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Tips To Make Working From Home Easier

This goes out to mostly parents but maybe to an individual you might pick a tip or two. This self- quarantine or Must-do quarantine has presented parents with challenges that most of us have never faced before. Adjusting to working at home can blur the line between family life and work life.

While we realize every family has unique circumstances, below are few tips that might be helpful.

Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate.

If both parents are trying to work from home, remember that you’re on the same team together. Try to set up a schedule that suits everyone by taking shifts, where one parent works from 8:30am to 12:00pm, while the other cares for the kids, then switching from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. 
Make a plan, but leave room to be flexible.

Include your kids.

Ask your children to “help” in ways that make sense for their ages. You might help them make a “Time to Work” sign for you, then explain that when you hang it on the door, that means you need to concentrate. Help them make special artwork for your work space—especially if you’ll be in video meetings. 
Your kids are more likely to respect boundaries between work time and family time if they feel invested in both.

Set realistic expectations.

“Productivity” looks different right now than it did three months ago. And, most of the people you work with are likely dealing with issues very similar to yours. Be a living example of the things you hope to receive from others. 
Give grace to your coworkers, to your children, and to yourself.

Remember to Enjoy this time you have with your family.It’s true that our current circumstances come with real challenges. But, it’s also true that we have the power to choose how we respond. We can see them as setbacks that are causing us pain, or as opportunities to draw our families closer than ever.

Quash Mindless Snacking and Overeating during Self- Quarantine

Being cooped up at home for weeks or months as the world responds to the corona virus outbreak may force you to develop cravings for your favorite cheat meals a bit more than you’d like. 

It looks inevitable to maintain weight during a change to our normal routines. While boredom- or stress-related eating is tempting – and lots of us are closer to the fridge these days it’s also an opportunity to develop healthier habits.

A scrumptious meal

So, how can we fix the issue of overeating so we don’t fall victim to all the negative health consequences that can follow? Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Create an eating pattern where you have a meal or snack about every three hours. This can help prevent mindless snacking.
  2. Keep a food book – tracking the time of day, the food and the amount – to hold yourself accountable. Or you could have your partner or ‘rommie’ hold you accountable
  3. Limit snacking of highly processed foods such as chips and cookies. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it.
  4. Portion out your snacks. Place cheese and crackers, for example, in individual bags to prevent overeating.
  5. Drink at least 2 liters of water each day to stay hydrated and keep your body’s systems functioning normally; consider adding things like cucumber or ginger. Avoid sugary beverages.
  6. Practice mindful eating. Ask yourself, “Why am I reaching for this?” or “Has it been three hours since my last meal or snack?”
  7. Stay active. Do yoga, walk up and down the stairs, stream a workout online or dust off items and keep busy.
  8. Call or Video call a friend or family member to talk about your emotions. Getting your feelings out can help curb emotional eating.
  9. Buy food that comes from the earth – fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and lean protein.

We’re all trying to create a new normal in the midst of a very weird situation, quitting overeating in quarantine and taking charge of your health is about making a mental shift. Cut yourself some slack, it’s not about being perfect than you were before but aiming to do a little better than yesterday and taking one day at time.

Uganda’s Luxurious “Must Visit” Safari Lodges.

Safari lodges are usually located in the remote destinations in National parks, forests, lakes with abundance of wild game, birds and local communities to interact with. Uganda’s Safari Lodges offers a crystal-clear opportunity to venture into vast nature and wildlife with a surety of safety and splendid game drives.

