Ham Mukasa.

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

. (page 7 of 17)
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 7 of 17)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

it to light the candle, and it fetched the matches, and
struck them, and lit the candle. It also lay right down
on the ground with the man underneath, and stretched
itself out on him ; it also stood on a wooden chair, with
all its four legs together, and got down when it was
told. It always did as it was told ; it wiped the per-
spiration off the man's face, and fanned him because
he was hot, and blew out the candle, and made a fool
of itself, as if it was mocking at people who talk into
the telephone it put the receiver to its ear just as
people do who speak to one another through the telephone ;
it also played the cymbals very nicely, just like a man.
After this they told it to trumpet, and it did so.

Then they brought on a great deal of water, just like
a large pond ; the water came out of the ground, and we
could not see where it came from, and it became a great
lake ; and they made a bridge and brought on to it horses
and a carriage with people in it, and fired off a great
many guns, imitating a war, and the horses and carriage
fell into the water with all the people and they swam
ashore ; and we wondered very much at all this, which
was hard to understand. After this Mr. Herbert Samuel
(who had taken them to the Hippodrome) took us to
a traveller's house, and bought us some tea, and intro-
duced us to his wife, and showed us a photograph of his
child. We went home at 4.10 p.m., and afterwards

90 lloanfca's Itatiltiro in England

Bishop Hanlon came to see us and stayed till five

The next day we went to have our photographs taken,
and when we came back we rested for a short time, and
then went to see our friend, Sir T. Powell Buxton, G.C.M.G.
When we got there we found Bishop Tucker and another
bishop who had been in Australia, and who was called
Bishop Montgomery. He was a very kind man indeed,
and made great friends with me, and said, " I want
you to stay in England ; you can go back later on " ; and
I refused, saying, "That is difficult, sir"; because, though
he said this, he only said it jestingly in his kindness,
as he knew I could not stop behind. We had a very
nice dinner ; they had made a fine feast to welcome
us, and we were fourteen at table.

After dinner Sir Powell Buxton took us to see a hos-
pital, called James's Hospital (London Hospital), and
we got into his carriage and said good-bye to our bishop
and all our friends, and went away, looking as we went
at that part of the town through which we travelled.
We crossed the River Thames on a bridge supported
by chains, and went a long way round and saw many
places and roads (following the route of the coronation
procession and over London Bridge), and at last reached
the hospital called James's Hospital. They took
us round a great many places in the hospital. The
ladies who do the work, and who are called sisters,
first took us round, and afterwards the chief doctor

Xonfcon Ibospital 9 1

came and showed us a great many things ; some rooms
were upstairs and some downstairs.

After this they showed us a thing that reveals an
invisible disease. They brought a boy with his clothes
on, and we could see all his bones ; and we put up our
hands, and could see the bones of our hands. They
showed us a picture of a man who had been shot long
ago, and the bullet remained in the leg, and they made
the leg transparent and took the bullet out. We saw
also photographs of the palms of the hands of people
who had got needles stuck in them, and they made them
transparent and took the needles out ; there were many
of these. This machine works by electricity. They have
a glass "through which the power of the electricity that
is, its light passes, and shows you everything that is
in your body ; but it is hard to understand it one
can only marvel at it.

After this they took us to write our names in the
visitors' book ; we all wrote them, and any one who goes
there may see them, because they are put away there.
They then gave us tea, and then Apolo Katikiro said,
" I beg that you nurses will come to our country and
help in our hospitals ; because the nurses are few, and
the sick many " ; and they replied, " That is true,
we might come, but here we are not without work ; you
have spoken very nicely, but even here the sick are
many in this hospital, and those with broken legs are
many, who have had their legs broken by carriages


or by powerful machinery." I noticed tin- < -hairs lik
i amazes that takr about tin- sick; tlu-y are like beds,
and have on them things that hold books for those sick
people to read who have no strength in their hands.

