Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Aje (Lugbara Pre-Marriage Introduction)

After negotiations between both families about the amount of Bride Wealth to be given whether in form of cash, cattle or other items, a day is set for the Introduction. Today, most Lugbara ceremonies are held in the afternoon at a location chosen by the woman's parents, usually their home. The woman's family waits for the male's side to make a ribbon cutting entry and sit on the opposite side facing them. The Master of Ceremony directs the events as scheduled. One of those events is a mock - test for the prospective Son-in-Law to choose his partner from a group of very cute and elegantly clad girls. They could even be as many as 20 though less than 10 is cumbersome and more time saving. The boy's aunt (whom Baganda call Senga, Uncle is a Koja) gives a basketful of flowers to the selected girl. There are speeches and prayers from various individuals before food is served and the cake cut. For certain families, too much excitement by In-Laws is considered ashaming yet happiness is like alcohol for some folks; It makes them lose inhibitions and the anxiety of what people will say. Marriage for most people happens once so should be enjoyed to the maximum but at Introductions, it is preferred that people celebrate after the ring is fixed on the lady's finger and the dance floor is opened by the couple. Meetings are usually held months before the 'Aje' (Lugbara for Introduction) to ensure it is a success. Fundraising for Bride Price during these meetings can involve the American style auctioning of a valuable item. Also, those attending may be asked to pay for the seat they choose or buy food and a soda. Those dressed in dur bar (coats) may also be challenged to defend their suits. Late comers are also charged. Some people hold Evaluation meetings after the Introduction to see how everything went and if possible avoid whatever mishaps happened. A day is also set for the final marriage or Wedding.

Lugbara Thunderbolt (Ovi)

According to some elders in Maracha, there is NO LOVE during Christmas nowadays. In the past, neighbours from the homestead would gather, sing Christmas songs and share gifts plus food together but today people think they know better. It's a new generation so technology takes centre stage. Kids would rather listen to new hits on radio or watch TV than sing outdated songs till they lose their voices by Boxing Day. People go to church but they do not place proper meaning to the season. You find kids walking around on the church verandahs. After the service, the youth go for walks. In the past, everything would be ready by Christmas Eve: the water and eats.

Also in the past, on Christmas Eve, youth would gang up, travel to the Chief's home or County Office and sing Christmas plus church songs. If their hosts felt moved, they would offer the singers some money. They would do this through the night. Some would make their Christmas preparations from early morning after the carols. On Christmas Days after 2004, a certain staunch Catholic mother would tell her son to get three extra plates in case unexpected visitors came by (You know, like the Three Wise Men. It actually happened during his 2009 Birthday). During some of those Christmas seasons, they would listen to the fluent Lugbara-speaking Italian Father Tonino Passolini (of the Catholic Parish in Adalafu, Arua) preaching on Radio Pacis after their mass.

We all need a saviour because we are born in the flesh. No one can claim to be sinless. GOD forgive me if am wrong but sometimes I find it hard to believe the Virgin Mary was completely spotless. Okay, maybe Adam's mark was removed from her by grace. As for Jesus, I do believe he was spotless and controlled himself perfectly. His heavenly father doesn't even have a Breath of Evil in HIM. Galatians 5 wonderfully summarises what every soul on earth goes through whether Muslim, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, New Age, Pagan or Catholic. Jesus was a prophet who was born during Christmas to lead us to Heaven and no religion can claim him alone. We Lugbara call him "YESU KRISTO". May the Joy and Light during this Christmas and all those that follow reveal his everlasting Glory to you!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Lugbara Kari (The House of Lugbara)

There is a long awaited move towards forming an official administrative body of Lugbara. John Godo, a grey haired UPC (Uganda People's Congress) Party champion or stalwart in the Arua, West Nile Region (He is also a Member of the Ayivu County Elders's SACCO) and his associates are drafting a Constitution - Set of Rules (Lugbara Kari) for the said structure, the Household of Lugbara. It is not yet adopted by all the Lugbara on the entire Third Planet but many look forward to spreading it everywhere. Membership is simply by belonging to the about 13 Clans of Lugbara: Seven in Uganda (Aringa, Ayivu, Madi, Vurra, Terego, Maracha and Koboko also included because the schools there teach pupils in Lugbara) plus Six Bayia (Outside West Nile) Clans according to original counties known as "Collective" in the Eturi Province of Democratic Republic of Congo [I'm sorry I forgot to record the names but one interesting one is the Itso pronounced as "icho" meaning "able" in Lugbara. Nevertheless, some ethnologue reports list dialects such as Zaki, Abedju-Azaki, Lu, Aluru, Nio and Otsho with 840,000 speakers in DRC (Johnstone 2001). The last two are very similar to Ugandan Lugbara. Yes We Can form this Cultural Institution. There are also Three tribes in Sudan who speak a Lugbara-like language and may be included. Godo once asked, "Why don't we study Lugbara up to University and even get degrees in it?" With this institution in place, work can be done to bring that dream to life].

In Uganda, the Baganda have a Kabaka, the Banyoro have an Omukama, the Basoga have a Kyabazinga, Itesots have an Emorimor, and Batoro have an Omugabe but the Lugbara have NO KING. There are chiefs and sultans in different counties but there is no one with kingly authority. You wonder how they can be united, reminds me of lines in the Bible about Ants and other insects that have no leader but know when to do things and in impeccable order. Nevertheless, the Lugbara have someone called the AGOFE who is charged with the duty of preserving the culture through writing plus other assignments. He is elected to a five year reign that can be added with one more term, though according to the unpublished constitution, he can also be replaced in his term basing on certain failings. The current Lugbara Agofe is Jason Avutia whom many know as the Chairman of LULA - Lugbara Literature Association. Qualifications for an Agofe (Article 8: 2: 1) include: (a) A person with minimum age of 55 Years; (b) A person of high oral character and proven integrity; (c) A person knowledgeable in public affairs and with interest in cultural and developmental issues in general; (d) A person with a deep interest in the history and culture of the Lugbara; plus (e) A person with a minimum education of advanced certificate level or its equivalent.

Some of the Objectives for forming the Lugbara Cultural Institution include: 1.To forster, enhance and preserve the cooperation, unity, trust and understanding, dedication to work and mutual respect among Lugbara; 2. To promote cultural heritage of Lugbara and Lugbara ti; 3. To preserve, regulate the culture of traditional dances; 4. To encourage collection and preservation of ancient artefacts, social life as well as other traditional things; 5. To encourage research; 6. To promote cultural linkages; 7. To improve agricultural practices; 8. To promote industrial cooperation and land conservation; 9. To award and honour Lugbara who have excelled in various fields; 10. To set up a Fund for promoting culture; 11. To cooperate with government institutions in achieving the above objectives (The Arua District Local Government following its own community-oriented objectives has actually accepted to support the Lugbara initiative).

WHEREAS the Children of Lugbara wherever they may be located in Uganda, Congo and the Diaspora are desirous of constituting themselves into an institution that will preserve, promote and enhance their culture as well as their material, economic heritage so that they can consolidate African nationhood in a rapidly globalising world.
WHEREAS such cultural institution will enable the Lugbara to unite and live harmoniously with their neighbours and contibute to their role as active citizens of Uganda in a federated East Africa in the context of the African wide political union of African people.
WHEREAS all the Lugbara are united in their joint vision of promoting their oneness (Unity) and well being for the glory of their motherland and that of their ancestors, the living and the unborn.
WHEREAS the representatives of the Clans of Lugbara have met and resolved that such an organisation be established...

(This data is courtesy of John Godo)

Charles Bua from Vurra (Arua) comments that, "It is a matter of controversy among our people. Arua people want cultural leadership but elite class is worried of its influence. It is definitely going to unite the common people but alienate the self styled politicians who have become cultural leaders without interest, no responsibilty, no knowledge and those and many others do not believe that the spirit of a nation is the common and neglected community. There is hope. First, we need several dialogues and writing of our history. Then constitution be drafted by all the representatives of clans."

AJUA - Tara Origins

Some call this place "Tara-dise" because it rocks their world. You may marvel at heavenly views of breathtaking rock formations and mountains namely Liru plus Wati (in Terego) like when Clouds hug their tops or at Sunset - GOD surely painted better than Michaelangelo and Pablo Picasso combined; the plush-green vegetation is refreshing; the well arranged Maize, Cassava, Groundnut, Soya and Tobacco (Assets) Gardens plus simple rural lifestyle seem unmoved by urban chaos. Tara is found on the Northern Border of Maracha, about an hour away from Koboko Town and DR Congo.

A man called Ajua is the great-grandfather of Tara Parishes. Ajua (Abi pi ama tipi Tara'a woro) wanted to see where Ono (River Enyau or Anyau) ends. So he moved with his cows and found people dancing at a dog funeral in Onduparaka (North of Arua Town). He joined in the dance and was given a wife. She gave birth to Opodria who later birthed Naye, the father of the Seven True Parishes of Tara. Ajua left Onduparaka on his quest and went to Ovisoni (West of Arua Town). There he also found people dancing and was allowed to join them. He was given another wife. Some say he paid bride price. The woman gave birth to Otu (Lugbara for 'Umbilical Cord'), the father of Vurra, after whom a County was named in Western Arua District. Otu is the step-brother of Opodria, the grandfather of the other Vur(r)a, a Parish in Tara Sub-County which encompasses the villages from East/West Kololo, Pajuru to Odupiri. Vur(r)a's six brothers after whom Parishes are named in Tara Sub-County (Part of Lower Maracha created from Yivu Sub-County which used to be in the Maracha County of Arua District) include Ojapi (Angusara is the fore-father of Baria Village), Ajulepi, Yidu (Pajama Area), Oliapi (Oliyepi), Aruwe and Rendu. [Oral Tradition Courtesy of Kefa Bayoa Dobo]

When adventurers visit Tara, they write their names on the rocks and take small ones as souvenirs plus for research purposes. For instance, if you stand at the soccer field of Ojapi Primary School, the ranges anticlockwise from Mt. Liru include Kodro, Gala, Kadri, Adrofiya and Njeke (or Njakai). On the South Side of Ojapi as you move from Oliapi Primary School to Orani (which also has a rock named after the place), you will see Adada (which reminds one of big road construction trucks) and Luturujo (which translates to "The House of/ on a Hill). In the evening, after an honest day's work, men sit on the ground or the innumerable rocks, in circles (of four to five), around a calabash of Kwete or bottle of Umkhomboti and drink while chatting about politics and life in general. On market days like at Mabira, Ajira, Gili Gili and Odupiri, women sell foodstuffs as the sun sets. The Grasshopper is the Staple Food and Emblem of Maracha, a Lugbara Clan. Also famous for the Mairunji trade, it is as though Maracha was built on ROCKS. Other Sub-Counties in Maracha include Omugo, Aiivu, Uriama, Nyadri, Yivu (which used to encompass the whole of Tara) and Oleba.

(Book Review): Sultan Isara

Born in 1886 (the same year Arsenal FC, my favourite club, was formed), he was the first contact with the British colonial administration in Vurra, Western Arua. Savour the story of a kind, peaceful African farmer and celebrated artist who performed in traditional dances, songs and telling myth stories plus was appointed the cultural leader of Vurra people in 1919 before turning Sultan in Lugbaraland. This biography, published in 2008, is fantastically woven by Charles Kiri Kiri Bua [Mobile (0712)678214 or Box 737 Arua] and authorised by the Isara Memorial Cultural and Community Library (IMCCL) Board of Trustees. It respectfully and comprehensively connects the past to the present documenting very interesting Lugbara history and other research ideas worth 10,000 UgX (about 5 US Dollars) a copy. Contents in this compelling book include Isara’s Story; The Myth Story; Who are Lugbara?; The Origins of Lugbara; The Main Migration Groups; How Isara became Sultan; Vurra is a Ma’di term; Clans in Vurra; What made Isara successful; What Others say; Isara’s own Words; and The Last Days. Dr. Eric Adriko, one of the people acknowledged by the author for encouraging him to record the past and preserve Lugbara identity, once revealed how while in Kenya he heard that Hon. Rajab, one of the members of the Kenyan Parliament in the 1980s (representing Kibera Constituency) was said to be Isara’s descendant and there were many Vurra people living there. Some historians say the Lugbara originated from Sudan but it is more believable that they came from West Africa (Cameroon Mountains) basing on the similarity of African names shared today (despite differing translations) such as President Abubakar Atiku of Nigeria; Bayo of the Big Brother 3 House; Didier Drogba - Chelsea FC striker. Personally, I have also made a few interesting observations for instance President Omar Bongo of Gabon; Dramani - Ghana National Soccer team striker; Drabo, Atiku and many others.

