”A Scholar who never went to school…….”
The biography of Ham Mukasa Ssekibobo of BugandaAn inspiration of the Ugandan dream
In the year 1871 the exact date is unknown- a man Zakaria Sensalire and Nyakazana gave
birth to a son called Mukasa, who later was known as Ham Mukasa. Mukasa showed early promise of greatness. He did not attend a school but acquired his education and knowledge through his own extensive reading.
Mukasa came into close contact with the early European missonaries when they visited
Kabaka Mutesa 1, and through them he had access to many people, from whom he learnt
He was always eager for knowledge and quick to take in new ideas. Once he undertook
Something, he would pre on it until its done. He never left anything half done.
Name: Ham Mukasa
Other name(s): Rwamujonjoza
Chieftainship: Ssekibobo, Sazza chief of Kyaggwe
Assigned title: Sekibobo of
Office location: Mukono, Kyaggwe
Significant role: Ham Mukasa was one of the Baganda Chiefs who were at the forefront
He contributed a lot towards modernisation of the
Date of Birth: 1871
Place of Birth: Singo
Father’s name: Zachary Kiwanuka Sensalire
Mother’s name: Nyakazana (from the Ankole Royal Clan of Bahiima).
Clan (Omuziro): Njovu
Marital Status: On 26 th,march 1894 Ham Mukasa married Hannah Mawemuko the daughter of Mukasa (a former Katiikiro of
Education: no formal education but he was one of the first young boys to be taught how to read and write at Natete by the first missonaries in
Work Experience: At the time of his youth, most people with positions of responsibility in the society used to send their children, especially sons to grow up and serve in the Kabaka’s Palace (Lubiri). This was to enable them to learn the ways and traits of managing society so that when they grew up, they would take up the leadership roles. As Ham Mukasa grew up in the Lubiri and while there christainity was introduced.
Ham Mukasa was quick to take on and accept the new faith together with many of his peers. Kabaka Mwanga that all the young men who had followed the young faith and converted to Chriatianity were to be arrested and sentenced to death by being burnt alive. Ham Mukasa was one of the young men but happened to be at the time out in the country side at the time of the order. When he returned his father, who had been instructed to look for his Christian son or else he would be killed instead, courageously presented him to the King (Kabaka).
The King asked Ham Mukasa whether he was a Christian and he replied that he was. The King (Kabaka) was impressed with the young man’s courage together with the honesty of his father and he granted him clemency. His peers, the Christians were killed at Namugongo and they are now known as the Martyrs of
Later he became the Private Secretary of Katiikiro of Buganda in 1900, Sir Apollo Kaggwa, and he accomplainied him to
He wrote a number of books and articles in many journals on
He was an average musician, having a good voice and an ability to the Kiganda lute, organ, accordion, xylophones, harp and many others. When in good mood he sang Kiganda, kisoga or kisese songs, mainly sea shanties, which he accompanied himself. He also wrote words of his own to fit the music. He also made sure that his children picked up interest in music and arranged for them to learn to play musical instruments including the piano, guitar and other traditional ones. Indeed, all the children became very musical.
Hunting. He was a good marks-man and very fond of hunting birds, animals and his home was full of trophies.
At a set hour each day he chose someone to read for him as many newspapers as possible, to keep him informed of the current news.
He had a particular interest in measuring and estimating distances. For instance, he would often take a tape measure to determine the distance between two objects, or he would try to estimate the distance between his door steps and the boundary of his garden. He remembered by heart the measurements of each room in his houses. In his garden he marked off various distances by poles of different sizes connected to each other by strings of different colours. He went as far as measuring how much rain has fallen and recorded it.
In addition to his local language Luganda, he spoke fluent Swahili, English and Runyankole.
He retired in 1935 as Ssekibobo of Kyaggwe county having been the longest serving Ssaza chief in the history of
Died in 1956
Missed by many people Ham Mukasa died on 29th, march 1956. He was then buried at Namirembe Cathedral