WBC Culture and Fashion#3 Curses or gods? the case for the twins

The birth of twins in the African traditional society was received with different reaction,in some communities,they were a bundle of joy and we’re considered as gods and gifts would be brought to them. In other communities,they were ostracized and looked at as curses.

I studied at Makerere College School for my Ordinary Level and it has a tradition of music and performing Arts. We called it MAPA( Makerere Performing Arts) . The event would be in the last weeks of First term.

Every Society revered twins and atleast had to “cleanse” them for good fortune. My house was Muteesa and that year,we were given a traditional folk song in which the medicine man comes to the home to cleanse the twins. So I was the medicine man who had come with herbs and off I sang “Baitu imwe abomu ba Rubarenzya.,…nenki kandi kamukyingyire,nimunyigurere nyerebere”(You of Rubaryenza’s household, how come you haven’t opened your house? Open and I see. Then I would be led into the house and I sang,“reeba nizire”(Here I am) and the general answer would be,”Muzahuura”(our savior) I continued “nebishugyi byangye”(I have come with my herbs.

Excuse the quality, that’s what I could get.

Generally twins were said to have powers and people were not encouraged to visit them minus cleansing. Infact there has been a misconception as to vitiligo, most people reason that ,”abalongo bamwokya”(the twins burnt him/her). Far from it, vitiligo is a disease so perhaps culture got it wrong.

The common misconception is that this is when twins ‘burn’ the person.

So you perhaps get why I am an old man, life imitates art and in art, I was an old man and life is happening.

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