Bua writes in his introduction that, "The book is a collection of consecutive interviews, commentaries by elders, sons and daughters, friends, relatives, politicians, workmates of Isara and research on Lugbara of Uganda and their culture by various scholars. The relationship between Opi Isara and the Lugbara culture is very important. He led people in the house of chiefs not only in Vurra but also in the counties of Ayivu, Terego who had houses of chiefs (In short, he was a Sultan). To others he was a building block between different groups of people. He married at least nine women from various clans and left over 60 children who form part of the Arua District population. Isara’s creative lifestyle had transformed Vurra from traditional leadership to modern British politics. Now that Isara’s descendants under Isara Memorial Cultural and Community Library have formed an association, what Opi Isara failed to achieve will be accomplished. The Lugbara cultural values will be analysed, some preserved and promoted especially the Language, Literature, Art and Craft, Entertainment and its history. The demise of Isara on 26th July, 1949 marked the end of an era in the history of Lugbara."

The Isara Memorial Cultural and Community Library was opened in Ezuku, Vurra 50 years after his death and copies of this book can be purchased there.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Mvara S.S. (Arua) Lyrics

Lyrics for these songs were created by the talented REGINA DRICIRU.

"Stop Child Sacrifice in Africa" is a Cry by the Mvara S.S. Music Class calling on all evil people to end their practice of Human Sacrifice. On Sunday 11th October 2009, a six month old Maracha baby was kidnapped (from Christ the King Church, Arua) by Lucky A. The baby's eight year old caretaker had been duped by the 23 year old Alur. The reason for his kidnap was not clear but most probably thought he had been sacrificed and many people gathered near a haunted point on River Enyau only for a big heinous looking snake to come out after some self confessed prophetess claimed that she could show where the kid was. Some doubted her after the hoax. However, when Lucky was caught in Nebbi less than two weeks later trying to bury a corpse that happened to be the kidnapped baby, it was discovered that she had wanted to make peace by showing this baby to her former lover whose baby she had earlier aborted in order to move out with another man. Everything did not work out the way she planned, and even when she escaped after her first arrest, she was recaught. The only time she got lucky, like her first name suggests, was when Arua dwellers tried to stone the car transporting her to court. Police sprayed tear gas to disperse rioters though one stone thrower near the Red Cross Roundabout managed to break a windscreen on the Patrol Van whisking her away. She had ignorantly fed this baby with juice and maybe caused its death unintentionally but killing her first baby wasn't the way to get what she wanted. Am not a lawyer but I feel abortion should be categorised in the same groups as witchcraft, murder or child sacrifice. This song by Mvara S.S. was produced a number of months before the Lucky A. saga but it speaks a lot to all those with similar intentions. It's GOD who takes care of kids so if you conceive one, never let the thought cross your mind that you won't be able to care for them. Even if you die, GOD forbid, they can live on.

Watch out X2
You, who slaughter children for wealth
You, whose hands are dripping with children's blood.
The long arm of the law will soon catch up with you
Soon, your evil deeds will follow you to your grave
Enough is enough, listen!

Eya, children crying in Africa
Mama weh, children crying in Africa [BABY CRYING:]
Children crying in Africa
Eya, orphans crying in Africa
Mama weh, orphans crying in Africa [BABY CRYING:]
Orphans crying in Africa
Eya, mothers weeping in Africa
Walele, mothers weeping in Africa [WOMAN WAILING:]
Mothers weeping in Africa
Eya, kidnapping in Africa
Mama weh, kidnapping in Africa,
Kidnapping in Africa
(Eya, child sacrifice in Africa X2)
Mama weh, child sacrifice in Africa,
Child sacrifice in Africa-aaa.

Why, why do you kidnap these innocent children? X2
Why, why do you sacrifice these innocent children? X2
Oh no X2 (the Quest for wealth)
Oh why, (for political support)
Oh why, oh why, (to get social status)
Oh why (to appease business gods)

[INSTRUMENTAL: (Jomic Productions)]

Political leaders, stop child sacrifice in Africa! X2
Religious leaders, stop child sacrifice in Africa! X2
Witchdoctors, stop child sacrifice in Africa! X2
Everybody, stop child sacrifice in Africa! X2
We pray to YHWH to stop child sacrifice in Africa. X2 aaa

[INSTRUMENTAL till fade:]

"6th of June" by MVARA SECONDARY SCHOOL is a fantastically upbeat reunion song to groove to even if you have never studied in this classy Arua school. Their motto says, "Be Sensible and Responsible" en there is a lot of sense in this song.

This is a day of reunion with the Old Students of Mvara S.S
Old Students oyeh, (oyeh eh)
OGs oyeh, (oyeh eh)
OBs oyeh, (oyeh eh)
Ayeeeee, yeeeee

6th of June, 2009. Is a day of, reunion. X2
With the Old Students, of Mvara. X4

Mvara Old Students, you're most welcome!
Mvara Old Students, you're welcome home! X2
We look forward to reawakening, the academic excellency of Mvara. X2


We thank the Chairperson of MOSA,
And the Old Students for this great day. X2
We welcome all the, Good Ideas
We are ready to, Share with you. X2


Mvara Students are sensible,
Mvara Students are responsible X2
Mvara Teachers are hardworking,
Mvara Teachers are devoted. X2


The third collection of lyrics in this Mvara S.S. Bouquet is a song complimenting the Headmaster Iziyo Tata Aggrey's achievements. It's so reverently melodic en simple that you may want to copy the great headteacher.

This is a special dedication to the Headmaster, the staff en the students of Mvara S.S.
Long live the headmaster Iziyo Tata Aggrey [CLAPPING en ULULATING:]

The Headmaster of Mvara is a man in a thousand years.
If you think am lying, copy Mvara en get the shock of your life

They brought a brand new bus, an impossible one
You can't measure to his standard
If you think am lying, copy Mvara en get the shock of your life


We give glory en honour to Almighty GOD, yes
HE's the brain behind all this success
Glory en honour to YOU!


We thank the teachers, board of governors, parents en students
For initiating such a brilliant idea
Glory en honour to GOD!


Your ability to purchase a bus is praiseworthy
We are proud of you, our HM, Iziyo Tata Aggrey


It's always wise to copy something good from a neighbour
You can copy from him, the HM Mvara: Iziyo Tata Aggrey


Many headteachers have done well but you excel them all
you're the one to start en others follow.
Dream of an aeroplane now!

Dream of an aeroplane now! X2

[INSTRUMENTAL till fade:]

Culture can end Wars and make Long-lasting Peace...

According to John Godo, a UPC champion in Arua (His office is about 200 metres beyond Kamure Park on the down town Adumi Road), culture is defined as "a way of life of a given society especially the general customs and beliefs of a people at a time and place. It is the only birthmark that identifies us by tribe as Baganda, Bateso and Banyankole. It describes Ugandan unity. A nation without cultural heritage is not worth a national status. In the past, the economic institution revolved around family, clan and the traditional leader."
Ugandan Senior Citizen Godo revealed that the peace in the Arua District area was actually "brought by Lugbara elders who called the four groups of rebels to lay down arms." These groups included West Nile Bank Front (led by Ali Bamuze who is now a Lieutenant General in the UPDF national Army), FUNA (Former Ugandan Army), Rescue 1 and 2.
Culture preserves oral literature, social norms, traditional knowledge, enhances creativity, disseminates information, cements social cohesion and a means of expression. All its forms of diversity should be encouraged. Culture is better understood through education and helps youth grow in orderly stages with a sound and social moral entity. They stay awake till late in the night listening to old men's tales while drinking hot water. (My dada once informed me that hot water without sugar was named 'ibede' during Amin and Obote's regimes because during functions, hot water would be left in a saucepan for people to fetch and drink with cups. "Ibe di" is a call telling people to fetch or scoop something.) Discipline and respect were emphasised around fires through stories and riddles, proverbs. These were called informal education. Although cultures differ, societies share a common training system to create ideal individuals who would fit in their community and be accepted. This education teaches young boys and girls as expected in society. It wasn't around discipline alone but catered for the mind, cultural taboos, dos and don'ts in society, clans and tribes plus technical skills for instance Okebu were iron workers, Buddu in Buganda were bark cloth makers. Those who mastered their skills well were regarded as High Class. They were elected as legislators to discuss wars, peace and conflicts. This skill produced an expert fighter called Embawu like Museveni (President of Uganda since 26th January 1986, he was born around 15th March 1944).
Culture can be understood through Civilisation. Changed Society can only be explained through Performing Arts (Music, Dance and Drama); Musicians are known as advisers. It's a means of keeping history.
Wars can be overcome through dances and drama like the Acholi and Madi have war dances that reveal history. Peace can be brought through culture for example in 1980, there was a war in the Soroti area. The Teso came up with a means of stopping the war. A Professor wrote a play whose Teso title is translated as "What Do We Do?" acted by Makerere University Kampala students. The rebels and government forces came together to enjoy the play.

Burning Charcoal

In the Western world, people use electricity or gas for cooking but what do the Lugbara use for preparing their delicious delicacies? In the ancient times (and up to today in some traditional homes), firewood was a must. Three stones would serve as container holders and the burning wood would be placed inbetween. Creative constructors built clay stoves attached to their huts. So women and children had the task of searching far and wide for enough firewood in case there weren't enough trees in the neighbourhood. Some risked their lives to search in dangerous forests and areas. As time passed though, other sources of cooking fire were introduced including the durable charcoal. It is like preserved firewood and as black as coal though some break easily. The last time I had seen the method of charcoal burning was way back in the early 90s and it was on TV. Some South Americans were doing something I thought they do not do yet you might find this science probably originated from areas with lots of wood like the Amazon and thereabout. Anyway, the first time I saw it in the real world and even got involved happened in September 2009. Why did it take me so long? You have to make sure that you do not use fuel or oil because the wood may burn up completely. Teak is preferred by some Lugbara. A fire is lit on a metal board, base branches placed around it and wood meant for producing charcoal placed on it. The wood is then covered with soil to make it burn slowly and prevent it from burning up. When the soil creates a depression, more soil should be added to maintain the quality. Then after the soil is turned out after three days (Most recommended though Amayo says it depends on the type of wood burnt). Earth soil may be placed on top of the black blocks to cool them down. When lighting a stove, some Lugbara place groundnut pods below the charcoal to accelerate the firing up of the mass. This is very innovative because, instead of burning the pods as rubbish, they are utilised in the stove.

Only in Africa/ The Lords of Arua Streets

In 2003, a New Vision newspaper writer described Arua Town as a place where you are more likely to get knocked by a bicycle or wheelbarrow (because of the many high rise constructions going on) than a car. Of course there are many cars (In fact, from Uganda, Congo, Sudan and other countries) but their speeds are wonderfully moderated in the busy town centre by the innumerable bicycles and pedestrians. The Most Recent Phenomenon on Arua streets though has been the strong and fast Senke motorbikes, many of which are used to ferry goods or passengers. A friend from Soroti, Eastern Uganda was irked one night when an approaching Senke cyclist switched on his left indicator but didn't turn. If my friend had moved to the opposite side of the light instead of standing still, they would have collided. Other times, the riders look behind (probably marvelling at a mullato - light skinned woman - who has just passed them) and if they narrowly dodge an accident with you moments later, they abuse you instead of apologising. Some visitors even wonder if "smashers" (Nickname for "Marijuana Smokers" in Arua) are allowed to ride. Not all bikers smoke bamboo pipes but you might put question marks on the reckless ones. Go to a video hall and you may find almost just about anybody including women and young kids with "mairunji" weed which is a big cash crop in Arua. The MP (Member of Parliament) from Maracha once amused his fellow parliamentarians when he said that Marijuana (Ganja) should not be abolished, "Over 10,000 people in West Nile export it to Congo and Sudan." During one food crisis, they had no money made from crop growing, so they resorted to selling marijuana.

In a different mode though, Senke riders are connected to another interesting spectacle on Arua streets. Have you ever seen petrol stations that run as fast as Usain Bolt and John Akii Bua rolled in one or thereabout like Lugbara Thunder or Ovi (Lightning)? Trust me, one day while walking on the corner of an Arua street, you may get scared when you see a determined youth running towards you with a mineral water bottle containing petrol. If you are really timid, you may turn and also run for your life ahead of him. But he ain't after your life nor purse, beautiful lady. Stand still and you will see him bypass you, woooh, that was close. He will suddenly stop near a waiting Senke motorbike (with the rider's passenger at the back) and pour petrol (like an uptown filling station) into the oil cylinder through a cut bottle as a makeshift sieve. These Arua Boys remind you of the prosperous entrepreneural businessmen in Arua popularly known worldwide as "OPEC Boys". Though regarded as smugglers in the 1980s and 90s, some of them have legitimate businesses today. For more information, try asking the Arua Boys Society (Box 84 Arua, Uganda) located somewhere on Ociba Road after the T-Junction with Hospital Road.

