Wednesday, September 26, 2012


By the Nazareth’s Mukasa was born between 1869 and 1871. He was the second son of Zachary Kiwanuka Makabugo Ntambi Ssensalire who was one of King Mwanga II's Chiefs. Hamu was taken to the Kings Palace as a Page Boy. He one day bumped into an Englishman who asked him whether he knew how to read and write and Hamu replied to him that he never learnt but he was being taught Swahili and Arabic in order to read the Koran. This white missionary called Rosco then took Hamu to Alexander Mackay at Natete who taught him how to read and write in English. Hamu Mukasa was one of the Page Boys who were persecuted by King Mwanga II. Fortunately, when Mwanga's murdering squad came to pick him up to be taken to Namugongo, Hamu Mukasa had gone to Bulemezi County. Hamu Mukasa's father promised Mwanga's soldiers that when he comes back from Bulemezi he would take him to King Mwanga II. When they went to King Mwanga II Hamu Mukasa was asked whether he was studying Christianity and he replied that he was studying how to read and write by Alexander Mackay at Natete. King Mwanga could not believe how strong hearted the Christians were because Hamu Mukasa in spite of hearing that all his friends were burnt to death he still believed in Christianity. King Mwanga then forgave him because he was brave enough to report back on his return from Bulemezi and never went into hiding himself. It is believed that at this time Mwanga's killing instinct had gone down and probably he was lamenting about the atrocities he had committed. Hamu did very well in these two languages Arabic and English and very soon Sir Apolo Kagwa the Katikiro of Buganda made him his Private Secretary. In 1901 The Katikiro of Buganda was invited to go to Britain to attend the Coronation Ceremony of King George the VI in London. So Hamu Mukasa accompanied the Katikiro to U.K. as his Private Secretary. Their stay in U.K. was prolonged because the coronation did not take place as planned due to the illness of the King. The British Government then decided to make a program of the invited guests to stay in U.K. until the King of England recovered from his illness. This overstaying in England gave the Katikiro and Hamu Mukasa a big opportunity to visit many places in U.K. including Schools, Industries and many other places of Interest. It really exposed them to the British Culture which they adopted. On their return to Uganda these two people decided to build similar institutions in Uganda as those they saw in U.K. This was the beginning of Gayaza High School for the Girls in 1905 and Kings College Budo for boys in 1906. They started building other Institutions like Churches and Hospitals in different places in the country with the assistance of the Church Missionary Society in U.K. They were very influential in the building of Mengo Hospital, Namirembe Cathedral, Bishop Tucker College Mukono, which is now the Uganda Christian University. They started growing cash crops and encouraged many farmers to grow things like cotton, Rice and Rubber trees and they encouraged many foreign investors like Mehta and Madhvani who started Sugar cane growing for the production of sugar. Hamu Mukasa fought a number of wars in the country and the biggest war he fought was the Christian war against the Moslems whereby Hamu Mukasa was the Leader of the delegation which went to Tanzania to bring back King Mwanga II to the throne because he was sent into exile in Tanzania. As they were arriving at Munyonyo from Tanzania with King Mwanga Hamu was shot in his leg and arm and he nearly died. He survived but remained a lame man until he died in 1956. Hamu combined a number of disciplines. He was a devoted Christian and among all the Chiefs in Uganda Hamu is known to have been the only Chief who had only one wife and married in Church. His first wife died in 1919 after 25 years of marriage and he married his second wife in the same year and they lived together until he died in 1956. He had 14 Children five boys and nine girls and only two are still alive, namely Ida Jessie Mukasa and George Kasede Mukasa. Hamu Mukasa was also a very successful businessman. He grew Rice and Rubber Trees in Kyagwe where he was the county Chief of Kyagwe county for 28 years. During his period as the Chief of Kyagwe that county became the richest county in the country with big Sugar Plantations, Tea, Coffee and Rubber. His contribution to the development of Education, Agriculture and Commerce was very great and he is one of the biggest achievers in the fifty years of our Independence as Uganda is still enjoying his fruits. Another advantage Hamu Mukasa had was that he officially visited U.K. twice. In 1911 he accompanied Sir Daudi Chwa II the Kabaka of Buganda when the Kabaka was officially invited by the British Government. The British Government had a system of inviting Traditional Rulers in their colonies to visit Britain in the hope that they would be exposed to the European civilization. This second visit to U.K. made Hamu Mukasa extremely exceptional among his fellow Chiefs who had never travelled abroad.

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