The content and opinions found on this blog are mine alone, and do not reflect any position of the United States Government or the Peace Corps.

July 16, 2010

Personal Ads

Personal ads are fascinating.

Think about it: romantic love is an extremely complex human emotion. Love includes the sexual desires that stem from our biological need to reproduce, of course, but it's a little more complicated than "Insert Tab A into Slot B." Physical appearance, personality compatibility, emotional stability— these (and other factors) play crucial roles in the dating and mating game. So things tend to get interesting when people, desperate for love, attempt to boil themselves and their desires down to a single sentence.

The following are personal ads from the 9 July 2010 edition of The New Vision, one of Uganda's leading newspapers. In my honest opinion, The New Vision is an abysmal publication, rife with spelling errors, subjectivity, and atrocious graphic design. I'm fairly certain that my high school newspaper, The Mountaineer, had better journalism and editing, but then again, it was voted one of the best high school papers in New Jersey. Anywho, I found myself looking at the personals shortly after giving in to my thirst for internet access and purchasing a mobile broadband (wireless dial-up, really) modem in Kampala. A teacher at Kiziranfumbi SS asked me to see if there was "a profile" associated with an email address he had written on a scrap of paper. I googled the address, and up popped the personals page.

One of the first things I noticed was the prevalence of requests for partners of a certain religion or tribe. In Uganda, your tribe and religion are almost as important as how many children you manage to squeeze out before drawing your last breath:

MAN, 30, HIV+ WANTS A BORN-AGAIN Munyankole or Rwandese lady, 28-35, for marriage. Call 0757774231

JUMA, 31, WANTS A LIGHT-SKINNED Muslim, 22-30, for marriage.

EDUCATED MUTOORO OR MUNYANKOLE girl, 18-23, wanted for love.

BEN, 35, BORN-AGAIN SINGLE FATHER of 3, looking for a Christian lady, below 30 for a relationship.

MUSLIM GUY, 31, IS LOOKING FOR A working Muslim girl from western Uganda or Somalia for marriage.

MUGANDA MAN, 36, WANTS A LADY for a relationship.

HIV and employment status also seem to be important. When 6% of the population is HIV positive and upwards of 80% are engaged in subsistance agriculture, how could they not be? Age is a pretty big deal, too. In this society, men ideally marry women 2 or 3 years younger than themselves:

PAUL, 28, WANTS A GOD-FEARING GIRL, 18-25, for a relationship.

Some of the ads strike me as simplistic or brutally direct:



Others just make hypocritical demands (look at the email address):

I WANT AN UNDERSTANDING AND respectful woman for marriage.

And even though The New Vision informs "those opting for secret sexual affairs, sugar mummies and sugar daddies...that their requests will not be honoured,"

STEPHEN, 22, WANTS A FINANCIALLY stable lady 27-35 for a relationship.

C'mon Stephen. You're not gonna find a "sugar mummy" to diaper your ass by posting in the personals.

In case you were wondering, the teacher who provided the email address that ultimately inspired this post is still single. But I figured I'd give Kenneth, a die-hard 24 fan (he addresses me as "Jack Bauer") and burning hunk'o'love, a little publicity. So, [white] ladies, you are most welcome to drool over these photos we took to showcase his machismo:

Kenneth is an intelligent man, evident in his ability to put a king
in checkmate while stroking an imaginary goatee.
Kenneth also has a bit of a bad boy streak. How many teachers do
you know that ride a motorcycle to work? Well, actually it's not
his motorcycle. But he does look badass sitting on it.
Attitude and intrigue: what more could a girl want?


  1. What more indeed? This post has made my morning on so many levels. Your description of the New Vision, the burning hunk of love and!

    Glad I found the blog and I intend to stalk thee from here on.

  2. Lukas! You make me laugh. Good post. I also think the New Vision is atrocious! And don't even get me started on the personal adds! I hope your friend finds the love of his life soon. I'm busy turning down marriage proposals here so I can't say I'm interested. I hope I see you somehow soon:)