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Day July 17, 2019

Baganda’s Kwanjula is a more elaborate and engaging ceremony

The traditional marriage or give away ceremony in Buganda is one function you will get to like because it keeps you on your toes.. The preparations for any traditional introduction or marriage ceremony are tiring and trying financially, physically and mentally as you wonder why you have to fulfill a lot of traditional must do requirements and spend so unreasonably because ‘tradition’ requires it so. But from the day the ceremony is held, you will like it for the rest of your life because of the cultural and organized displays as well as the value that many people continue to attach to this ceremony called Kwanjula.

Kwanjula basically means to introduce. It is a day when the bride to be introduces her future husband (and his people who escort him) to her parents and relatives.

I have attended many introduction ceremonies but the Baganda’s Kwanjula is a more elaborate and engaging ceremony that what you have to do right keeps you on your toes until the last minute of the ceremony, or you may miss being given the lady of your life.At the beginning, you have to go and see one of the lady’s aunties(Ssenga), the one she has chosen to act as Ssenga – the official aunt. The Ssenga is very central to the Kiganda marriage ceremony and is a respected role that many ageing Baganda women yearn to perform. You are required to write a letter to the lady’s family, the bazeyi or elders. The letter has to be in flawless Luganda and has to be written through the Ssenga or aunt who thenceforth becomes the official go between the two parties. The letter is then taken to the Ssenga (with a little money for transport of course) to take it to the Bakulu Bano (fellow respected elders). In the letter, the man is asking to be allowed to get born in his in-laws family by going there to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage.The Bakulu then accept in writing that you can go on a specified date and ‘get born into their family’. They also gave you the maximum number of people you should take which is most times not more than 50 people. The father in-law will also ask for his Mutwalo, what could be taken as bride price.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

The mutwalo is accompanied with some items that you will need to take along for example: fruits and vegetables except egg plants (Ntula and Biringanya) and a few others, which if taken would be considered as cultural taboo that may lead to the man being fined or denied the bride altogether. There has to be bread, sugar, salt, soap, paraffin, cooking oil, curry powder, and a host of related items. You are required to buy certificates from Buganda kingdom to show that you respect and support the cultural monarchy, one of the four certificates being the marriage certificate. The Kanzus for the Father in-laws and brother in-laws, Gomesis for mother in-laws and Ssengas (Kanzu and Gomesi are cultural dresses for males and females respectively). These are a must. You have to prepare money for the envelopes- for the father in-law, mother in-law, Ssengas, brother in-laws (with a special one and a cock for the official brother in-law).

The traditional marriage ceremony in Buganda may have changed over the years, but it still remains a battle of wits and cultural tongue-twisting between representatives of the two sides who engage each other in a question and answer challenge or in knowing, mentioning and following century old norms and traditions. Both families are required to have a spokesman to speak for them. The spokesman takes the role of the final emissary on the day of introduction and he has to pull a lot of antics learned from tradition and experience to engage or answer challenges from the other side’s spokesman. It is the battle (friendly and of words) between the two that makes the Kwanjula and the whole ceremony memorable and unique from any other ceremony.The spokesman takes the role of the final emissary on the day of introduction and he has to pull a lot of antics learned from tradition and experience to engage or answer challenges from the other side’s spokesman. It is the battle (friendly and of words) between the two that makes the Kwanjula and the whole ceremony memorable and unique from any other ceremony. The spokesman will range between 250,000- 300,000 but the price is negotiable.

The dressing is also another crucial aspect on this day. The men are supposed to wear coats and kanzus while the women will need to put on gomesi preferably but this also depends on what culture the intended son-in-law comes from. The greetings then begin starting with the girls of the house who also welcome the visitors followed by the boys and then the sengas. Since the senga is the most important person on this day next to the bride to be, she actually runs the whole function from introducing the guests to choosing the bridegroom. When the bridegroom is chosen, the mugole can then come out of the house and greet her visitors most especially the bridegroom. This is the beginning of a new family to the bridegroom since he has been inaugurated or allowed into his mugole’s family.

The rest of the ceremony is as interesting as the gifts (which are left outside) are brought and allocated to the different beneficiaries and the hosts lay their demands and wishes on the new family. Once the gifts are brought, the host’s spokesman asks the bride and Ssenga “Ebintu Tubirye?” -whether they should accept the gifts. When they accept, the part of the rings follows were the bridegroom puts a ring on the brides finger this in kwanjula denotes marriage, and then the cutting of the cake follows and that brings us to the end of a memorable day.

