Kabalega Day – April 6, Learning from the Hero’s Might

Bunyoro Kingdom’s King, Kabalega Chwa died on April 6, 1923. The day was designated to commemorate the great king who sustained a long resistance against the white colonialists and other invaders in his Kingdom. The story of Kabalega’s life and might is extraordinary to be told in these small pages. It can only be all laid out on an entire ocean to get complete. Let me pick it up from here!

From 1895 to 1899 the whites continued pursuing Kabalega in Rukungu, Buruuli and finally in Lango where Kabaleega was finally captured together with Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. The two had made an alliance with Mwanga swearing to name one of his son’s Chwa.

After Kabaleega’s capture, he was imprisoned for two decades at Seychelles Island in the Indian Ocean. He was set free but had been amputated and had poor eyesight at the age of 70. The British could not allow him to return to Bunyoro alive since it could stir emotions. They kept him in Busoga for 40 days at Mpumuire (Mpumude in Losoga). On April 5, 1923, his granddaughters, Alexander Komukyeya and Ruth Komuntale (Daughters of King Duhaga) had visited him from Hoima and brought him his favorite drink, Whey (Amachunde).

He died on April 6, 1923, and his body was transported home via river Nile, to Masindi Port and then on land to Hoima district. He was laid to rest on April 26, 1923, at Mparo in Hoima district.

Kabalega’s courage and diplomacy remain an inspiration to the Banyoro. He remains a symbol of passion for one’s cultural identity, a state’s sovereignty and independence from interference. No wonder he was named a hero by the Ugandan government.RIP Kabalega who died christened John. Many Banyoro became Christians after learning that their king had accepted Christianity.

In brief

.He fought selflessly to defend his people and their property.

.He only lost hold of his battle when he was betrayed.

.He took the courage to accept the faith he had for long defied. He died a Christian-Baptized John.