Ham Mukasa.

Uganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII online

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Online LibraryHam MukasaUganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII → online text (page 2 of 17)
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Rogers Characteristics of the English Dinner with
Captain Agnew Visit to the Sultan The Cathedral . 236


Mombasa Mr. F. J. Jackson, C.B. English straight-
forwardness Turtle soup Kilindini Mombasa Fort
Lunch with Mr. Marsden Departure from Mombasa
Derailments on the Uganda Railway Port Florence
Reflections on the government of the English
German " ruffians " Fable of the two fowls . .250


On the lake Arrival at Munyonyo A great reception
A triumphal progress Thanksgiving service in the
Cathedral Reception at Kampala by the Deputy Com-
missioner Telling the story of our travels . . 269



Facing page






A CANOE, SESE ISLANDS ..,,,,,,. 238



The start Crossing the lake Kisumu First impressions of the train
First experience of cold on Mau escarpment Arrival at Mombasa

ON May 6th, 1902, at 10 a.m., we started from Mengo.
A great many people came to see us off ; chiefs of counties
and other chiefs, both great and small, boys and peasants,
all came and escorted us as far as the River Nalokolongo,
and there turned back, and there remained only those
who were going namely, Apolo Kagwa Katikiro, Yakobo
Kago, Andereya Kimbugwe, Batolomayo Musoke, and
those of our people who were going with us. We reached
Kitala, the Mugema's country seat, and found Yosuwa,
the Mugema, waiting for us ; he had pitched tents for
us to sleep in, and had got soda-water and a large quantity
of biscuits ready for us.

The next morning we reached Entebbe at 8 a.m., and
found Mr. J. Martin and Saulo Sebugwawo awaiting


's "kattfciro in

our arrival at the house that had been prepared for
our reception. They made us very welcome, and brought
us twenty water-pots full of water to wash our feet,
and also plenty of biscuits and sweet fruits, and we
had a nice meul.

At one o'clock we went to the Commissioner's house,
and found there the Rev. E. Millar and Mr. J. Martin,
and after stopping for about twenty minutes went to
see what the steamer was like. The Katikiro showed
us all over it, as on another occasion he had had it all
explained to him ; and after seeing it we went to see
Mr. de Boltz, the Government printer, who showed us
the wonderful new printing-press, a very ingenious one.

At night we received a hundred and fourteen baskets
of food from various friends, and at half-past eight went
to the Commissioner's house. He met us at the door, and
welcomed us and made us sit down, while they got
ready for us a very clever table, which they made larger
by putting other boards into it ; on the top they put
a net, and fastened it with irons at each side, and brought
a round ball about the size of a quail's egg ; and the
Commissioner and Mr. Prendergast, our escort, first
began striking it to show how it was done, and then
they let the Katikiro and me (Ham Mukasa) play, and
then the others. The Commissioner told us that this
game was very hard to learn, and was called " Pong-
pon." After we had had some soda-water we went
home at 9.30 p.m.

tbe Xafce 3

The next morning at nine o'clock we went to embark
on the steamer, but before we had reached the lake-
shore Mr. Cunningham kept us in order to photograph
us with our people, and we then went on to the pier,
and found there a very large number of Europeans,
including the Commissioner, who had come to bid us
farewell. After we had said good-bye they released
the cables that fastened the steamer, and we started
off at 9.30 a.m.

When we started there were two canoes about half
a mile ahead of us, but we passed them at once. We
then went to the front of the steamer to see where our
servants were travelling, and then came back to the
stern, where they had put our chairs, and there sat, each
one reading his book. The sea was quite calm and we
had no trouble at first. From Entebbe to Mbiru we
took fifty-seven minutes our canoes would have taken
about two hours and twenty minutes and there we
began to feel the vibration of the steamer, which re-
sembled the vibration of an earthquake, owing to the
screw which drove it, and the strength of the engines
and the water which it churned up ; this caused the
great vibration, which stopped when the steamer left
off going and the engines were quiet, and there only
remained the rolling motion. After we had passed
Mbiru a slight breeze got up, and they put up the sail
to make the steamer travel faster, being driven both
by the wind and by the screw.

