2012 was one of the happiest years in Uganda's history. Sweet memories range from Ugandans electing Africa's youngest Member of Parliament to the country's 50 year independence celebrations.
But 2012 was not so good for soccer lovers as Uganda failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations taking place this month in South Africa.
Let's look at some issues and events which created buzz on the internet in Uganda.
Uganda Marks 50 years of Independence:
On 9 October 2012, Uganda marked 50 years of Independence with a spectacular event at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala. The event involved an air show around the country where three jets painted the skies Black, Yellow, Red – official National colours. The celebrations even got an official song, Yoga Yoga, which was a collaborative effort by some of Uganda's leading musicians. Later the song sparked discussion online as the artists failed to agree on who owned the song.
Kiprotich wins Gold medal at the Olympics:
With a record 2:08:01, Ugandan runner Stephen Kiprotich won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Delighted by the victory, many Ugandans switched to Kiprotich's winning image as their profile picture on Facebook. This was Uganda's second gold medal since 1972. Kiprotich got a hero-like welcome when he came back from the Olympics and received over $4million in gifts from different individuals and companies.
Uganda Elects Africa's Youngest Member of Parliament:
Usuk County in Eastern Uganda elected 19 year-old Proscovia Alengot Oromait as their MP. She won the election with 11,059 votes thus replacing her late father who had died earlier in 2012. This story got much attention online and offline as well as many people were asking whether Hon. Alengot was ready for such responsibility, while others believed in her and congratulated her.
King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi's Child Out of Wedlock:
On Tuesday January 17, 2012 the Buganda Kingdom in Uganda announced the birth of a second son of their King (Kabaka), Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. Buganda celebrated when the news was released. However, the announcement did not come without controversy because the King duly wed in church in 1999 to Slyvia Nagginda, the Nabagereka (the Queen) of Buganda, which means Prince Ssemakokiro Richard, was born out of wedlock.
Uganda LGBT Comunity held Frist Gay Pride Events
Early August 2012, the LGBT community held a series of events at Entebbe including a beach party. Jamaican LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson was honored as the grand marshal of the event. In spite of widespread homophobia on part of Ugandan politicians and the public, the event was reportedly well attended. Ugandan police raided the event and detained LGBT activists who were later released.
Anonymous hacks Government Websites
International hactivist group known as Anonymous hacked the website of the Prime Minister of Uganda and the database of the Uganda Justice Law and Order Society in support of Ugandan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights activists.
They took control of the website of the Prime Minister posting photos of Uganda's first Gay Pride events, an official recognition of Gay Pride Week and a formal apology to gay people from the Prime Minister. It also revealed encrypted administration passwords for Uganda's Justice Law and Order Society.
Uganda Bloggers Meet Up:
Ugandan bloggers got to meet and discuss the future of blogging in Uganda and how to connect to the larger network of Global Voices and Rising Voices. They agreed, among other things, to create a Facebook group and a blog that aggregates all blogs in Uganda.