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Not to be confused with Konjo language (Sulawesi).
Native to Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo
Native speakers
610,000 in Uganda (2002 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 koo
Glottolog konz1239[2]

The Konjo (pl. Bakonjo, sing. Mukonjo), or Konzo, are a people located in the Rwenzori Mountains of southwest Uganda. Numbering 361,709 in the 1992 census, they live on the plains, hills and mountain slopes up to an altitude of 2,200 meters. Traditionally agriculturalists and animal husbanders, they farm yams, beans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, soy beans, potatoes, rice, wheat, cassava, coffee, bananas, and cotton, while keeping goats, sheep, and poultry. The Konjo practice traditional religions and Christianity. Konjo speakers also live on the western slopes of the Rwenzori range in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[4]

The language spoken by the Konjo is called, variously, Rukonjo, Olukonjo, Olukonzo, or Lhukonzo. It has a 77% lexical similarity with Nande. There are many dialects, including Sanza (Ekisanza).[4]

The Konjo were part of the armed Rwenzururu movement against the Toro Kingdom and central government that reached heights in the mid-1960s and early 1980s.[5] In 2008, the government recognized the Rwenzururu Kingdom, formed by the Konjo and Amba peoples, as Uganda's first kingdom shared by two tribes.[6]

Notable Bakonjo include Amon Bazira, a political figure instrumental in the negotiations that ended the 1980s conflict, and Charles Mumbere, named the Omusinga (king), of the Rwenzururu Kingdom.


  1. ^ Konzo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Konzo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ a b "Konjo: A language of Uganda", Ethnologue (accessed 7 June 2009)
  5. ^ Prunier, Gérard (2009). Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-537420-9. , 82-83
  6. ^ "Uganda: Welcome Rwenzururu", editorial by the New Vision, 31 March 2008