Hornsleth Village Project Uganda: A New Form of Colonialism?

Hornsleth Village Project Uganda: A New Form of Colonialism?

Investigations about Hornsleth have indicated that he is a man whose actions are clearly satanic as portrayed by the works and publications on his website.

By Jude Bukenya
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First published: November 20, 2006

Many of you must have heard about the famous incident that happened in Mukono district when residents of Buteyongera village exchanged their names for piglets while a few others opted for goats.

The Hornsleth Village Project as it is known was initiated by one Kristian Von Hornsleth, a Danish national as an art project that would 'help to improve the lives of Ugandans' in parts of Mukono and would later spread to other parts of the country.

Kristian Von Hornsleth was brought to Uganda by one Engineer David Senabulya Katerega, a former member of the Popular Resistance against Life Presidency also a local music artist who had gone to Denmark for music performances.

In March this year, Kristian Von Hornsleth came to Uganda and visited Buteyongera village in Mukono and was hosted in the home of the parents of one Henry Hornsleth Kayongo who is the assistant coordinator of the Hornsleth Village Project.

Despite the fact the Uganda laws do not allow foreigners to register community based organizations, Hornsleth sought the collaboration of the so-called opinion leaders and had the project registered as a CBO.

After drawing up plans and a constitution for the project, a group led by Katerega now commissioned as opinion leaders, went and registered the project at the Labour, Gender and Social development department at Mukono District Headquarters as a Community Based Organization with Hornsleth, a lead partner who was going to facilitate all its activities. This painted an impression to Ugandan officials at Mukono district headquarters that this was a community based project because its registration was being spearheaded by Ugandans.

Because the registration of CBOs takes place at local government levels, many people with dubious businesses among others have taken advantage of the unseriousness and corruption at these levels to promote personal business ad interests.

According to investigations conducted by the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, although the Hornsleth Project has a constitution which gives an impression that it is a local development project, it is clear from the website of Mr. Hornsleth that the project is an art project and the work of Mr. Hornsleth himself.

"The Hornsleth Village in Uganda 2006 with an underlying caption or theme "we want to help you but we want to own you!" this is a page off his website www.hornsleth.com published on 21 October 2006 where he boasts of having conquered Buteyogera village.

Newly acquired identification cards with the name Honsleth
Newly acquired identification cards with the name Honsleth.

He also posted some of the photos of the people of Buteyogera showing off their newly acquired identification cards with the name Honsleth properly displayed among those of the recipient of the piglet.

This demonstrates the fact that despite the project being seen as a community poverty alleviation avenue, for the residents' Hornsleth boasts of it as being a business he is running with appointed village opinion leaders.

The Hornsleth Village Project laid down terms for members which include:

  • Each person who joins the project going through the official name change if he or she is to qualify for a donation which was a piglet or a goat.
  • Each person was also to be issued with a national Uganda identity card to show their new Hornsleth acquired name among other things.

    These are about 100 who acquired the name Hornsleth because they are the pioneers of the project. The coordinators also have the name Hornsleth.

    "Mr. Hornsleth intended to show the world how he managed to own very many people who could not help themselves by having them registered and given identity cards with national colours," Dr. Buturo says accusing the Dane of being a modern colonialist.

    The Chairperson NGO board in Ministry of Internal affairs Joyce Mpanga says that considering the requirements and channels under which Community Based Organizations and Non Government Organizations are supposed to be registered, Hornsleth Village Project should not have been registered considering the nature of it activities.

    Mpanga warns of a possibility of deregistering the project if investigations find that it does not practice what it is allowed according to national laws.

    She says that the principles used in the process of assisting the residents are not acceptable in the Ugandan society, citing the issue of changing names and abrogating the laws to take responsibilities which are supposed to be only conducted by government, like issuing IDs with national colors and emblems.

    "Whatever happened with this project is null and void because a foreigner is not supposed to establish a CBO," says the post commissioner for community development ministry of gender, Osinde Owor.

