Pages

Monday, May 21, 2018

“UNESCO co-funded Empaako project is aimed at empowering our people to take charge of their own destiny in safeguarding their very own culture.” Rwagweri Atwoki


The Executive Director of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki has appealed to the Empaako communities to take charge of their own destiny in safeguarding their culture from extinction so that their culture is sustainably safeguarded and preserved for generations.

“We are not going to spoon feed our people in preserving their very own culture, we shall only empower our people to take charge of their own destiny in preserving their own culture for generations since the UNECSO co-funded project is temporary and only aimed at boosting us (Empaako communities).” Said Rwagweri Atwoki.

Rwagweri (seated) stressing a point at the meeting
Rwagweri Atwoki added, “UNESCO is only supporting us with 80 percent of the funds for 2 (two) years and we need to contribute the remaining 20 percent since it is our very own culture we are safeguarding from extinction and not the cultures of the Europeans and Americans who are providing the biggest chunk of the funds and soon we shall launch a campaign titled ‘Mucwezi njuna nagawe otaireho’ to mobilise resources to safeguard our very own cultural elements threatened with extinction like the Empaako Intangible cultural heritage.”

“We cannot do something for us without us and we need to start now and not later in mobilizing ourselves in safeguarding our culture and traditions from extinction through such campaigns like ‘Mucwezi njuna nagawe otaireho’. We already have solid evidence to show that cultures, clans or communities can be extinct especially when powerful ones come and take over the weak ones for instance the once powerful Bacwezi clan is no more. The once powerful Basongora community is fast sliding towards a cliff.” Said Rwagweri Atwoki while speaking at the Bagweri Clan function in Kitumba, East Division – Fort Portal Municipality.

Rwagweri Atwoki who is also a Mufumambogo and the head of the Bafumambogo clan in Tooro Kingdom whose totem is a buffalo further appealed to the people in the Empaako communities to seek inspiration from Buganda Kingdom whose ‘Etofali’ campaign has assisted them to revitalize their culture and develop as a community through mobilizing resources from Baganda themselves to restore Kasubi Royal Tombs and other Buganda royal cultural sites, starting of television and radio stations, universities and massive building projects among others.

Some of the clan members who attended the clan meeting
While speaking at a clan meeting for the Bagweri clan in Kitumba, East Division – Fort Portal Municipality on Sunday, 20th July 2018, Rwagweri Atwoki highlighted 3 (three) signs to show that our culture is becoming extinct like abandoning our traditional rituals for instance the Empaako naming ritual, weakening family institutions like clans and families and displacement of people from their ancestral territories.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted a decision to co-fund a two year project for the safeguarding of Empaako naming system during the 12th session of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which was held in December, 2017 at the International Convention Centre located in Jeju Island in the Republic of South Korea.

Empaako is naming system whereby in addition to a family and given name, a child is given a special name called Empaako selected from a fixed and closed list of 12 (twelve) Empaako names shared by the entire society and used as a declaration of respect, endearment or affection.

This practice has been shared and transmitted from generation to generation in Empaako communities of Batooro, Banyoro, Banyabindi, Basongora, Batuku, Batagwenda, Banyaruguru, Bagungu, Ba Nya Mbogaand Baziba located in Western Uganda, Eastern DR Congo and Northern Tanzania respectively.

However, the Empaako naming practice is facing threats of extinction mostly due to decline of its mother language (Runyoro - Rutooro), modernization, abandoning our traditional rituals, weakening cultural institutions, and attack from modern religious extremist denominations. 

The one day Bagweri clan meeting which attracted over 100 clan members was organized by Bagweri Clan Brotherhood and co-supported by Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action).

The Bagweri clan brotherhood which is headed by Rugumayo Dominick Apuuli started in 2015 with an aim of revitalizing culture, strengthening Bagweri clan and empowering the Bagweri clan members economically through giving low interest loans to clan members from their SACCO.

According to the clan chairperson, Rugumayo Apuuli, since 2015, the Bagweri Brotherhood which operates in Busoro Sub County and Fort Portal Municipality in Kabarole district has helped in reducing conflicts among the Bagweri clan members through using the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism mostly arbitrating in disputes relating to land and family conflicts.

The organization has also assisted in preserving our traditional cultures especially through teaching children morals and African cultures like respecting old people and dressing among others. Children of the underprivileged clan members have also been supported with education scholarships and gifts given to the best performing students to encourage education of children among Bagweri clan members. 

Lastly, the Bagweri Clan brotherhood has also assisted in empowering the Bagweri clan members economically through giving low interest loans to clan memberswith locally generated funds from clan members to the Bagweri Savings, and credit cooperative organization (SACCO). 



