A nurse's aide in US to be crowned African king


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.

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Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

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