A series of Ugandan mythological stories and past real lifetime events are set to be brought back to life through a captivating collection of animated movies and comic books in an initiative dubbed ‘Superheroes of Uganda.’
It is a project spearheaded by the ministry of Tourism’s department of museums and monuments in collaboration with Travel Tube, a platform that is committed to showcasing Africa’s diverse culture and history.
The Superheroes of Uganda series is an endeavour that melds ancient legends with contemporary storytelling, presenting a dynamic fusion of folklore and modern heroism. The project seeks to empower Ugandans by giving voice to their unique stories, cultural nuances and historical narratives while fostering a sense of national pride and inspiring audiences to embrace their own inner superhero.
The first four stories to feature in animations and books include Kibuuka: God of War. Locally known as Kibuuka Omumbale, legend has it that this member of the pantheon of gods in Buganda used to provide advice and protection to Buganda kings during times of war, diseases and other catastrophic events.
The Return of Princess Nakayima is another one in the works, reenacting the life of the Bachwezi goddess Nakayima, who was the first wife of the Bachwezi king Ndahura and is said to have had mystic powers to bless barren women with children and cure incurable diseases.
Animation lovers will also witness the story of Ndahura the Silverback, a dominant silverback of the Bitukura family of gorillas, which died in 2016 at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park at 28 years of age after falling 50 metres from a tree.
Real-life stories will also be told, such as the story of The Barefooted Footballers dating back to 1956 when a group of Ugandan footballers were selected to tour England, playing against different teams. They played 11 matches and lost seven, opting to play barefoot because shoes reportedly were a novelty and made them uncomfortable.
During the launch of the books at the Uganda Museum recently, the minister of Tourism Tom Butime said this project not only weaves the heroic tales of our past into the fabric of our present, but also highlights the importance of cultural preservation and the power of technology.
“In this digital age, bridging the gap between the young generation and our history is crucial. This project offers a solution by presenting our stories in a contemporary format that resonates with today’s youth and instills in them profound respect for our culture.”
He added: “Through digitization, we aim to connect our heritage to the global community, allowing for a more engaging and enriching experience for both our residences and foreign visitors as well as diversify our tourist products from the traditional wildlife and fauna.”
With the books now on shelves at the Uganda Museum library, the animations that are going to be voiced by a cast of famous Ugandan actors and celebrities will premier in December in Kampala and thereafter be taken to other parts of the world including Hollywood, United Kingdom, South Africa and Kenya as a way of bringing these captivating tales to a global audience and fostering cross-cultural appreciation and understanding.