The Ffumbe (Civet Cat) Clan


Ffumbe


Overview of the Ffumbe Clan

Secondary Totem:(Akabbiro)

Kikere (Frog)

Head Of Clan:(Ow'Akasolya)

Walusimbi

Clan Seat:(Obutaka)

Bakka, Busiro

Clan Mottoes:(Emibala)

  1. Galinnya e Bakka (amafumbe).
  2. E Bakka basengejja (mbu ebirungi tebiggwa Bakka).
  3. Kasolo ki? Ffumbe.
  4. Ka muti gumu.
  5. Kakozaakoza alikoza mu lw'effumbe.
  6. Taatuuke Bumpi.

The beginning of the Fumbe Clan

The Ffumbe Clan is one of the five original clans (Bannansangawo) of Buganda. All members of the Ffumbe clan descend from BUGANDA NTEGE WALUSIMBI. His seat or headquarters (obutaka), which is also for the clan, is situated at BAKKA in Busiro (just a few kilometres on Kampala-Hoima road). The oral history relates that when the nation Buganda was still called Muwaawa, the hill on which the Ffumbe seat is located was called Kisirikikadde or Namwezi. It got the name Bakka during Kabaka Kagulu Tebuucwereke's reign. The people who escaped Kagulu's reign of terror used to seek refuge at Bakka and when they were descending down the hill, people used to point to them saying "baabo bakka" meaning 'there they are going down the hill'. Since then, the place is called Bakka. Legends say that Walusimbi was created on Bakka. He had many names, including the following:

  1. Buganda
  2. Walusiri (Walusimbi is derived from this)
  3. Ntege
  4. Wanga
  5. Laba
  6. Wuuyo
  7. Nansangwawo
  8. Beene

The names illustrate the importance and honour that Walusimbi had. He was the leader of Buganda before the return of Kintu who later became the first Kabaka. The three known wives of Walusimbi are:- 1) Nakalaama , the first wife and a mother of twins; 2) Bandi the second wife; and 3) Kaamungolo.

The Ffumbe clan has three masiga and they are: -

Nagaya at Bakka Busiro: - The following are the sub-clan elders (to be updated)

Ssempala Ssejjala at Bulamba Bulemeezi: - The following are the sub-clan elders

  1. Sekabira at Mubanda Bulemeezi.
  2. Mayambala at Senga
  3. Ffumu at Bubajje.
  4. Mukoka
  5. Mugwanya at Mawale.
  6. Wamala at Kitebere
  7. Mujumbula at Naama
  8. Wante at Kigozi
  9. Kiraalire at Buganganya.
  10. Katemwa at Mpende
  11. Lukiza at Kalyankoko

Magunda at Lwanga Mawokota: - The following are the sub-clan elders (Ab'emituba)

  1. Kiyimba Sebwalunyo at Mpambire Mawokota
  2. Kisitu Kasaali at Busaali
  3. Ssennoga at Kisalalwe
  4. Kajoba Kawungu at Buwungu Buvvi
  5. Kafumbe Kagombe at Kizzi Nakabango
  6. Ssengendo afuga Abalagira at Masujju
  7. Ntege Nawambwa at Konge
  8. Ssengendo Ffulu (Fudu) at Nkumba Busiro
  9. Kalumba at Bumozi Mawokota
  10. Nagulambwa at Buyima Busiro
  11. Kigumba at Muwubwe Mawokota
  12. Gombya Ssenkaaba at Bululu Mawokota
  13. Serukwaaya at Kisalalwe Kisalalwe
  14. Ssetemu at Lwanga Mawokota
  15. Nawalyanga at Saazi Busiro
  16. Ssekabira at Mugomba Kyaggwe
  17. Kyalikikywa at Kyoko Buddu
  18. Ssengendo at Namulanda Busiro
  19. Ssemugoma
  20. Kiyomba at Kalagala.

Clan Mottoes

  1. Galinnya e Bakka (amafumbe) that "the civet cats are climbing the Bakka hill".
  2. E Bakka basengejja (mbu ebirungi tebiggwa Bakka) that "at Bakka they are brewing beer" (all good things come from Bakka" including beer)
  3. Kasolo ki? Ffumbe. Which animal? Ffumbe (civet cat)
  4. Ka muti gumu (Abeffumbe bonna baana b'omu; ffena twava ku kikolo ky'omuti kimu). From the same tree or same root. That all in the members of the Ffumbe clan are children of one man namely Walusimbi.
  5. Kakozaakoza alikoza mu lw'effumbe (omwagazi w'abakazi ayitiridde alyagala banyinna ab'effumbe). This motto is a warning to the men of the clan, that a philanderer will one day love a ffumbe girl or woman who is his sister.
  6. Taatuuke Bumpi (Bumpi is a village on Lwanga). This motto has several explanations. Wait for an update.

