Pearl By The Nile-2

Tongues of Fire; Lubaga Prelude

The letter that King Muteesa (I) wrote to the Queen of England in the 1870’s resulted in present day Uganda.’ This is an oft quoted remark. This letter was penned down during a meeting between King Muteesa and Henry Morton Stanley in Lubaga. The thoughts and spirit of the letter reflected what King Muteesa (I) wanted to address on behalf of Buganda Kingdom. There was genuine desire to improve on the standard of living by the King. His subjects deserved better. This was the motivation behind the letter. The meeting between Muteesa (I) and Henry Morton Stanley at Lubaga explored a way forward for Buganda Kingdom. If one were to understand Buganda Kingdom, one has to also understand major milestones that affected Buganda Kingdom up to 1876. By the time of his death King Muteesa (I) left Buganda Kingdom as the uncontested centre of; trade, commerce, health, hygiene, schooling, Artisanry, a public works system, bark cloth-making, agricultural productivity, salt route, egalitarianism, an awesome heritage rich with courtly customs and an orderly centralised governance system. This was an inheritance passed on to him and as a King he passed it on to the next generation. Continuously reminded of a dire oral Kaggwa prophecy passed down orally from past generations, Buganda searches its true meaning. News of what is going on in Congo, Mombasa, Egypt, Abyssinia-land (Ethiopia), Karagwe, Burundi, Rwanda, Ankole, Bunyoro, Tooro, Kavirondo Gulf and the mid-upper Nile regions is dreary. The world was a cauldron of progressive social change with: industries so hungry for raw-materials; Europeans were seeking more lands in America, Asia and Africa; Judeo-Christian-Arabic religions were clashing with indigenous beliefs in many parts. Asians, Indians and Arabs were key players along the Indian Ocean providing the far advanced sea-faring technology. They had skills in urban designing, construction and economic development. They created an extensive trade link into the interior of Africa. America had tested various industrial-machinery prototypes, had made strides in producing better plant and animal breeds. America was a land of opportunity which Portuguese and Spaniards found and opened to the other Europeans. Eventually America had skilled professionals and was technologically at par with Europe and had an educated citizenry to match. Many Americans sent their goods to Africa and other lands. Trade, the engines and breakthroughs in public health, medicine and science enabled travel over very long distances and food-production in large quantities was possible. Interior Africa that was formerly forbidding was now no longer a challenge to explorers, speculators and missionaries. Africa was in no position to stop the winds of change blowing.




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