Omukama Kabalega (Chwa II Kabalega) was born around 18th June, 1853 and died on 6 April 1923. Kabalega was the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom in Uganda from 1870 to 1899.
History of Bunyoro-Kitara
Bunyoro-Kitara is one of the Kingdoms found in East and Central Africa. It was one of the oldest and most powerful kingdom in the region. Bunyoro – Kitara’s power was more prominent during the 13th – 19th Century. The King of Bunyoro id called the Omukama.
The people from bunyoro are known as the banyoro or nyoro and they speak a language called Lunyoro.
They were organized in a clan system with the royal clan of the kings, princes and princesses. The held held absolute powers and his word was highly respected and equited to a god. Each clan had a responsibility to the King. The Abahama clan were the hunters and body guards of the king.
The economic activities in bunyoro Kitara kingdom included agriculture as the area had fertile soils. Lake Mwitanzige also known as lake albert practiced fishing as an economic activity, hunting and salt mining at Lake Kibiro were some of the economic activities.
He came to power in 1869 after the death of his father Omukama Kamurasi. Before coming to power, he had to fight off stiff competition from his brother, Kabigumire. His brother had the support of the chiefs and royals while Kabalega had that of the military as well as the peasants.
Due to the power struggles, many people were involved including Kabaka Mutesa I of Buganda. To end all the fights, he had to kill some royals including two of his sisters.
During his reign he is said to have organized one of the best military forces in the interlacustrine kingdoms. This helped him in overcoming most military attacks from rival kingdoms like Buganda. This won him favours from all over as well as from the British military forces.
Kabalega was known as a war genius whose tactics were able to resist colonial rule in Bunyoro for some time. His power and wealth were seen as a threat by the colonialists. He was able to maintain unity, protect Bunyoro borders as well.
His resistance to colonial rule and hate for the ‘white man’ was one of the many things that he managed to his fullest. His army the ‘abarusura’ was one of the most trained and equipped armies that brought home nothing but victory from numerous battles.
It is important to also note that Murchison falls and Murchison Falls National Park were once named after Kabalega. This was during the regime of Idi Amin Dada. Amin renamed most of the colonial names of Uganda’s national sites and roads to African names. However the name was later reversed.
Kabaka Mwanga and Omukama Kabalega
In 1899, he was exiled to the Seychelles for 24 years together with Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. He later died on 16th April, 1923.
where were kabaka mwanga and omukama kabalega captured
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