• Sultan Khalid Bin Barghash, brother to Kabaka Mutesa I
    Sultan Khalid Bin Barghash, brother to Kabaka Mutesa I

A Buganda Queen that bore two sons that ruled Zanzibar and Buganda

Posted by Celestine on Tue May 8, 2018 in Cultural Tourism.

Did you know that Khalid Bin Barghash, the 6th Sultan of Zanzibar, was a young brother of Kabaka Mutesa I, of Buganda? Yes, it is true. The two shared the same mother!

Her name was Namasole Nakazzi Muganzirwazza. It is said that Nakazzi was the dearest of Suuna's over 150 wives. But on an unfortunate day when the Arabs had visited the palace at Wamala (modern day Nansana), she was heard commenting about their handsomeness. Culturally, a King's wife was not allowed to admire any man. She was thus meant to die. However, because she was a dear one to the King, she was pardoned and offered to the Arab traders to take back to Zanzibar. On arrival, the traders handed her over to Sultan Sayid Barghash Bin Said Al-Busaid as a "bride" from the King of Buganda. Of course, he accepted the gift. The point is she married two different powerful kings; wasn't she lucky?

Later in 1874, she gave the Sultan a handsome son, Khalid who was later to become sultan in 1896. But he ruled for only 12 hours, allegedly because he was not the choice of the British. But while he didn't get a chance, his brother, Mutesa I made a remarkable contribution to the development of Buganda and made initiatives that transformed the whole of Uganda.

Khalid's father is believed to be the greatest Sultan of Zanzibar. For instance, he developed piped water systems, and the pipes he installed are still being used today. He constructed public baths, a police force, roads, parks, hospitals and large administrative buildings such as the (Bait el-Ajaib) House of Wonders. This house of wonders is still there to date and was the tallest building in East Africa from 1883 when he completed it. This building had an elevator, and it was the second to have such in Africa. It was the first building to have tap water and electricity. He constructed a railway track from 1875s and this train traversed from Stone Town to other parts of Zanzibar. He introduced plantation of differences spices, sugar canes, and further developed cloves (introduced by his father), and various fruits. He is regarded by many as the most intelligent sultan - he designed the plan of Stone City, which is a tourism heritage site today.

The young sultan (Khalid), believed to be a favourite among the people, was not given chance to rule his people. The British feared that he was going to continue with the legacy of his father, and thus opted for someone else. Upon his capture, he was exiled to Seychelles, the same place where his nephew Kabaka Mwanga was later exiled in 1899.

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