Q. what do you really do?

A. We reasearch in, document, preserve and promote the culture of the Basoga.

Q. How do you do it?

A. We gather data from existing publications about the basoga culture, document it and preserve it in our office as original as possible. Then people who wish to know about the basoga culture those who want this information for more research get it from our office or this website. We also promote it by encouraging the teaching and learning or using Lusoga in school in Busoga, as a way of implementing the goverment policy through the Ministry of Education and Sports of teaching and learning in local languages.

Q. How are you funded?

A. We get funding from people of good will, who value culture. We welcome people of good will to donate in order to take this noble initiative ahead.

Q. You are promoting Culture, is that not promoting witchcraft?

A. Well not at all. Many people have not understood what Culture is. They associate it with witchcraft but Culture is simply a people’s way of life handed onto them over generations. It defines a particular people from other people. Cultural encompasses a particular peoples way of life which includes: language, customs, morals, their philosophy of life, administrative structure, aesthetics, their technology, food, dress, art and music as well as belief system, just to mention a few. Some people in a particular society may practice witchcraft but this is a negative and an unapproved of practice. We are aware that in societies witches are banished whenever found out. So Researching into the Culture, is not promoting witchcraft. If anything, is helping people define themselves and understand their origins as well as the reason for their being.

Q. Isn’t promoting culture taking us backward. Culture deters development.

A. Culture has nothing to do with taking people backward. If anything, a people that has not understood its origins and having something to hold onto, is destined for ruin. You must have heard of people saying that so and so is not cultured. I wonder whether that is a compliment!!! Actually, we cannot just ignore culture since culture is a people’s way of life. However, researching into culture enables us to make a firm foundation for our development because then we have values to promote, values that have held us together for ages and this is exactly what Cultural Research Centre is doing. To research into, promote and preserve our God-given ancestral cultural heritage; and to inculcate a deep sense of pride and belonging among the Basoga. It is a given by God.

Q. How can a Catholic Church engage into such a venture of promoting culture? Is that not doing something contrary to Christ’s teaching?

A.“There are many links between the message of salvation and culture. In His self-revelation to His people culminating in the fullness of manifestation of His incarnate Son, God spoke according to the culture proper to each age. Similarly the Church has existed through the centuries in varying circumstances and has utilized the resources of different cultures in its preaching to spread and explain the message of Christ, to examine and understand it more deeply, and to express it more perfectly in the liturgy and various aspects of the life of the faithful” (Vat. II, The Church in the Modern World No.58). Christ, the Word made flesh, dwelt among us, human beings in particular culture, namely the culture of the Jews. Yet His incarnation was for the salvation of the entire human family. Given His taking on a human flesh which is limited (finite), He could not dwell in all Cultures at the same time. Thus in a representative manner, He decided to dwell among cultures through the Jewish culture. Therefore, by the Word of God being preached among a particular people who have a particular culture, Christ is indeed incarnating among that particular people. In conclusion, there is nothing contradictory in the Church’s learning from the culture of the people she is evangelizing. In this way, the Gospel transforms and purifies the culture and at the same time, culture enriches the Gospel. This is what we call Inculturation. And so: “We must do everything possible to make all persons aware of their right to culture and their duty to develop themselves culturally and to help their fellows. Sometimes conditions of life and work are such as to stifle man’s cultural efforts and destroy this urge for culture” (Vat. II The Church in the Modern World No.60 par.2).

Q. The Cultural Research Centre is doing a wonderful work. How are you making yourself known so that people can make use of the Centre?

A. This is one way of making the Centre known to the General Public. We do believe that this website is going to be accessed by a multitude of people who we trust will share such information with their friends. This in itself will cause a multiplier effect.
On the local level, we carry out sensitization workshops and radio programmes. Again we hope that those who have heard about the centre, have visited the Centre or have read some of our books, will share with their friends since the Basoga say: “abona ekirungi akighayaaku” meaning: one who sees a good thing will definitely talk about it.

Q. What efforts are you making to have your books printed with registered publishers?

A. We would very much like to do that; however, publishers are business people and not charity organizations. Thus they will invest their money in publishing a book they are assured of a ready market. On the other hand, we are limited by funds to pay these publishers for publishing our books. So what we have been doing to create a market for the books is by printing them locally so as to circulate them to make people interested. Take for example the issue of having Lusoga taught in schools, nobody will have approved of it if there were no books for the beginning. Now that we have managed to have the Ministry of Education and Sports accept Lusoga to be used in schools in Busoga, market is created and that is when registered publishers are coming up to supply books. But again, publishers will only publish those books needed by Primary Schools, so we are still having a problem of having funds for the printing. If you can come to our aid, you are most welcome. These simple beginnings we have been employing, I tell you have managed to rejuvenate a high self-esteem among the Basoga.

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