HARRISBURG, Pa. — An African man who worked
for years as a nurse's aide in the United States,
caring for the elderly and sick, is back in
his homeland to be crowned king of his people
in the mountains of western Uganda.
Charles Wesley Mumbere's coronation is
scheduled Monday in the Kasese district.
He will rule over Rwenzururu, a kingdom
of about 300,000 people — roughly
the size of Pittsburgh — that is now
recognized by the national government.
Mumbere, who is in his 50s, lived in
the United States for 25 years.
He kept his royal roots secret until July,
when he granted an interview to
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg
as he was preparing to return to Uganda.
"I find it was very good interacting with the people
I was taking care of," he told the newspaper
at the time. "It was very lovely and friendly."
In the 1960s, Mumbere's father, Isaya Mukirane,
led a secessionist movement by an ethnic
group known as the Bakonjo,
and they recognized him as their king.
Mumbere inherited the title at 13
and took charge of the kingdom
when he turned 18.
"I grew up in the mountains,
fighting in the war," he said.
When he was 30, the Bakonjo and
the government negotiated an agreement
that provided for Mumbere to be sent
to the United States for an education.
Mumbere arrived in 1984 and attended
a business school until his government stipend
was stopped amid political upheaval in Uganda.
In 1987, he gained political asylum, trained
as a nurse's aide and took a job in
a suburban Washington nursing home
to pay his bills, the newspaper said.
In 1999, he moved to Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania's capital, where he worked
for at least two health care facilities.
He was "very loyal, a very hard worker,
a very private person," said Johnna Marx,
executive director of the Golden Living
Center-Blue Ridge Mountain on
the outskirts of Harrisburg.Link here
Sent from Kigali, Rwanda