Friday, April 27, 2007


"His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."

Idi Awo-Ongo Angoo, a.k.a. Idi Amin Dada, was born on May 17, 1928, at about 4.00 a.m., to proud parents, Andreas Nyabire Amin Dada and Assa Aatte, in the police barracks in Kampala (what is now the International Conference Centre). Idi Amin’s parents separated in 1931, following suspicions that Idi Amin had been fathered by one Daudi Chwa, rather than by Andreas Nyabire Amin Dada. He grew up with his maternal family. After moving to the home of Sheikh Ahmed Hussein, in the present Semuto town, (where he lived from 1938 to 1940) Amin started reciting the Koran. Amin received little formal education when he was growing up; he tried to register to an elementary school, but Nubians were not admitted. At the age of twelve, Amin participated in the Nubian riots against discrimination. In 1941 Amin joined Garaya Islamic school at Bombo, and again excelled in reciting the Koran under Mohammed Al Rajab, from 1941 –1944.

In 1946 he joined the King’s African Rifles, KAR (Britain’s colonial African troops), and served in Burma, Somalia, Kenya (during the British suppression of the Mau Mau) and Uganda. Although he was considered a skilled, if somewhat overeager, soldier, Amin developed a reputation for cruelty. In 1952 his battalion was deployed against the Mau Mau, in Kenya. Amin attained the rank of corporal that same year. In 1953 he became a sergeant for his role in starting the mobile foot patrols in the forests occupied by the Mau Mau. While fighting them, it is alleged that Amin had a son and a daughter with two local Kikuyu women.

Idi Amin rose through the ranks, reaching sergeant-major before finally being made an effendi, the highest rank possible for a Black African serving in the British army. He was also an accomplished sportsman, holding Uganda’s light heavyweight boxing championship from 1951 to 1960.

Amin waves to thousands of Ugandans gathered at a ceremony in Kampala in 1971.

Idi Amin Dada came to political power on January 25, 1971. Whilst the then president, Milton Obote, attended a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore, Amin led a coup d'etat, and took control of the country, declaring himself president. He was eventually responsible for the torture and murder of approximately 300,000 people. Amin personally ordered the execution of the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, the chief justice, the chancellor of Makerere College, governor of the Bank of Uganda, and several of his own parliamentary ministers.

Idi Amin called himself "a pure son of Africa," but his bizarre and murderous eight years as president of Uganda typified the worst of the continent's military dictatorships. Popular legend has Amin involved in Kakwa blood rituals and cannibalism.

Also in 1972, Amin declared “economic war” on Uganda’s Asian population - they dominated Uganda’s trade and manufacturing sectors, as well as forming a significant proportion of the civil service. Seventy thousand Asian holders of British passports were given three months to leave the country - the abandoned businesses were handed over to Amin’s supporters. Amin severed diplomatic ties with Britain and ‘nationalised’ 85 British owned businesses. He also expelled Israeli military advisors, turning instead to Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gadhafi, of Libya, and the Soviet Union for support.

Mr. Amin is carried by four British businessmen during a party for diplomats in 1975. A Swedish businessman holds an umbrella in the manner of servants who once shielded tribal rulers from the sun.

In October 1978, with the assistance of Libyan troops, Amin attempted to annex Kagera, the northern province of Tanzania (which shares a border with Uganda). The Tanzanian president, Julius Nyerere, responded by sending troops into Uganda, and, with the aid of rebel Ugandan forces, the Ugandan capital of Kampala was captured. Amin fled to Libya, where he stayed for several years. After a fallout with Ghadafi, Amin relocated to Saudi Arabia, where he was to remain in exile.

Madina, Amin's fourth wife was a dancer when he met her. Madina pleaded, with no success, to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni that Amin be allowed to return and die in his native Uganda.

On 16 August, 2003 Idi Amin Dada died in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The cause of death was reported to be ‘multiple organ failure’. Although the Ugandan government announced that his body could be buried in Uganda, he was quickly buried in Saudi Arabia. He was never tried for gross abuse of human rights.

