Was it Really Churchill who Called Uganda "The Pearl of Africa?"

I have always bought into the idea that Winston Churchill should be credited with dubbing Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.”  That’s what everybody says, and knowing that he came here and was enamored with the country, I never had a reason to doubt it.

Then this morning I read an article on Musere’s Live Journal called “Uganda the “Pearl of Africa,” Henry Morton Stanley, and Winston Spencer-Churchill.”

This article makes a pretty convincing argument that it was actually Henry Morton Stanley, that incredibly brutal explorer and scourge of Congo, who first called Uganda the “Pearl.”

I must admit that if this is true, I am a little disappointed.  However, disappointing or not, the truth must be told.

Has anyone else out there come across references that connect this phrase to Stanley rather than Churchill?

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala

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5 Responses to Was it Really Churchill who Called Uganda "The Pearl of Africa?"

  1. Pingback: Was it Really Churchill who Called Uganda “The Pearl of Africa?” | ExpatNode.com

  2. tumwijuke says:

    Very interesting argument. Might mess up Uganda’s USP, so hush.

    (And thanks for highlighting Musere’s blog.

  3. andrew roberts says:

    i came across something by stanley in the africa section at makere library describing uganda as a pearl and have been trying to relocate it ever since.

    • Mark D. Jordahl says:

      Great to hear from you, Andy! You might track down Bass’ dissertation, “The Ideological Uses of Myth: the British and Uganda, 1863-1895,” referred to in Musere’s post, for the source.

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