Kampala city has a dark and blissful history worth to be documented about. Much of the history we might never get to know, but at least the following sites can help us construct what exactly happened and how we can negotiate to make it part of us.
THE KASUBI TOMBS
The Buganda Kingdom was established back in the 13th century AD. According to legend, it is believed that the first kabaka (king) was called Kintu. Kintu and his wife Nambi a daughter to a might being called Ggulu the god of the sky. Oral tradition has it that Kabaka Kintu disappeared into a unseen portal somewhere in forest located at Magonga.
This site has four kings buried in there. The ﬁrst Kabaka to be buried was Muteesa I, second king Basamula Mwanga II (1867-1903), third Daudi Chwa II (1896-1939) and the fouth Fredrick Walugembe Muteesa II (1924-1969).
Kasubi was built in an intricate manner donning reeds wood, thatch, wattle, daub and back clothes that send off an ancient aroma of the past. The Tombs are a very symbolic spiritual spot to Buganda Kingdom, due to the many rituals conducted that are a mandate according to culture. Located not far away from the city center about six kilometers along the Kampala – Hoima highway, its a site that reminds of ancient artifacts that can with stand any kind of season.
IDI AMIN’S TORTURE CHAMBERS
Some historical sites do have a dark history that we cannot subvert for fear of awakening the past. The past should teach us a lesson. These chambers saw thousands of people lose their lives to brutal soldiers who were under command to use any methods to extract information out people.
Security apparatus took advantage of political and opposition members from different groups cracking down on their plans in the name of bringing order to the rebels.
Located in Lubiri Mengo the palace of the King of Buganda, they are worth exploring.
The walls are painted with horrific hand drawings that spurn over decades of years which were inscribed by the prisoners.
THE INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT
This monument was constructed a few days before Uganda was granted independence. It’s a place worth visiting because of the historical attachment it depicts. Uganda came from colonization to being an autonomous state from 1962 -2020. Located at Nile Avenue right below Sheraton hotel opposite Standard Chartered bank. We are reminded of a history we must embrace and pass on to the next generation.
The Monument reveals a woman unwrapping a child and raising it to the skies. Symbolizing that Uganda was now a new child ready to take on the world on its own without external influence.
THE UGANDA MUSEUM
This is East Africa’s oldest museum established by the British colonial government in 1908. An enthusiastic art collector Governor George Wilson in 1902 commissioned for the collection of rare art commodities throughout the parts of Uganda with an aim of setting up a historical site for easy viewing of these objects.
In 2008, the site turned 100 years. As years progressed on, various art of styles were added to complement the beauty of Uganda’s history such as a cultural village with huts illustrating traditional lifestyles of people in Uganda. Cultural materials, such as milk pots made from wood (ebyanzi), gourd vessels, basketry, bead work, horn work, ceramics, cutlery, leather works, armory, and musical instruments, are visible.
History has successfully swept under the rugs the good deeds Kabaka Mwanga II did because of his brutal measures when dealing with subjects. His hands are still stained up to this day for murdering Christian coverts.
Before a rebellion distracted this major water project, the construction started off in 1886 and the objective of the lake was to easily transport the king to his nearby palaces and use the lake as an escape route incase invaders attacked. History has it that some subjects refuted getting their hands to dig the channel. Upon receiving such news, he travelled kilometers to prove to his subjects that he would not mind getting his hands dirty to dig the lake. Located in Rubaga, it’s considered as one of the oldest and surviving man made water body in Africa.