There is another compelling thing about life on Arua streets: as long as you mind your business or trade honest and fair, no right thinking person is expected to blame you. Nevertheless, some may get jealous, so if some envious idler steps up while you are walking on the street and drops a wallet infront of you, don't listen to whoever follows behind you telling you that you should share the money in it. These are tricksters playing out something called "Kiwani" in Luganda, the same conning technique that inspired Bobi Wine's hit with the same title. They may let you have their fake notes and ask you to offer them your legitimate money as change. You can only become their victim if they are lucky in a town where counterfeits are taboo. One evening, an unlucky man got beaten to near death when he tried to con a certain business owner with fake dollars. He was left for dead on Arua Avenue with oozed blood drying near his mouth. Me and some Senke riders had to lift him to the sidewalk amidst flashes from a Red Pepper journalist's camera.

The Pain-bending Ragem Beach

Where can a stressed Lugbara relax his mind? When I first heard about Ragem Beach on River Enyau just over 3 Kms from Arua Town (on the Nebbi Road) sometime at the beginning of the millenium, I thought it was impossible since there was no mapped lake or ocean in the near area. If this beach was really as good as residents claimed, then maybe it was just small but suited for their liking. Definitely, there can't be a distant horizon of water here to let your painful thoughts and agonising experiences sail into oblivion like magic but walking in this mysteriously canopied rivershed can trap them for you. The longest (River Nile) tributary in the West Nile area is River Enyau which you also cross while approaching Ediofe (Name coined because of the many broad leafed and black seeded 'Edio' trees common in the area; 'Fe' means tree). Enyau starts somewhere further south and at Ragem it forms one of the Most Amazing and Unique Sceneries you will ever witness in West Nile. The place is so peacefully hidden that it might not draw attention but when you get there, your mind will take a trip far away from the hustle and bustle of town life characterised by tiresome board meetings, changing car gears, signing papers, photocopying and the noise from generators plus Senke motorbikes. I took a walk to that "beach" on Wednesday 11th November 2009 with a cousin who had just finished his Senior Four UCE exams the previous week and was amazed at how mindbending the river meanders were, things I only read about in Geography textbooks a decade ago. It's not really a sand beach as you might expect but in its own way, it refreshingly brings you close to one of the Elements of Nature, which is Water. When viewed from the north, the Ragem meanders form a shape like the numbers 2 and 5 stretched plus joined together but with rounded bends. This seems like a good place for Christians and others to break bread (you know, like Jesus and the 2 fish plus 5 loaves). There are grass thatched 'payotts' on the banks, big trees, floating roots, several trees forming canopies (that remind you of the beastly River Ruzizi in Burundi or the Amazonic forests in Mel Gibson's exciting movie "Apocalypto") plus three bridges to cross over the meanders though only one seemed to have good side barriers. The sound of water rolling and falling downstream near the most visible starting point of the beach is so refreshing that it reminds you of Adriko's Sunshine Mineral Water or Wavah Water. There is also a dangerous slope on the East End, the deepest as you approach the watershed. On the upper side is a garden where you can relax (like at the Source of the Nile while you watch the Nile in Jinja, the Adventure Capital of East Africa). There is also a building that used to be a bar and restaurant but was unfortunately stripped of its windows. The inspiring artwork on the southern end was also vandalised. You can see that it used to be really wonderful but now is "Not Functioning" until an investor comes and resuscitates the business here. Ragem Beach is a very fine recreation ground that can accommodate picnics, parties and other celebrations. Located about half a kilometre from CEFORD Arua and a few metres after the Ragem Technical Institute signpost, you turn right and cut in about 200 metres. No beer was allowed from outside, refreshment was catered for by the management. From Monday to Thursday, entrance fee used to be 300 UgX, Beer 1,500 UgX and Soda 700 UgX while Friday to Sunday, children would enter for 200 Ugx while adults part with 500 UgX. If this place is redeveloped along with Rhino Camp County banks of the Nile or the resort beach in Chilua or Chilo (Terego), West Nilers can have an alternative for sand beaches they visit elsewhere.

Will the Real Scientists Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up!

Science is the Art of Things, that's my simple understanding of the word as a Graphics Artist. Besides that though, I know that it includes observations and tests in Technology, Medicine plus Agriculture. Many Lugbara are actually involved in these fields from those working for Sugar Companies (in Kakira, Jinja; Lugazi, Mukono plus Kinyara, Masindi); Airlines as Pilots, Telecommunication Companies and Arua Garages to doctors at Mulago Hospital (the Biggest in Uganda) and around the world. The first Ugandan Blood Specialist at Mulago (Died in 2009, Rest In Peace!) was actually from Vurra, Western Arua (Also the Birthplace of Dorcus Inzikuru who must have applied a lot of Science in Athletic Training to achieve unprecedented success for her country).
Sometimes people wonder why there is only one local free-to-air TV station in the Arua area. Is it because of a UCC (Uganda Communications Commission) restriction or inadequate resources? In addition to BTN TV whose transmitter in Anyafio Village (one plot North of the four storeyed Anyafio Model School) is sometimes affected by lightning, there is only WBS (Wavah Broadcasting Service) from Kampala - 530 Kilometres away - whose signals also need an external antenna. Amazingly, the Ombaci Earth Satellite Station, northeast of Arua Town, which WBS uses was the very first in Uganda, set up by homeboy Idi Amin Dada in 1978, a year before he was overthrown. As a consequence, many locals wish that the Government would at least direct the national broadcaster UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) to be aired in West Nile even though it can be accessed on the Pay per Month DStv (Digital Satellite).

Around 2003, during my Senior Six Vacation and First Year on Campus, I spent either one week or about one month reading a Pure Mathematics Book and Technical Drawing Publication in order to understand the Mechanical Physics of a "Parabola", the standard shape for a Satellite Dish that ensures maximum convergence of reflected electromagnetic signals. I jotted down measurements and made my mini-dish (less than 30 cm in diameter) using wires. I shouldn't have used rubber straps to join the wires because they get holes and rapture after some days. The objective of this experiment was to discern any TV signals within Uganda and from neighbouring Congo plus Sudan. Unfortunately, I was not successful maybe because I did not make an amplifier or decoder to make sense of the signals converged. However, I did not end there. I tried the dish on a radio and one night, I was able to recognise unbelievable stations loud and clear from far and wide on the FM Band (from Capital Radio in Nairobi, Kiss 100 Kenya, Star FM (affiliate of UBC), Top Radio (in Kampala and Masindi) to Capital FM Kampala, my favourite then plus others I do not remember. You couldn't hear them in Arua using a normal aerial). I did not believe my ears so I woke myself up from the impossible Dream during the day by dismantling the dish to make a bigger and stronger one but school life had to go on so I forgot about the remake. Maybe someone else has tried this out before, please let me know which stations you heard! Flashback: During Primary Seven (1996), a classmate of mine called Mukalazi (a Muganda) made a helicopter that could carry two passengers over a distance in the air. During my O' Level (1997 - 2000), some schoolmates in HSC (Higher School Certificate) made a machine that spits out Orbit Chewing Gum when you drop in a coin. In A' Level (2001 - 2), some of my Senior Six yearmates studying a Science combination created a radio transmitter and let me listen in on the other side of their classroom. After witnessing those experiments and others, I believed anything is possible in Africa. If your heart is filled with Faith, then you can't fear. Let GOD deal with your designs. BBC Radio in October 2009 reported that some innovators started mass producing small radio stations recently. They are actually only 18 Kilos heavy and each station can be carried as a briefcase. They are now marketing them around the world. Imagine the refreshing Arua One or the world class Radio Pacis in a briefcase, isn't that incredible? Science and Technology is very liberating indeed. A young man from Malawi once made a Windmill after reading a book in an American sponsored Library and got noticed by some foreigners who saw his machine outside the compound where he was staying despite the fact that some locals regarded him as a mad person. He is now studying on Scholarship in America.

Internet Connectivity is the next frontier for inventiveness. Maybe a brain in Bweyale, Mid West Uganda could shockingly come up with a bright idea to change the way we surf. Okay Hajji Ibrahim, that may be a wild thought before Ramathan but we need to keep looking. With Uganda now connected to SEACOM's fibre-optic intercontinental undersea cable, surfing rates are bound to reduce and bring about a "Bypass to Prosperity" because of increased speeds. Mobile phones changed our world, but the internet is a Resource that has the Potential to bypass that. Today in Arua, you can surf the internet in a cafe at 40(or even 20)UgX per minute (Around 2001, it was 500 UgX per Minute). Others use a small modem (about 8 cm long) from MTN, Warid or UTL unlike in the 1990s where you needed a big dish or big antenna. Things keep getting better as Science tests facts, laws and observations. So, if you are doing anything Scientific or even Artistic, then just keep improving and doing your thing! Say no more!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


"Education" is a very educative song by CHRIST THE KING KINDERGARTEN ARUA. These kids sang a masterpiece that warns that if you do not study, you may come out a Thief, Gangster, Prostitute or Drunkard en the Police will catch you. This Children's Garden or Nursery as some prefer to call them is found behind the Catholic Centre which is on Arua Avenue, opposite the Arua Local Government and adjacent to the Arua Mental Hospital.

Education education. Onita amani ri. Ama mu drile, amama koko! Ama mu drile amama koko!
Education education. Onita amani ri. Ama mu drile, amama koko!

Ika mini oni ku, mi nga fu oguo ru.
Polisi'i ngonde, mi'i 'bi zu X2
Ama mu drile, amama koko!


Ika mini oni ku, mi nga fu muyaye ru.
Polisi'i ngonde, mi'i 'bi zu X2
Ama mu drile, amama koko!


Ika mini oni ku, mi nga fu malaya ru.
Polisi'i ngonde, mi'i 'bi zu X2
Ama mu drile, amama koko!


Ika mini oni ku, mi nga fu mulevi ru.
Polisi'i ngonde, mi'i 'bi zu X2
Ama mu drile, amama koko!


Mi ovu Chandi si, Evo ma e'yo si.
Silimu 'di ama 'de 'bo, ifu ago ku iselia si.


"Onita" is another educative song for the young ones courtesy of CHRIST THE KING NURSERY, ARUA. 'Onita' is the Lugbara word for 'Learning'. In this jam, they poke listeners with some sarcasm, "If education is expensive, then preferably choose ignorance!"

Onita ka ovu ajeru, cika ipe aniako ni
'Ba ma la, 'ba ma nya a'di vu, drile 'ba isuzu

Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu doctor ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu doctor ru. Onita


Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu polisi ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu polisi ru. Onita


Aka ma skulu la 'bo, ale mani fu nurse ru.
Aka ma skulu la 'bo, ale mani fu nurse ru. Onita


Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu karani ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu karani ru. Onita


Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu askari ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu askari ru. Onita


Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu imbapi ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu imbapi ru. Onita


Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu padre ru.
Aka ma sukulu la 'bo, ale mani fu padre ru. Onita


Friday, 21 August 2009

The 2010 Lugbara Culture Dialogue

John Middleton, Born 1921, Died 2009 (Rest In Peace)


1. Theme: “Preserving the Legacy of Lugbara Culture, History and Identity to Promote Development and Enhance Unity among the Lugbara People”

2. Venue: EKARAKAFE CATHOLIC MISSION HALL in Ezuku, about 2 KM away from Vurra Customs Border Post that is near Congo

3. Date: Friday 12th February 2010

Main speaker: JOHN MIDDLETON (unfortunately died early 2009. May his Soul Rest in Peace. He was 87 Years old and had studied and written majorly about five African cultures namely the Lugbara of Uganda en Eastern Zaire, Igbo plus Lagosians of Nigeria, Akan of Ghana, Swahili of Kenya en the Shirazi of the Zanzibar Protectorate. A family member could be invited to represent him.

