Imbalu To Be Promoted As Tourism Product

The Ministry of Tourism has resolved to promote the Bamasaba cultural circumcision ceremony also known as Imbalu as one of the tourist attractions in Uganda.

Bududa LC V chairman in the company of Agness Nandutu of NTV leads dancers into imbalu ceremony
Bududa LC V chairman in the company of Agness Nandutu of NTV leads dancers into imbalu ceremony

The ceremony is an important cultural tradition that has been running for generations among the Bamasaaba ethnic group in eastern Uganda. According to the custom, the procedure represents entry into manhood.

Maria Mutagamba, the sector Minister says government has realized that the ritual attracts various categories of people across the globe. As such the ceremony can be used to raise funds for the Bamasaba cultural institution and the country once it is properly organized and managed as a tourist attraction.

She told our in an interview that government has resolved to enlist Imbalu cultural event into the Ministry’s calendar events adding that Mutoto, where the Bamasba cultural site is located will be decently constructed to create a better image akin to its importance.

Located near Mbale town in Bungokho south, Mutoto is the place where the first imbalu (circumcision) ceremony was officially adopted.  The site has since hosted all subsequent imbalu opening ceremonies and to date respected as the birthplace of the illustrious tradition.

Mutagamba said that through the Uganda Tourism board, her ministry has already informed the Bamasaba cultural leadership about the plan to which they were positive. She says her office is now waiting for a work plan upon which execution will be based.

The Minister says her office will liaise with the private sector, among them the tour operators to factor Imbalu into their programs and boost its marketing.

John Musila, the Inzu Ya Masaba information Minister says that every even year when Imbalu is conducted, the cultural institution registers a significant number of tourists who come to witness the event at no cost.  He says promoting imbalu would then increase the revenue base for the cultural institution and government.

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