How the Fumbe (the Civet cat) became our totem

Our great Grandfather and the founder of the clan went to hunt and he laid a trap. When the animal fell into the trap, Walusimbi (Walusiri) went to see his catch but the animal was still alive and it bit him. He cried out, calling his children to come and help him. His first born Makubuya was the first on the scene and he killed the small animal. He then asked "Kasolo ki kano akakaabya Ttaata akayirigombe?" meaning "what a small animal that has caused daddy to screech". Mukubuya belittled the animal disregarding the fact that it was this small animal which had inflicted such pain on his father. Mukubuya implied that his father should not have screeched to that level. So Walusimbi was annoyed and gave his first born one more name NAGAYA that can be translated "I despised". Mukubuya never got the right to be the heir to his father, but he got a ssiga at Bakka called Nagaya (Nagaya e Buleza).

Walusimbi's son Ntege Kaweesa picked the herbs or medicine called Magunda which he mixed and dressed his father's wound and the wound healed, from then Walusimbi gave Ntege Kaweesa yet another name in recognition of this action. The name he gave him was Magunda after those herbs. He was given the ssiga at Boza at Nvule hill but after a smallpox outbreak, he moved to Lwanga (Magunda e Lwanga)

Walusimbi's other son, Sejjala tied a rope around the small animal and dragged it into the bush. From then Walusimbi gave him the name Ssempala and gave him a ssiga at Bulamba (Ssempla e Bulamba). The other child Nakku, being a girl, never received a ssiga but she was given land at Ganda (Nakku e Ganda) and she and her heirs retain is a very important role both in the Ffumbe clan and the the whole of Buganda.

Another son who raised the alarm that an animal has bitten daddy was later named Kasolo, he was the youngest of the four boys. Kasolo was the one that Walusimbi selected to be his heir. It is from Kasolo's descendants that the head of the clan, who takes the title Walusimbi, is selected.

Important duties of the Ffumbe clan toward the Kabaka and Buganda

  1. Magunda was/is the 'chief judge'. Everybody who was involved in any dispute or case and he or she deemed it unfair, had the right to appeal the judgement to the King. Then the Kabaka would order the parties to go to Magunda for the final judgement. What happened was that Magunda had herbs called Maduudu that he administered to the parties concerned. The herbs were believed to cause one to admit their guilt.
  2. Nakku became the wife of Kabaka Ccwa I Nabakka. From the time of Ccwa I, Nakku (and her heirs) became an important personality in the Kingdom. When the king dies, all work in the kingdom ceases, and it is the Nakku that announces to the entire kingdom that the period of mourning is over and that everyone should resume work again. This announcement, she makes by tilling some soil, symbolising the fact that now we can all start our work.
  3. Magunda and his descendants were responsible for fetching the Mmadwa ya Mukasa from Ssese Islands to come and divine the Kabaka's fortune. This they did/do in conjuction with those of the Mushroom clan. It's those from the Kawungu at Buwungu who are responsible for this duty. They also man Kabaka's boat called Nakyevuga
  4. The Ffumbe clan plays a critical role in the coronation of a new Kabaka. The Kabaka to be has to receive formal, if symbolic, acceptance from Walusimbi, the head of the Ffumbe clan. In the old days, this included elaborate rituals that were performed at Bakka. The traditional and final coronation ceremony is at Buddo and the Ffumbe clan mans this place. The Ffumbe's role in Kabaka's coronation perhaps supports the school of thought that Walusimbi gave the kingship to his son Kato Kintu (see Ebika byaffe- Ffumbe, Lugave Mpologoma and Abalagira by M.B. Nsimbi). More research needs be done to prove or disprove this.

Names of the Ffumbe clan

In the olden days every sub-clan lineage (ssiga) had its own distinct names and when one heard the name, one could easily point out that person belongs to a given ssiga. The times have changed and different clan lineage or clan elders (masigas) began to use names from other clan lineage or clan elders. There are certain names, however that have continued to be a reserve of given lineage. For example Ssempala, Magunda and Nagaya have remained in their respective original. At the beginning names (such as Walusimbi, Magunda, Nagaya and Ssempala) of the first clan elders were a preserve of only those who held the title of the clan but now they are commonly used throughout the ffumbe clan.

