History of Busoga

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Marianum Press Ltd
Ever since Busoga came into existence, none of its histories has been written down although it can be proved that most of this history is true. This history was known to every musoga, having been handed down to successive generations until the coming of Europeans such as Speke, the first White man to see the Source of the Nile in 1862. This discovery attracted more and more Europeans, whose coming effected the disappearance of the old order. Our history was handed down the generations through a continuous chain-like process. It could just not be forgotten since, through all the ages, men and women would talk together about the various historical events in the hearing of the young generation. Further, narrating these historical events would be done during communal activities such as beer parties, games, or during all sorts of social functions, or during the ceremonies held in honour of the gods. No problem would be solved, nor any dispute settled, without reference to the past events in order to justify the solution or settlement. On such occasions, when reference was made to past events, children had the opportunity to hear and learn these things. Needless to say, the elders also had the opportunity to remind themselves of these things. There were no special historians among these people; everyone amongst them was a historian and whatever facts he remembered, would be either agreed to by his colleagues or rejected. After much dispute and explanation, they would all agree to one thing. We believe that the history of this country was preserved in this way, and as historians, we must rely on this verbal history whenever we wish to write about any particular historical event. There are two types of clans in Busoga. The first type is the ruling clans which established themselves in their present locations at the time when Busoga was just coming into existence. Such clans were independent and each was a small enclave of only 10 - 20 square miles, each of them jealously guarded their independence. Each clan had a ruling family, with its sons and daughters regarded as princes and princesses, just like any other ruling family in a big kingdom. This is why we say that these families were like real Kabakas (kingships), as you will see later in this book. The second type of clans was that with no power over any part of the country. These clans lived under the rule of the ruling clans, from whom they got their land on which they settled. Later on, this land became theirs permanently. The clans provided servants, fighters, courtiers, wives, and labourers of all types. When these married any member of the first type of clan, the children were not regarded as princes or princesses.
This "History of Busoga" is a translation of the original work of Mr. Y.K. Lubogo which was written in Luganda between 1921 and 1938. While considerable effort has been made to produce a readable English version, the objective of the translation is to preserve the content and style of the original work rather than produce a literary work. The facts and figures given were set forth by Mr. Y.K. Lubogo and were not checked by the Eastern Province (Bantu Language) Literature Committee. It is a pity that such a long delay has occurred between the completion of the manuscript and the publication of the book. Nevertheless, it is fortunate that this newly constituted Literature Committee has been able to produce for distribution the result of so many years hard work by the author. Since there has been this lapse in time between the writing of the original work and the appearance of this edition "The History of Busoga" is far from up-to-date and readers have to remember that when the author refers to “present day conditions", he naturally means at the time he was writing; some time prior to 1939.
Busoga, Uganda - History, Basoga (African tribe) - History
Lubogo, Yekoniya K., (2020). History of Busoga. Marianum Press, Kisubi -Uganda