The Bakonzo are found in Kasese District Rwenzori sub region of the western Uganda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Kasese district boarders with DRC on the West and South, Bushenyi district on south west then Kabarole district in the Northern ends.
The “Konzo” ethnic group is the large majority among the other groups in Kasese district which has got over 14 tribes speaking different languages.
Other tribes ion this region include the Baongora, Banyabindi, Bakingwe, Batooro, Bagabo,Banyaruguru, Banyabutumbi, Banyagwaki and Bakiga among others.
Though all these other tribes in the region are united by the accent of Ntu the Bakonzo Accent is Ndue.gOmuntu for a Musongora then Omundu for Mukonzo. The Ndus originated from Zimbabwe, Congo Zaire and Congo Brazzaville.
The staple food for Bakonzo is Obundu and is more delicious when served with Sombe as sauce.
Amazingly and unique Obundu is made from Cassava flour while sauce Sombe is prepared from Cassava leaves.
How to prepare Obundu, should it be for simple family the cassava flour is prepared on sun shine and mingled in a saucepan by a lady.
Where there is an old woman (Mukhakha) is the one to mingle because of the experience. Though prepared like any other tapioca meal, there is a norm that for a young lady to prepare Obundu must be on instruction and guidance by an old woman.
When the Bundu is about to be ready the saucepan is removed from the fire and put between the legs and step on its top besides where a serious mingle will be for about 20 minutes before it is served.
Among other ethnics the tapioca bread is served in small decorated Baskets but for the case of the Bundu in Bakonzo is served on big plates and must be eaten from one place.
Where the Obundu is served even if it’s a family of 50 will all press their hands and share on it.
On parties and occasions the Bundu is prepared by powerful men commonly referred to as abalhume and also takes responsibility of serving.
In Kasese every meal whether other foods are available the Bundu must be served Breakfast, Lunch and super.
If a Mukonzo visits and is not served with Bundu and Sombe will call it a loss or bad day because and will accuse of being hard on food.
Miss not on occasions.
At very occasion let it be cultural, wedding, introduction and anniversaries the bundu must be No 1 on the menu.
A function where the Obundu is not served to say it’s an introduction or give away the Groom‘s men (Bako) may end up boycott or ask for a fine for having been overlooked.
By Simon Kagame