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Tapioca “Bundu” the staple food for the Bakonzo tribe

The Ugandan Editor No Comments

Bakonzo is one of the tribes of the ethnic groups of the Bantu people in western Uganda mostly in Kasese district that boarders with DRC on the West and South, Bushenyi district on south west then Kabarole district in the Northern ends.

The “Konzo” ethnic group is the largest majority among the other groups in Kasese district which has got over 14 tribes speaking different languages.

In this case it has dominated the whole of Kasese district to the extent that when you are up country and you talk of Bukonzo, then you will be referring to Kasese district.

They also live in parts of eastern DR Congo, Bundibugyo district, Bunyangabu district, Kabarole and some are spreading to Mubende district.

Other tribes in Kasese district where they live most are, Basongora, Banyabindi, Bakingwe, Batooro, Bagabo, Banyaruguru, Banyarwanda, Banyagwaki and Bakiga among others.

Though all these other tribes in the region are united by the accent of Ntu the Bakonzo Accent is Ndu e.g Omuntu for a Musongora then Omundu for Mukonzo. The Ndus originated from Congo Zaire and Congo Brazzaville where Bakonzo originated.

The staple food for Bakonzo is Obundu (tapioca) mixed with millet (obulho) and is more delicious when served with Sombe as sauce or any other meat sauce or fish.

Amazingly and unique Obundu is made from Cassava flour while sauce Sombe is prepared from Cassava leaves.

How to prepare the Tapioca meal “Obundu”.

Cassava is pealed and dried on sunshine for about a week then pounded to produce cassava flour that is poured into hot water on fire and then mingle it (there u may add in millet or first make porridge where you add in cassava flour) until it is formed solidly or thickened to be broken into small particles (boluses) to be swallowed after putting in sauce served on plates (ebibindi).

Should it be preparing for a small family, then a lady can prepare it but they are usually old women who prepare for the family because of their experience.

If it is for the function, then it’s prepared by men since it needs much energy on keeping rolling the mingling stick until it thickens to get formed.

Though prepared like any other tapioca meal, there is a norm that for a young lady to prepare Obundu must be on instruction and guidance by an old woman.

When the Bundu is about to be ready the saucepan is removed from the fire and put between the legs and step on its top besides where a serious mingling will be for about 10 minutes before it is served.

As earlier said, in parties and occasions the Bundu is prepared by powerful men commonly referred to as abalhume and also takes responsibility of serving.

According to one of the elders in the deep village of Kyampara in Mahango sub county in Kasese district, Mr. Christopher Mudembi Maghuru says in function, if the family where the function is taking places hold twins or have them in their clan, then before preparing the meal for the whole function, they first prepare that small meal to recognize their twins, if not then the Bundu may be prepared but when it comes to serving it will have deformed and thus unmanageable for swallowing. This is one of the ways of maintaining twin cultural norms in Bakonzo culture.

Mudembi added that twins are respected in culture language that even before planting crops for the season you need to first plant for the twins or else you won’t harvest much or even harvest nothing at the end.

Among other ethnics the tapioca bread is served in small decorated Baskets but for the case of the Bundu in Bakonzo is served on big local plate (Endemere) and must be eaten from one place.

Where the Obundu is served even if it’s a family of more than eight, will all press their hands and share on it.

In Bakonzo,  every meal whether other foods are available the Bundu must be served Breakfast, Lunch and super.

If a Mukonzo visits and is not served with Bundu and Sombe or with chicken then he will call it a loss or bad day because this is the recognized step food for the tribe.

Miss not on occasions.

At very occasion let it be cultural, wedding, introduction and anniversaries the bundu must be number one on the menu.

A function where the Obundu is not served say it’s an introduction or give away the Groom‘s men (Bakwe) may end up boycotting or ask for a fine for having been overlooked.

For this matter therefore visit Kasese district (Bakonzo tribe) and enjoy the delicious step food that even respected people feast on.

The Connotation of the Independence Monument

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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

Matooke A Creative Produce

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Matooke is usually harvested green, carefully peeled and then cooked and often mashed or pounded into a meal. In Uganda and Rwanda (where matooke is a national dish for both countries), matooke is steam-cooked, and the mashed meal. The Baganda a tribe in Uganda pride themselves in making the best matoke dishes.

Matooke can also be taken as a breakfast dish called Katogo that is cooked together with different sauces like beef, beans, offals, goat and whatever choice is preferred. In this method, the matooke are not smashed and also eliminates the need of preparing a separate sauce.

