Buganda Kingdom’s Nvubu Clan leaders are troubled about the future of their clan seat after part of their land was allocated to Senegalese-American singer Aliaune Damala Badara Also known as Akon.
The land giveaway is based on an ambitious vision by Akon to build a city powered by a cryptocurrency called Akoin. He has previously hinted that part of the desire is to create a real-life version of Wakanda, the futuristic African kingdom portrayed in Marvel’s “Black Panther”, a project similar to one he promised to build in his own country Senegal, with luxury condominiums, a seaside resort, office parks and gravity-defying skyscrapers.
According to the Akon City website, the project seeks to address the need for vibrant new community development, with a vision to create a business district, residential districts, a high-rise education district, a healthcare district, a technology district, a media district, an entertainment district, and sporting facilities with a recreational enclave for the surrounding area to address the market need for the development in Senegal.
Construction of Akon City Uganda has the backing of the Ugandan government, which announced recently that it has allotted one square mile of land under a freehold register, covering the villages of Bulebi, Lulagwe, Sango and Mbazzi, at Mpunge Sub County in Mukono district-(Kyaggwe), towards the project which is expected to be completed by 2036.
However, the same land has more than 2,000 homesteads and sites of cultural significance, among them the seat of the Nvubu clan, locally known as Obutaka, where the clan has close to 50 acres of land. The caretaker of the place Moses Kimera, who took URN to a guided tour of the site says members of the clan attach insurmountable value to the site and appealed to the government to detach Mbazzi village from the project in order to sustain their lineage. In Buganda Culture, a clan represents a group of people who can trace their lineage to a common ancestor.
At the face of the site, about two kilometres from Mbazzi Trading Centre is a cylindrical purple canary tree (Omuwafu) named ‘Tolunjagulira’ which literally means don’t provoke death. Its fruits are only picked by residents while dressed in backcloth and they are not allowed to pick any from the tree directly since it may provoke tragedy in their families.
On the same land are an ancestral graveyard where various Nvubu clan heads have been buried since the 19th century and the main house of the caretaker named ‘Kitukiro,’ which means a place for arrival. The Nvubu Clan Head (Ow’ Akasolya) known by the title Kayita and his 19 clan elders (Ab’ Amasiga) all have special spaces on the land where they seat to meet their juniors.
The land also has forests and locks which, according to Kimera, are crucial during the enthronement of the new clan head. One of the sites located about five kilometres from the graveyard is Nampewo, a lock with a plate-like shape (Ekyogero) from where Kayita mixes local herbs to bless his grandchildren. The place also represents the two main designated tasks of the clan in the Kingdom of Buganda; healing the sick or the wounded and lighting up the palace torches (reeds light).
There is also Nabatamivu forest where the ritual of drinking alcohol is performed. Every type of alcohol brought during any clan gathering is first taken to the forest as a way of sharing with the spirits. On the same land is where the main shrine of the spirit (Lubaale) Kiwanuka shifted to from Mengo in 1887.
However, Kimera says it got burnt two years back during the clan get together and they are yet to restore its rooftop. Inside the shrine are three fireplaces where clan members kneel to seek blessings. There is another lock (Enyanga za Walumbe) with a deep round hole through which members pour alcohol that they believe goes straight to the lake to keep on good terms with the spirit of Mukasa who is believed to govern the lake.
Salim Lubanjwa, the Nvubu Clan Secretary says they have confirmed plans for the establishment of Akon City on their land, and this, according to him is scary because it threatens the survival of the clan.
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