Must Visit – Safari Lodges

Paraa Safari Lodge
Paraa Safari Lodge

The lodge boasts of its closeness to the mighty Murchison falls where its guests enjoy thrilling experience of the incredible power of nature- a must visit
Paraa lodge offers exquisite accommodation enclave of lavish cottages, suites, double, twin and single rooms, en-suite private bathroom all having breathtaking views of the Nile River from the balconies. The swimming pool makes a perfect place for a cool refreshing deep after a long day of Safari drive. Indulge in game drives, nature walks, Hot-air balloon Safari and bush breakfast

Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge


Enjoy an authentic luxury experience and an adventure Safari in the park with quality service at Chobe Safari Lodge. This is lodge nestled in the Murchison falls National park. The 5-star lodge is a unique treasure with an amazing ambience and definitely unveils your dream Safari vacation to reality. While at the lodge, engage in activities like fishing, Safari drive, nature walks, visiting Murchison falls and Bush breakfast.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Clouds Mountain Gorilla

Perfectly located in the southern part of Bwindi National Park, the incredibly tranquil lodge setting, deep and yet elevated boasts of awesomely modern Cottages crafted out of the volcanic mountain stones with each featuring a spacious, comfortable bedroom, bathroom with walk-in-showers, lounge and a blazing fireplace that keeps you warm and cozy.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge offers an incredible chance of a gorgeous view of lush green rain-forest. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is the highest lodge in Uganda over 2000 feet above sea level. Indulge yourself in wildlife view, bird watching, Gorilla treks, Virungu volcanoes and the rift valley.

Mweya Safari Lodge

Mweya Safari Lodge

Beautifully situated on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge, is a truly charming lodge perfect for travelers who desire to connect with nature. It offers its guests, a mesmerizing view of the Kazinga Channel and gorgeous mountain of the moon- Rwenzori Mountain.
Mweya Safari Lodge boasts its beautiful cottages and impeccably clean spacious and self contained rooms. Other facilities include an amazing swimming pool with a great view of the channel, Restaurant, Business center, gift shop, conference facilities and the Tembo bar. Enjoy activities like; Birding, safari drive, water safari, chimpanzee trekking, katwe explosion crater and many others.

Apoka Safari Lodge

With a beautiful view of the Savannah Vegetation, Apoka Safari Lodge is perched on a small hill in the Kidepo National Park. The wildlife can be heard, viewed effortlessly from every angle of the lodge- the rooms, Veranda and private outdoor soaking tub.
The accommodation is of a first-class. Simply impressive and breathtaking with a central dinning area overlooking the waterholes allowing you to view wild game coming to quench their thirst. The cottages are amazingly decorated with an African touch that beautifully blends the surrounding. Enjoy a perfect swim at the skillfully crafted swimming pool at the edge of the rock.

Semilik Safari Lodge

Semiliki Safari Lodge

The lodge is gorgeous tucked in a remote destination in the Semiliki valley, Semiliki forest that houses an array of beautiful birds, baboons, monkey, forest elephants. The Semilik Safari Lodge hosts charmingly thatched roof golden-hued tents, en-suite bathrooms, each room has a veranda with a stunning panaromic view of the mountains and savannah forest and rift valley. Activities includes chimpanzee trekking, extensive walking trails, boat trips on Lake Albert and Visits to the pygmies.

Choose to go on a get away trip and immerse yourself into nature’s finest making a stop at one of Uganda’s luxurious Must see Safari lodges. Enjoy!

Meet the falls in Uganda

Watching water fall naturally down the rocky cliffs is an exciting venture and a wonderful refreshment of the mind. The uniqueness of Uganda’s natural waterfalls is that; the water flows throughout the year and are reachable with clear trails or roads. The waterfalls are at their scenic best during rainy seasons, best for photo shoots.

Let’s meet the most beautiful falls in Uganda

Murchison Falls

Tourists at Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls –also known as Kabalega Falls, is a waterfall between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert on the White Nile River in Uganda – the second longest river in the world. It’s located within the Murchison National park in the Northern region of the Albertine Rift Valley.
Tourists love cruising at the bottom of the falls as they watch the water splashing down with enormous force as the River Nile pushes through the gorge only 7 meters (23 ft) wide, and tumbles 43 metres (141 ft), before flowing westward into Lake Albert.
Enjoy hikes to the bottom of the falls and have an impressive view of the rainbows, devils cauldron, bird watching and game drives; Simply breathe taking sight!

