Tribe: The Hidden History of the Mountains of the Moon by Tom Stacey - review by Ronald Mutebi

Ronald Mutebi

A Kingdom of Their Own

Tribe: The Hidden History of the Mountains of the Moon


Stacey International 540pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

One of the most striking and pertinent examples of the legacy of colonialism in Africa and the misconceived plans of the rulers that followed is the predicament of the Bakonzo people, who live in the far west of Uganda. The Bakonzo, together with their close relatives the Baamba, live in the upper reaches of the 15,000-foot, snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountains - Ptolemy's 'Mountains of the Moon' - which straddle the border between Uganda and Congo, struggling to cling on to a tribal identity that the modern world, with its emphasis on bland, soulless conformism and human monoculture, now considers to be obsolete.

Tom Stacey had his first encounter with the Bakonzo in 1954, when he went in search of a possible story for a book. As he was terrified of being misunderstood to be merely interested in them as a way of furthering his literary career, he would, he decided, only write

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

OUP Niven

Follow Literary Review on Twitter