4 Tfloattfa'0 Itatihiro in

We reached Bugaya at one o'clock a journey of two
and a half or three days by canoe and there waited
half an hour to take on firewood. Muzito and Bisogolo,
the chiefs of the island, came off to see the Katikiro ;
the former brought us an ox as a present, but we refused
it as we had nowhere to put it on the steamer. Aft. i
they had finished taking in wood, we left Bugaya at
half-past four to go to Dolwe Island, which we reached at
9 p.m. After we had had some meat and biscuits we
went to bed, and were given the cabin of the steamer
to sleep in ; all the Europeans slept on deck, where we
had sat during the day.

We left at half-past five the next morning, at the
time Captain Fowler had arranged. When the Katikiro
heard them getting ready to start, he asked how he
was going to be ill, if he had nothing in his inside ; and
Mr. Millar said to him, " When you think you are going
to be sea-sick, you had better eat a piece of dry biscuit,"
and I called our boys and they brought us some biscuits,
and we all ate a few.

Batolomayo Musoke and Yakobo Kago were the first
to be unhappy over the motion of the screw, and at
first we thought we would do better in the cabin
than sitting on deck, but afterwards Andereya and
I went on deck ; he sat on the afterpart of the deck,
and I went to watch the engines working with the
power of the fires, and then Mr. Millar fetched up the
Katikiro and the others, because it is not customary on

Xuncbeon on Boarfc 5

a steamer to sit in the cabin, but to go on deck, where
every one sits.

At eleven o'clock Mr. Millar called us to have lunch, and
I was amazed at his kindness, as he waited on us like a
servant, and gave us too much honour, as all our servants
could not wait on us they were constantly sea-sick,
and others of them did not know how to wait at table ;
and therefore he took pity on us because he knew how
to walk about on a steamer. We and all our servants
were like invalids on the steamer, and he asked each of us,
" What would you like to eat or drink ? and I will tell
some one to bring it." And he kept asking us how we
were getting on ; just as a father and mother look after
their children under all circumstances, thus did Mr. Millar
to us. We have a proverb, " He who travels with his
father has no sorrow," because he helps him in every
thing, and Mr. Millar looked after us like this.

Three of us, Andereya Kimbugwe, Yakobo Kago, and
I, Ham Mukasa, had lunch first, and then the Katikiro
and Batolomayo Musoke. The Katikiro at first would
not eat, as he felt ill. Batolomayo had lunch with him
in order that he might eat more cheerfully, not being
alone at tjie table.

After lunch I showed them the hills of Kisumu, and
the Katikiro and I went forward to look at the place
through our glasses, and we saw the corrugated iron
houses by the railway line. At four o'clock they blew
the whistle of the steamer to tell the people on shore

6 IHganba'0 Itattbiro in

that we had arrived, and at a quarter past four we reached
our stopping-place, and were very much amazed at the
cleverness of the Europeans making such a short journey
of what used to be such a long one. From Dolwe the
canoes take four days, and we took eleven hours and
seventeen minutes.

The Europeans went ashore in the small boat which
they carry hung up on the steamer. They then took
off all our goods, and we went ashore ourselves ; and
when we had landed, we all congratulated one another
on our safe arrival.

We met there a Swahili named Makangala, whom we
knew, as he had been in Uganda in the time of Mutesa ;
and he asked us, " Where is the Katikiro going, and why
has he left Uganda ? " I told him, " He is going to see
what other countries are like " ; and he said, " It is very
wrong of the Katikiro to leave Uganda and go to visit
other countries ; it is not right he will find the country
upset when he returns ; if I had known he was going
to leave Uganda, I would not have brought my goods
up to sell " ; and I asked him " Why ? " and he said,
" The Katikiro and you people are my friends, and if
you are not in Uganda, I do not care for the place ; when
the Katikiro is away the country is no longer nice, and
we traders are now afraid of it " ; and I said, " Don't be
afraid, all the chiefs have not left the country only a
very few have come " ; but he refused to listen to me,
though I told him this.

Ikisumu 7

We then went up to the fort, though really there was
not any fort, but only some houses ; but it is called the
fort because the Europeans and the soldiers live there,
but there is no fort as in other places.

When we arrived there Mr. Millar went into the house,
and presently they called the Katikiro and gave him a
seat on the verandah, and some " soda-water," which is
water with gas in it.

Paulo Kawawulo (the chief of the Baganda at Kisumu)
then came to see us, and we asked him what had prevented
him from coming before ; he told us that he had only
just heard of our arrival.