 

Aruu Falls

Aruu Falls


The graceful flow of the water over the slippery cascading rocks naturally arranged into a series of steps will definitely relax and mesmerize you with their intricate beauty. The Aruu Falls are located in Pader District; the best attraction site in Northern Uganda.
Whilst visiting Kidepo National Park, make a stopover and enjoy the sight of the scenic cascading Aruu falls. Nature walks, swimming, rock climbing, fishing, and bird watchingTourist enjoying the cool breeze and water spray of the fall

SIPI FALLS

Sipi Falls


An impressive sight of the100 meters high, Sipi falls at the foothills of Mount Elgonlocated in Kapchorwa District in Eastern Uganda.Its character can go from thunderous wall of water to graceful parallel strands of water exposing the Curtain Cave behind it.
Taking a natural shower under the fall or diving for a swim into the large plunge pool is a priceless experience. Take in the spectacular sight of the gorgeous Sipi Falls through bike riding, hikes or dives into the water

Sezibwa Falls

Sezibwa Falls


One of the unique water falls in Uganda; a gorgeous oasis for nature lovers. It’s approximately 35km along Kampala- Jinja highway in Mukono District in Central Uganda. The smoky brownish water gushes between the two rocks and falls 7 meters high producing a hissing sound.
It is the nearest of all to the capital city of Uganda. It’s a hideout place isolated, quiet and serene; perfect for family picnic or couples who would wish to enjoy their private time. It’s also a much-loved place for bird watchers, rock climbing, camping and taking nature walks.

Karuma Falls

Karuma Falls


Karuma Falls on the white Victoria Nile 311 km from Kampala City on Gulu high way. The Karuma Falls comprise of a sequence of natural good locking rock formations at the base of the Victoria Nile, within this place creating a spectacular ripple of water of a stunning white foam appearance.

Karuma Falls Bridge


Constructed in 1963, Karuma bridge crosses the huge waterfalls and connects the districts of Masindi and Gulu. The water fall is a perfect spot for bird, wildlife viewing like buffalos, antelopes, monkeys and baboons. Nature walks around the banks of the falls is an exciting activity for most tourist.Baboon along the Gulu High way on Karuma Bridge.

Uganda Zaabu, do not miss to indulge your sight with at least one or two of the waterfalls mentioned here. Enjoy!

HOW BUSONGORA BEAT RWENZURURU TO RULE KASESE

By Simon K. Turibamwe 

It’s always hard for the minority to rule the majority but only the Basongora, one of the minority tribes in Kasese have proven that they can rule over everyone in in the district challenging the Rwenzururu establishment whose leadership and affiliations are on probation majority saying its agenda isn’t clearly understood.

In 2009 when the Government of Uganda accepted to officially recognize the Rwenzururu movement into a cultural institution or Kingdom, the Basongora who says are the indigenous of Kasese accepted and supported the idea. Much as Toro Kingdom didn’t agree with the central government on Rwenzururu recognition at the time, the Basongora and Banyabindi who were still claimed by Toro to be her subjects contributed towards the occasion to grace the function that show King Mumbere being crowned as King on the 19th day of October 2009 at Kilembe Mines Golf Club.

After the recognition of the Rwenzururu Kingdom which originally was to accommodate Bakonzo and Bamba then other tribes in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo, the King did not appoint any none mukonzo on his cabinet a move that sparked talks of discrimination from day one.

As years went on, these other tribes including Bamba, Babwisi and vanoma in Bundibugyo district, Basongora and Banyabindi in Kasese district started moves to have their own Kingdoms established and publicly announced that they are not part and partial of Rwenzururu anymore.

On May 13th 2012, the Basongora pronounced themselves and later on July 1st 2012 crowned their own Bwebale Ivan their king with a title of Rutakirwa and gave name him after one of the Busongora’s great kings Rwiigi the fourth.

Much as the government officials never surfaced at the coronation of the Busongora Kingdom, President Museveni was present for the coronation of the Omudhingiya wa Bwamba Lt. col Martin Kamya  who rules over all none Konzo tribes in Bundibugyo district.

Save for Obudhingyiya bwa Bwamba in Bundibugyo districts, Rwenzururu Kingdom and its functionaries have been opposed to establishment of Banyabindi and Basongora Kingdoms saying that there can’t be two Kingdoms within one area. The Rwenzururu looked at this as creation of a kingdom within a Kingdom.