Why the Acholi saying “Idoko bwoc calo Kakungulu”

Semei Kakungulu is thought to have been used by the British to help impose colonial rule in east and north eastern Uganda

By Peter Gwokto La’Kitgum in Canada via the UAH forum

Did the Baganda know that Kakungulu was an Hitler in the making and a mega threat to the Kabaka? Had Kakungulu succeeded in forcefully having the Acholi accept him as leader in the footsteps of Basoga, Adhola, Bagisu, Iteso, and Langi, the Kabaka would have been completely surrounded by enemies including the Banyoro.

In case you didnt know, it was the Acholi that put the “full stop” at the end of this sentence to Kakungulu’s big dreams. How the saying came to was again recited to me by an Acholi elder last evening when I called the village who asked whjy this time I had taken too long to visit the natives. He said sarcastically that if I took too long I will be castrated like Kakungulu.

Yes, again in case you didnt know, it was the Acholi who gave Kakungulu his biggest nightmare of manning him physically by the balls and rendering the pair of manhood obsolete and out of action until he died and never to ever retrace his eastern and north-eastern conquest.

Remember the picture below of the Congo queen, Nzinga, who met Euro colonialist sitting on the back of one of hes Kanyamas for hours?

Kakungulu had done the same in Busoga, Bukedi, Bugisu, Teso and Lango. When the time came to do the same in Acholi, the strongest muscular renown hunter was selected to be his seat. No sooner had Kakungulu sat on his back than the man flipped up to grab, squeeze and squish Kakungulu’s balls – yikessss….! I can feel the man’s pain and the high-pitched screams for help.

Kakungulu conquest ended as he limped back to his final rest in his native Buganda.

Thus the saying, “I doko bwoc calo Kakungulu” (You have become a eunuch like Kakungulu).

Uniformed armed forces should be kept away from the presence and protection of All Cultural leaders of Uganda.

2014:Uncomfortable: UPDF soldiers trying to keep guard of the Kabaka

By Joseph Kamugisha via UAH forum

Not only does the presence of the army deprive the Cultural leaders of their Cultural status but the mere fact that the representation of the Institution of the Army represents a political atmosphere and a reflection of the 1966 Lubiri crisis.

The idea of keeping the army away from Cultural leaders is not to suggest that the leaders should have lesser trained guards. Far from it. The idea though, is to exemplify how other Royal Institutions are protected. Much as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Charles and the rest of the family members in the British Royal family all have military training, they rely on un uniformed but highly trained and skilled officers in all aspects of “[VIP] Protocol Protection Services” The same protection agents could be recruits from the Marines, Ex-Police officers, ex-Military officers, current spy agents or Terrorist Tactical Agents. It does not matter, where they are recruited from but the key issue is that they should always be dressed in civilian arround the Kabaka and other Cultural leaders in order to separate the political from cultural institutions.

A uniformed army advance protection unit could be summoned to a particular location where the cultural leader[s] are expected, but again that should only be for guarding the location, site, buildings, but not any where close to the Cultural leaders.

Foreigners can be helpful in removing a dictatorship!

By George Okello via UAH forum

che guevarra

There are so many foreigners participating in just struggles not in their own countries,and I think history is replete with many examples.It was Field Marshall John Okello, from Dokolo, who liberated Zanzibar from Arab occupation or colonial slavery. general Lagu was a leader of the Anyanya movement in South Sudan, I believe he is still alive. I met him once in London. Sajab (Sajjabbi) a Pakistan, too helped Uganda Federal Movement to improve on their technical military capabilities

Think about the Spanish Civil War for eg where hundreds of European internationalists, and even Africans, took up arms to fight against the fascists. The more recent example is that of Che Guevarra, an Argentinian, who, together with Fidel Castro, became the leader of the Cuban revolution.

We must however distinguish between internationalists and mercenaries and their involvement in foreign conflicts. Internationalists, especially Marxists and socialists, have always fought in support of foreign national liberation forces because all socialists believe in international solidarity. They however do not substitute their own contribution to the overall effort of the people because the responsibility to overthrow an oppressive political and social order rests in the hands of its victims and not foreigners. Mercenaries on the other hand do not believe in any cause- they are just in it for material benefit- they are guns for hire. A national liberation movement will therefore have nothing to do with mercenaries.

