Kigezi Mountain Mosaic
Kigezi Mountain Mosaic is so named because the landscape, flora and fauna, peoples, sources and this book are mosaics. Every history has a history. I had no plans to write this book and knew nothing about the area when I joined Edirisa in Kabale in March 2011 for two weeks of editing a new guidebook. My boss, Miha Logar, suggested that I expand on the history a little, which was like a red rag to a bull. Plans changed and a website was mooted where I would have infinite space. Seven months later I had a reasonable text concerning everything I had learnt in the meantime. I then said “Enough” and took off for North and West Africa. Plans changed again when the website was abandoned, at least temporarily, and everything was to be published in a new (early 2012) Apple ebook ipad format as a guide book entitled Gorilla Highlands (published in September 2012). My texts returned shortened and transformed for editing. I didn't understand exactly what was happening and was concerned about the fate of what I called my 'long text'. As a result, I returned to Uganda in Spring 2012 and ended up another six months expanding the nature and wildlife sections for a more balanced guide, assisting in the lay-out and working on the final texts. Meanwhile, my research shopping list never shortened and so the 'long text' got longer as I began to understand Kigezi a little better. I decided that, even given its faults, it was worth publishing independently. I have been asked why I spent so much time on this project and I’m not very sure myself, except to say that such a project was an ambition that I was lucky enough to fulfil. From small beginnings, research and writing about Kigezi developed its own momentum and was its own reward. This is an informal book and not an academic work with footnotes. I am not a great fan of academic writing but chapters have most of the essential sources, while quotes can be crossreferenced with the bibliography. The book is primarily a review of secondary sources; a compilation of what others have written about Kigezi's land, nature, history and culture. A detailed primary documentation research program would take two years with six months in Kampala, six months in the UK, three months in the Vatican, one month each in Belgium and Germany and an indefinable length of time in Kigezi. Then there is the making sense, writing up and publication. Such a program was outside the scope of my current resources. No doubt, the text could have been much improved with three months of editing and rewriting but personal deadlines dictated that, for better or worse, I ended here. In sum, the book is everything I managed to learn about Kigezi in one year of research and writing. It is a work in progress, a stepping-stone between the golden age of history writing in the late 1960s to early 1970s and the future. It can be treated as a data base, a source for further research and, hopefully, an inspiration.