Nhenda Hill of Fortunes, Eastern Uganda

Bukowe Hill

Busoga Kingdom has over 350 clans most of which claim to have originated from Bunyoro Kingdom. One such clan is the Igaga Clan, the biggest in the Kingdom under a single cultural leader, the Igaga. The first Igaga, Prince Byaruhaga, migrated from Bunyoro, crossed the Koki chiefdom of Kamuswaga, sailed on Lake Victoria, and landed in the current forest of Kityerera, around 1350. He moved to Bukowe Hill in Bugweri chiefdom, sighted the Nhenda Hill, and settled there. He produced children one of whom, Mutamba (Kawanguzi), migrated and founded the Busiki chiefdom.

Chief Byaruhanga established the first administrative unit in the Busoga Kingdom, the Busambira. With the headquarters located on the Nhenda hill, it became the dispersal area for the clan. To date, the hill is used by traditionalist and moderate religious people, for meditation and worship.

Nhenda Hill, just a 15 minutes drive from Iganga town, overlooks Busoga; from it, one can sight Jinja and Kagulu Hill far in North of Busoga. At its top, there are two water reservoirs believed to give fortune and answered prayers to people who bathe in them or who sprinkle themselves with the water. Mzee Kisubi Fredrick, the clan elder, asserts that “at one time the region was very dry, hot and dusty. I went on the hilltop and prayed for rain, and rain got me on the way back.”
The Igaga clan is proud that three-quarters of the nation’s Busoga political leaders are either of the Igaga clan or their distant offspring, a fortune given by Nhenda hill.

Some of the Igaga leaders are the National Speaker, Rt, Hon. Kadaga Rebecca, and the Deputy Prime minister of the Busoga Kingdom, Owek. Dr. Lubega, to mention but
a few. It is also claimed that the first agreement with the colonial masters in Uganda, around 1887, was made here and in 1932, the colonial government built a rest camp that exists up to today. Upon a visit to the hill, one will witness true Kisoga culture; one will watch ancient worship, taste traditional foods and learn about local medicines (all the plants on the hill are said to be medicinal).

Traditional music and dances for entertainment on the hill can be arranged upon prior booking. The hill is also rich in birdlife, flora, and fauna. It is very good for both holiday camping and picnics. From the source of the Nile, it is a one-hour drive to Nhenda via Iganga town. Kigulu Cultural Museum is close by and Nhenda is a 2-hour drive from Kagulu hill. Affordable accommodation can be sought at Mum resort. Alternatives like Hotel Continental and Mwana Highway hotels can be found in Iganga town.


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