Category CULTURE

Buganda’s Magna Carta!


Almighty close to the same time the Magna Carta was being written, a Group of about 14 strong or so under the Chairman of Kintu met at Nnono in Busujju and set out to write Buganda’s Unwritten Constitution. Like the British Counter Part, the Constitution Promulgated the Creation of an Executive, A Judiciary, and a Legislature and a Defense Force.

The Executive.

This was headed by the King ( Kabaka) King Mother ( Namasole) Prime Minister ( Katikkiro) Parliament ( Lukiiko), a Hieracacy of Appointed Chiefs ( Abakungu) from Ssaza, through Gombolola, Miruka down to Batongole. And there was a House of Lords ( Abataka) though, unlike the British, these are Hereditary and are appointed independently by the Clans. These are the ones who kept the Kingdom going when the Appointed Govt. Was destroyed at the Massacre at Mengo.

Every Clan was given a specific role to play so that everyone through his clan, feels part of the system.

The Judiciary.

Jusice was cadministered through Ebitawuluzi ( Local Courts) with provision to appeal through the Katikkiro right up to the Kabaka. And if still not satisfied, one could appeal to Amaduuda ( Supreme Court of Appeal). Over time, other Courts such as that of Kasujju Lubinga of the Lugave clan (to try Members of the Royal Family), Kisekwa, ( to resolve Clan disputes) and Omutaka Kibaale of the Mpeewo Clan who tries the Kabaka (and acts as Regent when the Kabaka goes to the warpath).

Yes. Even the Kabaka of Buganda can be tried. In Traditional Buganda, the Kabaka used to send his children to stay with Commoners so that they get the feel. Daudi Chwa, father of Muteesa, sent the young prince to stay with a chief called Mugwanya. The young boy thought he had bern disowned by getting sent out of the Palace. He reported his father to Kibaale who summoned and tried the Kabaka. The Kabaka lost the case and was ordered to pay the aggrieved prince a cow.

Defense

Although there was no standing Army, there was Omujaasi ( Army Commander) and an Admiral of the Navy ( Gabunga of the Mamba Clan).

Education

And then, there were the Education and Leadership Training Centres (Ebisaakaate ) which existed at every Chiefs Residence, and in the Kabaka’s Palace where Abagalala n’Abasebeyi ( pages) learnt the ropes. The most famous of those who rose through this was Katikkiro Gulemye Kaggwa who was a Page at Ssekabaka Mwanga Basammula’s Court. So were the Uganda Martyrs. The, Naabagereka has re established the Kisaakaate.

Taxes

Taxes were collected by the Chiefs in the form of Envujjo n’Obusuulu and taken to Enkuluze ( Treasury). Infact, what the Katikkiro is doing in the form of Ettoffaali is nothing new. The only difference is that he comes to collect it instead of the Chiefs taking it to him.

All this came to an end ( a temporary end) at about down on tuesday the 24th of May 1966.

From: Lumudjk

Taming the political beast in all of us, Katikiro Mayiga walks a tight line of demonstrable success


Fellow Ugandans,

If success is measured by the turn out at a well-organized event in Marlboro Massachusetts – the organizers of this Katikiro Gala deserve a round of applause. The ambiance was perfect for a bugle call to bring back the sharpness that was once associated with Buganda of old.

Our honorable guests walked a well-rehearsed tight rope of being apolitical in a climate that had icons who were so used to asking bold and poignant questions to Ugandan leaders who visited Boston. The late Honorable Kategaya was once been asked by Bostonians to recite the NRM’s ten point program and to give account as to how far they’d come to fulfill its promise and when he answered arrogantly, he was booed.

Folks in Boston always felt duty bound to raise issues that seemed blatantly neglected by government and they were among the few who never shied away from holding members of the ruling class accountable and obsessed about the lack of fulfilling campaign promises made to the country, above all they never failed to elicit from authorities a sense of direction their beloved nation was being steered!

In attendance were our elders who’d given Ugandan Bostonians that tough no nonsense reputation and voice of authority–this time as if time had tempered their stance on political matters –they were kinder and gentler, more merciful to the gentleman from the “Totem of Hearts” and his inescapable charm honorable Katikiro Mayiga! He did not did not put Healthcare or Education first on his agenda nor did he talk about new ideas of industrialization or employment for the youth in his simple message.

As for the promise of being the Countries overseers of Democracy and the entire struggle to rescue Uganda from the 30 years despotic hold, this fight was not on his agenda nor was it front and center of this new Buganda tofali (Brick and Mortar) initiative at this successful gathering in Marlboro with a theme of “okuzza obumu” to bring oneness back to all our folks. “We want federo but we also want to move on – on other fronts that have lagged behind since the return of Buganda Kingdom” a statement that highlights his modest approach and style of non-confrontational leadership-that has brought him friends to contribute to his efforts from all over the country.

How does one manage to disarm a Samurai and convince them that it is in their best interest to give up their nation building sword and settle for a mere bouquet of flowers in a rather hostile environment–that is exactly the unenviable psychological and strategic tight rope that honorable Mayiga has been tasked to walk-unlike any of his predecessors!

To that end he has made no enemies in the country and some measurable success –there was no Question and Answer session during the entire period –so no one could fire off some burning political questions to stir the still waters. Many were appointed to positions of responsibility and leadership–as special appointees from the Palace, who would gather concerns of their fellow Ugandans in the Diaspora and table them to Buganda ministers of the Katikiro’s office.