    One Henry Hornsleth Kayondo, a beneficiary also coordinator for the project says that they are proud of the project and find no shame in adding the name Hornsleth to their other names. He says that he does not feel offended to own the name so long as he able to live a better life.

    "The issue was not to find out who Mr. Hornsleth is and what he does but how he was going to help us and other residents get out of the poverty that is biting us," Kayondo explains. Kayondo is not aware that to adopt a new name is a process that requires legal proceedings.

    This therefore means that up to 100 people who changed their names by adopting the name Hornsleth are in danger and could be prosecuted by courts of law for the action they took with out passing through proper channels as required by the law. But the strength of such a regulation in a country with no national register is doubtable.

    The coordinators of the project and Hornsleth himself are in danger of answering more charges for using the national emblem and national colors to issue identity cards which are authenticated by a mere LC1 chairman.

    "When I went to visit the project site I found a building that is the office of the project fenced with poles that bear the name of Hornsleth and are painted with national colours and I learnt that members have identity cards which were not issued by government" explains Nsaba Buturo. The Post Commissioner for Community Development says that according to national laws it's only the government that is mandated to issue national identity cards and to authorize usage of national colours and the national emblem.

    Owor says that the opinion leaders failed to respect the laws of the country and decided to go ahead to do their business without considering what is not allowed by the state.

    However Senabulaya Hornsleth Katerega objects to this saying that they have done nothing wrong to use the national colours for a cause that is to benefit Ugandans.

    "They have been encouraging us to promote the national colours thus using the national colors for such a purpose is no crime," he told Ultimate Media.

    He adds that they are ready to go to courts of law and deed their project because it was registered a s a community based organization and it's owned by Ugandans with Mr. Hornsleth assisting them to start.

    Buturo says investigations about Hornsleth have indicated that he is a man whose actions are clearly satanic as portrayed by the works and publications on his website.

    "He is a glorifier and user of diabolical language, homosexuality and child sexual defilement and is also an avowed racist totally unacceptable, despicable and a sad commentary on the state of patriotism in Uganda," says Dr James Nsaba Buturo.

    Buturo says that this is a new form of colonialism dressed in indignity clothes that seek to overturn the known social order as well as exploiting the plight of the people of Buteyongera using the Hornsleth project as the entry point to achieve the mission.

    "We are looking at the economic aspect and we have left the moral aspect for religious leaders," Katerega says.

    Hornsleth's website has photos of naked girls engaging in group lesbian sex and another of men engaging in oral group sex and others of young girls in erotic poses with an invitation "Daddy come and rape me."

    The 43-year old Danish artist with a wicked and twisted mind has been described as a "Danish Scandal artist" and "punk artist" by various art critics. In his article in the Los Angles weekly of 31st May 2006 Peter Frank describes him as a "Danish bad boy... An adolescent fury whose defacing cascades of graffiti have convulsive beauty all of their own."

    "As a minister of ethics and integrity and a government of the people we cannot sit back and watch as people like this one are eroding our society with such unacceptable behaviors," Buturo warns.

    The soft spoken minister says that some Ugandans have been used to promote external domination of Ugandans exactly the way African chiefs aided slave traders to sell Africans during the now infamous slave trade.

    He says that the government will review the methods of work used by the project, the registration and increasing collaboration agendas with foreign individuals and organizations. The Danish artist is expected to come back to the country next month but the government insists that his project should not continue until it's investigated properly and a clear picture of his activities understood.

    Hornsleth himself has alluded to the fact that his is a business transaction with the people of Mukono where he gives them pigs or goats and they take on his name. The extreme satirist says that donors have been doing barter trade of sorts in aid given to poor nations, arguing that aid should better be for something, and in his case adopting his name for a pig. Despite the biting poverty, it remains to be seen how many people value adopting a name for an income generating project as small as a pig.


  • By Jude Bukenya
    more from author >>
    First published: November 20, 2006
    To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

    Jude Bukenya is a senior political and business reporter with Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd.