Uganda’s Katikiro in England


Uganda’s Katikiro in England is the official account of the visit of the katikiro (prime minister) of Buganda, Apolo Kagwa (circa 1864–1927), in 1902 to participate in the coronation of King Edward VII, who ascended to the British throne following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in early 1901. The grandson of a Ugandan chief, Apolo served as a page in the court of King Mutesa I of Buganda (reigned, 1856–84) and became a Christian at a young age. He rose to become chief storekeeper and later prime minister to King Mwanga II (ruled 1884–88 and 1889–97), the son and successor of Mutesa I. Written in Luganda by Ham Mukasa, secretary to Apolo, and translated by the Reverend Ernest Millar, an English missionary who served as the katikiro’s interpreter during his visit, the book recounts the trip overland from Kampala to Mombasa, Kenya, the voyage by ship through the Red Sea and Suez Canal to Naples, and the rail journey across Europe to Britain. Mukasa describes Apolo’s meetings in London with the explorer Henry M. Stanley, the bishop of London, various military and naval officers, and other influential individuals; his visits to Southampton, Birmingham, Cambridge, Glasgow, Sheffield, and other British cities; and his participation in the coronation itself. The book concludes with an account of the return voyage across Europe, with a stop in Rome, the passage to Mombasa on a German steamer, and the party’s arrival in Kampala. The book is an unusual and valuable portrait of British and European society as seen through the eyes of an influential African during the colonial period.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Hutchinson & Company, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

xxv, 278 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 23 centimeters


  • From Ndejje University Library. Digitized at the National Library of Uganda with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York

Last updated: March 7, 2014