The Entanda cultural tour is the kind of experience that leaves you with lingering memories, ready to come back to life when you smell ripe delicious fruits or hear lively beating drums. Once you walk, live, and learn in the way of the ancestors, you remain captivated by the beauty of Buganda culture as it is preserved in the village of Kijjude, just miles outside of Mityana. A good friend and I had the privilege of sharing a joyous cultural celebration with the people of Entanda; a day we will forever cherish!
We arrived to welcoming cheers that rose and then broke into rhythmic dance, guided by a family of traditional drums. The rhythm lured us to join in the famous Kiganda dance, led by our hosts. From this warm and energetic welcome, we were offered a feast of the ripe and delicious fruits grown locally: pineapple, guava, sugarcane, jackfruit, bright watermelon, and sweet bananas.
Although the tour only lasts a day, we learned so much about Buganda culture. We learned about foods commonly grown by Ugandans. We learned about medicinal plants known to provide relief and cures for various illnesses. Imagine these plants have always this healing knowledge.
At one point, I was so intrigued by all the new things I learned, I was tempted to take a few samples with me just to prove that these plants exist and have such tremendous benefit to our health, apart from their many other uses.
We were also lucky to participate in the bark cloth making process. It was quite the experience! Bark cloth has a lot of cultural significance in Buganda in the way it is worn and used in the household. In making bark cloth, we were, for a short time, part of keeping this practice alive.
We returned to a spread of traditional foods; steaming matooke and luwombo, served on top of bright green banana leaves. After our delicious and healthy buffet, we set out to the “bush” away from the children to learn about sex, marriage, and traditional herbs from the ‘Senga’ (for women) and the ‘Kojja’ (for men). There was a lot to learn in simply comparing how things were done traditionally to the modern transition of boys and girls into responsible men and women. We couldn’t help wondering if the society of our forefathers may have raised better men and women than those of today.
Towards the end of the day, we were taken to harvest honey from the northern part of the farm. It was exhilarating to experience firsthand the process of harvesting honey from numerous beehives; to hear the buzzing of the bees, to smell the strong and sweet honey and taste it in its dark and purest form. It was an incredible end to an incredible day. We thanked the beautiful and generous people of Entanda for the memorable experience and for allowing us to join them for a day in the life of a traditional Buganda village.