We then heard that Mr. Hobley (Sub-Commissioner)
had returned, and we told Kawawulo to go and give him
our compliments. Soon after this he himself arrived,
and asked who was taking us to England, and we told
him Mr. Prendergast, who used to be in charge of the
station in Budu. He said to us, " There is no house
you can use, so you must sleep in a tent outside " ; and
then we were very unhappy indeed and very much
annoyed, as Kisumu is a very unhealthy place, and the
cold at night is bad and makes many people ill. We
waited a long time, as the Soudanese and Swahilis could
not get the tent pitched ; we were there Andereya,
Batolomayo, and I, Ham Mukasa, our friends the
Katikiro and Kago having gone with Mr. Millar.

After a short time they came back, Mr. Millar himself
saying, " Come along, we have found a nice house to

8 THaitfa'0 1<atifotro in

sleep in ; pick up your things " ; and we all picked up
our things and went along, and reached the house they
had given us to sleep in ; it was one of the rooms of the
hospital, and there were in it four beds belonging to tin-
hospital, and we had a fifth of our own, and so we fm-
slept there. The Katikiro had a very bad cold that day,
and they got some medicine from the doctor for him.
I myself got a bad attack of fever there because I stayed
up late writing, and when I went to sleep about 2 a.m.
I was very cold indeed, as I had been sitting outside.

Paulo Kawawulo gave us fifty rupees as a parting
gift, to be divided thus : Katikiro, 20 ; Yakobo Kago, 8 ;
Andereya Kimbugwe, 8 ; Batolomayo Musoke, 7 ;
Ham Mukasa, 7 ; and we thanked him very much for such
a large present. Nkolo, one of the Katikiro's men,
brought us a bundle of flour and one rupee, and the
Katikiro refused the flour, saying, " It is hard to get
food in this country ; keep it for yourself and give me
the rupee only " ; and this he did, and we thanked him
for it, and he thanked us for taking pity on him in the
scarcity of food. Our boys killed one of the goats
we had brought with us, and sat up till about i a.m.
eating it.

The next morning, May loth, the Katikiro woke us
up, and after we had had prayers together, he went off
with the chief of the servants of the Queen-mother,
a boy named Enoka, who took him round the place to
show him what it was like, and to see the market, etc.

for tbe Grain 9

He was away a long time, looking at the Bakavirondo
and observing their habits, neither the men nor the
women wear any clothes ; they walk about naked, and
do not wash themselves at all, and the Katikiro was
looking at them until the time came for us to leave.
On this day also we cleaned out the cages of the animals
we were taking to England ; I had an ape, and Mr. Millar
had two servaline cats, which were a great trouble
to him, as he kept having to feed them and clean out
their cages.

A great many Baganda women also came to see the
Katikiro, who had left Uganda with Swahilis, and he
asked them, " Why have you left the country of your
birth and come into this country which is not yours,
and which is so very unpleasant ? " and they said,
" We came with our husbands who brought us." He
asked them if they still had any religion, and some
said they had, and others said, " We are Muhammadans."

At half-past four we went to the place from which the
train started off. They put me on to an ox-waggon, as
all my joints were paining me, and so they had pity
on me because I could not walk. I was afraid that I was
going to have small-pox, but it was only bad fever.
A very large number of Baganda women went with
us and said, " They are going to have the case between
themselves and Mwanga tried ; if they are in the wrong,
they will be put in prison," although this was not a

io 1flant>a'0 1<atthiro in

When we got to the train they gave us our places,
each one his proper place, and those things which we
did not wish to take with us we left in the charge of
Paulo Kawawulo. We slept in the train that night,
and they told us it was to start at five o'clock in the
morning. I could not sleep at first, as there were some
Swahilis in the " room," and they were drunk, but I got
changed to another " room."

Mr. Millar asked, " If I put you in a room by yourself,
will you mind it ? " and I told him I should like it very
much, and he took me by the hand and helped me along
to another " room" that had no one in it, and I slept well,
having escaped the noise of the drunkards, and I was
very pleased with his kindness ; all the way he looked
after me, coming in and asking how I was, and giving
me such food as suited an invalid, until I got well. I
was ill three days, and got better on the fourth.

Well, at 5.30 a.m. on May nth the train blew its
whistle to tell people we were going to start, and those
who were standing about got into their places : for if
you are not quick in getting back to your place after
the whistle sounds, you find the train has gone, and has
left you behind ; a great many people are constantly
being left behind like this. The train started off quickly,
and we were amazed at the way they had made the line,
and how they had filled up the hollows, and bridged
the rivers with bridges that made one giddy to look
down from.