We then went downstairs, and they said good-bye
to us, and we got into Sir Powell Buxton's carriage and
went through other streets to the carriage which the
Government had lent us. When we got to it, we said
good-bye to Sir Powell Buxton and he went home, and
we went to visit Mr. Millar's brother at Hampstead,
and arrived at 6.30 p.m., and found him waiting for us.
He welcomed us into his house, and we found there our
friend the Rev. G. K. Baskerville and other friends of
Mr. Millar's, who had come to greet us for his sake, and
we sat down and talked for a long time very happily.

He is a very kind man, and has brought up all his
little children very nicely, and their mother is as kind
as their father ; I used to call her my mother, in their
language " mother," because she was so kind. Mr.
H. E. Millar took us up and showed us where we were
to sleep, and we then came downstairs and had dinner,
to which Mr. Baskerville stopped ; and we went on
talking with our friends about everything we wanted ;
and Mr. Millar showed us a great many photographs
of people in our country.

The next day, June 22nd, was Sunday, and we went
to church. We all prayed in English, and there was
no difference between us all in language, but only in

at Church 93

our bodies, although we could not understand all the
service. There was a very fine organ there, which had
a beautiful tone they have tubes that look like banana
stems, and put them on the organ, and when they play
it the air that comes out makes these things sound, and
increases the music, so that all the people can follow
it ; and therefore in every church in England they have
organs like this.

When we came out of the church a great number of
persons both small and great, who were not accustomed
to black people, came to look at us as we were going home.
After reaching home we rested a short time, and then
went to see Mr. Baskerville and his father and mother
and brothers and sisters, and had tea there and then
returned. In the evening we went to a service for
young people, and there they showed us what the organ
was like ; it was a very large one ; any one, whether
big or little, could get inside it, it was so large. The
Katikiro and I went inside and saw a great many things
there which the makers in their wisdom had contrived.

We saw also how orphans are looked after. They
are collected into one house and have guardians ap-
pointed to look after them ; boys are looked after by
men, and girls by women, and they are all dressed alike ;
the girls have blue dresses and white hats ; any one
dressed differently is one of their guardians. We also
saw a number of ladies who were being trained to go out
as missionaries ; and when they showed them to us,

94 IHgatrta'0 fcatihlro in

the Katikiro said, " We want you all to come to our
country of Uganda " ; and they replied, " We cannot
go where we ourselves would like, but where our leaders
send us " ; and we replied, " That is so you cannot do
as you like ; but we want you very much indeed." After
this we went back to the house in which we were stopping.

The next day, June 23rd, we went back into London
at half-past ten, and after a short rest went to see the
glass house (Crystal Palace), where they keep only the
most beautiful things. There are figures of all the
kings, and many great men and brave generals, like
Sir Lord Roberts, who conquered the Transvaal at the
Cape. There are also copies of all the things made in
their land ; they pick out one thing, and put it there
to show people how things are made in different places
to which they cannot go themselves. We saw there
live fish, and birds of all kinds. They chisel out stones
and make them just like people, and put them there
to remind people in after years what they were like.
There were a number of statues of the kings from early
times right down to the Queen (Victoria) and Edward VII.,
and of generals who had won great wars right down
to Sir Lord General Roberts, who conquered the Boers
while the Queen was still reigning. There is a statue
in stone representing him on a horse ; one wants to salute
it and say, " Good morning, Roberts," though really it
can neither see nor hear.

We saw how they bore gun-barrels, and saw also a

Crystal palace 95

slide for canoes in the game they play with them (water-
chute). They make a large pond on a hill, and they
make a slide of boards, which the canoes run down to
get into the water below. They rush down very fast ;
a giddy person could not endure it. We saw also a great
many people who had come to enjoy themselves, and there
were many amusements, players on flutes, organs, and
banjos, and many other instruments. We saw a very
tall tower from which one can get a distant view over
the city ; perhaps you could see twenty or twenty-five
miles that is, as far or farther than Entebbe. The tower
is four or five times as high as Namirembe Cathedral,
because when you are at the top men below look like
little children. We saw also large and small fish, and
fish of all kinds in glass boxes, into which they pour
water, and in which the fish live ; when you look at them
you would not think there was any glass there, as you
can see them playing. When we saw all this we were
amazed at the care of the English, who can feed un-
f eedable things like fish and keep them alive many years
in their little lakes. The English are a wonderful people.
We also saw how they dig for gold. They had a model
showing how gold was dug out. Some of the figures
were on the top of the hill, and some were down under-
ground digging, and they had iron baskets and chains,
and there were pulleys, and the chains drew the baskets
up and let them down ; some men were cutting out the
earth, whilst others were collecting what was dug out