What was clearly lacking in this exercise designed to organize some of the most able and smartest folks Uganda has, was a simple motivational speech from Mengo -which would have been directed towards those with interest beyond the simple collection of a bricks(Tofali) and the restoration of a Lake–folks who were prepared to bring new transformational ideas of change to a listening Buganda ear.

A down to earth address would have brought the house down and given hope to Buganda experts in the Diaspora, that there is room for their experience and expertise to bare in the affairs of rebuilding Buganda, we had seasoned technologists, CIO’s and other ordinary professional folks, ready to move at a lightning speed to bring investment companies and expertise capable of changing the employment fortunes of not only Buganda but the entire nation –they sat like everybody else in the audience and bit their tongues to a more simplistic idea of togetherness.

Whether you look at this as a missed opportunity or not, it all depends on what your expectations were, one thing for sure-we were not all so convinced that such baby steps being proposed were sufficient to make a huge dent in the enormous problems of unemployment, poverty, and lack of basic services, quality education and health services in Buganda.

By the end of the Kitikiro’s speech it was clear that he was moving at a different drummer’s tempo, in fact too slow to keep folks who have waited for a lifetime to see fast progressive, tangible change happen in Buganda.

Amidst undercurrent of fear, hopelessness from an over whelming compendium of chronic problems that continue to plague the largest tribe with a multitude of service woes and a whole bunch of folks steeped in abject poverty , are those completely disenchanted with the President’s desire to force yet an additional term of dictatorship.

For now the Buganda folks in Boston, in their ever polite style and manner of hospitality, had to put their best foot forward and were not about to shun the Kings representative, with their song and dance spirit they welcomed him in a majestic style, only reserved for welcoming one of their own and they contributed heavily towards his Tofali “Brick and Mortar” initiatives.

However, cries of floating a Buganda bond were echoed among attendees with the simple hope that a pound spent on Buganda bonds today had the potential of keeping children born to Ugandan parents in the diaspora ever interested in the management and Return on Investment of Buganda bonds bought for them which would come to maturity in 10, 15 or 30 years’ time.

Tendo Kaluma

Ugandan In Boston

Owek Katikiro Mayiga is acting as a prudent man on behalf of his subjects!


Folks:

The rule of thumb is when you see individuals win some position attacked by extreme right and left wingers means the individual is actually performing great. Right or left winger only praise individuals who do nothing.

The fact that the current prime Minister Owek Peter Mayiga is being attacked by neo-conservatives and left wingers is an indication of the great things he has accomplished under his watch within the constraints of the circumstances. Owek Katikkiro Peter Mayiga is not deluded by some utopian thinking to sit around and wait for the ideal environment before he can do something for his subjects.

He took the bull by the horn and the results are there for all with the balance to see and appreciate.The “Ettoffaali” has been great success. And so is the completion of “Masengere,” . BTW, those making most noise and dismissing his success are the “mukono gamu” who have not given even a penny. Go yes the cheap. Go figure.

Owek Katikiro was given lemons and he has made very good lemonade out of it. Now his critics keep on shifting gear mbu he should be given powers. Who should give him the powers? Funny those talking like that are died hard NRM.

Everything Owek Katikiro has done such as his successful ‘Ettoffaali ” is in line with Buganda ‘s values of “bulungi bwansi”. But Ugandans prefer to praise bure types who are talking shops. Look at KCCA and collapsing bridges in the city. What has the city with more money done for the people of Kampala? Floods everywhere and very soon cholera will kill hundreds if not thousands. Have you seen Mrs. Musisi or the MPs elected in Kampala tour Busabala and other flooded areas?

But very soon she will be celebrating street bash where all kinds of immorality take place. You know why some can’t wait for her street bash. I do not have to tell you the level of immorality. And for doing very little she is paid several times what the Chief Justice of Uganda and even the suffering IGP makes. Go figure.

Owek Kakitiro should now move on issues such as health and preach common sense to save lives. We keep saying the health care suffers from poor funding. Yes. But many of the diseases killing Ugandans call for common sense to prevent. Trouble is no one is talking about preventive measures. Take cholera. Why should people of all places Kampala city died from cholera?

Politics is about compromise. In the USA with divided government, a president and congress from different parties must compromise to advance their programs. Sure no side gets everything, but if they compromise they get something done.

In my training the most important concept is the margin. We are trained to focus on marginal not total changes. So from my angle Owek Katikiro Mayiga has done very well. If you look at the changes at the margin, his achievements are huge.

Of course, I know his critics lacking appreciation of the value of the margin look at total changes. Wrong. I bet The Conservatives won the UK elections because they changed some people’s lives at the margin. It was those marginal changes-not total changes-that convinced them to vote for the incumbent PM. Likewise the position win if they reassure voters that their policies will impact their marginal lives.

All the promises politicians make have the margin in the mind: how much will individuals save or lose from proposed tax changes for example? No one promised to abolish NHS so it came down to marginal changes to the services offered by NHS. Again based on the results, the Conservatives seem to have made their case much better in England and SNP in Scotland.