Uganda has a bad history of merceneries actively participating in our political conflicts. We first saw this in 1971 when Iddi Amin recruited the remnants of the Anyanya forces from South Sudan to effect a military coup in Uganda and he later on relied heavily on these Anyanya forces to keep himself in power for 9 years. Later on, merceneries grouped inside the NRA and led by Yopweri Museveni invaded the villages of Luwero in Uganda, emabrking on a brtutakl campaign of murder and terror. They eventually managed to subdue the national army of Uganda, conquered the country and then militarily occuppied it. Most of the NRA mereceneries were recruited from Rwanda and in their mudreroius activities and continuing blood-letting they have been supported by a few quislings and hired thugs from Buganda and other tribes.

Are Comedians Psychotic?

Taata Sam


Comedians are able to make people laugh because they often display characteristics usually found in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, a research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry claims.
Their talent to amuse people lies in having unusual personalities and displaying what researchers say are high levels of psychotic characteristics, which are a link between madness and creativity.

“The creative elements needed to produce humour are strikingly similar to those characterising the cognitive style of people with psychosis – both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” said Professor Gordon Claridge from Oxford University’s department of experimental psychology. He is also one of the three co-authors of the findings.

The results are based on a study of how 523 comedians from the UK, USA and Australia described their own personalities and beliefs when they filled in a questionnaire measuring psychotic traits in people who are not troubled by mental illness. I’m almost sure that their findings would have been different if they had tested Africans.

They would conclusively confirm their fears. An average Ugandan has an understandable degree of humour and if they were to hand out the Oxford questionnaire to measure psychotic traits on us, they would authoritatively conclude that we are psychotic. Watch a standard news bulletin on any local TV and you will understand what I’m saying.

Better, walk on the streets and keenly observe what people are doing. You will notice some people shouting on top of their voices on phone, street preachers ministering to fast-moving cars; street children exchanging bitter words with drivers; taxi conductors calling passengers all sorts of good things to entice them into their vans; hawkers engaged in a marathon with city council authorities and boda boda cyclists undecided on which route to take. Such is the organised chaos that provides comic relief.

Comedians are just a mirror of society. They look at the serious side of what they are doing and tell it in a lighter way. The irony is that the audience laugh at themselves and attribute the madness to the comedian who took the trouble to observe what is happening in their lives.

Although the terms “psychosis” and “psychotic” often conjure ideas of frothy-mouthed killers and deranged lunatics, this report uses these terms to describe much less violent behaviours. The researchers said the belief that creativity is associated with madness has increasingly been researched by psychologists and psychiatrists, but “comedy and humour have been largely neglected”.

Claridge added: “Obviously not all comedians are like this, but the trend does seem these personality traits are more common. It is that idea of the sad clown.”

The research found stand-up comedians were different from other stage performers such as actors, because they were more introverted. I agree with this to some extent because most of the celebrated comedians I have interacted with are unbelievably introverts. Maybe that is why they are suspected to have high levels of psychotic personality traits.

To me, this research is just a manifestation that the funniest, most entertaining, people have different thought patterns from average people, and comedy is a form of medication. It handles depressing issues which, in a way, bring healing to the society.

Comedians have been granted the dramatic licence to lie. Of course, the cleverest comedians make sure their absurdly fictitious stories have the ring of truth. And indeed, many stories start as a true event, but just as a pearl starts as a grain of sand, a comedian will continually prod and polish an anecdote into something precious and far removed from the original fact. It may end up being hysterically funny, and even sounding true.

The illusion of truth is further fortified by interspersing fictitious stories with observations on events, which the audience know are true so they assume the stories in between are true as well. If this research is true, by any chance, then it is puzzling to know that comedians are successful because they have psychotic traits.

Youths Unemployment won’t go away if Ugandans continue to have so many kids!

Youth unemployment in Uganda, as is the case elsewhere, is a structural problem. So how does Ugandan address those structural issues? Well, it simply cannot do so? Why? Think about it for a moment. Youth unemployment is also a problem in many Western countries. For example, the unemployment rate for Africa-American and Latino youth is very high relative to their white peers. This is fact.I am sure, even in the UK, a similar trend can be discerned from the data. And we are talking about countries that have tried to put into place targeted measures to address the youth unemployment problem. To see the difficulty Uganda faces, look at the way unemployment or employment is calculated. The odds are not good for the Ugandan youths.

