Terrence Howard becomes latest celebrity to peddle 'big ideas' to Museveni

Terrence Howard Museveni Uganda
Photo credit: Courtesy | Uganda Broadcasting Corporation

US Oscar-winning actor Terrence Howard, the star of television show Empire, was in Uganda this week on a trip that saw him meet President Yoweri Museveni. While in the East African nation, he announced several ‘scientific’ initiatives that he envisioned as part of plans to boost funding and tourism in Uganda. 

In a press conference clip that has since gone viral and set tongues wagging, Howard talks about inventing a new aircraft that will replace drones, helicopters and aeroplanes.

“I was able to identify the grand unified field equation they've been looking for, and put it into geometry…This is the geometry of hydrogen,” the actor said. 

The actor becomes the latest celebrity to peddle his ‘big ideas’ to Museveni. RnB artiste Akon and rapper Kanye West have also been down this road. Last year, Akon -- who is yet to come anywhere close to realising his ambitious vision for a “futuristic” city powered by a cryptocurrency called “Akoin” and built on land given to him by the Senegalese government -- promised Uganda that he will build a second Akon City.

Kanye, who also visited the country in 2018 with his then wife Kim Kardashian, said that “Uganda should be like Jurassic Park”, a reference to the blockbuster dinosaur-themed movies directed by Steven Spielberg.  

"This is going to be like Jurassic Park…When I saw the safari, I was thinking about this is how all zoos should be," Kanye told Museveni.

kanye west museveni

Rapper Kanye West and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Photo credit: Courtesy / Presidential Press Unit/Handout via REUTERS

The couple then presented Yeezy sneakers to Museveni, after which the President gave them Ugandan names to mark the visit. They were named "Kanyesigye" and "Kemigisha".

Howard, who claims to have studied engineering at the Pratt Institute but did not complete his degree, has a history of making bold if somewhat muddled scientific claims. 

He has previously done marketing videos for a controversial ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica. He went viral in 2019 for saying that he had, in his words, “made some discoveries in my own personal life with the science that, you know, Pythagoras was searching for.” Some of his discoveries are laid out on a website dedicated to proving that one times one equals two.

Howard's address to a group of government officials in Uganda was shared on Twitter by State broadcaster UBC and immediately sparked questions from viewers across the globe.

Celebrated actor

Howard’s first major role in the 1995 films 'Dead Presidents' and 'Mr. Holland’s Opus' helped him break into the mainstream with a succession of television and cinema roles between 2004 and 2006. He got a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in 'Hustle & Flow'.

The actor has had prominent roles in many other movies including Winnie Mandela, Ray, Lackawanna Blues, Crash, Four Brothers, Big Momma’s House, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Idlewild, Biker Boyz, August Rush, The Brave One, and Prisoners.

He also played James Rhodey Rhodes in the first Iron Man film. He starred as lead character Lucious Lyon in the television series Empire.

He has also ventured into music with his debut album 'Shine Through It', which was released in September 2008. In September 2019, Howard announced that he had retired from acting because he was “tired of pretending”. However, on February 2021, it was announced that he would star in the British sci-fi/thriller film Beneath.

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