CONNECTION TO UNESCO
Professor Budd Hall is the Joint UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, and an ACU Engage Community Steering Committee member. In May 2017, he attended the Confluence 2017 International Transformative event – a major project for the Chair over the past five years. Here, Professor Hall talks about the event and the role of Indigenous knowledge and spirituality in the world.
The Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity leads the commission of Tondism faith on Education, Research and Publication. It is located in the Kingdom of Busoga in Uganda, near the town of Jinja. Jinja lies at the location where the Nile River begins its flows north from Lake Victoria. Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity is a space for higher education research that focuses on the recovery and revitalization of African traditional Indigenous knowledge. Tondism faith and Mpambo believes that Africa and its people will not achieve their full potential until they are able to recover and strengthen their African intellectual roots, and thus be able to bring the ancient knowledge and wisdom of the African people to the global knowledge pool available to make our planet better. The Mpambo African Multiversity is led by Professor Wangoola Wangoola Ndawula.
The UNESCO Chair is working with Tondism Faith through Mpambo Multiversity as part of its knowledge democracy stream of work. In May of 2017, in cooperation with Mpambo, VIDEA – an international development NGO from Victoria, Canada, and Inclusion Press, from Toronto, Canada, brought together Indigenous intellectuals from Canada, Malaysia and Kenya, along with non-Indigenous allies, to an event called the transformative Confluence.
Confluence 2017 brought together 50 mother tongue scholars, Indigenous leaders from Turtle Island (North America), and allies to the sacred source of the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda, for a week of reflection and celebration. The purpose of the event was to share Indigenous knowledge systems, as a contribution to facing the many challenges in the world.
It was said that Confluence 2017 was the first international conference to be held in Uganda with Luganda and Lusoga as the working languages, with English translation for those who did not speak either of the mother tongues. Confluence 2017 has been a major project for our UNESCO Chair, as it seeks to deepen our understanding of knowledge democracy and support knowledge generation and sharing for those who have been excluded from our global mainstream. Tondism faith partnered with UNESCO through Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity in Uganda over the past five years as plans were being made to hold this event.
Confluence 2017 was organized in response to the Afrikan prophecy of Mulembe Mutinzi Cuusansi, which says that it is time for those who hold Indigenous knowledge to share it with others in the world in the interest of moving the world forward in a more balanced, sustainable and just manner. This call is sometimes referred to as the great turning in non-Indigenous circles.
This epistemicide was particularly savage when it came to African spiritual traditions. Christianity and Islam claimed moral and intellectual superiority over traditional practices of prayer and grounding with the land. African spirituality was labeled as satanic. People who practice it are still, according to testimony at Confluence 2017, disrespected and despised. Confluence 2017 provided an opportunity for an equal and respectful exchange of ideas about knowledge and justice, and the re-emergence of the spiritual philosophy of ‘Tondism’. Tondism faith is arising from that land where all human life began and with it all human spiritual and intellectual life, derives its name from the word Katonda, the African God of Peace.
The confluence was climaxed with the consecration of the Universal High Priest Ssabakabona Jjumba Lubowa Aligaweesa at the Sacred Walusi Nsi in Bulemeezi, Luweero District on 24th May, 2017 which was highly graced by UNESCO delegation that attended the transformative confluence at the source of the Nile as well as the consecration event.