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KIU Trivia: October 21 in the Present and the Past


What’s Happening Today?

World Iodine Deficiency Day. The human body needs iodine for producing the thyroid hormone which is essential to control the body’s metabolism. Iodine deficiency can cause Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) which can be prevented if iodine intake is monitored carefully. To highlight the importance of iodine consumption and educate people about the importance of iodine-rich dietary practices,  World Iodine Deficiency Day is celebrated every year on October 21.

Ndadaye Day (Burundi). President Ndadaye's Day is a public holiday in Burundi, observed on October 21st each year. It marks the assassination of a Burundian intellectual and politician on this day in 1993. Melchoir Ndadaye was the first democratically elected and the first Hutu president of Burundi. In 1993, in the first free elections after 26 years of military rule, Ndadaye won, polling around 66% of the vote.  He survived a coup attempt on July 3rd and was sworn in as President of Burundi on July 10th of that year. Aged just 40, he was assassinated on October 21st 1993 during a failed military coup led by former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza and Army Chief of Staff Col. Jean Bikomagu.

What Happened Today?

1. In 1983, the meter was defined by international agreement as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299792458 of a second. This makes the speed of light exactly 299,792.458 km/s.

2. In 1998, MTN Uganda launched commercial services in Uganda, just six months after acquiring and signing of its operating license. MTN has since grown to be the leading Telecommunications Company in Uganda, servicing in excess of 3,500,000 customers. Despite insufficient infrastructure, MTN has covered in excess of 90% of the urban population, providing services in over 150 towns and villages and their immediate environments.

3. In 2014,  South African Paralympic Champion Oscar Pistorius was convicted for 5 years after undergoing trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He was sentenced to a maximum of five years for culpable homicide. He was released on parole for good behaviour in October 2015. However, in December 2015, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal upgraded the charges to murder and found him guilty of murder.


1. 1928 – Martin Aliker, Ugandan dental surgeon, businessman, entrepreneur, and community leader. He is a senior adviser to the President of Uganda and has sat on the board of directors of nearly forty Ugandan companies. He is the chancellor of Victoria University Uganda, a private institution.

2. 1952 – Betty Bigombe, former State Minister for Water Resources in the Uganda Cabinet from 2011 to 2014. She was also the chief mediator for talks between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

Sources: Wikipedia, checkiday,, MTN Uganda &

Picture credit: Medlife