The matooke produce has been creatively advanced these days to variety of products. These include

  1. Gonja crisps. These are sliced and fried ti they become crispy and are eaten as snacks
  2. Instant Porridge. All you need is a cup or bowl and water to stir and you have your porridge ready to eat.
  3. Flour. The ingredient can be added to your recipe to bake or make your favorite bread rolls, buns, fruit rolls among otheres
  4. Gonja. This is when a type of selected ripe bananas are heated directly or fried known to be a road side delicacy and served at restaurants
  5. Pan cakes. The ripe bananas are mixed with flour shaped into a circle to create this sweet simple snack.

With the right preparation, you can not go wrong with the different recipes matooke has to offer. Enjoy!


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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

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

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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

Empaako Ceremony, Origin and meaning.

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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.

The People of Uganda

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Made up of five major ethnic groups, the natives of Uganda speak over 30 languages and dialects. Amidst this diversity, Uganda is a nation of solidarity, equal opportunity and tolerance. Culture and tradition continue to be handed down from generation in preservation of Uganda’s only-one-of-its-kind heritage.

North, South, East, Central and West all intertwine their distinguishing customs, beliefs and traditions into a wealthy tapestry that creates the diverse national identity which defines the Ugandan culture at the moment.

The country’s ethnic evolution can be traced back to the 10th century AD. The Bantu, Uganda’s primary inhabitants, are an ethnic and linguistic group with over 130 million people in Africa. They lay down their ancestry in the central and southern parts of the country and constitute half of the population. Among the Bantu tribes are the Baganda, Banyankole, Bagisu, Bakiga, Batooro, Basamia and Baruli among others.

The north and north eastern parts of Uganda were largely populated by the Nilo-hamites and Nilotes whose genesis can be traced back to Ethiopia. As a semi nomadic people, their migratory habits led them to split and settle in different parts of the country. Ultimately, some adopted languages and customs that resulted in distinctions that can be clearly identified between them today. Nilotic tribes include the Langi, Luo, Iteso, Sebei and Karamajong.

The Sudanic speakers from West-Nile form another group. The Lugbara, Madi, Bari, and Metu are counted as part of this group. They are sometimes referred to as the Madi-Moru group.

Kasubi Tombs – Fallen Kings Lay Tranquil.

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Kasubi tombs is a cultural, tradiditional and ceremonial burial ground for the kings[kabakas] in the Buganda kingdom. The site is located at Kasubi hill, Kampala, the borders of Kasubi tombs were established in 1882 and it comprises of about sixty four acres of land, five kilometers Northwest of Kampala city center.

Like any other traditional setup, there is a legend that talks about Kintu as the first Kabaka of Buganda kingdom. Apparently, kintu had come with his wife Nambi after he had won her hand in marriage from her father Ggulu, the god of the sky. This first kabaka is said not to have died but disappeared into a forest at Muganga. This explains why in every burial grounds in Buganda have what is called Kibila, a sacred forest where the tombs are housed, concealed from public view by a back cloth curtain.

The borders are marked with bark cloth trees, protecting the site from being encroached on by the fast growing residential developments. One corner contains a royal palace built by kabaka Muteesa [35th kabaka] in 1882, replacing his father’s Ssuna 2, which he had put up in 1820.The new palace became a royal burial ground in 1884 after his death. Four other kings have also been buried at the same sight that is; kabaka Muteesa 1, kabaka Mwanga, Daudi Chwa and Sir Edward Muteesa 2.

At the site, a gate leads to a small courtyard known as Bujja-bukula, then to the ”Ndoga obukaba”, a house where royal drums are kept then to the main circular curt yard[olugya] located n the hilltop surrounded by a reed palace.The main central building called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is 7.5 metres high. It is located at the edge opposite the entrance. Muzibu Azaala Mpanga was originally constructed from local raw materials like wooden poles, reed wattle,topped by a thick thatched dome with straw laying on 52 rings of palm fronds representing the 52 clans of Buganda. However, the 1938 major renovation by Muteesa2 introduced modern materials of construction. These modern materials thou were concealed behind the traditional structures.

The floor of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is covered by palm leaf mats and lemon grass.Other structures on the site are the traditional houses of the kabakas widows and homes of the royal family,guards and administrative officials like the spiritual guardian [Nalinya] and the assistant[Katikiro]. Most of the land on the site is used for agriculture.

