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Treasures And Myths: How Buikwe ‘Gave Birth’ To River Ssezibwa

Uganda is indeed blessed with nature and my daily prayer is that we are able to appreciate and ‘conserve’ these treasures.

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The Ssezibwa falls, located in Kayanja, Mukono

The Ssezibwa falls in Kayanja, Mukono district are indeed a beauty that, to me, ‘seems’ virgin. I couldn’t help but make sure I take as many photos as I could, and also, most importantly, learn as much as I could. It was a weekend trip worth taking with my family, a trip that could, eventually lead to a few discoveries hidden behind a beautiful story with different shades of truth.

The story of Ssezibwa, according to a senior traditional healer I met there, begun about 200 years ago in the era of the Buganda king, Ssemakokiro. In this era, access to hospitals was highly limited because of the, bad road networks. (And of course there was no ‘medical concierge’ app so please do not go there.) And because of this, Ssalongo Nsubuga Ssebwato, of the ‘Mamba’ clan and his wife Nakangu, from the ‘Kibe’ clan would end up in a dilemma and tragedy that would give birth to the geist of this story. The two were residents of Kawuna village in Buikwe.

When Nakangu was due to give birth, she set off for long journey to the hospital. Five miles into the journey, she decided to take a ‘short cut’, having realized that she might not make it to the hospital. However, even with the short cut, she was forced to stop, lie down and push new life into the world. A set of twins, Mubeeya and Ssezibwa – a girl and a boy, were brought forth!

At this point, I interrupt and ask my narrator if Nakangu had thus given birth to mere water, a question, which is on your mind right now. He cared to clarify…

The human twins did not make it. However, it’s the ‘placenta water’ (Amniotic fluid) poured that sunk into the ground and later sprung out to form two separate streams of water; Mubeeya and Ssezibwa. Of course I posed for a few microseconds to rationalize but I did not interrupt him.

According to my narrator, Mubeeya, the girl and Ssezibwa, the boy had actually travelled together underground but had to separate. Mubeeya settled in Banga village, Nyenga, still in Buikwe while Ssezibwa chose to travel farther.

Along his journey, the great Ssezibwa was approached by a number of tributaries, which asked him for permission to join him. (This consultation, according to the narrator, was spiritual)

He allowed some and refused some. It was his choice. But it is these very tributaries that gave him the strength to conquer more spirits that did possess the various landscapes through which he travelled – including the Kayanja rocks where he showcased his mastery in form of a beautiful waterfall before moving on to finally rest in the Kyoga.

John went on to let me know that Ssezibwa is a humble, kind, listening and giving spirit. On any given day, you will find a couple of people consulting with the spiritualists in this place for his blessings. They are thus asked to offer eggs to Jjaja Magobwe, a spiritual head of the Mamba clan or wash off from the falls or even carry the water home for blessings.

However, no mother of twins, a ‘nalongo’ is allowed here because being a male, he cannot ‘work’ on his ’mother’.

Ssezibwa has also now allowed tourists to visit, which he had earlier forbidden. (This makes it clear why the place is so ‘virgin’). After a lot of consultation, Micheal (not real names) was also permitted to have the place enclosed off for resort purposes.

He has however, recently become angry and dirtied the waters because of a spiritual wrangle between Bambejja and the Mamba clan, a case that is now in court.

According to the Bambejja, the cave where Magobwe is worshipped is supposed to be for the sun god, Musoke. You will thus find a yellow cloth over the cave and ‘obusumbi’

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Opening to the cave which, according to the Mamba clan is supposed to host Magobwe

(local pots) with two openings in the cave. The Mamba people claim that the sun god can not be kept in a cave and that, the fact that Ssezibwa is from the Mamba clan then, the clan spiritual leader, Magobwe should be residing in the cave. (Do not get tempted to ask me what the two spirits in question say about this.)

 

Away from all that, the falls are definitely beautiful and are a breathe of freshness. Micheal has established a ‘resort’ with board walks, accommodation and camping facilities. The place still needs a lot of facelift for comfort and I hope to see that when I next visit.

