The Tale of Kintu: The First Ganda King.

According to Ganda Folklore, the tale of Kintu the first Ganda king talks of a is a mythological figure who appears in a creation myth of the Buganda people from Uganda. The tale talks of the first person on earth, the father of all people who created the first kingdoms and the first man to wander the plains of Uganda alone until he met Nambi.

The Ganda origin myth, “Kintu ne Nnambi“, is taught in school. This is the myth upon which Buganda Kingdom is built. It does not matter where a Ganda is; we are descendants of Kintu (our Adamic figure) and Nnambi (the Eve figure). This myth is critical to the kingdom and the Ganda. It asserts that we are children of Kintu. Kintu is the beginning of everything.Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, The Magic of Everyday Life is Preserved in Ganda Folklore.

Before Kintu met Nambi, Kintu was the only person on the earth, living alone with a cow believed to be his only friend and source of food.

Kintu and his cow
Kintu and his beloved cow. source: Google

One day, Nambi, daughter of Ggulu, ruler of the sky, came to earth and like most love stories, she fell in love with the earth dweller at first sight. The couple wanted to marry, but Nambi’s family considered Kintu too poor and ignorant.

Ggulu, Nambi’s father, then arranged several tasks in which Kintu would have to prove his worth before Ggulu could give the earth dweller and his daughter Nambi his blessing.

In order to for Ggulu’s plan to work, therefore he had his sons steal Kintu’s Cow and brought back to heaven. Needless to say, the plan didn’t work at first.

Also, Read; The Legend of the Chwezi.

Even though Kintu was sad, he didn’t know what had become of his beloved cow. So after a fruitless search, he resorted to feasting on leaves and water.

Nnambi, who couldn’t bear seeing him suffer reported that the cow was in heaven, and Kintu had to travel to heaven to retrieve it. She didn’t tell him what awaited him at her father’s home.

Upon reaching heaven, Ggulu imprisoned Kintu and subjected him to a series of tasks which he passed. Ggulu reluctantly gave the couple his blessing and permission to return to earth but on one condition.

He was to leave heaven in secrecy and make sure Nnambi’s brother Walumbe does not find out and follow them to earth. The couple set out for earth early the next morning, taking with them the few things that Nnambi packed, her chicken and Kintu’s Cow.

kintu and nambi painting
Kintu and Nnambi Painting by Gloria Ssali   -source: Google.

While descending to earth, Nnambi remembered that she had forgotten to bring the millet that her chicken would feed on. Kintu tried to persuade Nnambi not to return to fetch the millet. He feared Walumbe would see her and follow her to earth, but she returned to heaven to fetch the millet.

Also, Read; Kintu and Nnambi: A Ganda love story from Uganda.

On the way back from fetching the millet, she met Walumbe. She lied to him about where she was going, but filled with curiosity, Walumbe followed her in secrecy.

Kintu and Nnambi settled on earth and lived happily ever after. Oh did they?!

See, Walumbe’s presence on earth caused suffering and conflicts. According to the legend, Walumbe was the beginning of sickness and death on earth. Walumbe out of anger towards his sister’s deception made it his life mission to terrorize their children.


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