With all the resistance from Rwenzururu, the Basongora went on to perform cultural roles on grounds that their culture and language is not similar to those of Rwenzururu.

Reasons for Busongora Kingdom existence

Having exhibited seriousness within their territory and why they are not Rwenzururu, below are the reasons both government and individuals have decided to support the existence of Busongora Kingdom. Despite having a richest Kingdom on this earth planet the Basongora says they better have no kingdom than having a kingdom that is not developing and basing on this background using the constitution they have made sure that any one not developmental will never be their ruler.

Historical Background

The Basongora with the help of reigning King Ndahura II Kashagama have managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that their Kingdom existed 5000 years ago and only disappeared for the last 100 years after it was conquered by the Britsish to pave way for Toro Kingdom that was seceding from Bunyoro with the help of Capt.Lugard.

The Basongora presented lists of their former Kings, their origin and where they were buried in Uganda and the period they reigned which has also proved that all Kingdoms in Uganda and some parts of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi originated from Busongora a fact that it’s older than any other Kingdom in East and West Africa. This has been one of the grounds that even professors of history accepted without doubt.

Unique culture

Much as the Basongora are pastoralists like any other group related to the Bachwezi, they have continued to exhibit that their culture is so unique from the rest. While establishing their kingdom which they said were reinstating in 2012, the elders said that they were feeling so sad to see their children in schools being forced to learn the norms of Bakonzo as if they had no own cultural norms and traditional. The Bakonzo who are of Ndu dialect, have a traditional dance that makes women to jump and spread their legs wide while the Basongora who are of Ntu dialect remains seated while performing a traditional folk songs. Though all tribes in Uganda fronts a drum as the major musical instrument, the Basongora never plays a drum or any other object that makes noisy sound apart from the Enanga. The Enanga will be played by women seated with their legs folded and covered under their long dresses (suits) while men will stand holding sticks and make moves with their arms wide spread holding sticks.

Still on culture there was no way Bakonzo or Rwenzururu whose main food is Bundu (cassava flour), sombe (cassava leaves) and Fish would force Basongora whose only favorite is milk and yoghurt (Ikyivuguto/amakamo).

Environmentalists

The Basongora who equalize their cows to human beings in terms of treatment and respect they don’t only stop there but also love environment because they know that their lives and those of their animals depend on environment. The Musongora will plead with you to have him punished but not to pollute the environment any form. The Basongora culture also prohibits hunting or killing female animals for meat while Bakonzo are hunting experts and meat lovers.  

None violent

They make good warriors while armed with sticks but they are not provocative to open wars against others and they like solving grievances through dialogue. Some elders revealed that the Basongora like dialogue because they realized that violent is destructive during the days they were at war with foreign armies.

With this, the Basongora said can’t be part of Rwenzururu whose culture is even known by the true Bakonzo that is characterized by violence and forceful means.

The Bukonzo vs Rwenzururu

When King Mumbere’s father and comrades launched the Rwenzururu rebellion or Rwenzururu movement a rebel group that fought Toro Kingdom accusing Batoro of oppression, marginalization and discrimination among other tribes, they managed to convince all none Batoro that struggle would benefit them all.

However after recognition of Rwenzururu as a Kingdom, the true Bakonzo were the first to question the legality of Rwenzururu as others said that Kingdom should be called Bukonzo since the area was known as Bukonzo and people called Bakonzo while the Rwenzururu was the group of fighters. Basing on this other tribes said would accept working with Bakonzo but not Rwenzururu that had no geographical location and existing people or culture. Before Rwenzururu got recognition some senior citizens had warned the government not to recognize Rwenzururu but Bukonzo because the characteristics of Rwenzururu were not clear and that it would change the identity of Bakonzo to be called Banyarwenzururu something that would have a negative impact on the community.

Minutes after his recognition as King Rutakirwa Rwiigi IV Bwebale at Muhokya Palace, he said he would respect King Mumbere because government had put him in place but would never respect the functionaries of Rwenzururu.