Owek Katikiro Mayiga is a trained lawyer and is acting as a prudent man on behalf of his subjects. The key word here is prudent. Prudent actors do not sit there waiting for Godot. No. They weigh the impact of their choices or decisions on the margins. Of course not all people are happy but those who value the margin are happy. in Buganda the margin is expressed in the saying that take the little even as you keep arguing. Because of that insight Owek Katikiro has delivered through “Ettoffaali” where Ugandans from all walks have contributed what they can afford.

Well there is another insightful saying which goes that “kamu kamu gwe muganda/one by one makes a bundle. That is what his marginal approach to issues and problems has been able to do.

Now on land, I have concerns about the role of the Buganda Land Board in the destruction of Nabagereka Primary School Kisenyi. But other than, the Katikiro cannot tell his subjects what to do with their land. He may and should educate them about the value of land. For example that instead of selling they should lease.

I am a victim of the Land act. I have hundreds of acres of land through inheritance and I have the land title with me here but chunks of that land is settled on by bibanja holders and so called tenants many of whom cannot buy me out. I have offered them to buy me out in return for land title. They refused so no land title for them.The Land Act made the situation worse. Actually there are no winners except senior UPDF officers who are bale to evict tenants by force. I hope you are aware that most land grabbing and evictions in Buganda and Bunyoro are by serving senior UPDF officers. Remember on paper YKM says no landlord should evict sitting tenants. That only applies to civilians lacking NRM connections. The reality is that every day senior UPDF officers are evicting people and guess what, they are protected by police officers!.

The people who enacted the land act were stupid. Very stupid actually because they created the myth that you can have two or even three parties each claiming 100 percent ownership of the same land. You have a situation where land title holders claim 100% ownership of the land, the same land is claimed by bibanja holders and tenants each claiming to own 100%. That is why there are no winners but losers save for UPDF officers. Policies are supposed to improve not worsen the situation but the land act did just that> make the land regime in Uganda worse.

the land Act illustrates failure to appreciate the concept of the margin. Many bibanja holders and so called tenants wanted security of tenure. This could have been achieve through reforms targeting the margins. Yes it is possible to enact win-win laws. As of now the land Act ushered in chaos. As a result, the land Act especially in Buganda is responsible for food insecurity in the region. Why? Too much uncertainty.

I spend months crafting measures that could be considered to address and reverse the chaos. I sent them to the land Reform commission and received acknowledgment but so far no changes have been implemented.

WBK via the UAH forum

ADEBAYOR’S EXPERIENCE WITH HIS RELATIVES NOW IN THE OPEN


adebayor
Like so many Africans that are successful, footballer Emanuel Adebayor is wondering on how he could deal with relatives.Facebook was the outlet for him to pour it all on the shocking attacks he gets from family members.

I have kept these stories for a long time but I think today it is worth sharing some of them with you. It’s true that family matters should be solved internally and not in public but I am doing this so that hopefully all families can learn from what happened in mine. Also keep in mind that none of this is about money.

At the age of 17, with my first wages as a footballer, I built a house for my family and made sure they are safe. As you all know, I have received the trophy of African Player of the Year in 2008. I also brought my mother on stage with me to thank her for everything. In that same year, I brought her to London for various medical check ups. When my daughter was born, we contacted my mum to inform her but she immediately hung up the phone and didn’t wanna know hear about it. Reading your recent comments, some people said my family and I should consult T.B Joshua. In 2013, I gave my mother money so she could consult him in Nigeria. She was supposed to stay for 1 week; but 2 days into her stay, I received a call saying she left. Apart from all that l also gave my mother a great amount of money to start a business of cookies and different items. Naturally, I allowed them to put my name and picture on them so they can sell more. What else can a son do in his power to support his family?

A couple years ago, I bought a house in East Lagon (Ghana) for $1.2 million. I found it normal to let my older sister, Yabo Adebayor stay in that house. I also allowed my half brother (Daniel) to stay in the same house. A few months later, I was on vacation and decided to go to that house. At my surprise, I saw many cars in the driveway. In fact, my sister decided to rent out the house without me knowing. She also kicked Daniel out of that house. Note that the house had about 15 rooms. When I called her and asked for explanation, she took about 30 minutes to abuse and insult me over the phone. I called my mother to explain the situation and she did the same as my sister. This same sister says I am ungrateful. Ask her about the car she is driving or anything she is selling today?

My brother Kola Adebayor, has now been in Germany for 25 years. He travelled back home about 4 times, at my expense. I fully cover the cost of his children’s education. When I was in Monaco, he came to me and asked for money to start a business. Only God knows how much I gave him. Where is that business today?
When our brother Peter passed away, I sent Kola a great amount of money so he could fly back home. He never showed up at the burial. And today that same brother (Kola) is telling people that I am involved in Peter’s death. How? He is the same brother who went and told inaccurate stories about our family to “The Sun” in other to take some money. They also sent a letter to my Club when I was in Madrid so I could get fired.

When I was in Monaco I thought it would be good to have a family of footballers. So I made sure my brother Rotimi gets into a football academy in France. Within a few months; out of 27 players, he stole 21 phones.

I would not say any anything about my brother Peter Adebayor because he is not here today. May his soul rest in peace.

My sister Lucia Adebayor keeps telling people that my dad told me to bring her to Europe. But what would be the purpose to bring her to Europe ? Everyone is here for a reason.

