discover

Bakonzo names and their meanings

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

For every Mukonzo, the surname must tell the position in birth counting whether the child is the first, second, or third, up to the last born.

Who they are?

The Bakonzo, sometimes called Bayira or Banande, are a Bantu-speaking group of people in western

Uganda and eastern DR Congo. In Uganda, they are concentrated in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts.

Others live in Bunyangabu and Ntoroko districts. The Bakonzo are the subjects of Rwenzururu Kingdom, whose king is Charles Wesley Mumbere.

The Bakonzo name their children according to their order of birth.

IN SUMMARY

The number matters. According to Grandfather (sokulhu) Stifano Bwambale Murokole, a resident of Kakone village in Mahango subcounty in Kasese District and a veteran Kikonzo culture advisor in the Bahira clan, the names of the Bakonzo were given to boys in seven birth ranks, whereas those for female children are eight.

Culture.
Have you ever considered the origin of your name? Fred Stephen Bwambale of Enganzi news writes that for anyone schooled in the culture of the Bakonzo, it is easy to tell the order in which someone was born just by knowing that person’s name.

 “Birth ranks” in this regard, it is the order in which the children born of the same mother and father follow each other, ranging from the oldest to the youngest.

For every Mukonzo, the surname must tell whether the child is the first, second, or third born, up to the last born.

Some other names are given depending on the situation like war, famine or massacres at the time the bearer was born.

According to sokulhu Murokole, “The Bakonzo women have for a long time been among the most fertile in Africa. By the 1990s, some strong women were producing up to 16 children. Such a woman would have a chance to finish all the male and female names”.

He listed the names given to the boy children, from the first born, as; Baluku, Bwambale, Masereka, Kuule, Thembo, Mbusa and Ndungo.

The female names are Musoki or Masika , Biira, Kabugho, Mbambu, Ithungu, Kyakimwa, Nziabake and Bulhubasa.

“These names are not given without considering who was born before who. You cannot name your first born Masereka. This will be a disorder because Masereka is the third born male child,” Murokole said.

One must be wondering where the name “Mumbere”, which is sometimes mistaken for a king’s title because Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere is not mentioned in the order.

“Mumbere” is another name for “Baluku” (the first born male child). Others say “Kambere” to refer to the same person – Mumbere.

However, the same child can be named “Nzanzu” if both parents were virgins at the time they consummated their marriage. A first born female produced by such parents is named “Kanyere”.

Murokole further explains that “Kasoke” and “Musoki” are names for a first born who is male and female respectively, if the child’s paternal and maternal grandparents are still alive by the time he or she is born.

The first time the parents produce a child of a different sex from the first one, the child is named “Muhindo” if male or female, and “Mbindule” if female.

 Bakonzo names given depending on the situation at birth

“Bethubanji” is another meaningful name given to the first born who is able to see the same light with his or her parents’ grandparents. This means the baby has its grandparents alive at the same time their parents are also living. This child is referred to as “Akatsukulhu,” meaning a person who has two generational grandparents.

Much as death is something that everyone fears to associate with, the Bakonzo have names that tell that someone was born after the other child/children had died. If this person is male, he is named “Kibaya”, “Kyithi”, “Bisogho”, “Kamabu” or “Bisiika/Kyirere”, whereas females in that category are named

“Mutsuba”, “Kyabu” or “Bisiika” and other names like bahwere.

The twins are named according to their order of birth too. The first to come out is named “Nguru”, while the second is “Ndobya”. The child who follows twins is named “Kitsa”, followed by “Kamalha”. These apply to both sexes.

There are also situational names such as “Muthende” for a child born when boys had gone for a circumcision initiation ceremony, “Byerire” for one born during time of great harvest and many other proverbial names like Byanzira when one is born in along the way.

However, despite the unique way of naming children, this culture is facing extinction because of factors such as the modern campaign of family planning in which parents are encouraged to produce a number of children they can easily provide for.

Amos Bakalhania Kule, a resident of Kaberere in Kyondo Sub-county in Kasese District, attributes the fast extinction of some of the names to people drifting away from their culture by opting to copy names whose meaning they have no idea of.

“Our people are running away from their culture and that is why our culture is facing destruction. Why should someone copy a British or American name and make his child known by that imported name instead of popularizing the name Baluku, Bambale or Masika?” he wonders.

Amos said much as family planning is now necessary because of the prevailing economic situations and scarcity of land for production, it is important to preserve the culture by giving the few children the original names.

For Stifano Murokole, the Bakonzo naming culture will only persevere if all [birth ranks] children are produced and bear the names.

“It is not preserving when you produce five and give them the right names. What we need to do is to produce all the children because these names were given by our ancestors for a reason,” Murokole suggested.

