Buganda Tourism Expo Meeting 2. Old is Gold

Seki was born in 1986 and is a third generation Rwandan in Uganda. His grandparents left Rwanda in 1939 and settled in Uganda. There is only one photograph that shows “who we came from.” When Seki came to our tent with that photograph he said that his dad told him it was made in 1959. The pinkish color of the image and also the paper it was printed on seemed too recent for that date.

After struggling with the reflections while reproducing this precious photograph, we made some calculations. Seki said that his grandfather Semahe Venantio died in 1994 when he was 83 years old. His grandmother Kakuse Maria passed on after reaching the respectable age of 93 in 2006. These facts and figures would mean that Seki’s grandfather was probably born in 1911 and his grandmother a couple of years later around 1916. That would have made them young adults of 28 and 23 years old when they migrated to Uganda. The should have been in their fourties when/if the photograph was made in 1959.

The friendly looking couple in the picture is obviously older than 50, which adds up with the observation that the photo as an object looks like it was produced in the late 1970s or 1980s. But it leaves me wondering why Seki’s dad would have told his son that the photograph was made decades earlier. I asked Seki whether the image would have had more value if it had been older. His answer, that came with a smile was “yes, of course. Old is gold.”

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