History of the Abasingo Clan

Abasingo Clan was formed in 1170 CE – Emperor Mulindwa of the Chwezi

  • 1300

    13th Century

    The oldest account of Basingo was in the 13th Century. Before Colonialism and before modern kingdoms, the geographical area of Uganda was part of a vast dynasty ruled by people known as Bachweezi. It extended beyond Uganda, into Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and beyond. Their rule run between the thirteen 13th century and fifteenth 15th century (1350 -1500 AD)
    The recorded history of how Basingo as a clan came to enter & infuse with Bacweezi rule, started with Isimbwa Ndahura [the first Chwezi King, succeeding his maternal grandfather]. Ndahura was a son of Isimbwa [father] and Nyanamwiru [Mother]

  • 1500

    Nyanteza & Nyangoro

    The courtiers who lived in the fort at Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi were called baSingo. The term “Singo” or “e ki-Singo” refers to a fortified area, or rounded defensive enclosure, and also to a circlet or a crown. The people who lived in such defensive enclosures were usually referred to as baSingo - meaning “people of the forts”, or “people of the crown”. Invariably all forts were populated by officials and courtiers and members of the most powerful families, as well as members of royal or military families.

    One day Mulindwa had a misunderstanding with some women at the palace-fort of Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi, no doubt related to his many complicated love affairs. One day he was badly injured by twin sisters - two princesses named Nyanteza and Nyangoro. Apparently they laid a trap for him that resulted in his being severely injured, and despite efforts to save him he succumbed to the injuries and died. After his death the most powerful courtiers rallied to the side of the princesses and a succession crisis developed rapidly. In the ensuing confusion a civil war broke out, and the empire was nearly torn apart by the political chaos. Eventually, the general named Bala Bwigunda Wa-Imara, a military governor and a close ally of Mulindwa and Ndahura, re-established order in the empire. He led his troops to storm the palace-fortress of Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi, and defeated the "baSingo" royals.

  • 1600

    Establishing Bigo bya Mugyenyi

    Emperor Ndahura I kya Rubumbi abdicated the throne in favour of a Musongora army commander named Mulindwa who was chosen to replace him. When he died the Emperor Ndahura was buried on Irangara Island, which is located in Lake Matsyoro [Lake George] not far from his Rweisamba Palace.

    The new emperor, Mulindwa, made the massive old palace-fort complex of Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi his seat of power. His reign was relatively peaceful, although plagued by conspiracies and intrigues by royal courtiers. Emperor Mulindwa was brilliant and his reign successful, but unfortunately he is remembered mostly for his troubled relations with some of the women at Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi.

    The name Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi translates as “Palaces of Mugyenyi”. Lore has it that the massive palace-complex was named for a prince named Mugyenyi... however, the name “Mugyenyi” translates as “visitor”. Since nothing is known about prince Mugyenyi besides the claim that he gave his name to the palace... it may in fact be that the name “Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi means “Palaces for the Visitor”.

  • 1170 CE

    General Wamara attacks Bigo-bya-Mugenyi

    Emperor Mulindwa of the Chwezi dynasty is assassinated at Bigo-bya-Mugyenyi by members of the baSingo clan. General Wamara avenges Mulindwa’s murder by going to war with the BaSingo and capturing Bigo-bya-Mugenyi. Wamara with the help of baSiita generals becomes emperor of the Chwezi Empire and excommunicates the BaSingo. Wamara’s reign was disrupted briefly by a claimant to the throne named Kyana who captured and had possession of the royal drums for a while before Wamara got them back. Kyana appears to have briefly ruled a portion of the empire, but Wamara regained the throne. Kyana was eventually confined to Karagwe, which he founded as an independent state. Karagwe was later conquered and entirely reabsorbed by Wamara. After Wamara’s death, his wife Nyabugondo became governor of Karagwe during the reign of Emperor Kyomya II. Karagwe’s independence was re-founded by Ruhinda a few generations later.

  • Present

    Present Day

    Basingo clansmen and women today inhabit and are settled mostly in the kingdoms of Nkore/Ankole, Bunyoro, Tooro in western Uganda; in parts of Buganda kingdom like Bwera, Gomba, Buremezi in central; as well as in Karagwe Kingdom in in north-western Tanzania, western Kenya and also Basingo clan form part Hema tribe of Eastern DR Congo

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