96 THoairta'e fcatihtro in

and putting it in baskets, and the pulleys were taking
it up to the surface, and the men on the top were doing
tlu-ir work with it. When you see things like this you
wonder very much. It is difficult to tell you about
them, and even those who make them cannot explain
the matter properly, for you cannot fully understand
their explanations.

There was also in that building a woman who showed
us a machine for sweeping up the rubbish in a house,
and wanted us to buy one, and we thanked her
showing it us ; but our friend Mr. Millar made us
laugh very much, because he thanked her in Luganda,
and said, " Webale kulika nyabo " ("Thank you, I con-
gratulate you on it "), and we laughed very much,
because he did not understand he had made a mistake ;
and when he saw I was laughing at him, he said,
*' What are you laughing at, Ham ?" and I said, " Be-
cause you thanked that lady in Luganda, and she did
not understand what you said ; what will she think ? "
and he said, " I forgot." And this was true, because
usually among other English people he spoke English ;
but on this occasion he forgot that English people were
not Baganda, because he had learned Luganda so well
that it had become a part of himself.

We left at five o'clock in the evening, after having
been there about an hour and a half. The building
in which we saw these things was called the Crystal


Sad news, the King's illness The Tower of London The Tower Bridge
Colonel Wallis and the Colonial troops Fire brigade display Indian
and African soldiers at the Alexandra Palace Visit to Captain Hobart
at Southampton The British Fleet The Katikiro has fever Review
of the Indian troops by H.M. the Queen and H.R.H. the Prince of

THE next day, June 24th, they came to take the Katikiro
to go and see the King ; but as we were waiting they told
us that the King was ill, and then again that he had
had an operation, and our hearts were very sad on account
of the King's illness, because the life of the King is of
great value, since he rules over so many people, and
therefore his illness filled all hearts with sorrow.

When the visitors received the news they all went
to write their names in the King's book to show their
sympathy. There were a great many people who had
come from all lands who went to do this, kings and princes
and great men from the lands ruled over by the English,
and from lands that are merely on friendly terms with
them. Our chief went also he went with Captain
Hobart, because only the leading men were called thither
and when he came back he told me all he had seen.

On this day also we went to visit Said Ali, the prince

97 7

98 Tfloantm'e Itatihiro in

of Zanzibar, who is now kin^, having succeeded his
father, who died during his son's stay in England. Four
relatives of Archdeacon Walker also came to see us, and
in the evening we went to see the wonderful conjurer
about whom I told you before ; Apolo did not go the
first time, so we went again, that he too might see with
his own eyes. If one sees the wonders of England by
oneself, and then tells others, one is disbelieved for
lack of a second witness, like Mika Sematimba, 1 who
was not believed since he was all by himself when in

The next day, June 25th, we went to see a doctor,
because the Katikiro was not feeling well. He went
with Mr. Millar and me, so that we were just the party
that had left Uganda together.

After lunch Captain Hobart came and took us of! to
the fort of the kings of England from old days, which
is called the ** Tower," and when we arrived there
we saw many relics of all kinds from the time of
their ancestors, old spears and swords, and knives and
cannon, and guns with slow matches and flints and
caps, and ancient clothing of iron, and helmets of old
time, and fire-baskets, and the old rooms in which the
ancient kings slept, and their old dining halls, and the
guard-rooms of the old soldiers, and the old prison cells
without doorways, and with windows so small one could
not get one's hand through them some had no windows

1 He came to England in 1892.

ovoer 99

at all and the old staircases that twist round, and the
passages in the houses. We saw also the ancient kings,
and the way in which they were dressed ; and they showed
us all the good kings and all the bad kings, each king
and the way he ruled. We saw also the place where
the king called Charles I. was beheaded, because he
would not listen to his nobles ; we saw also slaughter-
places, where the common people were killed ; we saw
also the ancient church, where all the nobles who were
beheaded for treason were buried. They had put up
a brass board on the wall of the church, and on it had
written their names and their crimes and the year in
which they rebelled ; their graves are under the floor ;
if you look on the ground you see the inscriptions on
each grave and can read them.

