- The Royal House of Toro represents the senior line of the Babito Dynasty of Bunyoro-Kitara. The kingdom came into being in 1822 when Prince Kaboyo rebelled against his father and seized the premier provinces of the kingdom. Although named as successor to his father, Omukama Kyebambe III, Kaboyo Olimi V preferred to leave Bunyoro to his younger brother. After a long reign, his death ushered caused a succession dipute between his many sons, that lasted for nearly a decade. Neighbouring kingdoms, particularly Buganda, intervened several times on behalf of various contenders for the throne. Bunyoro, never happy with Toro’s separate existence, invaded in 1876. After a number of attempts at annexation and three wars against various princes, she triumphed in 1880. The Toro Royal family of Toro fled to neighbouring Ankole. Their choice of exile proved fateful, most of them were massacred on the orders of the Banyankore Queen Mother. The sole survivor, Prince Kasagama, fled to Buganda. There he encountered Lord Lugard, then engaged in operations against the warlike and expansionist ruler of Bunyoro. Toro was wrested from him and Kasagama proclaimed as Omukama Kyebambe VI. He later converted to Christianity, performed valuable service against the Germans in the East African campaign, and reigned for thirty-seven peaceful years. Rukidi III succeeded his father in 1928. The first Western educated ruler, he had studied at King’s College at Budo and served as an officer in the King’s African Rifles, and in the Uganda Police. He too reigned for thirty-seven years, dying in 1966. Patrick Olimi III, reigned for a little over a year before the abolition of the kingdoms. After a long period of exile in Kenya, he eventually returned home and represented his country as Ambassador to Cuba. He enjoyed his restoration for a little over two years, dying in 1995 and leaving his throne to his three year-old son, Rukidi IV.
STYLES & TITLES:
The Sovereign: Rukirabasaija (personal name) (reign name) (praise names), Omukama of Toro, with the style of His Highness.
The eldest full-sister of the Sovereign and first lady of the Kingdom: Batebe, i.e. Princess Royal.
The mothr of the Sovereign: Namasole.
The sons, grandsons and other male descendants of Mukamas, in the male line: Omubiito, i.e. Prince.
The daughter, granddaughters and other female descendants of Mukamas, in the male line: Omubiitokati, i.e. Princess.
Note: the reign name numerology of the Omukama originally followed those of the Babito dynasty of Bunyoro-Kitara. This was changed during the middle of the twentieth century to reflect its independence and distinction. RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture. ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
The Order of the Lion, Crown and Shield: founded by Rukirabasaija Sir George Rukidi III in 1963. Awarded in three classes (1. Grand Cross, 2. Commander and 3. Member).
- SELECT GLOSSARY:
Abeganywa: keepers of the regalia.
Bacwezi: the semi-divine Kings, descendants of the Abatembuzi dynasty.
Batebe: Princess Royal, usually a full sister of the Mukama, who enjoys the status of first lady of the kingdom during her brother’s reign.
Batoro: the people of Toro.
Emapango: Royal rites.
Kaizira Okwera: the sacred throne used for coronations.
Kaitantahi: the Royal Spear.
Kasusu Nkwanzi: the Mukama’s crown.
Kyamunuma: the Palace of the Princes.
Mirembe: the King’s drum.
Mucwa ya Babitokati: the Palace of the Princesses.
Mukama: “the superior milkman”, the title of the rulers of Bunyoro-Kitara and Toro.
Mutoro: a person from Toro.
Namasole: mother of the Mukama.
Omugo: title of the wife of the Mukama.
Omusana: Master of Ceremonies.
Omwigazi: Bearer of the Mukama’s Staff.
Rukirabasaija: ‘th greatest of men’ one of the principal titles of the Mukama.
Ruhanga: the Creater.
Rutoro: the language of the Toro. SOURCES:
Princess Elizabeth of Toro. African Princess, The Story of Princess Elizabeth of Toro. Hamish Hamilton Ltd., London, 1983.
Burke’s Royal Families of the World. Volume II: Africa & The Middle East. Burke’s Publications Ltd., London, 1980.
Kenneth Ingham. The Kingdom of Toro in Uganda. Methuen & Co. Ltd., London, 1975. SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Prince Emmanuel Ishagara Jr.
Prince George Karamagi.
Daphne B. Ketter.
John D. McMeekin, “PHALHERVEX”.