Muniini Garama Kwehangaana Mwene Mulera wa Rukooko rwa Misango ya Bareegyire ba Rutahweire rwa Mabindi ga Kangabo ya Butanga bwa Kahurubuka ka Byamarembo is Omukiga of the Abakonjo b’Abatenga ba Nyanga, a subclan of Abasigyi Abatahinga, Abarimante, Abakurura Ndiga, Abeezangaro Baabuheza whose totem is Ente Ngoobe eyibateezaariize (they cannot eat the beef of a black-skinned cow with brown patches that was not delivered by one of his clansmen). His 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 the wife of Bushoberwa Omutanga wa Bushuro, Mwisi, Kabale, Kigyezi.
Muniini’s father was Kisigo Mulera Mwene Rukooko who was born around 1917 in Kahondo ka Byamarembo (also known as Nyamarembo Goona.)
His paternal ancestors’ previous address was either on the shores of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo in Rwanda or in Kahondo, Isare 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 Abagurusi Sigirenda, Mugyerasaano, Kangire and Bateeranwa (Mparo); and Rwendinga Tibihika, Azaria Rwendeire, Simoni Bwajoojo, Kabagonokwe, Rwayegye, Nkuba, Enos Bwanyina, Bacondo, Kateete, Kyarukara, Kabushooko, 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)