Fr. Balinandi Kambale Raphael of Kasese Diocese, also a Lhukonzo literature author, said the Bakonzo women are still fertile to fulfill God’s command to “produce and subdue the world”.

“It is poverty that forces the people to produce few children but it is also ignorance of culture that they are not giving those few their real names. The women are still fertile and if possible, they should produce all [birth ranks] the children to fill these names,” said the priest, who also teaches Lhukonzo language and culture on local radio station Kasese Guide Radio every Tuesday.

He said very soon, he will release a book giving the names of the Bakonzo, with their meanings with the hope the young generation will understand and use them to make the culture consistent.

Rwenzururu kingdom speaks out:

The prime ministerial commission Rt. Hon Guardi Mbayahi, is another man disturbed by the near extinction of some of the names of the Bakonzo.

He said copying other names from the neighboring ethnicities is “poisonous to our culture,” adding that children need to be named according to their birth ranks.

“People are copying names of our brothers the Banyankole and directly translate them to name their children. The Bakonzo have not been having names such as “Lwanzu”, which is from Rukundo,

“Athwanzire” from Natukunda and “Apipawe” from Ahimbisiibwe among the Banyankole. These names are fronted by parents ahead of the birth rank names such as Baluku, Thembo and Mbusa,” he said.

 

The OBR premier also said the kingdom cabinet has already deliberated on this growing concern with a view of officially writing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to advise on how to preserve the names.

“The cabinet has already discussed this concern. As Bakonzo, we have a unique culture worldwide because we are well named according to our birth ranks. We need Unesco to help preserve this culture that is now threatened,” Rt. Hon Guardi lamented.

There are fears that with the names of the Bakonzo being ignored by parents while naming children that the 14 clans may also be at the brink of not being cherished.

Each clan among the Bakonzo has a totem and “fake enemy”. The “fake enemy” is another clan that is jokingly an enemy of the other.

For instance, the Bathanji clan members will joke that “Balegha bahwere” (the Balegha clan is finished) when they see a new moon. These jokes, elders say, were used to make the young ones understand their clans better. The Bakonzo clans that give the same names are Abakira, Abasu, Abahambu, Abahira,

Abaswagha, Ababinga, Abathanji, Abaseru, Abanyisanza, Abalegha, Abahinda, Abakunda, Abalumba,

Abasongora (not the cattle keepers’ tribe).

AFRICAN/ TRIBAL PRINT

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

African print has different names based on where it is from (East or West Africa) like Ankara fashion print that is popular in the west or Kitenges/Chitenjes/ Kikoy/Kangas popular in the East.

It doesn’t really matter where the print originates from but the flair the print adds to your fashion sense. Either you wrap it around your chest or waist, a headscarf, baby sling, dress or shirt, rest assured you will look outstanding.

Best part is that this print can be customized or tailor-made to any style or shape your mind can imagine or skillful tailor can conform it to.

Different Uses of the African Fabric;

  • They are used as a sling to hold a baby across the back of a mother. They can hold the baby at the front as well, particularly when breast feeding.
  • Given as gifts to young women.
  • Decorative pieces at dinner tables.
  • Can be is wrapped around the bathing suit for modesty or to shield cold air.
  • Framed or hung up on the wall as a decorative batik artwork.
  • Incorporated in clothing items such as hoodies, trousers, and accessories such as bags.
  • In Malawi, Chitenjes are customary for women at funerals.

The Connotation of the Independence Monument

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

For over five decades ever since Uganda got its Independence, the independence monument has imposingly stood height of 6 meters at the heart of the capital between the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel and Stan-Chart bank whilst staring down at the Grand Imperial Hotel to the right and Standard Chartered Bank to the left.

It is one of the most distinctive landmark of Uganda, a work of art that shows a woman with wrapping all over her body standing firmly on the ground with her legs slightly parted while hoisting a child in the air. The child looks like a little boy with his hands raised in victory. This signifies a new born country let free from colonialism and bondages.

This was the work of Gregory Maloba, a Luhya sculptor from Kenya who studied and taught art at Makerere University from 1939- 1965. He executed this work using from cement, sand, iron bars and wire mesh in the months towards the day of Uganda’s Independence, October 9, 1962. Gregory Maloba was one of the better-known artists then with a well-documented track record in art at that time. Gregory was assisted by John Kisaka, one of his graduate students, now a retired teacher.

It is said that this monument was deemed incomplete as the initial sketch had two human figures at each side, each playing a trumpet, perhaps as a sign of jubilation. Despite this, the Independence monument turned out to be of much artistic and symbolic significance to Uganda.

In time for the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Independence Monument was revamped and the wall behind it painted with a few stripes of the Uganda Flag colors.

