Inzu Ya Masaaba release roadmap for 2024 Imbalu festivities

Mbale, (UG): The Umukhuka III of Inzu Ya Masaaba, His Royal Highness Jude Mike Mudoma has put in place a committee to streamline the Imbalu, a circumcision ceremony among the Bamasaaba community that takes place every even two years.

In the past, circumcision among Bamasaaba was carried out every year including odd years until the 1940s when the bamasaaba began conducting circumcision every two years. This was because there were shortages of foodstuffs at that time.

The Umukhuka Mudoma recently constituted an ad-hoc committee headed by the former Bududa District LCV Chairman Hon Wilson Watira to manage the circumcision planning and guide bBamasaaba on the dates of commencement of the imbalu.

Speaking to DailyExpress recently, Mr Steven Masiga, the spokesperson of the Inzu Ya Masaaba cultural institution revealed that the imbalu among bamasaaba is immensely active and conducted around August which is about 180 days away.

“Recently the police in Manafwa led by DPC were seeking guidance on how to go about this. This and our position as Inzuyamasaaba is that the official time for imbalu is usually in August,” Mr Masiga told this publication.

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However, Masiga says they have seen isolated cases where boys are being circumcised as early as January 1st for various reasons and in the event of such situations, regulations on how it should be done are important and not stopping them since those who circumcise have varying grounds for doing so.

“Sometimes you have foreigners who circumcise their boys like Banyole, Basinga, Baganda, Itesot. I even saw some garage boys circumcising an old man of 30 years this may not be over followed since they don’t practice all aspects of our culture like enamba and wearing of bells among others,” he says.

Masiga explains that the circumcision seasons among Bamasaaba are majorly two but with varying intentions for example the August period is meant for non-school-going groups, while the December one is meant for those who were in school mostly those who have just finished their primary and secondary education.

He adds that circumcision begins in clans and Masaabaland has over 1000 clans and moves within those clans until the conclusion.

With the cultural leader now in office, Mr Masiga is confident that the issue of uncoordinated circumcision will be a thing of the past.

“Recall in 2020, the ceremony was a little bit disorderly on account of numerous reasons including the absence of an acultural leader and covid_ 19 where the government froze public functions including imbalu,” Masiga says.

“As we celebrate our culture, other laws like traffic laws ought to be thought about, celebrants should not take the law into their hands or displace cars on roads and car drivers must also slow down if they encounter kadodi and imbalu celebrants.”

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“There is usually a lot of impatience on the side of drivers as we race towards the imbalu festive seasons we encourage everyone to have this information in the public domain,” he concluded.

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