One may wonder why most of the kabakas built their palaces on hilltops and the 3 reasons were clear, one; was to control all the roads leading to the palace and two; was to find easy ways to escape in case of invasion. The third reason was to have a sense of security since its easier to watch happenings from a distance so in case of any attacks, the guards woud quickly take action.
One of the practices done at this burial ground which may seem a bit ridiculous is, burying the kabaka at a different site and establishing a royal shrine where his jawbone was housed. The jawbone was believed to contain his spirit.

Kasubi tombs became a UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Heritage Site in December 2001 and one of the most remarkable buildings using purely vegetal materials in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The site caught five in 2010 and unfortunately the cause of the fire in still unknown till today. Efforts to re-construct the structures started in 2014 with assistance from the government of Uganda and funding from the government of Japan. However the Baganda still stick to their vow, to protect this treasured site.

Kasubi tombs acts as a rich tourist attraction to both local and foreign people and more fascinating still to those who are rooted in culture and nature because that’s what the site displays. Besides this, Kasubi tombs carry a historical and spiritual effect among the Buganda people and the Kabakas of Buganda Kingdom.

With all this on board, i think anyone would love to wake-up to this beautiful natural scenery and the only way to make it real is to drop by and check out the royal burial grounds for Buganda Kingdom.

By Kabagambe Gerald.

Stunning Kampala, The Then Home Of Impalas

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Uganda’s capital city Kampala was once a gazetted area for hunting and the impala was the dominant animal. This place had many other animals like bush duikers, squirrels, leopards, civets and genets. Some of these species still abound but the dominant impala was hunted to extinction
Unless you have an artist’s mind; it is hard to imagine that places like Bank of Uganda, the Parliament or even Kisementi used to be dominated by hunters wielding spears with nets and dogs chasing after the springing spiral-horned antelopes, called the Impala. It is after this animal that Kampala acquired her name.

Before this place was named Kampala or even Buganda, it had another name. It was called Muwawa and the people who live here were not called locally Baganda but Balasangeye.

The “Muwawa” was truly a hunting area and known home to several species ranging from lions to rhinos we now sought out for in highly protected areas because when the game shifted from the traditional hunt to feed to modern Business which was introduced by the Aldina Visram and other indias joined later by the British.

Before the arrival of the British in the area, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda had chosen the area as his favorite hunting ground because of its numerous rolling hills, and wetlands.

When the British arrived in the region, they renamed it ‘Hills of the Impala’. The translation in Luganda, the language of the Buganda people, yielded Kasozi Ka Empala (KasoziKa meaning hill of), and Empala being the plural for impala. To the listening ear, Ka Empala sounded like one word Ka’Mpala. When the king would go hunting, the Buganda people would say Kabaka a’genze e Ka’mpala (the Kabaka has gone to Ka’mpala). Thus was born the name of the city Kampala.

It is believed that in 1890, Frederick Lugard built a fort camp for the Imperial British East Africa Company near Mengo Hill. In 1894, the British government officially established a Protectorate to help the British gain control of the Nile as well as other interests. After the British made formal claims to the land, the capital city was moved to the nearby city of Entebbe, about 30 miles away.

Kampala remained the commercial and communications center and was a major industrial center of the protectorate.

Since then, Kampala grew to be the capital of the Buganda Kingdom. A lot of cultural heritage buildings can still be found there, such as the Kasubi Tombs, built in 1881.

Kampala also strategically has the Lubiri Palace which is the royal house of the Kabaka, the Buganda parliament, and the Buganda court of justice.

In 1905, the British government formally declared the entire territory to be a British colony. From1905 Entebbe was the recognized city not until the 1962 when the country got her.

Kampala continued to play the primary economic and manufacturing role to Uganda.


Kampala is the largest city and the capital of Uganda. In 2006 its population was approximately 1,189,000. The city was built over the old capital of the Buganda Kingdom located on Mengo Hill. Some buildings from the Kingdom still survive in the city such as the Buganda Parliament Building and the Buganda Court of Justice. Originally a city of seven hills, it is much larger today. The city is 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) above sea level in the southern part of Uganda, eight kilometers (6 miles) north of Lake Victoria. Thus Kampala experiences a mild climate even with its close proximity to the equator.