I was in Ghana when I received the news about my brother Peter being seriously ill. I drove the fastest I could to Togo in order to meet him and help. When I arrived, my mother said I could not see him and I should just give the money and she would solve everything. Only God knows how much I gave her that day. People are saying I didn’t do anything to save my brother, Peter. Am I a fool to drive 2 hours to Togo for nothing?

I organized a meeting in 2005 to solve our family issues. When I asked them about their opinion, they said I should build each family member a house and give each of them a monthly wage.
Today I am still alive and they have already shared all my goods, just in case I die.
For all these reasons, it took very long for me to set up my foundation in Africa. Every time I try to help the people in need, they had to question me and all of them thought it was a bad idea.

If I am writing this, the main purpose is not to expose my family members. I just want other African families to learn from this. Thank you.

VETERAN UAH/UMBS MEMBER WAS APPOINTED KABAKA’S REPRESENTATIVE IN USA


Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja

Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja


Friends,

Ssaabasajja Kabaka appointed one of the UAH veteran members, Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja to be his Representative in the States of Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Moses lives in Seattle,WA, for those who wish to contact him about anything. His email address is: mmayanja1971@gmail.com. He welcomes any suggestions or donations that could help move Buganda to the next level. In turn,he should keep us updated on the good and bad in Mengo,and also give members a direct line to the Kabaka of Buganda,God willing. We wish him nothing but the best for him in this new appointment!

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbey.k.semuwemba

—————–
Friends

This introduction makes some of us become way old that we no longer fit into The Abbey Semuwemba generation, you see as we grew up as Ugandans but mostly Baganda, we resented begging. A Muganda never caught a begging cup to sit on a road asking from any one. So how did we survive? We raise up use what we have and maintain our lives and we lived very well, within our means, thank you. When you look at the country as we were growing up, all until the fall of probably Tito Okello, I never for one moment saw an advertisement of an organization begging money for Uganda. Yes Somalia yes Sudan yes those very dry countries, but an organization begging money for Uganda was a shameful act that we never saw. After the Luwero war, we gathered as Luwerorians in Brussels and we raised an issue of creating a fund to rebuild Luwero, and I remember this old man that stood up and vehemently opposed it. His argument was very simple, show me a life standard that has changed through a begging cup. What country has developed for it is begging? Luwerorians have suffered a great deal many have died, but the moment you start to beg for them, you’re going to create a societal shift, from a people that work for their lives to a people that wait for an Oxfam truck. We closed the chapter of raising money for Luwero, what we need money for and what we are going to raise is to run a commission of inquiry in Luwero to understand the damage Acholi Langi and NRA did to our people, create a forum where they can start to speak than using George Okello as their only spokesperson. That is the only fund we will be starting very shortly. Luwerorians must always learn to work for themselves as the rest of people on earth actually do.

Ugandans becoming beggars started from Northern Uganda, after the war and people have been camped, Langis and Acholi stared to ask for funds to run their region. And here is the danger, when you start to beg you never stop, my God to today there are people that are still registering organizations to beg money for Northern Uganda. Reverend Charles Okello is about to start being on 100 Huntley street television appealing for money to buy tractors for Northern Uganda, he does this every summer, and one reaches a point to wonder just how many tractors are in Acholi land today. The money that has been piled up for Northern Uganda has never reached there but it has created some of the very rich Acholi Langi for they use it for personal gains, and right so. But that begging has created a societal shift with in Acholi Langi population that we feared to create in Luwero, many of their people have become the most lazy bums in the country and scattered all over the country. Acholi have actually replaced The Rwandese that were farming in our land, for now they are the new system of cheap labor in Uganda. And who created that category? The Acholi and Langi that believe that everyone has a responsibility to maintain their lives. So we wake up and work as hard as we work, we pile up the money for some Acholi or Langi in Dokolo has a right to live in a set up life style.

In the Kingdom I grew in, I never saw Mengo having representatives out of Buganda, never. But again in this life style of The Semuwemba, everyone must have a representative and now The NRA kingdom has representatives. Then you wonder why we needed them? Till when you realize the undertone of the introduction, Buganda needs fund raising. So to whom is it is done? Who takes the money? Who is accountable to that money? How does it help my mother that is a true Muganda? Abaganda tebakola bwamasiikini. And that is what makes us different. Donation systems in these countries where created to help those in disasters, I have just got a phone call from London and we need to start an immediate fund raising for Nepal, they have been hit with a massive earthquake and hundreds are dead, the initial photographs I have just received are mind boggling. Yes a fund raising is valuable. What disaster has Ssabassajja seen in Buganda? War? Famine? Terrorism? A Pandemic? What has befallen our people to qualify becoming beggars today? There are professional beggars in our society and one of them has just wondered how he can become the Buganda beggar in United Kingdom. But the rest of us as Baganda work hard for what we have, we earn it and we enjoy it little as it may be. The Abbey Semuwemba generation, the NRA kingdom life style, has shifted us a great deal from what we believed in, and what we grew up educated as. May be we all need to sit on our hands and simply wait for donations to flow in and we drink our livers firkin dry !!!!!!!!!

That culture of our lives is owed to other people is going to come back and hit that society so hard that you will think it is a ton of mud. Awo genda ku wangatto.

