Blog-a-thon: You’ll Find a Blend of New and Old Cultures in Kampala, Uganda

This blog submission is by Solomon, a youth enrolled in ChildFund International’s Uganda programs.  The original posting of this blog can be found on the ChildFund International website or by following this link.

I am called Solomon, and I am a student in senior 2 [high school]. The last born in a family of six, I live in Namirembe in Kampala District, which is the central region of Uganda and the capital city.

My typical day is full of classes. From Monday to Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., I attend school at Mengo Senior secondary school. I like school and enjoy spending time with my friends. When I go back home in the evening, I do some house work and my homework.

Solomon coming from school.jpgKampala has many interesting places like the Uganda Museum, which keeps antique items and has cultural exhibits. There are also crafts villages that make sitting mats, baskets, stools, handbags and items from bark cloth, which comes from a fig tree.

Namirembe is one of the seven hills that originally made up Kampala. It has a big Anglican Church on it. When you stand at the top of Namirembe, you can see most parts of Kampala. There is also a big hospital in Namirembe called Mengo Hospital and a trading area with big and small shops.

Namirembe is in Buganda Kingdom, which has a rich heritage. We have a king, his majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, and a queen, Nnaabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, who have many subjects.

Our traditional clothes are kanzus, long, white tunics for men, and gomesi, long dresses for women. However, since this is the capital city, the boys and girls wear a lot of new, trendy clothes. They also listen to all the new music from the radio stations.

In Buganda, we have a lot of food but our staple is matooke, like plantains or bananas. We steam the matooke in banana leaves and enjoy it with beef stew, chicken stew, ground nut sauce, beans or peas. We have a lot of fruits like mangos, bananas, guavas, pineapples and paw-paws.

Solomon's drawing of family enjoying matooke.jpg

The photo above was drawn by Solomon; it is an image of his family enjoying matooke around the dinner table.

As for our music, the drum is one instrument that holds a lot of meaning for the Buganda people. Different beats of the drum inform us about different events. There is a special beat to symbolise the dying of someone important, and other beats to symbolise weddings, births of important children, important meetings and even different festivals.

We also have many dances in Buganda like the Magunju, the Baakisimba, Nankasa and Muwogola.

Solomon, ChildFund International

3 thoughts on “Blog-a-thon: You’ll Find a Blend of New and Old Cultures in Kampala, Uganda

  1. Hi, Solomon,
    I read your blog with great interest, because I have a sponsored little girl, named Patricia, that lives in Uganda. I like to learn about your part of the world, so I may relate to Patricia. Your blog was well written. Thank you for the knowledge that I gained from what you shared!
    Renee Montillo

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