The Independence monument is a must see if you are travelling to Kampala. With the beautification around the monument, you need to carry your camera for the memorable capture of the sight. This is among Kampala’s top Attractions and best sight when doing city walks

BUGANDA TRADITIONAL WEAR

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Clothing is part of culture because it defines who people are. A Muganda woman typically wears a gomesi. This is a floor-length, brightly colored cloth dress with a square neckline and short, puffed sleeves.

The first Gomesi was made of bark cloth however today they come in materials such as silk, cotton and other fabrics. A gomesi is not a single clothing but rather one that is accompanied with several garments to make it whole like the Kikoy which is an undergarment that is worn to add weight.

The garment is fastened with a sash traditionally known as a kitambala placed around waist over the hips, and two buttons on the left side of the neckline.

The indigenous dress of the Baganda man is a kanzu, a masculine outfit looks similar to a tunic and is mostly composed of a white or cream fabric. It’s made from silk, cotton, poplin, or linen. Linen kanzus are the most expensive.

The Kanzu unlike other specific attires cuts across several tribes and almost all ugandan men wear it during cultural functions. The Kanzu has a make of a dress and the men usually wear trousers beneath it plus a coat over their shoulders to match with it.

Traditionally, the busuuti was strapless and made from bark-cloth. The busuuti is worn on all festive and ceremonial occasions like introduction parties, giveaways, coronation ceremonies .

The Significance of the Gomesi and Kanzu is to promote decency and respect in public. Different tribes around Uganda and world wide have a adopted this traditional wear. The Gomesi and Kanzus are easily customized into different designs and colors as preferred by different individuals.

Put in mind that when wearing these traditional cloth that you have to be gracious. Men ought not to hold the kanzu when walking to avoid it from touching the ground. Never let the under garment be seen. And never alter the traditional design of the gomesi or kanzu because it ceases to be the known traditional wear.

These traditional outfits can be bought from shops in the city centre of Kampala at places like; Mukwano Arcade, Kiyembe shopping centre, Craft village and several shops around Kampala town.

In order to own one, you’ve got to buy a material of your preference, then take it for measurements to a tailor who then sews it into a Gomesi but for a Kanzu, the gentleman has to fit in to find the perfect size and height of it. The Busuutis are quite affordable but the material you want will determine how much you will have to spend.

Entebbe Town and its Features.

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Entebbe is a pleasant town built on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Entebbe offers a relaxed stop-over alternative to Kampala if you’re flying into or out of Uganda, as the air is clean, the streets are safe to walk, and the old colonial gardens and parks with the lake in the background make for a serene atmosphere. Despite its quiet exterior, you view the State home and some beautiful wildlife at any turn if you’re not in a rush to the capital city, it’s worth a stay.

Entebbe is also a major town in Central Uganda. On a Lake Victoria peninsula, approximately 37 kilometres southwest of the Uganda’s capital city, it was once the seat of government for the Protectorate of Uganda prior to independence, in 1962.

Entebbe is the location of Uganda’s International Airport, Uganda’s largest commercial and military airport. It is also the location of State House, the official office and residence of the President of Uganda.

Entebbe sits on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. The town is situated in Wakiso District, Wakiso District is a district in the Central Region of Uganda that partly encircles Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

Wakiso District lies in the Central Region of the country, bordering with Nakaseke District and Luweero to the north, Mukono District to the east, Kalangala District in Lake Victoria to the south, Mpigi District to the southwest and Mityana District to the northwest. Wakiso, where the district headquarters are located, lies approximately 20 kilometres, from the road, northwest of Kampala,

The olden times of Entebbe

It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial centre in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base.

The word Entebbe came from Luganda language entebbe which means ‘seat’ / ‘chair’. Entebbe was the seat of the colonial governor in the early 1900s, when the country was a British protectorate, and is now the location of the official office and residence of the President of Uganda, thus the name Entebbe is the seat of power in the country

Entebbe is perhaps best known to Europeans as the home of Entebbe International Airport, the main international airport of Uganda, which was first opened in 1929.

Tourist Attractions in Entebbe
1. The extensive National Botanical Gardens.
The National Botanical Gardens of Uganda, commonly known as the Botanical Gardens Entebbe, are located in Entebbe, Uganda. They were laid out in 1898 by the first curator, A Whyte, close to the shores of Lake Victoria. The gardens are divided into different zones, including a rain forest zone.

2. The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).
The Uganda Virus Research is a medical research institute owned by the Uganda government that carries out research on communicable diseases in man and animals, with emphasis on viral transmitted infections. UVRI is a component of Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO), an umbrella organization for health research within Uganda.h Institute (UVRI).

3. The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)
The Uganda Wildlife Education Center is a fun and exciting place to see and learn about the animals of Uganda and the ecosystems in which they live. Take some time to learn how they live, eat, play, and talk.

