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Kintu

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Kintu is a mythological figure who appears in a legend of the Baganda of Uganda as a creation myth. According to this legend, Kintu was the first person on earth, the father of all people.

Myth

In a distant past, Kintu was the only person on the earth, living alone with his cow. Ggulu the creator of all things lived up in heaven with his many children, who occasionally came down to earth to play. On one such occasion, Ggulu's daughter Nambi and some of her brothers encountered Kintu and his cow in Buganda. Nambi instantly took a liking to Kintu and decided to stay and marry him. After her brothers pleaded with her, she returned to heaven with Kintu to ask for her father's permission for the marriage.

Ggulu was not pleased, but blessed the marriage after Nambi had persuaded him. Ggulu advised Kintu and Nambi to leave heaven secretly, so that Walumbe, one of Nambi's brothers would not find out about the marriage until they had left. It was feared that Walumbe (which means "that which causes sickness and death") would insist on going with them and bring them misery.

Kintu and Nambi set out for earth the next morning, taking with them the few things that Nambi packed, and her chicken. While they were descending, Nambi remembered that she had forgotten to bring the millet that her chicken would feed on. Kintu tried to persuade her not to return to fetch the millet, but she left him and returned to fetch the millet. On the way back from fetching the millet, she met Walumbe. She did not tell him where she was going, but filled with curiosity, Walumbe insisted on going with her. Kintu and Nambi were therefore forced to go to earth together with Walumbe.

Walumbe's presence on earth caused suffering and conflicts. That, according to the legend, is how sickness and death started.

The area where Walumbe is traditionally thought to have fallen to earth and to have hidden from Ggulu is the Tanda Pits, west of Kampala on the south side of the road to the town of Mityana.

References

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