My next stop will be Gulu village in Ssaza, Mukono district. If you know the story of the first two Baganda, kintu and Nambi and how they ran away from ‘heaven’, this is one story you should not miss because this is the place where these two fell after their escape.

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A tribute to Joan kagezi…

It’s just one second. Only one…I doubt it’s even enough. No am sure it’s not. But it’s quite long. 
So I look at him….closely. The determination in his eyes, the strength of his motive written across his masked face. What is he thinking at this moment? About his kids back at home?? About the very next moment? Or maybe his mind is set entirely on the large sum of cash balance awaiting him after the job well done. He is a very strong man, I bet he has 5 acres of farm land back at his home. Very young and able….if he was president, he would be so vigilant. 
But well, I have no time. I must… But wait, did I send that email to frank?? Oh no I did not. It’s going to disrupt the entire process for them. And oh, I didn’t send mum her rent….and forgot Grace’s shoes at the store, and the meeting tomorrow with judge Timothy should have made things more clearer….Bob, Chris, Esther at church….The entebbe errands….my daughter’s medication prescription in the bag…sooo many things I haven’t yet done. Can’t this just wait one more day?? 
I ddnt see this coming. Not like this. Seems like yesterday when mum gave me a present for my 5th birthday. How time flies so fast. And maybe I deserve to have said goodbye to her. But not her alone. How about my childre-…they are going to be alone??? No, parent??? I didn’t grow up like that?? Oh this life. They don’t deserve this. But it’s too late now. Or maybe it’s not.
Can’t God stop this?? This man has a mission but, can’t he change his mind?? Can’t he miss?? Can I fight him?? Isn’t there anything I can do to stop this?? Or maybe i should have done it hours ago. Maybe i shouldn’t have used this road today. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought groceries here today. Maybe I should have stopped at that gas station before. Maybe I shouldn’t have handled that case. Maybe I shouldn’t have even been a lawyer at all. But here I am.
Looking at him…so close. So ready and willing. It’s like he hates me. And maybe he is right to do so. But what so bad a thing did I do to him?? Oh wait…he was sent. He maybe has no idea why he has to do it. He just wants the money. So…who sent him?? Who did I do wrong recently? Couldn’t they have called me and told me about what I did wrong?? I could have apologized. But then again, I shall never find out. 
And now I have to bear the pain of a metallic component through me. Does it hurt? Does it pierce as sharp as the dreaded doctor’s injection? Does it feel…oh nooooo…..
I just felt it…it must be just that. 
He must be happy now. 
Eight times. 
I never felt the pain for the second one. I think it’s the confusion; the panic, the cloud of absence and not being understood by everyone looking at the other me…the one on the floor, the silence of my screams as I try to answer my daughter’s cry, the absence of a wave back as I try to wave to Grace and her guards around my other me.
The priest used to preach about the soul, the spirit and the body. I knew about it to. Scientists disputed it though. I wish I had the power to tell them now. To explain to them that…I felt it all. I felt the stinging sharpness of that metal as it crushed through the very first core of my skin, through my bone tissues that science explains so well and…through my terrified soul and my ever strong spirit. I did hold his hand I remember; trying to pull him back and look into his eyes as my other me, my third, fell…but I could not hold onto him. He looked into my eyes though. It’s like he was saying to me; my job is done;I am rich now; I did what I had to do….and he ran away.
It took me a while…but now I know. I clearly understand. There is no need for an explanation because I have it all with me. It’s me…I felt it all. The doctors will tell little. I can explain it better….but I think I cannot be heard now.
My prominent strong voice… is gone. My hands…can wave no more. My perfect smile…can be seen no more. No one knows am here and yet I was…just a while ago. Just a few minutes ago. It’s all gone. Like I never was there. Or maybe I was but…am now not. It’s like…a family picture on the wall, with my face cut out. No more to me?? To all I did? All I have been??
So is this what they call it?? The switch over. This is how it feels like. This is what it is. And i always wondered. But now I know. I do know so. Although I would love to tell all of them…even these ones using gloves to hold my other me…that, I am indeed alive. Am here. 
And for you my children, I always shall be…even when you cannot see.