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Kooki Documents Orthography to Save Dialect from Extinction

The fifteen-page book titled; “Olukooki Niye Ngamba Yange” loosely translated as ‘Lukooki is My Language, is a compilation of nouns, metaphors, verbs and proverbs, names of animals, numbers and a brief history about Kooki, one of the 18 counties make up Buganda Kingdom.
Minister Musa Echweru (L) and the Kamuswaga Apollo Ssansa Kambumbuli II (in White) alongside others officials at the launch on Lukooki book

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Efforts to save the Kooki Dialect from extinction have received a major boost with the launch of a new book documenting its orthography.  

The fifteen-page book titled; “Olukooki Niye Ngamba Yange” loosely translated as ‘Lukooki is My Language, is a compilation of nouns, metaphors, verbs and proverbs, names of animals, numbers and a brief history about Kooki, one of the 18 counties make up Buganda Kingdom.  

Although Kooki retained its cultural autonomy after the 1896 agreement which placed it under Buganda’s control, it is dominated by Kiganda culture, including the use of Luganda as the main mode of communication in addition to Runyankole, Rukiga and Kinyarwanda dialects.  

John Kasiiba, who led a five-man committee that compiled the book, explains that the task was corroborative efforts with the few remaining elders with general knowledge and a memory of the native Lukooki language.    

He says that the book is still in its elementary form with translations from English and Runyankole into Lukooki.  Kasiiba is however optimistic that more research work will advance their efforts to have more comprehensive books and eventually a dictionary to guide the thematic teaching of the language. 

//Cue in; “the book we have…..  

Cue out…..comprehensive books.”// Luganda     

//Cue in; “ekitabo kino......  

Cue out…..okulakulanya olukooki.’//   

The hereditary leader of Kooki (Kamuswaga) Apollo Ssansa Kabumbuli II says that the launch of the book is a key milestone towards the much-anticipated revival of the Language which is currently spoken by just a few elders.  

Similarly, Kooki Prime Minister Hajj Idi Kiwanuka says the book has come as part of the fruits arising out of a 2011 project to revive the dialect. He says part of the project is to fast-track the set up of a radio station to ease communication among the people of Kooki.    

//Cue out; “it was a dream…..  

Cue out…..learns the language.”//      

Luganda //Cue in; “kiri kyali nga kirooto….

Cue out…..bayige olulimi luno.”//               

State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Echweru has hailed all efforts made in the compilation of the literature saying it will strengthen the heritage of the chiefdom which is not well known by many people.    

//Cue in; “for the government...  

Cue out……. officially launched.”//