Nubian or Kinubi is one of the rare cultures within Uganda. The Nubians as commonly known as ‘Banubi’ came from Sudan as soldiers. They were brought into Uganda by Sir Samuel Baker, Charles Gordon as well as Emin Pasha during the colonial times. Since they were from Sudan, they were referred to as Sudanese rather than Nubians.
Just like any soldiers of the time, they had to settle in a military barracks. That is to say in Bombo. Over time, their military role came to an end and were awarded land in Bombo for settlement. This is where one can find most of the Nubians. However, it is believed that to date, these are not the original Nubians as they have mixed with local people. Nubians can also be found in the West Nile regions of Arua and Yumbe.
Nubians speak a language similar to Arabic. Majority of them are also Muslims if not all. It is very rare to find a Christian Nubian. It has come to an understanding that Nubians share similar traits just with other Islamic cultures.
Nubian Influence on Uganda
With time of settlement, most Ugandans were affected by the Nubians. This was through culture and their ways of leaving as well as their language. For instance;
There were a number of intermarriages especially with people from the West Nile. That is to say, most of them in the West Nile region are referred to as ‘Banubi’ simply because they are in the lineage of the Nubians.
Also, most people adopted their dressing styles that is to say, Nubian women wear traditional wrappers commonly known as ‘lesu’ and many women today have been seen wearing them as dresses as well as skirts. These are colourful prints of clothes with different patterns of flowers, plants as well as animals.
Nubians are known to be mostly Muslims and therefore have encouraged people around them to adopt to the religion as well. For instance, most Nubian communities are dominated by Islamic cultures. For instance, their traditional wedding called the ‘Nikkah’ is now famous among the Muslim society in different regions of the country.
Much as they came as soldiers into the country, their settlement became inevitable and therefore were given land in Bombo where most of them peacefully settled for years.