Although the true nature of the original Cwezi people is a mystery, their influence on folklore throughout Africa is great. So much so that across Africa they are described as demigods or aliens
The Bachwezi people, also known as the ancient Cwezi or Chwezi, were a group of people who according to legend ruled the Empire of Kitara (Empire of Light). The mythical African Empire encompassed a vast area including modern Uganda, Sudan, northern Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, and Malawi from 10,000 BC 1500.
The empire began to disintegrate into various autonomous states in the 14th century, after the death of a Bihogo cow that people believed was sacred, which is believed to have marked the end of the empire.
Different cultures describe them incredibly similarly
Folklore describes them as an extraordinary demigod people; they were unusually tall, and their heads were distinctly inhumane. In addition to physical appearance, myths describe how they had supernatural skills, powers far greater than human ones.
Their role is said to have been revered in Uganda and their help invoked in times of great distress. Rundani and Burandi, who still worship the Cwezi, call them Ibimanuka, meaning “people who landed like gods,” Ancient origins reports.
They are worshiped all over Africa
They are worshiped by tribes in Ankole, Torah, Eastern Congo, Buganda and Tanzania. Given that so many people still believe that they are supernatural or extraterrestrial beings, the question arises as to whether they are just a myth or yet a real ancient civilization that has spread its influence over much of Africa.
A semi-mythical people of advanced structure
The most frequently cited source of data on the Cwezi people is the oral tradition of the Tutsis, an ethnic group in the Great Lakes region - but it still does not solve the enigma of their origins.
While some believe they came from Egypt, the Tutsis describe the mystical ancient Cwezi as the direct ancestor of the royal families of the Kush, Nubian and Khamiti peoples. They are also described as relatives or the same cultural groups as the Kamitic and Sudanese gods.
Introduced a complex system of state
Modern archeology cannot explain much about the semi-mythical people, primarily because, according to folklore, their influence spread over a large area and through cultures that unite only the belief in a mythical people.
Many modern scientists believe that the Cwezi first arrived in western Uganda around 500 AD. They migrated from the north, from the Nile basin and brought with them a more complex social system and established kingdoms in East Africa.
They were destroyed by Western racism
Gakondo, an eccentric and rather controversial African writer, believes that this theory is only the fruit of a colonialist period that sought to impose the view that in the past, peoples from the north and west civilized African peoples.
Gakondo claims that the Cwezi people were not limited to the regions around Lake George and Lake Albert as claimed by Western scholars, but that the Cwezi were in fact the rulers of the ancient Kitara Empire which encompassed a vast region covering modern Rwanda, Burundi, Karagwe, eastern Congo, some parts of Uganda and the plains of Canoe Kenya, just as legends claim. But he goes even further and says that the Cwezi are the ancestors of many great modern African kingdoms - Toro, Ankole, Buganda, Rwanda and Burundi - and even some lost kingdoms such as Congo and Zanj.
Aliens or demigods?
Leonie Nowak / flickr.com
The geographical origin and spread of the Cwezi people are a contentious topic anyway, but the controversy is further fueled by the fact that they are not like other known ancient cultures. The Cwezi are generally described as extraordinary both in appearance and in civilization, leading to speculation that they were visitors from another planet with “one foot in the earth and the other in the universe of the gods”. Others believe that their powers testify that they are a race of demigods.
Tradition describes the Cwezies as incredibly tall, with dark brown skin (with the exception of one tradition, recorded by CC Wrigley, who describes them as white). Descriptions of extraordinarily tall people are generally accompanied by legends about their supernatural abilities, including the ability to teleport and telekinesis.
Masonry and pyramids?
One of the things that the proponents of ancient civilization cite as proof that the Cwezi possessed superhuman abilities is the construction of the pyramids. They were built of 30 tons of rock, which were transported from a great distance from South Sudan to Cairo. More traditional explanations for this are the work of slaves and volunteers who thus invested in their afterlife.
But proponents of the theory that the Cwezi were supernatural beings believe that the huge blocks were moved telekinetically by the Cwezi. They also reject the well-proven theory that the stone blocks were roughly broken off in the quarry and then carved and finished with primitive tools but claim that they were immediately precisely cut and stacked like Lego bricks. In doing so, they refer to folklore.
‘They don’t want to admit that ancient civilizations were advanced’
Of course, serious researchers reject all theories that involve supernatural powers, but there are those who claim that the Cwezians dealt with far more advanced technology, which has been described in folk tales as magic.
Gakondo, an African writer who believes the Cwezi were supernatural, believes more traditional theories about building pyramids are the result of prejudice against African civilizations.
He argues that archaeologists who believe that pyramids were made with primitive tools simply do not want to consider ancient people intelligent or technologically advanced. He is convinced that scientists attribute the pyramid to manual labor because it confirms their idea that earlier civilizations were primitive and that our ancestors were less intelligent than us and that African civilization has always been inferior to Western and Mediterranean.
Oral lectures add to all this the power of clairvoyance, telepathy and at least some ability to teleport. According to myths, the Cwez were thus able to read minds and predict the future and warn each other.
Although teleportation is rejected in serious scientific analysis, proponents who claim that the myths contain the truth about the Cwezis point out that this is the only explanation for the existence of identical mythical people in otherwise completely different cultures across the continent - from the Ife people.