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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.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Empaako naming ritual will be officially performed at the EZT event on Saturday, 21st April 2018


The Empaako naming rituals will be officially performed to the interested members of the public at the Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for action) event to be held this Saturday, 21st April 2018 at Gardens restaurant – Fort Portal.


The Empaako naming ritual will mainly target people who want to officially confirm their Empaako names, people from outside the Empaako communities who are interested in officially getting Empaako name and children who haven’t yet officially received their Empaako names.

Empaako monument in Fort Portal town - Uganda
Empaako is naming system whereby in addition to a family and given name, a person 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.

The 12 Empaako’s are Okaali which is reserved for a king, Acaali, Bbala, Apuuli and Araali which are only reserved for men and finally, Abbooki, Adyeri, Abwoli, Akiiki, Amooti, Ateenyi and Atwoki for both men and women.

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.

The Empaako naming ceremony is aimed at strengthening and soldfying the Empaako naming ritual among the Empaako communities of Banyoro, Batooro, Banyabindi, Batagwenda, Banyaruguru, Batuku and Ba Nyamboga located in Western Uganda and Eastern DR Congo respectively.

In addition, the Empaako naming ceremony is also aimed at inspiring and creating awareness for people to sustainably embrace and appreciate the Empaako naming ritual.

According to Ruth Fatima Nnansimbe Amooti of Engabu Za Tooro, people who want to officially participate in the Empaako naming ritual will need to first register with Engabu Za Tooro at their main offices located at Plot 18 Kaija Road, Kabundaire (behind Gardens Restaurant – Fort Portal) or call on 0483422187.

The 12 Empaako names
The registration fee for the Empaako naming ceremony is UGX 30,000 and all those interested will need to report on Friday, 20th April 2018 at Engabu Za Tooro offices for training.

In addition, to the official Empaako naming ritual a traditional meal will also be served and people who will participate in the ritual will need to put on the required traditional wear. 



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Engabu Za Tooro will officially inaugurate its board of Directors this Saturday, 21st April 2018

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.

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

In addition, key note and inspirational speeches will be delivered by EZT patron Prof. Oswald Ndolerire Ateenyi, the incoming board chairman Msgr. Peter Kumaraki Araali and EZT Executive Director, Mr Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki.

Among the key highlights in the speeches are sensitizing the public  on the safeguarding of Empaako project which is a UNESCO co-funded project  among the Empaako communities of the Batooro, Banyoro, Basongora, Batuku, Batagwenda, Banyabindi and Ba Nyamboga in Western Uganda and Eastern DR Congo respectively.

The event is slated to officially start at 2:00pm and will begin with a procession around Fort Portal town led by EZT Brass Band.

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.

EZT Board of Directors
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.

All members of the public are invited to attend and the gates will open at 12:00pm. Entry fee will be UGX 5,000.

Engabu Za Tooro Executive Director, Mr. Stephen Rwagweri Atwoki passionately appeals to all members of the public to support this event aimed at solidifying and strengthening our culture and heritage.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

“Abandoning our rituals, weakening institutions, weak language threatening the extinction of our culture.” Clan leaders.


Clan leaders from Empaako communities in Western Uganda have identified a weakening language, weakening institutions at both family and clan levels and abandoning our traditional rituals as some of the main threats which threatens the extinction of our culture especially the Empaako intangible tradition during a clan leaders meeting held in Fort Portal.

Clan Meeting in Fort Portal, Uganda
Abandoning our traditional wear, deteriorating cultural morals especially among the youth, abandoning our traditional meals were also identified as some of the threats to our culture.

The one day clan leaders meeting held on Saturday April 7th, 2018 at Engabu Za Tooro main offices located in Fort Portal attracted over 80 clan leaders or representatives from the Empaako communities of Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda, Banyaruguru, Banyabindi, Basongora and Ba Nyamboga from Uganda and the DR Congo respectively.

Stephen Rwagweri, Executive Director Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) while addressing the clan leaders meeting indicated that the main objectives of the meeting is to strengthen the safeguarding of Empaako naming system especially using clan systems and ratifying the Empaako inscription and safeguarding by the Empaako communities.

“To revitalise our culture, we need to focus on documentation, capacity building especially for clan leaders, community self documentation of rituals and traditions and dissemination of documented materials.” Said Rwagweri.

Rwagweri further emphasised that the documented cultural traditions in books, music, photos and videos among others should not just be kept in museums but used for the revitalisation of their cultural traditions like Empaako.

Engabu Za Tooro Director (standing), stressing a point
The clan leader of the Basiita clan and head of the Empaako safeguarding committee further appealed to the clan leaders not to get tired of safeguarding our culture like Empaako heritage since they contributed immensely to the inscription of Empaako on the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.

This clan meeting follows a decision by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) which was adopted 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 to co-fund a two year project for the safeguarding of Empaako naming system .

One of the clan leaders (standing) in traditional attire 
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.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Empaako clan leaders to officially endorse the UNESCO co-funded Empaako safeguarding


Clan leaders from the Empaako communities of the Batuku, Batagwenda, Banyabindi, Basongora, Banyoro, Banyaruguru, Banyamboga have been invited by the head of the Empaako safeguarding committee Msgr Peter Kumaraki on Saturday April, 2018 at Engabu Za Tooro main offices in Fort Portal, Western Uganda.

The 12 fixed Empaako names
During this event, the Executive Director of Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action), Stephen Rwagweri will also present a report on the detailed plans for the safeguarding of Empaako. In addition, the clan leaders will also work out strategies’ for the sustainable safeguarding of the Empaako intangible cultural heritage among the Empaako communities in both Uganda and DR Congo.

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.
Who can get what Empaako name

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.  


Thursday, April 5, 2018

EZT invited to attend a UNESCO meeting (ICH) in April, 2018

A cultural clan meeting at Engabu Za Tooro Offices
The Assistant Director-General for Culture has invited Engabu Za Tooro (Tooro Youth Platform for Action) to attend the information and exchange session on the overall results framework for the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The meeting will take place on 20 April 2018, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m at UNESCO Headquarters (7, place de Fontenoy, Paris, Room II).