Moderator: Livingston Obba

Other speakers:
Rt. Rev. Joel Obetia
Dr. Erick Adriko
Vurra County Community Development Officer
Alaka and Moses Adriko
Vurra Chief Elder
Mr. Abiria Jackson
Mr Amatre Jimmy
Mr. Nyati Elkana
Rev. Lameck Wadia
Dr. Sam Okuonzi

5. Guest of Honor: Hon. Simon Ejua

6. Invited Guests:
Elim Pentecostal
Full Gospel Church

History Teachers from Primary Schools in Vurra County
and the Head of History Department in National
Teachers College (NTC), Muni

Students from Vurra SS, Okufura SS, Arivu SS, Anyavu
SS, Logiri Girls SS, Nile College, Ocoko Girls SS, Ajia SS,
Muni Girls SS, NTC Muni

Ten Elders selected from the following areas:
Arivu, Ajia, Logiri, Upper Vurra, Ayivu County, Terego,
Maracha, Koboko, Madi, Aringa and Democratic
Republic of (CongoDRC)

d. Ten Politicians (with various Political Leanings) from
Arua District

e. Journalists

f. Others to make a total of about 150 Participants

(Arrival at 9.00 AM):

1. (10.00 AM - 10.45 AM) ‘Profile of Lugbara: Overview/Facts/Leadership’ By Mr. ABIRIA Jackson

2. (11.00 AM - 12.00 PM) ‘The Culture, History and Identity of Lugbara’ By Opi OYAA Nahory/ John MIDDLETON was supposed to talk on this topic but unfortunately passed away in early 2009. May his Soul Rest in Peace!

3. (12.00 PM - 12.30 PM) ‘The Role of Cultural Library in Community Development’ By CDO

4. (12.30 PM - 1.00 PM) ‘Difference between a Library, a Museum, and a Community Centre’ By Mr. AMATRE Jimmy/ Mr. NYATI Elkana

5. (2.00 PM - 2.30 PM) ‘Using Culture as a Medium for Development’ By Sam OKUONZI

6. (2.30 PM - 3.00 PM) ‘When Does the Cultural Values, Norms, and Superstition apply in Conflict Resolution’ By ALAKA/ Moses ADRIKO

7. (3.00 PM - 4.00 PM) ‘The Relationship between Lugbara Traditional Religion, and Western or Eastern Religious Doctrines' By Rt. Rev. Joel OBETIA, Bishop of Madi and West Nile Diocese

8. (4.00 PM - 4.30 PM) ‘How can Lugbara Preserve their Identity?’ By Mr. AYIKOBUA Edward

9. (4.30 PM) Conclusion By the Guest of Honour, Hon. Simon EJUA, Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Vurra Constituency


(Any Changes in the Programme will be communicated) GOD Bless!

Drawn by CHARLES K. BUA, Coordinator/Director IMCCL Ltd (08/08/2009) and Edited by Aiko

In Memoriam: Renowned Africanist Scholar John Middleton
Published: March 27, 2009

New Haven, Conn. — John Middleton, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and an internationally renowned Africanist Scholar, died on February 27th 2009 after a brief hospitalization. He was 87 years old. Middleton's field work and major ethnographic writings on African cultures forged new anthropological perspectives on their political and social structures. He conducted five major field studies in Africa: among the Lugbara of Uganda and Zaire; the Igbo and Lagosians of Nigeria; the Akan of Ghana; the Swahili of Kenya; and the Shirazi of the Zanzibar Protectorate. Out of this research came three classic studies: "Tribes Without Rulers" (co-edited with David Tait, 1958), which offered insights into the structure and functioning of tribes not subject to a unified political power; "Lugbara Religion" (1960), which explored how belief systems can be — and have been — manipulated for political reasons; and "From Tribe to Nation in Africa" (co-edited with Ronald Cohen, 1970), which dealt with the gap between the state and society in that continent caused by colonialism and perpetuated into modern times. The latter volume became a standard textbook used in courses on Africa and political studies. He also authored and edited well over 100 other articles and books. In a 1999 interview in the journal Current Anthropology, Middleton noted that one of the most important things he learned doing fieldwork was "you can do utterly nothing without people telling you what they want to tell you. And they decide how to do it, as the leading partners in a joint task of learning, as when they decided to tell me the myths of origin. You see, I would sit on the great rock near my house and ask people, ‘Who lives there? Who lives there?' because you could see the landscape laid out in front of you — you could see 100 miles with thousands of little villages. And they'd say, ‘Well, now you've got to learn how we came here.' And everybody started telling me myths. People tell you what they want you to learn."

Born in London, England, in 1921, Middleton received his B.A. in English from the University of London in 1941. He was called up for service in the fall of that year, and, after receiving officer training, was sent to East Africa to serve in an infantry battalion in the colonial army there. In fact, Middleton recalled in his Current Anthropology interview, "I first saw Africa from the deck of a troop-ship in Freetown Harbour, in Sierra Leone, one day in late 1942. It was during a lightning storm, and we had to remain on board looking at the green hills around the city through dismal curtains of rain, while sweating from the humidity." He told the interviewer that his experiences in Africa definitely influenced his field of study. "Had I gone to Malaysia, I might have ended up studying Southeast Asian societies."

After the war, Middleton received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 1949 and 1953 respectively. He held several positions before coming to Yale in 1981: Lecturer of Anthropology at the University of London 1953-1954 and 1956-1963; Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Capetown 1954-1955 and at Rhodes University 1955-1956; Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University 1963-1966 and at New York University 1966-1972; and Professor of Anthropology at the University of London, 1972-1981. At Yale, Middleton chaired the Department of Anthropology 1983-1986 and the Council on African Studies 1983-1988. He received a joint appointment in Religious Studies in 1987. He retired from Yale in 1991, but continued to remain active at the University and continued to do research and publish.

Middleton served as the acting co-director of the International African Institute 1973-1974 and 1980-1981, and served as Editor of the institute's Journal Africa 1972-1979. He received the institute's Gold Medal for Service to African Studies in 1979. He was president of the then-new Association for Political and Legal Anthropology 1983-1985.
He was a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the American Anthropological Association and the Association of African Studies. He was also a member of the American Society for the Study of Religon and the Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth.

Middleton is survived by his wife, Michelle Gilbert; his daughter, Jane Middleton; and his grandaughter, DeeDee Middleton.

OLE (Witchcraft in the Heart)

'Ole' means indignation, envy or annoyance at sinful behaviour. Invocation of ghosts is done by a living person, typically an elder; but anyone whose father was dead might do so. He sat near his shrines in his compound and thought about the sinner's behaviour. His thoughts were known by the ghosts and they then sent sicknessto the offender. It was said "he thinks these words in his heart", he did not threaten or curse the offender. For a senior man to do this was part of his expected role. It was part of his 'work' to 'cleanse the lineage home'. Indeed, an elder who did not do so when justified would have been lacking in sense of duty towards his lineage. A man might invoke the dead to send sickness against any member of his family cluster and his minimal lineage, whether living in the family cluster's compounds or not. Within the family cluster were included lineage members, their wives and attached kin such as sister's sons. A man was thought not to invoke against sister's sons living elsewhere: to discipline them was the duty of their own elders where they lived... A living man was thought to invoke the dead because he felt the sentiment of indignation over sin...

There were various forms of witches. Some, the most common, walked at night, often in the guise of a rat or other night animal, or as a moving light; others walked about and defecated blood in their victim's compound. In the morning the victim would wake up aching and sick and might die unless the witch removed his witchcraft. Lugbara people understood that a witch's motive was 'ole' which meant that anyone could be a witch. It was said that a man felt envy at seeing others eat rich food when he had nothing, at seeing other men dancing and admired by women while he stood alone, or at seeing other men surrounded by kin and children when he had none of his own. But the sentiment of 'ole' was more than mere envy. It was resentment at failing to achieve selfish personal ambition. In Lugbara Culture, high status and prestige were traditionally acquired only or almost only through position in the lineage and by age, the two usually going together.

(Excerpt from "The Lugbara of Uganda" by John MIDDLETON)

Monday, 13 July 2009

A Short History of the Lugbara (Madi) by Lulua Odu 1996

The foreword of this book is written by Jason Avutia (The Chairman of LULA and an Elder), preface is by Lulua Odu 24th August 1996 Arua, West Nile. Born in 1947, Lulua Odu is a homeboy from Muni near Arua Town in the former West Nile District. In 1955 he entered Arua Demonstration Primary School at Mvara. During the 1959 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE),, he came top in the whole District and won a six year scholarship paid by the West Nile District Administration. In 1960, Mr. Lulua proceeded to Ombatini Junior Secondary School in Terego County for two years before joining Kings College Budo (1962 to 1967). In July 1968 he went to the University of Dar es Salaam to read Law which he completed in March 1971. He obtained a Diploma in Legal Practice in 1975 at the Law Development Centre, LDC Kampala. In 1977, he was enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda. Mr. Lulua has worked with the Immigration Department as Visa Officer and also the Nyanza Textile Industries Limited (NYTIL) as Legal Officer in Jinja. He is now a private legal practitioner based at Arua. He has, in addition, lectured in Business Law at the National Teachers College Muni. Lastly, Mr. Lulua was responsible for drafting the Constitution of the Lugbara Literature Association (Motto: Angu Owu ‘Bo [The Darkness has Cleared now]).

“I began my private research in 1966 while I was a student at King’s College Budo … from written sources and by interviewing different elders during vacation … I wish to thank … Jason Avutia (Chairman of LULA), Nahor Oyaa Awua (Co-ordinator LULA), Donato amabua (Chairman Arua DLC), Silla Mua (Court Broker), Barakia Yiti (Vurra Elder), Yoramu Badrayi (Ombokoro Elder) … particularly most grateful to the Dutch N.G.O. CAP West Nile for the generous financial assistance to LULA … to my deceased father Mr. Elisa Oda son of Kurua of the Ombokoro – Andruvu Clan. He encouraged me to study local history as a hobby.

Introduction: This book is an abridged version of the results of a research undertaken for the last 30 years on the history of the Lugbara (Madi) … intended for the general reader … For a long time, the Lugbara were generally regarded as people without recorded history. As such they could not be proud of themselves. The same applied to the Madi (The Lugbara are ethnically Madi and not vice versa) … the Lugbara and Madi have a common ancestry. (The issue of culture brings four [or five] countries together – Uganda, Sudan, Zaire and Nigeria [plus Congo])
Another pioneer in the formation of LULA is Abeti S. Ledra (Bachelor in Education, Masters in Education [Makerere University Kampala] Educationist)

SOCIAL STUDIES: A number of scholars have studied Lugbara Society. They were mainly European. The first was Major C.W. Stigand, a British tropical administration in the service of the Sudan Government who visited the Lugbara between 1911 – 3. Next was Dr. Alfred Tucker, a British linguist with a mission to study Eastern Sudanic languages including Lugbara (1930 – 2). The Most Well Known Researcher in the past, however, was John Middleton, an American Social Anthropologist who came to Vurra in December 1949. He wrote many books and articles on Lugbara myth, religion and mourning taboos for 3 years. At the same time, an Italian Catholic Missionary Father J.P. Crazzolara was studying the language. In 1960, the Oxford University Press published his book “A Study of the Lugbara (Madi) Language. In their footsteps came several individuals especially academicians at Makerere University. Foremost among the dons were Dr. Shiroya and Professor Delfovo. Also called A.T, the professor compiled a Bibliography on the Lugbara people and of writings in the language. Lulua’s book is a humble contribution intended to be an eye-opener to the world. The next publication to follow it is “A General History of the Lugbara (Madi) – a more detailed and comprehensive study.

AWA’DIFO FEZURI (The LORD’s Prayer for Thanksgiving)

Ata amani ovupi ‘buari
Ru mini ma ovu inzizaru;
Suru mini ma emu;
E’yo mini leleri ma ‘ye I nyakua ekile buarile.
Mi fe etu ‘dosi nyaka andruni ama dri.
Mi ku mari amani, amani ‘ba afa amani nyapi ‘diyi ma mari kulerile
Mi ji ama obeta ma alia ku;
Mi pa ama ‘ba onzi dri.
Te suru pi, Okpo pie, diza pie,
Dria mini ‘dani ‘dani.


Why is Arua Honey the Sweetest?

I used to wonder why some people regard Arua Honey the Sweetest for example in the year 2000, Arua Honey won the Gold Medal at the Lisbon Expo in Portugal. In 2005, Uganda was chosen among the few developing countries that can export honey to Europe. Consequently, a honey and its by-products processing plant that meets European Union (EU) standards was set up in Arua Town. Bee Natural Products (BNP) is a private company that has an annual capacity of 600 tonnes providing an opportunity for bee keepers in the entire West Nile Region to intensify production of quality honey. Farmers in addition get access to national, regional and international markets. Currently, about 120 farmer groups in West Nile are accessing advisory services, modern beehives (KTB and Langstroth), harvesting gear and honey extraction equipment from BNP under a partnership with the Government of Uganda’s NAADS (National Agricultural Advisory Services) Programme for development and increase of incomes.

