The fight and Stigmatisation of Bakiga foods and our cultural erosion.

There is a tendency by my Bakiga brothers and sisters ordering for chips and chicken when they eneter restaurants. They are gullible Bakiga who don’t know how their culture is been eroded overtime. It was done by our first grandfathers. Bakiga should not that the pre-colonial food crops (in Kigezi) included sorghum, millet, beans, peas, and sweet potatoes. The newly introduced ones include solanum potatoes (emondi), bananas, and the daily intake of meat and other animal products. … The war against indigenous foods came into the open when children who had been sent to colonial boarding schools became alienated from their cultures, ways of life, foods and feeding habits. They began by despising and rejecting their traditional foods. The first victim was local sorghum bread (obuhemba). They. through their limited acquired foreign language named it derogatorily as John kyankarata wanyiha ahabi – meaning that obuhemba was an unpalatable food only eaten as a last resort by desperate people. This war spread like wild fire among the young generation and they abandoned obuhemba and enkumba. (Enkumba is porridge prepared from raw sorghum.) The elite transformed the two types of food into curses. The stigmatisation of local food helped to create a reliable market for European wheat bread. And so graduates of colonial education and modernity were pitted against African Kiga culture and foods. This resulted in cultural conflicts and confusion. Those who ought to have saved their areas from imperialism transformed their people into haters of their own products and consumers of imported foods. This confirms the dependency discourse which argued that imperialism transformed the colonised people into producers of what they did not consume and consumers of what they did not produce. Unfortunately we have continued to do this as Banyakigezi we must try and put our house in order.

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