Travellers' Impressions
Stories & Articles from around the World

By: Ronald Muwanga
In Uganda

At any one time, I surely do not reflect taking on journalism as a career and profession, since my hobbies include among others traveling, making friendship, writing, reading news papers, watching movies and watching soccer.

I took up the journalism career not only to earn a living but also to discover the power of the pen on educating different societies on many human interests, as I like traveling and seeing for myself thus discovering.

Whenever I could go to visit my grandparents and relatives at Kawumulwa in Buwekula Sub County in Mubende district, I could hear many people talking about Nakayima and her lots of blessings and whatever is done to please the spirit as a result of being blessed with the needs.

Surely, when I got some money power weight in my pocket, I decided to take a taxi (Kamunye) on Wednesday at a round 9:00am from the New taxi park in Kampala to go and visit Nakayima, a tree named after an old woman who used to offer different blessings depending on the nature of the presented problems.

With in thirty minutes, the taxi was full board with the required fourteen passengers hence we arrived at Mubende town at 11:00 am after one and half hours of silent traveling.

To my surprise, I thought I would walk to the top of the hill where the tree is found but was advised to take a boda boda (motor cycle ride). Immediately weighed myself on a heavy one, off we started our journey with the rider to negotiate with the rough corners to climb the hill.

As we were on our way, I asked the boda boda rider what people ask for and what is done at the tree site. He was kind enough, he told me almost every weekend many people flock the hill. There are people who ask to be blessed with children, riches, the power to be prominent, jobs, strong marriages and power to conquer education.

He said on weekends many vehicles of different types including land cruisers, Mercedes Benz, cross country, pajeros ands people of different walks of life like the rich, poor, children, old couples visit the place. "You will see only a few today, you came on a wrong day. If it was a weekend, you would have even paid much more than what you are going to pay me for a return journey," he said.

"Wow, a beautiful green scenery." At last we arrived. I surely could not imagine how such a beautiful environment could be there. We hit a lot of stones and potholes before reaching.

In my imagination, I thought the place is bushy, a forest like without people living there, but all this was beaten when I saw a green beautiful area with demarcations of small decorated passages, a big compound, tall scattered trees and smart and clean people.

A young energetic smart man who introduced himself as James and later took me around the huge mvule tree, which had huge holes and scars like breasts, welcomed me.

Near the tree, was a woman who James told me was in charge of all the spirits at the site. I did not talk to her neither did she talk to me. I took it easy and continued with my tour of the place.

He told me each huge hole had its own spirit and requests for blessings. Though I was not able to see the spirits, I saw some shells in white and brown colours and beautiful smooth stones and back cloth put a round the holes and small baskets where people put money and other gifts for the spirits after saying their requests for blessings.

As I was taken around the blessing tree, I had always to remove my shoes.

At around 4:00pm.Iset off with the bodaboda back from the beautiful scene to Mubende town and then back to Kampala.

All in all, what I saw was set as a place of traditional worshipping.

Copyright © Ronald Muwanga 2004