KAMPALA (Reuters) – Kanye West and Kim Kardashian gave Uganda’s leader a pair of the rapper’s sneakers on Monday and he gave them both “Ugandan” names, at a meeting aimed at promoting tourism in East Africa.
Days after a rambunctious meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House, a more subdued West presented Yoweri Museveni with a pair of white sports shoes made by his own company that he and Kardashian then signed with a marker pen.
I welcome American entertainment stars Kanye West and @KimKardashian to Uganda. I held fruitful discussions with the duo on how to promote Uganda's tourism and the arts. I thank Kanye for the gift of white sneakers. Enjoy your time in Uganda. It is the true Pearl of Africa. pic.twitter.com/BO0iD0sFCP
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) October 15, 2018
The couple arrived on Friday and are staying at a luxurious safari lodge in a national park that boasts spectacular waterfalls and wild game including buffaloes, antelopes, lions, giraffes and warthogs.
Museveni’s office said the president gave the U.S. entertainment stars Ugandan names.
He dubbed West – who himself declared last month that he wanted to be known as just “Ye” – “Kanyesigye”, a common name among the Banyankore, the ethnic group that Museveni hails from. Kardashian was granted the name “Kemigisha”, meaning “the one with blessings from God,” Museveni’s office said in a statement.
West “expressed happiness at being in Uganda, describing it as his second home,” the statement said, adding that West pledged to put up a “world class tourism school in the country saying it will be a foundation of tourism not only in Uganda but the East Africa region in general.”
Museveni, 74, has been in office since 1986 and in January signed a law that scrapped a 75-year age cap for presidential candidates, a move critics said was aimed at him remaining in power indefinitely.
In January this year, he told the media that he loves Trump because Trump is frank about Africa. He was speaking after US media revealed that Trump had referred to African countries as shithole countries.
The third purpose for integration is strategic security. Donald Trump speaks to Africans frankly. Africans need to solve their problems. You can't survive if you are weak. It is the Africans' fault that they are weak. We are12 times the size of India, but why are we not strong?
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) January 23, 2018
One of his most vocal critics is 36-year-old pop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, known by his stage-name Bobi Wine, who has gained strong support among young Ugandans.