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Books Blog

 

Although Ibingira had completed this book by the time of his arrest in 1966, it was published in 1973. It remains one my go-to reference books, for it is offers a very good summary of Uganda’s……………..

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This book is an analytical study of the internal and external politics and systems of Buganda, the central and largest kingdom in Uganda. The development of political parties and the great conflicts in post 1900 Buganda are thoroughly presented and analysed. But more than politics ……….

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This book’s title could well have been “How Uganda came to be.”  D. A. Low, who taught at Makerere University College, Uganda, from 1951 to 1958, presents an excellent account and analysis of the formation of the post-1900 kingdoms of Ankole, Buganda, Bunyoro, Busoga and Toro. These formed the core of……….

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This is an English translation (by Scott Straus) of a scholarly book that successfully stitches together the complex and long story of kingdoms, chiefdoms, traditions, alliances, hatreds, settlements, movements, colonization, ………

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Tradition holds that the foundation stone of the kingdoms of the Great Lakes Area was laid by the Bacwezi, a mysterious people that lived and ruled the area before disappearing……….

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This is a multi-author presentation of Buganda’s progress during the century between first contact with Europeans and Independence in 1962. We learn about Buganda’s hierarchical political organization that was later …….

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The Baganda: An Account of Their Native Customs and Beliefs

By Rev. John Roscoe (1911)

This  classic book,  based on notes compiled over an 18 year period with the assistance of Sir Apolo Kaggwa, the Katikkiro of Buganda, tells the unpolluted story of ……..

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Sir Apolo Kaggwa, the Katikkiro of Buganda from 1890 to 1926 was one of the most consequential leaders of the Twentieth Century. Ham Mukasa, his personal secretary, was one of the earliest people to receive formal by the British. When he accompanied the Katikkiro to attend the coronation of King Edward VII of Britain in 1902, Mukasa kept extensive notes of ……

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Two Kings of Uganda, or Life by the Shores of Victoria Nyanza, Being an Account of a Residence of Six Years in Eastern Equatorial Africa. This is Buganda in the late 19th Century……..

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The history of the Congo Free State from first contact with the Europeans, and a thorough account of how King Leopold II of Belgium turned that territory into the Heart of Darkness ……..

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This is a magisterial presentation of a man’s own story. Moody Awori, who served as Kenya’s Vice-President from 2003 t0 2009, bares all in this very well-written and detailed account of his triumphs and failures………

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An excellent treatment of the tragic last years of Sir Edward Muteesa II, the former Kabaka of Buganda and First President of Uganda. Using original sources and personal interviews with people who were involved in the Kabaka’s escape in 1966 and his life in a London exile………..

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This is one of the most thorough and accessible examinations of Uganda’s post-independence violence and bloodshed. Professor Kasozi presents a compelling argument that the central problem has been social inequality, economic disparities ………

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I first read this book in 1977 during my early days of exile. I was introduced to this classic book by Dr. John B. Masembe, my dear friend who was working at Nairobi Hospital. He had an exquisite taste for great literature and we spent many evenings chatting about Holden Caulfield,…………..

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A great story about Serene, a modern woman that lives between Nairobi and Johannesburg. She recounts her present and recalls her past, effortlessly switching between the two periods. She reflects on her family, with its multiple challenges …….

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This is the English translation of D.T. Niane’s part history/part legend of Sundiata Keita, the thirteenth century founder of the Great Empire of Mali, and great uncle of the famous Mansa Musa. It is a short but very captivating story, only 84 pages long. This is classic story telling from a very distant past, which has come down the ages through the oral tradition ……

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Here on your left

Are the grinding stones

The big one

Ashen and dusty

And her daughter

Sitting in her belly……

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At once infuriating and thrilling, this is Joseph Conrad’s most famous and controversial novel. It paints an image of a tranquil Europe and a terrifying Africa, with an unmissable contrast between life on the safe River Thames and the dangerous River Congo.  Chinua Achebe considered Conrad to have been “a thoroughgoing racist.” Perhaps. Or …….

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Things Fall Apart. Repeated reading has not lessened my joy of opening the first page of Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece and getting immersed in the life of Okonkwo and his people in Umuofia …………

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This is my top choice among the great novels from Africa. “The last rays of the sun filtered through a shredded lacework of clouds,” reads the first sentence of the novel. What follows is a brilliant telling of a story, based on the 1947-48 strike by the workers ……..

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Main Library (right) and the Madhvani Library (left) at King’s College, Budo

A LOVE OF BOOKS: I grew up in houses where books were everywhere. In my early teens, my father, a bibliophile, told me to read “everything.”  I took him literally.  My passion for reading gained momentum at King’s College, Budo, Uganda, where…..

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