Scores of traditional healers and spiritualists from Busoga region have pitched camp at Bujagali village, Budondo sub-county, Jinja district to celebrate the life of their leader, Budhagali Nabamba.
Born Donozio Namunkanga Mukembo Zirabamuzale, the spiritualist, breathed his last on Saturday night after suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was chief Oracle of the spirits who live at Bujagali Falls, and the 39th spiritualist to submit to the spirits of the falls, which allegedly protected the community through him.
Godfrey Kabagambe, a spiritualist from Luuka district who doubles as the head of “Baise Muvu” clan to which the deceased belonged, says that Budhagali was the oldest surviving traditionalist who thrived from a small shrine to fame.
Kabagambe also says that Budhagali will be laid to rest on Sunday night after performing traditional rituals which comprise of sacrificing domestic animals as a requirement of awarding him a decent burial befitting his hierarchy in spiritualism.
Clad in bark clothes, traditional healers have since pitched camp at the fallen Budhagali’s home, performing rituals in his honour.
Muyiiri Waiswa, a traditional healer from Kamuli district describes Budhagali as the only spiritualist who was diligently observing all the traditional norms of the spirits ranging from rock worshipping and animal sacrifice irrespective of his old age.
On her part, Safina Kauma, the deputy cultural affairs minister in Butembe chiefdom says that the deceased has been a fountain of wisdom in the whole kingdom. Kauma adds that they have instituted a committee of 22 people to plan for Budhagali sendoff but most of the mandatory rituals are being left out due to financial constraints.
She has, however, called upon well-wishers to send in any form of support ranging from animals to finances so as to enable them to perform the remaining rituals.
Budhagali Nabamba was born to Thomas Nume in Kilimwa village, Bukooma sub county, Luuka district in 1914. He studied in a missionary school up to primary four but dropped out to serve as an attendant in his father’s shrine.
He is later believed to have acquired the title of Budhagali Nabamba in 1961 after the overseer of the said spirits, abandoned them in the mid-1950’s and fled to Bunyoro kingdom where he later passed away.
Budhagali is survived by one wife, Mastula Lukowe and several children.
UNFORGETTABLE THINGS ABOUT BUDHAGALI
The Oracle of Bujagali falls for taking on the government, over the construction of a hydropower dam at the falls, saying that the area is his spirits’ habitat. During the endless talks with the government, when asked who the owner of the falls was and the surrounding environment, he said the falls belonged to the spirits. The Government thus couldn’t compensate him for the falls.
Earlier, he tried showcasing his power and that of the spirits, when he mobilized for an event of sailing across the falls on a goatskin. On D-day, thousands thronged the area to awe at the rare spectacle as Budhagali smocked a tobacco pipe amidst frenzy drumming, but it didn’t happen. The mammoth crowd went away disappointed.
The Tell of Budhagali
Dada Nabamba Budhagali as referred to in Lusoga, the oracle of Bujjagali falls died an indigent and a disappointed man after he succumbed to diabetes and high blood pressure at Nile Hospital in Jinja District on Saturday. The deceased was aged 113 years, according to his daughter Betty Namande.
Budhagali, whose real name is Dononzio Namunkanga, is the 37th Nabamba of Budhagali. He died on October26th, 2019 after a long illness. He was a darling in Busoga sub region and a tourist attraction who travelled the world preaching his “Busamize” aka traditional religion despite his modest education background. Budhagali was diagnosed with diabetes and other diseases but a conclusive report on the actual cause of his death has not been released. He will be buried at his home in Budhagali Village, Budondo Sub County, Jinja District.
The fallen guardian of the spirits of Bujjagali, in Jinja District will be laid to rest on 8th October in the middle of the night after carrying out countless traditional and spiritual rituals to send off his spirit including sacrifices. The village known as Bujjagala was named after the first Dada Bujjagali and because of the waterfalls that exists, the place became more popular and turned out a tourist attraction
According to Muvvu clan representative Godfrey Mwasse, Budhagali left behind many children but his culture does not allow counting of children. Therefore, it is still one of the mysteries left behind after living on earth for 113 years.