Kampala also claims to have been built on 7 hills, although it is not quite true. The 7 historical hills of Kampala are;

1. Kasubi Hill: the first hill in historical importance, and home to the Kasubi Tombs, burial ground of the Previous Kabakas of Buganda
2. Mengo Hill: where Lubiri Palace is located, as well as the Buganda court of justice, and the Lukiiko, Buganda parliament
3. Kibuli Hill: home to the Kibuli Mosque. It is believed that Islam was brought to Uganda before Christianity by Muslim slave traders. They settled around Kibuli and spread the word of God
4. Namirembe Hill: The first Christians in the area were Protestants. This made it home to the Namirembe Anglican Cathedral.
5. Lubaga Hill: site of the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral, and the ‘white fathers’ neighborhood
6. Nsambya Hill: home to the Nsambya Hospital
7. Kampala Hill: the hill of the impala which hosts the ruins of Fort Lugard. This hill gave its name to the city.

With time, the city spread to Nakasero Hill where the administrative centre and the wealthiest residential area are, Tank Hill, where the water storage tanks that supply the city are located. Mulago Hill is the site of The national Refferal Hospital Mulago. Due to growth. The city is now rapidly expanding to include Makindye Hill and Konge Hill. Kololo Hill to the east of Nakasero hill, is the highest hill in the city, at 1,300 meters above sea level, and is home to the Uganda Museum.

Kampala is linked to Entebbe International Airport, which is the largest airport in Uganda. Boda-bodas (local motorbike transport) are a popular mode of transport that gives access to many areas within and outside the city. Standard fees for this range from USh: 1,000 to 2,000 or more. Boda-bodas are useful for passing through rush-hour traffic, although many are poorly maintained and dangerous.

In 2007, it was announced that Kampala gets rid of commuter taxis from its streets and replace them with a City bus means. Kampala has major roads that go to other areas of Mukono Mpigi, Bombo, Entebbe, Wakiso, and Gayaza
Pioneer Easy Bus Company is a private transport company, started public bus service in Kampala with 100 buses each with a 60-passenger capacity (30 seated and 30 standing), acquired from China. The buses operate 24 hours daily.

In 1922, Makerere Technical Institute was founded which later was named Makerere University and now known to be the oldest largest institution of higher education in East Africa. Today over 30 other Univeristies are said to be recognized by the national council for higher education.

Primary schools and secondary schools serve the role of founding the education system, And the Universities intake student.

Politically, Kampala experienced political unrest during the times of its first president, Milton Obote and his successor, Idi Amin. During those two decades the national government could not construct an infrastructure of roads, bridges, and highways quickly enough to accommodate the large number of rural migrants to the city.

A big part of the city was destroyed during the war with Tanzania in 1978, which culminated with the removal of Idi Amin Dada from power in 1979, and the civil war. The city has since then been rebuilt.

Kampala is surrounded by hills to the north, papyrus wetlands, and Lake Victoria to the south.
Today the city is administered through the 2011 KCCA Act that delegates power to Ministry of Kampala. The Lord Mayor who is elected by the people leads political wig.

Kampala Capital City Authority is a corporate body with perpetual succession and may sue and be sued, has the power of governing and administering the Capital City on behalf of the central government subject to the KCCA Act.

Most of the many hills of Kampala are topped with religious institutions such as churches and mosques as well as hospitals and large hotels. The city’s lowlands frequently have flood-prone shantytowns, where the majority of the population resides.

Over 70 percent of Kampala’s population lives close to or in poverty. Although the British had occupied Uganda for six decades, their architectural impact was slight unlike other African cities occupied by Europeans during the colonial era. Thus Kampala is known as a distinctly African city in architecture and culture. The city had approximately 100,000 Asian citizens before they were expelled by Idi Amin in 1972.

Since then, the city has since then been rebuilt with constructions of new construction of hotels, banks, shopping malls, educational institutions, and hospitals and the improvement of war torn buildings and infrastructure. Traditionally, Kampala was a city of seven hills, but over time it has come to have a lot more. Take Time And Tour The Lovely City

By Kabagambe Gerald.

The truth behind Batooro saying ‘OMUSAIJA TAYANGWA’

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Tooro women are known for the beauty, jollyness, attractiveness, soft speaking and easy way they handle themselves and those around them.
Their way of living mostly in relationship has been misinterpreted by others as women who easily give away their bodies.
So many people refer them as the most attractive and intimate when it comes to relationships mostly when sex is involved. They are known to be soft speaking, very calm and very gentle in the way they do or behave around their loved ones.
Truth behind batooro saying ‘omusaija tayangwa’ meaning a man is never rejected.
This has brought up so many mixed feelings and thoughts among other tribes or people in Uganda who mistakenly see Tooro women as simple “easy” prey to lure into sex activities. Some even think they are always sex hungry due to that mis-interpreted saying of “Omusaija Tayangwa”.
After a long time of the saying ‘OMUSAIJA TAYANGWA’ which most tribes twisted and turned into batooro’s slogan, amakuru team decided to find out why people have continued to abuse Tooro women and exactly what is the origin and meaning of that term/word.

