Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West are currently spending time in Uganda with their daughter North, and on Monday, when the couple met with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, Kim had to tackle the task of explaining what it is she does on a daily basis to someone who doesn’t exactly seem to be an avid fan of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“They met with the president of Uganda, and [when] the president asked Kim why she had to leave early, she replied that she had to go back to work,” a source said of the interaction, according to People. “The president then asked what was her job, and Kim, very politely, said that she had a TV show with sisters and family and they were all waiting for her return.”
In a tweet President Museveni posted after the meeting, he still seemed slightly unsure of both Kim’s and Kanye’s professions, choosing to label them simply as “entertainment stars.” “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,” he wrote.
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 meeting has been called controversial given Museveni’s similarities with another politician both Kim and Kanye have shown some love to: U.S. President Donald Trump. One expert in African politics told the BBC he thought the meeting might be a way for Museveni to get on Trump’s radar. From there, his government could potentially benefit from closer ties with the Trump administration, the BBC reported.
Museveni has been in power for 32 years, according to the BBC, and Uganda under his time in power has seen severe restrictions on LGBTQ rights — a 2013 law in Uganda makes homosexuality punishable by life in prison. According to The Nation, the anti-LGBTQ backlash in the country has followed an influx of evangelical activism in Africa by people from the United States. Around the same time as the life sentence bill, a so-called miniskirt ban sparked violence against women in the country.
Bobi Wine, an opposition leader in Uganda, told The Guardian that Kim and Kanye’s meeting with Museveni was “immoral,” saying, “He is hobnobbing with a president who has been in power now for 32 years and restricts any freedom, a country where opposition activists are tortured and imprisoned.” Lawyers for Wine said in August that their client was arrested and badly beaten by security forces on the campaign trail. Wine later called his treatment in detention “torture” in a September interview with Al-Jazeera; Ugandan authorities denied that claim and pledged an investigation.
Kim’s meeting with Uganda’s president isn’t the first time that KKW has had to distill her life’s work into the barest of facts. In an interview with radio station Real 92.3 in August, she shared that North had recently discovered that her family is famous. “Oh, OK, OK. I’m going to have to explain this right now,” Kim recalled thinking. “I’m like, ‘We have a TV show.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ That was the first time she was like, ‘Oh!'”
Meanwhile, North is already busy building her own fashion and beauty empire, in case the president of Uganda was wondering.