Originally founded in the 1950s to accommodate confiscated and injured wildlife and to look after orphan animals which have been taken away from smugglers it has grown considerably in recent years. Many say its destined to become the most important showcase for wildlife on the African continent.

Created by the government of Uganda with the help of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York and managed by a Wildlife Trust, it never fails to delight. At UWEC you will come across free ranging Vervet monkeys and a family troop of DeBraza monkeys in the jungle of our hillside forest. Over 120 bird species can be watched ranging from the famous African fish eagle, over the Great Blue Turaco to Hammerkops, Giant Kingfisher and even the smallest sun birds.
UWEC is not a zoo in a conventional sense and neither is it a Safari Park but it is a center where wildlife education is combined with leisure. Our main aim is to model the main ecosystem of this country in open range exhibits. Not only can you observe many of our most exciting indigenous species here, but comprehensive interactive interpretation and briefings on them are also given. (UWEC)

4. Entebbe is the location of Nkumba University
Nkumba University (NU) is a private university in Entebbe, Uganda. It was established in 1994 as part of a group of schools and colleges which originally grew from a kindergarten set up in 1951. The University is dedicated to the promotion of excellence in applied business education. Creativity, Confidence, Competence and Character. The university is not affiliated with any particular religious organization, but it accommodates several religious associations, which allow the students to fellowship along religious beliefs and to devote adequate time to God.
The university campus is located on Nkumba Hill, in Wakiso District, approximately 10 kilometres, by road, northeast of Entebbe International Airport, along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, the second-largest fresh water body in the world.

5. The State House.
The President of the Republic of Uganda is the head of state and head of government of Uganda. The president leads the executive branch of the Government of Uganda and is the commander-in-chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Force.

6. Entebbe is also home to the historical site in Kigungu where the first catholic missionaries Brother Amans and Father Mon Maple Lourdel landed to establish the catholic faith in Uganda.

7. Entebbe is home of the oldest golf course in East Africa called Entebbe Golf Club, which was established in 1900. Entebbe Golf Club is surrounded by the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, (formerly Entebbe Zoo), on its south side.

8. Entebbe International Airport
Entebbe International Airport is the principal international airport of Uganda. It is near the town of Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria, and about 41 kilometres by road south-west of the central business district of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. The headquarters of the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda have been relocated to a new block off the airport highway.

9. Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria (Nalubaale in Luganda) is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it. Speke accomplished this in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton to locate the source of the Nile River.

And lastly Entebbe is the home of beaches on the shores of lake Victoria.
Government and infrastructure

10. The head office of the Ministry of Works and Transport is in Entebbe.
The Ministry of Works and Transport is a Cabinet level government ministry of Uganda, that is mandated to plan, develop and maintain an economic, efficient and effective transport infrastructure, and transport services by road, rail, water, and air. The ministry is also mandated to manage public works including government structures and promote standards in the construction industry. The ministry is headed by a Cabinet Minister. The current Minister of Works and Transport is Engineer Monica Azuba Ntege

The headquarters of the ministry are located at the corner of Jinja Road and Old Port Bell Road, in Kampala Central Division, in the Industrial Area of Kampala,

11. The head office of the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda (CAA) is the government agency responsible for licensing, monitoring, and regulating civil aviation matters. It is administered by the Uganda Ministry of Works and Transport.

Ok, you can only make your fantacy a reality only if you take time off and visit the beautiful Entebbe town and you have a holiday or a tour. visit the Ugandan your best online info.
By Kabagambe Gerald.

WHITE WATER RUSH – JINJA, UGANDA

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

From a truth or dare game, I was dared to go rafting on the White Nile.

“How hard could it be?” I said to myself then. That weekend my friend and I set off from the suburbs of Kampala city by bus to Jinja.

We got to Jinja by mid-morning. There were different kinds of people. You could tell the nervousness in folks that were going to go rafting the first time. For folks that had done it before, they were thrilled to be at it again. I was a little bit of both; thrilled yet nervous at the same time.

After picking up life jackets, paddles and helmets provided; a crash course on safety precautions were laid out for us. We formed teams and with our captain assigned, we set off to size up with our first rapid. The rapids were of different levels , that’s to say the higher the number the meaner the rapid.

Over time we bounced and shimmed a lot, we spent more time in the air than sitting on inflatable rubber. A level three rapid which was high for us the unprofessional rafters caught us swiftly; trying as hard as we could to adhere to our captain’s instructions, the raft eventually overturned and we were all submerged by roaring white water.

Luckily our life jackets pushed us afloat and the stationed kayaks that paddled fast to our rescue where good at their jobs. We were soon reunited with our raft.

