KINGDOMS IN EAST AFRICA include the following :


  • Buganda  started as a territory  with a  small  population  in the 17th  century
  • The population 0f Uganda increased as migrants from Busoga, Bunyoro, Mt.Elgon and koki arrived.
  • According   to the legend,its  believed   that  Kato  Kimera  was the founder  of Buganda  kingdom  though  its challenged  by other   legends that Kintu was the first Muganda and King of Buganda?
  • Therefore, the founder and first king of Buganda was Kintu.
  • Buganda grew from a small nucleus of 3 countries i.e. Mawokota, Busiro, Kyadondo, it later expanded to over ten counties at eh time of signing the 1900 Buganda agreement it was 20 counties.


  • It had a centralized system of administration with the Kabaka as the over all ruler.
  • The kingdom was divided into countries, sub counties; parishes sub parishes and villages for easy administration.

Administrative structure of Buganda kingdom

                                    Political structure

Clan system                                                  Political system

Clan heads                                                   king (KAbaka)

Lineage heads                                             chief justice (mulamuzi)

Sub lineage                                                  treasurer (Muwanika)

Kinsfolk                                                         county chief (Saza chief)

                                                                        Sub-county chief (Gombola chief)

                                                                        Parish chief (Muluka chief)

                                                                        Sub parish chief(Mutongole chief)

                                                                        Village chief( Omutaka)


The Baganda had economic activities like bark cloth making iron smelting rearing of animals and growing of crops, making boats, which helped them in trade and war fare.

They traded in slavery ivory iron ore and shells of animals in exchange for guns, beads and ammunitions from Arabs


The bagada had strong beliefs in ancestral spirits. They believed in may gods like Musoke, Dungu, Kibuuka, Nagawonye

The Baganda were divided into 52 clans according to animals, birds plants which were their ttotems.


  • Strategic position o f Buganda (nearness to L.victoria).This made Buganda to havebetter naval forces and fish from L.victoria.
  • Well organised and determined rulers.
  • Acquisition of guns from Arabs.
  • Good climate and fertile soil that favoured crop growing.
  • Well trained soldiers as Abambowa.
  • Well organised centralised administration.
  • The Baganda were united.
  • Buganda was small at first and Easy to control


  • This kingdom was made of the Abaluyia people in the Western Kenya near L.victoria.
  • It was the only the kingdom that existed in the present day Kenya.
  • The Abaluyia are believed to have migrated from Bunyoro Kitara after its collapse.
  • Their main occupaton was farming and the title given to their king was Nabongo.
  • One of their Nabong by the names of  Mumia is greatly remembered to havecollaborated with the British during the colonial rule.


1. How did the location of Buganda contributed to its expansion.

2. Mention the only kingdom which existed in Western Kenya.

3. Give two ways in which the people of East Africa were politically well organised before the coming of the foriegners.

4. How did the coming of foreigners affected the existence of Wanga kingdom.


  • This kingdom existed south of Ankole, Toro, and Buganda in Northern Tanganyika near L.victoria.
  • It was founded in Bukoba region in Tanganyika.
  • It was part of the former   Bunyoro kitara kingdom and was occupied by the Banyambo.
  • It wasfounded by Ruhinda the founder   of Ankole Kingdom   who conquered the neighbouring empire to enlarge it. This included Rwandan, Burundi, and Ukerewe.
  • King Rumanika was one of the greatest kings of this kingdom and helped many explorers to reach Buganda.
  • The kingdom developedas a result of the trade which  was existing in this region(long  distance route)
  • The people were organised under clans and sub-clans who were headed by Muharambwa.
  • Karagwe was founded by Ruhinda son of Wamala


  • Blessed women to bear many children.
  • Blessed hoes and harvest.
  • Supervising un occupied land in the area.
  • Spiritual  leadership


Toro kingdom was founded by prince Kaboyo son of omukama Kyebambe Nyamulukura III of Bunyoro.

Toro kingdom broke away from Bunyoro because they were not getting enough services from headquarters.


Toro had a centralised system of government with the omukama as the overall ruler.

