The Bamasaba, a knife to manhood

teenagers initiation into manhood, Imbalu ritual ceremony

The Mutoto cultural grounds were folded with thousands of people to be witnesses as about 600 hundred boys were initiated into manhood on the launch of the Imbalu ceremony.

The Imbalu ceremony is a ritual traditional ceremony practiced by the Gisu people (Bamasaba) located in eastern Uganda and western Kenya, particularly around Mt. Elgon.

It’s an aged traditional ceremony that is done every even year, the practice unites the people of Bugisu region that covers the districts of Mbale, Manafwa, Budoda, Bulambuli, and Sironko.

The Saturday Imbalu ritual ceremony was the first held event since the covid19 lockdown.

This year’s ritual practice proceeded without the presence of the Bamasaba traditional leader who died last year.

Mr. Godwin Mubuya, the chairperson of the Bamasaba Imbalu Inauguration Committee 2022 said the turn-up was overwhelming.

He added that the ceremony comes at the time when the Bamasaba is divided and hoped that this will be a uniting and development factor for the people of Masaba land.

Over 6000 boys are expected to be initiated into manhood this year, every circumcised boy is to be given a cow and a kit after circumcision.

After the launch at Mutoto cultural grounds, then the circumcision this year was open for more candidates whenever the Bamasaba are spread across the country.

The Bamasaba were eagerly waiting for the ceremony after they had missed it in 2022 due to the covid19 lockdown issue.

Sam Bulafu, from Buwalasi in the Sironko district, wondered why leaders unite and get the Bamasaba leader. He said even though the function went on well, the absence of a cultural leader has cost them as the Bamasaaba.


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