Edward Mulindwa
TORONTO

THE ORIGIN OF THE GOMESI/BUSUUTI


From Uganda's telephone directory, 1977

From Uganda’s telephone directory, 1977


By John Nazareth – Mississauga, ON

The Gomesi or Busuuti (as the dress is alternatively known) is the defacto national dress of Uganda. It is an elegant and colourful floor-length dress. However, up to now anyone who peruses through the web for the origins of the dress would be unclear as to when it was designed – dates vary between 1905 and the 1940s – and who exactly designed it other than it was a man called Gomes. When Ella and John Gomes asked me to write an article about the Gomesi and the part played by their father, Caetano Milagres Gomes (CM), I thought that it was all quite straightforward. Instead, it turned out to be a detective story and the process of finding out turned out to be quite exciting. So come and journey with me.

When was it designed and by whom?

The story starts out with the birth of Gayaza High School[1] in 1905 and Miss Alfreda Allen, the Headmistress asking a tailor, Mr. Gomes to design a uniform for her girls.

Reading through an article based on an interview with CM Gomes[2], he appeared to be unclear about whether it was he or his elder brother Anton Gloria Gomes (AG), both of whom were working together, who designed the dress. CM recalled that it was his elder brother AG who talked to Miss Allen as AG was already stitching uniforms for Gayaza when CM first came to Kampala to join his brother in 1908. But in that same interview his memory gave indirect clues as to when and how the dress came to be.

So the earliest that the Gomesi could have been designed was in 1905 as that was when Gayaza High School opened. However, Gayaza first used the “suuka”[3] [4] made of bark-cloth as a school dress in 1905. Furthermore AG Gomes first came to Uganda from Goa India in 1905 as well, and would have just started his tailoring business, so it is unlikely that it was designed then. Sometime between 1905 and 1908 Ms Allen approached AG Gomes to make a “suuka” of cotton as it was more durable. The next phase came to resolve the problem of the “suuka” unraveling when the students were doing manual work, so Miss Allen sought a better design to preserve the modesty of the pupils[5]. AG did that by adding a yoke to the design[6].

In the interview[7] with CM Gomes, he recalled clearly that the Gomesi did not become popular with the masses until the wife of Kabaka Daudi Chwa II wore it for the Kabaka’s coronation – and it was he that had stitched her dress. That the Kabaka’s future wife, Irene Drusilla Namaganda, came to Gomes to stitch her dress was not as surprising as it may seem. According to Cox et al “… and when the Kabaka was looking for a wife, it was to Gayaza that he came …”[8] As a former student of Gayaza, Miss Namaganda would have known the Gomes brothers well.

The Gomesi has some aspects of Victorian/Edwardian dresses (those puffed sleeves) and some aspects of the sari that Gomes was familiar with from his homeland – Goa, India. A sash was also added around the waist to accentuate the feminine figure. The embellishment of the original school uniform would only make sense – if the Kabaka’s queen was going to use it, CM wanted something special.

Kabaka Chwa’s coronation took place in 1914 and hence it is this year that should be honoured as the birth-year of the Gomesi/ Busuuti.

The Names – Gomesi/Busuuti

The name Gomesi is obviously associated with the name of its designer, Mr. Gomes. Originally the dress used to be called Teitei Gomesi[9] – the Gomes dress (“teitei” being the Swahili word for dress or gown). Over time people dropped “teitei” and Gomesi it was.

The name “Bodingi” has also been used[10], a name that probably came from the fact that Gayaza was a Boarding School. This name was likely more associated with the school uniform than the fully matured Gomesi dress design, but it is still occasionally used.

The origins of the associate name “Busuuti” (or as is sometimes heard, “Basuti”) is a story in itself. To speculate on the name “Busuuti”, “suuti” could easily be a borrowed equivalent of “suit”. Bantu languages will often add an “i” at the end of the borrowed word, e.g. in Swahili → askari, [motor] car – “gari”. And just as “Bu” in front of the root word “Ganda” denotes the place of the Ganda people, (and similarly with Bugisu, Busoga etc..) “Busuuti” may have originally designated the “home of this [special] suit” – the Gomes’ tailor shop. After some time of calling the Gomes’ store Busuuti, the name may have passed on to the suit-dress itself. Alternatively, the term “Basuti” could have designated the women who used this special suit. In time the term may have passed on to the dress. There is still scope for more digging here.

Is the Gomesi/Busuuti Truly Ugandan?

Was the Gomesi designed by a foreigner? If you know the Gomeses, they were close to their customers who were British, Asians and Africans. The history of the Goan people[11] is that they have been a multicultural community for a thousand years – and that is why Goans fitted so well with the society in Uganda. Like many Indian peoples who lived in Uganda prior to the 1972 Expulsion, the Gomeses became Ugandans. 1972 was a heartbreak for the Gomeses, not because they lost property, but because they lost home (Uganda) and so many [African] friends.

Politics aside, the Busuuti’s design had many influences including British and Indian. However, the base design started with the suuka and CM must have had some inputs from the Kabaka’s future queen. The two brothers may have exchanged ideas about the design, but CM would have had the greatest influence as he finally stitched it. Culture is not static – British culture was formulated by numerous peoples that invaded it. Likewise Uganda took many influences at the time. Perhaps a large cross-section of Ugandans embraced the Gomesi because of the many influences that came together to create the unique design within its borders and so it became one of the icons of a new nation.

