KOOKI, Rakai: Friends, visitors to, and Subjects of His Royal Highness (HRH) the Kamuswaga of Kooki, Apollo Isansha Kabumbuli II Lwampanja, have applauded him for being a uniting factor amongst the people of Kooki and neighboring areas, in the last eighteen years at the helm his ancestors` throne, the Investigator reports.
This revelation was unwrapped on Sunday May 15th, at Kyalurangira playgrounds in Kyalurangira Sub County, Rakai District where, the Kamuswaga chose to celebrate his eighteenth Coronation Anniversary. He was first enthroned, on the same date and month in the year 2004, close to ten years after the restoration of Cultural Institutions in the country.
Hon. Boaz Kasirabo, the area Member of Parliament said despite the different tribes in Obwakamuswaga bwa Kooki, there has been unity with no discrimination amongst people, which has promoted development in the kingdom. “We, the Bahima currently relate with Banyankore, Bakiga, Bafumbira, Baganda and all other tribes that migrated from different areas. This has been successful only due to Kamuswaga’s efforts”, he explained.
According to Professor Mohammad Ndawula, the leader of the Kooki ruling clan of Ababiito (Ssababiito), Kooki is regarded as an independent and autonomous cultural institution, just like it used to be, close to 200 years ago. “I have on many occasions heard people referring to Kooki as a County. This is in all ways wrong. Kooki ceased to be a county under Buganda the moment Buganda decided to become a British protectorate in 1900”, he said.
He further explained that “After this agreement, the other agreements that had been signed before, became null and void. The President of Uganda in 1966 also abolished all Kingdoms which saw them dormant until 1993 when the current government decided to revamp them”. Prof Ndawula emphasized that had Buganda maintained her status, she would have continued to practice her prowess in the 1970’s and 80’s but this wasn’t the case.
Speaking to journalists, Owek. Stanley Ndawula the Minister of Information and official Spokesperson of Obwakamuswaga, said that the people demeaning Kooki know the truth but simply elect to create divisions amongst Kamuswaga’s subjects.
“There are signs that show our cultural status. If we have our royal regalia which include among others; the royal drums, the royal tombs, a hereditary ruler who is not the first but 13th, why should people doubt our status!”, Ndawula added that Kooki “is no longer under protection of any cultural institution like it used to be in the said void agreement.”
“We are now focusing on reviving our language of Rukooki and teaching our young people the culture and norms which should be instilled in today`s and the future generations”, he added. Speaking to his subjects, the Kamuswaga urged the Bakooki to avoid the vice of early marriages because it hinders development, especially when it comes to the girl child.
“If a girl gets married at an early stage, they won’t complete studies and therefore, cannot acquire a good job or decent wellbeing because of lack of qualifications and confidence. This will lower the income needed in a home for the basic requirements, hence having a poor community with equally poor standards of living.” HRH reminded government, through the Chief Guest, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, also the Minister for Defense and Veterans Affairs in Central Government, to continue the recognition and respect for his cultural institution, especially when it comes to her independence.
“You should remind the Prime Minister that we are an autonomous institution in the Uganda gazette whose status should be recognized by both the central government and the general public. We are well stipulated as a Cultural institution under ‘Obwakamuswaga bwa Kooki’ in Kooki, Rakai District.” Ssempijja represented Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robina Nabbanja.
The History of Obwakamuswaga bwa Kooki
The Kingdom of Kooki is a traditional Kingdom in the Rakai District of Uganda. Kooki is a sub national monarchy (Traditional) that is believed to have been found in 1696 but most of the history recognises it as an independent Kingdom in 1720 after coming under the rule of Omubiito Bwohe. Kooki has an extensive rich history though it was not clearly documented not until the whites brought up a new system and that is all things that were communicated verbally were later jotted down in different archives but not everything that was communicated was written as it was being told and that’s why there are so many conflicting information about the Genesis of Kooki and its people.
Kooki was one of the powerful kingdoms in East African region until the scramble for and partition of Africa by the whites. In 1894 when the name Uganda was adopted by British officials, Kooki started to lose power to other Kingdoms that were supported by the whites and many of them became colonial administrators. The word “Kooki” may seem to be new but it is old. Before this area adopted the name “Kooki” it was under Kazingiza on behalf of Kaziryansomyo who, was the king (ruler) of Kiziba the now areas of Tanzania. When Kazingiza weighed up the power he had, he couldn’t fight back Bwohe, he decided to run with his men back to Tanzania and left this area under the control of Bwohe.
Different writers have written about the beginning of Kooki but give different ways on how it attained her independence but they all agree that it started in 1720 from Bunyoro under the leadership of Omubiito Bwohe.
Kooki has been under the leadership of three different generations. Before Kooki was ruled by Babiito who are the leaders, they were under the leadership of Batembuzi and Bachwezi. Batembuzi are the people who are believed to have ruled this area before Christ. The word Batembuzi comes from the Lukooki word “Kutembura” which means coming from far and resides in a new area. The Babiito adopted their name from the founders of this lineage i.e Waswa Mpuuga Rukidi and Kato Kintu, who were twin brothers of Kyomya and Natooro who were produced under “Lubiito” tree. That’s how they adopted their name.
What does Kamuswaga mean?
The word Kamuswaga is not new and it is derived from Lunyoro word “Kamusaaga” which means the eleventh son. The first prince (omubitto) to get that tittle was Edward Kezekia Ndahula II who was the eleventh son of Prince Isansa LwampanjaKamusaaga later became Kamuswaga and it became the title of the cultural leader of Kooki kingdom. Kamuswaga held executive, Judiciary and legislative powers and his word was highly respected and equated to words from God and the subjects ensured the king lacked nothing.The current Kamuswaga is His Royal Highness the Kamuswaga Apollo Isansa Kabumbulii II Rwampanja who is also a gazetted leader numbered 6.The list of Kooki leaders since its existence.
Bwohe 1720 – 1750
Kitahimbwa 1750 – 1780
Mujwiga 1780 – 1782
Mugyenyi 1782 – 1782 (ruled for two months)
Ndahula 1782 – 1785
Kitahimbwa II 1785 – 1832
Isansha I 1832 – 1862
Lubambula 1862 – 1884
Ndahura Kezekia 1884 – 1907
Jofe Sefaasi Kabumbuli 1907 – 1954
Yoweri Kayiba 1954 – 1981
Edward Mazinga 1981 – 1987
Apollo Isansha Kabumbuli II 2004 – up to date For more information about the histoy of Kooki, look for the book called Mayange which was written by Ssembatya Brian Kaboggoza after long period of researching about the matter which was launched on 16th January 2018. We all have a duty to educate ourselves and our children about the history and norms of their culture so that they can embrace it. We call upon all talented people to come and join the team of the young researchers and writers led by devoted fresh talents. For the inquiry about the book and Kooki’s history don’t hesitate to contact Kakeeto Nicholas on +256 704972279/ +256 – 784056428…
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