With scenery of beautiful green forest, it felt like being alone in the wilderness. We paddled further across the White Nile to a designated location where we had lunch and talked about our white water rush experience felt few moments ago.

If you are searching for a sense of excitement and adventure, adrenaline push experiences to share, Jinja is certainly a good start.

By Bridget Namaganda

Sip nature’s beauty at Sipi Falls

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

The interesting difference between Sipi and Murchison Falls, in my opinion, is that of the two, Sipi is more accurately named. The thing about Murchison Falls is that the water there just doesn’t fall. It fights, froths, and foams its way through the rocks.

At Sipi, however, the water really does fall. The flow never touches the cliff at all, but simply drops, in a lacy, diaphanous veil, to crash into the pool at bottom, creating a constant fine mist in the process. It’s a beautiful, elegant ballerina, stretching top to toe a slender 100 meters; Murchison by comparison is a stocy, meaty beast, more awe-inspiring than mesmerizing.

And should you decide to visit this delicate aquatic ballerina, you could do worse than stay at the quaint and comfortable Lacam Lodge, along the road, from Mbale to Kapchorwa. The Lodge, constructed on the slopping cliff, is moderately-priced, with a relaxed wooden bar, and lots and lots of steps (which is good for the knees, but very bad if you need the toilet at 3:00am)

There are two main reasons why this place is so good, the first of which is the food. The quality is pretty good- I particularly enjoyed my honey pancake, though it would have gone down better hot- but the quantity is the real bonus, if eating is what you like to do. It’s the sort of place one would got to if one had just wandered out of the Sahara, where you could walk in on Monday rake-thin, and walk out on Tuesday heavy as a hippo.

On Sunday morning for breakfast, I was served up pineapple and banana for starters, then toast as a second course, and finally bacon, eggs, and sausage as the grand finale. I could quite happily have shared the meal between another two people and still left the table feeling satisfied.

The second reason for choosing Lacam is that it’s very convenient for abseiling, the location of which is only a five-minute walk from the lodge. Organized by a company inexplicably known as “Rob’s Rolling Rock”, I never saw Rob, or any rolling rocks – this is a must-do for those visiting the falls. You lower yourself rather scarily backwards over the 100-meter drop, suspended by a couple of ropes, and then basically lower yourself down by feeding one of your ropes through the harness.

The feeling about half-way to the bottom, when you look all around you and are basically hanging in mid-air, is particularly memorable. Intelligently, the site for the abseiling is also quite close to the falls themselves; not quite close enough for them to make you wet, but close enough. If you’re feeling energetic, you can also, from the base of Sipi, go on a three-hour or so tour of two other falls upstream – similar in appearance to Sipi- and “the cave”.

This last is a big fat cavern in the mountain, which is apparently filled with bats; however, you need to take your torch in there to see them, and do take one yourself. Guides, mine included, sometimes forget to bring a light themselves, which can be a bit of a pain.

Just the same, this place is still one of the best experiences I have had in Uganda, mainly because the abseiling and three-hour country trek appealed to my energetic side. Be warned of a couple of things though: the abseiling co, have not, as yet, got gloves as part of their kit, which can result in nasty burns as the rope zips through your palms. Second, don’t expect to be able to watch the falls as you eat your dinner, they are only visible from one point at the lodge, so they are usually heard, rather than seen.

The Beautiful Bahai Temple in Uganda Out Of Eight In The World.

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Bahai temple is the dawning place of the praise of God. From miles away, a green pasture and majestic pillars can be seen on the hill, an iconic against the western horizon of Kampala. It is the mother Temple of the Bahai faith in Africa, out of only seven in the World. And just like the faith it represents, the Bahai temple is no ordinary house of worship.

There are eight Bahia Temples in the world with Mother Temple of Africa located in Uganda. During the rule of President Idi Amin the Bahai Faith was banned and the Bahai Hand of the Cause Enoch Olinga and his family were murdered.

Bahai temple sitting on 52 acres of land, the temple is a unique architectural master piece. It was designed by Charles Mason Remey, who was a prominent and controversial American Bahai and its foundation stone was laid in January 1958. A few meters from the Temple is the dormitory of the mausoleums which are themselves marvels of design.

Thousands of tourists from all corners of the world visit the Bahai temple every year to gaze and admire the beauty of this building with a breath taking view.

Built between 1958 and 1961 on Kikaaya hill, three miles North of Kampala the building is 130ft. its dome is a 44ft in diameter. It is a nine sided structure which represents oneness and unity.

The temple has a sitting capacity of over 600 people. The green dome is decorated with tiny mosaic tiles that were imported from Italy, while the roof tiles were imported from Belgium. The walls were built with the locally sourced pre-cast stones, while reinforcing steel, window frames and fittings were imported from the UK.