To provide alternative leadership

To prove that they had an alternative leadership for peace and stability in Rwenzori sub region especially in Kasese which is characterized by unresolved conflicts, the Basongora said must focus only on developmental issues and give no attention to anything that hinders peace or development.

When he assumed the office of the King, King Ndahura II Kashagama asked all his subjects never to engage in anything not developmental if they are to make Busongora a model community. He promised that he would only concentrate on development and not conflicting with any member of the society or central government because they needed each other and that only team work is the only way to develop.

To show his determination, King Kashagama who assumed the office in 2016 has managed to construct own Palace, develop a Tourism Centre, construct roads, bore hole for safe drinking water, lobby universities and other learning institutions for scholarships among others for his subjects. The Basongora who were listed by UNESCO to be the most endangered minority ethnic group in the world, are now proud that their identity is back on record not for the bad but for the good.

The Busongora kingdom has also been able to attract investors, partners and friends from western countries to support the Kingdom developments. With support from donors and the government the Kingdom is planning to establish a wildlife treatment center, university and hospital inside the Ikamiro Palace.

Recently Busongora Kingdom was ranked by cultural experts as the model Kingdom of the 21st Century in terms of cultural diversity development.

None discriminative

Busongora elders who were interviewed by this reporter also revealed that before they thought of reinstating the kingdom what their priority was to see a united community because majority of the population that neither belonged to Toro or Rwenzururu were left in limbo because were not accommodated in any of the Kingdom.

This the Kingdom that accommodates Basongora, Bakingwe, Banyankore, Bakiga, Banyarwanda,Bagabo, Batuku, Batoro, Banyaruguru and a section of Bakonzo who are opposed to Rwenzururu establishment among other community living in Kasese district.

People who are not Basongora don’t only subscribe to the Kingdom but also included in the Cabinet and technical team of the kingdom.

Robert Kyomya kashamura who is the chief advisor of the king revealed that the inclusion of the other tribes in the kingdom was to exhibit their will for co-existence because there is no community that lives in isolation without neighbors. He adds that: “Busongora is the center of all tribes in Uganda and therefore staying or working alone may not solve the community issues. It should also be noted that a kingdom that wants to isolate other people living within is not for development but for other missions I may say subversive but for us we believe in co-existence.”    

Yosam Nyamutare the Kingdom prime Minister said that because they wanted to see Busongora provide alternative leadership, they had to be accommodative to whoever is interested to stay or work towards the development of Busongora and no one is compelled to subscribe to the kingdom of Busongora because subscription is optional.

Nyamutare further says that instead of compelling people to subscribe to the kingdom, the kingdom has a duty to prove competence in service provision so that people are convinced by the deeds not the word of mouth or force.

“The Kingdom is not politics where people are convinced to support a certain political party but the only way is to show everyone that you are doing right things and focused for development,” said Nyamutare the Kingdom Prime Minister.

Pan-African spirit

King Ndahura II Kashagama, who recently received a certificate of appreciation and a medal for his contribution towards promotion of Pan-Africanism, has also been telling the Basongora to imitate their ancestors treat all Africans as one family. The Basongora believe that they are the ones who mothered Africans and therefore all Africans are equal and that no one should be discrimination on race or tribe but they are Africans.

People power factor

Busongora is the only Kingdom in the East and West Africa where people have more powers than the king. To avoid dictation by the King and prime Minister, both the king and prime minister are chosen by people in an open election.

The Busongora Kingdom constitution gives powers to the council of accession (elders’ council) to choose who should be the king or prime minister.  The same council also has got powers to dethrone, remove or punish or force a king to resign if proven guilty of nonperformance. The council of accession is the Alfa and Omega arm in running the Kingdom affairs.

Simon Kagame, the Minister in charge constitutional affairs revealed that the constitution doesn’t stop at taming powers of the top leadership but also locks out people who drink alcohol from being nominated or appointed Kings. He adds that this constitution was designed to avoid future problems in the kingdom where individuals would impose themselves on people to claim being rightful kings.

