Origins of the Batembuzi and the Bachwezi Dynasty (AD 1100 to 1500)

Uganda Heritage Tales and Trails

According to oral traditions, it is generally believed that the Batembuzi were the founders of the Bunyoro Kingdom. Their existence is shrouded in a lot of myth, mysticism and legend. They are believed to be gods hailing from heaven. There is very little concurrence, among scholars, regarding the Batembuzi time period in history, even the names and successive order of individual kings. It is believed that their reign dates back to the time of Africa’s Bronze Age and there were 22 kings in total who ruled over Bunyoro- with Isaza being the last of the Batembuzi.

During that time, there were the Heavens and the Underworld (the earth). Ruhanga ruled over the heavens and the Underworld was inhabited by outcasts who had been thrown out of heaven. One day, Ruhanga’s son Isaza, out of curiosity decided to explore the Underworld. He was fascinated with the different lifestyle the people of…

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