Mwanga II of Buganda

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Ssekabaka Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II Mukasa
Kabaka of Buganda
King Mwanga II Buganda.jpg
Reign1884 – 1888 & 1889 – 1897
Predecessor1st Time: Muteesa I of Buganda
2nd Time: Kalema of Buganda
Successor1st Time: Kiweewa of Buganda
2nd Time: Daudi Chwa II
Died1903 (aged 34–35)
Victoria, Seychelles[1]
Spouse1. Lady Damali Bayita Nanjobe
2. Naabakyaala Dolosi Mwaan,omu, Bakazikubawa
3. Lady Esiteri Nabunnya
4. Naabakyaala Evalini Kulabako
5. Naabakyaala Loyiroosa Nakibuuka Kaddulubaale
6. Naabakyaala Samali Namuwanga Sabaddu
7. Lady Nabweeteme
8. Lady Nakijoba Nabulya
9. Beeza Batwegombya
10. Naabakyaala Ntongo Kabejja
11. Naabakyaala Nabisubi Omuwanga
12. Lady Namirembe
Lady Laakeeri Mbekeka
14. Lady Nalwooga, Omuyigiriza
15. Lady Elizaabeti Buteba
16. Lady Nattimba Binti Juma
HouseAbalasangeye dynasty
FatherMuteesa I of Buganda
MotherAbakyala Abisagi Bagalayaze

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.

Claim to the throne[edit]

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.

King Mwanga on stained glass at Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine.


Mwanga came to the throne at the age of 16. He increasingly regarded the greatest threat to his rule coming from the Christian missionaries who had gradually penetrated Buganda. His father had played-off the three religions, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims, against each other and thus balanced the influence of the European colonial 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 insolence he received from the (male) pages of his harem when they resisted his sexual advances. According to old tradition the king was the centre of power and authority, and he could dispense with any life as he felt. 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.[3] 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.

Final years[edit]

On 26 December 1890, Mwanga signed a treaty with Lord Lugard, granting certain powers over revenue, trade and the administration of justice to the Imperial British East Africa Company. These powers were transferred to the crown on 1 April 1893.

On 27 August 1894, Mwanga accepted for Buganda to become a Protectorate. However, on 6 July 1897 he declared war on the British and launched an attack but was defeated on 20 July 1897, in Buddu (in today's Masaka District). He fled into German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania), where he was arrested and interned at Bukoba.

He was deposed in absentia on 9 August 1897. Tenacious as he was, he escaped and returned to Buganda with a rebel army, but was again defeated on 15 January 1898. He was captured and in April 1899 was exiled to the Seychelles. While in exile, he was received into the Anglican Church and was baptized with the name of Danieri (Daniel). He spent the rest of his life in exile. He died in the Seychelles on 8 May 1903, aged 34 or 35. On 2 August 1910, his remains were repatriated and buried at Kasubi.[4][1]

Married life[edit]

Mwanga is on record as having married 16 wives:[5]

  1. Damali Bayita Nanjobe
  2. Naabakyaala Dolosi Mwaan'omu Bakazikubawa
  3. Esiteri Nabunnya
  4. Naabakyaala Eveliini Kulabako, Omubikka
  5. Naabakyaala Loyiroosa Nakibuuka, Kaddulubaale
  6. Naabakyaala Samali Namuwanga, Sabaddu
  7. Nabweteme
  8. Nakijoba Nabulya (Elizabeeti Oliva Kyebuzibwa born of Mwanje Bikaali)
  9. Bezza Batwegombya
  10. Naabakyaala Ntongo, Kabejja
  11. Naabakyaala Nabisubi, Omuwanga
  12. Namirembe
  13. Lakeeri Mbekeka
  14. Nalwooga, Omuyigiriza
  15. Elizaabeeti Buteba
  16. Nattimba Binti Juma


Mwanga II fathered seven sons and three daughters including Daudi Chwa II of Buganda: [6]

  1. Prince (Omulangira) Kagolo, whose mother was Damali Bayita Nanjobe. He was killed by his uncle Kalema, in 1889.
  2. Prince (Omulangira) Mulindwa, whose mother was Nabweteme
  3. Prince (Omulangira) Nganda, whose mother was Lakeeri Mbekeka
  4. Daudi Chwa II of Buganda, who reigned from 1897 until 1939. His mother was Eveliini Kulabako.
  5. Prince (Omulangira) Yusuufu Suuna Kiweewa, whose mother was Esiteri Nabunnya. He was born at Mengo, Uganda on 16 February 1898 and was educated at Mengo High School and King's College Budo. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on October 1914. He served in the Great War from 1915 until 1919. Promoted to Lieutenant in the 7th Territorial Battalion on 25 May 1939. He served in the Second World War in Eastern Africa and in North Africa, from 1939 until 1940. Retired on 18 March 1940. He was implicated in the Buganda riots of 1949 and exiled to the Ssese Islands, where he died in 1949.
  6. Prince (Omulangira) Tobi, whose mother was Nabisubi
  7. Prince (Omulangira) Nayime?, whose mother was Loyiroosa Nakibuuka
  8. Princess (Omumbejja) Najjuma Katebe, whose mother is not mentioned
  9. Princess (Omumbejja) Anna Nambi Nassolo, whose mother was Samali Namuwanga
  10. Princess (Omumbejja) Mboni Maliamu Kajja-Obunaku, whose mother was Nattimba. She was educated at Saint Monica's School in Zanzibar.

Succession table: First time[edit]

Preceded by
Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe
Kabaka of Buganda
Succeeded by
Kiweewa Nnyonyintono

Succession table: Second time[edit]

Preceded by
Kalema Muguluma
Kabaka of Buganda
Succeeded by
Daudi Cwa II of Buganda

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c D. A. Low, Fabrication of Empire: The British and the Uganda Kingdoms, 1890-1902, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 210, note 196.
  2. ^ "Long-Distance Trade and Foreign Contact". Uganda. Library of Congress Country Studies. December 1990. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b Kabaka Mwanga Ordered the Killings of the Uganda Martyrs
  4. ^ "The History And Life of Kabaka Mwanga II". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  5. ^ "The Wives of Kabaka Mwanga II". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  6. ^ "The Abalasangeye Dynasty". Retrieved 5 October 2014.

External links[edit]