“We have had scenarios where people are claiming to be right kings to oppose the existing ones and this because they have no due process of appointing kings but if some chosen through due process not even God will dispute his appointment,” said Kagame the Minister for Constitution affairs and institutional development.

Moses Kibwiizi a minister in the Kingdom also said that whoever developed the idea to give powers to the people and not the King deserve an accolade because in most cases leaders use their powers because they are final to mislead people they are supposed to lead.

“Where the King or any leader has the final word can use his powers to give wrong or misleading instructions to the subject and destroy the Kingdom,” Kibwiizi said.

HPV- the virus that spreads faster and silently than HIV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an infection that causes warts in various parts of the body, depending on the strain. The World Health Organization records that there are more than 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 are cancer-causing (also known as high risk type).

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and not easily detected because people with HPV don’t develop any symptoms but can still infect others through sexual contact.

Genital warts caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV)

It’s so common that most sexually active people will get some variety of it at some point, even if they have few sexual partners. Some cases of genital HPV infection may not cause any health problems. However, some types of HPV can lead to the development of genital warts and even cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat.

The types of HPV that cause warts are different from the types that cause cancer. So, having genital warts caused by HPV doesn’t mean that you’ll develop cancer.

How it spreads

Facts about HPV

  1. Spreads by sexual contact
  2. Some types preventable by vaccine
  3. Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured
  4. Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
  5. Requires a medical diagnosis
  6. Lab tests or imaging often required

Treatment

Currently, there isn’t a cure for HPV and warts may go away on their own. No drug is available to treat the virus itself. Treatment depends on stage and focuses on managing any symptoms like removing the warts. Genital warts can be treated with prescription medications like podophyllum that can be self applied (external use only), burning with an electrical current or freezing with liquid nitrogen. But, getting rid of the physical warts doesn’t treat the virus itself, and the warts may return.

The two best ways to avoid getting HPV are by practicing safe sex and getting vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls to protect against HPV types 16 and 18, both of which can lead to certain cancers.

These vaccines are Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. Each one involves a series of two or three Trusted Source injections into a muscle over six months, depending on age.

Older guidelines recommend the HPV vaccine Gardasil for females between the ages of 11 and 26, and for males through age 21. The current guidelines now state that both men and women between the ages of 27 and 45 who have not been previously vaccinated for HPV are now eligible for Gardasil 9. The complete vaccination series involves two or three doses.

You need to get the complete series of vaccinations to be fully protected. Remember that nearly all sexually active adults will get HPV at some point in their lives including here in Uganda too. Consistently practicing safe sex and getting tested will help prevent STIs.

The Glamorous Cable – Stayed Bridge

It is well known as the Source of the Nile Bridge or the New Jinja Bridge that replaced the deteriorating 1954 built Nalubaale Bridge. The Source of the Nile Bridge is the longest bridge in Uganda and 5th longest bridge in the African continent at 525 metres (1,722 ft) long and 22.9 metres (75 ft) wide

The glamorous cable-stayed bridge across the Victoria Nile located at Njeru, a suburb of the city of Jinja – Uganda; aroused excitement among people after its completion in October 2018. One of the aims of constructing this bridge was to enhance tourism with the addition of this iconic signature beauty of the gigantic concrete and steel structure is 72 harp-like white cables connecting the bridge deck to two 69-metre tall inverted-Y pylon towers that are well lit in the night. It is said to look like the ‘Anzac’ Bridge in Sydney, Australia.

 

Anzac Bridge – Sydney, Australia
Source of the Nile Bridge – Jinja, Uganda

The overall width of the New Jinja Bridge is 22.9m wide. It has a dual carriageway 7.0m wide with a pedestrian walk way of 2.25m wide on both ends with a projected lifespan of 120 years.

The Season’s Crunchy Snack is here – Nsenene

Nsenene also known as grasshoppers need no professional cook or expensive ingredients to prepare them since they secrete their own oil and anyone starting from children, vendors or parents can prepare them.

Every year in Uganda, the Nsenene season comes in twice; around April -May and also in November – December which are usually wet seasons.  Nsenene or grasshoppers provide a cheap and often free source of food as they are freely available in the wild for anyone willing and able to trap them.