  • Toro had strong leaders like prince Kaboyo the founder
  • Nyaika I successor of Kaboyo
  • Kasagama who ruled during colonial rule
  • Omukama who ruled during at the time of independence
  • Omikama Kaboyo Olimi the father of the current king of Toro


The current king of Toro is Oyo Nyimba KAbamba Iguru IV.


The Batoro were mainly pastoralists but today have changed to mixed farming.

They also participated in coastal trade with Arabs dealing in iron and ivory.


They had two classes the Hinda Batoro who were herdsmen and rules and he bairubatoro who were cultivators an seen as inferior


Muharambwa was paid by his subjects with gifts of food items and cowrie shells.


1.what  title was given to the ruler of  the following 

a)Wanga  b)Karagwe  .

2. Who was the founder of karagwe?

3. Give any two roles played by traditional rulers of karagwe.

4. Give any three advantages and disadvantages of kingdoms.


  • This empire was founded in the present   day Tanzania and by Wanyamwezi people.
  • These were named Namwenzi by the coastal dwellwers because they came from the direction of the moon and settled in centralTanzania, south of L.victoria.
  • The Nyamwenzi are the biggest Bantu grou p in Tanzania.They were originally cultivators but later were taken by trade items e.g salt, spears, livestock, grains and metal ware.
  • They dealt in trade items like salt, spears, livestock, grains and metal ware.
  • The title given to the leader of the Nyamwezi chief was NTEMI or MUTEMI.


  • Was a spiritual leader.
  • Led prayers and made sacrifices to gods on behalf of the people.
  • Was incharge of royal drums.
  • Responsible for the well being of the community.
  • The Ntemi built a strong state in the region which was crossed by two main caravan routes to the coast via the North Western route through Karagwe to Buganda and Western route to Ujiji to L.Tanganyika and beyond.


  • Mirambo was one of the greatest Ntemi of the Nyamwenzi.
  • His capital was at Urambo.
  • Urambo was an important slave and ivory market in the region.
  • Mirambo started as a small ruler o the chiefdom called Ugowe and then expanded his territory by attacking the neighbouring kingdoms.
  • He extended his territory (empire) and controlled the main trade routes from Tabora to Ujiji and Karagwe while collecting taxes.
  • He built a large empire which was divided into provinces ruled by Mirambo (Vatwale).
  • These were responsible for trade of goods tribute to the capital of   kiwere.Kiwere was the administrative centre.


Mirambo’s  character.

  • He was a dynamic chief.
  • He was ambitious to expand and develop his empire.
  • His ablity to lead soldiers to the war battle.
  • His ability to recruit the captives to his army.
  • His ability to capture all the trade routes and control trade.
  • Mirambo s ability to deploy mercenary soldiers called RugaRuga.
  • Acquisation of the guns from long distance traders.
  • His ability to acquire the Ngoni tactics of fighting.


Mirambo who established a strong empire in the region, time came when his empire collapsed due to;

  • The mercinary soldiers had becomei ndisplined by stealing people’s property.
  • Mirambo had centralised all his powers that during his absence, the system couldnot operate.
  • The death of Mirambo weakened the empire as his successor’s couldnot control   its property.


  • Nyungu ya mawe was the successor of Mirambo.
  • He was among the famous chiefs of the empire and established his capital at Kiwele.
  • He developed a centralised system of administration and divided his empire into seven pronvinces.
  • Each pronvince was under the leadership of Mutwale.
  • The name Nyugu yamawe means pot ofstones which symbolises his strength and ability to rule the empire.
  • Both mirambo and Nnyungu ya mawe died in 1884, the same yearMUTEESA 1 of Buganda died.
  • Nyungu ya mawe was suceeded by his daughter Magalula who was later over thrown by the Germans.


1. State any two ways in Mirambo’s character made him successful man.

2. How did the longndistance trade contribute to the growth and development of the Nyamwezi Empire?

3. Give the meaning of the following terms;

a)Ntemi    b)Nyungu ya mawe   c)Nyamwezi.

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