How I have kept busy during Covid-19 lockdown in Uganda

Covid-19 has and is still ravaging economies, people and livelihoods. Globally, governments the rich and poor are gasping for an effective coping strategy. This has been and still is a difficult time, even the most creative among us eventually run dry on ideas. Livelihoods have been affected in ways no one could have anticipated.

2020 started out like any other year — promising; I had lots of personal and company growth plans on top of the day to day operational video and photography work. I had secured a South African Visa for a business trip. Just a day before my trip, the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ordered a 14-day nationwide lockdown  in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus which had so far infected 33 people in the country. The reports from WHO made me realize the pandemic situation wasn’t going to change anytime soon so I had to find ways to keep busy. This is how I am keeping my mental health in check aside photography and video editing.

I had a lots of personal and company growth plans on top of the day to day operational video and photography work.

Looking out for Family & Friends

Before the lockdown I barely had time to visit or catch up with family members because of the work schedules and travelling; however, this period has allowed me to catch up with family more often using different social media platforms (Whatsapp & zoom) and also visiting friends as the lockdown laxed. I have been more present and it’s been a blessing.

Emmanuel visiting family during the lockdown
Emmanuel Museruka with uncle in Buddo
Challenges brought about CCOVID-19 on the creative inductry in uganda like Photography
Emmanuel Museruka at Malaika Media office
Covid-19 challeneges in Uganda
Emmanuel Museruka with uncle in Kasawo

Staying Connected with work Colleagues

As per the guide lines from the ministry of health we couldn’t all report to work, projects were on a standstill in some departments at Malaika Media and The Lens Foundation; however, with emails, Zoom and Whatsapp we managed have virtual meetings, discussions to keep connected and updated on various issues.


As chief executive and creative director at Malaika Media, I spent a lot of time on the road before the covid-19 pandemic. It is not that I like being on road, but I support the production teams in the field. I get a lot back from being on ground while we execute clients’ projects.

Working from home feels quite peculiar but then it has come with lots of opportunities at the same time. It has given me more time to strategise. We thought it would be wise to open up another Malaika Prints studio space in one of the Kampala suburbs so that we get a bigger family market within Kyaliwajjala and the neighbouring communities. We have acquired space on Martyrs mall to cater for our customers.

Of course, we had to think of an extra income away from photography and video.My business associates decided we start up a car rental & travel business since we already had two cars as well as venture into marketing.

Cooking & Baking

Cake. photo by : Emmanuel Museruka

Lately, I have been cooking more than I did in the past 8 years, it’s gone a long way towards keeping me busy.

I have been baking cakes, and making chapati. I had last made chapatis in 2013. I like chapati, thanks to this recipe I picked off Facebook — for now I feel like I have made it in life. At one point I got bored of homemade food. I had to prepare some foods in their basic forms- like matooke.


In the initial lockdown days — while I was figuring what I should be working on, I resorted to movies. I was not into watching movies but this lockdown! I have watched over 20 series and countless movies. ZeroZeroZero stood out amongst the series (the title was so memorable with a good story-line) and The Banker.

Finalising our websites

At the onset of the lockdown, I was trying to finalise the Malaika Prints website. The lockdown gave me ample time to concentrate and put it together.

Teaching photography

Photography school in Uganda
Emmanuel Museruka teaching photography to learners : Photo by Cedric Bichano

The lockdown got me into conducting one on one photography lessons. In fact, with all the time I have at hand I have equipped four hobbyists with photography skills.

Emmnanuel Museruka teaching Photography. Photo by Cedric Bichano

Social Media

In this day and age of social media, I got pretty active on Twitter more than ever before, of course being in a media business one needs to be. I did a lot of marketing for Malaika Media & Malaika Prints. But this lockdown inspired me even to use LinkedIn, and Facebook even more. In fact, I have become very active on Instagram as well and love all the lovely photos people are posting. Nevertheless, I haven’t joined Tiktok even when the videos are hilarious and entertaining.

Portrait session

A laxed lockdown minus a portrait photosession would be so boring. When glimmers of hope have become the need of the hour, the role of photography is now central to the photographers like us. I jumped on an opportunity of my friend who stays near by for a portrait moment. These photos almost broke the internet.


Even when breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I missed many of these because of sleeping. My sleep pattern changed and many times lunch became my first meal.

It’s important to keep ourselves busy, and stick to a daily routine despite being in quarantine. If you feel lonely, isolated, or stressed, reach out to friends and family. Engage in a new hobby like gardening, cooking or learning a new language—many of these are things we thought about doing for years, but never had the time because of our busy schedules. 

Make the most of your time while at home, and keep yourselves in tip-top mental and physical health.

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