Karamojong herder



I am who I am because of who I am and that is me. That is my identity, my heritage, my culture, my life. What makes me who I am? This is a question if directed to a Karamojong pastoralist, the answer would be found in the narrative through an encounter with one of them:

“In this kraal, we live and take care of ourselves. If there is one who has gone and slept at home, the rest will take care of the kraal and the children around.

In the morning we take our livestock to graze and look for water. In the evening, we bring them back to the kraal. We observe them well to make sure not any is missing. We find out from the shepherds whether they grazed and drunk water well. Then we instruct the shepherds to keep them in their dens (kraals).

We get the troughs (ngatubai) and we have them cleaned. We sharpen the arrows to extract blood from the chosen animals. We fill blood in the troughs and have them prepared (akilir).

We start to milk and also separate them in to different troughs. Then we keep the calves in their dens.

We start to eat from the children. Then to the visitors and next to the big people.

This is how we live our life here.

If one livestock has gone missing, we (men) all go and look for it until we have brought it back.”

Such an account is just to show you that Karamoja Development Forum (KDF) chronicles the lives and landscape of everyday Karamoja. There is a sense of caring about the welfare and the heritage of the Pastoralist without which there can be no sense of community. To dream of a person you want to be is a waste of the person you are and KDF prides in the fact that the Pastoralists will not want to be what they are not but rather proudly remain who they are and have no apologies for that.

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