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Muteesa I of Buganda

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Title: Muteesa I of Buganda  
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Subject: Mwanga II of Buganda, Kabaka of Buganda, Masaka, Suna II of Buganda, Kalema of Buganda, Charles Chaillé-Long, History of Buganda, Lubaga
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Muteesa I of Buganda

Ssekabaka Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira
Kabaka of Buganda
Mutesa I
Reign 1856 - 1884
Predecessor Suuna II of Buganda
Successor Mwanga II of Buganda
Spouse He married at least 85 wives
Father Suuna II of Buganda
Mother Namasole Muganzirwazza
Born 1837
Mulago Hill
Died 1884 (aged 47)
Kasubi Nabulagala
Burial Kasubi Nabulagala

Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira was Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda, from 1856 until 1884. He was the thirtieth (30th) Kabaka of Buganda.

Claim to the throne

He was born at the Batandabezaala Palace, at Mulago in 1837. He was the son of Kabaka Ssuuna II Kalema Kasinjo, Kabaka of Buganda, who reigned between 1832 and 1856. His mother was Naabakyaala Muganzirwazza, the Namasole, one of the 148 recorded wives of his father. He ascended the throne upon the death of his father in October 1856. He was crowned at Nabulagala. He established his capital, first on Banda Hill. Later he abandoned that palace and established his capital at Kasubi, Nabulagala.[1]

Married life

Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira is reported to have married 85 wives.[2]


He is reported to have fathered ninety-six children, including:

A detailed list of all of Muteesa I's offspring is contained at the following reference:[3]

His reign

Arab and Muslim traders from Zanzibar had been visiting Buganda since the 1840s to trade firearms, gunpowder, salt and cloth in exchange for ivory and slaves. During Kabaka Muteesa I's reign, these contacts continued.

At the same time, contact was made with European visitors for the first time in 1862 when John Speke and James Grant arrived. Their positive accounts attracted more visitors and Henry Stanley arrived in 1875.

The Roman Catholics arrived in 1879, in the person of Father Simon Lourdel Monpel, popularly known as Pere Mapeera and Brother Amans, of the White Fathers.

All three visitor groups were made to believe that Kabaka Muteesa I preferred their religion over the others. They thus wrote favorable reviews back home to their respective governments, encouraging trade and friendly relations. As a result, Buganda, and Uganda were not colonized but were offered status of a protectorate. The manner in which Muteesa I handled these three sets of visitors with competing interests is credited with the development that is enjoyed in the region today. He is credited as the most important of the kings of Buganda, because of his vision and diplomatic skills.[4]

The final years

He died at Kasubi Nabulagala on 9 October 1884 at the age of 47 years and was buried on 18 October 1884. He was buried at Kasubi, the first Kabaka to be buried there.[5] In 2007, Muteesa I Royal University was opened in his name, in recognition of his contribution to the education of the people of Buganda and Uganda. The chancellor of the university is Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the current reigning Buganda monarch.

Succession table

Preceded by
Suuna II Kalema
King of Buganda
1856 - 1884
Succeeded by
Mwanga II Basammula Ekkere

See also


  1. ^ "The Palaces of Kabaka Muteesa I". Uganda Travel Guide. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Wives of Kabaka Muteesa I". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Offspring of Kabaka Muteesa I". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Biography of Muteesa I of Buganda". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Kabaka Muteesa I Is Buried At Kasubi, Nabulagala". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links

  • Genealogy of Kabakas of Buganda
  • List of Kings of Buganda
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