The colored glass came from Germany. Inside the temple are woolen carpets imported from Turkey and the interior will leave anyone in awe.

Community activities
The Bahai community of Uganda has sponsored a number of social and economic development programmes in Uganda aimed at promoting the welfare of the local communities.

The picturesque site.
The ambience here in serene. The sprawling gardens sitting on several acres are covered with beautiful flowers and trees. They are clean and well mowed, just a perfect site for a family.
Young people from the neighborhood sometimes come here to revise their books in the quite environment. Some of the trees in the gardens include Musizi, Mvule, Mahogany, Pine and Eucalyptus.

According to George Olinga, the Director of external affairs of the Bahai faith in Uganda, most of the trees were planted by the Bahai faithful in the 1950s. Also in the gardens are the Tombs where the Bahai faithful who die in Kampala are buried. Olinga says the law of the faith states that one should be buried within an hour after death.

One dies in Kampala and transporting the corpse to their ancestral home would take more than an hour, we bury them here, Olinga says. The graves come in all shapes and designs, the most notable being of Enoch Olinga, which is shaped like the map of Africa.
Massive Tourist Attraction.
On the day we visited Bahai Temple. The massive flow of tourists, most of the foreign, left us speechless. For two hours we spent there, over 40 tourists visited the place, many coming as far as India, Slovakia, USA, Sweden and UK. John, one of the Guides at the temple, says they receive over 80 tourists a day. Unfortunately, although the administration employs several Guides and laborers to maintain the place, tourists do not pay any coin to tour the place, hence missing out on some good money.

Not even the locals have been keen to tap into the opportunities as there are no artifacts or souvenirs sold near or around the Place. Olinga said the reason they do not charge any coin is because Bahai house of worship should be free to all people at all times regardless of race, background and religion.
History of The Baha’i Faith in Uganda

The Baha’i Faith was introduced in Uganda in August in 1951 by the arrival of Baha’is from Iran and the United Kingdom, which included Mr Musa and Mrs Samiyye Banani, Mr. Phillip Hainsworth, Mr.Ali and Mrs.Violette Nakhjavani and their daughter, Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. The first Local Spiritual Assembly, which is the local administrative council in the Baha’i Faith was formed by April 1952 and consisted of Mr and Mrs Banani, Mr.Ali and Mrs. Violette Nakhjavani, Mr. Phillip Hainsworth, Mr.Crispian Kajubbi who was the first Ugandan Baha’i, Mr.Fred Bigarwa, Mr.Peter Musoke, and Mr. Enoch Olinga.By October 1952, there was well over 100 Baha’is in Uganda from 15 different tribes and from Protestant, Catholic and other backgrounds.

By May 1954 the number had risen to well over 670 for the whole of Uganda, comprising of more than 20 different tribes. In 1953, pioneers from Uganda went on to spread the Baha’i Faith to other parts of Central Africa including the British Cameroons (Mr. Enoch Olinga), Belgian Congo (Current DRC) (Mr.Sam Mungono), and Congo Brazaville (Mr.Max Kanyerezi).The Intercontinental Conference for Africa held in 1958 This conference also marked the laying of the foundation stone for the Mother Temple of Africa on 26th January 1958 by Ruhiyyih Khanum and Musa Banani.

How Bahai Faith Began

The Baha’i Faith began in Persia. On May 23, 1844 a young man known as the Bab proclaimed Himself to be a Messenger of God. He told of one greater than Himself, a great world Teacher and revealer of the word of God who would come to bring in an age of peace for mankind. After five years of persecution, the Bab was martyred on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia. He was 31 years old. In 1863, Baha’u’llah declared to be the one foretold by the Bab and all the previous Prophets.

Like every Messenger of God, Baha’u’llah was bitterly opposed and persecuted. Like Abraham, He was exiled, like Moses, He was stoned, like Jesus, He was scourged. After nearly forty years of such suffering and imprisonment, Baha’u’llah passed away in exile on May 29, 1892, at the age of seventy five in the prison city of Akka. It was Akka which Isaiah had foretold would be a place of refuge for God’s creatures. Hosea too spoke of this valley as a ‘door of hope’ for humanity. By kabagambe Gerald

The Healing Power of Kasese Hotsprings.

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Kibenge hot springs in base camp zone of Kyanjoki ward in central division of Kasese municipality is one of the unique natural and cultural resources that Kasese district and Uganda as a whole is gifted with and proud of.

This hot spring locally known as Ekitagata is said to be having its sources from the invisible banks of Nile waters sources that flows through Semuliki in the mountains of the Rwenzori.

The Kitagata in Kasese attracts over 1000 visitors per week of which some of them are tourists while others for purposes of bathing the hot water to get healed of different disease.