Members of tbe IRailwa^ n

The first thing to astonish us was seeing what the
train was like, and how it went, and I remembered the
proverb of our forefathers, which they used to sing,
" You who stagger about under your burdens, those
who come after you will be filled with amazement."
The meaning is, " You are still bothered with your
burdens and wonder at what you see, but we men have
seen very little ; our grandchildren will see more than
the things we wonder at now." Well, see how we who
have come after them have seen wonders ; as our grand-
fathers used to sing this proverb, now it is fulfilled in
all the things we see made by the cleverness of the Euro-
peans, and what our ancestors did not see, we, their
children, see things that one would not think were
made by mere men, such wonders !

When we reached the hill of Mnara, which is in the
Nandi country, we first saw the Nandi ; in appear-
ance they are like the Lendu. Here they took off
the " head " of our train, which had brought us from
Kisumu, and gave us a new one to take us on to
Lumbwa, where we met Mr. F. J. Jackson, who had
come from Nairobi, the largest inland town, to look
round the territory he rules over.

At Lumbwa or Fort Ternan they make the railway
climb up in a very clever manner ; they go round the
hills, and the road goes backwards and forwards, and
the train goes up thus until it gets to the top of the
hill, and if you are not looking out, you do not know

12 1H0ant>a'0 Ikanlnro in

what it is doing ; it goes backwards and forwards as if
it were going back to the place it came from, and
wlu-n it has gone backwards and forwards three or
four times it reaches the top of the hill ; or if the hill
be very large, it may go five, six, or seven times, or
even more.

We went on through passages they had cut through
the rocks, and over rivers and huge valleys which they
had bridged. When you see a new piece of work done
by the Europeans, you become like a little child in
thinking about their work, it is so wonderful.

After leaving Lumbwa, where we waited some time
and saw Mr. Jackson, we reached Molo and stopped
there the night, as we arrived at 8 p.m., and it was raining
very heavily.

It is terribly cold on Mau escarpment ; the cold is
like that of Europe, because it stiffens all the hands
and body, and makes the nose run.

We left Molo at 6.30 a.m., having got a new head
to the train, and went across a huge plain at the bottom
of the Mau escarpment. In the plain there is a long
tube that sucks the water up and carries it a distance
of sixteen miles or more to the town of Nakuru ; there is
a fairly large lake about the size of the lake at Mityana,
but the water of it is undrinkable, being salt, and there-
fore they make the pipe run to a river a long way off
to where there is good water.

When we reached Nakuru, all the passengers showed

a fast Spin 13

their tickets, which allowed them to travel from place
to place, and after they had all done this, the overseer
who orders the train to go on blew his whistle to tell
us to go on, and all those passengers who were scattered
about came back to get into the train, and the engine-
driver blew the whistle of the engine itself, and we
went off very fast, because the road from Nakuru on-
wards is very good, and so the train goes quickly, and
the embankments do not give way as they do in other

This is the place where we saw how fast a train goes ;
every minute it went a whole mile that is to say, from
Mengo to Entebbe it would only take twenty minutes,
but in other places the train goes slowly, and takes a
minute and a half or two minutes to go each mile.

We reached Nairobi at 6.30 p.m. on May I3th, and
saw how it was built ; the houses are all of corrugated
iron, and there are a hundred, or a hundred and twenty
of them, on a fine wide plain. We left there at 7.30 p.m.,
and the train went very fast ; I can compare it to nothing
but to a swallow, because it went so very fast. When
anything travels very fast, we Baganda say it goes like
a swallow, because a swallow flies so rapidly, and there is
nothing else on earth to which I can compare the rate
at which a train travels.

Daybreak found us at Mtoto Andei, and we then saw
Mount Kilimanjaro, which is on the Anglo-German
boundary, a very large mountain indeed, which has

14 THflanfra'0 Ikatlluro in

nun h '-now on the top, and is very hi^'h ; we also saw
giraffe and many kinds of animals, /< bra and antelope,
ostriches, jackals, etc., like herds of goats in numbers.

