In the colonial era, Entebbe was chosen as an administrative seat of government. It was suited in many ways and, in particular, the name Entebbe, which means the seat in Luganda.
Almost at the tip is a place that has everything to do with where this peninsula gets its name. It is known as Ntebe Za Mugula.
In this place, there are rocky features that seem to have been carved like seats that overlook Lake Victoria near where the airport is situated.
Magwa Ssali, a longtime resident of Entebbe, says the place gets its name from Mugula, who lived during the 19th century. He was one of the administrators during the reign of Kabaka Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mukasa Mwanga II, who was king from 1884 until 1888 and from 1889 until 1897. He was the 31st Kabaka of Buganda.
A spiritual site
Mugula is believed to have moulded the rocks into seats on which he would sit during judicial proceedings or village meetings.
“Mugula stayed in Kigungu near the pier and this is where the Kabaka would meet him before addressing his subjects,” Ssali explains.
“Mugula was the leader of the Mamba clan. The Kabaka had ‘his men’ or representatives in different parts of the kingdom and Mugula oversaw this part,” adds Peter Kyeyune, a church elder who also lives in Entebbe.
Much of the site is fairly well-maintained, the grass contrasted with the rocky cave serving as a background and trees are a beautiful scenery. It is now considered a spiritual site where many come to make requests to the god.
Underneath the Ntebe za Mugula are caves in which are laid white cloths, small pots and short spears in the ground. There are also small baskets called ebigali, in which money is placed.
Thank the spirits
This money given in to appease the gods or in appreciation for what they might have done for the believers.
The believers say the spirits take a rest in the waters of Lake Victoria, and only come out when called out by those referred to as their grandchildren.
Many people come here to call on the spirits and pray for good health, wealth and long life as well as to thank the spirits.
The believers in this type of spiritualism argue that everything on earth was created by the Almighty God.
Ssali elaborates thus: “This rock, located on the shores, is now a cultural site where people go to perform a cultural ritual referred to as Okuwomba in Luganda language.”
A piece of history
He adds: “Mugula would walk through the water and come and sit on these rocks. There is a shrine underneath. It is a very active place. In fact many people spend nights there.”
These rocks are located about 10 kilometres from Entebbe town. It does not matter what your reason is to visit Ntebe Za Mugula, if you are not out to call on the spirits then you can go out there to reflect on a piece of history or for some quiet time to relax.
Utility: Entebbe In Luganda, means a “seat”, and was probably named so because it was the place where a Buganda chief sat to adjudicate cases. It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial centre in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. It is perhaps best known as the home of the main international airport, which was started in 1947. It was also from this airport that Queen Elizabeth II departed Africa to return to England in 1952 when she learned of her father’s death and that she had become Queen.
Source: Daily Monitor