nile and adventure capital of Africa – because the recent economic downturn, coupled with an onslaught of negative western press, had damaged Uganda’s reputation as a stable developing nation.

A Dam Relief is not a business; it is not a charity. It is an ongoing campaign that has no religious or political bias.It’s core principles are positivity, connecting innovative creative passionate Ugandans and expats, and shining a light on all that is brilliant about Uganda.

It is not the place of foreigners to tell Ugandans what is right and wrong; as more Ugandans connect and discuss social issues, they are beginning to work solve their own problems.

As well as creating videos that promote tourism and dispel misconceptions, Max also worked with a variety of people, mostly Ugandans, to inspire them to create positive spectacles that have a knock-on effect:

On July 6th 2012, Jinja hosted a Stand-up comedy show that sold out over 600 seats (mostly local Ugandans). The line up included a Ugandan musician, 3 ammeter comedians, who auditioned on local radio, and 5 of Uganda’s top professional comedians.

The event, run almost entirely by local Ugandans, was a renowned success. An event that no one thought was possible to host in Jinja has been shown to be possible. Futures events will will slowly become a regular occurrence, circulating money  and driving Jinja’s economy, self-belief and creativity, hence accelerating its development both economically and culturally.

By the end of the initial three months, a new air of optimism could be felt all around Jinja, particularly in the tourism industry. At last count there are nearly 40 genuine tourist activities in Jinja (including white-water rafting – something that was wrongly believed to be destroyed by the new dam). Paint balling and paragliding are two of the latest additions.

To find out more about A Dam Relief, visit
The Facebook page, after three months, had over 22,000 fans.

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