Monday, May 14, 2018

Bafumambogo clan members launch an education fund for the underprivileged clan members


Bafumambogo clan members of the Lui Nyakaana lineage have launched an education fund called Lui Nyakaana Education fund to assist the underprivileged but willing and determined to study members of theBafumambogo clan. Lui Nyakaana who passed on in 1984 was buried at Mukunyu, Butiiti Sub County, Kyenjojo District – Tooro Kingdom.

The education fund was launched at meeting held on Saturday, 12thMay 2018 at Mukunyu in Kyenjojo district – Tooro Kingdom and presided over by the head of the Bafumambogo clan Mr. Stephen RwagweriAtwoki who is also a direct descendant of Lui Nyakaana and Executive Director of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action).

The traditional ceremonial chair of Bafumambogo clan
Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) is a Uganda cultural NGO accredited to provide advisory services to UNESCO (ICH Convention) and currently is implementing a two year UNESCO co-funded project aimed at safeguarding the extinction of the Empaako Intangible Cultural Heritage among the Banyoro, Batooro, Banyabindi, Batagwenda, Banyaruguru, Batuku and Ba Nyamboga.

The function which was organized to inspire people of the Empaako communities to revitalize their culture by strengthening their family and clan systems was attended by hundreds of people including the Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese – Fort Portal Rt. Rev. Reuben Bizarwenda Kisembo and Mpumwirwe Alinaitwe Akiiki who is the head of the Bafumambogo clan in Mwenge County.

Also, the families of the direct lineage of Lui Nyakaana who attended the traditional function were the families of Kandole Phillip, family of Silas Ateenyi, family of Wenkya Nyansiyo, family of Emmanuel Kasangaki, family of Damiano Mubu and family of Yozefu Kasangaki who are direct descendants of Lui Nyakaana. During the function, the Empaako naming ritual was celebrated and Tooro traditional meals were also prepared.

The Lui Nyakaana education fund was launched by the head of the Bafumambogo clan in Tooro Kingdom – Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki who is a Mufumambogo from Kajarwagonya, Rusekere in Kabarole District.

“We are launching the Nyakaana education fund because education is the key to success. The fund will only assist Bafumambogo clan members who are determined to succeed with their education.” Said Rwagweri Atwoki.

The Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese Rt. Rev. Reuben Kisembo speaking at the function
The education fund is named after the late Lui Nyakaana because he supported valued and encouraged education not only for his children but also for other community members, relatives and clan members. In addition, Lui Nyakaana respected the preservation of our African culture especially the Runyoro – Rutooro language, traditional dressing, traditional meals and respected the traditional institutions especially clans and Tooro Kingdom.

The Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese who is also one of the prominent Mufumambogo clan and the treasurer of the Bafumambogo clan in Tooro Kingdom Rt. Rev. Reuben Kisembo while addressing the Bafumambogo clan members appealed to them to continue preserving their culture, educate their children and respect God in order for them to develop.

The Bafumambogo clan head, Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki having a group photo with the family of Silas Ateenyi
Rwagweri Atwoki while addressing the Bafumambogo clan members indicated that our culture is threatened with extinction because of the weakening cultural institutionslike clan and family institutions, abandoning our rituals like the Empaako naming ritual and displacement of the people from their ancestral territories. Rwagweri appealed to the people from the Empako communities to double their efforts in strengthening their institutions especially their family and clan institutions, continue to perform their cultural rituals and desist from being displaced or detached from their ancestral territories.

Engabu Za Tooro Cultural Troupe perfoming
In addition, Rwagweri Atwoki also appealed to Bafumambogo clan members to embrace and support the UNESCO co-funded project of safeguarding the Empaako intangible cultural heritage especially through documentation through writing, music and drama among others since it is a cornerstone to the preservation of the Banyoro – Batooro heritage.

During the one day function which started at 10am and ended at 8pm with a traditional meat roasting event, taking of traditional beers and entertainenment with cultural music by Master Kalenzi, Kigambo Moses Araali and Engabu Za Tooro Cultural Troupe.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

“We need to start with strengthening our own clan and family institutions to revitalize our culture,” Says Rwagweri

Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki

It’s common sense that you can’t give what you don’t have, the Executive Director of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action), Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki has today appealed to the people in the Empaako communities to start strengthening their clan and family institutions in order to revitalize their culture.

“To safeguard our heritage, we need to revitalize our cultural institutions right from families, lineages and clans.” Says Rwagweri Atwoki, who is also the head of the Bafumambogo Clan whose totem is a buffalo.

As an inspiration to other Empaako communities, clans, families and individuals, Rwagweri will officiate a function aimed at finding out the lineage of Lui Nyakaana of the Bafumambogo clan, celebrating Empaako inscription and performing of Empaako naming rituals among others. The function will take place on 12th May, 2018 at Mukunyu Located in Kyenjojo district which is part of Tooro Kingdom.

