What will happen when our elders pass on, has anyone documented their knowledge?

Today is the 37th National Resistance Movement (NRM)/National Resistance Army (NRA) Day. Both the Vice President of Uganda and the Speaker of Parliament are Ateso. Who can help us to ensure that both these powerful ladies and the NRM Administration as a whole get to read Samuel’s thoughts here below?

“I once thought to myself, what will happen of us when our parents and grandparents pass on, has anyone documented their knowledge on certain things pertaining society and culture?

Being a born of Teso, herbs as medication were a thing then but is that information anywhere for us who shall be left behind? Do we know of those trees that we should treasure for medicinal purposes?

Food security was the thing back in the day with the famous phrase ‘anyami eong orekon’ (do I eat in you home) that was commonly used by the Iteso. Not because the person was bragging, but because he knew behind him was enough food to take him through a given period of time. And he trusted on the strength of his hands to till the land.

It’s upon such thoughts that I thought to myself, I hope one day I can interact with many elders and document these things. I hope someday I can start an initiative to bring back food security to Teso, encouraging every community to set up ‘edula’ in their homesteads to always set aside something for times ahead.

I hope we can sit back and pick a leaf from our forefathers on their ways of life.”

Samuel Githbert

Featured photo is of my cousin sister, Amagoro, while she was at Ogaramio in Pallisa at our late aunts home. Ladies were sorting and winnowing rice that was cooked on the last day of official mourning for our late aunt, the third day after she was buried. I share this picture as part of this post to exemplify its content.

Case in point, how many of us Ateso women of my generation and the next generation can say that they know how to winnow?

The focus on global-western formal education is skewed and is negatively impacting learning of our indigenous knowledge systems via socialisation.

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