So the design of the dress came about because history brought together the Gomes brothers, Miss Allen and Miss Namaganda – and CM Gomes had the honour of stitching that first dress. It is possible that designed evolved further after 1914.

The Gomes Brothers and Their Descendants

A short history of the Gomes’ Tailors shop – AG Gomes came to Uganda in 1905 and started a tailoring business in the corner of a store in the district of Mengo. In 1908, after CM Gomes joined his brother, a store was opened under the sign-board “A.G. Gomes & Brother”[12]. AG Gomes died in 1928, leaving the business and his three children in the care of his brother CM Gomes. AG’s wife also died suddenly, three months after her husband. During the Second World War the Gomes shop stitched uniforms for the resident British soldiers. Gayaza’s uniforms were all stitched at the store for many years. In 1918, the store moved to Kampala Road opposite the Uganda Herald office. The final location was on Kampala Road opposite the Kampala Institute. After two robberies at the store, the business closed down in the late 1960’s.
gomesi

CM Gomes sailed on a dhow from Goa, India across the Indian Ocean to Mombasa. From there he took the train to Kisumu on Lake Victoria. From Kisumu he travelled on a boat (slightly larger than a canoe) across Lake Victoria to Port Bell in Uganda. From there he travelled, with very little luggage, on a rickshaw to central Kampala. As an attachment to the old country, he carried in a bag on his back a large clock, which hung on his wall for decades.

CM Gomes had five children. Among them, Roger was probably the best known because he was an accomplished Field Hockey player, playing for the illustrious Sikh Union (later Simba Union), representing Uganda between 1954 and 1971, and being a Sports Anchor on UTV. As National Executive Secretary, he was instrumental in the organizational process of getting the Uganda team a place in the 1972 Olympics. As a professional trainer at Kyambogo Teachers’ Training College (now Kyambogo University), he organized the training camp that resulted in the selection of the team and was its trainer until R.S. Gentle took on the position of coach. CM’s daughter Ella also represented Uganda in Women’s Field Hockey.

In 1972 during the Expulsion of Asians from Uganda, CM Gomes and his children Marcella and Mathew (now deceased), Roger and Ella (and later his son John) moved to Toronto, Canada to join his daughter Julie who had married John D’Sa and moved there a few years earlier. CM’s wife Anna had died in Kampala in 1955. CM Gomes died in Toronto in 1981. Besides his six children, he had six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Canada.

AG Gomes and his wife Felecidade had 3 children Joseph, Placido and Antoinette – all of whom have passed away. He has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren that live across the United Kingdom, Kenya and the USA.

The Gomes family members were very proud and honoured at hearing that a postage stamp had been issued in Uganda in December 2007 to celebrate the “Gomesi”.

A personal note

I am grateful to Ella, John, Julie and Roger Gomes who shared all their memorabilia and notes on their father with me. It meant so much to me to reconnect with Uganda as I have always considered part of myself as African Ugandan.


John H. R. Nazareth

Mississauga, Canada

April 2010

———————-

[1] Gayaza High School was formed as a boarding school for girls by Anglican lay missionaries. As a coincidence, my wife Cynthia attended Gayaza in the late 1960s and through the research for this article I was both able to find for her a copy of the history of her school and get her in touch with one of her favourite former teachers, Miss Sheelagh Warren.

[2] A short interview by the Uganda Argus with Mr. CM Gomes in December 1967.

[3] “Gayaza High School – The First Ninety Years” – Edited by Joan Cox, Brenda Richards and Sheelagh Warren.

[4] Also, interesting letter by Mr. S. J. Luyimbazi-Zake’s letter to Uganda Argus in December 1967.

[5] Ibid Fooftnote 3.

[6] According to Ella Gomes, this is what her father told her.

[7] Ibid Footnote 2 plus recollections from Ella and John Gomes.

[8] Ibid Footnote 3.

[9] CM Gomes’ eldest son Roger remembers this well.

[10] Ibid Footnote 4.

[11] “Of umbrellas, goddesses & dreams – Essays on Goan Culture and Society” – Professor of Anthropology, Robert Newman, formerly of Latrobe University, Australia.

[12] It was formally established several years later in 1918 – see letterhead.

ARE THE DIASPORAS UTILIZING THE UAH FORUMS?


BY HANNAH OGWAPITI VIA THE UAH FORUM
The African immigrant has been acclaimed as the most educated in the U.S., but we appear uneducated in our actions when compared to other immigrant groups. No doubt, there are individual accomplishments, but what is it that the African Diaspora can point to as its collective achievement in America? We are more interested in our ethnic and village groups, not even our countries as we observe attempts at national organizations always devolve back to ethnic bickering. Hence our failure to organize ourselves in the mode of the Jewish, Asian or Latino groups, who have used their collective power to bring pressure to bear on those who make decisions concerning their areas and concerns.

Last year, for example, when President Obama invited African Heads of State for a Summit in Washington, DC, some of us believed that it was an opportune time for these Presidents/Prime Ministers to meet with their most important constituency. The African Diaspora contribute about $80 billion annually to the African economy, resulting in the resilience of the continent’s incredible impressive economic growth rate. But what ended up happening: they not only disappointed the African Diaspora but they met as usual organizations such as the Corporate Council on Africa, an organization run by Caucasians. But were the Presidents to blame – well not really. And why, because the African community was not and still not organized. We have all kinds of ineffective African organizations headed by individuals who are more treated in promoting themselves.

