By Titus Kakembo
The Imbalu season of initiating boys into men is expected to attract 200,000 guests throughout the year.
The inaugural ceremony which will take place at Mtoto hill on August 23 is expected to attract Bamasaba people from both Kenya and Uganda in addition to tourists.
Huts have been constructed for each clan at the site and guides have been deployed to make guests enjoy every minute spent there.
“If you know any Mugisu who is dodging the circumcision,” cautioned MP, Nandala Mafabi during the press conference at Uganda Tourism Board(UTB) offices. “Show him to us and you will get sh500,000 as a reward. This is a culture that is more than 2000 years old. It has its health benefits that are mentioned in the Bible and recognized by WHO.”
A drama showing a man after undergoing a circumcision ceremony. PHOTO/ Titus Kakembo
“It ought to be declared a public holiday,” says Mafabi. “To promote this culture we are planning to start a Tofali fund raising drive to build an amphitheater on the site. Yes we can do it. All we need is sh200m which is realizable if every Mugisu donated sh200. We can emulate what Buganda Kingdom has done to reconstruct Kasubi tombs. For example if for every kilogram of coffee sold we took sh100, you can imagine how much would be raised.”
The Inju Ya Masaaba clan head John Musila said circumcision is compulsory in Bugishu among the men.
“If one died before it is done the corpse would be circumcised,” stressed Musila. “We have spies out there looking for dodgers of the cultural practice. There are ladies who bring us a list, spies are deployed, once confirmed we pounce on them!”
This year more than 400 guests are expected to grace the occasion and President Museveni is expected to be the guest of honour.
“Government is going to make this occasion a tourist attraction. It is a big event which can ably compete with Pyramids in Egypt, Masaai Mara or Namugongo Matyre’s shrine,” said the former minister of state for housing, Kafabusa Werike.
Imbalu circumcision season to attract 200,000 visitors