By Titus Kakembo
After a week hopping from one attraction to another, the Spanish actor, influencer and conservationist Arturo Isais Alleude went on a shopping spree in Kampala City. In the African Village at the National Theatre, he was seen at Nuwa Wamala Nyanzi’s stall. He dug deep in his wallet and picked art pieces, crafts, shirts and recycled footwear. In the company of tour operator Fanny Martinez, Arturo commended Uganda for its conservation policy, the creative arts, being an island of peace sandwiched between warring countries and having handled the COVID-19 pandemic dexterously.
“The tourism industry is globally so competitive,” Arturo tipped. “The trick is for Uganda to capitalise on what others lack. 50 per cent of the world’s surviving Mountain gorillas is a crowd puller. The 60 minutes I spent with them are engraved on my mind for the rest of my life,” he said.
Out in the wild Arturo encountered snakes which he communicated to in Spanish and they mysteriously calmed down from threatening to strike and spit venom to slithering away in a friendly manner.
“I know people who would pay thrice the $700 to meet the gorillas in their habitat,” Arturo confided. “Wait for an influx of tourists once my content goes on my wall. I know some of my 30m-60m followers will follow in my footsteps.”
Arturo and his crew of two were treated to enturire (sorghum beer) which made them able to jump to the traditional dance and sway their arms with grace.
Talk about adventure, Arturo was in Jinja for the best white water rafting in the world on River Nile rapids. He was cautioned to part with his equipment because often the boat flips and it is bottom-up as it is swept away by the tide.
“I have generated content to last me three months,” Arturo said. “It is visually a small country on the map, but the variety it has is amazing. I wonder why it is always Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa when talking about the African Safari. I know better.”
The Spaniard was advised to come back to Uganda to visit Kidepo Valley National Park, scale the Mountains of the Moon, retrace the trails of the Uganda Martyrs, and witness the Bugisu Imbalu (circumcision.)
Arturo was told soaps from Mexico are very popular in Uganda because love is an emotion that needs no translation. Good enough there are voiceovers and screen footnotes that help viewers get the story.