History
Back in the day, people would make sounds and sing songs when collecting grasshoppers. They would shout out up on a hill “wuli wuli wuli” a loud sound to notify people on another hill that “here are a lot more Nsenene”.

Songs like Nkulubazi bajja bajja, omugadda guwere meaning Let the King or Queen come & call the the other grasshoppers (Nkulagala & Nkulusajja) so that the catch is big.

Tradition also called for women to present Nsenene to their husbands, who dutifully gifted them a dress in response as gratitude to their hard work since it involved getting one Nsenene at a time from the grass and keeping it in a cloth or bottle until a reasonable number was collected.
The Nsenene would be collected from banana plantations or picked from the hilly grasslands.

Modern traps today are made from metal drums and corrugated zinc sheets . This method started back in Nyendo- Masaka around 1992 or 1993. The Nsenene hunters leave high-wattage electric bulbs burning through the night; attracted to the white light, grasshoppers hit the sheets and fall into the drums. 

Types of Grasshoppers ;

  1. Nkulagala
    These are quiet, green and fatty and are the announcers of the Nsenene season. These are usually caught in the morning in green grass and are less noisy.
  2. Nkulabazzi
    These are red-green in color and are believed to be the King or queen. Usually have other Nsenene’s around them when found
  3. Nkulusajja
    These are brownish- dry banana leaf color and appear towards the end of the season. They are aggressive and such biters and known to be noisy

Today, the unlucky grasshoppers collected, have their wings and legs plucked off and then sold in markets starting from as low as UGX 1,000 for 2 tablespoons of grasshoppers.

Nsenene, whose scientific name is Ruspolia Nitidula, are not only a delicious and addictive dish of insects but also contain exceptionally high amounts of proteins, fat, ash and dietary fiber that supports regular bowel movement; helps maintain normal cholesterol levels ( hence lower risk for coronary heart diseases) and regular blood sugar levels as well as keeping the unwanted weight off. The dietary fiber is rare of any animal based foods and higher than that in plant sources like peas, bananas or avocado.

There are various ways the Nsenene are prepared. Here is one quick recipe:

  1. After wings and legs are plucked
2. Soak in water, rinse 2 or 3 times
3. Transfer the grasshoppers into the pan your going to use for cooking
4. Add Salt, garlic and chopped onions
5. Stir occasionally to prevent burning until golden brown over medium heat
6. Serve and enjoy the crunchy snack

It’s time to fry, sell (or not), devour and celebrate a Ugandan cultural delicacy, the seasonal crunchy Nsenene !

The traditional dance for the Bakonzo Culture

The Bakonzo sometimes called Banandi is a group of the Bantu speaking people living in the districts of Kasese, Bundibgyo, Bunyangabu and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bakonzo mainly have two types of dances which are ceremonial.

Ekikibi Dance

This is the dance which I would call breaking of the chest and the back, it is for both men and women, it is majorly performed in functions that attract happiness say during marriage functions, music competitions among others.

It involves dancing together of a man and a woman, its best attractive when performed by people who know how to break the back properly while standing on one and a half feet.

It has a specific drum beat (the medium or the biggest of all the drums) and then other more two which makes it attractive or possibly one may work in absence of others.
The traditional dance for the Bakonzo Culture

Omukumu Dance

This is the dance performed mainly during the closing out of a burial ceremony (erisesya ekiriro), it may take up to one week while dancing, every day people go early to the home of the deceased to perfume this ritual.

This dancing has other many categories including, omukobo, eluma, amasinduka, amahande among others

Omukobo involves dancing while turning to the next neighbor as you keep rotating in a circle form as well as singing. There’s also beating of three drums, xylophone and other instruments.

Eluma evolves all the omukobo instruments with flute leading them all  to compose different songs.

Mukumu dance is neither for women nor for uncircumcised men

Mukumu dance is not performed in every one’s burial but for men who went for circumcision in Bwamba, Bundibughyo district (elhusumba) and not performed for women.