The existence of Kibenge hot springs which was evented in 2006 by a herdsman has reduced the number of patients at Kilembe hospital and the work of traditional healers who claim ceasing powers.

People who have been visiting the Kilembe Mines Hospital for pains like the head ache, backache, paining legs, the barren and those who have been going to traditional healers after long illnesses resorted to this healing water of the hot spring and confess having been healed completely.

When this reporter visited this hot spring a number of people confirmed having been healed of disease that failed both health experts and traditional healers.

The uniqueness at this hot spring is that the water rejects the drunkards from access and also detects any sort of fornication i.e. anything related to sex.

The spirits in this water will attack and warn anybody attempting to have sex near the source and if drunk the water will turn to be cold or you develop fever before jumping into the bathing basin.

It has also showcased its uniqueness by rejecting any person claiming to own it for those who attempt to collect money from the visitors and if any attempt strange voices are heard from deep the waters.

In 2010 the Rwenzururu Kingdom wanted t gazette it as one of its heritage cultural sites and make it modern to be able to collect revenue from their but he water got cold from a months and night only strange voices were heard from there.

Up-to-date maintenance is done by the users on gentlemen agreement to have smooth hygiene around the water source.

How was it discovered? A herdsman who was grazing around the swamps of base camp was organizing a small pond for his cows’ drinking water and after the first cow that tested it became crazy to tell that the water was too hot for cows to drink.

To confirm what the heck that had entered the cow’s mouth pushed is hand into the water and felt it hot and went on announcing to the whole village that there is hot water in the area.

For those who doubted carried tea (amajani) and mixed to make real hot tea and worked out.

Those who had heard of the hot springs in Semuliki in Bundibugyo and Marembo in Bushenyi started using the water to bathe and drink for healing.

People who are hungry after bathing do mix the hot water from the boiling point known as the heart of the hot spring and make tea.

On September 9, 2016 the spring water fans were shocked after witnessing a man that stubbornly Urinated in this water and died instantly as yeaned.

BY Simon Kagame

Empaako Ceremony, Origin and meaning.

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Empaako is a naming system practiced by the Batooro, Banyoro, Banyamwenge, Banyakyaka ,Batuku, Batagwenda and Banyabindi from western part of Uganda whereby children are given one of eleven pet-names shared across the communities in addition to their given and family names.

Addressing a person by her or his Empaako name is a positive affirmation of social ties. It can be used as a greeting or a declaration of affection, respect, honour or love. Use of Empaako can defuse tension or anger and sends a strong message about social identity and unity, peace and reconciliation.

Several districts in greater Ruwenzori ie Kyegwegwa, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Kamwenge, Kasese among others proudly use these pet-names.

When Empaako is conducted.
This ceremony is done when there is a newly born baby in a family. It is normally conducted after 3days for a baby girl and 4 days baby boy after birth.

It is also conducted when someone crosses from another tribe to Tooro culture and this is done as hospitality or when a mutooro son or daughter marries
from another tribe

Who performs the ceremony?
According to tradition pet names are decided upon by the parents of the child. Originally when a baby was born in Tooro, it was given a Kitooro name.
And this naming of Empaako in Rutooro language is called “kuhaka omuntu” Empaako is given at a naming ceremony performed in the home and presided over by the clan head.

Here the paternal aunts receive the baby and examine its features. Any resemblance to existing relatives forms the basis of the choice of name. The clan head then declares the name to the child.

After naming the child, family members with invited guests share a meal of millet and smoked beef (omukaro)and then tradition songs follow.

After food is being shared family members and friends present their gifts to the baby and a tree is planted in its honor.

The transmission of Empaako through naming rituals has dropped due to inter-marriages and it’s diminishing because of lack of the elders to
teach their children their mother language and cultural norms.

Some of the elders say that there are no longer extended families and family/clan meetings where they used to seat and tell their children
such information regarding the ceremony due to technology, rural urban migration, time, poverty and work.

The Empaako Tradition.
Most attractive to the Batooro tribe is the tradition of pet-names, which are accorded to every Munyoro or Mutooro in addition to their traditional and religious names.

Mr. Tinka steven Amooti the deputy prime minister of Tooro Kingdom in Kyenjojo district when being interviewed by our reporter said that the pet-name, Empaako is one thing that will readily identify a Munyoro or a Mutooro. He explains that Empaako is a special name of endearment used to show love and respect, for salutation and by children to refer to their parents and elders.

“It is okay among the Banyoro and Batooro not to know one’s surname or religious names but everyone is expected to know another person’s pet name because it is what is used more often.

When a Munyoro or Mutooro meets another Munyoro or Mutooro, the first thing is to ask the other person’s Empaako, (Empaako yaawe? and then greet the person using the pet-name,” he says.

