Muniini Garama Kwehangaana Mwene Mulera wa Rukooko rwa Misango ya Kangabo ka Rutahwaire rwa Mabindi ga Butanga bwa Kahurubuka ka Ndahuka ya Byamarembo Omukonjo w’Omutanga wa Nyanga ya Kahondo ka Rukarasa rwa Mukairema na Butamanya bwa Nyakashaija na Rureetw’eihangwe rwa Keiteesibwa is of the Abakonjo Clan.
Although the Bakonjo ba Kahondo are officially part of the Abasigyi Abatahinga, Abarimante, Abakurura Ndiga, Abeezangaro Baabuheza , theirs is a distinct clan of immigrants who arrived in Kahondo in around 1820. Their totem is Ente Ngoobe eyibateezaariize (they cannot eat the beef of a dark-skinned cow with brown patches that was not delivered by one of their clansmen). Their Clan Symbol and friend is Empungu Mareere Rubaagir’ameiru (an Eagle). Abakonjo introduced the banana plant to Kigyezi.
Muniini’s mother was Nyamijumbi the daughter of Keitindani Nyinakyangwa muhara w’Abazigaaba and her husband Bushoberwa bwa Mashankara ga Bwarenga Omutanga w’Omuheesi wa Bushuro, Mwisi, Kabaare, Kigyezi. Bushoberwa and his brothers – Runyanyaaga and Bujune – were immigrants from Rwanda. Nyamijumbi was born in Ndorwa in 1923 and died in Buganda in 2013.
Muniini’s father was Kisigo Mulera Mwene Rukooko who was born around 1917 in Kahondo ka Byamarembo (also known as Nyamarembo Goona) and died in Buganda in 2019. Muniini’s paternal ancestors’ previous address was Kahondo ka Mungeya in North Kivu, Congo.
They were revered medicine men whose exploits were long preserved in the lyrics of the blues singers of Kahondo. Kisigo’s mother was Keiramibwa from Katenga (Kitohwa) whose ancestors’ previous address was “somewhere in Rwanda.”
Muniini received his most important education from his parents, his seniors and from village elders in Mparo and Kahondo, Kigyezi, especially Sigirenda, Mugyerasaano, Kangire and Bateeranwa (Mparo); and Rwendinga Tibihika, Azaria Rwendeire, Simoni Bwajoojo, Kabagonokwe, Rwayegye, Nkuba, Enos Bwanyina, Bacondo, Kateete, Kyarukara, Kabushooko and Sheka, Kenyangye, Kyamaheiga, Beeriika and Katokoozi (Kahondo). These men and women taught him the fundamentals of his people’s traditions and the survival skills of rural life.
Muniini has written a weekly column in the Daily Monitor newspaper since May 1997, with emphasis on justice, freedom and democracy. For several years, he served as a regular panellist on the Voice of America’s Reporters’ Round Table, a weekly discussion about news and events in Africa.
Muniini’s non-professional interests are music, photography and reading, especially where there is no examination at the end of it. He continues to dream of learning to play the African zither (enanga) one day.
Photo: Omugurusi Mugyerasaano, Omugurusi Sigirenda with Habaasa wa Mulera (standing) at Kiyogoore in January 1988. (Photo by Muniini K. Mulera)