African Woman is a decent read. It has all the typical glam mag staples (the fashion, the fawning over petit celebs, the tips to a great relationship and a trimmer waist etc) but it also has some thought-provoking and eye-opening features. I already admired publisher Sylvie Owori for her ability to amass such a bevy and get them to pose in little-to-wear by calling them “models”, and wondered if I would ever acquire that enviable skill, but now I admire her all the more. She is an eclectic entrepreneur. But that is not the thrust of this post.
African Woman has all the typical glam mag staples, but it also, perhaps unwittingly, included more this time. There was irony in the latest issue. State Health Minister Mike Mukula, a dapper dan and petit celeb himself, and his house were featured in the March edition. Money Mike’s wife (otherwise it wouldn’t have been African WOMAN) lead the photographers through the couple’s posh mansion and cooed all the way about how really pricey it was. I think someone died and made her MTV Cribs. Okay, that’s a cheap shot. Sorry.
She had no idea that just a few weeks before that issue hit the streets her husband would be called to explain what happened to the Global Fund millions that disappeared under his watch. Justice James Ogola’s commission of inquiry into the Global fund wanted to know where the state minister was looking while the money was being misused.
M & M replied that his job is to mobilize the people or something like that. Not to count pennies, anyway. That was for the ministry’s “technical people” And then the next week we are looking at this gorgeous house with the swimming pool and the bits and bobs all over, which his wife proudly exclaims are expensive. That alone was priceless. But wait: there’s more. The Red Pepper picked up on the story and, in their usual drunk and dumbfounded way, declared that Mukula’s house was bulletproof.(Story in New Vision)
For the whole week, Mike the Millionaire has been vociferously defending his wealth, swearing that his house is as pervious to bullets as anyone else’s and saying that he is ready to shoot at it with his own fully-licenced gun to prove it. Don’t get me wrong. I believe him. He has even told the IGG to open his declaration of wealth to the public, so we can all see that he was already seriously coloured even before he even entered government.
But the news reports on the story all feature an appendix saying Mukula’s house is featured in the latest issue of African Woman magazine.
I think it’s safe to say Sylvie hasn’t sold copies this fast except in her wildest dreams.