We also saw the axe and sword that cut off the head
of their king, and the different kinds of fetters in which
criminals were fastened ; these fetters fastened the hands
and feet and head together. We were also shown how
they fastened their women to strong trees and stretched
them like a cow-skin is stretched, and the trees tore
them in half. We saw also the bell that used to be
tolled in old days when they were going to kill a man.
But in all lands the ancient people were very evil in-
deed in their customs, to torture people thus cruelly.
We climbed to the top of the Tower, and looked out
over the whole city and the River Thames, and saw
many houses, and many ships on the Thames. We

ioo Ulaitfn's? Ikntilwo w

saw also a most wonderful tiling. They have made
a bridge across this Km i ulm h flows through
the middle of the city of London, and this bridge is made
of iron, and they put on it great hinges, so great tl
can compare them to nothing in our country; the width
of the bridge is as wide as the Kntebbe Road near Muwanga
the blacksmith's (40 ft.), or perhaps wider. Captain
Hobart told the men who look after it to show us how
it went up when ships wanted to pass, and they pulled
over the levers that lifted it, and it came in half.
one half went up on one side and one half on the other,
and the ships went through with their masts ; and after
they had passed, the bridge came back and joined itself
up, and the carriages and foot-passengers passed over
it just like you pass over a bridge that cannot be raised,
or that does not move. It is a very large bridge, as long
as from the King's gate to that of the Katikiro (ioo yds).
We passed over it in our carriage and went to the
place where they make things for African travellers
tents, and chairs, and tables, and flags, and ropes for
boats, and small tents for servants on the march and
for soldiers. We saw there many women, both old
and young, all sewing tents by hand, and we thought
they were very industrious and very strong to sew
such hard cloth, although they were women. They
were making tents, and bags for tents and bedsteads ;
we had always thought that men made the tents, though
it was really women. But, my friends, you ought to be

Sower Brifcge 101

struck with that wonderful bridge that goes up by itself
as you have heard ; such a breadth and length is a mar-
vellous thing. It is called the " Tower Bridge."

After we had been to the top of this factory of which
you have heard ; and had seen the city and the trains
which were close at hand, we went home with Captain
Hobart, because Mr. Millar had not come with us, as
he had gone to a meeting to pray for the King. When
he came back he asked us what we had seen, and we
told him everything as -I have described it here, and he
told us about his journey ; we were also told that the
King would take about three months to recover fully,
and that on account of his illness the coronation was
put off. The Rev. H. Clayton also came to see us on
this day, and arranged with Mr. Millar to take us back
to Uganda, because he wanted to stay in England to
rest. We were very pleased, because Mr. Clayton is a
nice man, and we like him very much, and we hoped
he would explain all our difficulties, because he is a
very clever man. 1

The next morning, June 26th, Captain Hobart took
us to see some soldiers who fight on horseback ; we
drove to the railway station, and went by train, and
when we arrived, we found the chief of the soldiers
had brought us a two-horse carriage. He made two
soldiers ride in front of us, while he himself rode

1 This arrangement was not carried out : Mr Millar went back
with them.

11tfant>a'0 "katihiro in

at the side of the carriage, and gave us very great
honour ; his name was Colonel Wallis. When we
arrived at his encampment he showed us many
things of different kinds belonging to the soldiers.
He first showed us how the horses were fastened up,
and the doctor's house and all his things, and the
soldiers' kitchen, and what their tents were like inside,
and their uniforms. He also made them mount their
horses to show how they fought, and they all mounted,
officers and all, and went through their drill, and fired
a great many guns, just as they would do in a real war ;
there were about two hundred and fifty horses in all.
He showed us how the horses are taught not to be
afraid of the firing, and to retire when commanded
to. After this we were photographed with four of the
officers ; and after lunch we went home, being escorted
on our way by Colonel Wallis and some other officers,
who treated us with great honour.