Rwagweri’s action follows recommendations by clan leaders from Empaako communities in Western Uganda who attended a meeting facilitated by Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) held in Fort Portal on Saturday April 7th, 2018.

The Traditional ceremonial chair of Bafumambogo clan
During the clan meeting, clan leaders recommended for the strengthening of our language, strengthening our institutions at both family and clan levels and also keep perfoming traditional rituals so that threats to the extinction of our culture like Empaako intangible tradition can be minimized.

Clan leaders also recommended the supporting of our traditional wear, strengthening our cultural morals especially among the youth and supporting our traditional meals.

In addition to Stephen Rwagweri, other prominent Bafumambogo clan members are Henry Kajura who is a former Governor Bank of Uganda and former cabinet minister in Uganda, Bishop Reuben Kisembo who is the current Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese - Fort Portal, Ategeka James Mugarama Akiiki who is the current district chairperson of Bunyangabu and Mr. Businge Prosper who is the former district Councilor Kabarole among others.

In addition to heading a cultural NGO and being a clan leader, Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki is a social worker, book writer, broadcaster and currently implementing a UNESCO co-funded project aimed at safeguarding the extinction of the Empaako Intangible Cultural Heritage among the Banyoro, Batooro, Banyabindi, Batagwenda, Banyaruguru, Batuku and Ba Nyamboga located in Western Uganda and Eastern DR Congo respectively.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a decision to co-fund a two year project for the safeguarding of Empaako naming system during the 12thsession of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which was held in December, 2017 at the International Convention Centre located in Jeju Island in the Republic of South Korea.

A buffullo - Traditional totem of Bafumambogo clan
Empaako is naming system whereby in addition to a family and given name, a child is given a special name called Empaako selected from a fixed and closed list of 12 Empaako names shared by the entire society and used as a declaration of respect, endearment or affection.

This practice has been shared and transmitted from generation to generation in communities located in Western Uganda, Eastern DR Congo and Northern Tanzania.

However, the Empaako naming practice is facing threats of extinction mostly due to decline of its mother language (Runyoro - Rutooro), modernization and attack from modern religious extremist denominations. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The commissioned Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) 4th Board of Directors (2018 - 2022).


The commissioned Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) 4th Board of Directors (2018 - 2022). 

Engabu Za Tooro is Accredited to provide advisory services to UNESCO (ICH Convention).

Monday, April 23, 2018

Engabu Za Tooro launches a 20 percent self-help initiative to preserve Empaako heritage


An elder making a contribution

The head of the Empaako safeguarding committee Msgr. Peter Jumaraki Araali has officially launched the 20 percent self help initiative to preserve the Empaako intangibale cultural heritage. Msgr. Kumaraki launched the initiative during the official inauguration of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) Board of Directors at Garden’s Restaurant – Fort Portal on Saturday, 21st April 2018.

“The 20 percent self help initiative has started with your presence at this function, we need to strengthen the local support towards the safeguarding of our Empaako Intangible cultural heritage.” Said Msgr. Kumaraki.

Msgr. Kumaraki who is also the new Engabu Za Tooro Board Chairperson while speaking at the function indicated that the first goal is to strengthen the languages of the Empaako communities, “we need to first strengthen our language because it’s our first identity through learning to write and speak it well.” Said Msgr. Kumaraki.

The function which was presided over by Prof. Edward Rugumayo of the Tooro Elder’s Forum attracted over 500 people from the Empaako communities of Batooro, Banyoro, Basongora, Banyaruguru, Batagwenda, Batuku, Banyabindi and Ba Nya Mboga from Western Uganda and Eastern DR Congo respectively.

The new EZT Board of Directors
Other respected community elders who attended the event are Rev. Richard Baguma Adyeri, Mr. Richard Rwabuhinga Abbooki (District Chairperson - Kabarole), the current and previous Kogere’s Ms. Rehema Kobusinge Adyeri and Ms. Alice Basemera Adyeri, Mr. John Byabagambi Ateenyi from Kitagwenda and Mrs. Resty Balinda Adyeri who is a previous Board Member of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action).

“I am happy that the new team of Engabu Za Tooro Board of Directors is a solid team because it’s made up highly respectable people in our communities.” Said Prof. Rugumayo while speaking at the function.

The Board of Directors of Engabu Za Tooro are Prof. Oswald Ndoleriire Ateenyi who is the patron, Msgr. Peter Kumaraki who is the Board Chairman and Mr. Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki who is the Executive Director.

Other Board members are Dr. Richard Irumba Amooti (PhD), Mr. George Mwebembezi Atwoki, Mrs. MaryTibamwenda Atwoki, Mr. Isaaya Kalya Atwoki, Ms. Barbara Kabanyoro Ateenyi, Mrs. Winifred Mabiiho Atwoki, Mrs. Vanice Kagaba Amooti.

During the function, over Uganda Shillings 1,000,000 was collected by the people who attended the event.