Corruption in Uganda, as it is in other African countries, derives, in part, from the failure of post-independence institutions to adequately constrain the State and hence, those who serve in it. Until and unless the country is provided with institutional arrangements that adequately constrain state custodians (i.e., political elites and civil servants), corruption, in all its manifestations, will remain a pervasive part of political economy in the country.

As I have said before on UAH and elsewhere, leadership is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good governance. Sufficiency requires laws and institutions that adequately constrain the State (and hence, those who serve in it. This is the essence of the rule of law). The first step of the new president after Museveni, should be to form a government of national unity(GNU), and use that GNU to spearhead the country’s institutional reconstruction.

A LETTER FROM GULU TO BUGANDA!!


Greetings from Acholi!

As we wallow in the heat of the driest period in the north, words on the ground has learnt that, Kabaka; The Mpolongoma of Buganda is said to have re/appointed individuals abroad to represent his Kingdom’s interest. This is a good move; one that should be emulated by all chiefs in the country. The problem i have with the Kabaka’s appointments or appointees is that they are all Baganda. I feel this is wrong; because, it does not foster unity and does not bode well with well-wishers such as myself and those who feel Ugandan, whilst abroad. I would like to see the Kabaka and the rest of the chiefs as champion of unity and should do so by example. By appointing only Baganda to further the interest of the Kingdom abroad, does not reflect the right image of a modern monarch, which i regard the Kabaka to be.

Considering that a man of George Okello’s standing and influence, happens to be the only Ugandan in the Philippines, and the Kabaka needed some one on the ground, the Kabaka and the Kingdom’s interest not served in the area, simply bcos G.Okello is a non Muganda and therefore cannot be appointed as a rep. This is a step backward.

With having representatives around the world, one could argue that the Kabaka is laying foundation for Buganda’s development, even perhaps, a step towards federalism. But one of the ultimate goals of federalism, beside improved services and bringing power and rights closer to the people, it is to foster unity in diversity. The appointments therefore, does not cater for that key pillar of federalism.Such appointment would simply alienate “others” from, rather than make them feel part of a great Kingdom. Currently in Uganda there are people from other tribes who know the Buganda culture more than their own.

Take R. Mao for instance. No one will suggest anywhere that he is not Muganda enough, for he grew up in Buganda and within the culture. He epitomises the new generation who have embraced fully other cultures beside their own. These are the sort of people who will feel the alienation more if left out from such appointments.

My call is to those close to Kabaka to try and represent the Kingdom and monarch as modern, and one that thrives by embracing, rather than pushing others away. I suggest the Mpologoma’s advisers go back to the drawing board and work out how best the Kingdom’s interest, image and perception can be improved ahead of federalism taking root. One of them certainly, is inclusion.

Akim Odong via the UAH forum

Desire Luzinda’s photos taught youths about Kiganda culture of visiting Senga.


Desire Luzinda

Desire Luzinda

We all love culture. In Buganda a woman will not be considered fully grown, ready for marriage until she has leaned lessons from senga. And Desire Luzinda sends a lear message that girls must learn our culture like she did.Therefore there is a good side in her revelations.Banyoro have their version of Senga which is built around songs of the Orunyege and amakondeere. The girls sing sexy songs partnered around traditional/ cultural Orunyege and amakondeere melodies. They are very melodious.

These cultures are dying because people like Rev Lakodo, the minister, ignorantly term them criminal pornography. As a reverend he is very ignorant about these things. Indeed, he will die without ever knowing the sweetness in them

In fact the Rev Minister is an enemy of Ugandan culture. Also an enemy of nature. God created these things to be enjoyed by the human race. But the Minister has incriminated them.

These Banyoro songs were taught by Banyoro iswenkazi(sengas) at very confidential locations, like Baganda take their girls at secretive bush(okukyalira ensiko) to be taught in the art of sex so that they can please their husbands. From what Desrie posted on the internet, she must have learned the art very well. Hence her song EKITONE nina AMAKULA.

The Banyoro iswenkazi train our girls in the art of marriage which Rev Minister calls criminal pornography. Perhaps Rev Joseph Kamugisha can prevail upon Rev Likodo to allow genuine training of our girls in the art of sexual performance and he does not brand it pornography.

Indeed, even my book, THE REVOLUTION OF UGANDA’S SEX STYLES CANNOT PRODUCE THE EXACT TERMINOLOGIES AND ILLUSTRATIONS I had originally intended to publish for the training of our people.

So, briefly, Banyoro have their version of senga, known as iswenkazi, and ours is melodious and arouses men instantly. Thesedays Banyoro girls have learnned to do what Desire Luzinda did. So, congratulations to Desire Luzinda for being courageous enough to tell the youth that Kiganda culture is worth living.

