A Review of Selected Luganda Books

At this page reviews of some well known literary works in Luganda are given. This collection of fictional and some non-fiction works offers an invaluable insight into the culture of the Baganda. The first 25 reviews in this set were done by James Ssemakula. They are a revised version of his prize winning entry into the 14th Annual Student Book Collector's Contest organized by the Texas A&M University Evans Library in October 1986. He initiated the idea of putting Luganda language book reviews on the Buganda Home Page. There are many other works in Luganda that are not included here. Anyone who wishes to submit a review for inclusion in this collection is welcome to do so. Send reviews and/or inquiries to this site's webmaster.

The fictional works are of two types. Those set in pre-colonial times by and large tend to be folklore while those set in the modern times (post 1900) tend to be warnings to the young about the dangers of modern life especially in cities. Stories set in the pre-colonial times are important in giving us a glimpse of what life was like back then. The first European explorers, Grant and Speke arrived in 1862 and at that time the Luganda language was not yet written because few knew how to read and/or write. After dinner everyone would gather around a fire and one or more persons would narrate a story. Thus the stories passed from generation to generation orally. The post 1900 stories for the most part stress the value of education. Those who drop out of school wind up on city streets and suffer till they come to their senses. While many have a common theme, the details are different enough to make them interesting. Taken together the two sets give one an idea of how life in Buganda has changed over the times.

List of Reviewed Books

1. Nkyalira Walumbe e Ttanda
2. Ssanyu Teribeerera
3. Nnaku Teba Y'omu 4. Ndikumma Okulya
5. Basajja Mivule 6. Amannya Amaganda n'Ennono Zaago
7. Kitagenda ne Kagenda 8. Kagenda Ne Banne Bakola Ki?
9. Kulyennyingi 10. Bonna Baasumagira?
11. Bwali Butamanya 12. Zinunula Omunaku
13. Nketta mu Bizinga 14. Ssebato Bafuma
15. Omuganda n'Enswa 16. Kikonyogo
17. Olugero lwa Kintu 18. Engero Zikuwoomera?
19. Tuula Tuwaye 20. Bazibumbira
21. Pawulo Kirimuttu 22. Jangu Tutontome
23. Ssebato Bazannya 24. Bemba Musota
25. Luganda Proverbs

Return To: | Top of This Page | Book Reviews | Buganda Home Page |