On that day May I4th we also went round the hill
called Ras Kedong, where there are very high bridges,
as high as the Namirembe Cathedral ; the bridges are
made of iron, the supports are iron, and the parapets
of iron and of very strong timber. We afterwards
entered the desert of Maungu, and after that reached a
place called Mazeras, from which we first saw the sea
at Mombasa, and went on and saw for the first time
cocoa-nuts which the Swahilis had planted, and of which
their gardens consist, as ours do of plantains in Uganda.
When you look at their gardens from a distance they
look like a forest of palm-trees.

We then arrived at the sea and crossed the bridge
from Changamwe to Kilindini the height of it is about
the height of Silasi Mugwanya's house (the second regent)
from the ridge-pole to the ground and reached Mombasa
station at 5.26 p.m. We waited some time in the train,
while they were arranging about where we should stay,
and were getting out our luggage. We met there some
people we had seen before in Uganda, as well as the official
who had come to meet us.

He was a very kind man indeed it was of course
right for him to welcome us, but he was far kinder in
h : s welcome than many others had been ; he made
the Katikiro and myself travel up to our house on his

Hrrival at tbe Coaat 15

trolley, the others walking beside us. They had set
apart two houses for us in case we were too many for
one ; however, we found one house large enough for
our needs. The house we slept in was that in which
Kings Mwanga and Kabarega had slept, when they
were deported from Uganda.


Mombasa What a ship is like Lamu The wonderful English Aden
Truth stranger than fiction

THE next morning we went at q a.m. to see the chief
man of the town, and with him we found the Liwali or
chief of the Arabs of Mombasa, a very old man, perhaps
seventy or eighty years old, and they both welcomed
us to Mombasa. The Liwali said he would call for us
at 4 p.m. to show us the chief sights of the town. The
others then went home as it was raining heavily, but
the Katikiro, Mr. Millar, and I went to the house where
they store rupees, which is called the " Bank," to arrange
about our journey.

At four o'clock the Liwali came, and we received him
with great honour, on account of his age and position,
and he put the Katikiro and Yakobo Kago and Andereya
on his trolley and gave them a guide to show them round,
while he himself went home. The guide showed them
where the kerosine oil is stored, in a thing as big as the
Katikiro's dining-room ; from this tank they draw oil
for lighting purposes and for selling.

While the Katikiro was seeing this the rest of us went


3mpre06ions of flfeombasa 17

round the town with Mr. Millar, and saw the fine houses,
some of them very old, the English and Indian shops,
the mosques of the Arabs, and the wells from which they
draw their water. They dig them very deep indeed,
and draw water from them with a rope, as in the well
you read about in St. John's Gospel, about which the
Samaritan woman spoke to our Lord, " The well is deep
and I have nothing with which to draw water " ; perhaps
if we too had asked the people near the well the same
question, they would have given the same answer.

The next day we went to visit the mission station of
Kisauni (Frere Town) ; we went in small boats rowed
by Swahilis ; they row in the same way in which large
boats are rowed, turning their backs in the direction
in which they are going, and do not paddle like we
do with our faces in the direction in which we are

We saw the chief man of the place, Mr. Binns, who
came there twenty-seven years ago, and the lady mis-
sionaries, and also went over the beautiful church which
they have, and the schools where the elder children were
learning English and the younger ones were learning to
read books. The seats in the church are like the desks
Mr. Hattersley has made at Mengo, and in the schools
they have a custom when any honoured visitor comes
in all the children stand up straight and say together
Ja-a-a-ambo Bwa-a-a-na (Good mor-r-r-ning, Si-r-r-r),
just like people say Amen in church, and when one goes


1 8 Tflattfa's itatlhtro in

out they say Kw.iluri Hw.i-a-a-na (Good-bye, Si-r-r-r).
We thought this a very good custom.

After we had been round tlu place we went to
ladies' house, and they received us very nicely and
made tea for us, which we enjoyed very much ; tlu \
also offered us ripe bananas, thinking that we would like
them as they knew the Baganda were accustomed to eat
mashed plantains you all know how kind ladies are,
and how they welcome every one as if he were their own
countryman. After this we saw the Rev. Ishmael
Semler, the father-in-law of Mika Sematimba, and then
came home in the rain.

After a short rest we went to see the wife of the Bishop
of Mombasa, and a great many ladies came there to
welcome us for her sake ; there were about eleven of
them and six men ; I should like to have known all their
names, but I did not like to ask them. After tea we went

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Online LibraryHam MukasaUganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII → online text (page 2 of 17)