The day Rev Likodo will lift the description of iswenkazi’s job as criminal we shall record and sell vedeos of iswenkazis bedroom songos


Henry Ford Mirima
Kibuli, Kampala

Roots of ethnic conflict and Museveni’s intentional poverty


A case study of Buganda kingdom
By Lubega N (Economic Anthropology Analyst)

Dear Mr. President
The roots of ethnic differentiation therefore are potentially, of ethnic conflict. These conflicts can be economic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or racial. Why do ethnic differences often lead to conflict and violence? The causes include a sense of injustice because of resource distribution, economic and /or political competition, and reaction to discrimination, prejudice, and other expressions of threatened or devalued identity (Ryan 1990, p XXVII).

Today most of my references will dwell so much on Buganda as my case study because am Ignorant about other stake holders of Uganda like Acholi extra, but am not ignorant about what is happening inside my kingdom. This is because; Buganda kingdom is the only kingdom on earth which has kept a non written constitution for over 600 years. That’s why scholars who study human beings like me we usually logically say “Values are more much important than laws in creation of harmony in the society” Discrimination .

This refers to policies and practices that harm a group and its members. Discrimination may be de facto (practiced, but not legally sanctioned).Example of this is the harsher treatment that the baganda tend to get from the public service commission entitled for government human resource recruitment, police and the judicial systems. When Hon. Kyanjo requested the Army to regional balance the top UPDF officers because of the 95% dominance of army officers from your region, you just poisoned him. You constitute an investigation committee on the lord mayor where by, the minister who has ordered the investigation to take place is Tumwebaze, the Judge himself is from the same region, and all the lawyers are from your region where you come from. Remember, ‘’that is the only valued position for this group from the whole political governance”.

Besides that, you are promoting discrimination to disintegrate Buganda by overpowering a few counties to treat themselves as an independent sect from Buganda Kingdom. Recently you called Kamuswaga of Kooki and even issued over 7 billion Ug shillings arguing that it’s for their regional development program. However, you should know that

More than 100 years ago, Kooki signed an agreement a special relationship that dates as far back as 1704 existed between Kooki and Buganda. During that year (1704), two princes from Bunyoro conquered part of Kiziba chiefdom. The elder prince Bwohe sent his young brother to inform the Omukama of Bunyoro about the achievement, but the messenger was killed by an incensed Omukama. Bwohe, who had now established his influence over the area, changed allegiance from Bunyoro to Buganda for protection without any forced assimilation.

Mr. President you are now behaving like the colonialists who came with an agenda of dividing the communities and creating hatred. Your ultimate goal is to weaken [Buganda] kingdom,

You should also know that now 28 years in power, (Buganda kingdom inclusive of Kooki county) have been on your neck to pay the over 20 billion ugs which is an accumulation of office rent by your government in Buganda’s buildings but you have kept a deaf ear…….we are just cached by surprises when your donations target specific sects and persons (inside Buganda) instead of Buganda as an Institution.

Mr. President, in our discipline we say, Institutional discrimination means programs, policies, and institutional arrangements that deny equal rights and opportunities to, or differentially harm members of a particular group. This form of discrimination is less personal and intentional than attitudinal discrimination is. Eg new land laws targeted to harm Buganda, you destroyed our cash crops and food crops i.e. Matooke and Coffee by introducing pests and diseases, also we will remember you always from blocking our king to visit his people of Kayunga Kyagwe County. You said Sabanyala the cultural leader of ABanyala had warned you that, our king shouldn’t visit his territory because had no permission. Here you denied our king the equal rights vested in the constitution .However, we are always cached by surprises to see that even sabanyala doesn’t request permission, when it comes to his travels to the “little land of Buganda you have demarcated for us.”
Forced assimilation. Mr. President, I would like a gain to inform you that there is a great difference between forced assimilation and assimilation. Buganda kingdom all along has been using the assimilation policy. Forced assimilation aims at destroying the cultures of a certain group forcefully. Some dictators have penalized or banned the language and customs of an ethnic group which has created political unrest .

An example is you who want to ban the Luganda language in schools and replace it with Swahili. The second example is the anti-Basque campaign that the dictator Francisco (1939-1975) waged in Spain. He banned Basque language books, news papers, and imposed fines for using Basque language in schools. His policies led to the formation of a terrorist group in the Basque region. I bet Mr. President if you maintain the speed of your yellow bus to kill Buganda, more terrorist groups will be formed.

Genocide: The most extreme form of anti-ethnic (attitudinal) discrimination is genocide, the deliberate elimination of a group through mass murder. The United Nations defines genocide “as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such” .(Ryan 1990,says prejudicial attitudes(hate)and resulting genocide have been directed against people viewed as “Standing in the way of progress”. Mr. President, we wouldn’t like to witness a generation of genocide. You have been always standing in our way of progress. All the above roots of ethnic conflict especially on us may result into a genocide but fueled by you Mr. President .I know your top officers didn’t tell you about what happened on ground during the Kayunga Saga in 2009.What happened is that many people from your region were beaten by angry youth who had made road blocks, many people from your region residing from Buganda closed shops, restuarnts and other businesses in fear of what had happened to their colleagues. All these unrest were fueled by you Mr. President because you have an experience and an upper hand of the Rwanda genocide.

Conclusively therefore, this is my final trumpet to you, to save the innocent Ugandans who have lived in peace and Harmony for a number of decades irrespective of their ethnic differences. STOP YOUR POLICY OF DIVIDE AND RULE AND ECONOMIC, POLITICAL INJUSTICES (BWONYIGIRIZA ENNYINDO, OGILEETA OMUSAAYI).

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