The names below are presented under the different sub-clans as they were before the said changes occurred.

Ag'omu kasolya k'ekika (From the head lineage) and Nagaya at Buleza

Take not that Nagaya (first born of Walusimbi) got to be a clan elder but was denied to be chief heir to his father however Makubuya Kasolo the youngest became the chief heir (was given a sub-lineage under his elder brother Nagaya)

Boys' names (Nagaya at Buleza)

Balimwezo

Kasolo

Kisaasazi

Lunjaabwa

Nagaya*

Twerwanire

Balinda

Kigumba

Kitengejja

Lutwama

Namagoye

Wakibe

Bbanjwa

Kigwanye

Kiwendo

Mabikke

Ndugga

Wakiwuugulu

Ddiba

Kikoyo

Luboobi

Makubuya

Nsobya

Wassanyi

Kangavve

Kimeze

Lugolugenyi

Mugonza

Ssebirumbi

Kaseggu (sabaweemuzi)

Lukomwa

Musaazi

Ssekiima


Girls' names (Nagaya at Buleza)

Nabuunya

Naluboobi

Nandugga

Mbejjo

Nalukoobyo

Nsonyiwa

Nakayombya

Namusaazi

Tebaddirwa



From Ssempala at Bulamba (agava mu Ssempaa e Bulamba)

Boys' names

Girls' names

Bbumba

Lukiza

Ssekabira

Nabaggala

Nakawungu

Ganyegenya

Lumu

Ssekasi

Nabumba

Kalumba

Mayambala

Ssekayombya

Nakasi

Katuluntu

Mujumbula

Ssekimuli

Nakigozi

Kibalizi

Nakinyaga

Ssematengo

Nakimuli

Kigozi

Nalukwakula

Ssempala*

Nalubwama

Kimuli

Nasserenga

Ssendyose

Nalumansi

Kyakuleese

Ngabo

Nampala

Lubwama

Semmambya

Nannozi

Lukabya

Ssebaggala

Nnaabalamba


From Magunda at Lwanga (agava mu Magunda e Lwanga)

Boys' names (Magunda at Lwanga)

Baali

Kajoba

Koojo

Nsibambi

Senkaba

Bbembe

Kalema

Kyakusse

Nseera

Ssentumbwe

Bbungo

Kannamuwangi

Lubabule

Nvujjo

Zigiti

Bbuzimulu

Kasiita

Lukambuzi

Nvule

Ffuuku

Kateeteru

Maduudu

Sennoga

Fulu

Katoloba

Magambo

Sengendo

Ggolola

Kaweesa

Magoba

Ssambwe

Kafumbe

Kigemuzi

Magunda*

Ssebigaaju

Kaggyo

Kisenyi

Mpanga

Ssebwalunnyo

Kagombe

Kisitu

Nnyungwe

Ssemattire


Girls' names (Magunda at Lwanga)

Luzzi

Nakindi

Nanvule

Nabakka

Nakku

Nawakkoonyi

Nabwami

Namammonde

Nnaabaweesi

Nakafumbe

Nannendo

Ntabadde

Nakaweesa

Nanteza

Zaawedde


Outstanding Members of the Clan

Several people of the Ffumbe clan have played significant roles in Buganda's long history and in most recent times even in the whole of Uganda. One must note that before Kintu I any clan leader who stood out among other clan leaders economically and military held the reigns of power. The Walusimbis held instrumental of office for several generations and their clan was pivotal in Buganda's expansion.

There are of course several people from different clans who fought in the Buganda's wars of expansion or nation building. Some people were just of exemplary character that somehow stood out against tyranny e.g. Kigemuzi. Others kept Buganda going in several different aspects, streaming it to well-defined characters that have been a pride to the Baganda and envy, reverence or veneration to others. These men earned Buganda fame as shown in Henry M. Stanley's letter to The Daily Telegraph dated 15/11/1875 quote "The bishops of Great Britain collected, with all the classic youths of Oxford and Cambridge, would effect nothing by mere talk with the intelligent people of Buganda. It is the practical..." What Stanley and his entourage saw was the work and sweat of the great leaders of Buganda over the centuries. The Ffumbe were some of these great leaders. Some of them are:

