History of the bahima and balaalo in Bugana


As we try to “dig dip” the history of Bahima and balaalo in Buganda, I will refer you to some readings that might give you some basic facts.  These might also be of some use for others that champion Buganda exclusionism and the anti-Hima and anti-Tutsi invective that abounds on the UAH forum:

  1. Reid, Richard J (2002), Political Power in Precolonial Buganda (Kampala: Fountain)…also available from James Currey and Ohio University Press.
  2. Kaggwa, Apollo Sir (1934), The customs of Buganda (New York: New York)
  3. Ashe, RP (1889), Two Kings of Buganda (London).
  4. Roscoe, J (1911), The Baganda: An Account of their Naive Customs and Beliefs (London).

And on your conviction that Baganda are pygymoid, I refer you to:

Mukasa, Ham (1904), Uganda ‘s Katikiro in England ; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII ( London : Hutchinson ).

In Sir HH Johnston’s introduction to that book on page xvii, we read that, Apolo Kaggwa is “…a very tall and muscular man about 6ft 3in and of absolutely unmixed Negro race.”

And on your view that my reference to Bahima being part and parcel of Buganda history is contraband, on that same page of that book I quote above we read that Ham Mukasa is
“…somewhat lighter in colour and has about him a slight element of the aristocratic caste in Uganda (read Buganda) known as the Bayima or Bahima”
That corroborates the information some people discounted as “smuggling” Bahima and Balaalo into Buganda history.  And of course, they did not justify your use of the term “smuggling”: the best way to justify it would have been with counter evidence on the ethnicity and origins of Ham Mukasa’s mother, the Muhima lady Nyakazaana.

Note that Ham Mukasa was baptised the name “Ham”…that looks obvious.

“Ham Mukasa was born Mukasa Rwamujonjoza”: We have already ploughed through the “Rwamujonjoza” name.  What I forgot to mention is the meaning of that name and the language where it derives from.  The root word in the name is “jonjoza”.  It does not exist in Luganda.  It is a Runyankore word which means to bully or abuse.  Rwamujonjoza may mean child or descendant of a bully.  You can confirm this on page 54 of this dictionary that defines Kujonjoza:

Davis Margaret Beatrice (1938), A Lunyoro-Lunyankole-English and English-Lunyoro-Lunyankole Dictionary (Kampala: Uganda Book Shop)

In Runyoro, the verb “kujonjoza” is part of the vocabulary of metallurgy.  In iron working, it meant flattening smolten ore into a sheet that would eventually be moulded into swords (one sword is a Kitara) blades, spears, platters and digging implements.  Ham Mukasa may as well have had connections with Bunyoro-Kitara iron-working traditions.

When you scheme through Luganda grammar, you do not find “Rwa…” as one of the prefixes.  It is exclusively a Runyakitara prefix.  So, the name “Rwamujonjoza” has little to do with Kiganda origins, and is either from Nkore or Bunyoro-Kitara.  Given as we have seen, the origins of Ham Mukasa Rwamujonjoza’s mother, Nkore is more likely.

Mukasa was called Ham because of his Hamitic looks.  The  name itself is evidence of that background of Nyakazaana.  They could as well have called him Kaima/Kayima/ Muhima/Muyima Mukasa.

Note that Apollo Kagwa was a Muhima of the Nsenne clan, the migrants from Busongora….typical Musongora…angalia yeye!

If readers can, look up the history of the Nsenene clan of Buganda, and ask them why the title of the Ssaza Chief of Mawokota (one of the three core counties of Buganda) is “Kaima” up to now.  Ask them about the first Kaima that was to be aloocated a large estate in North Mawokota, the only known grazing grounds in the Mawokota-Kyaddondo-Busiro heartland of the nascent Buganda.  Kaima means Kahima or Kahuma, “the Hamite”.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick


About ekitibwakyabuganda

Ba Ssebo ne ba Nyabo, Twebaza Abaganda bonna abulumulirwa Obuganda . Era twebaza ne mikwano gya Buganda gyonna wonna wegiri munsi yonna. Omukutu guno gwatandikibwawo nga e’kigendererwa kwe kuyigiriza abantu ebintu ebikwatagana no’Buganda era nokuwanyisiganya ebilowozo nebanaffe abatali Baganda. Abaganda ne mikwano gya Buganda mukozese omukisa guno muwereze ebirowozo byamwe no’bubaka bwona obunaagasa Abaganda na’baana Buganda berizala mu maaso eyo. Obumu ku bubaka obuwerezebwa ku mukutu guno bugyibwa mukuwanyisiganya ebirowozo okubera kumukutu gwa Ugandan’s at Heart (UAH) Forum ogwatandikibwawo Mwami Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba. Era twebaza muzukulu wa Kintu ne Nnambi ono olw’omulimu gwakoledde bana Uganda bonna abali e’bunayira mungeri yo kubagatta mu byempuliziganya no’kutumbula okukolaganira awamu.

5 responses »

  1. I am surprised at the continued use of words like ‘hamite’ and ‘negro’ which have long been shown to be misleading about the ‘race’ or ethnicity of the various population groups in East Africa and elsewhere.
    Is the whole Idea of this article to show the ‘racial’ difference between Apollo Kagwa and Ham Mukasa? If so, what is the point of bringing up these ‘differences’?

  2. I think you need to tell baganda that the problem with Buganda is not associated with who a true Muganda is but the History of Buganda tell them!!!!!!

  3. Hi,
    the story of showing the difference of people was of 1900 and will never help any one at all, including you the author
    Uganda is for Ugandans not for Baganda only. though you are entitled to yr opinion
    Am a Rwandan,former politicians preached your massage and the result was the Genocide against the Tutsi did that help Hutus????
    Will hate of the Banyankore or Hima help Ugandans? If being a pur Muganda means you need to consider your self special, then yr failing the purpose

  4. I am very much surprised by you the Ugandans. U want to uproot the pumpkin from the field while you still want food from it! The matter of who is a Muhima or a Muganda is not of any importance to you; in fact who is important to you is that one who is committed to work for the betterment of Uganda with no regard of origin. Remember a dangerous crocodile started as a mare lizard. So better watch out!

  5. I believe the name uGANDA was APPROPRIATED from BUGANDA we therefore need to acknowledge this!!

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