On behalf of my fellow Iteso (the people), I confirm to you that Ateso (our language) is a complex and highly evolved language; and I proudly clarify as follows:
We, as a group, are correctly referred to as Iteso, therefore, referring to your singular friend as Iteso is wrong.
Ejakait Ochom is ETESOT
One person who is male and is from the region (Teso) or from among the Iteso is referred to as Etesot.
Ajakait Alinga is ATESOT
While a female from Teso or from among the Iteso is referred to as Atesot.
Historians and researchers on the basis of empirical studies trace the origins of Iteso from Egypt, through Ethiopia, through Karamoja.
This was my response a post on Facebook seven years ago and it still stands. Here below is the post, which I think was and is still insensitive:
“My Iteso friend promised to re arrange my face, free of charge, because I told him the name Teso was coined from a Luganda word ekiteso (discussion). He ranted, how the Iteso roots are as clear as day follows night and needs no editing or remixing. At this point I wonder, have the Kenyans, got a right to call; Japs, Bakiga, Acholi and Baganda – Waganda?”Titus Kakembo
Sadly, Titus is not the only one. Several times Iteso have fought back at what we feel is gross disrespect of our language, including by our fellow Ugandans. For example the persistence with which some insist on calling a singular member of the Iteso family “Itesot”, which in effect is an insult in Ateso.