A brief History of Tooro

Tooro Kingdom has been in existence for over 180 years. Starting as a chiefdom under the Empire of Kitara: a Rutooro phrase to mean ‘The Empire of Light’, Tooro Kingdom has evolved over time through three dynasties: Batembuzi, Bachwezi and Babiito. The Batembuzi are believed to have been the first emperors of Kitara Empire. It is believed that the Batembuzi kings were gods and their reign is referred to as the reign of the gods. Their dynasty was followed by the mighty and glorious reign of demigods called the Bachwezi.

During their reign, the empire was referred to as the Bachwezi Empire, Chwezi Empire or Empire of the Moon. The Bachwezi were considered to be ‘people of the moon’. The Bachwezi expanded the empire to include most areas of the present day Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The ancestral home of the former President of the United States of America Barrack Obama belonged to the Bachwezi Empire. The Bachwezi are considered to be demigods but born of women, had everlasting life and knew neither sickness nor death. They continue to be worshiped in Uganda and the rest of Africa.

The Bachwezi dynasty was followed by the Babiito dynasty. This is the dynasty to which the world’s youngest monarch Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV belongs to. Modern day historians place the beginning of the Babiito dynasty at the time when the Luo from the North invaded Bunyoro Kitara. The first king was Rukirabasaija Isingoma Mpuga Rukidi I. His reign is placed at around the 14th century. To date, there have been a total of 27 Babiito kings of Bunyoro-Kitara. It is this Kingdom of Bunyoro Kitara that gave birth to Tooro Kingdom as we know it today. Both Tooro and Bunyoro kingdoms have similar rituals and practices with slight variations.