Hundreds throng Mutoto cultural ground for Imbalu launch

Bamasaba dance to Kadodi at Mutoto cultural Ground in Industrial city division of Mbale City on August 13, 2022. Photo | Yahudu Kitunzi 

What you need to know:

  • Imbalu is an age-old tradition among the Bamasaba, which defines and unites the people in Bugisu sub-region that comprises Mbale, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Sironko and Bududa districts. They are believed to be descendants of Masaba.

Hundreds of people Saturday thronged Mutoto Cultural Ground in Industrial City Division of Mbale City for the official launch of the Imbalu (circumcision) ceremony in Bugisu sub-region.

Imbalu is an age-old tradition among the Bamasaba, which defines and unites the people in Bugisu sub-region that comprises Mbale, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Sironko and Bududa districts. They are believed to be descendants of Masaba.

Mr Godwin Mubuya, the chairperson of Bamasaba Imbalu inauguration committee 2022 said the turn up is overwhelming.

“People are many and we are expecting about a million of them. They are still coming in big numbers because our culture is unique and enticing to watch,” he said Saturday morning.

The cultural circumcision rites are held every even year among the Bamasaba, who hail from Bugisu sub-region and some parts of Kenya.

Today’s ceremony is the first of its kind since Uganda went into Covid-induced lockdown in 2020.

Male circumcision - a rite to passage - is held too much fanfare by the Bamasaba during even years.

Ms Sarah Maswere Wasake, the General Secretary of Bamasaba Imbalu Organizing committee 2022, said five boys from Mutoto clan were selected to be circumcised today.

“Our boys are ready to be circumcised today and each will get a cow and a kit after circumcision,” she said, adding that about 6000 boys are expected to be initiated into manhood this year.

The Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson, Mr Rogers Taitika, said they have deployed both plain and uniform officers to monitor the situation.

"We are on ground and the function is so far going on well. They are many but we have enough officers," he said.

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