Nyabinghi was one of the several prominent religions in the Kigezi district of Uganda in pre-colonial Africa..  According to oral tradition, in the 1700s, a queen, named Nyabinghi, was sovereign over the Kingdom of Karagwe, a north-western region in what is now known as Tanzania; Karagwe was one of the Great Lakes Kingdoms of East Africa.

Queen Nyabinghi married Ruhinda, a chief of the short-lived Mpororo Kingdom, which spanned the area we would now recognise as south-western Uganda. Ruhinda remained in Karagwe, and devised a plan to overthrow Nyabinghi in order to take complete control of her kingdom; he succeeded with his plan and had his wife killed.

It is said that the spirit of Nyabinghi terrorised Ruhinda and his stolen kingdom years after her passing, as well as anybody who enabled him to conduct a coup d’état against her.

Her spirit was to be maintained through manifestations exclusively within further generations of women in the nearby region.. A notable anti-colonial resistance movement, led by a woman named Muhumuza who was posses by the spirit of Nyabinghi, took place in the early 20th century in south-western Uganda.

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Last Updated Dec 2020