Let me be blunt: there is no government in the world that creates enough jobs for those youths willing to take them with such a high population rate like the one in Uganda. I am sorry to say but Ugandans are the authors of their misery.The day Ugandans will consider quality over quantity is the day progress will be made in improving the welfare. I know many in UAH believe that the high population growth rate is actually a good thing for Uganda. To those I say, wrong. The facts are there for those with eyes to see in Uganda and other African countries. The youths live wretched lives. I mean wretched in all senses.But since the government must be seen to be serious, I suggested before, let it try to hire 20 youths, 10 women and men in each sub county to do PWD related work. FYI, in Western countries this is how they create summer employment for youth. Repair or maintenance of public infrastructure is very productive.

Something tells me that Ugandan youths will not take up the job even when offered. Why? When we talk about unemployment or employment, it is about white collar jobs? Blame the colonial mentality if you will but Ugandans youths who have gone to school, never mind how far, despise PWD work. They would rather stay in their wretched conditions than be seen working on such projects. There lies the problem. Remind the Ugandan musician who sang about combining poverty with stubbornness? He or she was spot on.

So where are the jobs? Mark you manufacturing is dead thanks to globalization. In the past youth used to rush to urban centres shopping to win the lottery of being hired in Chillington, NYTIL, UCI, TICAF, MULCO, ATM, BAT, KILEMBE name it. Not anymore.

Let the government dare the youth with just 20 spots in every sub county as a trial run.I am sure Uganda would do well with more help in the teaching sectors especially for UPE and USE.So the problem of youth unemployment is complicated.The situation is depressing but again, Ugandans not the state are to blame. There is family planning folks, so use it or else.The real question is this? Given the population growth rate in Uganda, is there something YKM can do to improve the welfare of the youth without impact on the real cause which is huge population growth? Put differently, what is the proposal to address the root cause of the problem? Remember both are real and not nominal problems.

Do you think if YKM ok, NRM were to offer unemployed youths jobs to work in what sued to be the PWD-Public Works Department to maintain rural roads in their respective sub counties, the youth would take them? Suppose every sub county was to employ 20 youths-10 women and 10 men-to repair or patch up road, what would be the impact? How many sub counties are there in Uganda? What would be the multiplier effect of such a gesture? And how much should those hired be paid anyways? May be 20 is high given the small size of sub counties today, but those hired would be working for at least 3 days a week.

I bring this up because it was one of the ideas the DP manifesto team grappled with.

Now what would be the immediate benefits? Well 20 youths from each sub county would have jobs. They would support their families and local business. But above all, roads that are impassable today would be passable. Passable roads would have a real impact on local economies. A friend told me that oranges from Busoga are rotting because the roads are terrible. Another one said mangoes from Teso too cannot find their way to local markets due to bad roads. And yes bananas from deep in Kiboga would be easily delivered. Fresh fish from goes to waste because it cannot be delivered in time to markets. So let us hope the government is serious.


The Baganda Destroys Kabaka’s Lake in Ndeeba!

Once, the wetland filtering storm water from Mengo, Rubaga and the surrounding areas to Kabaka’s lake in Ndeeba is gone- then the lake itself will be no more. It is already heavily sedimented with silt and urban waste and polluted with all types of affluent including faecal matter. Writing about what is happening at this treasure has not clicked to make Mengo think or Buganda Land Board to act despite singing about Buganda monumental treasures!

The wetland is now reduced almost to a mere 1/6 of its original size, after being fenced off by Kayanja’s Miracle centre church In November 2013. This come on the heels of similar huge chunk being fenced, in front of the church itself which floods whenever it rains.

Streams feed the Kabaka’s lake under Kayanja’s Church, the subterranean river systems have also been covered with soil.The rest of the wetland was recently fenced off and Kayanjas’ Miracle Church poured murmur into it. This soil is ending up into the lake through the water drainage channels that had been ignorantly dug into the wetland to drain it. This a futile attempt since the wetland has subterranean river systems. St. Lawrence University too has fenced of a huge chuck that has springs under it.

Just yesterday men were busy fencing off the land adjacent to the police station – and it is this piece of land that will finally spell doom to the lake. The only solution to rescue the lake is to reclaim the entire wetland right from Rubaga Road to Rubaga church and close off the road along the lake from the palace.


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