Bongo Bongo Land

These pages have been prepared by citizens of Bongo Bongo Land. Discover here the delights of our wondrous nation.

Overview of a Glorious Land !

bongo bongo land peoples
Bongo Bongo Land is a small landlocked country in Eastern Africa.
mountain bongo
To the north, east and south is Kenya.
The magnificent Lake Victoria defines the western coastline.
There are regions of savannah, wetland and mountain highland. Wildlife such as lions, elephants and hippopotamuses abound... but the mountain bongo takes pride of place as the symbol of our nationhood.
It features on our country's flag against a ground of the national colours of red, yellow and green.
The total population is a little over 1.2 million. The capital city is Kibokotown.
The two official working languages of the republic are Swahili and English, the latter being inherited from the days of British colonial rule.

Sadly, it has to be acknowledged, there are misguided individuals in foreign places who would use the term "Bongo Bongo Land" in a pejorative manner with undertones of racism. The implication being that we are an uncivilized, backward and tribal people.
Astonishingly others are under the illusion that ours is a fictitious or mythical land !
As you will discover, reading on, nothing could be further from the truth.

president of bongo bongo land
Firstly, it is with immeasurable pleasure that we introduce the President of the Republic of Bongo Bongo Land.
The praiseworthy Denis Madaadi Kiptoo.
With a pronounced affinity for nature, our leader is a much-loved and respected figure throughout the African continent.
Rest assured it is not only his winning smile and devilishly handsome good looks which have gained Denis Kiptoo such popularity !
Yes, we Bongies have a healthy sense of humour with a touch of self-deprecation.
By the way, our citizens are famously easy going and accept being addressed as Bongolese, Bongans or, indeed, Bongies.

Similarly you may overhear during discourse our country given the abbreviated appellation "Bongoland". This does not cause offence. The Kiswahili word for brainy is Ubongo.
So the term is widely understood to refer to a place where people are sharp-witted and intelligent, although more correctly it refers to Dar es Salaam and our Tanzanian brethren.

bongoland east africa
Further fascinating facts and figures about our splendid country.
Ours is one of the smallest nations on earth covering some 5,173 square kilometres. That's a total area similar to that of all of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
Economically of major importance are agriculture, forestry, mining and quarrying.
Tourism is becoming an increasingly significant source of foreign exchange revenue and, amongst other wildlife, Furaha Mahali National Park protects one of the two remaining indigenous populations of the rare mountain bongo in Eastern Africa.

protectorate of bongo land flag
The British Colony and Protectorate of Bongo Land came to an end on 14th August 1964 when independence was conferred under the Bongo Independence Act of the United Kingdom's parliament.
Exactly one year later, on 14th August 1965, the country proudly became a republic under the name of the "Republic of Bongo Bongo Land".
It will be no surprise that the 14th of August has become our most important national holiday. It is a double event, marking independence and the establishment of the republic.
The day holds numerous, glorious festivities which celebrate the country's cultural heritage.
For special occasions such as this, it is customary to slaughter and roast a goat.

bongobongo land maidens
That and other customs date back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
However some traditional customs are dying out.
For example in the past it was not uncommon for men to have six or seven wives, but few these days have enough money to reap the benefits of a polygamous lifestyle.
In modern times wife beating is also frowned upon.

We are a happy and hospitable people, never too busy to make time for others, but the proverb that really sums up our attitude to daily life is "Haraka haraka haina baraka".
Meaning "Hurry, hurry has no blessing"... or slow is the way to go !

proverbs of bongo landBongo Bongo Land has a strong oral tradition.
Folk tales and proverbs often relate to everyday events, relationships and animals.
Our twitter account lists several of the proverbs archived through the efforts of the Bongoland Proverbs Project.

Traditional music is loved. It is played on drums, woodwind instruments and thumb pianos.
The indigenous population is known for its sculpture, wood-carving and jewellery. Of the total population 11.9% are of British descent, around half of which hold dual nationality.
In terms of religion about one-third are animists and believe all things including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars, the moon, and the sun have spirits. Close to 50% have some kind of Christian belief and there's a sprinkling of Muslims.

bongo land horned cucumberMany workers are subsistence farmers and cultivate corn, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas, oranges, and mangoes.
The main cash crops are tea and coffee. Those crops, petroleum and other products are exported mostly to Britain, Germany, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The Lake Victoria fisheries provide employment, income, and some export earnings. The Lake is used for transport and the waters are consumed mainly without treatment.
We are the world's biggest exporter of the delicious African horned cucumber, which is in fact an exotic fruit.
british bongoland stamps

Some of our postage stamps from the British colonial days are the rarest in the world and fetch outrageous prices when sold abroad at auction.

Briefly, a word about the contentious issue of Bongan migrants to Britain.
There are approximately 68,700 of our citizens living in the UK.
Of these it was calculated that 72% were employed, 4% were unemployed and 24% were inactive in 2015.
Our country received £92 million in aid from the UK over a year in 2014-15.

The close, although at times tempestuous, relationship between Bongoland and Britain is appraised on both this website and our twitter account @bongoland1964

bongoland football teamAlthough athletics, golf, rugby and cricket are popular sports, the best loved is football. There is soccer league action every weekend.
Our national soccer team has the nickname of the "Golden Warriors".
However the most widely enjoyed sport, played in homes, bars and clubs, is the game of English blackball pool.

Our countrymen take a relaxed attitude to sport and will remark, "Asiye kubali kushindwa si mshindani". Translated into English this means "He who does not concede defeat is not a sportsman". It is a saying intended to promote peace and fair play in many walks of life.

google map bongo land
Opposite is a map (courtesy of Google) showing the location of our country in relation to surrounding African nations and Lake Victoria
.... click this map and other images to see larger displays which will also be indexed as thumbnails along the foot of the page.


Anonymous said...

The west coast of Bongo Bongo Land is lake Victoria so why is it called a landlocked country?

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment. Landlocked countries are entirely enclosed by land OR have a coastline with a closed sea or large body of water... such as is the case with Bongo Bongo Land.