I posed this Sweetest Honey Question to Philliam Cema, the Arua District Entomologist, and he reasoned, “…because natural honey is harvested from natural vegetation – Acacia and Combretum Woodland (which has a variety of wild tree species that give sweetness to honey). It stretches across the whole of the West Nile Region. It’s very unique vegetation not found in other regions of the country and enters Sudan and Congo. The main problem is how the good honey can be harvested to maintain the standard. Some farmers dilute or contaminate it with ash or foreign particles when harvesting.”

In Kampala, Golden Bees Family located in Bukoto suburb processes honey products and treasures honey sources from Arua. They won the 2008 Second Runner-Up Award in the whole of Africa during the Api – Trade Africa Exhibition. They are upgrading their honey products to two labels - Wild Forest (Dark Honey) and Acacia (for Light Honey). You can find their products (which also include propolis) at their Bukoto residence and in all leading supermarkets including the new 24 Hour Nakumatt Supermarket (If you need Arua Honey, they Got it). Other outlets include Hot Loaf Bakery (Buy bread and spread with honey, that’s a good deal), Payless, Uchumi, Half Price and others.

Simple Ways of Making a Bee Hive
While paying my respects in January 2009 to my maternal grandmother who had died in October 2008 (amazingly in my father’s arms while they rushed her to Kuluva Hospital – a few miles outside Arua), I sat under a mango tree in the Aliba Home with my uncle Dick Diyo and learnt a few things about beekeeping. His eldest kid among three was also practicing it (efficiently). Maneno once set up a simple pot hive in a tree and by evening, bees had already gathered in it. A simple way to create a hive is to cover the pot opening, leave a small hole for entry probably in a crack at the bottom of the pot or elsewhere. Then put the pot on a tree branch that is convenient and watch the bees invade it after scouting. There is bee trivia that if they smell cocaine, their dances intensify. That’s one way of getting bees high. Another traditional method is making a long grass enclosure and covering the open end with something like a wooden ring, that is with wood stripes across. You can use cow dung to cover the outside. Modern methods include using wood entirely or with iron sheets. These are more long lasting. It can take one to two years to harvest for a good yield though some farmers do it after only six months. The Ediofe factory buys at a low price and sells at an expensive price to the European Market. Farmers nevertheless also sell to the local market. A 20 litre jerrycan can yield 90,000 UgX.

There aren’t very many active beekeeping associations in Arua (as Philliam Cema – the Arua District Entomologist – confessed) but one notable one is the A.M.N Regional Bee Keepers’ Association at Plot 34 Mvara School Crescent. Contact person is Jurua +256(774)680445

A few Lugbara Words

e’yo (message),
o’diru (new),
waraga (letter),
ba (people),
tualu (together),
buku (book),
isu (find),
efini (meaning),
osita (birth),
ori (descendant),
azini (another),
Yesu Kristo (Jesus Christ),
mva (child),
angu (place),
omvi (replied),
alea (inside),
onduaru (wise),
Imbata (Education),
ayiko (happiness),
adaru (true),
dria (all),
ngurube iza (Pig meat – Pork),
a’utani (cock),
Adrou or Mungu (GOD),
ale aza koza fe (I want to give help),
Awa’difo! (Thanks!),
orindi (spirits),
andru (today),
kpere (until),
aga (surpasses),
ega (remember),
kilili (properly),
aku (home),
vini (and),
Alipha (Alpha),
kabilomva (lamb),
nyaku (soil)


Hiphop and Reggae are very dynamic and Black Harmony (from West Nile) are the supreme flag bearers of these genres in Lugbara-land. I prefer categorizing their creations as LugbaRap 'en' Riddim. Savour a few of their lyrics below.

“Leta” in Lugbara means ‘Love’ and this jam is like a courtship song. A man sees a beautiful well disciplined girl and tells her he loves her so much that he cannot sleep. He adds that the overpowering issue leaves him so helpless that the best solution is to marry her and he wants her parents plus brother to know about it quickly. He is ready to pay 100 cows as dowry like the Karimojong do (Even though that number is too high in Lugbara culture) or even pay 100 Million like Europeans do.

Black Harmony, nice melody. Back once and again with Audio Wave production.
(Do be di X2) Murula di ngoyi ka, (Do be di X8) Badi izanva di ngole ya? Murula di ngole ka, izanva di ngole ya?

Geri mini mi a azu taya taya ‘di fe ma asi ni susu
Geri mini guzu miti miti’a ‘di ma asi su lu tu yo
Ani a’yo ‘di zanva la ale mi. Kanisi lu mi ise mi ma rua
Ama ‘iciti, a si aku mi ‘be lu, le mi ati me eri e’yo ‘di ndi
Ani lu ale lu mi ni, E’yo ‘do nde ma okpo ra yo! (Nde ma okpo ra yo)
Eri lu ‘di fe ma ni, ‘badi, o’du kozukuniya
Le mi andri ma eri e’yo di indi, ‘drusi eri lu ma Chandi ne yo
Ale lu mini e’yo ‘do nde ma okpo ra yo (Nde ma okpo ra yo)
Le mi adri ma eri e’yo ‘di indi, drusi eri lu ma Chandi ne yo

Geri ndundusi akini ale lu mi ‘du ni
Zanva ale ini lu ra
Oduko mini njile di ‘de lu ma bi’a ala tu
Izo la mi a’I lu e’yo di
Zanva ale lu mini ndrita mini ndrizudi iza mama dri lu ni
Sweety la, ale lu mini, ndrita mini ndrizudi iza mama dri ra
Bakatelu mi je ti si yo, matenga lu mi je ti 100 [Turu alu] (Karimojongi le]
Bani mi je sillingi si, (Ayi yo) manga lu mi je lu Millioni 100 (Eh, muzungu le)
Adusiku ma adri e’yo ‘di nde ma ra
Ndrita eri ni ndrizu ‘di iza mama dri lu ni
Geri ndundusi akini ale lu mi du ni
Zanva ale ini lu ra
Adriza mini idale ‘di i’de lu ma asia ala tu
Izo la mi a’i lu e’yo di
Geri ndu driasi akini ale lu mi du ni
Zanva la mi a’i lu e’yo di


Kadi ovu drioru, ‘da ta lu vini onyiru tu
Zanva a’yo di, Chandi mani isule ‘do si
Ayiko ‘de lu ma asia yo
Desu ale te ‘ba ma oni ‘ba, ayiko fezu aku’a
Anji nyiri ma isu imbata
Drusi drozi lu angu izozu yo. Ani a’yo di:
Ika ma le ra, le te ile ma avasi tu
Denga podi lu ‘ba sini aku ku
A’dusikuni lu ka te ovu ‘dale ku, ‘da nga ni ayiko fe akua ku
Ani aleta ‘ba ma oni ‘ba
Inzita fezu akua
E’yo woro ka ovu ala
Aku ni nga pa so ani yo
Ka te ovu ‘dale ku, da nga ayiko fe akua ku


(Do be di) X 27
(Woo woo woo yee!)
Murula di ngoyi ka, (Lugbara lediyo, lediyo, lediyo) Badi izanva di ngole ya?
Murula di ngole ka,
(Ma’i Zakariya’i, ma ti fe 8 [Aro] tua!/ Ata Zakariya. Mba, murula ‘di ce be zo da’i rwati nikuni da’i? Ba jo mini ma ti fe 12 [Mudri dri iri] sa ‘do si) (Woo loo loo lee!)
Zanva ‘di ngole ya
Murula ‘di ngoyi ka, izanva ‘di ngole ya?
Izanva ‘di ngole ya, Murula ‘di ngoyi ka?
Murula ‘di ngoyi ka, ‘badi izanva ngole ya?
Murula ‘di ngole ka, zanva ‘di ngole ya?

“Adiaa” is a song about food en love. The man (Singing Voice) tells his lover to cook for him Mutere (Dried cassava or sweet potatoes cut into small pieces). To this, she can add Greens including adrabi, awiribi, palabi, or dodo. She must not forget salt or an appetizer in this case ‘anyu’ (Groundnut paste, a delicacy in Lugbara culinary arts).


Adiaa, mutere (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani mutere (A’i were ci yo)
Adiaa we, adra bini yo (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani awiri bi (Le mi ‘iga lu misi)
Adiaa, pala bi (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani agobi (Anyu were ci yo)
Adiaa we dodo si yo (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani. A’yo
Adiaa, mutere (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani mutere (Alaa were ci yo)
Adiaa we, adra bini yo (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani awiri bi (Le mi ‘iga lu misi)
Adiaa, pala bi (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani agobi (A’i were ci yo)
Adiaa we ‘badi dodo si yo (Mani lele), Adiaa mi a’di nga mani. A’yo

Izanva ni lu ndri ndri, izanva nil u munyi munyi
Izanva mi lu akaza ru, izanva ndri lu tu ya
Aka lu iri ne milesi, ma asi ni m’buni lu
Ma sende inje mbele lu, malu inje fe erini
Ani a’yo cika ni, zanva mi imu ‘ba si aku
Otraki ‘dosi ‘yo ri a’yi dri’a lu ile ti
Anje afe ra, me isu ‘ba’be sende iyi’a
A’du e’yosi ari izanva ni lu inya a’di ku

[‘Dori nde ma ra, a’yo, ‘do ri nde ma ra yo
‘Do ru ri nde ‘di ma tua ‘badi la
‘Do ri nde ma tua te] X2


Anya ri (Gunya), Idra ri (Taya)
Akini emi dri cika emi imba nga eri ci yo
Anya ri (Gunya), kiri kiri si, a’yo ‘di lu dani ku, ‘di ku
Etto, le ma ra, ale eriraya yo
Te akini emi dri geri azinisi aniniku, ‘di ku
Inya ‘bani a’dileri ndu (Iti’a we ‘di yo)
‘Ba le te ‘di ‘ba e’da e’yo ni ku (Ani ndra ku)
E’yo a’iza ‘bani ci yo (Torozi ‘be)
‘Bile’a eri mu dale di (Ani ‘di ‘bo)
Gunya (Anya ri), Taya, ‘ba dria ni ce lu ‘di mali teria
(Anya ri) Gunya, (Idra ri) Taya, kiri kirisi, a’yo ‘di lu ‘dani ku, ‘di ku
(Mami, emi woro woro emi imba ma indi
Dadi la, azi ciri, mi imba ma indi)


Le ife anji ma la skulu’i a’dule ku,
Ma nga azi aku’a ‘di indi yo
E’yo ‘diri haki ni
Mama la, mi imba odekua ‘di ‘drio ru
Denga podi cani nga ku
Ka ovu ‘dini ku nga te paso ku eh!
Ata ago ti’a ‘ba nga eri ‘idro ra
Mi isu eri nga lu bani drinja fe aku alia
Ani, le ‘ba imba anji ra!

“Baby Gal” is a fantastic song in at least three languages mixed beautifully with Lugbara. It introduces Lady Shadia from Kampala (Buganda). She is the reference point of this inter-cultural love affair expressed by the lyrics. Her character in the song doesn’t mind that the man interested in her is not from Buganda, what matters is that he shouldn’t be a liar like most Baganda she had seen.

Shadia, Harmony, bounce along the kid, curfew the dance hall scene. Here we go.

Me isu mani izanva azi ala ni lu bo (Shadia)
Only Number One baby gal (Lady Shadia)
[O yeah, I can’t resist your style even if your baby boy ana ni bamba] X3

You know, Black Harmony lu, Lady Shadia ‘be
A’yo mini me isu mani izanva ala ‘di ra. Oku ala ni a’yo ale lu ni ra. A’yo mini me ibi mani oku, Rua ‘be anjuzaru lu nva le (Lady Shadia), adji ‘be lu Aringa ri (Mi ina nanasi le!)
Mileni lu, zanva ‘di ale nda mi inga ngole ya (Mite’di Abuani)
Ani ekatro ovu aria ni (Mite ‘do amamu ni)
Rua ‘be anjuzaru lu nva le (Lady Shadia), adji be lu Aringa ri (Mi ina nanasi le!)
Mileni lu, zanva ‘di ale nda mi inga ngole ya (Mite’di Abuani)
Ani ekatro ovu aria ni (Mite ‘do amamu ni)
Leta mani mi lezu ri, kiri kiri
Zanva aleni mani aparakaru ku
A’dusikuni lu, ma asi oti misi. Ma ‘dua ‘ye aduni?