This type of dance has a leader called “Kabira”, is the person who is in-charge of everything involved in the dancing process say if you are to dance with a neighbor then you start with him among other things.

In early years of 1930’s and later, men would arrange and go to Bwamba (lhusumba) in Bundibugyo district for circumcision, this was one of the things to prepare for descent burial rituals and respect in public.

They would walk in the mountains of Kasese district, through upsides of Nyakigumba, Katebwa and then to Bwamba for the Circumcision function and return later after recovering.

The function would be organized for those returnees’ recognition of being rightful men to stabilize in public.

During those times and up now, men who are not circumcised are not considered in public like normal ones, they can’t even be recognized to speak in public.

ESUUKA; An Adorn of Royalty

Esuuka is one of the most precious ornaments a woman can wear especially that from Tooro, where beauty and royalty are a daily observation. An emblem of a true Mutoorokati (woman from Tooro), this easy wearing distinctive attire is the crown of beauty – solely the main reason Tooro women stand out on many occasions – traditional or elite worldwide.

Ever wondered what a sexy elegant woman with holiness looks like? A woman adorned in a Tooro Suuka will strikingly stick in your mind and hypnotize your personality as you appreciate the true likeness of being African.

Generation to generation, Esuuka has managed to prevail the test of time and threats of modernity – growing stronger and more popular among adults, young women and girls. It is the official wear for women and girls from Bunyoro , Tooro and those attached comprising of three major components including; ekiteteeyi (dress) wore on top of ekitambi (wrap skirt around the waist) and the Suuka (sheet of cloth between 5 to 6metres long) from where the name of the whole outfit is derived usually wore up to the feet.

The Tooro Suuka is more so like a red carpet gown, it covers full body length including the feet.
What makes it special is the way the Suuka is wrapped around the shoulders with its flap falling on one of the shoulders mostly on the right.

The Suuka is folded over the collar bone then tucked under arms wrapped around the whole body to the feet. The folds are kept in place by hand or pressed by the upper arms in position as shown by images in this piece

       
Left, the length of esuuka, dress and rapper (ekitambi), right batooro women rocking esuuka

Esuuka’s influence on women is one of the most significant in Tooro Culture; it portrays a well groomed woman with respect and humility – on the minds of everyone before they set out to an official or traditional event.

The Suuka is fabricated in such a way that keeps a woman habitually modest and respectful; it is by design a woman wearing Esuuka cannot jump out of her seat, run, speak or dance offensively in front of people. She can only walk or dance (if she has to) majestically with the lowest pace exuding the highest sense of privilege and admiration.

On an official Tooro ceremony or event, women not wearing Esuuka are ushered in at the back where they are not easily visible while those wearing the treasured Suuka are honoured in front row seats.

On a Kweranga (introduction) ceremony, the bride to be is obliged to wear the Suuka every time she comes out for presentation; it is unethical for a bride to walk out of the house dancing, raising her head and moving fast – the reason slow sentimental music is required to facilitate a majestic dance or walk of honour locally known as kuhuubya.


Batooro girls walking out of the house in esuuka on an introduction

It is eminent reality this phenomenon must be observed and respected since it’s the window that
exhibits the true essence of traditional fashion in Tooro. In recent times, Esuuka and its respects have been faced with immense infiltration from other cultures – not wearing it properly (imitating other cultures), dancing and moving fast while wearing it or dressing otherwise among others to official and traditional functions.

This has been largely due to lack of heritage education and influence of modern fashion trends that are on the
high rise every time. However, the current generation is realizing the value and uniqueness of this special tradition and is working so hard re-embracing it and lifting it up to where and how it is supposed to be alongside modern fashion inclinations.

It is actually OK accessorizing Esuuka with jewelry –necklaces, bracelets and crowns as long as they do not affect its etiquette.

 

The Queen Mother of Tooro Kingdom Best Kemigisa Akiiki is  the most iconic woman that has graced the Tooro Suuka diligently for all time, she has epitomized and showcased the core of the Tooro Suuka worldwide. She is rarely  seen  on a public function without the Tooro Suuka.

 

By Nelon Gerrard