We conducted a survey in a good number of batooro women aging between 24 to 65yrs to get to understand the relevancy of ‘OMUSAIJA TAYANGWA’ (meaning a man is never rejected) word and also find out how it has impacted their relationships.
We got many comments about the above saying of which many were furious about how people misinterpreted it. Infact they said, people outside Tooro think batooro women are prostitutes due to the twisting of the term.

According to Karungi Edvin 35, a business woman and resident of Rwengoma said that while staying in Mukono, she reached a certain point and started lying about her tribe simply because whenever she could tell a man she’s a mutooro, the first thing to follow was “when are we having sex because in your culture omusajja tayangwa”

Then Alinaitwe Linda 26, also elaborated how her relationship with her boyfriend Mubiru a muganda man failed because whenever Mubiru saw Linda talking to any man that was always a direct insult from him that “Do you want to sleep with that one too”. This forced Linda to leave the relationship where she was not trusted and respected.

Kabahinda Rose 29, her story is not different as her munyankole husband never trusted her even abit to point that he never allowed Rose to talk to his brothers or uncles thinking she could easily sleep with them.

Truth behind ‘Omusaija Tayangwa’ word

We decided to ask the elders and luck enough Kababiito Beatrice 67, a business woman in Fort Portal Town, a mother of 8 and grandmother of 6 sat us down on a long talk of how Omusaija tayangwa term started and why they emphasize it as isenkatimugole “Sengas” during the marriage or Kweranga preparations for Tooro women.

Beatrice narrates “I have given away more than 20 girls in marriage as isenkatimugole and I always emphasize omusaija tayangwa term to the brides. This mainly introduces them to how best they must behave while in their relationship or marriages.
Any tooro woman must be respectful, very obedient to her husband, never raise her voice while the husband is at home and always submissive to him during the intimate moment(s). However she adds that girls are always taught to stay faithful to their husbands no matter the situation or changes from his behavior.

Omusaija tayangwa ( a man is never rejected) is a saying they use to teach married women never to reject their husbands sex and so many other things in marriages that make them successful.

Kababiito told us that when she was getting married 45 years back, her aunt kabahweza immelda (RIP) told her the same things she’s telling young women. She said reason why she has been successful in her marriage for all the 45yrs is because indeed her aunt taught her well on how to behave as a true mutooro woman around her husband Alituha Amooti 75.

She added, when a woman fights with her husband and he later asks for something like food, tea, hot bathing water, clean clothes or better sex the woman should always accept and do it, not rejecting him because they fought or disagreed on something. Peace and happiness will always be in home and in that marriage.

Kababiito blamed people who depend on hearsay and avoid finding out facts. she added that such people twist such meaningful words and make fun and make fun of others hence causing more problems. She advised them always to contact the elders for information.

Isenkatibaana advised batooro women to love their tribe, be proud and stop feeling bad about it, giving them the following tips in their relationships:-

A woman is supposed to obey his husband and do what he requests sometimes not because you want to but for the sake of your marriage.

Women should always be calm, respect their husbands to the maximum even if your husband shouts at you, keep calm and quiet. Avoid talking or shouting back at him which could cause breakups in your marriage / relationship.

A woman should be the first person to know what her husband wants;, like the type of dish he loves, clothes to wear not letting the maids to do it all.
A man is always a man regardless of tribe, size, religion, rich or poor, once you accept to marry him, he must always be the best and your one and only, love and care about him to the fullest, never compare him to any other.

Communication is very crucial in marriages, know what both of you want and always resolve your problems amicably. Avoid 3rd parties in relationships.

Know each other’s weaknesses and try to overcome them by helping each other.
Your husband should be your best friend to have a successful marriage, don’t keep secrets because once he finds out from other people, it will be had for you to convince him, and in all, always pray to God to guide you in everything.

Kababiito concluded advising batooro women to keep respecting themselves and continue being faithful to their husbands to prove others wrong.
She told all girls who are planning to get married to always marry the men they love and follow their heart plus her tips for a successful marriage.

By Grace K. Akiiki