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Dusty, hell on earth: Ugandans upset over Nigerian tourist’s comments

By Winnie Mabel September 5th, 2023 3 min read

Nigerian travel blogger Azaino O. Esuoghene, aka Uncle Koke, has stirred up a tempest in a teapot with his candid remarks about Uganda, likening it to “hell on earth” due to its dusty roads, bodaboda traffic and the apparent absence of luxury vehicles on its streets.

The influencer took to socials and wrote, “I visited Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya as a Nigerian and I can tell you for free- Kenya was the most developed and more prosperous and fun to be country with beautiful people, Rwanda was clean, but the society looks like a programmed society.

People don’t really do much, everyone looks scared of something that I don’t really know but it seems like everyone is just too careful of something. But is is a beautiful country with beautiful people, especially their women.”

“Uganda was like hell on earth, very dusty, and too many bikes. I didn’t see any luxurious car on the road in Uganda; people look very poor and street kids begging. If I am to return to East Africa again, I will visit Rwanda and Kenya but will never want to visit Uganda,” said Uncle Koke.

The controversial statement didn’t sit well with Ugandans, who didn’t hold back their wrath.

They unleashed a barrage of criticism towards Nigeria, painting a not-so-rosy picture of Nigerians as infamous global financial scammers who are unwelcome in various parts of the world.

Top Ugandan comedian Patrick Salvado quipped, “A Nigerian commenting about another African country—maybe he first needs to tour his own country… Most of these guys only know Lagos.”

Even Uganda’s 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, Ms. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, chimed in, highlighting her own experiences with Nigerian airports, suggesting that Nigeria had its share of travel chaos.

However, not all responses were dismissive of Uncle Koke’s critique. Some Ugandans conceded that there was some truth to his observations. They pointed out Uganda’s notorious traffic, dilapidated roads, and, to some extent, the relative affordability of air travel for Nigerians.

In response to the whirlwind of reactions, Uncle Koke maintained his cool, stating, “To all of my new 375 Ugandan friends, one love. To all my haters too, one love. #nopublicityisbadpublicity.”

As the travel blogger’s comments continue to fuel debate, it remains clear that perspectives on Uganda’s allure vary widely, depending on who you ask.

His sentiments unleashed the wrath of Ugandans who shredded Nigeria to pieces for their infamy as global financial scammers who are avoided everywhere they go and even banned from entering certain nations.

“A Nigerian commenting about another African country 😂😂😂 maybe he first needs to tour his own country… Most of these guys only know Lagos … I’m just saying 😂😂,” said top Ugandan comedian Patrick Salvado.

“But has anyone tried to take a flight from Lagos to any other destination? The overbooking, the passengers carrying luggage on their heads into the plane, the rush to get seats on the plane with no order, you can be left even if you have a “confirmation “traffic gridlock,” added Ms Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community Affairs and the Speaker Emeritus of the 9th and 10th Parliament of Uganda.

Hundreds of Ugandans clapped back at Uncle Koke both on X and Instagram, where he posted his travel content. Still, others defended his statement under Ms Kadaga’s rebuttal to his Ugandan experience criticism, saying there was truth to his review of Uganda.

“That’s very okay, Madam Kadaga. Hope they have received this message and will work on it if true. As Ugandans, we’re concerned with what was talked about us, and it’s the truth. How will we work on it to have a country we’re proud of?” asked UG Lawyer.

“This is a fact. Uganda has the worst roads and traffic in East Africa. The guy is spot on, again comparing the chaos in boarding flights, it shows how many Nigerians actually afford to travel by flight 🤣🤣.,” added Adam Myombe.

All Uncle Koke had to say to those reacting to his Ugandan travel experience was, “To all of my new 375 Ugandan friends, one love. To all my haters too, one love. #nopublicityisbadpublicity.”

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