The next day, June a/th, we went to see a fire brigade
display, and saw there a Chinese prince, the heir to the
throne, who also had come to see how they put out
fires. We saw all the different kinds of apparatus
ladders that joined themselves together, horses that
galloped very fast when going to extinguish a fire, and
squirts that sent water right up to the tops of the houses.
They put a pipe into a pit in which water is stored up,
and turned a tap, and the water rushed out to a great
height. They showed us how they climb up the houses

Colonial Groops 103

to get people out who are kept in by the fire, and how
they get them out when they are senseless and bring
them to the ground. We saw also a steam fire-engine
that went along the ground like a train, and also how
people jump from the second or third stories into a
sheet, which is stretched out below. We also saw where
they make these fire-engines ; and the telegraph that
calls them to put out fires ; we were also shown a map
of the district over which they put out fires the size
of it is forty square miles. We saw the helmets of
those who had died in putting out fires, and we were
told there were eighty fire-stations in London.

In the afternoon we went to see the soldiers who had
come from all lands ; all kinds of Africans to the number
of four hundred Soudanese, Swahilis, Baganda, Kavi-
rondo people, Abyssinians, Masai and other nations from
Asia ; Chinese, Indians, and a great many other tribes
we saw there. We saw also English people like locusts
in numbers who had come to see what black people were
like, for all kinds of people were there in this place called
" Alexandra Palace." There was a very large building
there which was full of people ; if one were to fall down
he would be trodden to death. This was about seven
miles away, but it is in a part of London.

The next day, June 28th, we left London, and Captain
Hobart took us to his place in the country to see the
King's Fleet, which had come together for the coronation.
We went by train, and as we went we admired the

104 Tfloattfa's Itatthiro in

country ; we passed forests of trees that had been planted,
and houses of rich and poor in the country just as
we have. We passed also Sir Henry Stanley's estate,
in which were lakes that he had dug out, which had
many tame white birds on them ; and at last reached a
town called Southampton, which is on the sea and has
a very large harbour. There were a great many very
large ships there some would take five thousand men
on board ; altogether there were about three thousand
ships or more I could not tell the exact number. We
went over two large ones and were very tired, as the
captain took us into every part of them. After going
all over the harbour we got into a little steamer which
took us to the other side, where Captain Hobart lived.
We landed at the end of a very long pier made of
boards, about as long as from Munyonyo to Bulinguge
(one mile), and walked down it to the shore, where we
found Captain Hobart's carriage, which took us to
his house. Every one in those parts gives him great
honour, because his father is a very great man, and
is honoured by many people. Captain Hobart's house
is a very beautiful one indeed ; we had tea there,
and then he took us all round his garden with his wife
and his steward, and showed us all his vegetables and
flowers, and showed us also where his horses live, a very
nice house which we at first thought was his church ;
but when we got into it we saw our mistake, though
from the outside it looks like a country church. He

Gbe fleet 105

had six horses and three carriages. We then saw his
landing-place, which is at the side of his grounds, and
returned to the house, and he showed us our rooms,
which were on the second floor.

At eight o'clock he called us to see the lights of South-
ampton, which were like stars or comets. These lights
can be seen five miles away. After looking at these
lights we got very chilly, and went to bed. When one
hears the ships trumpeting any one who knows how
cows bellow that have been raided in war would under-
stand when I say they bellowed like that, though I only
compare them to cows on account of the numbers the
noise they make is far greater, greater even than the
trumpeting of an elephant ; they go on all night,
coming in and going out, and never leave off their noise ;
the ships trumpet as they come in and trumpet as they
go out, and you hear a great noise all the time with the
large ships and the small ships, and the moaning of the
sea and the noise made by the screws of the ships as

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

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 7 of 17)