Ma baby boy, mazima oli wadala (Aaah!)
You drive me crazy!
Nze nkwagala ku fa (Mmmm!)
Kati kyensaba kukwanjula mu bakaade (Daddy daddy yeah)
Ofuke omuganda, olinga abaganda (Oh!)
Sikifako oba toli muganda (Uuuh!)
Baganda banji abagala abatali Baganda (Eh!)
Baganda banji bendabye naye nga balimba
Nze ne yagalira gwe, atali mulimba
Nolwekyo mwatu mundeke muwane, musutte, mubitte, mu yiye abatesi
[EMMANUEL:] Ani ra ile ma ra, ale mi ra
Zanva ala ale lu mini ma nga mi du ra yo
Ale mi ra, ile ma ra zanva ala ale lu mini ma nga mi du ra
E’yo adasi, leta leta ama isile’a miberi ma zozo mba alu pere bani ba jeria yo


Eh, whine your body, move your body
Groove to the beat, don’t have no body?
As we are, inna de place to be
Open @ da club, where we @
Know, we gat one fi de fierce, wid da engine in da air
Two inna de place, we be fierce everywhere
Shaking over here and over there
Shaking over there and over here
Shaking everywhere ‘coz
(Dis is a nu dance hall tune [Yeah!], all de rude boyz dem cool
Chichi man, woman make a fool, to be true
Dat’s tha nu dancehall rule X2)

[CHORUS:] (Audiowave) Yeah!

People, are you ready for the dance hall queen?
(Lady Shadia X4 Yes well, we are ready for Lady Shadia)
I said, people are you ready for the dance hall king?
(Black Harmony X4 Yes well, we are ready for Black Harmony) X2


“Anga Azi Avasi!” (Let Us Work With Enthusiasm!) is a song that calls on the community to commit to their professions no matter which one, whether driver, doctor, boda boda or whatever.


(Le anga azi avasi, amani cozu afa amani leri isuzu ra
Le a i’ya anvu avasi, amani cozu nyaka amani leri nyazu fo
Le a dinga nyondo avasi, amani cozu sende amani leri isuzu ra
Le a si kalamu avasi, amani cozu mali amani leri nyazu fo) X2

Azi alu alu azi dra dra. Azi kini badi la ale ava yo
Kini ava koko azi nga alu’a ku
Avasi azini nga ni yo. Te ma adripi ale lu mini yo
Inya yoni ile anvu yo. Anvu kini ile ava’i.
Kini ava koko azi nga alua ku
Ava kini ile ovuani ku
‘Desi ovua si azi nga alu. Ovuakoko azini nganiyo
‘Badi la, le anga lu azini yo


[ROBERT:] Everybody must work (Don’t give up!)
Even though you’re going down (Don’t give up!)
‘Coz one day you gonn’ make it to the top
Don’t stop, just keep on going on
[EMMANUEL:] Ata kama wewe dreva (Fanya na bidi!)
Ona tesa gari kubua, (Fanya na bidi!)
Osi kosa siku moja, (Fanya na bidi!)
Kila siku fanya kazi, (Fanya na bidi!)
Ata kama wewe doctor, (Fanya na bidi!)
Ona treat kila mutu, (Fanya na bidi!)
Osi kosa siku moja, (Fanya na bidi!)
Kila siku fanya kazi, iii!


Black Harmony we r tha Wickedest inna de place
Call wid da Wickedest Fire pan de place
Once en agen we r hotta dan fire
Ugandans tire, we r burn lyk fire
We r fire dem
Ala dem, we na play. We murda dem
If dey com inna we way, we no claim no top spot
Run wid da base we gat. Com’ dis, com’ dat, we dat
Coz we no gangsta
Na ruud boi, we rap star
Comin’ an da stage, we actor, cause disaster
Run wid da playaz we gat, ol’ adem just talkin’ about



Thursday, 25 June 2009

Three Short Lugbara Songs

1. Ojolo nya Awubisi, alio ewaru.
Aku ii ni nya njarusi...

2. Adeangu la, agoni abwa ika mbe erua [Logiri dialect]/
Ma nga ma wari isu ra. Ma awa awa. [Longing for the mother. My husband eats his
banana in the granary but me I would share…]

3. Ayi ya ma I’yo, ma I’yo/
Ma ye ago la, Ago ma gapiri/
Ga ma bo. Ma la ma ro’do [Spiritless because of something wrong]/
Ibi idria, enve, ofuta ye...

Short Biography of Jason Avutia, the First Chairman of LULA

He started as a Primary Teacher 1951 – 2, then Tutor 1953 – 1963. He became the Assistant Education Officer (AEO) in Arua 1964 – 1979; AEO in Hoima 1969 – 1971 [This was the time he found placement for my mother]; and AEO in Moyo 1971 – 4 before being promoted to Education Officer. He was transferred to Ministry of Education Headquarters working on Education of teachers and registration, certification plus submission of discipline cases to the Teaching Service Commission. Jason was then transferred as Assistant Provincial Commissioner for Education in the West Nile Region 1977 – 9. Between 1979 and 1982, he was the Education Officer in Arua. After that he retired.

I chatted with Mr. Jason Avutia in June 2009 at his home opposite the Mvara Mission football ground and here are a few of the many wonderful things he shared with me, “GOD has given us (Lugbaras) millet, it makes us strong so that we work. If you don’t work, you will die. (Sir Winston) Churchill is the Greatest Man in British History because he won the war but after office work, he would go home, take off his shirt and perform chores such as weeding in his garden…”
The Lugbara do not have a king, that is someone who brings them together. They do have chiefs though but these do not perform cultural duties. The Agofe (Lugbara for ‘Pillar’) meanwhile has the task to keep Lugbara Heritage alive. He does not necessarily have to be the oldest. According to tribal trivia, Atanva Ezekeli Arinze is the Oldest Lugbara who ever lived 1797 – 1967 [Exactly 170 years]. Although retired, Jason was the Agofe (Tree in the middle of the house where small branches are attached) for some time, “Lugbara Culture teaches you to Respect your Parents (Elders), Not to kill nor murder, Not to commit adultery, Not to steal nor rob, Not to lie, and Not to covet a neighbour’s property…I am a teacher by choice. When a teacher is posted to a village school and after one year s/he leaves, I get angry. They never get to see their first pupils or students grow…”

Jason Avutia was the first chairman of LULA, the definitive authority on Lugbara Literature. Also known as ‘Amuti Lugbara Ti Sipiri’ – Lugbara Literature Association with an office at the Ediofe Highway Arua Resource Centre, LULA was founded in 1994 but registered as an NGO in 1999. It has not been so active in the recent past because of, as Jason says, financial constraints but the fire that has been lighted for the Lugbara community should never be put out…The success of any cause lies in the wisdom of many, so if many people get enlightened about and inspired to support LULA, it should definitely survive and grow bigger…

Friday, 19 June 2009

Black Harmony (West Nile)

Comprising Emmanuel Ledra and Robert Adima, this socially conscious and lyrically wise Lugbara duo is making waves rated one of the best in West Nile, Sudan and the Congo. East Africa is a beckoning frontier and it might not take long before they are recognised more regularly from Bujumbura to Bushenyi, Busia to Bagamoyo; the world at large will also be listening. They do not flaunt silly chains, women nor diamonds and gold nor brag about them like American hiphop rappers but you can measure a lot of worth in Black Harmony's uplifting music. They bring people together. Emma and Bobby hang around their community like any other downtown lad in Arua. Despite being stars, they do not let fame get into their heads. Straight off the streets coming loud and clear with a positive vibration, this dynamic duo are the perfect flag bearers for Lugbara (Ongo) Music.

Emmanuel, the lead singer who does most of the Lugbara raps while his colleague sings in English (with a Reggae flavour as he admitted), first did music in 2003. He formed a club called “Street Culture” but waited two years to produce his first song “Isabella”. Then in 2006, the duo came up with “Munyu Munyu” and “Leta”. “Munyu Munyu” was a very powerful hit (actually used as a ringtone by uganda telecom) that it made a runaway husband return to the four women each of whom he had left with a kid in Uganda.

A female artist named Lady Shadia doing music in Kampala once came to Arua to see how she could take her music to the next level and united with Black Harmony. They produced a quadrolingual hit called “Shadia” or “Baby Gal” which was chosen as a live performance during the 2008 Bell PAM [Pearl of Africa Music] Awards (The collaboration actually scooped the preliminary 2008 Regional Award for West Nile though Dogman won the final award) [but Watch out for 2009]. “Shadia” was the second last song on the “Leta” Album, “Bacaku” which some call “Skulu” is the last one.
The next (and third) album will be called “Ti Icita” meaning “Unity” in Lugbara and includes other languages like Lingala, Swahili, plus English. BH sings about love, community development, parental affection, hard work, procreation and AIDS Prevention.

“The Best Music is Live Music,” Emmanuel confesses and they have performed with Wenge Musica from Congo besides his own project called “Amangonde”. Other moving songs by BH include “Ewa Be Ma Ra”; “Lucky”; “Etoo”; “Adiaa”; “Ti Icita” (Title Track for their 3rd Album); “Jua Kali”; “Anga Azi Avasi”, plus “Silimu”...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Aura of Arua (January 2006 Article)

VARIETY is the Spice of Life, the Fragrance of Health and the Fire of Taste. It is a reflection of the Beauty of Life. Do you know what’s cooking in Arua’s broadcast kitchen? There is talk of many more radio stations (and TVs) coming soon. Currently though, the Municipality prides itself in four jamming local FM stations on air 18 hours a day (from 6am to 12 midnight because of the WENRECO power schedule) though sometimes transmission continues for 24 hours.
100.9 FM Voice of Life (VOL) a family-oriented, entirely Gospel music and Christian programme-station pioneered local FM broadcasting in the second half of the 90s replacing addiction to BBC on Short Wave and a Sudanese station run by the SPLA rebels.
88.7 Arua One FM followed at the end of 2002 and added real flavour by playing beloved secular music (Hiphop, Utake, Reggae and Lingala) plus introducing the morning crew for fun and games (Operation Thunderbolt by Aaliyah and Uncle Nyaks); the Mid-morning Show by my favourite presenter Hellen Mayele and her sidekick Rose; the Afternoon Lounge that had 15 minutes before 4pm for Indian jams only, to acknowledge the presence of the Indian Diaspora in Arua; the Evening Good Time Show with the Most Hilarious and Entertaining deejay Tobi Tobias aka ‘Dingili ku Dingili, aka High Voltage’ (The whole of Arua misses his jokes and stories)/ General Yiki and Brigadier Braddock. Also Fat Chris featured sometimes. The night had talk shows on different topics throughout the week though the Saturday show was a heated debate (just like Capital Gang on Kampala’s 91.3 FM) in the morning. Tara united lovers so romantically towards midnight that so many male callers actually fell in love with her. Personally, I think she is the Most Comprehensive and intelligent late night show host in the whole of Africa. [Saturday Sports was hosted by an articulate and knowledgeable presenter who claimed to support Tottenham and usually sat in the studio with another knowledgeable sports reporter called Swalley, a son of the soil]. International news comes from Voice of America.
Arua One’s ‘ultimate choice’ programming was so top notch that it probably inspired the other radios which opened two years later. Although 90.9 FM Radio Pacis is part of the Catholic Church’s Arua Diocese Media Centre, it sounds fresh and more dynamically liberal than the Church of Uganda’s Protestant Voice of Life. [They actually won the BBC Award for Best New Radio in the whole of Africa 13 months later from when I wrote this article]. Their foreign news comes from RFI (Radio France International). With the slogan “Peace of Christ for all”, the Ediofe – based Radio Pacis wonderfully accommodates music by worldly musicians who don’t even mention Jesus in their songs. Another paradox is that the Catholic station does not play too many songs worshipping Mary, the Mother of Christ.
The other joint leader in variety, timely relevant news and fantastic flow in programming is 94.1 Nile FM. BBC World Service, the Best on radio, provides global reports at the top of selected hours. Nile FM’s local news team is also the Most Professional from my own observation because of the analysis and sound clips from interviews which brings me to another comparison. BBC may subconsciously or widely lead in news service because that is their first language but Deutsche Welle from Germany (broadcast on the all-Christian Voice of Life FM) challenges on analysis. It is more illustrative though a bit complex.
Also accommodated on the FM band in Arua are a few other stations from outside the ‘heart of darkness’ (What Arua used to be called due to violence). Radio Paidha from Nebbi used to be a favourite before Arua One miraculously obliterated their audience in the district. BBS (Bunyoro Broadcasting Service) from Masindi is enjoyed in a few counties due to wave interferences while Koboko FM (Spirit FM or Bushnet Christian Broadcasting) blends Gospel from England’s The Voice (Formerly Christian Voice) with local music programmes. Koboko [on the Sudan border] was curved out of Arua to form a new district but Arua remained a Model 3 member of the large geographical area and high revenue collecting districts in Uganda.
Satellite TV plays a big part in household entertainment as well as the cinema business but Nile FM’s sister network BTN TV (Bornfree Technologies Network) on UHF 23 is Arua’s own local TV channel. More are yet to come including UNtv and others, GOD-willing. The future looks bright for indigenous broadcasting in West Nile’s capital. Do you smell the future now? Okay the Spice is on the line.
[DISCOVERY TRIVIA: In 1978 during homeboy Idi Amin’s regime, the first Ugandan Satellite Earth Station came on air in Ombachi, Arua. It is still present though requires reviving for everybody to enjoy the full aura of Arua…]