There are eleven pet names shared between the Banyoro and Batooro: Abwooli, Adyeeri, Araali, Akiiki, Atwooki, Apuuli, Abaala, Acaali,
Ateenyi, Abooki and Amooti. The 12th pet name is Okaali for the king and is greeted “ZoonaOkaali”.

He says greeting without Empaako was like having food without source, or any tasteless attempt you can think of. Explaining just how important these pet names have come to be for the people who use them.

He says It is difficult for me to deny someone something if they refer to me by my pet name when they are asking. If you want a favor from a
Munyoro or a Mutooro, just try calling them their Empaako before you ask the favor,” he elaborates.

Amooti added that when his mother wanted him to do a tiresome job without complaining, she would call him his Empaako before assigning and he would do beyond the mother’s request. The Empaako is thus a social tool for harmony, encouragement and respect, which can be used to refer to people and relations comfortably.

On the other hand, there are pet-names which are given automatically after birth as one was born a twin. “As the older twin (Isingoma), is automatically called Amooti and the younger twin (name Kato) Abooki. Male twins are named Isingoma and Kato- respectively, and the female twins Nyangoma and Nyakato with the pet names Amooti and Abooki respectively.

Tinkasiimire told us that these names are related to certain things. “Ateenyi is Ekijoka Kya Muzizi-the snake that resides in River Muzizi
that separates present day Tooro and Bunyoro, bordering Kibale and Kyenjojo districts.” Why he was named after a snake, he neither knows nor shows any negative concern, he is just evidently proud of his pet name!

According to different sources, Empaako is a praise name or a name of respect used among the Banyoro, Batooro, Batagwenda, Batuku and Banyabindi of western Uganda. Empaako is a word borrowed from the Luo word “Pako” which means “praise”.

They are 13 known empaako and Out of these, 12 begin with letter A and only one starts with letter O. Some are believed to have Luo origins with and others claimed to be native in Bunyoro and Tooro.

1. Abbala: Is akin to the Luo word “Abalo” meaning “I have spoilt it”. Accordant to our culture, it means someone who loves other people unconditionally. It was formerly reserved for those close to the king.

2. Abbooki: Comes from a Luo word “Aboko” which means “I have narrated to you”. The holder of this praise name is meant to be someone who cherishes the roles of parents, teachers, elders, mentors, counsellors and leaders.

3. Abwooli: Comes from a Luo word “Abwolo”, meaning “I deceive you”. However, in our culture, it has to do with diplomatic relationships. The theory behind this is that “Not all truth needs to be told always, because it might cause unnecessary and often avoidable hurt and pain”.

4. Acaali: From a Luo word “Acalo”, meaning “I resemble you”. In Bunyoro it refers to someone who resembles another in nature and character and who easily relates to other people.

5. Acaanga: It is an uncommon praise name. Not much is known about its Luo root. More research is being done.

6. Adyeeri: Related to a Luo word “Adyero” which means that “I have sacrificed you”. In Bunyoro, however, Adyeeri is someone who is friendly, affectionate with a larger- than-life heart.

7. Akiiki: Is one who upholds national, community and family interests with great love, care, kindness, honesty, etc [Perhaps this explains why this is a very popular mpaako among parents] It has no Luo root; it is the only praise name whose root is in Bunyoro-Kitara.

8. Amooti: From a Luo word “Amoto” meaning that “I greet you”. In Bunyoro-Kitara, however, Amooti refers to someone who genuinely respects other people, thinking and speaking well of them.

9. Apuuli: Means one who has powers, abilities and skills to attract other people, exhibiting qualities often observed and admired among small children.
10. Araali: One who saves other people and is perceived to have the power of thunder, giving the expression “Araali Nkuba”.

11. Ateenyi: Is derived from the Luo word “Atenyo”, meaning “I have left it”. In our culture, Ateenyi is someone who loves and understands a wrongdoer without condoning wrongdoing.

12. Atwooki: One who embraces or punishes –as the case may be-other people either physically or spiritually.

13. Okaali: Comes from a Luo word “Okalo”, meaning “S/he has jumped over you”. In Bunyoro/Tooro kingdoms, however, it implies someone with the highest responsibility as a leader in the kingdom ie Rukir’abasaija Agutamba Omukama. It used for Omukama only and even then by men only when greeting him.

NB. Akiiki, Apuuli, Araali and Atwooki seem to have no definite Luo roots. It is important to note that there is no mpaako exclusively reserved for women, while four-Araali, Apuuli, Acaali and Abbala are exclusively for men. The rest are unisex, save for Okali which is only for kings.
Gratitude to Mr Isaac Kalembe Biromumaiso Akiiki, editor Bunyoro Tourism Journal for the research

By Robinah Birungi.