“Dad is the only person that has ever been accused and sentenced, incarcerated by opinion, without it ever reaching any court house,” said Jaffar Amin. Jaffar is the 10th of Idi Amin’s 40 official children, by seven official wives. “Father had quite an appetite for women...It’s very African, actually.”Jaffar Amin has broken the family's vow of silence, and is writing a book to counter his father's reputation as a brutal buffoon and cruel eccentric, following the release of the Oscar winning film The Last King of Scotland.

The Last King of Scotland is an Idi Amin biopic worth watching.


Big Daddy and his women By Richard M. Kavuma “The story of Amin and his women is one that turns bizarre, comic and brutal.” Click here
Rejected then taken in by dad; a timeline By Fred Guweddeko Click here
Idi Amin Dada: A Hero in Ugandan Sports? Click here


BarbadosInFocus / PictureInFocus said...

I came across your blog today and could not stop reading for a while. This is a very informative blog post. The blog I like very much.


Aliko said...

yes viber i enjoyed the reading above


Liz eeh!Tuko pamoja! I love what U are doing and I just have nothing to say................!


Hi Barbados in focus, Aliko and Simon,

Thank you for visiting Saharan Vibe and for your support.I hope you all find Saharan Vibe informative and entertaining at the same time.

Feel free to drop any suggestions/ideas/materials on Africa that you would like to see posted on the blog.

I am still working on the website that will link to this blog and any input is highly appreciated.


Liz said...

"Idi Amin's exact date of Birth"

Jaffar Amin Q&A

Question: Are you able to clarify exactly when and where dad was born? Many reports claim that he was born in Koboko. Is there truth to that? If not, where was he born and when exactly?

Answer: Dad (1928-2003) was born at Shimoni Hill Police Barracks in Nakasero-Kampala, Uganda to Aisha Aate Chumaru (1903-1969), the second wife to Mzee Amin Dada Tomuresu (Temeresu) (1889-1976) of the Adibu Likarmero Kakwa Clan. Here are the details of his birth:

1. Islamic Calendar 1346 Dhul-Hijja 10th Weekday Yawm Al-‘Arb’a’ at 04:00
2. Gregorian Calendar 1928 May 30th Wednesday at 04:00
3. Julian Calendar 1928 May 17 Wednesday 04:00

Alternative Reference:

My good friend renowned Researcher Mr. Fred Guwedeko quoted the Ethiopian Julian Calendar date in his article instead of the Gregorian Calendar date used by most historians.

We Muslims are very clear on the fact that dad was born in 1928, while Mzee Amin Dada accompanied by his eldest son a 9 year old Ramadhan Amin set off for Eid Al-Ad'ha Prayers amongst the Nubian Muslim shanty Settlement on Kibuli Hill. On that day, a mystical hailstorm shower engulfed the Ugandan Capital and as an expert Cultural Midwife, Aisha Aate Chumaru of the Okapi-Bura Lugbara Clan who was a renowned Holistic Medicine Expert performed a self-delivery. She told one Mangarita Nakoli that Awongo landed onto a pile of hailstones setting off a resounding scream and crying excessively, that is why she gave him that name initially. However the Leiko-Kozzoru Kakwa Clan (Her Maternal Uncles) gave him the name Alemi (A Just Cause) because of the disputed issue about his paternity. Mzee Amin Dada Tomuresu (1889-1976) gave him the name Idi.

Anonymous said...

I reckon that Idi Amin Dada (PBUH) is an ace bloke!

However, no-one at all agrees with me: especially the Asians in my local shop that were caught up in, erm, Mr Amin's rather drastic foreign policy circa 1972... - one of the younger lads was quite miffed with my unwavering defence of the Great Man.

England, experiencing economic difficulties in the 70s, were promised a benison from the Ugandan supremo: a boat-load of bananas!

Personalities such as the aforementioned are indeed rare in modern history.

Did I spot a comment from his SON?

The rest of the world have Benito Mussolini peged as a complete git: go to Italy; he's still championed as a national hero.

I'm hoping that the same thing applies to the Great Man in Uganda.

I'm a tad staggered to find some pro Idi Amin people: keep the faith!