Friday, 24 April 2009

Lugbara Cultural Heritage

"Ngoni?" is the standard Lugbara Greeting (meaning ‘How are you?’). "Muke!" is the Response when you are fine. Nevertheless, most Non-Lugbara prefer to learn "Mi azaza!" meaning 'You are mad!'; "Awadi fo!" the expression for 'Thank You!' and "Abiri ni ma fufu." ('Hunger is killing me' or simply 'I'm hungry') faster than any other Lugbara phrases. Through this Facebook Group, I hope more outsiders will learn new Lugbara words and understand the culture of Love, Peace en Harmony". The 'Lugbara Cultural Heritage' is also an online platform for tribe-mates to share stories or discuss ideas about their lineage, traditions and events. Poverty, Jealousy and Witchcraft (Ole) are major themes in rural West Nile and meetings are usually held to get rid of them. It is universally accepted that "Most Lugbara will take part in cultural associations only if there is food or monetary benefits received" (I'm not an exception by the way) but I pray that those inhibitions are broken and the Good Lugbara feel proud of their culture like the Japanese, Chinese, French, Germans and Indians. Being the Largest Ethnic Group in West Nile (because the Lugbara also extend towards South-western Sudan, North-eastern Congo [the Naked People] and the Diaspora), I'm proud to say that there is no way our Culture can become extinct. It’s time the world got to know about Gboro-gboro, the first man on earth, Meme his wife and more mythical folk stories like that. Let's spread the Love, Peace en Harmony of Lugbara!

What’s cooking in Lugbara kitchens? Are you craving for Nsenene (Grasshoppers, also available in some Supermarkets like Insect City) or 'Obangulu' also known as 'Onya Pizza' (white ants in a compact mass spiced with anything like pepper, onions or tomatoes)? Will you drink goat milk from a special gourd called a zukulu? What music will you listen to tonight? Could it be Lady J; Van Smokey; Black Harmony (who performed a fantastic Quadro-lingual jam [in Lugbara, English, Luganda & bits of Swahili] introducing "(Lady) Shadia" at the 2008 PAM - Pearl of Africa Music - Awards to usher in a new dawn for West Nile music); J.M. Kennedy (Arua's Dance-hall king nominated for a Best West Nile Artiste Pammy); Aringa (Lugbara dialect) singing Dogman; J*Hope Gospel or the socially conscious Chandiru Leila (Her famous Lugbara name may have an ominous translation but the music is fantastic, makes you think she’s a Tanzanian Star on tour in West Nile. By the way, Uganda’s first female World Champion athlete Dorcus Inzikuru is a Lugbara, says a lot about the sexy athletic bodies of Lugbara Women.

Many other famous names like Emilio Mondo and Ali Bamuze (Lieutenant Generals in Yoweri Kaguta Museveni's UPDF Army); Nikonara Asali Abanya, one of the founding members of UPC Party (died at 107 years in 2010) was instrumental in Uganda’s independence struggle. He attended the Lancaster House Conference and the Marlborough House Conference in 1961, which discussed the independence of Uganda; Joseph Etima (Retired Commissioner General of Prisons); Bakoko Bakoru & Hussein Akbar Godi (former MPs, the latter had a meteoric rise to Parliament at only age 27) are also Lugbara. The sensational Ceasar Okhuti broke through to the Cranes team in only his first season after shining for Super League debutants Ediofe Hills FC and was sold to Bunamwaya FC the following season at 12 Million Shillings. He proved his worth at only 20 years of age by scoring five goals in a single game as his team demolished Sharing FC 10-1 plus led as the Nation's Top Scorer. Bunamwaya won the Championship in 2010; Doctor Ben Kingi is like UG's Ben Carson; Jackie Chandiru, one of the Blu*3 divas rocking East African airwaves is also a descendant of the Lugbara. (Blu*3 is the first African Group to be chosen as ambassadors for International Organisation for Migration - IOM). Jackson Asiku, another Lugbara, is a former Commonwealth feather-weight boxing Champion; Dr. Eric Adriko (the first Chancellor of Kyambogo University since it was established under the Universities and Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 that saw a merger of Uganda Polytechnic College, Uganda Institute of Special Needs Education and National Teachers College) started the West Nile Distilling Company Limited (Distillers & Bottlers of Adriko's '7 Hills' Vodka, White Rhino Gin, Rum Raggi from Arua and launched Hunters Gin plus Sunshine Mineral Water in Kosovo, Lungujja somewhere in Kampala on 20th January 2007. The Adriko Group of Companies also includes the Kampala Metal Works Company and will soon start producing Glucose Biscuits). Leo Adraa, the former coach of the national soccer team (the Uganda Cranes) is Lugbara. Idi Amin Dada, believed to have been born in the ancient Arua District (though his younger brother Amule claims that he was in fact born in Kampala), became one of the Most Famous African Leaders of All-Time. He ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979 and had a Lugbara Vice President besides a Lugbara wife. Amin’s father, a Kakwa (northern brothers of the Lugbara from Koboko) and Lugbara mother separated soon after his birth (in the 1920s) but the mother raised him. She became a camp follower of the King’s African Rifles, a regiment of the British Colonial Army and her son’s rise to prominence started in 1946 when KAR recruited him as an assistant cook. That is Amin Trivia you won’t see in the Oscar-winning Movie “The Last King of Scotland” or anywhere else. Amin’s Lugbara mother had more children from other relationships (and Amin became the third of eight siblings). Arua Town, the booming Business Capital of West Nile is also the Strategic Capital of Lugbaraland and source of the World’s Best Honey (according to the 2000 Lisbon Expo). The first soldiers recruited for the Imperial British Army were from West Nile; no prizes for guessing which tribe had representatives. Many Lugbara have spread to the rest of Uganda like Busogaland (where they are innumerable) and Masindi on the other side of the Albert Nile because of sugar-cane growing employment opportunities. Men from West Nile are believed to be very strong and loyal to their wives too, ha ha ha!

Every day from 2 to 3 PM, Gad Fix Ruakoa (0774 081342) the seasoned host of a Lugbara radio show on UBC Radio 'decongests the airwaves' with his vibe. Tune in and listen to the latest developments in Lugbara affairs. Bua (0712 678214) a director from CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Entebbe does extensive research on the tribe. Audiowave Studio Arua (0772 991264) and many other studios sell lots of Lugbara Music you can sample for private enjoyment. Lugbara meet on Sundays at St. John's Church in Entebbe at 3 PM, St. Francis Chapel Makerere University at 1 PM, Buziga Hill, Arua House (Muyenga), Kamwokya Centre, Kyebando Kisalosalo and many other places. Arua based radio stations like Arua One FM, Voice of Life, Nile FM, Koboko FM (Bushnet - Spirit FM), Radio Pacis (BBC’s Best New Station in Africa a few years ago) broadcast in Lugbara and other languages in addition to English the Universal Tongue; BTN (Bornfree Technologies Network) TV the pioneer station in West Nile shows Lugbara Music Videos: It has set up an independent affiliate starting soon in Kampala and later Mbale (if GOD wills). The ‘West Niler’ newspaper used to tell a lot of stories from Lugbaraland and neighbouring areas.

The "Okuza (Lugbara for 'The Gathering') Festival" brings together believers from all walks of life and nationalities to share the word of GOD in a specific camp either in Arua or Kampala. These and more are qualities that should make the Lugbara People proud of their identity...

The Lugbara language is the language of the Lugbara ethnic group. It is spoken in northwestern Uganda's West Nile District, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Orientale Province. Lugbara was first written by Christian missionaries in 1918, based on the Ayivu dialect. In 2000, a conference was held in the City of Arua in northwestern Uganda regarding the creation of a standardised international orthography for Lugbara. In 1992, the government of Uganda designated it as one of five "languages of wider communication" to be used as the medium of instruction in primary education; however, unlike the other four such languages, it was never actually used in schools. Aringa language, also known as Low Lugbara, is closely related, and sometimes considered a dialect of Lugbara. Some scholars classify Lugbara language itself as a dialect of the Ma'di language, though this is not generally accepted. A Simplified Lugbara-English Dictionary by Paul Ongua Iga (1999) can be bought from Fountain Publishers.

We welcome everyone to enjoy the Group of Leopards; spreading Love, Peace en Harmony... (A Leopard is the Lugbara cultural symbol)

J.M. Kennedy

My dream is to post a plethora of Lugbara lyrics and this is one of the very first projects I have indulged myself in. J.M. Kennedy is a very enchanting Arua musician and I felt his works should be my priority ... From Mukono, Kampala & Mbarara to Arua, Pakwach & Koboko, we are all West Nilers. Literally blogging, we are all west of the River Nile unlike Soroti, Mbale and Jinja, not so? If so, then believe the Psycho and savour these sounds from J.M. Kennedy, the American Lugbara in West Nile … “For GOD and my Country-side, West Nile”

In “AYIKORU”, Kennedy depicts a desperate (though broke) young man begging a beautiful, honorable girl to marry him. Unfortunately, she is not interested. I love this song not only because of the girl’s name but also the boy’s struggle; every man goes through something similar – She might say ‘No’ when she actually means ‘Wait, I have a boyfriend but have to dump him first. You make me blush a little but better get the money or forget it, ha ha ha! Now I gatcha’ … (4:07 mins)
[HOOK in Luganda:]
Watch me now everybody (Body), sample them Mr. Deejay (Deejay). Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro, Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro (Wulira), Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro. Muliro, muliro, muliro.
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
“Ayikoru la, mi ari dri ma! (A’dhu?)
Malemi ma okuru (Aaah!)
Ma ‘ba ma asi mi ‘dri’a (Ale ma ku.)
‘Dini ku, ‘dini ku (Iku ma!)”
“Ayikoru la, mi ari dri ma! (A’dhu?)
Malemi ma okuru (Aaah!)
Ma ‘ba ma asi mi ‘dri’a (Ale ma ku.)
‘Dini ku, ‘dini ku (Iku ma!)”
Ayikoru ma le mi ‘i ‘do,
‘Ba azi nduni mani leleni yo.
Alete asiki ama aku mibe‘do.
Ama nenga matamba mibe ra.
Mani cera mavu mali tu yo,
Te twalu ama nga mali isu ra yo.
‘Badi leta mani miniri fudrici tu,
Adusikuni mi onyiru tu, alatararu, inzitaru,
Ani alete mi ma okuru
Ayikoru, you are my heart, you can be sure that I’m truly yours.
When you’re around, I feel so good.
Together, me and you can make a good good couple.
Ayikoru, you are my heart, you can be sure that I’m truly yours.
When you’re around, nothing goes wrong.
Together, me and you can make a good good couple.
Watch me now everybody (Body), sample them Mr. Deejay (Deejay). Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro, Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro (Wulira), Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro. Muliro, muliro, muliro.
[Repeat CHORUS thrice:]

“BA AKOSI” is a soulful master-piece [I would vote it as the Best West Nile Song (Category yet to be introduced) at the PAM Awards] about a homeless man lamenting that he has no relatives and wonders where the good Lugbara are. In Lugbara Culture, it was the duty of families to take care of destitutes through a unique cultural system called “Amadingo”, where the rich look after the poor and therefore everyone in the tribe is given attention. You will probably find such a culture in Arab communities where for instance in Dubai, no beggars are allowed on the street … (4:33 mins)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya?
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, wowo (Aa aa ah!)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, ma ‘anvi la (Mamu ri ngwa ya?)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, wowo (Aa aa ah!)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, ma ‘ati la (Mamu ri ngwa ya?)
Ma ‘aga ndra muke muzo Senior’a
Te ‘ba azi ma fees ofepi yo ya.
Ako ‘dri Arua, amu Kampala ‘dale, te ‘bazi mani o’azu yo ya.
Mo ‘do la njila ma dri’a ‘ba azaza le, adusikuni aku mani lazu yo ya.
Polisi ‘biki ma, jiki ma aru jua, te ‘ba‘azi ‘imupi ma nepi yo ya.
Meca azoru, ‘ba jima aro jua, te ‘ba‘azi ma agapi tepi yo ya.
Ojo piri deki ma ‘do yo (Ba madri ‘imi ngwa ya?)
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a, o’azu bakokoru ‘bala ‘doni’a.
Malu mani drici a’dusi ojo azini, iki ijoru.
Mungu la, mi’ ari dri ma, kiri kiri, iko ama ‘aza!
Mungu la ‘do, mi’ ari dri ma fo, kiri kiri, ma owu mivu ya.
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a ojo fila ojo misi.
Yehova la, kiri kiri, idri ma nga lira.
Iko ama ‘aza ya, ah ah mama!
Lugbara ala ‘imi ngwa ya (Aa aa ah!)?
Lugbara ala ‘imi ngwa yo (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya? Kiri kiri (Aa aa ah!) Iku ma ku!
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, wululu (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?) Iku ma ku!
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a, o’azu bakokoru (Aa aa ah!), ‘bala ‘doni’a.
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa yo? Oh! (Aa aa ah!)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?) Iku ma ku!
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, wululu (Aa aa ah!) Eku ma ku!