  1. Buganda Ntege Walusimbi: He is believed to have one of the first kings or kabaka of Buganda. His remains were laid to rest at Lunnyo in Entebbe-Busiro. The import attached to Buganda Ntege Walusimbi's burial place perhaps cement this theory that he was once the king or that he is (legacy) or was an important person in Buganda's history.
  2. Wakiwuugulu: He was a soldier of extraordinary strength and he had a big role in the eastward expansion of Buganda. The story about Wakiwuugulu is very long given the space available.
  3. Kigemuzi Wabulenkoko: He. A priest (tradition Baganda religion) who lived during Kabaka Ssuna II. He stood out against the tyranny of King Ssuna II. He was outspoken and risked death and told the king that he was a dictator in front of his citizens. Few dared during that time but Kigemuzi told the king the truth and king's power was for the first time during his reign criticised publicly.
  4. Ntege Magunda Kaweesa: He was the prime minister during Kabaka Kiggala's reign. When Kiggala died Prince Kiyimba succeeded to the throne but he was very young and the Baganda chose the Prime Minister to take care of the state and the young king. He was given the role of the regent and also the Prime Minister, however he was a de facto king because he assumed many duties of the king. At times he sat on the throne (Nnamulondo).
  5. Wamala Weraga Zakayo: He is credited for having introduced coffee growing and modern farming in Bulemeezi present Luwero District
  6. Wamala Byabadda Mikayiri MBE: He was one of the Baganda men who started a co-operative union in the country (Uganda Growers co-operative Union). His role in its foundation and contribution to co-operative development in Uganda earned him the British honour MBE Member of the British Empire. One of oldest and powerful co-operative union in Uganda has its name (Wamala Growers) after him
  7. Ignatius K. Musaazi: A Ugandan hero who is counted as the father of modern Ugandan politics. He was a key person in fighting for Uganda's independence from Britain and he was a great civil rights leader. He among others started the first political party in Uganda, the Uganda National Congress of which he became the first President General.
  8. Walusimbi Yafesi Mpanga: Was a prominent Ugandan businessperson and housing property mogul of modern Ugandan times and he was mayor of Kampala
  9. Prof. Nsibambi A: A distinguished academic and curently Prime Minister of Uganda.

The list is long but for now we can stop here.

The Ffumbe clan and its relationship with other clans

The Ffumbe being one of the first clans had strong relationships with other clans. The relationships were of varying nature depending on the circumstance at the time. There are several schools of thought, which claim that some clans were at one time part of the Ffumbe. That they were breakaway groups who broke away to avoid persecution. Others say that the Royal clan and Mpologoma clan emanate from the Ffumbe clan (see Ebika byaffe- Ffumbe, Lugave Mpologoma and Abalagira by M.B. Nsimbi and see also Empisa za Baganda by Sir Apolo Kaggwa). In these two books there are instances where it is mentioned that these clans were once part of the Ffumbe clan. We hope that more research will be carried out in this area for the sake of historical clarity. Until in recent times it was not advisable for a Ffumbe to marry from the Njovu clan because they were fear that they were brothers and sisters. Several Njovu hid themselves in Ffumbe during persecutions and visa versa.

Compiled by Gombya Sennoga

Mutabani wa Sennoga Gombya David
Muzzukulu wa Gombya Andereya 1910-1984
Muzzukulu wa Wamala Weraga Zakayo 1877-1929
Muzzukulu wa Basenero Mika
Muzzukulu wa Kamakya Nsengakulima Ssengendo
Muzzukulu wa Gombya Ssenkaba
Nva mulunyiriri lwa Gombya Ssenkaba e Bululu.
Era ye w'Omutuba gwa Gombya Ssenkaba e Bululu
Mussiga lya Magunda e Lwanga
Mukasolya ka Walusimbi e Bakka
Nnyabo anzaala wa nnyonyi ya Nakinsige

Acknowlwdgement: I would like to thank the following authors Mr E.J. Kisenyi (Omuganda ne Magunda 1993), Late Dr M.B. Nsimbi MBE (Ebika bya Byaffe Abalagira, Effumbe, Olugave, Empologoma 1990), E.N.K. Kisitu (Ennono n'ensikirano mu bika by'Abaganda) for much of the above information was translated from the those books. I would like to thank my grandfather Y. Lubwama of Nakifuma Bugerere, Prof. J.B. Walusimbi of Makerere University, Jjajja Edward Kalongo -Priest of Madiiro Shrine at Bakka (Omukongozi wa Madiiro e Bakka) for the invaluable information they have provided and all the Ffumbes and Lugaves for the advises you gave here and there.


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