75-year-old Munyoro seeks Shs135m to publish book on culture

Mr Deogratius Mugisa Akiiki sits inside Kazi-njema radio producition room located along Bujumbura Road in Hoima City. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

After 14 years of documentation, a 75-year-old man in Hoima has finalised his book titled; “Otanaga Emirwa ya Bunyoro” for Know your culture and customs.

The book is designed to shape the morals of the Banyoro as well as promote Runyoro/Rutooro language.

Mr Deogratius Mugisa Akiiki said he is now stuck with the book because he completed editing it at the time he is aging and financially weak.

The draft publication carries information about common diseases and herbs used to cure them from plants within their vicinity that can help for first aid and cure. It also features the morally upright and acceptable behaviours of the Banyoro which are now getting eroded.

Audio: Mugisa on journey (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Mugisa Akiiki who currently lives in Kyankwazi district has approached different offices including that of the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Premier but only have promises for support and intentions to buy off his copyright which he had not contemplated to accept.

Audio: Mugisa on origin (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Mugisa says he invested all he had during research and engagements with fellow older persons across Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom hoping that the book could help him promote Bunyoro culture as well as earn a living in his evening hours of life.

“I started scripting with pens and exercise books and later approached typists to have a soft copy for editing and printing drafts. I would script wherever I would be and consult by phone calls for information. When I am in my maize garden guarding against monkeys, I am scripting, when I am at home after work, even at night I did,” says Mr Mugisa.

He feels at least Shs135m can facilitate the final book designing and printing including graphics work and publication.

“I can sell some books for sustainability but many of them are to be disseminated free of charge to the public targeting the youths who are victims of moral decadence,” he says.

Mr Mugisa also hopes to develop an application and translate the book to be accessible both in Runyoro/Rutooro and English so that Banyoro children born in the diaspora without exposure to Bunyoro culture can benefit.

“It is also good to have it on the internet to meet the current demands for accessibility,” he says.

It is on this background that he appeals to the lovers of Bunyoro culture across the globe to provide any kind of support towards this cause.

While asked about the book, Hajj Burhan Kyakuhaire Akiiki, the Special Assistant on Culture in the Office of the Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, acknowledges participating in the editing of “Manya Emirwa ya Bunyoro” book crediting Mr Mugisa for his unique efforts to volunteer documenting the culture of Bunyoro.

“It is a good publication for our culture. It carries many important things including sowing of millet and other crops, food security and different herbs accepted as positive in the kingdom,’ says Hajj Kyakuhaire.

He, however, says the kingdom’s financial resource envelope is not deep enough to fully support that publication and others on the history of Omukama Kabaleega adding that as a kingdom, they also welcome well-wishers to support such projects.

Author Deogratius Mugisa can be directly reached via his personal mobile phone +256779319205 for details.

He finalises drafting his publication at the time Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom administration is working to mobilise writers to document the history of Bunyoro in a factual way.

Other persons who have written and continue writing books include the former Principal Private Secretary to the Omuakama (King) of Bunyoro Kitara, Dr Yolamu Ndozireho Nsamba; Mr Robert Rukahemura, the Social Affairs and Cultural Officer in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and Mr Isaac Kalembe, the Omutalindwa (Speaker) of the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Orukurato (Royal Parliament).

Writing is a talent but sacrificing time makes it a calling. Above all, the financial capacity to spare time in areas where writers conveniently sit, think and research to document educational, important and acceptable write-ups on culture is an important aspect to have writing projects accomplished.

Research facts

Our reporter’s survey indicates that the rich history and culture of Bunyoro including the language is rapidly being replaced with new cultures due to increased immigration into Bunyoro and the greatest influence of western education that has captured the majority young generation in schools.

They are predominantly taught in the English language and trained to use what they do not produce and even in a guided interpretation of issues which may not provide a clear picture appreciating the positive practices of Africans before colonialism.

Who is Mr Deogratius Mugisa?

He is a Museke Mutwara by clan and son to the late Blasio Rwahwire Kirifoda (Clifford) and Rosette Nyamunobwa. His mother was a Mutabi by clan.

Mugisa is a grandson of Byakuhambya of Murubya of Kamuna Karungi of Mpanju Izaara and Mpanju Itunga. He traces his roots from Kibararu Muntooke village in the current Buhimba sub-county, Kikuube district but his father migrated to Bulindi where he was born and brought up.

He studied at Bulindi BCS (Bunyoro Catholic School) from P1 to P6 and reached Bulindi Farm School where he studied Agriculture, worked at Kakira Sugar Works and later in Kinyara Sugar works. Mugisa later migrated to Kyankwanzi district.


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