Blogs & Opinion

Are Ugandans Generally Smarter than Kenyans?


Editor’s note: Kelly Mutisya offers his unbridled opinions on both Kenyans and Ugandans.

I have watched videos on TikTok where Kenyans boast about their superior intellect versus Tanzanians, Ugandans, and perhaps the rest of Africa.

Undoubtedly, Kenyans are more aggressive than their neighbours in Tanzania and Uganda. The former put in more effort and have the ability to spot opportunities in unlikely places.

I am able to confirm that you have to work harder in Kenya than in Uganda because I have lived in both countries.

Simply put, food is more easily accessible in Uganda than it is in Kenya.

At least 80% of Uganda has food security, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) of Kenya, which are home to 29 counties and roughly 16 million people, make up 89% of the nation, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Rift Valley, Eastern, Northeastern, and Coast regions of Kenya make up the majority of its ASAL areas.

Sometimes back, Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, opined that the country’s abundant food supply was to blame for Ugandans’ laziness.

“Uganda is a very rich country. There are a lot of natural resources. That’s why these Ugandans are lazy. They are lazy because a fool here cannot easily die. If you are a fool, you can survive by just eating at your brother’s home and wandering about. There’s no way you’ll easily die in Uganda,” he said in the interview conducted by KTN News in October 2022.

However, there is something amazing about Ugandans, particularly the elite in Kampala. They read and frequently engage in meaningful conversations.


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Photo/courtesy

The fact that a Ugandan is likely to cite reliable news sources, academic research, and professional publications in arguments struck me as interesting.

Furthermore, I thought it was fascinating that Ugandans click links to read them before leaving a comment on a news story.

In my experience, Ugandans tend to be more reasonable and wise while discussing politics.

For instance, I discovered that a disagreement between supporters of Bobi Wine and Museveni might occur without chaos and insults.

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This is very different with Kenyans, who seldom ever read anything and are quick to voice their thoughts.

For instance, the supporters of President William Ruto and the supporters of Raila Odinga, the head of the opposition, will never agree on anything.

If Raila suddenly declared that one plus one equals three, I wouldn’t be astonished if one of his Luo tribesmen—a math scholar, no less—said that Raila might be telling the truth.

Similar to this, Ruto’s followers are probably going to stand with their son even when he errs.

The above examples aptly capture how our nation’s thinking has been dimmed by politics that are centred on tribalism and emotion.


Azimio leader Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto PHOTO/COURTESY

Furthermore, have you noticed how we (Kenyans) comment on news links without opening them to discover what’s inside?

As a result, without having read the article’s content, someone will express a strong opinion (and most commonly veer off topic).

You might have three or four comments that are relevant to the post and the content out of 1,000+ comments.

In a similar spirit, I believe that Kenyans need to work on their argumentation skills rather than constantly resorting to personal attacks.

Also, why do we allow emotions to rule decisions that ought to be made based on facts?

Consider how a buddy of mine from a top Kenyan university ran into trouble with his professor following a disagreement over a scientific theory.

It turned out it was my friend’s fault for trying to disprove the professor with every available piece of evidence, including text books, links, etc.

The lecturer yelled, “Don’t argue with me because you’re not yet a professor.”

In the days that followed, it became clear that the professor considered the challenge by his student an affront to his standing as a professor.

It’s interesting to note that Ugandans typically view Kenyans as bright, smart, ambitious, hardworking, and intelligent.

READ ALSO: The 10 Most Educated Tribes in Kenya 2023

Yet with the aforementioned comparisons in mind, I do believe Ugandans may be far smarter than they believe themselves to be.

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