“MOVE YO’ BODY” virtually takes you to the dance hall club. Arua, the capital of the Lugbara has a very vibrant night life. If this song does not make you move, you seriously need to groove up to the Arua level. The beats are seductive and the lyrical rhythm is hotter than fire. I did not know that Kennedy could perform both rap and reggae-ton until I heard this gem … (4:39 mins)
Biri biri, biri biri biri by, J.M. Kennedy on the mic
Biri biri, biri biri biri by, bad man ragga-muffin on the mic
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, body, body
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, wen U hear me. Movin’ d’ body, body
Movin’ d’body, body, body
Movin’ d’body, body
Movin’ d’body, watcha!
If you like it, let me see yo’ hands up, and everybody say Whoa (Whoa!)
If you like it let me see yo’ body move and everybody say Yeh (Yeh!)
[CHORUS (Kennedy in brackets):]
When I hear this music (Give 2 dem, give 2 dem!),
My body feels like movin’ (Aha aha!)
When I hear this music, I feel like dancing then (Move yo’ body now!)
I feel like dancing
(Shake yo’ body now, move yo’ body now, shake yo’ body now) Baby.
When I hear this music (Give 2 dem, give 2 dem!),
My body feels like movin’ (Aha aha!)
When I hear this music, I feel like shaking (Move yo’ body now!) my body
(Shake yo’ body now) Like Shaking (Move yo’ body now, shake yo’ body now) Baby.
Dangerous, serious, yu neva coulda dance.
Everybody in the club, let me see yo’ body move!
Ragga music so nice, ragga muzik so sweet, ahhh!
Jump and dance, listen 2 the ragga beats.
Any tym yu hear the muzik, everybody wanna move
So yu move it 2 the left and I move it 2 the rite, eh ehh!
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, body, body
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, wen U hear me. Movin’ d’ body, body
Movin’ d’body, body, body
Movin’ d’body, body
Movin’ d’body, watcha!
United we stand, and divided we fall.
People of the world, we have to put our hands together.
Together we are one, we are one family. Africans, Europeans, we are no enemies.
We gat to live together in a one harmony; support our music in a world unity
African connection is the way forward to go,
All that we need is support our own.
Global connection is the way forward to go,
Africans, Europeans, Americans, we are one, we are one.
If you like it, let me see yo’ hands up and everybody say Yeh (Yeh!)
If you like it, let me see yo’ body move and everybody say whoa (Whoa!)
If you like it let me see yo hands up and everybody say Whoa, whoa, whoa
(Whoa whoa whoa!)

The song “LUGBARA” calls on all Lugbara to be proud of their traditional culture and shun behaving like urban tribes-mates who claim to know only Luganda; these drifters are referred to as ‘Lugbara Side Bs’ among Lugbara family circles… (4:23 mins)
Mani aciri’a anve ‘dale,
Mosu ‘ba ki o’ma suru si afusi.
Buganda ki surusi afusi,
‘Badi Acholi ki ma suru si afusi.
Lugbara la, anziki ama mile!
Andreku ‘ba nga ama angu pa’de,
Akiri gbede, mali gbede,
Asizu, ama ‘du nga acoru.
O’azu ocoru amani muke ya? Suru Lugbara la ama omidri ama!
O’azu ocoru ena ‘amani muke ya? Suru Lugbara la ye ama omidri ama!
(Lediyo) Lugbara ala ‘imi a’du te ya?
(Lediyo) Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Vurra ala ye emi a’du te ya? (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Ayivu la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Maracha la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Terego la ye emi a’du te ya? (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi surusi ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Aringa la ye emi a’du te ya?
Ani cera emi azi eleki Luganda nje‘i.
‘Badi ‘iri zi ‘Ngoni?’, ‘iri ‘djo ‘Simanyi, Tewali, Ogamba Ki?’
Ma adripi, aazu Lugbararu eri izataru ya?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki suru amadri ku a’dusi?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki ti ‘ba azi dri ki a’dusi?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki ama adripi ku a’dusi ya aaah?
Ani cera emi aziri ‘ileki Luganda nje’I, muke ‘ituki ‘imi’a nga.
Ma adripi, idri le Lugbara ongo tu ra, mi 'ise mi maru ‘dua, atuki ama nga!
Yakubu la, mi ajimani ndere, mi agbe mani cere! Yakubu la ‘do, mi aji mani ndere,
Amuki ani ama Lugbara ongo ‘do tu ani.
Yakubu la ‘do, mi agbe mani cere, eh! Mi aji mani ndere, eh!
Yakubu la ‘do, mi ‘agbe mani cere! [SOMEONE ULULATES]
Lediyo (Lediyo) Lugbara ala ‘imi a’du te ya? (Lugbara lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Vurra ala ye emi a’du te ya? (‘Badi Lugbara lediyo) (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Ayivu la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Lediyo) (Suru ni avi lediyo) (Oh!)
[VERSE THREE without Ululating:]
[CHORUS fades before end:]

“OH MAMA” calls on all parents to be there for their GOD-given children… (4:46 mins)
[Whistle blows then INSTRUMENTAL:]
[CHORUS in Swahili:]
Oh mama, please mama! Watoto wetu wana liya, wana kutaka nyumbani.
Oh baba, please baba! Watoto wetu wana liya, wana kutaka nyumbani.
Ma adripi, ma adripi la. Mi ari dri ma! Anzi midri ‘iki aci drici kile ‘ima ati ni yo le.
Bongo yo, nyaka yo, school fees yo.
Okwa, okwa dale mi ‘yo sende yo. Te mi osu anve dale mivu sende ci.
Imi ra n(y)a kabisa.
Omu osi anve, ‘deri akwa ‘dale sabuni yo,
‘Deri akwa ‘dale a’ii yo
‘Deri akwa ‘dale sukariyo
‘Deri akwa ‘dale majani yo
Ma adripi, mi fi acisi, mi nga anzi midri ma ti ja ceni.
Aki ya Mungu, ma anvupi la. Kiri kiri mi ari dri ma!
Aki ya Mungu, ma anvupi la. Kiri kiri, mi ari dri ma!
Anzi midri ki aci drici kile ‘ima andri ni yo le.
Leta yo, alata yo, ayiko yo.
Oru andra, oru andra, mi aci a’du nda ya?
Anzi ma aza aga mini ku a’dusi ya?
Oku la, oru andra, oru andra, mi aci a’du nda ya?
‘Badi agu aza aga mini ku a’dusi ya?
Dale mi’i, dele mi’i. Azi midriri ja mini te a’dusi ya?
Oku azi midri anzi ma tambazo, aku tambazo, ago tambazo?
Temi aci dale, ago ojo jamini bo ya? Mi aci dele, aku ojo jamini bo ya, aah?
Mungu dri midri drile ba fe anzi isuzu ra, kiri kiri, ‘imba emata muke fo.
Ani cera alio ci tandi, te were’a ri ife anzi ni ci.
Ada ada ‘badi alio ci tandi, te were’a risi ipe anzi ma ti sukulu’a.
Deejay Ronnie, I need a witness. All the deejays, I need a witness.
Spread the news, guys on the radio!
Let them know that I am a Northern guy, ah! Western guy, ah! A champion guy, ah!
J.M. Kennedy. A Northern guy, ah! Western guy, ah! A champion guy, ah!
J.M. Kennedy, I!
[Kennedy Speaking:]
To all the deejays, keep the fire burning!
Mungu dri midri drileba fe anzi isuzu ra, kiri kiri, ‘imba ema ta muke fo)

“MUNGU SI” highlights the time tested principle that “Anything is possible through GOD”, He is the oneway to true happiness, wealth and fulfillment. Kennedy recommends that instead of crying, ask GOD for help … (4:52 mins)
Wololo,‘badi wolele! ‘Badi la, mi ayiko yo adusi ya?
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya, ma adripi la? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya?
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Katro alio ni ti, katro azoni ti, katro ‘ba akoni ti, izi Mungu ma ti’a!
Katro alio ni ti, katro azoni ti, katro ‘ba akoni ti, izi Mungu ma ti’a!
Ondwa akoni ya, fees akoni ya, azi akoni ya? Mungu ni fe ra.
Ondwa akoni ya, fees akoni ya, azi akoni ya? Mungu ni fe ra.
Bongo akoni ya, nyaka akoni ya, djo akoni ya, izi Mungu ma ti’a.
Bongo akoni ya, nyaka akoni ya, djo akoni ya, izi Mungu ma ti’a.
Oku akoni ya, agu akoni ya, nva akoni ya, Mungu ni fe ra.
Oku akoni ya, agu akoni ya, nva akoni ya, Mungu ni fe ra.
[J.M. Kennedy speaking:]
Ma adripi, azini ma anvupi. Imi ma asi ni ora a’du ‘yo si?
Buku Mungu ni Matayo Chapter 6 (azia),
versi 25 (kali ‘iri drini towi) chazu pere 33 (kali na drini na)
‘yo kini, “Mi ma a’i okoni suru Mungu dri, e’yo dria ni nga ovu eza ru midri…”
[INSTRUMENTAL till fade]

“DON’T WORRY” is a hope-inspiring slow-jam. Its message is simply: “Don’t worry, be happy and have hope; GOD cares” … (3:58 mins)
Now this one is dedicated to everyone, […Complicated patois-mumbling follows…]
Oh why, why, why, why, why, why? Oh why, oh why, O LORD have mercy!
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Mi ora ku, mi aa asi teza be. Izi Mungu, Mungu ni nga fe ra.
Mi ora ku, mi aa asi teza be. Izi Mungu, Mungu ni nga fe ra.
Many times in your lives, you’ll be faced with some,
Difficult situations and you don’t know what to do.
It might be poverty, it might be adversity.
Even in your valley of death, never lose hope.
Humble yourself to Jehovah in prayer,
One day he will make you rise.
But keep on asking, keep on knocking, keep on seeking,
One day you will find, you will find.
[CHORUS in Swahili:]
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Osi jali, kuwa na matu maini. Wamba Mungu, ata kuwokowa
Osi jali, kuwa na matu maini. Wamba Mungu, ata kuwokowa
You really don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Stop worrying about it, concentrate on today.
You better live your life, one day at a time.
Dry your tears, be honest, be happy with what you have.
‘Cause you’ll never worry away the problems that you have.
The best you can do - persevere patiently.
You’ll never worry away the problems that you have,
the best you can do is to persevere patiently!
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
Why do you worry when the Power of Prayer is yours?
To move the mountains and to open the doors
The struggle and strength, growing tired and old
The hand that’s offered, you refuse to hold.
You go on worrying your way through life,
Instead of learning how to trust and prosper
Keep on asking, keep on knocking.
Keep on seeking, one day you will find, you will find.
Oh why, why, why, why, why, why? Oh why, oh why, O LORD have mercy!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Come on, come on!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Mi ora ku yo!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Come on, come on!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Mi ora ku yo!
[Repeat Lugbara CHORUS twice:]

[Still under Construction, more coming soon]