7 Billion Humans | Empty Pockets, The Youth Bulge in Developing World: Boy King Since Age 3 | Kampala, Uganda

Boy King Since Age 3 | Kampala, Uganda

Half of Uganda is under the age of 15. Some of the rulers of Uganda are pretty young as well. This boy has been king of Toro since he was age three and he will assume all the duties of the throne next week on his 18th birthday.  He has been groomed for this job since he was three and when we met him he was really stiff.  There seemed to be two brain loops going… Be regal, Be regal, Be regal… and Don’t Screw Up, Don’t Screw Up, Don’t Screw Up… So this doesn’t make for very animated conversation.  His mother the queen ordered his throne online and Kaddafi paid for a big part of the castle in Kampala.  We wait for him in his throne room.  His throne faces a flat screen TV that has Destinies Child playing Bootilicious on MTV.  All the flat screens in the palace are controlled at the same time and we see him switching channels somewhere.  The only problem with that in the third world is that every time there is a power outage the TV’s all go dead and then the central computer has to reboot when power comes on. So it is a bit strange this multiple screen show we are having.  The channel finally lands on NG TV so we know his appearance is imminent.  I had seen him earlier as I came out of the bathroom slipping up the stairs in wannabe rock star clothing, but now when he shows up, his keeper has dressed him in an ill-fitting businessman suit.  There is something in him that realizes he is not really at a higher station than us but he must play the role of royalty accepting his audience.  The only time he is a gawking kid is when NGTV flashes a promo for “The Ten Best Photos of 2009.” And I tell him I am interviewed on that show and have one of the “best photos of 2009” and he can watch it on Sunday.  I say my top ten photo was a Grizzly Bear looking for salmon that I shot underwater…  His eyes get wide… He says… I REALLY want to be a nature photographer…

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