EZT Cultural troupe performing at the event
While speaking at the function, the Patron of Engabu Za Tooro Prof. Oswald Ndoleriire indicated that Tooro is still strong evidenced by the inscription of the Empaako heritage by UNESCO, co-funding the safeguarding of Empaako by UNESCO, recorgnition of Mountains of the Moon University as a public university and inclusion of Runyoro – Rutooro in the curriculum of Uganda’s education system.

The Executive Director of Engabu Za Tooro, Mr. Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki while speaking at the function emphasized that no one can develop without his or her own personal contribution to achieve his or her dream hence the need to embrace and appreciate the co-funding of this project by 20 percent since it’s about safeguarding our own intangible cultural heritage of Empaako.

During this event, guests who will attend will be entertained by cultural music perfomers and comedians like Kigambo Moses Araali, Master Kalenzi, Kabagambe Salongo, Andrew Rubongoya, Kijegere, Kahwa Kansengerwa and EZT cultural troupe among others.

The current and old Kogere who attended the event
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted a decision to co-fund a two year project for the safeguarding of Empaako naming system during the 12th session of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which was held in December, 2017 at the International Convention Centre located in Jeju Island in the Republic of South Korea.

Empaako is naming system whereby in addition to a family and given name, a child is given a special name called Empaako selected from a fixed and closed list of 12 Empaako names shared by the entire society and used as a declaration of respect, endearment or affection.

This practice has been shared and transmitted from generation to generation in communities located in Western Uganda, Eastern DR Congo and Northern Tanzania.

However, the Empaako naming practice is facing threats of extinction mostly due to decline of its mother language (Runyoro - Rutooro), modernization and attack from modern religious extremist denominations. 



Friday, April 20, 2018

Strong institution, strong heritage!



Let us all come to attend the inauguration of Engabu Za Tooro Board of Directors tomorrow Saturday, 21st April 2015 starting at 2:00pm at Garden's Restaurant. 

Cultural Music, great comedy, great inspirational speeches & performance of cultural rituals.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Professor Edward Rugumayo to preside over Engabu Za Tooro Board of Directors Inauguration

Banner for the event

Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) which is accredited to offer advisory services to UNESCO (ICH Convention) will officially inaugurate its Board of Directors on Saturday, 21st April 2018 at Gardens Restaurant – Fort Portal which will be presided over by Professor Edward Rugumayo.

The Board of Directors of Engabu Za Tooro are Prof. Oswald Ndoleriire Ateenyi who is the patron, Msgr. Peter Kumaraki who is the Board Chairman and Mr. Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki who is the Executive Director.
Other Board members are Dr. Richard Irumba Amooti (PhD), Mr. George Mwebembezi Atwoki, Mrs. MaryTibamwenda Atwoki, Mr. Isaaya Kalya Atwoki, Ms. Barbara Kabanyoro Ateenyi, Mrs. Winifred Mabiiho Atwoki, Mrs. Vanice Kagaba Amooti.
Professor Edward Rugumayo
Edward Rugumayo is a politician, diplomat, author, academic and environmentalist in Uganda.
Currently, he is the head of the Tooro Elders Forum. He has previously served as cabinet minister in three Ugandan administrations.

From 1979 until 1980, Rugumayo served as the chairman of the Uganda Legislative Council, the equivalent of Speaker of Parliament today. He currently serves as the Chancellor of two Ugandan universities which are Mountains of the Moon University based Fort Portal and Kampala University based in Kampala. He is an avid botanist and a community leader.

When he returned to Uganda in 1966, he taught briefly at Kyambogo before joining Makerere University, as the Warden of Mitchell Hall, one of the halls of residence. In 1971, Idi Amin successfully led a coup d'├ętat against the Obote I administration. Rugumayo was appointed Minister of Education, through connections with his friend Wanume Kibedi, a lawyer, with whom they had studied in London and who was an in-law to Idi Amin. Kibedi was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In February 1973, one year and eight months on the job, Rugumayo resigned from Amin's cabinet; the first member of the cabinet to resign. He went into exile in Nairobi, Kenya, staying there until 1979, when Amin's regime was toppled.

After the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) and the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) captured power in Kampala, with the assistance of the Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF), Rugumayo was appointed chairman of the National Consultative Council (NCC), the parliament of the time. This is the equivalent of the Speaker of Parliaments today.

Rugumayo was instrumental in removing Yusuf Lule from power, when Lule disagreed with the NCC on procedural protocol when making cabinet appointments. Lule was replaced by Godfrey Binaisa.

In May 1980, while Rugumayo was in Arusha, Tanzania, the Binaisa administration was also deposed in another coup d'├ętat. This time Rugumayo stayed in exile until 1992. That year, he returned to Uganda and joined the National Resistance Movementadministration of Yoweri Museveni.