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Shs 20,000: A story of beauty and Ankole

This is a serialized write-up of all the major features of the Ugandan currencies. We are looking to see what the touristic features on the notes are and telling that story to the core of each note. Journeying with you to all these places displayed on the notes.

Hope you caught our first story, then the Shs1000 note and went on to the Shs2000. Did you also see the Shs5000 and Shs10,000 stories before this?

By View Uganda

Another tale of the flora and fauna-crater lakes, this is what the Shs20, 000 note stands for. See, for over 20 times now, Uganda’s Albertine Rift Valley has been profiled among the 10 places on Earth with the most beautiful crater lakes. On the Shs20,000 note is Lake Nyinambuga, a crater found in Rutoto sub-county in Rubirizi District in the western part of the country. What a beauty!

It is representative of the many craters in Uganda as it its unspoiled, just like them. What’s interesting is how they remain undisturbed; the deliberate move to protect wildlife areas especially Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori, and Mghahinga National Park was indeed a welcome move.

However, if it is diversity you seek, then Bunyaruguru, a county located 350kms west of Kampala and north of Bushenyi is what you need. Imagine this: a town of 52 crater lakes! As is typical of lakes in dormant or extinct volcanoes, they have fresh water and their clarity is extraordinary due to the lack of inflowing streams and sediment.

 Historical Monument-Centenary Monument

Built in 2000, a time when Kampala had attained centenary status as a city, the monument on the 20,000 note is found in Centenary Park. It was designed by Sylvia Katende Nabiteeko, a senior lecturer at Makerere University’s Margaret Trowell School. It clearly is out to show the social-economic growth of Kampala city.

 Long horned Ankole cattle

Designed by Rwangyezi Stephen, Founder of Ndere Troupe Center, the long horned cattle depicted on the Shs20,000 note is hard to miss. This breed, an indigenous species that is profoundly cherished by the tribes of Western Uganda, especially the Banyankole. This tribe mostly made up of cattle keepers and depend on cattle as a source of livelihood. Therein is an explanation for their choice of staples, mostly products diary. One such is Eshaabwe, a white creamy source that tastes like salted yoghurt.

They then go further to mimic cows in their traditional dance called Ekitaguriro. It begins with shoving arms in the air and off you go stomping the ground. The hands are then skillfully twisted to imitate the long horns. The singing in this dance is similar to the sounds of the cow. A flute is played through as the dance goes off.

It’s a moving performance performed by both women and men. During the dance, the women mostly focus on showcasing the cows as a graceful species, as they portray it as an energetic species. This explains why the stamping movements of their feet are alike with walking movements of a cow. It’s no wonder the cow finds a place on the second biggest denomination, Shs20.000.

 

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