One of my frustrations is that I do not know much about my ancestry. In the absence of written records, we depend on oral tradition of “documenting” our story. This, of course, is fraught with errors and complete distortions, missing links and a very limited database. For example, I am fairly certain of only 11 generations of my ancestors. With meticulous inquiry and crosschecking with many relatives and other elders, I can say with reasonable confidence that I am:
This is my paternal genealogy. Although I am a Musigi, I am not descended from Kasigi. The Bakonjo, my ancestors, left Busongora in the foothills of Rwenjura (Rwenzori) mountains in the late 1600s or early 1700s. (Not related to the Bakonjo of Kasese). They made their way into what is now Congo Free State, then Rwanda, finally settling in Kahondo Valley in the late 18th century or early 19th century. (Other Bakonjo settled in Butiganda near Lake Bunyonyi and Mparo, Rukiga.)
Being a small minority, they sought and received the protection of the Basigi clan, and became “Green-Card holders” among the Ba Musigi.
Like all good immigrants, my ancestors were happily absorbed into their new nation of the Basigi, complete with their totems, national symbols and other traditions with which they identified themselves.
That is why I am Omusigi W’Omukonjo Omuzira Nte Ngoobe Eyintezaariize Omunyakahondo Omu Ntookye Nyamwingi Ahempungu Ezeereera Ekabura Obugwero. Enyameishwa mwene weitu (our animal friend) n’Empungu Mareere Rubagira Meiru (the African Eagle.)
It is easy to see why my ancestry suddenly stops eleven generations back, with no hope of ever removing the huge dark curtain that seals my pre-Rwandan past.
This is why I encourage you, my friends, to document your genealogies today, while your elders can still remember. I would love to see as many of you as are able to do so, sharing your genealogies here at this Fireplace.
Simply write them as follows:
Names you go by, (Nationality)
Clan, totem and animal friend (optional.)
Examples of writing paternal genealogies in some nationationalies:
Opiyo Oloya (Acholi):
Opiyo pa Oloya pa Ogaba pa Opiyo pa …………..
Geoffrey Kiggundu (Muganda):
Kiggundu mutabani wa Bisase, muzukulu wa Kaggwa, muzukulu wa Ndiwulira, muzukulu wa Kituku, muzukulu wa Ssekuuma, muzukulu wa ………………
The Baganda add the clan hierarchy and resting places (“agalamidde”) of their ancestors.
Robert Kabushenga (Omukiga):
Tabaaro mwene Sabiiti za Kabushenga ka Kajura ka Komunobi ka Ruhandagazi rwa Mpanju ya Tabaaro wa Nyeimaza za Bihengyeri bya Nyarubamba rwa Beebwa ba Karemera ka Nzoobiki za Kahaya Rutindangyezi rwa Murari wa Kanzira.
Ascendmus Mugarura Binwewe (Omuhororo):
Mugarura Mweene Binwewe Bya Kyongyereire Kya Mbagyeruka Wa Mpurebuha Bwa Kanga Ka Birozyo Bya Mushura Wa Mugasha Owasigaireho Omuzira Burunga Omusyaba Owitega Rya Kabura
Philip Odera (Omuluhya):
Awori wa Odera wa Oywaya wa Opinyi wa Ananda wa Sanya……………………..
David Himbara (Omunyarwanda):
Himbara Murunganwa Rwanyakasama Murungikacumu Uwigemaho Bantinya wa Byabagamba bya Rukizangabo wa Nzigiye Impangaza Matovu Rwamucyo Wabuzizi.
To ensure a single, easily accessible database, kindly write your genealogies here at Mulera’s Fireplace, in the Reply space, NOT on my Facebook wall.