Where I Work

“That hill at the time of King Ssuuna II was known by the name Nakyeyuwa (something which builds itself up). And so when Kibale (one of the chief ministers of the state) was commanded by King Ssuuna to go and look after a good place where he could build his palace, Kibale came to this Hill and the people told him that it was called Nakyeyuwa. But Kibale did not like this name although the hill itself was good. Then Kibale went back and told King Ssuuna how he had found a beautiful hill which was also very near. When King Ssuuna wished to go and have a look at the hill, Kibale had another job to do and so he could not accompany the King. King Ssuuna asked Kibale for a servant to take him there. Kibale told a house servant to go and show the hill to the King—genda omulage (go and show him). Kibale did not tell the servant the real name of the hill because he despised it. When King Ssuuna came to the hill, he liked it very much. And then he remembered Kibale saying, ‘omulage’ (show him) which he took to be the name of the hill. He called the hill omulage for a very long time. After some years the people dropped the initial vowel ‘o’ from the word omulage and it was changed to Mulago. And so the word Mulago has no meaning because no one ever meant to name it so.”

Ham Kamya, quoted in Aidan Southall and Peter Gutkind, Townsmen in the Making: Kampala and its Suburbs (Kampala: East African Institute of Social Research 1957), 93-94.

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