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DARIUS’ SEMEI KAKUNGULU HERITAGE EXPERIENCE. Part 2

In my previous episode https://bit.ly/2RerFfu I narrated how I had stepped my foot on Gangama hill. It’s on this hill that Mwanga and Kabalega were incarcerated, it’s on this hill that Semei Lwakirenzi Kakungulu finally settled, it’s on this hill that he died and was buried. In this episode I take you straight to what to see on this hill in the Semei Kakungulu Heritage Experience with Kakunguru Safaris a local company that has taken time to develop the itinerary.

TOUR SEMEI KAKUNGULU GRAVE.

Semei Kakungulu grave at Gangama Hill in Mbale.

Kakungulu died on 24th November 1928of Tetanus. Kakungulu is buried in a short distance from the main Abayudaya synagogue behind the unpretentious home which he lived during his last years of his life. He was buried inside a house. I asked Steve my guide why he was buried inside a house. “He built this house before he died and instructed his relatives to be buried there” Says Steve the soft spoken man with a lot of simplicity. We were allowed in by the care taker of Kakungulu’s grave and old house Mr. Hamis Nambale who looks like he is in his old 60s. As you enter, the immediate site is a front stone on the grave with words……..

“SEMEI LWAKIRENZI KAKUNGULU A victorious General, Saza Chief in Buganda, Administrator of Eastern province 1899 – 1905, President of Busoga 1906 -1913. Died 24th 11 1928”

His grave is surrounded by his tools of work that include spears that he used to take on his battle fronts. Each spear or tool there has its own meaning according to Steve.

SEMEI KAKUNGULU ANCIENT HOUSE

Darius – Show Host and Steve – Kakungulu Safaris standing infront of Semei Kakungulu House

VISIT ABAYUDAYA COMMUNITY

Under pressure from the British who wished to limit his holdings, in 1917 moved his residence a short distance further from Mbale town into a short distance in the foothills of MT elgon to a place called Gangama. It was there that he started a separatist sect initially called Ekibiina Kya Abayudaya abesiga Katonda (the community of Jews who trust in omnipotent God) which is made up of mostly Kakungulu’s Baganda following as told to us by Steve. When I visited the site, I could easily tell the difference with rest of the community.

In 1922, at Gangama, Kakungulu published a 90-page book of rules and prayers as a guide book for his Jewish community. “The book set fourth Jewish laws and practices as Kakungulu found them in the old testament as well” Says Rabbi Garshom Wambede who is the current Mbale Jewish community leader or teacher. I found out that despite this interest in Jewish practices, there does not appear to have any contact between Kakungulu and the Jewish practices before 1925.

According to Steve, many European engineers and mechanics who were employed by the British had a chance of meeting the Christian-Jewish community in Mbale in what appears to be chance encounters and then out of this Kakungulu was told about Orthodox Judaism. As a result his other Cristian values and customs were dropped and he adopted Judaism including practices of baptism.

From these encounters the community learned of citing Hebrew prayers, observing Sabbath on Saturday, slaughter meet in Kosher manner and also speak some Hebrew.

After Kakungulu death local sources say, the Abayudaya community was divided into those wishing to retain a toehold within Christianity and those wanting to break it completely. The Bayudaya remained a mixture of both Christianity and Judaism, with faith in Christ remaining in Kakungulu’s faith and beliefs.

Some of the young Abayudaya community members performing local dance for Darius

SEMEI KAKUNGULU UNFINISHED PALACE

Just few meters Steve leads me through a maize plantation walking through a small footpath with visible stones across on the same hill. “This man was ambitious, both in wars and establishing his dynasty” Says Steve as he looks at me firmly on the face. I nodded in agreement. I tasked Steve if he knew some of Semei daughters or sisters surviving and he told me there is one sister who stays near former president of Uganda Amin’s ware house in Lunguja, Rubaga Division, Kampala but they seem to have lost touch. If one of his children were still alive probably he would have finished this palace and ascend on the throne of Bamasaba, Steve re-affirmed me.

SEMEI KAKUNGULU COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

A kid traverses through Semei Kakungulu road that goes to the community school.

Some Baganda chauvinists believe and think Kakungulu was a great philanthropist who took religion and education in that area. They sometimes go as far as saying he took civilization in the area…………………. To be continued in the next episode

 

Please note that all views expressed in this blog are my own and from my experience. They not the views of my sponsors or my partners.

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5 Days with Darius’ Trip to Iliza in Rwanda. Heaven on the Lake!!! Cont….

Iliza House Boat on the docking station at night

Its day four of my 5 Days with Darius’ Trip to Iliza in Rwanda. Heaven on the Lake!!! trip. Well, am finally obsessed by Kibuye archipelago and don’t feel like leaving. Even if it were you, I guess you would be the one doing this testimony. From the food to the enchanting water waves around Iliza, it becomes a police case to leave this nature’s hidden paradise.

I and my twins decide to go on an early morning sail on the lake and have a photo shoot in one of Lake Kivu’s islands and maybe enjoy nature, sunsets and the awe of the rolling hills of Kibuye and Eastern DRC I can’t deny the fact that Rwanda is blessed with such unique tourist destination.

Ngabo Darius Neumann and Ntwali Darius Young on Iliza. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store

Few meters from the docking site we landed on the first island that is more and best fit for honeymooners who want to pop the big question from the middle of nowhere. Ever travelled alone and you reach on some place then wonder why you didn’t tag someone along? I guess you understand what am meaning here. Never mind, its language for adults. But to be honest if you are an adult then get it from me and you will thank me later.

Some of the beautiful Islands where you can pop the question.

I mean its paradise for everyone. Even my twins reached there and connected to the world as I meditated watching over them. The island is safe for camping according to Captain Alphonse who doubles as my guide. “Many people come with tents and their food, they camp here for weeks and we keep moving them around touring” Says Alphonse.

 

The same was echoed by Aimable who is the manager for Iliza expeditions of which Iliza boat is part of. We have never gotten any single accident while on the island or on the boat. Safety of our clients is the key. Says Aimable. Meanwhile I came to learn that they actually don’t offer the boat experience but rather many other tour packages that include a 14 days itinerary for touring along Lake Kivu towards Democratic Republic of Congo.

You can Tour on Iliza boat even close to DRC boarder across Lake Kivu

Leaving Lake Kivu without enjoying the sundowners is as dangerous as touching the Leopard’s anus. I mean you would rather face a den of lions than leaving Kibuye without sailing in the evening. Since we were leaving the next day I could not risk sealing my Iliza boat experience with a sundowner. I know most of you are now imagining how you can get drunk on a boat rooftop bar while on water. Yes you are right I also had the same feeling until I found out its even safer to drink from the boat than an urban 4 storied bar. It’s even cleaner as you breathe fresh. It’s actually safer to sail on the boat than driving along Africa’s highways.

Darius enjoying sundowners on Iliza House boat

Kibuye ghost keeps haunting me to go back. Yes I just said so. You will want to pack your bags and go have a taste of this. It’s no longer a secret by the way! See you in the next destination

Ngabo Darius Neuman- Planner and Ntwali Darius Young- Social Affairs, enjoying the Bilharzia free lake Kivu with Darius Dos Santos – Implementer

Please note that all views expressed in this blog are my own and from my experience. They not the views of my sponsors or my partners. Images maybe subject to copyright. #twdtvshow.

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