Thousands of people thronged Mutoto cultural ground in Mbale District for the official launch of the Imbalu ceremony in Bugisu region, but as expected earlier, President Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta missed the event that, according to our sources was to be presided over by Edward Ssekandi, the Vice President.
Mutoto cultural ground is significant because it is the place where the first Mugishu was circumcised. This festival takes place every even year.
The fete is characterized by singing, jubilations as young boys seek to be recognized as real men after being circumcised.
Imbalu festival at Mukhoko in Mbale kicks off the season of circumcision which will end in December of this even year.
Like at previous occasions, women and men tie their waists with banana leaves and others wear in skimpy clothes. But most importantly most Bagishu dress up in traditional regalia.
Circumcision, known as Imbalu among the Bamasaba, is an age-old tradition, which defines and unites the people in Bugisu region comprising of five districts of Mbale, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Sironko and Bududa. They are believed to be descendants of Masaba.