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Mwanga ii of buganda

The meaning of «mwanga ii of buganda»

Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II Mukasa (1868 – 8 May 1903)[1] was Kabaka of Buganda from 1884 until 1888 and from 1889 until 1897. He was the 31st Kabaka of Buganda.

He was born at Nakawa in 1868. His father was Muteesa I of Buganda, who reigned between 1856 and 1884. His mother was Abakyala Abisagi Bagalayaze, the 10th of his father's 85 wives. He ascended to the throne on 18 October 1884, after the death of his father. He established his capital on Mengo Hill.

Mwanga came to the throne at the age of 16. He increasingly regarded the greatest threat to his rule as coming from the Christian missionaries who had gradually penetrated Buganda. His father had played-off the three religious traditions - Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims - against each other and thus had balanced the influence of the powers that were backing each group in order to extend their reach into Africa. Mwanga II took a much more aggressive approach, expelling missionaries and insisting that Christian converts abandon their faith or face death. A year after becoming king he executed Yusufu Rugarama, Makko Kakumba, and Nuuwa Sserwanga, who had converted to Christianity. On 29 October 1885, he had the incoming archbishop James Hannington assassinated on the eastern border of his kingdom.

For Mwanga, the ultimate humiliation was the male Catholic pages of his harem resisting his advances. According to tradition, the king was the centre of power and authority, and he could dispense with any life as he wished. It was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king. Given those conflicting values, Mwanga was determined to rid his kingdom of the new teaching and its followers. Mwanga therefore precipitated a showdown in May 1886 by ordering converts in his court to choose between their new faith and complete obedience to his orders and kingdom.[2]

It is believed that at least 30 Catholic and Protestant neophytes went to their deaths.[citation needed] Twenty-two of the men, who had converted to Catholicism, were burned alive at Namugongo in 1886 and later became known as the Uganda Martyrs. Among those executed were two Christians who held the court position of Master of the Pages, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and Charles Lwanga. They had repeatedly defied the king by rescuing royal pages in their care from sexual exploitation by Mwanga which they believed contrary to Christian teaching.[3]

These murders and Mwanga's continued resistance alarmed the British, who backed a rebellion by Christian and Muslim groups who supported Mwanga's half brother and defeated Mwanga at Mengo in 1888. Mwanga's brother, Kiweewa Nnyonyintono, was elevated to the throne. He lasted exactly one month and was replaced on the throne by another brother, Kabaka Kalema Muguluma. However, Mwanga escaped and negotiated with the British. In exchange for handing over some of his sovereignty to the British East Africa Company, the British changed their backing to Mwanga, who swiftly removed Kalema from the throne in 1889. He later converted to Christianity and was baptised.

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Mwanga I of Buganda
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